Automating inconvenient manual tasks is the great purpose of technology. You can fill a bottle of water under a tap because at some point someone got tired of having to fetch water from the nearest well and automated the transportation of this important liquid. Can you imagine a life without a tap? Would you have the time to do all the cool things you do during the day if, whenever you wanted water, you had to take a bucket to some well and fetch it?
Work smarter, not harder. – Allan F. Mogensen
Well, if you are one of us, you probably already automate several of your daily tasks at work to become more productive. To automate communication with your team, you might use Slack, Asana or Trello. To automate your manual tasks with emails, you probably use Hubspot. To store and organize your files, you might use Google Drive or Dropbox. And for Content Marketing, you probably already use Contentools.
And it’s by looking at your productivity challenges that our product team continually creates new functions and enables numerous integrations. In fact, the latest one was with Hubspot – it is now possible to automatically publish articles on Hubspot blogs from Contentools just like you already do with WordPress. In addition to this continuous improvement aimed at helping you work less and better within Contentools, we also learn some hacks from time to time. And Zapier is one of the coolest hacks we got lately. You can use Zapier for free to connect Contentools to any other app that is also on Zapier (like Slack, Google Drive and so on).
Check out now some easy, simple and very useful zaps that will automate your day to day even more!
Zaps for idea suggestions
You’ve already read here on our blog about the importance of engaging your entire team in creating content ideas. Now we have brought you a simple way to put it into practice. What you probably need to get your team involved even more in your brainstorming is an easy way for them to contribute that is organized at the same time. But how to set that up? Each team member could access Contentools and enter the platform to register their idea. But there is a way to do just that without having to be a Contentools user.
In fact, there is more than one way to do this, see:
You and your team already use Slack to organize your internal communication, don’t you? Is your whole team in it? Great! So you can use a Slack channel to register any content ideas that come up directly in you content project, inside Contentools.
Is your entire team comfortable with using e-mail for communication? So this zap is for you. How about connecting your Gmail to Contentools?
Yes, you can create a zap so that every time someone wants to suggest an idea, that person can simply send you an email.
You can also automate the creation of ideas through a Google Form. That means you can democratize the creation of content ideas in a simple and organized way!
For example, let’s say you want to hear more of what your sellers, consultants, or resellers would like to see on your blog. To ask them to create ideas on the platform, you would have to ask each one to create your user, right? Yes, but that could be a deterrent to many of them, and you would probably have a very low engagement.
How can you act to avoid this? It’s simple! You can create a simple Google Form that has the question “What question would you like our experts to answer on our blog?”. And then, just send the Google Form link and wait for those your contacts to respond. As they respond, new content ideas will be created directly in your Content Marketing project on Contentools and you can evaluate them, complement the briefing, and send them to production!
Using this function is the same as linking Google Forms to Contentools: the convenience of being able to engage people from outside the organization in collaboration with content ideas. Having ideas from other parties can generate incredible insights and enrich your blog. Plus, it keeps you and the Marketing team from getting stuck in their own bubbles. Test around and then tell us how it went!
Well, now you can also use it to submit articles you want to rely on directly to your list of ideas! That is, the process has also become simpler for your own brainstorming and you will never miss a good idea.
Zaps for content production
Creating content will also get easier with some zaps. Our main example here is using Google Sheets, but the truth is that all of the above idea creation zaps can also be applied to content creation. My recommendation is that for the content creation step, you do not leave the zap so accessible, or it may end up with a list of content in production growing wildly!
I suggest that the zap you make between an external medium and the content production screen is kept internally and that it is only applied to facilitate the ‘transport’ of ideas that have already been approved for the production stage. Here is an example of this:
Google Sheets <> Contentools: Start multiple content at once from a spreadsheet
Have you just joined Contentools and are you having multiple content ideas already approved to be produced? Typically, the creation of each new content piece has to be done one content at a time. That would make your process a bit tiresome, wouldn’t it? You could easily end up losing a whole morning of work to do that.
So, how about uploading content ideas from a spreadsheet within Google Sheets directly to Contentools? Yeah! You can assemble the entire list of ideas you want to put into production in Contentools and push a button to see everything created automatically!
Zaps for content publishing
Is your content ready? It’s time to publish it! If you have a blog in WordPress or Hubspot, you know that you can simply click publish directly from Contentools and your articles automatically go online. However, if you’re among the small percentage of people who use other less conventional blog structures, you’re probably copying content from Contentools and pasting into your chosen CMS.
Well, I’ve got good news for you: there is no longer need to do that: you can now connect your blog and Contentools through Zapier!
Contentools <> Contentful: Publish content in a CMS
If you use Contentful as CMS, you can create a Zap between Contentools and Contentful. This means that whenever you approve an article and submit it for publication, it will be posted directly to your blog within Contentful.
Contentools <> Medium: send your article directly to Medium
If you use Medium as a platform for publishing and distributing articles, we have a zap for you as well. You can automatically publish from Contentools to your Medium account.
By the way, our Data Scientist, Davi Candido, was the first to mention this possibility and to detail the step by step how to do! Check it out here!
Zaps for content distribution
You already know, but it’s always worth repeating: it’s no use making amazing content if you do not take the time to distribute it well! And distributing can be a rather boring task. If you’re like me and can’t wait to finish one thing and to start another, you probably also have difficulty with content distribution. After all, there is so much interesting content to create… it would be great if the content that has already been published could simply be distributed by itself, right?
Unfortunately, that still does not happen… but there are some shortcuts available. Using Contentools you can already set up distribution on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn in two ways:
- Social post: you can create each post and choose in which social network you want to publish;
- Social chain: You can set up all the shares of the article directly from the production screen (I usually do this and I already set the sharing dates 45 days in advance).
But there are still other ways to distribute content, so for these others you can make a zap! See also:
Contentools <> Pinterest: create pins for your post automatically
Here’s another detail that will make your life easier: pin content automatically on Pinterest. Do you already use such social network for content distribution? Well, if you still do not consider it important, I suggest you start testing it.
Here at Contentools, Pinterest accounts for 27% of all traffic coming from social networks. Needless to say, we pin absolutely everything that is possible according to the keywords that interest us – and you probably should do the same.
Did you know that another way to distribute content is through your own company colleagues? Well, they are in direct contact with leads, customers and generally have a well-qualified audience in their own profiles of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for example. So, how about you let them know what’s new on your blog firsthand? You can do that automatically by making a zap between Contentools and Slack!
Just set the channel where you want the content to be shared whenever it’s published and sit back! Your colleagues can copy the link from there and share it on your social networks or send it directly to leads and customers via email.
Zaps for Content Backup
In addition to creating content and posting it, you probably keep a backup of your articles. After all, a backup is always a good way to prevent from an unpredictable catastrophe. In order to do that, you can create a zap so that the backup goes directly to your Dropbox or to your Google Drive (or both).
Contentools <> Dropbox: Automatically back up all your published content
Do you already use Dropbox to keep all your documents in the cloud and within easy reach of your entire team? So it’s time to create a folder in there to store all the content that has been approved and published! So if anything happens to your blog, you have everything archived in the cloud.
Contentools <> Drive: Automatically back up all of your published content
If you prefer to use Google Drive, zap Contentools and Google Drive! In this case, the same thing happens: all your content will automatically be directed to a folder in your Drive once it’s published!
How to Create any Zap
Want to start zaping right now? Follow these simple steps:
- Go to www.zapier.com;
- Create your own account (it’s free and you can even sign up with your Google or Facebook account!);
- Choose the tools you want them to connect (eg Contentools and Slack);
- Choose how you want these tools to zap – decide on what you want to automate;
- Follow the footsteps of Zapier;
Now it’s your turn!
Like any sort of adaptation, using new functions and putting hacks into practice may seem unnecessary at first. After all, if the well is right there, why not to bring an empty bucket over there and come back with it full? For those who are used to investing their time in mundane tasks, any technology may sound too disruptive – which causes it to be left in the foreground.
“When it’s time, I’ll take a look at this.”
Well, if you still think like that, I have bad news: it will keep you away from being productive.
If you never pause for a minute and study your process in order to apply an improvement that will help you save your time, the accumulation of simple tasks will continue to overwhelm you with things to do. To prevent this from happening, how about apply these hacks and improve your experience in Contentools right now? You still don’t use Contentools for your Content Marketing team? So the first step is to talk to a consultant and get to know Contentools right now.