Realizing the true potential of Content Marketing involves not just producing high quality content but also ensuring that it gets found by the right people at the right time. Marketers have a delicate choice to make in terms of dividing limited resources between content writing and promotion. Here, we make a distinction between two types of content promotion activities-broadcast and conversational. The former is a unidirectional information push while the latter refers to creating conversations with prospects and peers. While technology may still be some distance when it comes to automating bi-directional communications (think artificial intelligence applied to content promotion), the tools’ landscape is fairly mature when it comes to automating broadcast promotion activities. While there can never be a one-size-fits-all solution, we argue that Marketers should look to leverage technology to automate broadcast promotion to the extent possible while focusing more on improving content quality and generating brand engagement through social media communication.
In this article, we outline 3 tools that can be used to implement broadcast promotions in the form content auto-promote features.
As Content Marketers, we want the ability to automatically post links to both organic, and curated content assets to various Social Medial profiles. Most Social Media Management tools allow the ability to manually create social messages and then either queue them for scheduled posting or publish immediately. Our consideration around auto-promote is different in the sense that we are looking for a capability to automatically generate and promote social messages from our repository of organic content assets and also from our curated lists. We are looking to eliminate the need to have to manually make Calendar entries for social media promotions. Further, we need to be able to do this not just with future content but also content that has been already created and promoted once.
The discussion below evaluates these tools with specific reference to this requirement.
This is easily the proverbial elephant in the room. It is one of the most widely used tools in the market and comes with a long laundry list of features that includes simplifying content curation through to automated posting and social media monitoring. On the target side, the tool offers functionality to directly share posts on leading platforms such as Facebook, Twitter Linkedin, and YouTube. On the source side and from an automation point of view, it provides a web services based integration to its publishing API which could be used to push out new content from WordPress or other CMS into Hootsuite. Using this integration, users can setup automated and scheduled postings to their preferred social channels as soon as posts are created in WordPress instead of having to manually setup promotion tasks via Calendar entries. The most effective posting timeline is unique for every brand on every social channel and using the Hootsuite REST API, users could easily optimize content publishing timelines to individual platforms.
This is another popular content auto-promote tool that integrates with most major social media platforms such as Facebook (both page and profile), Linekdin, Twitter, G+, You Tube, Pininterest, Instagram etc. As with Hootsuite, the tool integrates seamlessly with CMS platforms like WordPress and thereby allowing users to automate content posting without manual intervention. What makes Buffer stand out though is its Content suggestion tool that allows Marketers to build a high quality curated content inventory for multiple content topics and then automatically pipe it to selected social profiles using manual/scheduled delivery modes. With the cost of creating high quality organic content being multiple times higher than that of using curated content, Buffer can be a great tool for Marketers looking to maintain a healthy social media publication schedule but without the resources to create organic content at scale.
Known for connecting various apps and automating workflows, Zapier can hugely simplify automated content promotion if you have some in-house coding expertise. Out-of-the-box, Zapier provides a number of integrations with WordPress (e.g. automated posting to Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin). Basic integrations that post your new WordPress posts in real-time to these platforms can be done without coding expertise. However, setting up scheduled posts may be a little trickier to implement without developer support. More importantly, Zapier is more of a middleware and is not suited from a unified analytics point of view whereby you would like to be able to monitor content performance from across platforms with pre-built dashboards.
Auto-promoting content is a critical capability for any Content Marketing team looking to use Social channels for organic content promotion. Full-fledged Content Marketing Platforms typically provide capabilities (either native or using API) to push content out to social universe. Even without the budgets to afford these enterprise software tools though, Marketers can easily stich up effective integrations that significantly improve productivity and allow Marketing talent to be instead deployed for creating engagement and meaningful bi-directional conversations.