Content automation — the what, why, and how

Illustration of content automation

Many content marketers face similar problems. You don’t have enough time to devote to your marketing efforts — or you’re so busy generating content that you neglect to measure its actual performance. You know there must be a more efficient way but don’t know where to start. The answer is content automation.

You may have heard of content automation, but it can be a somewhat vague term. This article will give you a clear understanding of what it means, what it does for content, and how it can boost your own marketing campaigns.

In this guide to content automation, you’ll learn:

What content automation is

Content automation refers to the tools and processes that perform any function in the content lifecycle while requiring minimal human input. These tools are not meant to make humans obsolete. Instead, they expand opportunities for your team’s specialized, creative outputs.

These enhanced opportunities make content automation particularly relevant to content marketing professionals. Successful content marketing requires targeted engagement across a wide variety of channels. This means that content must be continuously generated, frequently updated, and consistently effective. Automating these processes saves both time and money — while amplifying and replicating your very best content.

What content automation does

Content automation has the potential to be a powerful tool for marketers in many different situations. Let’s take a look at some of its features.

Topic identification

Automating topic identification utilizes natural language processing (NLP) technology. This is a branch of artificial intelligence (AI) that allows computers to understand and contextualize written and spoken language. Content automation tools analyze related words to identify the most relevant and best-performing topics.

Content generation

NLP is also used to generate automated content. This is the same technology that powers the now-familiar word prediction feature in most word processors. Full-scale content generation programs take a list of key words and phrases to produce original, comprehensible text. The most advanced tools can even create sound files or images based only on simple text inputs.

Content personalization

Automating personalized content refers to much more than just content composition. Machine learning applied in advanced automation tools like Adobe Experience Manager accounts for additional considerations — like the best time of day for readers to engage with content pieces or how customers interact with your content across all channels.

User engagement and tracking

Tracking user engagement using content automation tools keeps you from overwhelming customers with too much of the same thing. Scale your marketing efforts while simultaneously making them more human. Track engagement based on key personal data points like time zone, gender, or age to engage with customers one-on-one — and at scale.

Customer experience

Automation improves the customer experience in more ways than personalization only. They’ll get faster answers to questions or concerns. And they’ll have more positive brand interactions, which deepens brand loyalty.

Social media coordination

Social media marketing requires so much more than just posting content. But tasks like replying to messages, coordinating content across platforms, or tracking user behavior within trending topics can all be automated. This not only saves you time — it also increases online interaction and improves brand consistency.

Bulk email marketing

Diversify your marketing efforts while still saving time. Automated email marketing targets users based on customized demographics. Drive revenue by sending content to users who want to receive it. Use AI tools and client data to send customers consistent, scalable communication that is still personalized.

Proofreading and editing

Using AI automation to proofread content allows writers and editors to focus more of their time on specialized tasks. NLP technology can scan text for grammatical errors, as well as analyze its style and tone, accounting for brand voice, message, and content goals.

Lead nurturing and scoring

Work in tandem with your sales team to implement automated lead scoring algorithms. Move prospects more effectively through your sales and marketing funnels. Increase the efficiency of your internal processes and boost brand engagement simultaneously.

Audience building and segmentation

Automated AI functionality allows you to segment your data. You can analyze your customers based on levels of engagement, age, or other demographics — or discover trends in customer behavior and develop content accordingly.

Performance analytics

Automation removes any guesswork from performance evaluation. Get real numbers on every piece of content, every time. Measure performance by engagement, sales, ROI, and more. Be confident in your content, knowing it will work — with the numbers to prove it.

The benefits of content automation

The value of content marketing automation is as far-reaching as your content itself and includes practical, technical, and less-tangible benefits.

Efficiency improvements

Automation allows you to perform essential tasks faster. It saves time day-to-day but also on long-term initiatives. By delegating routine tasks to AI tools, it frees up team members to do the work of planning, strategizing, and executing initiatives.

Cost savings

Efficiency and cost savings go hand in hand. Content automation means smaller, more specialized teams. It means avoiding sunk costs by only investing in content and campaigns with data-backed projections for success.

Increased creativity

Content automation puts the focus back on why you hired your creatives in the first place. Repetition in the workplace can cause stress and stifle creativity. Automating those tasks will lower stress and free up your team’s time, energy, and bandwidth for specialized tasks that only they can do.

Better workflows

Specialized task fulfillment leads to workflow improvements. Automation creates time and space for holistic analysis — of content as well as processes. Elevate your team’s productivity and internal experience by using automation to streamline workflow processes.

Consistency in task fulfillment

Consistency is a major contributor to customer satisfaction. Implementing automation in the right places can eliminate simple but costly human errors in key processes. Reduce waste — including wasted time, money, and product — and boost customer satisfaction through consistent task fulfillment.

Content automation in action

With all the options out there for content automation tools, it can be difficult to find the best one. Many companies have found the robust functionality of Adobe Marketo Engage to be particularly beneficial. Here are just a few real-world examples of how marketing teams are profiting from implementing this technology.

Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab content automation

Schwab Advisor Services utilized Adobe Marketo Engage to develop an automated nine-point lead nurture program. The company used tracking capabilities in Marketo Engage to measure the program’s direct benefit. The result was an additional $1.1 billion in the sales pipeline and $100 million of new, closed-deal assets under management.

Previously, Schwab’s marketing platform did not have the capacity to track campaign effectiveness or lead progression. Now, with marketing automation from Marketo Engage, teams can view performance in real time. Schwab reports a 500% increase in customer engagement due to these automations. In addition, its marketing team has become specialized in this cutting-edge technology — boosting employee morale and engagement through opportunities for continued learning and development.

Egencia

Egencia content automation

As the corporate travel arm of Expedia, Egencia provides inherently personalized services. On the surface it may not seem to have much opportunity for automation. But the company identified a specific need and found the solution in Marketo Engage.

Egencia’s marketing team was frustrated by consistent inefficiencies. One example was with bulk email campaigns. Even developing and delivering the messaging was costly — and that was without any analytics. Using automated email messaging in Marketo Engage has saved Egencia significant time and money. And tracking performance means teams now receive accurate feedback on how to ensure their content is personal and effective.

Seattle Storm

Seattle storm content automation

The WNBA’s Seattle Storm found solutions in the content automation capabilities in Marketo Engage that helped it save big by moving away from paid advertising campaigns. Not only did the Storm save money — the franchise increased ticket sales and established the year-round customer interaction it had always wanted.

The rising costs of advertising and a small operating budget led the marketing team to consider automation. Specifically, it implemented audience segmentation to target customers on a personalized level and through new digital channels. And customers have responded — the Storm now claims a season ticket renewal rate of 86% that is projected to keep growing.

Leadspace

Leadspace content automation

Emerging from its initial growth phase as a startup, Leadspace had a need to bolster and enlarge its marketing processes. Being in the marketing industry itself, it was important that the company’s internal systems matched the quality and consistency provided to its customers.

Leadspace utilized Marketo Engage to enable automated performance tracking, data analytics, and customer engagement. Automated qualified leads have increased by 337% — and the sales and marketing teams are now operating under a unified, effective platform and strategy.

Getting started with content automation

Content automation tools can be applied to optimize unique processes and systems for any marketing team. Organizations all over the world are automating everything from user engagement to lead nurturing, bulk email marketing campaigns to advanced audience segmentation.

Successful content marketing requires content to be continuously generated, frequently updated, and consistently effective. Automating content marketing processes saves both time and money — while amplifying and replicating your very best work.

The benefits multiply across teams. Content automation saves sales and marketing departments significant time and money. It improves workflows, increases creativity, and fosters heightened professional human output. Identify what should be automated within your own organization to enhance human specialization and maximize ROI.

Adobe Marketo Engage is an industry-leading tool in marketing content automation. It offers an all-in-one solution for lead management, customer experience personalization, performance analysis, and more. And its functionality scales to meet the needs of any organization.

Watch this video or sign up and receive a full product tour to learn more about Marketo Engage.

Marketo Engage is powered by Adobe Sensei — a uniquely dynamic machine learning and AI technology. Adobe Sensei can automate the most routine or complex tasks, bringing you the benefits of automation at any level of operation.

Watch the Adobe Sensei overview video to find out more.