While the demand grows higher, the time we can allocate to each piece of content gets smaller. And thus, we are facing a new need: we need to automatize.
While right now there is no AI that can make this dream come true, there are some ways to automate at least a part of your tasks and focus more on your “big ideas” and on your creativity.
What can you do and how?
Use automatic content creation!
Why use automatic content creation?
We can all agree on the fact that content marketing converts if you do it right and put enough effort on it. People want to read stories, find answers to their questions, read reviews, guides, tutorials, how to’s and so on.
There are many benefits to automate the creation of content and posting it on a regular basis and here are the most important three of them:
It saves time. You need content and you need it on a regular basis. According to this study, you will create a new piece of content every day (or at least you are supposed to). However, we all know how valuable time is, as a resource, and how difficult is to meet all the expectations and do all the stuff we plan to do in time. Hence, the need for automation.
It allows you to get closer to the audience. The more you post, the easier will be to get close to your customers or fans. Consistent content creation will allow you to cover more topics and answer more questions. And, of course, exponentially increase your audience and ultimately, your exposure, like the guys from Videolind did through Contentfly.
It allows you to get something back to the audience, something of value. Content is valuable when it answers questions and satisfies needs for knowledge. By automatizing your content creation, you are also making sure you post more articles in a span of time and thus, deliver more information to the outside world. Also, when you have to write a lot in a short span of time, the quality decreases. However, if you automate the process and delegate most of your creative tasks, you can make sure that quality will always be high.
“The online world is flooded with content that feels robotic and inhuman,” says Aaron Orendorff, founder of iconiContent. “You might think automation only adds to that. It doesn’t. At least, not if you do it right. The key is to offload the rote, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks better suited for machines than people.
This means (1) ruthlessly cutting down the number of tools and platforms you use, (2) short-cutting the creative process with keyword-based editorial calendars, and (3) automatically generating outlines and checklists based on content type.
At risk of getting meta, this customer support automation article began its life as a lowly keyword cluster (seed term) in Google Sheets and was sent with the click of a box to Airtable where the appropriate Google Doc Template was activated, linked, and updated for production.”
However, we all know that you cannot automate everything. But you can at least try to automate some of your tasks and actions and focus more on stuff that require the human touch.
To this end, you can make your own strategy, research for the best pieces of content and the best topics and, hire professional writers to transform your ideas into valuable pieces of content.
Let’s see a couple of tools you can use right away and answer the next big question:
What resources you can use for automatic content creation?
Are there any? Yes, there are tools you can use. And, in this section, I will try to pinpoint the best you can acquire and use at this point.
1. Use services that can automate your content creation
My first option in this case in a professional and commercial solution, called Content Fly. Let’s take a quick look at it. What is Content Fly and how can it be useful to you?
Content Fly automates the creative process by enabling the website owner/marketer to hire professional editors and writers that will effectively create the content they need. You will be able, as a consequence, to focus more on the strategy itself, on keywords, topics and delivery channels and outsource the content creation.
Therefore, the first step would be to register on Content Fly. What about next? What’s there to do? What are the best steps?
Research for keywords and topics. Know exactly what you need. It is important to do so because when you will request the content, you need to be able to be clear about what you want and how you want it to be done.
Submit your writing requests. Do it immediately and do it based on your initial research. It will take you less than a minute to do it. Write about your company or brand, write about your goals and of course, be explicit about what you want to achieve, and what type of content you need from creators.
With services such as Content Fly, you can get access almost instantly to SEO ready and SEO optimized content. You can ask the content creators (writers, editors) to include specific keywords, quotes, info-graphics, visuals, links and so on.
You get quick delivery. On this platform, it takes up to five days to receive the content you have asked for but most of the times, it gets delivered even earlier.
Great rates. We all know than hiring a suitable and professional content writer is not cheap. On Content Fly, for instance, you only pay $250 per month for the services, a great deal considering that this is far less than what you would actually pay for a full-time content writer.
2. Use dedicated Content Creation Platforms
There are platforms you can use in order to get to the content writers you need. For instance, marketers and entrepreneurs like Neil Patel uses the Job Board from ProBlogger in order to get to the right authors.
Finding a professional copywriter should not be hard but finding the right one may be a little bit more difficult.
Before posting for writing jobs and hiring your writers, you need to take care of some basic stuff such as the following:
Know what you need. I have mentioned above about the topics and keyword research. This is not all that you have to do. Set up goals as well and adapt your content marketing strategy to those goals.
Have a company style guide which you can send to the writers before they start to effectively create the content. Here’s an example from MailChimp that will show you exactly what I mean.
Write a good brief for the content marketing project and for each piece of content in particular. Make it easy for the author to know what you need and how you need it.
Make sure you have a good editor. Editors are essential if you want to deliver high quality content. They will take care of the proofreading of the articles you receive and perform small changes according to your style and vision.
Offer internal resources. Give access to stock photos, your own research or other data the author may need. For instance, if you market a SaaS tool, give the author premium access to that tool at least while they work on your content.
Ask for a test piece. Every author has a portfolio you can consult in order to make a quick idea on how they write. You can also request some test pieces of content, short form content articles of less than 500 words just to make sure you got the right writer.
“If you want to scale content creation, you need to have a sound organizational system in place before you start. Tools are there to help you, sure, but it’s how you use them that makes the difference and can provide you with a smooth process or a lousy one.
Trello, Asana, Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc. There are enough tools for everyone. It’s your desired outcomes, bottlenecks, and goals, though, that should indicate which one you need to use and how to set them up to improve your editorial workflow.
Otherwise, you’re going to get lost in the chaos with emails, updates, notifications, first drafts, revisions, late requests, comments, and questions from your writers, editors, team members checking on the status of blog posts.
When it comes to editorial workflow, I’m obsessed and always trying to improve it because there’s always something we can do better. Having a well-organized, documented workflow, and consistent publishing schedule is hard to achieve, but it will be vital to your success.”
Ultimately, the final choice depends on who is available, your budget and the frequency you want to post new content.
3. Guest posting
Here’s an idea. You can get free content without doing anything other than proofreading.
Create a page on your website/blog, inform the audience that you allow guest blog posts, set up some rules and wait.
Blogger and marketer Ryan Robinson has put this strategy to work for growing his traffic in a major way over the last few years. He shares, “I’ve taken a couple dozen guest posts for my blog, and many of them have turned out to be massive drivers of new readers for my site. Even years after a few of those guest posts have gone live, I still get hundreds of visitors each day who discover the content on search engines and across social networks. This is particularly great for me, because I’m able to use guest posts to cover more topics than I’d otherwise be able to write personally—and I have the side benefit of bringing in more diverse opinions & experiences as well.
Plus, the more your website grows, the more people will try to pitch in some of their content. It’s great for them because they can grow their online influence and personal brand, it’s okay for you cause you are getting free content. “At my previous company, we were publishing more than 100 guest posts per month in less than six months of growing our guest post program,” said Jakub Rudnik, SEO manager at L2TMedia. “This grew because authors we found shared their articles with their networks, which led people in their networks to reach out. The reach amplified with every guest post, and we were even turning down new writers.”
Here are some basic things you will need:
A dedicated page in which you announce that you accept guest authors and a contact form for this particular option. Performance depends on the topics’ choice, however, as well. So, make sure you make the audience understand exactly what you need. It’s not about quantity everytime. It’s also about quality.
Create a company style guide, similar to what we’ve discussed in the previous chapter. Make it easy for the authors to understand your rules, your style and the exact format you need. Here’s a great example from sociableblog.com of a dedicated page which explains in detail everything the guest author needs.
For example there is Bannersnack with their awesome feature – Generator.
With this feature you can generate tens of different visuals from one single design. All you have to do is just click 2 buttons and voila. The design is ready.
Another great design tool is Visme.
Visme is an easy-to-use design tool that lets anyone create beautiful visual content with the help of premade templates and a friendly drag-and-drop editor. You don’t even need to be a designer to use it. Simply choose from thousands of templates for infographics, Twitter posts, Facebook covers, Instagram posts, blog headers and more, and customize for your own brand.
Creating visual content, such as infographics and social media images, can be time-consuming and difficult, especially if you don’t have any professional design experience. It can be expensive to purchase design software and hire an in-house designer, so a great alternative is to use Visme for all your visual content creation needs.
It automates the entire process for you by letting you design visuals online in your browser and access free icons, content blocks, data widgets, fonts and more. All you need to do is switch out the template content and drag-and-drop assets in the right place.
How to choose the right automatic content creation experience for you
There are several aspects you need to clarify before choosing the right ‘tool’ for you. Here’s a short list that may help you:
Objective. Goals. Analyze your strategy up to this point and the frequency with which you managed to publish original content. You need to improve on it but at the same time, you should be able to at least keep the same pace at first.
Financial aspects/budget. Obviously, this is yet another important aspect that needs to be considered before settling for one tool or another. If you need a lot of content, more so, you’ll need to manage your funds. Original content is not cheap and if your budget is limited, I suggest starting with Content Fly and if possible, a guest posting solution.
Commitment and patience. A poorly written piece of content doesn’t mean that the system is flawed. Maybe it is not even poorly written, it’s just not the right piece for you. It’s important therefore to arm yourself with patience and keep on going.
Content creation is probably the most important part of a marketing strategy. There is more than one reason that proves this.
However, as time goes by, it can become increasingly hard to keep pace with the market demands and deliver value with the same frequency. In order to be effective on the long run you might consider to automate some of your creative work.
While the technology to allow AIs to be creative was not invented yet, you can still automate your work by letting other professionals to take care of this process.
Outsourcing to freelance professionals may not be a new concept but in these days, it may prove to be the best solution.
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Brand and Communication Manager
"Content isn’t king. Usefulness is. Robert does this in the online marketing and social media space with ease."