7 Content material Automations Utilized by Actual Content material Execs

Content material advertising and marketing can turn into difficult and effortful in a short time.

Content material groups have to handle ideation, writing, modifying, proofing, publishing, promotion, analytics, and reporting throughout a group of writers, reviewers, and dozens of articles every month. Good content material leads discover methods to automate a few of these processes to allow them to give attention to what actually issues.

So, to encourage you and present you not solely what’s potential but in addition the type of issues which are actually price automating, we requested three specialists to share their favourite workflows.

You possibly can’t automate all the pieces, however you may automate your whole content material manufacturing workflow.

My interviewees use Airtable as a “central base of operations,” as Tommy Walker places it. A base like that controls all the pieces:

Sample base in Airtable.
Airtable, base view.

The overall concept behind that is using triggers and actions. A whole set of a set off and not less than one motion is also known as a Zap (coined by one of many automation instrument suppliers Zapier).

How automation works: triggers and actions. How automation works: triggers and actions.

All of our specialists have this type of central base, and I assume it’s laborious to withstand having one when you begin automating issues. So right here’s a type of programs by Eric Doty:

Eric talked about utilizing Ahrefs as his supply of key phrases. When you’re going to do the identical, right here’s a fast tip for you — use automated key phrase clustering proper inside Ahrefs, so that you gained’t have to determine it out later on.


Key phrase clustering permits you to group key phrases with the identical intent — and also you’ll come throughout these so much (e.g., “automobile insurance coverage” and “auto insurance coverage)”.

All you could do is click on the Cluster by Dad or mum Matter tab within the Matching phrases report in Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer. You can even export the record and use it in Airtable, Notion, or comparable.

Clustering by Parent Topic in Ahrefs. Clustering by Parent Topic in Ahrefs.

Returning to our central content material base, it’s essential to notice that not everybody might want to go to it often. As Tommy identified, a content material automation system can combine with processes your teammates observe (and presumably even different automation).

For instance, some stakeholders want real-time notifications about standing adjustments, whereas others solely require a weekly digest of content material output. Automation handles this excellently.

You can even have individuals fill out types that may feed into system. For example, gross sales group may use a type like that to request new content material while not having to enter your Airtable setup.

Caitlin confirmed me how she automates assigning duties to 3 varieties of contributors based mostly on the work progress: writers, subject material knowledgeable reviewers, and editors. All that is to keep up the output of 20 – 30 printed articles monthly, with out leaving Airtable.

Caitlin was very beneficiant, so that you’re about to see not solely what this workflow does but in addition copy the conditional logic for Airtable and ready-made Zaps!

The entire course of begins when Caitlin assigns the standing of an article to “Writing”.

This triggers an Airtable automation that provides the temporary to the author’s Google Sheet. A Zap is then triggered by the brand new row in Google Sheets, which provides the project date and sends an e-mail to the author, notifying them of their new project.

Right here’s what the setup of this half seems like in Airtable:

Automation example: sending the brief to the writer.Automation example: sending the brief to the writer.

When the author finishes their half, Caitlin will get an automatic notification in Slack.

Automated notification in Slack.Automated notification in Slack.

Subsequent, the article goes to the knowledgeable for a evaluation. That is essential for Caitlin’s technique as a result of it enhances the content material with distinctive experience and real-life expertise.

Due to automation, all Caitlin must do is change the standing to “Reviewing”. This provides the article hyperlink, temporary, and phrase rely to the reviewer’s Google Sheet.

Automation example: sending the article to the reviewer. Automation example: sending the article to the reviewer.

On prime of that, this automation sends an e-mail to the reviewer notifying them of the project. And right here’s the cool half: the e-mail will differ relying on whether or not article is a very new one or a second evaluation. Right here’s how one can set this up in Zapier.

Zapier workflow. Zapier workflow.

When the reviewer is completed, they examine “Finished” and choose a discipline in a “Subsequent steps” dropdown of their sheet to replicate whether or not the article is authorized or wants adjustments made by the author. Then Caitlin will get a message like this in Slack:

Automated notification in Slack. Automated notification in Slack.

If the author must make adjustments, there’s a particular standing for that, too. When Caitlin adjustments the standing from “Reviewing” to “Author is updating”, this routinely adjustments the standing within the author’s Google Sheet. And to verify the author gained’t miss that standing change, there’s an automatic e-mail notification, too.

Lastly, now we have the modifying stage. Now Caitlin adjustments the standing to “Modifying,” which provides a row within the editor’s Google Sheet, similar to it did for the author and the knowledgeable.

Automation example: sending the article back to the writer for revisions.Automation example: sending the article back to the writer for revisions.

When an article is finished, the editor adjustments the standing of their sheet, and provides any feedback in the event that they wish to, Caitlin receives this message:

Automated notification in Slack.Automated notification in Slack.

You possibly can copy the precise Zaps Caitlin used right here:

The extra you publish, the extra individuals in your group, the extra you’re going to want this sort of automation.

First, Eric will present you find out how to arrange Airtable in order that every time a brand new weblog publish is printed, it triggers an e-mail to the author, a message on Slack, and a standing change in Airtable.

Now, let’s say you’ve an enormous content material stock and wish to assist different groups entry it to be used in prospect calls or newsletters. You should utilize one other of Caitlin’s workflows, which provides an AI-generated abstract of all printed articles to Airtable by a Zap.

AI summary embedded into an automation workflow. AI summary embedded into an automation workflow.

When you’re like Eric (and me), you get content material concepts in numerous, usually random, conditions, and it’s not all the time fast or simple to tug up your content material dashboard to jot them down. Fortunately, you may arrange a Zap to deal with that, too.

On this instance, Eric explains how he created a nifty workflow to ship content material concepts famous in a Slack channel straight to Airtable.

  1. Eric notes down a key phrase concept in a Slack channel with a predefined hashtag.
  2. A Slack bot confirms including the key phrase to Airtable, appended with a hyperlink to the Airtable base.
  3. Now that the key phrase is within the key phrase record, Eric can add website positioning information when he’s prepared.

When you’re creating briefs for different individuals or outlines for your self utilizing the identical doc format, repeatedly, I’m positive you’ll recognize this workflow.

  1. The set off has two situations: the subject should attain the “temporary wanted” standing and a quick should not have already been created.
  2. The motion: a Google doc is created which acts because the template for the content material temporary. The doc already contains some data from Airtable handed down by variables such because the key phrase, subject, and format.

Right here’s inspiration from Tommy Walker, sharing how one can automate podcast manufacturing by connecting just a few totally different instruments to Airtable.

Listed below are the steps:

  1. Tommy sends out an invite to e-book a time slot for an episode through Calendly.
  2. When the visitor books a time, this creates a brand new document in Airtable with standing “Booked” and their particulars stuffed.
  3. This additionally triggers Google Drive to create a brand new folder and two subfolders inside in (one among them is for the visitor to add their headshot).
  4. Importing a headshot into the folder notifies the designer.
  5. Subsequent, an Electronic mail goes out to e-book a precall with the visitor.
  6. Now, Tommy can click on the “Create web page” button proper inside Airtable which creates a web page and a weblog publish in WordPress (how cool is that!).
  7. As soon as the printed is full on YouTube, it goes into the RSS feed in Castmagic. This enables Tommy to make use of the instrument to create a transcript and use an AI chatbot on it.
Example of content automation from Tommy Walker. Example of content automation from Tommy Walker.
The tick signal is the button to create a web page in WordPress.

You know the way there’s no notification when somebody uploads a brand new file to Google Drive for you? You continue to have to manually notify that individual in regards to the file which feels very handbook; it looks like doing the identical factor twice.

Till Google fixes that, Eric will present you find out how to make a Zap to avoid wasting you time and peace of thoughts. Use this when working with designers, writers, and your video group.

  1. Set off: a contributor drops a file in a chosen folder in Google Drive.
  2. Motion: an e-mail goes out to the Eric with the title of the contributor and the hyperlink to the file.

I’ve answered a handful of frequent questions for these simply beginning out with content material automation.

What’s the distinction between content material automation and automatic (AI) content material?

It’s simple to confuse these two phrases as a result of they’re fairly comparable, and one is a subset of the different:

Thus, you may have content material automation with out automated content material. Furthermore, it’s advisable to not totally automate your content material if you wish to rank effectively on Google.

Is automating content material good for website positioning?

TLDR; if you wish to totally automate content material, as in not even have a look at it earlier than publishing, it’s going to almost definitely be dangerous for website positioning, though Google just isn’t in opposition to AI content material per se.

Numerous website positioning experiments and case research have confirmed one factor past doubt: gaming the system can convey solely short-term features. Google catches as much as dangerous content material and spam in the end, whether or not that’s automated content material or not. And when this occurs, your visitors charts will appear like this:

You might disclose making content material with AI, as Google suggests. However paradoxically, attempting to stick to the rules can compromise the person expertise (particularly for YMYL matters). Though customers don’t appear to be in opposition to AI content material typically (research), they’re more likely to be cautious about it (research).

Lastly, the content material automation specialists I talked with don’t use AI for content material technology. Given their expertise, I wasn’t anticipating a unique reply. They could use AI for different issues like producing outlines, discovering content material gaps (take a look at our AI Content material Grader), or searching for related subtopics, however not for precise writing.

Is content material automation for all group sizes?

Our specialists agree: large, or small, each group can profit from content material automation.

Caitlin BurnsCaitlin Burns

Moreover, Tommy Walker has a singular tackle this:

Tommy WalkerTommy Walker

If you wish to use AI for website positioning successfully but safely, we’ve bought fourteen tried and examined concepts for you.

What are the frequent pitfalls of content material automation?

In keeping with our specialists, you need to be careful for 2 issues.

The primary pitfall is creating infinite loops. That is when a activity runs again and again till you max out your automation instrument’s plan. When you’re utilizing Zapier, right here’s find out how to keep away from it.

One other pitfall is automating all the pieces simply because it’s potential.

Comply with Eric’s recommendation: automate duties you’ve dealt with manually just a few occasions. Keep away from automating new processes instantly; first, do them manually to see in the event that they’re price automating. In any other case, you would possibly waste time on ineffective workflows or overwhelm your self with too many automated duties.

Remaining ideas

I’d prefer to wrap this up with the primary content material automation tip for learners from every of our specialists. All of them appear to agree: good small.

Eric DotyEric Doty

Acquired questions or feedback? Let me know on X or LinkedIn.

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