Ready to create an automated content campaign that brings in new traffic and leads for an entire year?
That's exactly what we're going to do in this blog, working step by step.
Without content promotion, you're unlikely to see much traffic. And without a smart content funnel, you won't see results that affect your bottom line.
But with an automated content campaign, you can bring in new traffic and convert it on autopilot—all with content marketing.
Let's see how this works.
Table of contents:
- Create evergreen content and bake in SEO
- Build the middle and bottom of your content funnel
- Create posts for your top promotion channels
- Automate organic re-posting
- Launch PPC and SEM paid promotion
- Further optimize SEO
- Review and update your automated content campaign
1. Create evergreen content and bake in SEO
An automated content campaign should consist of evergreen content so that the work you put into setting up the campaign can last for a year or more. Check out these evergreen content examples and how they're re-promoted.
For a quick definition: evergreen content is built to last. It's not trendy, seasonal, or based on news-jacking. It's something that your ideal audience will find relevant and helpful for months or years to come. It needs to be updated to stay relevant and accurate, but the core subject should remain useful for quite a while.
The best format for evergreen content is a blog post because it can be updated easily and can be SEO-optimized in order to acquire organic search traffic.
In your evergreen blog post, you can embed YouTube videos, infographics, slideshows, and/or podcasts if your audience resonates with one of these content formats better.
A blog post is a great place to house your video or audio content because it brings people into your website's domain, where you can bring them further into your funnel.
Of course, not every podcast interview will be evergreen, but many of them will be relevant for a year or more, especially those that feature well-known interviewees in your industry.
You want as much organic traffic for your automated content campaign as possible, so bake in SEO by doing the following:
- Choose a relevant keyphrase with a level of competition that matches your domain authority, and enough search traffic volume to be worthwhile. (Use tools like Ahrefs or Ubersuggest to help you choose the right keyphrase.)
- Incorporate the key phrase in the URL, title, first paragraph, meta description, and one H2 subheading in your blog post.
- Add 2 - 10 secondary keyphrases in your blog post to help capture even more relevant search traffic.
- Cover everything in your content that people may want to know about the topic (secondary keyphrase research can help you learn what subtopics to include).
StoryChief includes SEO settings and also helps you keep track of SEO best practices with a score for each post.
2. Build the middle and bottom of your content funnel
Creating evergreen content ensures that your campaign will be long-lasting, and optimizing for search helps gain organic traffic. But what do you do with the traffic when you acquire it?
Depending on the length of your sales cycle and how you acquire customers, you'll likely want to convert the traffic in one of the following ways for an automated content campaign:
- Free trial signups
- Freemium signups
- Email signups
- Demo requests / contact form requests
- Sales chatbot or live chat engagement
- Ecommerce purchases
- Physical subscription signups
For low-priced products and freemium signups, your content funnel might look relatively simple.
For higher-priced offers, you might need something like this:
Make sure to include the CTA (free trial sign up or link to download guide) at the bottom of your blog post, and possibly one-third or halfway through the content as well, like this:
For short content, you might only include a CTA at the bottom, and long-form content can have 3-5 CTA images and/or link text.
3. Create posts for your top promotion channels
Now that you've created your evergreen content and the funnel that will drive traffic towards becoming a paying customer, it's time to move onto organic content promotion.
In order to succeed with organic promotion, you should create content that matches each channel perfectly. While this is a bit of work, remember that this is an automated content campaign that should drive results for a year or more.
Aim to create many variations of content to share your blog post for each platform that matters to your target audience.
Here are a few examples of what types of content you might create on the channels that matter most to your business:
- Instagram: A 30-second audio snippet of a podcast you embedded in your post, or of someone reading a few key lines of the blog post; quote graphics; infographics with statistics from the post
- Twitter: A Twitter thread with important points from the post; 5 - 10 different text quotes from the post (these should make sense individually with no additional context); quote graphics; infographics with statistics from the post
- Facebook: A short video summarizing a few key points of the post; 5 - 10 different text quotes from the post; quote graphics; infographics with statistics from the post
- LinkedIn: 5 - 10 different text quotes from the post; quote graphics; infographics with statistics from the post; long-from posts that include a hook, valuable information, and a question or statement to drive engagement and/or controversy
- YouTube: A a video that covers the exact contents of the post or summarizes it (in the description, you can link straight to the next stage in your content funnel instead of the post, if you have covered the post's contents pretty closely)
- Pinterest: Quote graphics; infographics with statistics from the post
Creating YouTube videos doesn't have to be daunting. You can start off with a quick introduction and even read the contents of your post like Create and Go does.
4. Automate re-posting
Now that you've created your organic content, it's time to set up the social media automation that will re-post your content over time.
There are many social media tools that allow you to re-use, re-post, or re-schedule your content. (Yes, they all call this a different thing.)
On most social media platforms, re-using content is fairly straightforward, but there are some things to consider.
Here are best practices for automating evergreen social media content on each platform we discussed above:
- Instagram: Wait 3 - 9 months before re-using content so people are unlikely to see duplicates in your feed. Rely primarily on content variations and spread out these variations by a few months or weeks in your Instagram scheduler to continually promote your evergreen content. Only re-use the exact same post once or twice over the course of a year.
- Twitter: Wait 1 - 4 weeks before re-using content depending on how frequently you tweet. Rely primarily on content variations (you can re-use images more frequently, but write a different text for your variations) for promotion. Only re-use the exact same post 2 - 4 times over the course of a year.
- Facebook: Wait 2 - 6 weeks before re-using content. Rely primarily on content variations. Only re-use the exact same post 2 - 4 times over the course of a year.
- LinkedIn: Re-using content on personal profiles (when utilizing employee advocacy) is not recommended because organic reach is relatively high, which increases the chance of your audience seeing duplicates. However, on company profiles content can be re-used 2 - 6 weeks later.
- YouTube: Don't repost videos. Instead, you can create a different video (targeting a different keyphrase) to drive relevant traffic to the next stage of your content funnel.
- Pinterest: Use a trusted tool like Tailwind to repost pins to your board (Tailwind then deletes the pin with the fewest number of re-pins so you don't have duplicates in your board). For Pinterest, rely primarily on pin image variations to drive traffic from different pins to the same blog post.
For LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, you should be able to handle evergreen automation in one tool, but if you also plan to automate content to Instagram or Pinterest, you might need a separate tool that specializes in these platforms.
5. Launch PPC and SEM paid promotion
Even with organic SEO and organic social media, it can still be challenging to drive consistent levels of traffic to your blog post.
It's no wonder why paid promotion for content is up 400% since 2014.
You can utilize Facebook ads, Twitter ads, and LinkedIn ads in order to promote your evergreen blog post. Google ads can also be used, but in many industries, the price of Google ads makes content promotion cost-prohibitive. (Instead, you might want to use Google retargeting for people who have taken a step in the middle of your funnel, such as signing up for an ebook).
Because of the low CPC and extensive targeting criteria, Facebook is a favorite among content marketers in many industries. Check out this extensive setup guide for using Facebook for content promotion.
6. Further optimize SEO
Building SEO into your blog post is great, but SEO-optimizing a blog post isn't often a one-time task.
If after two months, your blog post isn't ranking on the first page of Google search results, there are a few things you can do to help it along. If you have the bandwidth or are in a competitive industry), you may want to do these tasks at the time of publishing instead of hoping for an organic result.
Additional offsite and onsite SEO optimizations to increase the chances of ranking content:
- Backlinking outreach offering free software license or payment in exchange for links
- Linking to the content from guest posts (instead of your main site)
- Linking to the content from expert advice round-up opportunities that you find in HARO (instead of requesting a link to your main site)
- Mentioning the content as a resource in a podcast interview, and asking the podcast host to include the link in the show's notes and resources
- Adding additional secondary keyphrases
- Changing the main target keyphrase, if you later discover that something else is less competitive (always set up redirects when editing URLs)
7. Review and update your automated content campaign
You set up an evergreen automated content campaign that was built to last, actively acquires new traffic, and drives that traffic deeper down your content funnel.
Even though your automated content campaign is evergreen, it can't last forever. Here are some checks and updates that you should do:
- Daily: Engage with organic post comments, retweets, etc.
- Weekly: Check the clickthrough rates and costs of any paid promotion. Check the engagement levels of website visitors coming from your paid promotion plans. (If they aren't converting into email subscribers, you'll likely want to stop or optimize ads).
- Monthly: Check that re-used social media content and post variations fit well within your content calendar for each network, and aren't occurring too frequently.
- Quarterly: Check the organic ranking of your blog post content and work on the onsite and offsite optimizations mentioned above.
- Annually: Review the content of your evergreen blog post, as well as all of the automated social media content. Edit and update all of the content as needed. If you decide the blog content is no longer super relevant, you can pause social media promotion.
Sure, not every blog will be worthy of the effort of a full-blown automated content campaign, but it's very likely that you have some blog posts in your upcoming content calendar that would be great candidates for the process outlined above.
You can also check through posts that you've already created to see if any are deserving of a better content funnel and automated promotion.
After all, content marketing isn't just content. It's marketing.