|TL;DR: Content automation tools can help you scale your content production, eliminate repetitive tasks, and optimize your current resources. However, it’s not just about text, but also images and video content. Yep, you can automate all content formats.|
If you’re a startup founder that’s bootstrapping their company, you want to automate as much as possible. Just like in the case of one-person marketing teams, there’s a lot on your plate, the pace is high, and you need to be mindful of the resources you have at your disposal.
Content automation tools are the underestimated allies that can help you get more done. Moreover, they relieve the pressure you experience while prioritizing and competing with the big fish.
As you may know, I’m a huge fan of automation tools. We all have limited time on our hands so why wouldn’t we leverage tech to eliminate repetitive tasks and work smarter? To help you get started, I’ve selected the top three content automation tools that offer great value for money:
- Jasper: Content automation tool for copywriting
- Bannerbear: Content automation tool for visuals
- Plainly: Content automation tool for videos
|Do you know you can automate video creation and even use it to scale your marketing personalization? Let me show you how in 15-min: book a demo for Plainly.|
What content automation tools can do for you
When you explore online resources about content automation tools, you’ll see that they don’t take into account the full variety of content formats you can automate. In most cases, they talk about automating text. However, content doesn’t only come in form of articles, social media posts, or text snippets you use in newsletters (or on other marketing channels).
Content can seem like a bit of a vague term, but it refers to text, static visuals, and videos. Even though most marketers and salespeople focus on finding ways to automate text creation, there are content automation tools that can help you do the same with images and videos as well.
My goal here is to help you discover better and smarter ways to work with all content formats so that you can have enough time to focus on business growth or other segments that require human attention and creativity (something software cannot fully replace yet).
1. Content automation tool for copywriting: Jasper.ai
AI content platform Jasper has just raised $125M at a $1.5B valuation, which says a lot about the quality of the tool. Marketed as your “AI sidekick”, Jasper helps marketing and sales teams scale content production and automate content creation. Throughout the years, this tool has refined its copy generator and I must say it’s pretty good.
If you’re trying to scale SEO-driven content production for your blog, Jasper is a good place to start. Despite the fact that one of the latest Google algorithm updates puts helpful content written for humans into the spotlight, not all is black and white. The truth is, this update only raises the quality bar content automation tools like Jasper, need to meet.
Besides, if you’re worried about Google’s not going to rank your content because you’re using this type of content automation tools, think again: open the Jasper website, scroll down to customer logos, and you’ll see that Google is actually one of their customers. Ha! Of course, you may want to do some post-Jasper quality assurance and editing. The tool is also available as a Chrome Extension.
However, this doesn’t mean you should have Jasper replace a full-stack content marketer in your team. But I guarantee that you will automate a large chunk of your content production work by letting AI help you out.
Pricing: Pricing varies depending on the number of words written every month. It starts at $24 per month for 20K words, which is a pretty sweet deal. A free trial is possible.
- Simple to use and assists with writing better converting copy
- Publish content 10x faster
- 50 different templates the tool offers for different use cases (e.g. blog post topic ideas generator, LinkedIn personal bio, Facebook ads)
- Has a SurferSEO integration for writing content optimized for search engines
- If your topics are complex (e.g. technical such as blockchain), it’s not ideal
- You pay per word, but not all words that Jasper generates will be usable (so you’ll pay for junk as well basically)
- It’s not completely a plug-and-play solution as you need to double-check everything, but it does automate a lot
2. Content automation tool for images: Bannerbear
One of the best API-based solutions for automated image creation is definitely Bannerbear. Whether you need social media visuals, e-commerce banners, or dynamic email images, Bannerbear is your go-to tool for content automation.
You can create branded templates with multiple layers, generate images async or on-the-fly, invite people to collaborate with you, and more. The tool allows you to push data from your selected source (e.g. Airtable) into a graphical template, and then it creates different variations of the visual you can easily distribute and use in your marketing campaigns.
The featured image for my latest blog post was actually created automatically with the amazing @bannerbear + zapier integration. When I mark a blog post as “published” in airtable, the title, description + image are fed into a bannerbear template. Simple and consistent 🙂 pic.twitter.com/bkROY75njH— Martin McKeaveney (@martinmck_) May 5, 2020
There are three main things I love about Bannerbear. Firstly, it uses the same approach as we did when developing Plainly: you can use it via API (or SDKs in Node, Ruby, and PHP) or by relying on no-code tools. This way, Bannerbear is accessible to a wider audience, regardless of the level of their tech knowledge.
Secondly, it has useful integrations, of which Integromat and Zapier enable you to connect Bannerbear with your favorite apps. You can create Zaps through Zapier to additionally automate parts of the process.
Last but not least, Bannerbear doesn’t have a limit on the number of templates you can create, which allows you to test different variations of the same visuals; very useful if you want to A/B test static social media ads, for example.
Pricing: Pricing varies depending on the number of API credits and the bandwidth (GB) you need. It starts at $49 per month for 1000 API credits and 10GB. A free trial is possible.
- Designed with team collaboration in mind
- The tool automatically resizes text if your titles end up being too long
- Overall great value for money + it supports all languages
- Maybe not the best solution for individuals that don’t plan on creating a lot of images (i.e. you end up having a lot of unused features)
- It offers video creation automation too, but the tool does a way better job of automatically creating images
3. Content automation tool for videos: Plainly
Finally, you can also automate video creation with Plainly. Plainly is a content automation tool that’s easy to set up and offers great value for developers, creative professionals, and no-code lovers.
As video automation software, it has numerous use cases that can inspire your next marketing campaign, reimagine your customer experience, and help you work smarter. Similar to Bannerbear, this content automation tool pulls the data from your source (or API) and then swaps the elements you’ve previously marked to create new video variations.
Plainly can save up to 85% of your time through content automation and it’s really simple to set it up. Here’s how it works:
- You create your video template in After Effects
- You upload your desired video template to Plainly and select the elements you’d want to change
- You link Plainly to your data source and let it render videos for you
The best thing is that there’s really no limit to the number of videos you can generate. Our latest research discovered that video impacted buying decisions for a staggering 84% of consumers. Automating this process is basically free money. And it works on a “set and forget basis”. You set it once, and then let the content automation tool do the rest.
|Did you know? You can use Plainly as your content automation tool for videos to scale marketing personalization, design unique customer and onboarding experiences, create branded user-generated videos, and more. Explore the Plainly blog to discover interesting use cases.|
Pricing: Plainly offers flexible pricing plans for teams of all sizes. Pricing depends on the length of video content, the amount of storage you need (GB), and the video retention period. Plans start at $59 per month.
- Simple to use, regardless of how tech-savvy you are
- Great API developers will love
- Videos render in the cloud (no need to worry about on-premise storage)
- Great customer support
- Integrations available (Zapier, Integromat)
- We’re in the process of creating a video template library, but it’s not yet ready for launch (you’ll have to be a bit patient)
Content automation tools are an investment, not a cost
As you can see, you can automate your content creation, but you can also automate image and video creation. If you’re leading a company or juggling too many things as a marketer or a creative professional, you need to figure out how you can make room for important tasks and automate the rest.
I always say that time is precious and the only resource that we can never get back. We just keep spending it and that’s it. The more I learn about tech, the more I value solutions that help me save time and be more productive in areas that matter. I don’t mind paying $60 or more per month if that will create more space in my day. Because my time, just like yours, is invaluable.
I hope this article has helped you realize a tiny segment of possibilities and what content automation tools have to offer, especially outside of text as a format. Content diversification is important in the age of information overload we live in, so my advice would be not to give up on “more demanding” content formats – rather find a way to automate creative production.
|Want to learn more about Plainly as a video automation software? I’d live to walk you through it: book a demo today.|