Every working day, content marketing teams distribute content across countless different channels, keep track of responses and curate a stream of relevant videos, articles, infographics and slide decks over multiple social media accounts.
While tracking progress can be simplified by using a content promotion process, a lot of the tasks are repetitive and don’t require human input, like tracking scores on social bookmarking sites or sharing information with the rest of the team.
That’s where content marketing automation comes in.
In this post I’m going to show you how you can use Zapier, an app that acts as a bridge between two pieces of software, to make tedious day-to-day tasks easier by using content marketing automation.
Sign up for Zapier here and then get stuck in with these awesome integrations.
Keep Track of Your reddit Activity with Content Marketing Automation
An active engagement with reddit is part of any solid content promotion strategy, but when there are several members posting at once, keeping track of who’s posting what can be a pain.
By integrating reddit with Slack, you can get a by-the-minute feed of all reddit activity from each user in your team. Let’s take a look how to do this, just to make sure you get it set up properly.
1. Sign in to Zapier and go to the Make a Zap page. Select: reddit — New Comment by User and Slack — Send New Message from the drop-down menus, like this.
2. Connect up your accounts and check if they’re working by clicking ‘test’.
3. Select your username (or the user to be tracked), the Slack channel to be notified and use ‘insert reddit fields’ to structure the notification content.
4. You can ignore the rest of the configuration options for our purposes, and go right ahead and test it.
5. It works! Check the specified Slack channel to see a recent comment posted as a message.
Sharing Company Mentions in Chat
Feedback doesn’t always come directly to you, so by integrating reddit with Slack or Hipchat you can quickly find out whenever you’re the topic of conversation. Unlike the last integration, this zap is pre-written and ready to be used straight away.
Thanking users for sharing content or replying to questions about your service over Twitter is made a lot easier when every mention of your company is shared to its own Slack channel. It’s also nice to know people are talking about you, even if it is a little bit vane. Try this integration out for yourself:
Add New reddit Posts to Google Sheets
If you have a promotion team of several members, it’s a good idea to keep a spreadsheet of the posts they’re making to track which posts get the most success (or upvotes on reddit). Setting this up through Zapier is possible, but first we need to create a new spreadsheet in Sheets. Log into Google Sheets and create a new spreadsheet named something like ‘Reddit promotion’. The most important part to remember here is that you’ll need to create columns first, before you configure your integration. So, go ahead and create columns for:
- Time posted
- Body text
Following a similar process for connecting reddit to Slack earlier, now we’re going to configure Zapier to add the right info to those columns.
The reason we want it to keep an eye out for a particular search query is that reddit has a very flexible search function that we can use so new rows are only added when posts are made by particular users. In this case, I want to add all of my own reddit posts to a worksheet, so I type in the search field my username and include subreddit activity.
Next is the trickier part, but it’s made a lot easier since Zapier can fetch fields from reddit, just like we did earlier. Select the right worksheet from the drop down menu and Zapier should automatically show you a new field for each column in Sheets, like this:
Like before, clicking on ‘insert reddit fields’ will show a list of variables like ‘title’, ‘score’ and ‘subreddit’. It’s just as easy as matching the fields up to the column name, like this:
Testing the integration works just like last time, so go ahead and do that and check sheets. Here’s what I got for my test sample:
The reason this particular integration is flawed, however, is that its instant reaction means we don’t actually see the real scores our posts get, only what they have the moment they’re posted, which will always be 1 point.
To get an idea of both what we post and the score it gets, it’d be a good idea to delay the zap for a period of time based on the lifecycle of a reddit post. For a fast moving subreddit like /r/business, unless a post becomes very popular it will cycle out in about a day or so. Delaying zaps is simple, and can be done by setting up a second zap with the same trigger, but Zapier as the action.
Here’s a great post on Zapier showing how to do it.
Using Content Marketing Processes
Promotion teams should work from a set of routine instructions for each piece of new content.
Content Marketing Automating with Social Media
Updating multiple social media accounts regularly can be time consuming, but there are loads of ways to do it automatically using Zapier, Buffer and other tools. Note: if you’re looking for a free alternative to Buffer for Twitter, try Twuffer.
Here are a few useful zaps for social media automation with Buffer:
If you have anything to add, or a way you personally automate business activity, let me know in the comments.