Industry Expert Tactics For Automating Content Marketing

Everybody knows that content marketing is both potent and practical. Content marketing makes sense if you want to reach 21st century customers because it is one of the best forms of inbound marketing.

Some of the results that content marketing campaigns can provide:

  • It requires minimal financial investment
  • It boosts audience engagement
  • Content marketing can yield a high return on investment
  • It can generate huge volumes of leads

 

The downside of content marketing is that is usually a very time-consuming process because creating great content takes time and energy, and some people just don’t have enough of the time to devote to the process. This doesn’t even include the other aspects like managing a campaign. In some cases, it can take much of your time that it cripples your ability to overlook other areas of your business.

Let’s take a look at some statistics that show how time-consuming content marketing can be:

  • 60% of marketers create at least one piece of content daily
  • 72% of marketers produce more content than they did last year
  • Most marketers use at least 13 content marketing strategies
b2c content creation

If we were to follow the trends noted above, the time required to do content marketing will keep increasing and increasing. Alongside, you have to keep in mind that the competition will continue to rise and improve as well.

To run a content marketing campaign that doesn’t require a substantial amount of your time but still achieves maximum results, you need some effective strategies to keep things running smoothly. You also have to make sure that content quality remains high. Overall, your content marketing campaigns will require less time and it’ll operate at a high level. Businesses are adopting automation because it improves effectiveness and reduces manual effort.

If you want to squeeze the most results from your content creation efforts, then automation has to be done as it amplifies the success of your relationship-building efforts. Content marketing automation gives context to your content so it makes sense to marketers and your audience, allowing you to manage your strategy for more positive results. Automation is part of the system you build that allows you to work on your business, generate better ROI, develop a sound strategy, all while the repetitive tasks like replying to inquiries, sharing content on social media, measuring the results, etc. are automatically handled by the system you have in place.

Bad Content is Bad Marketing

Content marketing and marketing automation have something in common and that is the fact that when the experience isn’t tailored to the specific audience, then the will be less inclined to take part in it. When automated content isn’t relevant to the specific person then lead nurturing can be dismissed as spam. When you share the content, you must also ensure relevance. A person who reads the content must think that content answers their question, otherwise problems begin and you end up with people who unsubscribe.

Over the last years, many businesses have considered the benefits of content marketing. However, they usually tend to focus on creating a short and low-quality articles as fast as possible and this approach is not sustainable.

No one will share the bad content and nobody will reach for their wallet after reading a bad article. Also, this approach doesn’t work because Google doesn’t like bad content either. It is Google’s goal to penalise bad content and improve their algorithm, and that’s bad news for people posting low-quality articles.

bad-content-is-bad-marketing

Marketing Automation and Content Marketing

Automating content marketing will fail if there is no solid marketing strategy that is designed to engage prospects and audience. According to many marketers, creating enough content at a reasonable cost is one of the main challenges of marketing automation. Other challenges include quality of data and integration, lack of skilled staff and poor marketing processes. You must build your marketing automation process around your audience (just as you would do in content marketing).

Marketing Automation is not Automatic Marketing

There are things that the average marketer need to understand what marketing automation is and what is not supposed to accomplish for you. You shouldn’t trust any marketing claims from marketing automation vendor that says their software provides set it and forget it solution that is foolproof. You should always keep in mind that any marketing automation needs constant care and awareness if you want it to work effectively. Marketing automation is just a supplement to your overall strategy that allows you to strategise the path ahead and is not meant as a system that you can set and forget.

Before we jump to creating a content marketing system, here are some of the best practices for content marketing automation to keep in mind:

  • Select marketing automation software that comes with website visitor tracking, email tracking, CRM and social media integration, lead management, and built-in reporting features.
  • Optimize your website so it attracts the right prospects
  • Connect with your audience by sending them relevant content like eBooks, white papers, informative articles, etc.
  • You can use marketing automation software to create a specifically triggered response.
  • If your software has A/B testing feature, then you can test and tailor your message to the preferences of your target audience
  • Create an editorial calendar.
  • Use different tools for lead scoring and analysis like HubSpot and Act-On
  • Post educational and actionable tutorials and similar helpful resources on a consistent basis that will answer your audience’s questions. Then you can schedule these to all your social media accounts using tools like Scoop.it

Creating A Content Marketing System

Structuring and Organisation

The first thing you need to do is to have a very clear plan and strategy and make sure that all of the team members are on the same page.

To do this, you can use an online collaborative content calendar. Although you can use an Excel Spreadsheet, is usually not sufficient to meet all of your needs.

An online collaborative content calendar will allow you to:

  • Keep track of deadlines
  • Plan and coordinate the content
  • Make edits
  • Oversee progress of each step, from conception to completion

 

Another advantage of a content calendar is that it has a visual element, and is much easier to be organised when you can visually see what’s going on and the tasks ahead.

content marketing structure

This way you can streamline collaboration and spend less time scrambling to find information, but also reduce any possible mistakes.

Tools that you can use for this are HubSpot, CoSchedule, and Buffer.

 

Brainstorming

One of the main parts of the content marketing is definitely coming up with new ideas for videos, blog posts, white papers, etc. Sometimes it can seem that there’s never enough ideas! Also, you may find yourself stuck when you are looking for topics to write on.

You can expedite the brainstorming process by having some of the useful resources at your disposal. One of those tools is BuzzSumo and it can show you the articles on literally any topic there is. Content explorers help in the brainstorming process by recommending ideas and topics. You can also check out similar topics for inspiration.

If you type “content marketing” into the search bar, you’ll see an elaborate list of articles on this subject.

social stats

The great thing about BuzzSumo is that it shows you how the amount of social engagement and total shares each article has received, so you can know which topics are most popular with the readers.

There are some other content aggregators that we can recommend:

 

Another thing you can create is a spreadsheet of the industry blogs that are relevant to your topic that you can quickly come back to for reference when you need to brainstorm new ideas.

Content Creation

Content creation is the most laborious part of the entire process because you have to sit down and churn out a new quality content on a consistent basis.

While you can write content all by yourself, if you simply can’t keep up with the demand and need to juggle everything else, then you can outsource at least part of the content creation to freelance writers.

Statistics show us that 64% of B2B marketers tend to outsource writing. Some of them outsource just a small part of it, while others may outsource everything. It all depends on the content needs and the budget.

If content marketing is a major part of your marketing strategy, or if simply writing is not your thing, then you’ll probably want to think about outsourcing a good chunk of your content creation. You’ll see that outsourcing to freelancers can be a very positive thing, as many other businesses have noticed the same.

When hiring freelancer writers, you need to make sure that they are highly skilled, understand your tone and style, and create great content that will resonate with your audience.

 

Where to Find Freelancer Writers?

Here’s the process that you can use to find just the right freelance writers.

One of the first places you’d want to check out is Problogger, Craigslist, and Upwork.

You need to be very specific when looking for writers because if you aren’t’, you’ll be wasting your time searching and reviewing applicants.

If your job description is too long when posting the job, then most people won’t read it and just apply. So you should be very specific and have a balanced length. Here are some of the things you need to cover in the job posting:

  • Length: how many words do you need per article? Be very specific
  • Subject: the type of content that you need writers to produce
  • Tone: do you need your articles to be of a conversational type or to sound research-oriented?
  • Examples: you can show few examples of posts that you like that writers can check out

 

Also, is true that you can have your content written by a program. The technology has come a long way, but computer content scrapers and writers lack insight and depth. Automating content creation fully may not be the best idea, but you can automate certain parts of the content creation process for better results.

The most challenging and important aspect is ideation. The content should interest your audience while being relevant to your industry and business.

A tool like Headline Analyzer will score your headline and tell you how effective they may be in attracting people’s attention. You can see your headline’s score and a grade and based on the word usage pattern it can suggest tips to help you improve the score.

headline analyzer

It also classifies your headline by type – list post, generic, question headlines, and how-to. It also takes length in consideration and the ideal length recommended by Headline Analyzer is 56 characters or 6 words.

 

Content Curation

If you want to build a very strong social media presence, then content curation is a must. It helps you stay relevant and visible in the social world since social media caused a huge rise in content consumption.

Content creation is usually a staple of all content marketing campaigns. Studies that were performed on this subject showed that 95% of marketers even share other businesses content to some extent.

 The main problem with content curation is that you have to sift through all of that information just to find something of great value that you can freely share with your audience. Is a dreadful and time-consuming process, especially when you have multiple social accounts. You’d want to automate content curation as it will save you a huge amount of time and effort and you’ll be very consistent in your social media activities.

To avoid content curation being a massive time-drain, you need to have some sort of a game plan. You have two options to streamline this process:

  1. Use a tool to make it faster
  2. Hire someone else to do it

 

The first choice gives you maximum control and saves time. The second choice definitely saves time, but you lose a portion of the control.

 Whichever approach and option you choose, it’ll be more efficient than manually sifting through loads of content just to find the right one. A tool that we can recommend that works well for content curation is DrumUp. It will help you streamline your activities on social media and greatly reduce the time and effort you need to put in social media management.

drumup

DrumUp analyses thousands of stories each and every day from across different industries, niches and interests. This way, you can quickly and easily find great content that you can share. It works well even for smaller niches.

You need to add the accounts you have to the tool, go through the recommended content and pick the ones that you’d like to share.

drumup2

You can edit the post, add recommended hashtags & images, schedule the same post to all or some of the accounts, and choose a time of publishing.

Please note that automating content curation is a mean to reduce your effort, and not to eliminate it totally.

Automating Posting

The final part is the posting and distribution. You must make sure that your content reaches the right audience at the right time as that is more important than simply creating content. If you are not working with huge amount of accounts, then is not a big deal and you can post your content manually and you’re done.

But if you have to post on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and more, then posting the same piece of content can be very time-consuming. This is even more true if you are posting content daily.

Fortunately, you can automate content posting and distribution by using Zapier. Zapier can connect your apps and allow you to post content across all channels with just a few clicks.

CONCLUSION

What you need to keep in mind is that content marketing automation isn’t automatic marketing. If you don’t apply the strategy and principles mindfully, it can sabotage your marketing success in many different ways. Is just one aspect of the bigger marketing pie.

You can create a system that almost runs on autopilot by simplifying and streamlining the areas we covered above. This isn’t to say that it doesn’t require any maintenance or effort on your end, but you can eliminate a lot of the redundant tasks and greatly reduce the amount of time you spend on the other tasks.

Producing high-quality content that will help your audience is not cheap or immediate. Time is everyone’s precious resource and you need to work on eliminating low-value activities. The best way to do this is by automation and following the advice we outlined in this article.

The bottom line is the balance. You’d be silly if you don’t take advantage of marketing automation. But you shouldn’t fully rely on marketing automation to do your lead nurturing, follow-up, lead generation, and sales.

The outcome of all of this should be a proper content marketing system that produces at least equal or preferably even better results than the ones you had so far, while you spend just a portion of the time managing your campaign.