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Why Marketing Automation Is the Future of Content Marketing

Bill Gates was certainly right when he noted that content is king, back in 1996. Today, it’s easy for anyone to be an online publisher. Marketing Automation is a subset of customer relationship management (CRM) that focuses on definition, segmentation, scheduling and tracking of marketing campaigns. Whether you’re driving people further down the funnel through a popup for a newsletter subscription, a gated asset, or a contact form, their final destination is often in a Content marketing automation platform.

While leads ultimately get converted into contacts in the CRM at the very bottom of the funnel, marketing automation platforms typically serve as the central reporting source for all leads. This is because marketing automation platforms qualify leads, so they have the full view of qualified, yet-to-be qualified, and unqualified leads, plus the campaigns that drove them. Marketing automation platforms are the tools that give “credit” for where leads come from and what moved them to a qualified state.

As a result, it is imperative that content marketers and business owners closely align with demand generation teams to ensure that they’re receiving credit for content that drove leads. Thus, to ensure that content receives appropriate credit, utilize UTM parameters on links and key calls to action

The use of marketing automation makes processes that would otherwise have been performed manually much more efficient and makes new.

As you share your content across various channels, you’ll find it hard to keep up with the audience’s reaction. So you’ll need a tool that notifies you whenever your brand is mentioned.

One of the tools that allows you to do this automatically is Mention. Mention allows you to see all the mentions your name or brand gets across social platforms, websites and blogs from a single dashboard. It also allows you to reply to messages and engage with the audience straight from the dashboard.

Scheduling is one of the most important aspects of social media management. This allows you to share updates with your audience at the time that's best for them -- whether you yourself are online or not -- and save yourself time in the process.

Buffer does a great job in that respect. It was originally designed for Twitter but now you can also use Buffer for Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+. This integration with social channels gives you easy and automated sharing of social media posts -- including blog posts. To share, all you have to do is choose a time zone, then set the schedule.

The tool also allows you to add posts to a queue so you don’t have to keep scheduling. However, it’s advisable to not over-schedule: Scheduling too much and too far in advance could lead to untimely sharing. For instance, content that made sense a fortnight ago could be irrelevant by the time it goes out.

In terms of app-integration, Buffer has Android and iOS apps that you can download to use it from your smartphone. There are also Chrome, Opera, Firefox and Safari extensions available to use it on PCs too.

Marketing automation platforms have become core pieces of technology for most B2C and B2B companies. These powerful software tools (i.e Marketo and Eloqua, for example) allow marketers to score leads and nurture databases of them through regularly scheduled email sends.

For many years, marketing automation platforms were complex, costly, and required dedicated resources. They were only available to companies willing to invest in building demand generation teams to run the platforms. However, disruptors, like MailChimp, are helping even the smallest teams deliver smart, automated, and personalized marketing emails to their audiences.

According to statistics, 51% of digital companies now use marketing automation, and 58% of B2B companies are planning to adopt it soon. Even more topically, 91% of successful content marketers agree that automation is crucial to their overall success.

The overall objective of automation is to save you time, effort, and focus that you can spend on more meaningful tasks.

The key to a sustainable automated content marketing strategy is streamlining a way to come up with topics that will keep your brand stay relevant.

Today, online marketing success can be achieved in many ways. You can hire social media influencers to advocate for your brand, launch experiential marketing projects to generate buzz, or ride the virtual reality hype train for instant exposure.

Sure, these approaches will give you results, but before you spend top dollar on them, focus on maximizing your results with what you already have.

What are the ways to use automation in Content Marketing?

You have a few options when it comes to automating your content marketing. You can automate things at several different points in the content marketing pipeline:

  • Creation

  • Curation

  • Distribution

When we say “content creation,” we don’t necessarily mean hiring a robot or computer to write your company’s blog posts or create its videos

(although such robots do exist). Instead, we mean tools that can help you come up with ideas for content, and tools that help you create the most impactful content possible. One such tool is the headline analyzer from CoSchedule. To use it (it’s free, but you do have to hand over your email address and some basic contact info), you type in a headline. It spits back a grade and analysis of the headline, as well as tips for improving it. Content curation tools rely on algorithms to mine content from across the web, and to recommend the content that’d be most relevant to your audience. An example of an automated content curation tool is DrumUp, which makes quick work of sorting through the billions of pieces of content that are online.

Finally, content distribution tools help to ensure that the most relevant pieces of content appear in front of the right people. Email marketing software, which sends out messages to customers based on their past behavior or purchases, is one example of automated content distribution.

MailChimp is one of the more well-known email marketing automation programs out there. It lets you put together campaigns, and will automatically send out new messages when people subscribe, or when people have abandoned their carts.

How to put together your automated content marketing strategy:

Putting together an automated content marketing strategy is pretty similar to putting together any other type of content marketing strategy. The key difference is that you’re finding ways to use automation tools to help you achieve your goals.

The first step is to think of your goals or an area of content marketing where you’re struggling. Maybe your content sinks like a stone once you publish it, or maybe you need to find ways to get it in front of the right audience.

You also want to define your audience, so that you know what tools will best reach them. Email marketing marketing might not work so well if your customers largely hang out on social media, for example.

Combining artificial intelligence with big data and natural language processing may finally allow businesses to automate content creation and curation. Major news outlets like The Washington Post and The Associated Press have already used content creation and curation bots to analyse millions of streams of data to create news articles, press releases, and in-depth reports. From Narrative Science to Automated Insights, these tools are swiftly taking over marketing and journalism.

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