Businesses juggle many roles during the content creation process. However, they can significantly improve their efficiency by automating certain tasks. Currently, 75% of marketers use automation tools, and 91% consider automation critical to the overall success of their marketing programs.
Automation saves marketers time and frees them up to focus on other important projects. Here are eight content-related tasks businesses can and should automate.
1. Keyword research
While keyword research is crucial to developing a successful SEO strategy, it's time-consuming to do it manually. According to Catalyst Digital, keyword research for a medium-size website typically takes 12 hours. However, numerous tools reduce the amount of time keyword research requires, and they can improve the effectiveness of your overall SEO strategy.
SEMrush, for example, is software that identifies keywords, competitors' keywords, and long-tail keywords. Additionally, Ahrefs is an SEO tool that automates keyword research and provides backlink analysis, SEO site auditing, and alerts for keyword mentions. The tool also performs a content gap analysis, which helps marketers identify high-volume, low-competition keywords their competitors are ranking for, but that they do not rank for yet.
High-quality content is essential, and marketers will lose readers' trust with content that's rife with spelling and grammatical errors. One way marketing teams can save time is by automating the proofreading process.
Grammarly, for example, offers proofreading capabilities within word processing programs like Microsoft Word and Google Docs. The tool scans content and detects mistakes in spelling, grammar, word choice, punctuation, and style. Marketing teams can also use Grammarly's Google Chrome extension to catch errors in emails, social media posts, etc.
3. Email marketing
According to The Litmus 2017 State of Email Report, more than 68% of companies report that it takes at least one week to generate one email newsletter. The majority of companies report producing somewhere between one to five emails at a time, which means marketers spend a lot of time crafting emails. Automation can reduce the amount of time spent on email campaigns, allowing your marketing team to focus on other vital projects.
Mailchimp, for instance, enables marketers to create campaigns that they can save and reuse later, and schedule emails at times for optimal open and click-through rates. It offers workflows based on specific triggers so recipients can get the right email at the right time. For example, marketing teams can automatically send an email thanking users when they sign up for the company's newsletter.
For outbound lead generation, Buzzbuilder Pro is one of the best tools. The platform lets you create email outreach campaigns with scheduled follow-ups for increased personalization. It has several templates that are designed to save you time designing your emails, and it integrates with LinkedIn for multichannel outreach.
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4. Content promotion
A lot of work goes into creating content, and it doesn't stop once it's published. Marketers must promote content to ensure it gets in front of as many people as possible, but promoting content can take more time than creating it. Fortunately, there are a few tools to help marketers spread the word and reach their target audience.
Marketers can use HubSpot, for instance, to set and send automatic email notifications to subscribers about a new blog post. Outbrain is another content syndication tool that helps increase distribution by automatically pushing content across multiple top publishers.
5. Social media monitoring
Managing and monitoring multiple social media channels such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn can be a big drain a team's time. It makes sense that nearly 80% of marketers cite social media management as one of the most suitable tasks for automation. There are many useful platforms and apps out there, depending on your goal.
Many tools incorporate multiple channels, with search and tracking options that provide insights on company mentions, competitors, and trending topics that can generate content ideas. Mention, for example, offers real-time monitoring and automatic notifications for brand mentions, competitor mentions, and industry-related keywords. Meltwater is a similar tool that uses artificial intelligence to provide brand insights and track competitors. Brandwatch Analytics is another comprehensive tool that tracks channels, hashtags, keywords and specific phrases.
There are options targeting single channels, like Twazzup, which focus on real-time Twitter updates, such as the latest trending tweets and influencers, which is a great option for simple campaigns. Boardreader focuses on forums and messaging boards and gives users the ability to search conversations over the past two years. It can also generate charts about trends, compare terms from different sources, and provide insight on customer opinions from overlooked sources.
Reporting is vital; it helps you determine whether or not your content marketing strategies are working. Not all data is helpful, so marketers should create custom reports to measure specific goals. Sifting through metrics and generating reports can be time-consuming, however, some tools allow marketers to automate custom reporting.
Google Analytics, for example, automatically sends updates based on the data users choose. For example, marketers can set up custom reports to identify which content is driving the most traffic to their site or receiving the most engagement. Databox, an automation tool that integrates with HubSpot, pulls information from multiple analytics sources, including Google Analytics, Salesforce, HubSpot, and social media platforms.
7. Workflow automation
Feedback transfer is a critical part of any marketing workflow. Multiple departments collaborate on marketing content, and there is a necessity to obtain feedback and approval from clients and managers.
When these workflows are managed manually, it is easy to lose track of information and miss deadlines. Marketers should consider automating parts of their workflow, specifically approval reminders, to streamline the collaboration process and free up the marketing team's time.
8. Team management
With 70% of people globally working remotely at least one day a week, the dynamics of managing teams – and projects – are changing. Many companies are turning to technology to help them manage distributed teams.
Asana and Monday.com are examples of easy-to-use project management tools that track and schedule tasks, and send automated notifications and email reminders. These tools have integrated chat systems that track work conversations for later reference, they integrate with other tools like Google Drive and Dropbox, plus they have phone apps for on-the-go-access.
Time-tracking tools, like Toggl or Clockify, can help improve efficiency by determining where a team's time and energy are going. Tracking the time spent on tasks and reviewing the charts that these apps produce can help teams determine where introducing automation could boost productivity and what tools would be most helpful.
Automation is crucial if you want your content marketing efforts to succeed
Every team is different and has its own needs and challenges. Every team also strives to increase its productivity, and with so many options out there, it's easier to automate certain tasks. It's time to take that first (or next) step and incorporate the most useful tools to free up time and energy.