As a content strategist, my work involves not only writing content marketing strategies but presenting them to clients when they’re completed. In general most strategies I write include, amongst other things, recommendations for regular posting to at least two social media channels and maybe an email newsletter program or two, sent out at varying frequencies.
In these presentations, while clients are impressed, they’re also often overwhelmed. They’re doing the maths in their heads. Posting to Twitter three times a day and LinkedIn three times a week means logging onto the platforms and writing updates four times a day — coupled with an email newsletter and that’s a full-time job! Where will they possibly find the time, the staff, the money?
When the cogs visibly start to turn, I know it’s time to mention the magic, anxiety-relieving words: “Marketing automation”.
No, you don’t have to log onto your social channels every time you want to publish a social update. No, you don’t have to manually add each email address to the recipient field from an excel spreadsheet. There are programs that can automate all your marketing outgoings easily and at a low cost.
Not only are marketing automation programs a recommended aide for a content marketing strategy, I’ve personally never seen a successful strategy implementation happen without them.
What should you automate?
With marketing automation, there are hundreds of activities you can automate, so understandably many businesses don’t know where to start. Our advice is to start small, rather than being too ambitious too soon. A simple social media scheduling program and an email marketing service would be good places to begin before you start looking at campaign and lead-nurturing software.
Marketing automation to support high-quality storytelling
Of course, there are some things you shouldn’t automate, even if you can. With the growth of artificial intelligence in business, marketing automation will only become more sophisticated and capable with time, making it more important for businesses to know where to draw the line.
When it comes to content marketing, marketing automation is most effective when used to promote and distribute original content telling a unique, interesting story. At Lush, we believe a benchmark for effective storytelling is whether it passes the TRUTH test:
- Topical –The story is important in the context of recent events.
- Relevant –The story is interesting to your specific audience.
- Unusual –The story provides your audience with information they didn’t previously know or have access to.
- Trouble –The story offers a perspective or solution to a conflict.
- Human –The story features real, relatable characters.
The last component, human, is obviously most pronounced when a human actually writes the story themselves, which is why we firmly believe the creation of content should never be automated.
FURTHER READING: How to improve your content marketing strategy
Instead, if businesses are looking to save time in content creation, they’d do best to seek out the service of an experienced content marketing agency. Any agency worth their salt should not only be able to create a documented content marketing strategy, but should also be able to take that strategy and execute it to the same standards they recommended.
Lush – The Content Agency is a full-service content marketing agency complete with dedicated strategists and content creators all staffed in house. To find out how we might be able to assist your business with a content marketing rollout, give us a call today.