automating content creation

The ultimate guide to automating content creation

Table of Contents

TL;DR: Automating content creation is not a walk in the park, but it is doable if you rely on the right tools. Essentially, it comes down to delegating mundane tasks to software or automating parts of the content creation process so that you can use your time more wisely. It’s important to mention that content goes beyond just text but covers formats such as images and video content as well.

Automating content creation has become a hot topic lately, especially in the marketing industry. You can see people on LinkedIn bragging about how much faster they are moving forward by using AI copywriting software. Then there are programmatic SEO strategies, advanced content procedures that rely on AI, and tools that automatically populate content briefs based on minimum human input.

I have honestly been fascinated by what we can delegate to different tools and how much free time it gives us as creative beings. I mean, if there’s an easier way to do it, why wouldn’t you take advantage of it?

Since I co-founded Plainly, one of the best automation video software on the market, I have become interested in automating content creation and seeing how far you can go with the help of the right tech stack. This is why I decided to create the ultimate guide to automating content creation and share what I’ve learned so far. 

Plainly is a video automation software that holds different pieces of your AI toolbox together. Intrigued? Book a 15-min demo to see what it’s all about.

What does automating content creation mean?

Automating content creation means using AI tools to partially or fully create your content— whether it’s textual, visual, or video content. In any case, these tools require some type of human input so that they can generate texts, images, or videos that you envisioned.

automated content creation pipeline

Just to refrain on that part, contrary to popular opinion, automating content creation doesn’t mean you’re automating exclusively blog articles or any smaller chunk of copy. Content comes in different formats and there are ways you can automate every single one of them.

What are the benefits of automating content creation?  

The most obvious advantage of automating content creation is the boost in productivity, ability to scale, and saving time. But let’s look at some examples of different content formats to paint a clearer picture.

Content formatWhat does automating content creation look like in this case?The benefits of automating content creation
TextYou can use AI copywriting tools and let the machine generate short-form or long-form text based on your input. You can determine the tone, choose a use case, and insert a keyword and a title for your written content. The tool generates text for you. Almost like magic.I deliberately wrote “almost” like magic because you do need to do some post-editing. Depending on your chosen tool, it might require more or less precise input to hit the quality bar you’re aiming for. But even then, it’s almost never good to ship as soon as the text is done. Still, the benefit is obvious: you get the heavy lifting done by the tool and you’re left with doing the final touches.
ImageOpen AI systems that render images have exploded in the past few months, but there are also more specialized paid software that can help you automate visual content. In any case, based on your input, these tools render unique images you can use for social campaigns, and marketing materials, merchandise, or whatever you want.Instead of briefing your designer, you can brief a tool. It’s that simple. Just describe to it what you want in as many details as possible, and it will render the image that you want. Direct benefits include cost efficiency, the ability to scale fast, and having more creative control over the output. 
VideoIf you have one video template and you want to render thousands of video variations, it’s impossible to do it manually. Well, at least not in a reasonable amount of time. Automating content creation in this case means using video automation software that will help you swap layers and certain elements (e.g. text, images, video, colors, fonts), and automatically render new video versions.The greatest benefit of automating video creation comes down to saving time and scaling production. At Plainly, we calculated that automating creative production can save up to 85% of your time. That’s almost 7 hours you can use on something else in your regular workday.

What are the best practices and use cases for automating textual content creation?

Content marketers who are used to wearing multiple hats are desperately trying to scale content creation without negatively impacting its quality. And that’s hard. Like, really hard. I spoke to three different content marketers from my network who all hold different job positions. 

One is a Head of Marketing but doesn’t have an effective team, only an intern, so it’s more of a fancy title than anything else. He has to do a lot and is left to his own devices.

The other is a Content Lead who has a Content Writer on her team but also puts up with a lot of pressure from the management to increase content velocity.

Last but not least, we have a Content Marketer who covers every possible marketing channel because it’s “somehow related to content” (quoting their management here).

It’s not that difficult to notice that all three of these profiles have something in common: the lack of resources.

So let’s go over some of the best practices and learnings we discovered on our four-way call together when it comes to using AI copywriting software:

  • There will be a learning curve and you cannot avoid it
  • Include the pricing of the tool into your marketing budget to get buy-in in advance
  • Depending on your chosen tool, count on it taking care of 50-70% of the content efforts (depending on the use case) and you doing post-editing to make it to 100%
  • The more precise you are with the input, the better results you’ll get
  • As a general rule, automating textual content creation works better for smaller chunks of texts (e.g. ad copy, product descriptions, short social media posts)
Did you know? AI copywriting software can help you start your own business. Check out my article on three creative ideas for starting an AI business.

What are some of the best AI copywriting software for automating content creation?

The best AI copywriting software for automating content creation are Xanevo, Jasper.ai, Hypothenuse.ai, and Rytr.  

automated text creation tools

What are the best practices for automating SEO content creation?

When it comes to automating SEO content creation, don’t believe what the marketing “gurus” are saying. There is no way you can get a decent long-form article written by AI software that’s optimized both for search engines AND for human readers. No one can convince me of that. I’ve tested it myself, I’ve done my research, I talked to people who have tried it, and it’s simply not true. Period.

What you can automate (sort of) is the creation of SEO content briefs for writers. With a solid sense of content strategy and a good team of writers, these types of tools can help you scale your content production significantly.

I’m talking about tools such as Clearscope and Surfer SEO. There are others similar to these two, you can do a quick Google search to find alternatives, but I’m just sharing what I tested and what I know is good.

Both Clearscope and Surfer SEO allow you to insert relevant keywords and then they suggest a ton of semantically similar keywords, an article outline, and an SEO scoring system for the writer. I know that Clearscope also works as an add-on in Google Docs, which is really convenient for the writer. As the writer optimizes the content, the SEO grade goes from F to A+++, or whatever the end result turns out to be.

These tools are incredibly effective for programmatic SEO which essentially refers to publishing uniform landing pages on a large scale. Think of it as having a clear template you fill in and just mass-producing it and publishing it across your website to capture relevant keywords.

What are the best practices and use cases for automating image content creation?

Tools that enable automatic image content creation are usually API-based. When talking about content automation tools for images, I’ll mention Bannerbear because I personally tested it and I think it does a really good job of creating social media visuals, ad banners, dynamic images for emails, and more.

Bannerbear is a tool that helps you auto-generate images, but it’s designed with collaboration in mind which is awesome. This means it’s perfect for small marketing teams. Let’s say you have a social media team and your content team, and they need to sync about merging text and visuals for several different social campaigns. Maybe you’re targeting three customer segments or doing some A/B testing, or whatever.

bannerbear templates

You can automatically create any of these (and many more) templates on Bannerbear

This tool is based on the same principle as Plainly: you can use it via API or by relying on no-code tools. Here’s how you can use it:

  • Create a branded template with multiple layers
  • Let the tool push data from your selected source (e.g. Airtable) into a graphical template
  • Create different variations of your image that you can use for various purposes


It sounds more complicated than it really is. There’re unlimited templates available, so you don’t have to start from scratch. And the tool is quite intuitive which, combined with great customer support, really sets you up for success.

Another way you can automate image content creation is by using open AI image rendering tools such as DALL-E, Stable Diffusion, or Midjourney (still in beta).

What are the best practices for automating video content creation? 

Automating video creation has so many use cases. Personally, as a co-founder of Plainly, I still discover new ways you can incorporate it into your business practices.

For example, you can use it for repurposing video content, creating custom video workflows, automating blog posts into videos, and so much more.    

The power of video as a format has been widely recognized but I’ve noticed it has often been disregarded as “too much of a hassle”. There are still people that believe you need an entire sound-proof studio to make high-quality videos. The truth is, you can do so much without even recording yourself.

There are many stock video websites such as Artlist, Videvo, and even Pixabay which is best known for its stock photography. The same goes for websites that offer royalty-free music. There’s so much you can do simply by relying on digital assets that are just a few clicks away. And with creative production automation, you can save up to 85% of your time which never ceases to amaze me.

Did you know? Automating video creation translates to business value. One of Plainly’s customers managed to significantly decrease CPC for their TikTok ads and effectively repurpose content for Instagram as well.

Automating video content is a lot simpler than it may seem at first glance. With Plainly, it all happens in just three steps:

  • Create a video template in After Effects or let us know if you need help with creating one
  • Connect the video template to Plainly and connect your data source, be it a simple spreadsheet or Airtable (you can also do this via API)
  • Mark which layers and elements you want to change and let Plainly render dozens of different videos for you


And that’s about it. You don’t have to do anything manually except for giving input to the software so that it knows what you want to achieve.

Each link appearing on the right is a newly created video

What are some of the use cases for automating video creation?

When talking to marketers and business owners who are still trying to figure out how to leverage the power of video and scale their production, I noticed there’s a gap in industry conversations about the vast possibilities of video. I think it’s obvious I strongly advocate for the video format, but that’s only because I saw what it can do.

Video can captivate people, it helps you connect with your audience, and it crushes the fallacy of humans having short attention spans. Your potential buyers don’t have short attention spans, you’re just not serving them anything that resonates with them deep enough.

That brings me to my next point.

1. Video automation for a personal touch

You can automatically personalize videos with personalized video software which is one of the main use cases. 

Personalized video marketing is all about making every bit of your marketing narrative about THEM—your current and potential customers. By using the three steps I’ve outlined in the previous segment, you can do something that sounds like a paradox at first, but is nonetheless true: personalize at scale.

Personalized videos containing the name and the profile picture of the user

I’ve gathered seven personalized video marketing examples that rely on automation just to get you an idea of what’s possible. And it works for every single industry: events, sports, travel, movie and media, you name it.

2. Video automation for repurposing existing formats into video

Ask any smart marketer and you’ll get the same answer: content repurposing is the key to getting your message through to different people and on different platforms. You can turn news articles into videos, automate product demos, and much more. The sky is the limit.

Did you know? We recently got a client called Eterlast that uses Plainly to automate the creation of NFTs for the world’s first Global Boxing Platform.

3. Video automation for branded customer testimonials

If I would have to rank the value of different customer testimonials, it would probably go something like this:

  1. Testimonial in form of a text quote
  2. Text with a photo of the customer
  3. Text with a photo of the customer + visuals (e.g. number of stars given by the customer)
  4. Video testimonial recorded by a customer via testimonial app
  5. Custom recorded video testimonial on-site
  6. Automated video testimonials


If you want a video testimonial that’s out of this world when it comes to quality, you would probably choose option number 5. But can you really scale this type of production?

Let’s say you want to publish a case study coupled with a video testimonial every other week. Does your company honestly have the budget to fly you out on-site to the customer’s headquarters just so that you can interview them?

I’m guessing not, otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading an article about automating content creation. Ha!

This is why I believe automated video testimonials are the best possible alternative. In this case, you would create a branded template and the customer would record a selfie video. Today’s smartphone cameras are good enough to capture great quality and you can overcome the rawness of the video by branding it with your colors and text so that it looks more professional. Piece of cake, plus it’s scalable.

4. Video automation for localization

Let’s say you’re expanding internationally. First of all, kudos to you, that’s a brave step and as a fellow entrepreneur, I wish you all the luck in the world. So here’s how you can automate video content creation to adapt your content for other markets. It’s quite simple.

Once you create a video template, you can mark the elements you want to swap in the later versions of your video and create a nice spreadsheet that gathers all the data. For example, you could change the video playing in the background so that it better resonates with your target locale, insert a different flag, and of course—change the language. 

My advice would be to work with a localization team, cultural consultant, or native speaker, just to make sure your content is on point. And then, voilà—Plainly or your other video automation software of choice renders dozens of videos for your international customers.

5. Video automation for onboarding new customers

Have you ever started using new software and just wanted to shoot yourself in the face because the onboarding experience was so bad? We’ve all been there, I think. There is a learning curve to every tool out there, but without in-app hints or an onboarding checklist, you can experience user drop offs.

So what’s a good retention tactic? That’s right, focus on them. Low-touch onboarding in SaaS doesn’t have to be boring and you can even personalize it with video automation.

Let’s say you have an onboarding video that explains the tool on a high level. Imagine if you had the input from the customer in advance, just like a random questionnaire or a form that collects their name, favorite color, or their most likable animal from the drop-down menu.

personalized onboarding screenshot

You can display action-triggered personalized support videos to your users

You can then incorporate these elements into their onboarding video, create a little animal mascot that would direct their clicks within the software, and address them directly by their name. I guarantee that conversions will hit through the roof.

Did you know? The above-mentioned five use cases are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the possibilities of automating video content creation. Schedule a 15-min demo with me to show you what Plainly can do for your business.

How does Plainly act as a “glue” in the process of automating content creation?

As a video automation software, Plainly holds different pieces of your AI toolbox together. You can simply connect your video template to your data source of choice, mark which elements and layers you want to swap (e.g. images, texts, colors), and then automatically generate an infinite number of video variations based on your input.

It acts as a “glue” because it can receive inputs from your other AI tools to create videos automatically. The return on investment is indisputable. Just sum up all the pricing plans of the AI tools you plan on using, take into account the time you’re going to save, and then the results you’ll achieve. A human being could not get you that far working from scratch, at least not fast enough.

To sum up: you can use the copy written by your AI copywriting tool that you’ve post-edited, you can insert AI-rendered images or AI-fueled melodies you created with another tool, create a database, and render beautiful videos at scale using Plainly.

Plainly is sort of like a chef that takes all the ingredients you give him and cooks a delicious meal in form of dozens of newly rendered videos. Book a demo with me to talk more about AI and I guarantee it won’t be a waste of your time. 

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person using a video generator