With sunny days and the weather heating up, it’s hard to concentrate on building a business. Putting some practices in place to automate content marketing can help creators give themselves some time off.
There’s nothing like being your own boss, but it does come with the downside of having to manage everything yourself. Whether you are a writer, visual artist, podcaster, musician, or in charge of a community, keeping members engaged means continually producing content and marketing it. And while it certainly saves money to do it yourself, scaling a business effectively means learning how and when to make changes. As a business owner, your time is valuable, and you want to spend it concentrating on the content that drives your membership forward.
For the sake of growing your business (and being able to take some well-earned vacation time!), look for ways to take some of the marketing tasks off your plate. Here are some of our best tips for automating your content marketing this summer:
1. Don’t sweat over proofreading.
Writers, and anyone who sends out communication on the daily, know that it’s important to sound professional. You want to pay attention to word choice and punctuation and make sure your message gets across.
But proofreading can be time-consuming and there are a lot of great ways to cut down on time spent making sure your commas are in the right place. Writing assistant Grammarly helps entrepreneurs stay focused on creating good content. With extensions for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge, Grammarly fits right into your daily work life.
You can even add it to social media platforms, email accounts, on project management platforms, and as a keyboard extension on your phone. And that’s just the free version.
2. Get those interviews transcribed.
Podcasters, interviewers, and journalists all know that creating written content from interviews can be a pain. Instead of manually working your way through the same clip a dozen times, consider getting transcriptions of each interview. Having those interviews typed out in front of you not only saves time, but it also gives a lot of material for new content with minimal effort.
For those on a tight (read: nonexistent) budget, creating the transcription yourself might be the best option, but we recommend working with a freelancer or transcription service. Writing-focused Facebook groups, platforms like Upwork or Fiverr, and companies like REV all offer transcription for reasonable rates.
3. Treat yourself to automated social media scheduling.
Most people know about social media scheduling platforms like Hootsuite and Buffer, but may not know how to use them properly. Aside from saving time posting social media content, these platforms take the guesswork about optimal times and days to post, and offer options for bulk scheduling if you can write a lot of copy ahead of time.
Taking it one step further, paid platforms like Sprout Social also offer in-depth social media analytics and competitor tracking. You creatives out there might also want to look into IFTTT’s (If This Then That) free applets which can automate stuff like post new blog to social media when they’re published, sharing favorite YouTube videos, or connecting Instagram and LinkedIn.
4. Simplify your content curation.
Another part of social media marketing that’s really easy to automate is curation and community management. News aggregator sites like Feedly and Panda make it easy to gather content from across the internet simply by plugging in keywords, subject areas, or favorite publications. To keep up with your community, media monitoring site Mention keeps track of your social media accounts and alerts you whenever you are mentioned online.
5. Keep it simple with templated emails.
Similar to social media content, email marketing is all about sending the right content at the right time. Once you know what you want to say, you can use platforms like Mailchimp to set up and automatically send your emails.
From email blasts and newsletters to follow-ups and alerts about sales or events, all you have to do is create a template, plug your content and contacts in, and schedule your campaigns. Analytics like click through and open rates will let you know how effective your content is so you can adjust as you go.
6. Delegate, delegate, delegate.
We’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating: you can’t scale a business without delegating. As your fan base and the demand for your content continues to grow, it will hopefully expand beyond what you can produce on your own, which is when you have to start making some important decisions.
Many of these platforms we recommend save time and energy, but they come with their own learning curve. Eventually, the number of platforms you use to automate your content may cause a different kind of stress. Start by thinking about the tasks that you feel less confident about, or even the ones that you just don’t enjoy.
Prefer editing video over transcribing audio? Or, do you prefer content curation over research? Find ways to separate those tasks and pass them on to someone else, whether that’s your business partner, co-host, intern, or another creator with different skills.
Remember, there are a ton of ways to automate your content marketing and it takes time to figure out which will work for your business. But there’s no time like the present to get started.
After all, summer doesn’t last forever.