Content marketing is a time-consuming process. Not only do you have to develop world-beating content, but you also have to develop a content marketing strategy that uses time efficiently.
In 2014, the average blog took around two hours and twenty-four minutes to write, according to figures from Smart Insights. By 2019, it had ballooned by nearly 65 per cent to over three hours and fifty-seven minutes – a substantial change.
But it’s not just the writing that consumes resources. It’s also the management and promotion of the content itself. No wonder companies are looking for ways to automate the process and push the costs down. It’s almost become an operational imperative.
This post takes you through some of the ways you can automate your content marketing processes to make them more efficient.
#1 Automate A Lead Scoring System
Let’s say that a customer arrives on your website and starts consuming copious quantities of content. First, they work their way through your blog articles, then they download your ebook and after that, they sign up for your webinar series. It could be that they’re just click-happy and trying to grab as much material as they can before they leave. But more likely, they’re consuming your content because your products and services can benefit them.
Hubspot (and other marketing automation tools) offers a service that allows you to automate a “lead scoring” system to track these prospects. The tool applies numerical values to prospective customers indicative of their worth to you.
Each business will have its own method of apportioning points. But in the present case, it makes sense to score leads based on the quantity of content they consume. If they spend less than thirty seconds on an article page and then click back to Google, they probably aren’t particularly interested in buying from you. However, if they spend a lot of time on your site and engage with multiple forms of content, then you can conclude with more confidence that they are a real prospect.
Lead scoring tools allow you to award points in whatever way you like. For content purposes, track things like the number of articles they read or ebooks they download.
According to Gartner, companies that automate lead management in this way see a ten per cent increase in revenues over the following six months. Further to this, an Annuitas Group investigation found that marketing automation through lead nurturing results in a 451 per cent increase in qualified leads. Thus, there seems little doubt that it’s effective.
#2 Send Automated Follow-Up Emails
Once you have a lead scoring system in place, you can then complement it with follow-up emails. These should help you achieve higher conversion rates.
Suppose you identify a user who frequently returns to a high-value landing page or your dedicated pricing page. Exhibiting such behaviour usually means that they are thinking about buying. However, you notice that they keep leaving the page before enquiring about your services, booking a demo or downloading your content offer. What can you do in this situation?
One approach is to use automated email marketing tools that pair with your landing pages so that you can remarket to your audience and nurture them into paying customers via email.
When creating follow-up emails, consider the following:
- The theme: Ideally, your emails and landing pages should look the same and include the same themes, fonts and imagery. These visual cues generate recognition and confirm to users that they’re in the right place if they click through.
- The motivation: The whole point of sending a follow-up email is to convince leads to take some kind of action, usually, clicking through to your sales pages. Effective follow-up emails contain a compelling call-to-action. It also tells users why they should sign-up and how they can benefit.
- The design: Automated follow-up emails shouldn’t confound users. Instead, they should provide clarity while serving as a clear reminder for the customer’s initial interest in your products and services. Keeping your email simple, therefore, can help make key points more succinctly.
#3 Use Grammarly Proofreading Services
Grammarly is an automated text checking service that can help you radically reduce the amount of time you spend proof reading and editing. The basic version offers grammar and spelling correction – similar to a regular spellchecker. The premium version provides limited advice on structuring your sentences, expressing yourself better, and expanding your vocabulary.
You can also pay for human proofreading services through the platform to check your work, cutting down on your labour time. These services are helpful because they can do things that machine readers cannot. For instance, Grammarly can’t give you sentence order advice because the software can’t process meaning or follow your train of thought. By contrast, human proofreaders can and will.
#4 Automate The Promotion Of Your Content On Social Media
While there is no substitute for human creativity and ingenuity when writing content, there are now plenty of tools that take the work out of publishing and promoting it on social media.
Zapier, for instance, is a subscription service that allows you to automate a variety of content-related tasks across a wide range of social media platforms, making it particularly useful for companies with multiple accounts.
Zapier’s core value proposition is the “Zap” – the ability to click one button to perform a single repetitive task that would usually take ages. The developers market the software as the “glue” that holds your web apps together. For instance, you can create a Zap that creates Google Editorial Calendar events from Trello. You can also use Zaps to upload your content to Facebook and post multiple tweets across all your Twitter accounts with a single click.
Combining Zaps with tools such as Buffer offers even more synergy. Buffer is a tool that lets you upload your content in advance and then schedule posting on your various social media accounts. Adding to Zaps allows you to automate the posting and promotion of content you publish on social media, with virtually no human intervention.
Automate Your Content Marketing Process
Content marketing is time-consuming work. But with the right content marketing processes, you can save both time and money. The automation processes and tools discussed in this article are simple to use, even by non-technical staff.
Working as a Digital Marketing Consultant since 2004, Lee helps SMEs win more business through developing effective digital marketing strategies. He is a dedicated Liverpool FC fan, dog lover and loves long country walks (and a cheeky pint) with his dog, Banjo. Do you publish content yourself, or need content for your own website? If you’d like to collaborate on anything at all, don’t hesitate to reach out to me.