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How to succeed by automating content production and planning

How to succeed by automating content production and planning
January 23, 2021

In this post, we're going to get specific - with 5 essential Zaps for easy content planning and production.

In 2020, we saw just how helpful automation can be — particularly for small businesses. Automation tools can help fill in the gap when employees are separated. They can also enable rapid changes throughout your business model too.

By adopting automation, businesses have improved processes like logistics, online selling, and marketing. In this post, we're going to get specific about how automation can help with an increasingly powerful brand-building tactic: content planning and production.

What does content planning and production involve (and why it can be so overwhelming)?

For those who don't know, content production is the process of organising, creating and posting highly-relevant, branded content online. The most familiar example of this is a blog. But social media posts, uploads to sites like YouTube, and even email campaigns are all a form of content marketing. 

While content production is sometimes viewed as an easy role to take up, it's more complicated than most people realise. This is especially true for the person(s) planning the content. 

It's a job that can quickly become overwhelming, thanks to all its moving parts. And that’s where automation, and Zapier, come in so handy...

Streamline your posts to social media ⚡

Social media automation is one of the most popular (and simplest) ways to use Zapier for content planning and production. If you've tried, and failed, to keep a regular social media presence in the past, then you’ll know how time-consuming the process can be. It requires consistency, research and a lot of scheduling. 

The solution? Zapier can automatically post to your social media platform, using individual Zaps per account if you manage more than one. These Zaps can pull an RSS feed of your content and share it as soon as it's posted. 

How to streamline your social media with Zapier:

  1. Connect Facebook/Twitter/Instagram to Zapier
  2. Integrate each app with an RSS feed from your website or directly to your WordPress posts
  3. Each time you post new content to your website or new content is found on your RSS feed, have your Zap post that content to social media too

Explore Wordpress > Facebook Zaps, right here.

Create content your readers are interested in 📡

Another important component of content planning is keeping in tune with your audience's interests. You want your content to perform well. And relevance is key.

To take your audience's pulse, you can use Zapier to send out surveys, collect the results and store the responses automatically. Typeform is a popular app that you can use for this purpose, or you can even automate using Google Forms

Whichever option you choose, you can automatically send these surveys out to email subscribers periodically, storing the results in a spreadsheet. You can then review these at the start of each month to inform your content schedule. 

How to survey your audience with Zapier:

  1. Create a Zap that connects MailChimp to Google Forms (or your email campaign and form apps of choice)
  2. Set your Zap to trigger every time you get a new subscriber
  3. Send this subscriber a form asking them why they subscribed and what kind of content they would like to read

Alternatively:

  1. Create a Zap that connects MailChimp to Google Forms (or your email campaign and form apps of choice)
  2. Set your Zap to trigger every time someone unsubscribes
  3. Send this unsubscriber a survey asking why they chose to unsubscribe

Syndicate your content 🤝

Content syndication is the process of syncing up your content across various channels. And if you’re publishing to multiple sites or in multiple formats, then syndication can be a big help in building your content machine.

To achieve this through Zapier, create a Zap that monitors your main page via RSS feed for new content. Then, once this content is posted, pull the info from the content and automatically post it elsewhere.

Syndication can also come in handy for syncing up email lists, contacts, and communications. 

How to syndicate your content with Zapier:

  1. Create a Zap that connects an RSS feed from one of your websites to another WordPress website that you own
  2. Trigger this Zap to run whenever you add a new post to your RSS feed
  3. Set this Zap to then copy the content of that new post to your WordPress blog

Alternatively:

  1. Create a Zap that connects Google Sheets to WordPress
  2. Set this Zap to trigger whenever you add a new line to your Google Sheet (i.e., you add a new idea for a blog topic with a description in Google Sheets)
  3. Then, have the Zap copy the title and description from the row in Google Sheets to a new post draft in WordPress

Get started with Google Sheets > Wordpress syndication, right here.

Automate your weekly newsletter 📩

Weekly newsletters are one of the best ways to keep an open dialogue with active, and lapsed, customers. Writing, editing, and sending them out, however, can be a bit of a hassle.

By using Zapier, you can create a template for your newsletters — sent out automatically, on a specified day and time. All you’d then need to do is write the content of that email each week, and the delivery and formatting of that email would be handled by Zapier. 

There’s tons of Zaps to choose from with integrations like Schedule by Zapier and Gmail, so get automating!

How to automate a weekly email with Zapier:

  1. Connect Schedule by Zapier, Gmail, and Google Sheets in a Zap
  2. Set your Zap to run each week
  3. Add a step that looks up a spreadsheet row in Google Sheets containing updated information (such as a subscriber’s estimated bill or changes to your app)
  4. Send a pre-formatted email with Gmail to a recipient containing a message and the updated information
  5. Remember to update your Google Sheets spreadsheet each week!

Catalogue customer feedback from social media 🎣

While sending out a periodic survey is helpful in gathering customer feedback, you can’t always guarantee that customers are going to respond to these surveys. So how do you collect feedback without needing to ask?

Easy. Just use the feedback they’re already leaving you on social media.

Zapier makes it easy to track your mentions all across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms. Rather than keeping up with all of your mentions manually, you can send these mentions to a Google spreadsheet and go through the feedback at your leisure.

How to collect customer feedback from social media using Zapier:

  1. Connect a social media account to Google Sheets in a new Zap
  2. Set the Zap to run every time your social media handle (e.g., “@your_company”)
  3. Copy the contents of the social media post containing your handle to a row in Google Sheets
  4. Read the comments on your free time and aggregate the feedback into actionable changes in your content strategy

Need help to create Zaps for your content planning goals?

The experts at Luhhu have years of experience creating personalised Zaps in Zapier. For advice, insights and inspiration, reach out to our staff any day of the week. 



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