A Guide to Content Marketing Automation
A day in a content marketer’s life is not just limited to finding content ideas and creating that content.
But what if there was a way to simplify some of these tasks?
Let’s understand the benefits of content marketing automation and how you can adopt it in your business.
Table of contents:
- What is content marketing automation?
- Why you should consider content marketing automation
- Content marketing tasks that can be automated
- How to automate your content marketing strategy
- Top content marketing automation tools
What is content marketing automation?
Content marketing automation tools complete repetitive or time-consuming tasks automatically. For example, using software to track and analyze blogging metrics, instead of manually gathering data from multiple tools and spreadsheets.
If you see any of these signs in your organization, it may indicate that you need content marketing automation:
- You’re wasting a lot of time on repetitive tasks like publishing, generating content ideas, assigning tasks to your team & moving them through different stages, etc.
- You’re using more than 4 project management tools to handle everything content-related.
- Email is your main communication channel when it comes to content collaboration and feedback, resulting in a lot of back-and-forth and losing content versions.
- You use spreadsheets as a content calendar instead of marketing automation tools that help you assign tasks, move tasks, set deadlines, add comments, etc.
- You hold meetings to track progress instead of tracking it in a shared content calendar.
Why you should consider content marketing automation
- Saves resources and money: When you use tools to carry out multiple content tasks, you don’t need to spend money on hiring a large team. You learn to use lesser tools with more functionalities, like StoryChief’s content management platform, to plan, publish, track, and collaborate.
- Have all data on one platform: Instead of juggling multiple tools, content marketing automation focuses on having one platform that meets almost all your requirements.
- Increased productivity and creativity: Simplifying content processes allows your team to focus on high-value activities, such as prioritizing content ideas and improving the content conversion funnel. This leads to increased productivity and creativity.
- Generate and manage leads: Many automation tools help you create a steady stream of actionable and personalized content that boosts lead generation.
- Gather insights easily: Content tools track the performance of your content effectively without you needing to crunch numbers and use different spreadsheets to track them.
- Collaborate with clients effectively: If you’re an agency, automation tools allow you to collaborate with clients and involve them in the approval and creation process, getting quicker and more centralized feedback and approvals.
Content marketing tasks that can be automated
There are many content marketing activities that you can automate with different tools. Below is a list of such activities:
- Content creation: You can use different tools to help generate ideas and create content briefs.
- Content collaboration: Instead of emailing back and back-and-forth, use collaboration tools to collaborate on content, give feedback and approval. Workflow management: Instead of juggling multiple tools, streamline your tasks and projects with a single platform.
- Social content sharing: Whether to fetch content ideas or automate publishing, there are various social tools you can use.
- Email campaigns: You can use tools to create, personalize, schedule, and track all your email activities.
- Data and analytics: Instead of calculating different metrics, automation tools allow you to remove manual errors and provide accurate data.
- Content distribution: If you want to promote content across multiple channels or share it with your subscribers, automation tools help you do that swiftly.
- Paid promotion: Instead of spending money on the wrong ads, tools help you find the right keywords and the most effective ways to put up your ads.
How to automate your content marketing strategy
Instead of haphazardly subscribing to different automation tools, here’s a clear process that will help you pick tools according to your requirements and create an automation strategy that works right for your business.
1. Set clear goals for the campaign
You might be tempted to subscribe to the tools your competitor uses or those that pop up on Google’s SERP when you type “best content automation tools.”
But, without knowing “why” you’re adopting automation, you’ll end up with an automation strategy that wastes your time instead of saving it.
To get started, define clear goals for your content marketing automation. You can talk to your colleagues to understand where they are facing the most problems.
Are they finding it difficult to generate content ideas? Which activities are taking the most of their time? Can they name some low-value activities that can possibly be automated? Do they waste a lot of time in collaboration?
2. Get the hang of your audience and the content creation process
Before creating content and finding ways to automate tasks, understand who your customers are and what content they’d like to consume.
You can get in touch with your customer-facing teams to understand the kind of queries customers usually have, the information they need to make a decision, what kind of resources they consume, and the specific problems they are trying to solve.
Many businesses even send customer surveys or conduct competitor research to get unique insights that guide their content creation process.
3. Decide on what you want to automate
After studying your audience and content creation process, you’ll likely have a list of tasks your team conducts. It could be finding content ideas, conducting keyword research, prioritizing ideas, generating content briefs, assigning and reviewing tasks, etc.
Next, you can find activities that won’t require a lot of human intervention and will save your team a lot of time and energy if they get automated.
- Instead of having your content editor do all the hard work, you can use StoryChief’s SEO optimizations to initiate SEO and readability checks.
- Before allocating your performance marketer's time to create dashboards, it is advisable to first review the overview of performance metrics available in StoryChief.
- Instead of having your SEO specialist spend hours on manual keyword and competitor research, let the AI Keyword Generator find 40 keywords your competitors rank for but you don't.
4. Count on tools
Now that you have a list of activities ready to be automated, the next step is to subscribe to tools that do the job for you.
We’ll touch upon the kind of tools you’ll need in the next section, but first, let’s understand what your criteria should be for selecting these tools.
- Note down your budget
- List your exact requirements
- Find the integrations you’ll need
- If you have any exact features or functionalities you require, jot them down
- Prepare a detailed note on the kind of support you’ll require and if you’d need any customizations on the tool for your business
5. Set concrete KPIs to measure the impact of your automation strategy
You subscribed to four different tools, thinking your job is done. But what if you’re not getting a good return on your investment?
The only way to find that out is by setting concrete KPIs that help you measure the effectiveness of your automation strategy. Many businesses do this by comparing the before and after results.
For example, how much percentage of time did we save by adopting these tools? Or did we see an increase in the number of leads generated or a boost in engagement metrics?
Setting goals for these KPIs right at the start can help you get a higher ROI from these tools.
Top content marketing automation tools
There are a lot of automation tools available on the market today. Some of these even have common features and use cases.
Here are the top five automation tools you must have in your tech stack.
AI Content Generation
We all know the storm ChatGPT brought with its arrival. We saw hundreds of posts bashing the tool, yet many supported its powers.
AI content generation tools like ChatGPT use machine learning, natural language processing, and data to create your desired content. The idea is that the tools can write like humans after analyzing and studying large amounts of text.
Here’s an example:
While this might seem like a great solution, you must have an editor review this and make changes to escape plagiarism and duplicate content issues.
These tools are best for creating rough outlines, writing first drafts for your email or social content, changing the tones of existing text, etc.
Content Collaboration Tools
Whether you want to create detailed content planners, track different projects, collaborate on workflows, or manage deadlines, collaboration tools help you do it.
You can also get a quick overview of the different content campaigns your team is working on and if everything is going according to schedule. This helps you schedule everything in one place, and you can even assign these tasks to your teammates.
Social Media Posts Automation
Almost all businesses are now trying to create a community on social media and target a wider audience.
For small businesses and even big teams, this is yet another added responsibility that can sometimes get overlooked. This is where social media automation tools can lend a hand.
These tools help you schedule posts ahead of time, track engagement, repurpose content from long-form marketing material, brainstorm ideas, get instant suggestions, engage your audience, etc.
Many businesses use email automation to personalize emails and manage different mailing lists seamlessly. Some email automation tools provide a feature called triggered emails that send an email when a specific action takes place. For example, triggering a welcome email whenever a user visits your platform.
These tools also allow you to personalize your emails at scale. For example, setting different email sequences for different segments.
Here’s how a triggered email campaign can be set up using Omnisend:
Automated Lead Nurturing
Lead nurturing refers to any action you take to nurture leads throughout the different stages of a sales process.
Automated lead nurturing tools allow systematic tracking of leads on your website and content, signifying their stage in the sales cycle. These leads can then be reported to the respective sales team, and they can convert them.
In many cases, these tools also automate the sending of targeted content to nurture leads and move them down the funnel.
Here’s a lead nurturing workflow that can be set up in HubSpot:
There’s no doubt that you need to prioritize content marketing with the competitive scenario that companies find themselves in today. With so many content marketing automation tools, the possibilities to succeed - and fail- with content marketing are endless.
All you need to do is research your target audience perfectly, get all the details about your content marketing activities and how you can automate them, and let the tools do the rest of the work for you. With all that time saved, your team can focus on high-value activities that bring results.
Subscribe to StoryChief to automate your content process from start to finish. Don't let disorganization and missed deadlines hold you back. Bring content creation, collaboration, optimization, planning and scheduling together into one tool.