To automate content marketing, you should not remove yourself from the process but rather manage the process in less time so that you can run your business. After all, marketing is only the beginning. As you begin to explore automation, there are three basic approaches you can take to automate content marketing. You can amplify what you’re already doing. You can focus on conquering just one platform. Or you can launch a multi-platform campaign for social media world domination. Okay, maybe not that last part, but close.
Amplify What You’re Doing – Automating Basic Content Sharing
Two great tools that create automation at its simplest are IFTTT.com and Zapier. The two tools are nearly identical, with IFTTT providing all features for free, while Zapier gives you 5 “zaps” and a limited number of actions per month in their free package, then provides scaled premium packages to suit your needs. What both tools do is simple. When you share content, they pick it up and share it in one or more other places, every time, without fail.
- Set up your channels on IFTTT, or “apps” on Zapier. These include things like Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, Reddit, Pocket, etc. Both sites have a huge selection of social media, blogging and bookmarking tools to choose from.
- Set up recipes (IFTTT), or zaps (Zapier) to start sharing. First, select a trigger, for instance a blog post. Then, decide what you want to do with it. Sharing to Twitter, Linked In and Facebook are a good start.
- Now, sit back and enjoy extra eyes on your content. In many cases, you’ll see immediate results in website visitors, likes and shares and comments on your content. It really is that easy!
Conquering A Single Social Platform
If you aren’t a social media expert yet, it can be a bit overwhelming to think of communicating with so many separate audiences. Not to worry. Value-laden content shared in an engaging way on one major platform is enough to make a positive impact on your content marketing. You’ll want to spend some time getting to know your platform, joining communities in your niche and establishing some relationships. When you’re ready, try an app like Post Planner for Facebook, or Twuffer for Twitter.
- Choose days and times of day you think your audience is most likely to see you. Do your research. There is a lot of data on each major platform around this concept.
- Create or find posts to share. Don’t just sell, follow the 80/20 rule, 80% conversation, 20% sales. Use video, images and links to other users content as well.
- Add your posts to the calendar and relax, knowing your news feed is now engaging with clients, even when you are taking care of customers. Be sure to check in and respond to shares, likes and comments on your content to get the conversation started.
Launching A Social Media World Domination Campaign
It’s a bit hyperbolic, but I couldn’t resist. If you want to make the most of your content, this is the way to do it. Choose a multi-platform dashboard, such as Hootsuite, or Massplanner. Both have features for all of the major platforms and a few more. Set up your accounts in your dashboard and you’re ready to go to war, errr, work.
- Fill up your calendar, just as you did with the single platform tool, only this time, you can select to send the same content to multiple platforms at different times of day for maximum impact.
- Learn the etiquette of each platform you work in and customize your posts to reach that audience. For instance, Twitter is fast and punchy, Linked In is the world’s biggest business networking meeting. Not everything should be shared everywhere. Experiment to see what works where and when.
- Adding tools like IFTTT to your world domination program can help you make the most of your sharing. With dashboards, you’ll need to schedule each post in each platform, whereas, trigger based tools will share from one to the other, automatically amplifying each post.
For best results, plan on scheduling messages at least once a day. The most successful content marketers have multiple messages daily in each platform. When sharing your own content, don’t be overly promotional. Quality helpful content works best.