There’s somewhat of a misconception in business when it comes to automation. Many business owners and content creators find themselves in a place where they’re so essential to their business, that they feel irreplaceable.
In a job, being irreplaceable is a good thing. But in a business, being irreplaceable can be a nightmare. Suddenly, the thing you built to create a balance of time and money is either not making enough money or taking up far too much of you time.
The key to this eventual balance is automation because content marketing automation is essential to the success of any business. Like Cruise Control in a vehicle, it removes a portion of the thinking involved with scaling marketing efforts.
There isn’t one single method to automate everything in a marketing campaign, but there are various tips, tricks, and hacks to avoid excessive hands-on work, day after day. So if you’re wondering how to automate your marketing campaigns, there are a few solutions.
Curated Content & Automated Content Feed
One quick way to automate the learning process is to create a curated feed of information. Rather than digging through areas that aren’t relevant to your field, you can filter news, updates, and information to learn more about your industry.
It’s actually possible to have content delivered to you in the form of Feedly or Google News Alerts so you can stay up-to-date without getting bogged down in information.
As the old saying goes, it’s possible that “we are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom.” To find the oasis in the desert, we need to filter what we take in from day to day. This is true for social media, news in your niche, digital marketing advice, and every other piece of content that scrolls across your phone or attempts to invade your inbox.
Once you filter this information, you can then decide how it best fits in your audience. Read the content and pose a question to your followers or just share the article. This is one of the quickest ways to create value without having to create new content.
Authors like James Clear and Tim Ferriss share weekly emails of 300 words or less based on favorite quotes or “what I’ve learned” segments. The emails are valuable to subscribers, but not necessarily time consuming for the creators.
How to Filter Tools & Updates
In the same way that content should be filtered, updates and tools should also be filtered. Tools, software, competitors, and platforms are areas that can eat up time when it comes to research, but being effective in knowing everything is not the same as being efficient in getting things done.
Take the news for example. A lot of people feel the need to stay up-to-date on all of the politics and modern news stories of the day, but if they missed the majority of these stories, they’d be in the exact same position, if not a better position. The same is true for live celebrity funerals or political induction ceremonies.
Taking the time to choose which type of program is best or which software to buy is somewhat important, but it’s not as important as doing the work. The same is true for which platform to use to what your competitor is up to each week.
These are items it’s a good idea to check in on from time to time, but if you’re spending too much time consuming, you don’t have time to create. Figure out how to add these various platforms and tools to your feed and let the feed filter for you.
Knowing when to read a headline and when to change your entire game plan is often the difference between success and failure. Don’t let the shiny things deter the work.
Trending Topics & Automated Content Creation
We’ve discussed the idea of filtering content, but how do you actually do it? By filtering topics and hashtags, it’s actually possible to limit your interaction with distractions, while still bringing value to your work. This is marketing automation.
Knowing what is trending in your niche actually confirms that you’re part of the conversation. When a potential client uses a new phrase or asks about a new piece of software, you will know what the client is referring to and can respond with authority.
Not only will your incoming information be filtered, but your outgoing creations will also be relevant with current trends or popular headlines.
Step-by-Step Rules to Automate Content Creation
When creating a step-by-step guide to automate content creation, it’s important to understand that it’s not a fully automated process, but more of an automated workflow.
Automate Content Creation Step 1
When automating content creation, it’s crucial to start with topic creation, keywords, and premise. Let’s say you create Video Essays like the Nerdwriter on YouTube.
If movies and television are your bread and butter, it makes sense to focus on some of the larger series and movies when you create content. In one weekend, Avengers: Endgame hit theaters and the show Game of Thrones also came to an end.
The Nerdwriter saw this apocalyptic opportunity and created the video, “Which is the Better Fight Sequence” so he could use hashtags for both Marvel fans and Game of Thrones fans. Fans of both worlds have been following these two fantasy worlds for ten years, so the video quickly climbed to half a million views and brought in a ton of new subscribers to the channel.
Automate Content Creation Step 2
Once you have a premise in mind and perhaps do some SEO research, it’s time to actually outline the piece or create a script. For video essays like Nerdwriter, this means writing a voiceover script and potentially downloading content to use for the video.
For individuals who film their own videos, this might mean forming a script and storyboard. The outlining process simply means telling the best possible story, to connect with your audience.
In the Avengers / Game of Thrones video, he actually surprised audiences by moving from the big names to the HBO series, Barry, which actually had a more cinematic fight than the blockbusters. This was also somewhat of an insider tip-of-the-hat for his fans of his series.
Automate Content Creation Step 3
The next step of the creation process is the actual work. If you write content, then write the content. If you make movies, then shoot the movie. If you create video essays, it’s about editing and building the movie.
For some people, the creation phase is all about dumping out information. It doesn’t need to be polished because there’s a polished stage directly after the creation phase. The “work” stage is all about getting a version out there to tinker with it and make it better.
Automate Content Creation Step 4
The real final step is the review stage. Does your work make sense? Does it tell the story you intended to tell? Will you audience see the connection? Does it create value?
One interesting aspect of Step 4 is that there needs to be some time between the creation phase and the review phase. A lot of writers try to write and edit at the same time and get stuck. This is because they’re not meant to be the same step.
Whatever you create, set it aside for a moment and come back a few hours or a few days later. Let your mind wander on something else for a while and then see if it connects.
Article writers should take a few hours away from the subject. YouTubers should take a day or two to think about the review phase. Authors might even take a few months away from a new manuscript before they return to do the rewrite. The more time you can leave a project to sit, the more fresh your eyes will feel when you return.
If you can’t take time or feel you need to create a ton of frequent content, consider getting another pair of eyes on the work to make sure it connects and doesn’t go off topic. If you create bold content, make sure it’s not so edgy it will wrongfully politicize the work.
Marketing Automation Tools
The final stage is how and when you contact your audience once the work goes live. When you’re ready to push the upload or share button, the process should be automatic. This involves using marketing automation tools.
Using programs like Zapier or IFTT, it’s actually possible to automatically syndicate platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even an email list to share your work.
Different platforms use different algorithms to boost and rank content, but if you can share your new work with your entire audience at once, they’re more likely to share, like, or favorite materials so new, potential audience can see your new project.
If you’re going to take the time to create something that expresses your thoughts on a subject, it’s crucial that you aim for as many people as possible to see it. Automate the boring yet vital parts of the job so you can spend more time doing the work and creating the things you enjoy.
In the end, don’t excessively stress over how to automate your marketing campaigns. Create the best work you can, gather feedback, and tweak your efforts to continually improve results.