Content marketing is a broad discipline. Its goal — using content to attract and engage the right audience — can keep your team busy as they go through their day-to-day tasks. Thankfully, modern marketing automation helps eliminate a number of tedious yet critical functions, helping you optimize your content marketing efforts.
Here’s a rundown of content marketing activities that you can and should automate:
It’s just not possible to automate content creation (and even if it was, chances are, your content wouldn’t stack up against the more personalized and in-depth content produced by real people). But that’s not entirely the case with content research. Content research generates a range of topics and ideas that should reflect what your business is all about. At the same time, you want to offer information that’s helpful enough to attract the interest of content consumers.
Automating your ideation process means scouring the web to identify which blog posts are the most popular.Buzzsumo, for example lets you track trending posts using specific keywords. This makes it easier to come up with inspiration for engaging content that your audience appreciates.
Automating content research also makes it possible for you to analyze whether your headlines meet certain parameters, such as ideal length, uniqueness, readability, diction, or emotional appeal. The next time you’re writing a headline, check out Sharethrough’s Headline Analyzer. It scores your headlines, offering guidance on the areas you can still improve.
Email is one of the most effective marketing channels to use at scale, which explains why automation and email marketing go together like two peas in a pod. You can start with lead nurturing, using software to help you send drip or trigger-based emails that add contextual relevance to your messages.
Beyond that, there are many more aspects in email marketing that can be automated. Most email automation services, like Mailchimp and ActiveTrail, offer solutions that include list segmentation, A/B testing, scheduling, and property-based personalization.
With automated email marketing, marketers can scale their efforts far beyond what’s possible manually, which is why this might be the most important automation weapon in your arsenal.
When it comes to producing content, one thing you have complete and sole control over is your ability to eliminate grammatical and typographical errors. You only need to take time to check your blog posts or ads before sharing them on content distribution channels.
Grammarly and Hemingway App can be used as quality assurance tools for your copy. With their ability to automatically spot common and advanced errors in grammar, word usage, mechanics, and style, you’ll be able to cut down significantly on your QA time. You can also use tools to check for plagiarism so you don’t get flagged for duplicate content.
As a marketer, one of your most challenging and overwhelming tasks is tracking and monitoring data, simply because your content marketing strategy will extend across multiple channels. The result is that your data tends to become fragmented among these platforms, requiring specialized tools to organize and analyze that data in real time.
Google Analytics is the most popular tool for providing data about your website’s visitors and how they’re interacting with it. Once you know how people are using your site, you can more effectively improve its overall performance.
Competitive analysis is a common practice in business, as it gives you a chance to improve your product or service in a way that makes your brand stand out. In the context of content marketing, competitor research enables you to identify potential content gaps.
Ahrefs is a great tool for determining what keywords your competitors rank for, so you can incorporate them into your SEO campaigns as well. You can also analyze your competitors to see what content performs well with their audiences. With all this competitive data at your fingertips, it’s a lot easier to figure out how to one-up them.
Social marketing is an integral part of content marketing that can help drive awareness and conversions. Automating your social marketing lets you manage most of your social channels, so you can focus on staying connected with your audiences.
Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer improve the quality and level of engagement with social media users by allowing you to schedule your posts, respond quickly to comments, or keep track of mentions about your brand.
Content marketing and automation go hand in hand
The complexity of content marketing makes automation a necessity rather than a luxury for your business. Through marketing automation, you can be sure that you’re producing and sharing the right content in a timely and coordinated manner across all channels.
Remember that automation is never set-and-forget. Always keep track of your progress and keep optimizing over time to maximize your results.
Michelle Aguila is a marketing writer at Spiralytics who once dreamt of being a sports commentator, what with her love for basketball, tennis, and, yes, UFC and boxing. She gets a high putting beautiful words together and believes there’s always a nicer way of saying things, whether she’s writing or venting out her frustration at someone