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Content workflow and AI: Specificity is the secret



Content workflow and AI: Specificity is the secret

What is a content workflow?  

A content workflow involves a series of tasks performed by a team between the ideation to delivery steps for a campaign or a marketing project. It’s the entire content process:    

  • All steps  
  • Stakeholders involved  
  • Required resources and optimization tools 
  • Content Brief  
  • Additional instructions/comments    

Why marketers need a content workflow  

Content creation workflows help your work smarter and get more quality content out the door in lesser time.    


  • Can ensure marketing alignment with content that is consistent, accurate, and what customers are looking for.  
  • Have access to all assets and details for decision-making in one place to plan and remove common roadblocks/bottlenecks.  
  • Can elevate your brand appeal in the market by establishing metrics and how each team member plays a role in creating specific content on every channel.  
  • Can check task progress. Regular notifications and check-ins ensure you never miss a deadline.  
  • Can connect the next campaign delivery with digital outcomes.    

All in all, marketers need task-based workflows to drive efficiency and consistency.  

How to build a content workflow template  

A content workflow typically includes the following steps:   

Step 1: Establish your goals.  

Is it to publish a blog? Design a newsletter? or maybe you are running a full-fledged Out-of-Home (OOH) campaign.  

Understand your requirements about a piece of content and then start thinking about the workflow.   

Step 2: Define who does what.  

Once you know the goals and your audience, define who needs to assist you in terms of project management and at what stage.  

For example, the list of stakeholders involved in a content approval workflow typically includes:  

  • Marketing manager 
  • Content strategist 
  • Content writer/ Copywriter/ Content creator 
  • Graphic designer  
  • Social media manager  
  • SEO specialist  
  • Web developer  

Plus, you also need resources. A content marketing workflow typically includes:  

Step 3: Write the content brief.  

A solid content brief is vital for a content strategy workflow. A campaign brief is a document/note that outlines the goals, objectives, and target audience. Have a clear campaign brief before starting the content management workflow to keep everyone on the team aligned on what they’re working towards.    

Here are some additional instructions and comments you can add to your brief:    

  • Keep the new content in line with the brand voice and tone  
  • Share visual examples for the graphic team to take inspiration from  
  • Share ideas to repurpose and promote the content on social media and other channels.   

Step 4: Set the content creation process.  

Think of the content planning steps you need to get quality content out the door faster.    

  1. Ideation: This is where the team does brainstorming and comes up with the initial ideas for the content. They’ll brainstorm topics, angles, and formats.  
  2. Research: Once the team has some ideas, it’s time to research and validate ideas so the content is accurate and relevant.  
  3. Writing: Now, the team will start writing the content. It may involve multiple writers, depending on the scope of the campaign.  
  4. Design: This step includes creating graphics, images, and video content.  
  5. Proofreading and editing: In this step, the content is reviewed and edited for accuracy, grammar, and style.  
  6. Content publishing: If everything looks good after final approval, the content is published on the website or social media.  
  7. Promoting: Post publishing, content moving happens through promotion. This step may involve social media posts, email marketing, or paid advertising for conversions.   

Step 5: Save your workflows. Use automation.  

Creating similar content using the same process again and again? You don’t have to design a workflow from scratch. You can save a workflow and use it directly in your content marketing platform. Optimizely’s CMP has a library of marketing workflows that you can use to streamline the types of content you want to create and get started in seconds.  

How AI can help  

AI can automate tasks, generate content, and analyze data, all of which can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of content workflows.  
Here are some examples of what that looks like:  

Automating tasks  

Train AI to research and edit as you do. You’ll have more time to focus on strategic tasks, such as developing content strategy and creating engaging content. 

Generating content  

AI can help you expand on ideas and create engaging content using relevant wireframes. You can even train AI to be consistent with your brand voice.  

Analyzing data  

You can analyze data about your audience, competitors, and industry. It can help you to identify trends, make predictions, and improve your content strategy. 

Consistent campaign brief  

Content creation often slows down due to inconsistent briefs. If you can train AI to write a particular style of brief that all stakeholders agree upon, it’d be easier to ship these in seconds and get going with a new campaign.  

Managing AI in content workflows 

Think of AI as your content-compounding machine in the workflow that is capable of delivering high-quality content drafts. 

You see, most content production teams know:  

  • Rewriting old content is tiring  
  • Thinking of turning old ideas into “new again” is tiring  
  • Rewriting the same topics repeatedly is tiring     

So, start training your AI tool to share some of the workload in the content workflow. Here’s how it works.   

You do the thinking part:  

  • Pick a topic   
  • Find ~5 of your old written content around that topic  
  • Feed them to the AI tool to ‘learn.”  
  • Make sure you don’t share anything confidential and face ai ethical issues.  

It helps in pattern recognition. The tool understands how you write and the structure you follow. It’s time to instruct the AI bot to write something new. Although AI tools are great at doing, they still need a brief to deliver great content.     

So, give the tool and topic and:   

  • A net new title   
  • A word-count   
  • A prompt to follow your writing style that you just trained the tool on      

The output is not a finished article but something that does 50-60% of the work. It is where human edits, revisions and creativity come into play. With time, AI will become smart enough to remove this step and give output that is ready to use.   

For now, you need to manually edit and turn this draft into a finished content piece.

You can:   

  • Add section titles   
  • Remove repetitions   
  • Add the right keywords and questions  
  • Make edits to ensure everything is easier to read   

AI in workflows can give you leverage if you do the thinking part and train the tool on the doing part. The more you write, the more you can repurpose. 

Tips for using AI in content workflows  

Start small and scale up as you go. Don’t try to implement AI in every aspect of your content workflow. Start with a few small projects and see how they go. Once you’re comfortable with AI, you slowly scale up your use.  

AI takes time to learn and evolve. Don’t expect to see immediate results. Be patient and give AI the time it needs to improve. Still, AI is not a replacement for creativity. Use AI to augment your ideas, not replace them.  

Prioritize data quality  

AI is only as good as the data it’s trained on. So, ensure your data is clean, accurate, and secure. It means cleaning up any errors or inconsistencies in your data and protecting it from unauthorized access.  

Invest in proper training  

AI tools can be powerful, but they can also be complex. That’s why invest in training your team on how to use them effectively. Each session should focus on the basics of AI and how to use specific tools to generate content, analyze data, and make predictions.  

Monitor and refine AI models  

AI models have the functionality to constantly learn and evolve, so continuously monitor their performance. Monitor for errors, identify improvement areas, and retrain the model with new data.  

Real workflow results  

Content workflows are essential for marketers who want to create and deliver high-quality content that meets the needs of their target audience. By following a well-defined workflow in your content marketing strategy, inefficiencies in the approval process can be removed and a content project can be created and delivered on a fixed timeline.  

AI can be a valuable tool for content marketing teams that want to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their content workflows by automating tasks, generating content, and analyzing data.  

With Optimizely, the world’s leading digital brands are deploying content workflows to be more agile and drive marketing transformation. Shell is fueling their internal marketing process and seeing success through campaigns created, work requests processed, and assets approved. Check out their story in the above use case of defined content workflows in real time.  




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Take back your ROI by owning your data



Treasure Data 800x450

Treasure Data 800x450

Other brands can copy your style, tone and strategy — but they can’t copy your data.

Your data is your competitive advantage in an environment where enterprises are working to grab market share by designing can’t-miss, always-on customer experiences. Your marketing tech stack enables those experiences. 

Join ActionIQ and Snowplow to learn the value of composing your stack – decoupling the data collection and activation layers to drive more intelligent targeting.

Register and attend “Maximizing Marketing ROI With a Composable Stack: Separating Reality from Fallacy,” presented by Snowplow and ActionIQ.

Click here to view more MarTech webinars.

About the author

Cynthia RamsaranCynthia Ramsaran

Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries. She was a writer/producer for and produced thought leadership for KPMG. Cynthia hails from Queens, NY and earned her Bachelor’s and MBA from St. John’s University.

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Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai



Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

In a groundbreaking alliance, Amazon and Hyundai have joined forces to reshape the automotive landscape, promising a revolutionary shift in how we buy, drive, and experience cars.

Imagine browsing for your dream car on Amazon, with the option to seamlessly purchase, pick up, or have it delivered—all within the familiar confines of the world’s largest online marketplace. Buckle up as we explore the potential impact of this monumental partnership and the transformation it heralds for the future of auto retail.

Driving Change Through Amazon’s Auto Revolution

Consider “Josh”, a tech-savvy professional with an affinity for efficiency. Faced with the tedious process of purchasing a new car, he stumbled upon Amazon’s automotive section. Intrigued by the prospect of a one-stop shopping experience, Josh decided to explore the Amazon-Hyundai collaboration.

The result?

A hassle-free online car purchase, personalized to his preferences, and delivered to his doorstep. Josh’s story is just a glimpse into the real-world impact of this game-changing partnership.

Bridging the Gap Between Convenience and Complexity

Traditional car buying is often marred by complexities, from navigating dealership lots to negotiating prices. The disconnect between the convenience consumers seek and the cumbersome process they endure has long been a pain point in the automotive industry. The need for a streamlined, customer-centric solution has never been more pressing.

1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Ecommerce Partnership Reshaping Auto Retail Dynamics

Enter Amazon and Hyundai’s new strategic partnership coming in 2024—an innovative solution poised to redefine the car-buying experience. The trio of key developments—Amazon becoming a virtual showroom, Hyundai embracing AWS for a digital makeover, and the integration of Alexa into next-gen vehicles—addresses the pain points with a holistic approach.

In 2024, auto dealers for the first time will be able to sell vehicles in Amazon’s U.S. store, and Hyundai will be the first brand available for customers to purchase.

Amazon and Hyundai launch a broad, strategic partnership—including vehicle sales on in 2024 – Amazon Staff

This collaboration promises not just a transaction but a transformation in the way customers interact with, purchase, and engage with their vehicles.

Pedal to the Metal

Seamless Online Purchase:

  • Complete the entire transaction within the trusted Amazon platform.
  • Utilize familiar payment and financing options.
  • Opt for convenient pick-up or doorstep delivery.
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Hyundai’s Cloud-First Transformation:

  • Experience a data-driven organization powered by AWS.
  • Benefit from enhanced production optimization, cost reduction, and improved security.

Alexa Integration in Next-Gen Vehicles:

  • Enjoy a hands-free, voice-controlled experience in Hyundai vehicles.
  • Access music, podcasts, reminders, and smart home controls effortlessly.
  • Stay connected with up-to-date traffic and weather information.

Driving into the Future

The Amazon-Hyundai collaboration is not just a partnership; it’s a revolution in motion. As we witness the fusion of e-commerce giant Amazon with automotive prowess of Hyundai, the potential impact on customer behavior is staggering.

The age-old challenges of car buying are met with a forward-thinking, customer-centric solution, paving the way for a new era in auto retail. From the comfort of your home to the driver’s seat, this partnership is set to redefine every step of the journey, promising a future where buying a car is as easy as ordering a package online.

Embrace the change, and witness the evolution of auto retail unfold before your eyes.

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

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How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]



How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]

It’s no wonder that responsive search ads have steadily grown in popularity in recent years. Through Google’s machine learning capabilities, RSAs provide a powerful way to automate the testing of multiple headlines and descriptions to ensure a closer match to user intent. The benefits are clear: RSAs mean broader reach, better engagement, and improved performance metrics.

However, all these benefits come at a significant (but reasonable) cost – they can be extremely difficult to manage, especially when it comes to updating ad copy to promote limited time offers.

I know this firsthand – I work with several ecommerce clients with promotions that constantly change. Not too long ago, I found myself going through the consistently tedious process of updating a client’s RSA headlines and copy. As I was making the changes, I thought to myself: “There must be a better way to update this ad copy. I shouldn’t have to use find and replace so many times while pausing and enabling my ad campaigns.”

After expressing this to my colleague, Jordan Stambaugh, the two of us agreed there must be a better way. But we’d have to make it happen. A few weeks later, we put that idea into action and created a more efficient process for updating RSA ad copy on a scheduled basis. If you want to try this process for yourself, just keep reading.

Responsive Search Ad Customizers 101: Basic Options & Execution

Before diving into the process of scheduling automatic updates for your RSA customizers, it’s essential to understand some key Responsive Search Ad fundamentals.

First, you can customize three main options within RSAs: the Attribute Name, the Data Type, and the Account Value. Each of these plays a vital role in personalizing your ads:

  • Attribute Name: This is essentially the identifier for the customizer. It is how you’ll reference the specific piece of information you’re customizing within the ad. For instance, if you’re running a promotion, you might name an attribute “Promotion.”
  • Data Type: This indicates the kind of data the attribute represents and it determines how the information can be formatted and used within the ad. Common data types include Text (for plain, non-numeric text), Percent (to represent percentage discounts), Price (to denote monetary values), and Number (for any numerical value).
  • Account Value: This is the default value for the attribute that you set at the account level. It acts as a fallback if more specific values aren’t provided at the campaign or ad group level.

For example, if you wanted to promote a 10% off discount using RSAs, you’d use the “Discount” attribute, a data type of “Percent,” and an account value of “10% off.” Then, when someone is searching for products, Google would test automatically inserting a copy regarding a 10% off promotion into your ad.

Once you’ve set up the right customization options, you can start to format your RSAs with customizers.

Here’s how:

  • Start by typing in {
  • Click on Ad Customizer then select your attribute
  • Google will populate your attributes that are already uploaded
  • For a simple offer, use the “Default text” attribute as a catch-all. This will ensure your ads run smoothly if Google can’t pull the right messaging from your RSA feed



How to Schedule Your Ad Customizers with a Feed

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s cover how to schedule your ad customizers.

Just follow this three step process:

1. Create the feed

Start by creating two sheets: The Parent sheet, and the Child sheet. The “Parent” sheet will act as the primary data source, while the child sheet will pull data from the parent sheet.

We’ll start by building the parent sheet. After opening the sheet, start by renaming the active tab to “Promotions.” Don’t skip this step, it’s crucial for referencing this range in formulas later on.

In your “Promotions” tab, head to the top row and label columns A, B, and C with the headers of your ad customizer attributes. For example, you might have “BrandSaleHeadline” as your attribute in column A, “text” as the Data Type in column B, and “Shop the Collection” as the Account Value in column C.

Once your headers are in place, move to cell C2. Here, you’ll input the expression =lookup(today(),F:G,E:E). This formula will play a key role in dynamically updating your RSA customizer based on the current date.

Next, go to columns E, F, and G, which will be used to manage your scheduling. In these columns, you’ll list out the different values your chosen attribute might take, alongside their corresponding start and end dates. For example, under the “BrandSaleHeadline” attribute, you might schedule various promotional headlines to appear during different sale periods throughout the year.

Here’s how your sheet might look:

Now look back at the first 3 columns on your sheet. They should look like this:

Now create a second sheet. We’ll call this sheet the Child sheet. It’s going to automatically pull in data from the parent sheet you just created, and will be the one you link to Google Ads later on.

Columns A, B and C will be almost identical to the child sheet, but we will be using a special formula later so we can automatically populate this. So, start by labeling Row 1 Column A “Attribute,” then the next column as “Data type,” then column C as “Account value.” 

Then go to C2 and use this expression to populate the right account value from the parent document: =importrange(“[PARENT DOCUMENT URL HERE]”,”Promotions!C2″)

Your sheet should now look like this:

We recommend adding a date range with default text for any days you’re  not running a promotion. In the example above, we have “Shop Our Collection” appearing as default text.

2. Input attributes

Once you have your feed created, the next step involves inputting your attributes into the Google Ads platform. This can be done either manually or through a bulk upload.

For the manual approach, navigate to “Tools & Settings” in your Google Ads interface, then go to ‘Setup’ followed by “Business Data.” Here, you’ll find an option for “Ad Customizer Attributes.” Click the plus sign to add your attributes. It’s crucial to use the same attribute names that you’ve established in your Parent Google Sheet template to ensure consistency and proper data synchronization.



Alternatively, if you prefer the bulk upload method, again head to “Tools & Settings.” This time, select “Bulk Actions” and then “Uploads.” For this process, you only need to upload columns A to C from your template. 

Be aware that it might take some time for your uploaded attributes to be reflected in the business data section of Google Ads.

3. Set up an automatic schedule

At this point, you’ve almost finished scheduling your ad customizers. Navigate to Tools & Settings, then Bulk Actions, then Uploads, then click the Schedules tab at the top. Select your Child Google Sheet as the data source, and share your Google Sheet with the appropriate email.



And there you have it – Google will automatically pull in the data you populated in the sheets into your RSAs.

Common Challenges When Scheduling RSA Ad Customizers

When we test these sheets with our clients in the wild, we’ve uncovered five common challenges. Be on the lookout for these issues – solving them before they happen can save you a lot of trouble down the line.

Not scheduling your upload when the site changes 

The first and most significant hurdle is the mismatch between the scheduled data upload and website content updates. For instance, if the Google Sheet is set to upload at 11 am, but the website changes occur at 3 pm, there’s going to be a discrepancy where the wrong message could be displayed for several hours, or new messaging could appear prematurely. Conversely, if the website updates happen before the scheduled sheet upload, outdated promotions might linger until the new data is imported. Synchronizing these schedules is crucial; it’s best to align them so updates occur simultaneously.

Skipping QA during a message change

Another pitfall is neglecting quality assurance (QA) during message updates. It’s vital to regularly check the business data section to verify that the correct values are in place post-update.

Issues with the IMPORTRANGE function

Then there’s the technical aspect of setting up the IMPORTRANGE function correctly in the Google Sheets template. The ‘child’ template must reliably pull data from the ‘parent’ sheet. If this function isn’t configured correctly, data won’t be imported as needed.

Not sharing access of the Google template for automatic uploads

Pay attention to your access permissions for the Google Sheets template. Google will prompt you with the email address that needs permission to access the ‘child’ sheet for automatic uploads. Overlooking the sharing of your sheet with this address will prevent the system from working.

Having date range gaps in your parent sheet

Lastly, a common oversight is leaving date range gaps in the ‘parent’ sheet. Every single date must be accounted for without overlaps. A practical tip is to have an ‘evergreen’ backup message ready, scheduled to run continuously, ideally through the end of the year, to cover any potential gaps.


Leveraging Google Sheets in conjunction with Google Ads to schedule RSA ad customizers is a game-changer for managing dynamic promotional content. This process not only streamlines your workflows but also ensures that your ads remain relevant and up-to-date, reflecting current promotions without the need for constant manual intervention. 

By adopting this method, you’ll save significant time and effort, allowing you to focus more on strategy and less on the minutiae of ad copy updates. Give it a try and experience a more efficient way to manage your RSAs, keeping your campaigns fresh and engaging with minimal hassle.

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