90% of consumers expect content from brands, but say that more than half (58%) of that content is not meaningful. Due to the immense amount of irrelevant and poor content out there, the only way to stand out is by producing high-quality content that can cut through the noise.
This is where content automation can help you. It enables you to produce content that better engages and connects with your audience. Additionally, you can also save time, money, and effort in the process thanks to automation.
So, what exactly is content automation, and why is it helpful for small business marketing and growth? Let’s find out.
What is Content Automation?
Content automation is the use of systems and processes to improve the content lifecycle. It automates content processes that are otherwise time-consuming, repetitive, and costly.
This is perhaps the reason why they’re one of the top priorities for marketers. According to a study by HubSpot, nearly 50% of marketers said that marketing automation was their top priority when it came to inbound marketing.
Image via HubSpot
Content automation tools use natural language processing and semantic analysis to read and organize content in a standardized and reusable automated way.
Small business owners can use them to identify repetitive tasks and automate them. But that’s not all. Content automation finds applications in other areas of the content cycle as well.
Let’s take a look at the various uses of content automation.
Uses of Content Automation
The following are various ways through which a small business can use content automation:
1. Content Calendar Automation
The content calendar shows the content plan for your small business. You can then follow your content calendar and create and publish content within the given time to ensure a steady flow of content.
Automating the process means that everyone can access the calendar from a central repository. Teams no longer have to manually format, update, and distribute information so that everyone stays notified. Updates to the calendar will appear instantly whenever content schedule changes happen.
2. Content Creation Automation
Coming up with content ideas can be quite a task. Producing high-quality content that resonates with your audience can be challenging as well.
You could have all your content written by a program, but it will lack depth and insights. Automating the whole process is, therefore, not a great idea. The best way to handle content creation automation is to automate the ideation process.
Content automation tools can help you identify trending topics and keywords that you can use for your content.
They can also help you with lead management by helping you send messages and ads to prospects. For this, they take into account a customer’s position in the sales funnel and purchase or browsing history. You can then send customized emails to get them to complete a purchase or buy more.
Tools like Quark and DivvyHQ can help you automate the content lifecycle. Quark assists businesses from the content creation phase to the publishing and delivery phase.
DivvyHQ, on the other hand, helps with workflow and content automation. Companies can use it to manage their content schedules, campaigns, and other initiatives.
With content creation tools, your small business can produce content regularly. You can create high-quality content in real-time and access analytics on content performance as well.
3. Content Curation Automation
Content curation automation can help you build your presence on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms through a consistent supply of content. Doing it manually for each platform can be time-consuming, especially if you have an active presence on several social platforms. By automating content curation, you save time and effort while consistently posting across multiple social media channels. – Shane Barker
However, the process does not completely eliminate your role. You must review your posts before scheduling them to ensure you don’t post irrelevant content or content that promotes competitors.
One of the tools you can use is Taggbox, a social content aggregator that helps you curate social media posts. It integrates with most social platforms and helps you engage audiences with fresh content and user-generated content.
4. Automating Content Distribution
To get the most out of content marketing, you need to get your content and audience right. For this, you must have a content distribution plan to ensure that your target audience can discover your content.
Automating the process can help you reach the right audience. With content automation tools, you can also get access to analytics to help you understand who is reading your content, or opening your emails.
Hootsuite is one of the tools you can use to distribute your content to the right audience. It’s a comprehensive distribution channel from which you can schedule and publish posts across multiple social media platforms.
Now that you know how to use content automation, let’s take a look at how it can help your business grow.
How Can Content Automation Help Your Business Grow?
Content automation can lead to tangible improvements in the way small businesses run their processes leading to growth.
The following are some of the ways small businesses can benefit from content automation.
1. Develop a Long-Term Content Strategy
The Content Marketing Institute found that 82% of marketers consider content marketing a business asset. However, only 59% of them have a documented content marketing strategy.
They also found that of the 58% with content management technology, only 16% were using it to its fullest potential.
Image via Content Marketing Institute
Though content marketing is essential, it’s time-consuming, and you may not have enough time to put in a lot of effort. It’s also crucial to develop a solid content strategy to ensure that your content marketing efforts aren’t in vain.
If you don’t have systems in place to produce, manage, and distribute content, then you are likely to end up creating content just for the sake of it. While this may help you get consistent content, a poorly-thought-out content strategy may not help you grow your business.
A long-term approach allows you to have a well-thought-out process to handle all your content efforts. Automating your processes allows you to allocate resources to other important tasks.
You can plan out your content calendar, find out what your audience wants to know, and prepare a library of content that can solve these problems.
As a result of automation, your content team will be able to remain organized. They will be able to proactively manage tasks, including content creation, curation, scheduling, and publishing.
Content automation tools can also help you identify content needs that can make the customer journey seamless. Your content team also benefits in that they don’t have to spend hours looking for topics to write about and determining content relevance.
2. Easier Lead Generation and Nurturing
With automation, you can target leads with content that resonates with their behavior on the site. It allows you to send potential consumers email content that is relevant and moves them down the sales funnel.
You can also track how the consumer is interacting with your website content and target them based on real-time data. It’s possible to recommend, upsell, and cross-sell products based on what the consumer viewed or browsed. Additionally, you can easily target them with ads too.
Google Ads and Facebook Ads offer automation capabilities. They help you achieve the best results from your ads without manual efforts. Google Ads offers capabilities such as responsive search ads, dynamic search ads, dynamic remarketing, and responsive display ads.
Facebook Ads, on the other hand, offers automated ads that learn what performs best and provides improvement suggestions.
3. Access to Up-to-Date Data
Integrating your content automation tools with your CRM can give you insights into your customer’s needs, buying habits, and expectations. Using this data, you can improve the customer experience and build trust.
Data collected also helps you plan better for your future campaigns and content marketing strategies.
4. Improved ROI
While you need to spend some money to use automation tools, they will help you do most of the manual work. Additionally, you’ll be able to target customers better and get insights to improve your content marketing strategy.
With these tools, you can create better content based on what customers want to see and solve their problems too. When the content resonates well with your target audience, it’ll generate better ROI as consumers will be more likely to engage with it.
5. Levels the Playing Field
With content automation, your small business will be able to compete with larger companies. Your content strategy process will help you generate more leads leading to company growth.
By automating most of your content efforts, you can concentrate on other tasks that can help your business grow. Your content team will also have more time at hand to come up with creative pieces.
Automating your content process enables you to post content on the right channels at the correct times. Maintaining consistency while posting on social media platforms can be a challenge, but with automation, this becomes easier.
Once you schedule the content, the tools will take care of publishing it on your behalf. They will also provide you with insights into trending topics and content that will engage your audience.
As a result, you’ll have enough time to engage with your audience on these platforms. Paying attention to your community of followers can help improve your reputation, build trust, and breed loyalty among consumers.
Ready to Get Started with Content Automation?
Content automation is a great investment for small businesses looking to grow. With these tools, you can communicate better with your audience and turn more visitors into leads.
When your content marketing efforts become disciplined, and you begin to do more with less including producing content, writing adverts, and sharing content.
You can then create relevant content that targets the right audience leading to more engagement from consumers. And you can visualize the big picture and compete in the same leagues as the big businesses.