Without automation, the world wouldn’t be what it is today. There was a time when everything had to be done by hand. Whether it was washing clothes, preparing meals, or weaving fabric, everything was done manually. It took ages to do the laundry, make dinner, or prepare supplies such as fabric.
Fortunately, inventions like washing machines, ready meals, and the spinning jenny helped to take some of the human effort out of certain tasks, and also helped to speed those tasks up.
Automation has also given a big leg up to content marketing. Tasks that once had to be performed manually or that required hours of attention from an individual can now be handled in a matter of minutes.
What Is Content Marketing Automation?
Content marketing automation refers to any tool that can help to reduce your need to perform repetitive tasks, or that can handle certain responsibilities of content marketing for you.
Although there might come a time when robots are the ones solely responsible for producing content, automation doesn’t mean handing over the task of creating a content plan, or of writing, producing, or editing content to a machine. Instead, automation involves assigning certain tasks to machines in the hope that those machines will do the job more quickly and efficiently than a human.
Content marketing automation also takes a lot of tedium out of the marketing process, at least from the human perspective.
A few of the tasks automation can handle include:
- Proofreading. Tools like Grammarly scan over a piece of content and offer tips and suggestions for improvement. The tools find spelling and grammar mistakes, but also goes a bit further by making recommendations to help improve your writing. If they notice that you’re using the same words over and over, they will suggest synonyms to help mix things it up. They can also let you know when you’re being wordy or too complicated. Although tools like Grammarly have come a long way since the early days of grammar and spell checkers, they are not perfect. When using them, you still want to give a real person final say to approve or ignore the suggestions.
- Brainstorming ideas. Coming up with content might not be difficult for your team, but coming up with content that’s going to resonate can be. Certain content automation tools keep tabs on what topics are trending in your niche and give you ideas for videos, blog posts, and other content that is most likely to be a hit with your audience.
- Optimizing headlines. To say that the headline is the most important part of your content is an understatement. Most people will only read the headline, so how you phrase it matters. Headline analyzer tools such as the one created by CoSchedule not only provide you with tips for writing a better headline, they also evaluate your efforts and give you specific pointers on how to improve.
- Tracking content. Who’s sharing what, who’s visiting your blog, and how long are people reading or viewing your content? Analytics tools (such as Google Analytics) help you evaluate your content’s performance and make decisions about the future of your content marketing based on data.
- Sharing content. Posting to social media and sharing content can be a time-consuming process. It’s also a process that’s easy to automate through the use of social media scheduling tools like Hootsuite or Buffer.
- Email marketing. Email marketing is a type of content marketing that’s easy to automate. You can use a program like MailChimp to send out emails when people subscribe to your list, to send out customized messages based on people’s actions on your site, and to send out your primary newsletter.
Why Content Marketing Automation Is Worth Your Attention
According to the 2018 State of the Creator Economy (SOCE) study, content marketing is ranked as one of the most effective marketing methods available. Survey respondents in 2018 also ranked it as being more effective than it was in 2017.
You have to wonder if content marketing automation has something to do with not only the continued popularity of content marketing, but also the increase in its perceived effectiveness. Here’s a list of the benefits you can gain from automating certain aspects of your brand’s content marketing:
- It can help improve your content.
- It can help streamline your process.
- It can help improve your reach.
- It can help you understand your impact.
Who’s Using Content Marketing Automation?
In the past year, three out of five marketers in the US used content marketing, according to the SOCE. Among those marketers, many cited the use of various content marketing automation tools and technologies.
For example, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s B2B Content Marketing 2019 report, 84 percent of respondents used social media publishing and analytics tools, 81 percent used email marketing software, and 77 percent used analytics tools. Among B2C content marketers in 2018, 85 percent used analytics tools and 78 percent used email marketing technologies.
How You Can Get Started With Content Marketing Automation
If you want to get started with content marketing automation, the first thing to do is figure out what content marketing tasks are dragging you down the most, or where you have room for improvement.
For example, if you have no idea how your content performs or whether or not your marketing efforts are producing results, you can use analytics tools to look at your traffic stats and see what types of content perform best, where your audience is coming from, and how they are finding your content.
If creating quality content is a challenge, you have plenty of options for getting started. You can install a tool like Grammarly, use a tool to evaluate your headline quality, or consider outsourcing and automating the content creation process entirely.
With content marketing automation, you don’t have to hand all of your tasks over to machines. But knowing what can be better performed by automation and what still needs the personal, human touch can help to improve your content marketing efforts dramatically.