Yes, of course you’ve heard it before: Content is King! Today, in our increasingly digital age - whether we like it or not - this still rings through the proverbial halls of the web world. To make things even spicier, the gargantuan volume of impactful content that is needed, created, and consumed daily is continuing to boom - with no signs of taking a breather.
What’s a devoted businessperson with a great offering to do?
While it can certainly be tempting, making like an ostrich and burying your head in the sand while the world evolves without you *just might* not be the best advisable path. Sorry, bird lovers. We know it’s nice and cozy down there.
But hey, not all heroes wear capes. Some are of the 1’s and 0’s persuasion and live in the cloud(s). Enter: content automation.
Wait a second. Automation?
What springs to mind when you think of “automation”? Your friendly apartment Roomba? The intelligent machines of The Matrix? A buzzing factory floor and the Ford Model T?
Sure, automated processes were developed during the Industrial Revolution as solutions to streamline things like manufacturing and quality control, and have certainly expanded far beyond assembly lines into a wider robotics space. The full gamut of technologies that fall under the term “automation” these days, however, goes beyond even the imagination of Henry Ford himself! One example is in the case of content automation.
Hang on, what could content possibly have to do with automation?
Content automation is a digital strategy wrapped in versatile technology that touches the content lifecycle at all stages - from planning and workflows to creation and content generation, publishing, marketing, management, and even performance analysis. The ultimate goal is to transform repetitive tasks into automated but dynamic processes, with the end result saving your team precious time and money.
Let’s face it, every aspect of life has its thorns - the monotonous, arduous, labor-intensive parts - and the content space is no exception. Well, guess what: with the wonders of content automation, the days of doing many of these tasks manually - perhaps while chugging coffee and trying to keep from nodding off - are over.
How does this work and what can it look like? Let’s jump right in.
The first step is to identify those manual tasks you don’t feel like getting out of bed to do the thousandth time, or are sick of trying to squeeze in between grocery shopping and doctors appointments. That’s right: The Tedious. The Time-Consuming. The Toilsome.
The next step: design and implement your digital butler! This can involve content automation software that takes advantage of natural language processing and natural language generation to do all the work for you. This happens seamlessly and right on time, greatly reducing or altogether eliminating the need for human intervention.
An impressive variety of use cases in which your tasks take care of themselves while you never lift a finger (perhaps except to pat yourself on the back for being so clever). You and your team can focus instead on more creatively engaging work - including higher level content, growth strategy and more.
Does this sound exciting, but a little overwhelming? Don’t worry, you’ve got reinforcements! There are a myriad of content automation platforms, tools, and software available for different use cases to help you build out and automate your strategy just the way you like it.
Ready to become your own James Bond? Let’s take a look at 6 secret weapons of content automation.
Building out your content marketing strategy can be difficult. The success of your content depends on how well you identify and address topics that are of interest to the community. You could generate a beautifully written, informative piece about the subspecies of moose in Alaska, but if the community demand is not there? Unfortunately your great facts about their 6 foot antler span won’t reach the sets of eyes you were hoping for. Choosing what to cover is best informed by topic interest analysis, and here we can use tools like Google Search Console and Keyword Planner, as well as Ubersuggest, to analyze topic potential and automatically import analysis into a CSV file.
Exploring adjacent topics can also be executed through Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques that use word embedding. These models can use data from Google Search Console and analyze how frequently different sets of words appear together. Set up a simple model, and voila! You are well on your way to your next popular headline.
NLP and Natural Language Generation (NLG) have made vast strides in their capabilities. As a simple case, content that is already written can be proofread by singular functionality tools like Grammarly. Today’s technology, however, has grown far beyond proofreading.
Welcome to a powerhouse of content automation: creation of the content itself. Heliograf, Washington Post’s automated storytelling technology, is already covering all high school football games in the Washington, D.C.-area. GPT-3 from OpenAI is being used in more than 300 applications and generates an average of 4.5 billion words per day. The technology is so powerful, OpenAI chose not to release the full model of its predecessor GPT-2, for fear it would be maliciously misused.
But the content generation possibilities don’t end at reports and applications! All kinds of other content is already being automated, including financial and investment documents, training manuals, standard operating procedures, and more. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto - most big eCommerce websites have even moved beyond just implementing simple chatbots and already create a significant portion of their website content automatically.
Product and marketing managers - enabled by their content automation - have switched from hiring fleets of copywriters and translators to focusing on content strategy. Services like Wordsmith can produce weather forecasts, home sale summaries, quarterly reports, and even “personal trainers” from fitness tracker data - all in different narrative styles.
Xanevo offers a unique capability in content generation, using an AI-assisted technology to produce over 31 million texts a month from structured data sets. A particular focus is on marketing texts like meaningful, highly customized product descriptions. These descriptions are indistinguishable from human-written text and can even be translated into 110 different languages at the click of a button!
Pivotal to marketing strategy is being at the right place, at the right time, with the right message. Many content automation resources exist to help you do so, using personalization techniques to nurture your leads and target groups in a smarter way. AI algorithms analyze behavioral patterns and content consumption, then provide data-driven insights. These insights help curate the right content for the right individual, driving up engagement and conversions.
Überflip, for example, uses artificial intelligence to process user data and help you fine tune the buyer journey. Segmentation, tracking, and smart filters help you build and intelligently automate content experience platforms and nurture campaigns. Crystal Knows predicts buyer personality profiles to help you personalize your message, boost engagement, and drive deals.
Google Ads and Facebook Ads are content automation capable in many ways! With more options than the side dishes at a Thanksgiving dinner, you’re sure to find something that works for you. Here’s just a few from Google:
Responsive Search Ads allow you to create up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions, then put the elements together in different combinations to find the most effective results for your business.
Responsive Display Ads use content assets like images, logos, headlines, and descriptions to generate ads that appear on the Google Display Network. This part of Google AdWords which reaches over 90% of global internet users!
Dynamic Search Ads automatically produce ads with corresponding URLs using Google’s web-crawling technology, the query, and the website’s content inventory.
Dynamic remarketing targets users who have interacted with your digital space in some way before, whether it’s visiting your website or using your app. It also displays specific products or services people have viewed.
Facebook’s Automated Ads creates advertising plans tailored to your highest priorities, providing step-by-step instructions for your custom ad campaign. Features include:
Optimized versions - create multiple versions of your ad for A/B testing with different suggested details like call to action (CTA) buttons and text. Suggestions are based on information from your Page and the best-performing version is shown.
Custom audience suggestions - get help selecting your custom audience using information from your Page, combined with your business and marketing goals.
Automated performance feedback - as your ad campaign progresses, receive ongoing performance feedback and improvement suggestions.
These are just some of the opportunities to take the manual labor out of your advertising strategy while keeping it engaging and dynamic. They can help you optimize your ROI and turbocharge your conversions!
Have a newsletter? Regular outreach? Seasonal communications? Jump on the wild side of automating your subscriber list, customer data management, personalization of content elements (subject lines, greetings), and delivery schedule. Automated email marketing platforms by MailChimp and Salesforce’s AI are top notch offerings.
Content automation tools can streamline your workflow in multiple areas, saving you the two most prized entities: time and money.
Tools like Buffer and Hootsuite assist you in setting up a content creation and publishing schedule that includes a queue of content with predefined dates and times. On this schedule, bulk content uploads are posted automatically across multiple platforms - including your various social media accounts.
Don’t know the best cadence or timing? Fret not, scheduling tools can even help you figure out not just “when”, but even “where” to post. Get guidance on new distribution areas that further optimize your engagement.
While we’re in the neighborhood, let’s take a look at the management of the content creation tasks themselves. With DivvyHQ you can set up custom workflow templates that automatically update along with your content calendar. Have a coffee break and brainstorm what you’ll do with all your extra time while your technology does all the planning and processing for you, even sending automatic reminders and notifications at different steps in your workflow.
Do you plan your content, create it, or distribute it? Do you need to build your advertising strategy, or analyze its performance? Do you correspond with your audience or reach out to new audiences?
If you’re here, we’re guessing you do - and content automation can help you every step of the way. If you do it right, you’ll enrich your toolbox with a powerful capability to efficiently create useful, relevant content that reaches the right audience with the right message - with far less manual effort from you.
Warning - side effects may include improved customer experiences, more significant engagement, and plentiful lead conversions!
You’ve got the knowledge now; the ball’s in your court. Which part of your content automation strategy are you going to try first?
Curious about automating your content creation in particular? Book a free 30-minute consultation with Xanevo today to discover how you can generate highly customized reports, product descriptions and more at the click of a button - indistinguishable from manually written content and in 110 languages!
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