7 Content material Automations Utilized by Actual Content material Execs


Content material advertising and marketing can turn into sophisticated and effortful in a short time.

Content material groups must handle ideation, writing, modifying, proofing, publishing, promotion, analytics, and reporting throughout a group of writers, reviewers, and dozens of articles every month. Sensible content material leads discover methods to automate a few of these processes to allow them to deal with what actually issues.

So, to encourage you and present you not solely what’s doable but in addition the form of issues which can be actually price automating, we requested three consultants to share their favourite workflows.

You’ll be able to’t automate the whole lot, however you may automate your complete content material manufacturing workflow.

My interviewees use Airtable as a “central base of operations,” as Tommy Walker places it. A base like that controls the whole lot:

Sample base in Airtable.
Airtable, base view.

The final concept behind that is using triggers and actions. An entire set of a set off and a minimum of one motion is sometimes called a Zap (coined by one of many automation instrument suppliers Zapier).

How automation works: triggers and actions. How automation works: triggers and actions.

All of our consultants have this sort of central base, and I assume it’s onerous to withstand having one when you begin automating issues. So right here’s a type of programs by Eric Doty:

Eric talked about utilizing Ahrefs as his supply of key phrases. If you happen to’re going to do the identical, right here’s a fast tip for you — use automated key phrase clustering proper inside Ahrefs, so that you gained’t must determine it out later on.


Key phrase clustering permits you to group key phrases with the identical intent — and also you’ll come throughout these rather a lot (e.g., “automobile insurance coverage” and “auto insurance coverage)”.

All it is advisable do is click on the Cluster by Mum or dad Matter tab within the Matching phrases report in Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer. You can even export the checklist and use it in Airtable, Notion, or related.

Clustering by Parent Topic in Ahrefs. Clustering by Parent Topic in Ahrefs.

Returning to our central content material base, it’s essential to notice that not everybody might want to go to it often. As Tommy identified, a content material automation system can combine with processes your teammates comply with (and probably even different automation).

For instance, some stakeholders want real-time notifications about standing modifications, whereas others solely require a weekly digest of content material output. Automation handles this excellently.

You can even have individuals fill out types that may feed into system. As an illustration, gross sales group might use a kind like that to request new content material while not having to enter your Airtable setup.

Caitlin confirmed me how she automates assigning duties to 3 varieties of contributors primarily based on the work progress: writers, material knowledgeable reviewers, and editors. All that is to take care of the output of 20 – 30 revealed articles monthly, with out leaving Airtable.

Caitlin was very beneficiant, so that you’re about to see not solely what this workflow does but in addition copy the conditional logic for Airtable and ready-made Zaps!

The entire course of begins when Caitlin assigns the standing of an article to “Writing”.

This triggers an Airtable automation that provides the transient to the author’s Google Sheet. A Zap is then triggered by the brand new row in Google Sheets, which provides the task date and sends an e-mail to the author, notifying them of their new task.

Right here’s what the setup of this half appears like in Airtable:

Automation example: sending the brief to the writer.Automation example: sending the brief to the writer.

When the author finishes their half, Caitlin will get an automatic notification in Slack.

Automated notification in Slack.Automated notification in Slack.

Subsequent, the article goes to the knowledgeable for a evaluate. That is essential for Caitlin’s technique as a result of it enhances the content material with distinctive experience and real-life expertise.

Because of automation, all Caitlin must do is change the standing to “Reviewing”. This provides the article hyperlink, transient, and phrase rely to the reviewer’s Google Sheet.

Automation example: sending the article to the reviewer. Automation example: sending the article to the reviewer.

On high of that, this automation sends an e-mail to the reviewer notifying them of the task. And right here’s the cool half: the e-mail will differ relying on whether or not article is a very new one or a second evaluate. Right here’s how one can set this up in Zapier.

Zapier workflow. Zapier workflow.

When the reviewer is completed, they examine “Finished” and choose a subject in a “Subsequent steps” dropdown of their sheet to replicate whether or not the article is authorized or wants modifications made by the author. Then Caitlin will get a message like this in Slack:

Automated notification in Slack. Automated notification in Slack.

If the author must make modifications, there’s a particular standing for that, too. When Caitlin modifications the standing from “Reviewing” to “Author is updating”, this routinely modifications the standing within the author’s Google Sheet. And to verify the author gained’t miss that standing change, there’s an automatic e-mail notification, too.

Lastly, we’ve the modifying stage. Now Caitlin modifications the standing to “Modifying,” which provides a row within the editor’s Google Sheet, identical to it did for the author and the knowledgeable.

Automation example: sending the article back to the writer for revisions.Automation example: sending the article back to the writer for revisions.

When an article is finished, the editor modifications the standing of their sheet, and provides any feedback in the event that they need to, Caitlin receives this message:

Automated notification in Slack.Automated notification in Slack.

You’ll be able to copy the precise Zaps Caitlin used right here:

The extra you publish, the extra individuals in your group, the extra you’re going to wish any such automation.

First, Eric will present you learn how to arrange Airtable in order that every time a brand new weblog put up is revealed, it triggers an e-mail to the author, a message on Slack, and a standing change in Airtable.

Now, let’s say you’ve a giant content material stock and need to assist different groups entry it to be used in prospect calls or newsletters. You should use one other of Caitlin’s workflows, which provides an AI-generated abstract of all revealed articles to Airtable by way of a Zap.

AI summary embedded into an automation workflow. AI summary embedded into an automation workflow.

If you happen to’re like Eric (and me), you get content material concepts in varied, typically random, conditions, and it’s not at all times fast or simple to drag up your content material dashboard to jot them down. Fortunately, you may arrange a Zap to deal with that, too.

On this instance, Eric explains how he created a nifty workflow to ship content material concepts famous in a Slack channel straight to Airtable.

  1. Eric notes down a key phrase concept in a Slack channel with a predefined hashtag.
  2. A Slack bot confirms including the key phrase to Airtable, appended with a hyperlink to the Airtable base.
  3. Now that the key phrase is within the key phrase checklist, Eric can add search engine marketing information when he’s prepared.

If you happen to’re creating briefs for different individuals or outlines for your self utilizing the identical doc format, again and again, I’m positive you’ll recognize this workflow.

  1. The set off has two circumstances: the subject should attain the “transient wanted” standing and a quick should not have already been created.
  2. The motion: a Google doc is created which acts because the template for the content material transient. The doc already consists of some data from Airtable handed down by way of variables such because the key phrase, subject, and format.

Right here’s inspiration from Tommy Walker, sharing how one can automate podcast manufacturing by connecting just a few totally different instruments to Airtable.

Listed below are the steps:

  1. Tommy sends out an invite to guide a time slot for an episode through Calendly.
  2. When the visitor books a time, this creates a brand new report in Airtable with standing “Booked” and their particulars crammed.
  3. This additionally triggers Google Drive to create a brand new folder and two subfolders inside in (one among them is for the visitor to add their headshot).
  4. Importing a headshot into the folder notifies the designer.
  5. Subsequent, an E mail goes out to guide a precall with the visitor.
  6. Now, Tommy can click on the “Create web page” button proper inside Airtable which creates a web page and a weblog put up in WordPress (how cool is that!).
  7. As soon as the published is full on YouTube, it goes into the RSS feed in Castmagic. This permits Tommy to make use of the instrument to create a transcript and use an AI chatbot on it.
Example of content automation from Tommy Walker. Example of content automation from Tommy Walker.
The tick signal is the button to create a web page in WordPress.

You understand how there’s no notification when somebody uploads a brand new file to Google Drive for you? You continue to must manually notify that individual in regards to the file which feels very guide; it seems like doing the identical factor twice.

Till Google fixes that, Eric will present you learn how to make a Zap to save lots of you time and peace of thoughts. Use this when working with designers, writers, and your video group.

  1. Set off: a contributor drops a file in a delegated folder in Google Drive.
  2. Motion: an e-mail goes out to the Eric with the identify of the contributor and the hyperlink to the file.

I’ve answered a handful of frequent questions for these simply beginning out with content material automation.

What’s the distinction between content material automation and automatic (AI) content material?

It’s simple to confuse these two phrases as a result of they’re fairly related, and one is a subset of the different:

  • Automated content material is generated primarily by AI with out human enter.
  • Content material automation makes use of instruments to streamline content material creation, administration, and distribution.

Thus, you may have content material automation with out automated content material. Furthermore, it’s advisable to not absolutely automate your content material if you wish to rank properly on Google.

Is automating content material good for search engine marketing?

TLDR; if you wish to absolutely automate content material, as in not even take a look at it earlier than publishing, it would more than likely be dangerous for search engine marketing, although Google is just not in opposition to AI content material per se.

Varied search engine marketing experiments and case research have confirmed one factor past doubt: gaming the system can deliver solely short-term positive aspects. Google catches as much as dangerous content material and spam eventually, whether or not that’s automated content material or not. And when this occurs, your site visitors charts will appear to be this:

You could possibly disclose making content material with AI, as Google suggests. However paradoxically, making an attempt to stick to the rules can compromise the consumer expertise (particularly for YMYL subjects). Though customers don’t appear to be in opposition to AI content material generally (research), they’re prone to be cautious about it (research).

Lastly, the content material automation consultants I talked with don’t use AI for content material era. Given their expertise, I wasn’t anticipating a distinct reply. They could use AI for different issues like producing outlines, discovering content material gaps (take a look at our AI Content material Grader), or on the lookout for related subtopics, however not for precise writing.

Is content material automation for all group sizes?

Our consultants agree: large, or small, each group can profit from content material automation.


It’s truthfully for everybody. I take advantage of it for each degree of content material creation — from 10 articles/month to 100. At HealthMatch, we revealed between 150-200 articles monthly, so I in a short time had to determine learn how to use automation to make that scale doable. Sending an e-mail to at least one or two writers per week with new assignments is doable. Sending emails to twenty writers is not.

Caitlin BurnsCaitlin Burns

Moreover, Tommy Walker has a singular tackle this:


The worth proposition for large firms goes to be totally different primarily based on the scale. For greater firms, it’s extra about automating data alternate in order that it occurs successfully and effectively. For small firms, it’s extra about time financial savings.

Tommy WalkerTommy Walker

If you wish to use AI for search engine marketing successfully but safely, we’ve obtained fourteen tried and examined concepts for you.

What are the frequent pitfalls of content material automation?

In line with our consultants, you must be careful for 2 issues.

The primary pitfall is creating infinite loops. That is when a process runs time and again till you max out your automation instrument’s plan. If you happen to’re utilizing Zapier, right here’s learn how to keep away from it.

One other pitfall is automating the whole lot simply because it’s doable.

Comply with Eric’s recommendation: automate duties you’ve dealt with manually just a few instances. Keep away from automating new processes instantly; first, do them manually to see in the event that they’re price automating. In any other case, you may waste time on ineffective workflows or overwhelm your self with too many automated duties.

Remaining ideas

I’d wish to wrap this up with the primary content material automation tip for learners from every of our consultants. All of them appear to agree: good small.

If you happen to assault automation with a selected downside that you simply need to remedy somewhat than making an attempt to turn into a content material automation knowledgeable, you then’ll study by trial and error, you’ll study a lot faster, and also you’ll remedy issues for your self somewhat than studying the summary. So begin small, and begin with a guide course of that you simply do on a regular basis however would like to cease doing.

Eric DotyEric Doty

Bought questions or feedback? Let me know on X or LinkedIn.