October 28, 2016

Content Marketing Automation with Zapier to Drive Leads and Sales


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.

Content Marketing Automation

2. Connect up your accounts and check if they’re working by clicking ‘test’.

Content Marketing Automation

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.

Configure Zapier Content Marketing Automation

4. You can ignore the rest of the configuration options for our purposes, and go right ahead and test it.

Content Marketing Automation

5. It works! Check the specified Slack channel to see a recent comment posted as a message.

Content Marketing Automation

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:

Content Marketing Automation

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:

  • Title
  • Subreddit
  • Author
  • Link
  • Image
  • Upvotes
  • Downvotes
  • Time posted
  • Body text
  • Score

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.

Content Marketing Automation

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.

Reddit Content Marketing Automation

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:

Content Marketing Automation

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:

Content Marketing Automation

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:

Content Marketing Automation

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:

Content Marketing Automation with Buffer and Instagram
Content Marketing Automation with Buffer
Content Marketing Automation with Buffer and WordPress
Content Marketing Automation with Pocket

If you have anything to add, or a way you personally automate business activity, let me know in the comments.

Image: Zapier

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Vinay Patankar

Vinay Patankar Vinay Patankar is the CEO of Process Street, the simplest way to manage your teams recurring processes and workflows. Easily set up new clients, onboard employees and manage content publishing with Process Street. Vinay also blogs at Abstract Living about Startups, Nomadic travel and all things marketing.

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7 Reactions

  1. hi vinay.
    thanks for sharing this post. automation helps free up valuable time that can be invested in other aspect of a business.

  2. Great contribution Vinay, I like how in depth you go with how to track specific actions…I have learnt that you cannot improve what you don’t measure, will give Twuffer a go as well and feed back! automation is also great, people don’t realise a lot of social media can be automated though I wouldn’t go too far with it myself. thanks for your time spent on this article!

  3. Aira Bongco

    I don’t really use Reddit as much as I used to. But I am glad that the tool can do more than just Reddit. I need some automation tools that covers most of the basic social media channels so that I can easily manage content for my business.

  4. These insights created an “aha” moment for me. I love the fact that it’s in a detailed manner. Thanks!

  5. Relevant:

    You can also get alerts whenever topics related to your company pop up on Reddit to jump in the discussion with trackreddit.com

    The type of posts I see performing the best on Reddit are:

    – case studies with real numbers and actionable strategies
    – sharing successful strategies – backed by data/experiments
    – if you want to share an article, post the majority of its content directly on Reddit with a link to it at the very bottom (Reddit hates spammy self-promotion)

  6. Hey there Vinay,

    Really loved this article. Great use of the Reddit integration. I think a lot of people neglect that one for automation purposes!

    Have you heard of our service, Flow XO? It’s similar to Zapier, but we build all the integrations in house, and so they are usually more robust, and always more stable and secure. Additionally, we allow you to create one workflow that uses a single trigger, but can contain as many actions as you can dream up! We think it’s a nice way to consolidate some of the larger workflows we see in automation. I’d love to get you to sign up for a free account and see what you think! Feel free to email me directly! Would love to get your feedback.

    – Mark Cuda, Content Marketer
    Flow XO

  7. You should check out Zapier again if you haven’t recently. They now have multistep zaps which should make your process a little easier. It sounds like the new feature is similar to Flow.

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