The marketing automation software market is growing rapidly year over year and expected to exceed $14 billion USD by 2024. The reason for this huge growth? Businesses large and small have realized that automating their marketing tasks can improve both productivity and results in exchange for a relatively small financial investment.
Automation platforms and software exist for many different aspects of marketing, from buying ad space to managing customer relationships. For companies considering dipping their toes into the world of automation, it can be quite a challenge just knowing where to start.
Content marketing is one area where automation is a natural fit. The whole business of creating and distributing content, not to mention tracking and analyzing its effectiveness, is incredibly time-consuming. While for most businesses, turning over content creation itself to a machine is not a practical or appealing option, using automation tools to speed up the process and make small improvements in efficiency can add up to a big difference in overall ROI.
So let’s take a look at 5 content marketing tasks that can and should be automated right now.
1. Content Idea Generation
It might not be immediately obvious that you can automate the very first step of coming up with content ideas, but there are in fact several tools that can help you rapidly generate ideas for content that will engage your audience and generate leads.
Buzzsumo is a powerful tool for finding trending content and could even help you nail down the formula to creating viral content in your niche. While this is never guaranteed, of course, it’s a great way of coming up with content ideas when you’re low on inspiration. And, by sorting by “most shared,” you can quickly see which topics are most popular on social media.
Google Trends can be another way to find popular trending topics. You can even set up email alerts so you’ll be notified automatically about any news stories or peaking interest in your niche.
When you’re coming up with titles and outlines for your content, it’s also important to keep SEO in mind. There are many semi-automated SEO tools for content creation available that will suggest keywords to include in your content and can even be used to create an outline structure for a writer to follow.
2. Blog Post and Social Media Scheduling
Your content marketing efforts are only as effective as your distribution strategy. Automation tools can help you to post your content to the right place at the right time for optimal engagement.
This is also one example of how automation can really save you time by eliminating time-consuming tasks from your schedule. Rather than spending hours every day posting on various social media platforms, you can simply queue up your posts in advance and automate them to post automatically at an appropriate time. Some tools will even crop images to the optimal size for each platform and suggest hashtags you can use to promote your content.
To go one step further, some software services enable you to set up workflow triggers. For example, you could automatically post to your Facebook page whenever you publish a new blog post.
IFTTT (If This Then That) is a very useful free tool that enables marketers to link their different online tools together in this way. For example, you can sync your Instagram and Facebook accounts together so that when you post to one, a post is automatically generated and published on the other platform.
3. Production Workflow Automation
Automating your business systems and processes is one of the best ways to make your team more efficient and productive.
By setting up a workflow template and automatically generating and assigning content marketing tasks to different team members, you eliminate bottlenecks in the system and speed up your content production schedule.
For example, when a writer completes a piece of content and uploads it for approval, you can automatically trigger a notification to an editor with a set time for checking and approving or returning the piece.
4. Email Automation
Notifying your email list when you’ve published a new article they may be interested in is one of the best ways to get more eyes on your content.
Email is well known to be one of the most effective marketing channels, but it can also be very time-consuming to manage. According to industry research, 68% of companies take at least one week to produce just one email.
Email automation software can help to take some of the hard work off the shoulders of your team and speed up many of your manual content marketing tasks. It can also be a very effective way to nurture leads through the buying funnel. By setting up a series of “triggers,” you can automatically send out the right content to the right customers at the right time.
5. Analytics and Reporting
Using analytics to assess the success of marketing campaigns and keep track of how your audience is engaging with your content is essential for marketing optimization and maxing out your ROI.
However, it can be very time-consuming to produce reports at regular intervals and send them out to all key stakeholders.
Several analytics tools allow you to set up custom reports in advance. Once you’ve set up the parameters for these reports, you can simply run the report to get the latest data that will provide you with important insights. Automating this whole process means that reports will be generated at set times, and you can even set them to be emailed out automatically to anyone in the business who wants or needs to keep track of how your content is performing.
Streamline Your Content Marketing Process
The idea of content automation tools is not to replace marketers. A computer algorithm will never have the creativity and intelligence of a human being.
But, automation software can help to eliminate some of your repetitive, low-value content marketing tasks, speed up and streamline your workflow, and give you insights that can help you to create content.
This gives you and your team more time to focus on strategic content marketing planning, as well as the freedom to be more creative and innovative while you let the machines do the grunt work.
DivvyHQ is a content management and automation platform that enables you to unify your content team, streamline your content workflow, and track performance with automatic reports.