In 1996, Bill Gates declared that “content is king.” Over 20 years later, marketers continue to adhere to his prophetic statement.

Why is content still king?

Is it because 93% of B2B marketers use content marketing? Yes.

Is it because content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing, and generates 3x as many leads, according to DemandMetric? Absolutely.

However, King Content isn’t always perfect. In fact, Havas Group conducted a 10-year study looking at the performance of top brands vs. the competition. The Meaningful Brands study found that content produced by most brands is so underperforming that its impact on business is negligible.

84% of consumers are expecting brands to create content, yet 60% of the content created by leading brands is low-quality, irrelevant, or un-actionable. That means that most brands are wasting money.

The meaningful brands who create excellent content are outperforming the market by 206%. Everyone else’s content is seen as clutter by consumers.

The 2017 State of Inbound Report found that 63% of marketers believe generating traffic and leads to be their primary challenge. How is it possible to beat the high-performers?

If creating quality content being the issue, then marketing automation is the solution. It reduces manual effort while simultaneously improving effectiveness. This gives marketers more time in the day to create knockout content, plus the tools to deliver that content with the greatest effect.

This blog will detail how to improve the reach and impact of your content marketing with marketing automation. From list building to engagement to lead generation, we’ll discuss key ways to enhance your brand’s content marketing strategy.

Let’s look at 3 essential tips for automating your content marketing.

#1 Notify Subscribers of Helpful Content With Email

I’m going to make a leap here: most likely when you hear the word “content,” the first thing that comes to your mind is blogging.

The blog is the hub of your content marketing strategy because it’s where consumers come to learn about your product or service.

Studies show that 70-80% of today’s sophisticated consumers ignore ads. Instead, they seek out organic content from trustworthy sources, pre-purchase.

Consider that companies that blog receive 55% more website visitors. B2B companies that blog more than 4x a week see the biggest increase in traffic and leads. Inbound marketing success hinges upon offering consistently amazing content.

For example, let’s say your company sells lighting solutions. You create content that educates consumers, differentiates your products, and helps readers envision your product in their home. Providing great images, helpful installation tips, plus examples of remodels with testimonials is essential to establishing a relationship that leads to a sale.

These resources you’ve created will only benefit your audience if they’re made aware they exist. Alert subscribers to each new blog post to maximize the impact of your assets and the ROI of your content marketing. Delivering custom pre-made emails to your audience’s inbox with a link to each published post is sure to improve readership.

Elevate this tactic by automating email newsletters to highlight a monthly or weekly content roundup. Above we see the New Yorker’s weekly email newsletter sent to subscribers that encourages them to read the latest essays on-site.

Automating email notifications is a surefire way to drive traffic to your blog and engage email subscribers.

#2 Empower Lead Gen with Gated Content

To gate or not to gate? That is the question facing many content marketers.

Gated content requires the reader to fill out a form before gaining access. Once the name and email have been entered, the resource is available for download. But it’s tough to know when to put up that form.

Pro Tip: Gating works best with higher level content assets like lengthy guides or industry white papers.

Why? Because only quality leads will take the time to access the information.

The Wistia guide to video marketing (shown above) is sure to return interested leads because only someone in line to use video services will watch this specific and in-depth content.

Leverage your automation to target these gated leads with an email nurturing campaign. Once you establish triggers in your automation workflow, the drip campaign sends the appropriate behavioral emails to subscribers.

For example, if the subscriber didn’t open the first email with the guide inside, they’ll receive a second email reminding them to read. But if the subscriber did read, they’ll receive the next complimentary piece of content to bring them closer to a buying decision. When nurturing leads, triggered email content is hugely powerful.

Dynamic behavioral emails are crucial for delivering key pieces of information at the right time of the buying process. Sending a stream of targeted and relevant content keeps leads engaged while continuously demonstrating your brand’s authority in your space.

#3 Use Custom Forms to Grow Your Email List

Content marketing needs an audience. A robust email list is your personal community that’s ready to read, share, and convert based upon what you deliver.

According to Monetate via CampaignMonitor, email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel. To increase your conversions, create multiple ways for prospects to sign up for your list.

Marketing automation platforms include a variety of custom form builders and pop-up templates to make this easy. Choose the perfectly actionable CTA button color, shape, and text for your brand to drive conversions.

Once the prospect signs up, their information is added to your designated list in the database. Autocomplete forms are ideal for reducing friction at signup and increasing conversions.

You can also add subscribe buttons to your homepage instead of using just pop-ups. These buttons can sit anywhere on your site, and work especially well when served after blog posts. Keep these basic, as we see in the example above. Complicated form-fills create friction that reduces conversions and diminishes customer experience.

Automation platforms give you all the necessary tools to grow and reach your email list.

Content Complete

Marketers keen to distinguish their content as the best increasingly use marketing automation solutions. Automation streamlines the creation process to allow for better content, then amplifies the reach and impact of marketing materials.

To grow your email list most effectively, build custom signup forms with conversion-ready CTAs from within your automation. Be sure to update your subscriber when new content is ready, as this will increase engagement, improve your brand’s authority in the market, and facilitate sales. Then accelerate lead generation efforts by “gating” your best content to realize qualified leads.

Combining these three automation tactics ensures your outstanding content constantly drives maximum results.

Koertni Adams