Automated Content Creation: Best Practices and Tools In 2024
Automated 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 "the best AI content creation tools".
Then there are programmatic SEO strategies, advanced content procedures that rely on AI, marketing automation tools, and tools that automatically populate content briefs based on minimum human input. Some tools even offer content curation options and scheduling and distributing content automatically, which is especially useful for various social media, and there are even tools marketed as "content lifecycle management software".
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 then, I have co-founded Plainly, one of the best automation video software on the market. I became highly interested in automated content production 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 and AI-powered content creation. Here's what I’ve learned so far.
What does Automated Content Creation Mean?
Automating content creation means using AI tools to partially or fully create your content or generate content ideas — 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.
Just to refrain on that part, contrary to popular opinion, automating content creation doesn’t mean you’re ating 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 so you can create your content faster - by lending you inspiration for content.
Benefits of Automating Content Creation
The most obvious advantage of using ai-generated content is the boost in productivity, ability to scale, and saving time. But let’s look at some examples of different types of content to paint a clearer picture.
Automating Textual Content Creation To Save Time
Content marketers who are used to wearing multiple hats are desperately trying to scale textual 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 is a content creator as well, 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-powered content generation:
- Leave a bit more time on your schedule for implementation because there’s always a learning curve which you can’t predict
- 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 into 100% high-quality content
- The more precise you are with the input, the better results you’ll get (always aim for engaging content!)
- 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)
In my experience, the best AI copywriting software for automating content creation are Jasper.ai, Hypothenuse.ai, and Rytr. Content automation tools like these generate text for you, based on the input you provide. Bear in mind that creating the best content always requires manual effort and human post-editing, but this type of software helps you get started and does around 60-70% of the job. Not bad, eh?
Let’s look into the details of these tools:
Jasper.ai stands out for its advanced language processing capabilities, enabling users to create and use content that's well-crafted and contextually relevant - across various formats. This content generator has AI algorithms fine-tuned to understand language, ensuring that the generated text is grammatically correct and aligns with the desired tone and style.
This makes Jasper.ai particularly effective for crafting engaging blog articles, compelling social media marketing copy, and creative storytelling, while significantly reducing the time and effort involved in the content creation process.
Hypotenuse.ai excels in automated textual content creation, offering features like AI-driven article writing and product description generation. It uses advanced algorithms to understand context and style, producing unique, SEO-friendly content that mirrors human quality. This AI writing tool is best suited for writing engaging stories and informative content across various niches and industries.
Rytr is an AI-powered writing tool used for automated textual content creation. It features a versatile range of writing styles and tones for various needs. This tool allows you to create content like blog posts, articles, emails, and social media updates.
Additionally, Rytr offers a unique feature of context-based suggestions, enabling it to generate relevant content based on the given input, enhancing the overall quality and relevance of the writing — which means you can even use it to create personalized content.
Best Practices for SEO Automated Content Generation
When it comes to SEO automated content generation, don’t believe what the marketing “gurus” are saying. There is no way you can get top-quality long-form content written by AI software that’s optimized both for search engines AND 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.
What you can automate (sort of) is the creation of SEO content briefs for writers. With a solid sense of content marketing strategy and a good team of writers, these types of tools can help you scale your original 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+++, depending on how many keywords the optimized content incorporates.
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.
Here are some use cases for textual content generation tools:
- Blog Posts: AI writing is best for creating drafts or ideas for blog content, which then has to be refined by human writers, but can really save you time.
- Product Descriptions: For e-commerce, AI can create unique and SEO-friendly product descriptions, saving time for large inventories.
- Social Media Posts: Automating the creation of short, engaging social media content specifically for social media platforms.
- Social Media Captions: Simplifying your social media content creation process by generating ideas for this specific short-form text.
- Email Marketing: Crafting personalized email content for different segments of a marketing campaign.
- Ad Copy: Generating creative and targeted ad text for online advertising campaigns.
- News Articles: AI can assist in drafting news articles, especially for data-driven stories.
- SEO Content: Creating content that is optimized for search engines, though this often requires human fine-tuning.
- Content Repurposing: Turn existing content into different formats (e.g. converting a blog post into a script for a video or podcast).
- Academic Writing: Assisting in the generation of research papers or literature reviews, although human expertise and review are necessary.
- Scripts for Videos or Podcasts: AI can draft scripts for media production, tailored to the intended audience and style.
Automating Image Content Creation
Automating image content creation involves using AI-powered tools to help you with generating visuals like social media graphics, ad banners, and email images. These tools can adapt to brand guidelines and create variations for A/B testing or targeted campaigns, significantly reducing manual design effort while ensuring brand consistency and visual appeal.
Automated content creation tools for images 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.
This automated content creation software is based on the same principle as Plainly: you can use it via API (or SDKs in Node, Ruby, and PHP) 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 are 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.
Bannerflow is an innovative platform specializing in automated image creation, particularly for digital advertising. It streamlines the design process, allowing marketers and designers to create, scale, and distribute a variety of banner ads efficiently.
With Bannerflow, you can effortlessly produce multiple versions of a single design, adapting them for different campaigns, languages, and formats. This not only saves time but also ensures brand consistency across various channels. The platform's easy-to-use interface and robust tools empower users to create high-quality, dynamic visual content easily.
Celtra is a cutting-edge platform that upgraded automated image creation, streamlining the process of producing high-quality, customized visual content. Celtra's technology focuses on simplifying the design process while maintaining brand consistency across various formats.
It also offers a robust suite of tools that enable users to automatically generate diverse ad formats, social media graphics, and other digital assets quickly and efficiently. With features like dynamic content optimization and real-time editing, Celtra empowers teams to create compelling, personalized visuals, significantly reducing the time and resources typically required in graphic design.
This makes Celtra an invaluable asset for businesses seeking to enhance their digital marketing strategies.
Best Practices In AI Content Creation For Images
Best practices for automating image content creation include:
- Define Clear Objectives: Understand the purpose of your images—whether for social media, advertising, or website use.
- Maintain Brand Consistency: Ensure automated images align with your brand's color scheme, typography, and overall style.
- Use High-Quality Assets: Employ high-resolution images and graphics to maintain a professional look.
- Optimize for Different Platforms: Tailor image sizes and formats for specific platforms (e.g., Instagram, Facebook, email).
- Test and Iterate: Use A/B testing to determine which images perform best and refine accordingly.
- Incorporate AI Feedback: Utilize AI insights to improve image relevance and engagement.
- Balance Automation and Creativity: While leveraging automation for efficiency, keep a creative human touch for uniqueness and innovation.
Use cases for image content creation include:
- Social Media Graphics: Creating visually appealing posts for platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
- Advertising Banners: Designing eye-catching banners for online ad campaigns across various websites.
- Website Imagery: Crafting unique images for website headers, backgrounds, or product showcases.
- Email Marketing Visuals: Integrating branded graphics in newsletters and promotional emails.
- Blog Post Illustrations: Enhancing blog articles with relevant and engaging images.
- Infographics: Transforming data and information into visually digestible infographics.
Automating Video Creation
Automating video content creation means using AI software to generate videos easier and faster. This can include automatically editing footage, generating text-to-speech narration, and converting articles into video format.
It's about efficiently producing high-quality videos with minimal manual effort, saving time and resources. However, this seems daunting at first but with Plainly, it all happens in just three steps:
- Template creation: Start by creating a custom video template in After Effects, select one from our extensive template library, or get personalized assistance from our team to craft a unique template tailored to your needs. This third option ensures that even those without design expertise can benefit from customized video content.
- Connect your data source: Once your template is ready, add it to Plainly and connect your data that will drive video rendering. This can be done in three ways:
- Adding a CSV File: For straightforward data integration, upload a CSV file directly.
- Using Plainly’s Native Integrations: Easily connect Plainly to your favorite tools like Google Sheets for dynamic data updating.
- Leveraging the Plainly Video Editing API: For more complex and tailored requirements, use the Plainly API to programmatically control and automate your video content creation.
- Video rendering: Plainy will take the data from your data source, and insert it into your template. It will swap out the dynamic elements of the video (which you control) with the data from the data source and automatically generate any number of videos. After rendering, you can set up automated distribution through integrations which will send videos to your storage or other 3rd party tools.
With these enhanced options, Plainly makes video content automation more adaptable, efficient, and user-friendly, requiring minimal manual intervention and maximizing creative output. Whether you're a novice or a pro, Plainly equips you with the tools to generate high-quality, customized video content with ease.
- Prioritize Content Quality and Relevance: When automating video content generation, it's important to maintain a high standard of content quality. However, you must ensure that the content is relevant to your audience, factually accurate, and aligns with your brand's voice and values. Using AI and automation to refine and polish content can elevate the final product, but the core message and quality control should remain under the supervision of humans.
- Customization and Brand Consistency: Automation tools offer templates and presets, but customizing these to fit your brand's unique identity is key. Moreover, consistency in visual elements, like logos, color schemes, and fonts, helps in maintaining brand recognition and trust. Even when using automated processes, each piece of content should feel a unique part of your brand's narrative.
- Appropriate Use of Templates: Many automated tools offer templates for different types of videos. While these are helpful, customize them to suit your brand and message. Avoid using default settings as they can make your video look generic.
- Optimize for Different Platforms: Different platforms have different requirements and user expectations. For instance, videos on Instagram may perform better if they’re shorter and more visually engaging, while YouTube viewers might prefer longer, more informative content.
Automating video content 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, converting articles 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.
Automating video content creation for a personal touch
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, movies and media, you name it.
Automating video content creation by converting articles into engaging videos
Another use case of automation video content creation is converting articles into engaging videos. A tool that stands out in this space is Plainly's new product, designed for news companies. It simplifies the transformation of text articles into videos through a simple copy-paste action.
It's an ideal solution for enhancing engagement and boosting ad revenue. However, news organizations can utilize customized templates that align with their branding and editorial standards. This ensures that the video content remains consistent with their brand identity.
Furthermore, the tool provides flexibility for post-generation editing, allowing news companies to fine-tune the videos to meet specific requirements.
Automating video content creation for repurposing existing formats into video
Another use case is repurposing existing formats into videos.
We recently worked with a financial advisory firm, a client of Plainly, to turn their usual text stuff about different brokers into cool, easy-to-watch videos. This firm wanted to make their online stuff more interesting and help people understand it better.
Using Plainly, we transformed the heaviness of their website by adding fun videos as a complementary way for their users to consume information easily. Each video showed the important points, differences, and good things about each broker service in a way that's easy to get.
Putting these videos on their website not only helped them show up better on Google but also got more people interested. These videos were a great way for people to see the differences between services and choose what's best for them.
This real example shows how turning regular text into videos can really help a website and make things better for customers.
Automating video content creation 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
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.
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.
Video Automation for AI Avatars
AI avatars refer to a digital representation, often resembling a human, created using AI technology. These AI avatars can simulate human interactions and movements, making them ideal for creating engaging and personalized video content. They are widely used in virtual assistance, online education, and interactive marketing campaigns.
Here are some tools for AI Avatar generation.
- HeyGen specializes in creating personalized video content using AI avatars. It enables users to produce videos with virtual presenters, ideal for educational content, marketing, and customer service. The tool offers a range of customization options, ensuring each video aligns with specific branding and communication needs.
- Synthesia is a leading platform for AI-driven video creation, allowing users to generate videos with virtual avatars without the need for filming. It's particularly useful for creating educational and corporate training videos. Synthesia’s strength lies in its ability to produce videos in multiple languages, making it ideal for global outreach.
- D-ID focuses on creating photorealistic AI avatars for video content. It's used extensively in personalized marketing campaigns and customer engagement videos. D-ID stands out for its ability to animate still photos into talking heads, offering a unique approach to video content that is both engaging and innovative.
Automating Audio Content Creation
Automated audio content creation involves using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to generate spoken audio content without the need for human voice actors. This technology copies human-like speech from text, allowing for the efficient production of podcasts, audiobooks, voiceovers, and other audio materials.
The process includes converting written content into natural-sounding voice narratives, with options to customize the voice's tone, accent, and pace. This automation significantly streamlines the audio production process, reducing time and costs associated with traditional recording methods. It's particularly useful for creating large volumes of audio content or for applications requiring quick turnaround times.
Some of the automated audio generation tools are:
- ElevenLabs is upgrading audio generation with its advanced AI technology. It simplifies creating realistic voiceovers and speech synthesis by converting text to natural-sounding audio. Users can choose from various voices and control aspects like tone and pace, making it ideal for podcasts, audiobooks, and video narration. ElevenLabs enhances productivity by automating voice production, ensuring high-quality output with minimal effort.
- Murf AI specializes in creating realistic, AI-generated voiceovers for various types of content, including e-learning modules, corporate presentations, and video narrations. It offers a wide range of natural-sounding voices in different languages, with an intuitive interface for script input and voice modulation.
- Google's WaveNet uses deep neural networks to produce highly realistic, human-like speech. By learning from a huge dataset of voices, WaveNet can generate speech in multiple languages and accents, with basic emotional tones and natural-sounding inflections.
- Prioritize Clear and Natural Voice Quality: In automated audio content creation, selecting a voice that sounds natural and clear is crucial. This enhances the listener's engagement and understanding. Use high-quality text-to-speech engines that offer a range of human-like voices, and choose a voice that aligns with your content's tone and audience.
- Script Optimization: Before converting text to audio, optimize your script for spoken language. This involves using conversational and straightforward language, avoiding complex sentences, and including natural pauses. A well-structured script ensures the audio flows naturally and is easily understood by listeners.
- Incorporate Appropriate Background Music and Sound Effects: Background music and sound effects can significantly enhance the appeal of your audio content. Select music that complements the tone of your content without overpowering the voice. Sound effects, can emphasize key points and make the content more engaging. Always ensure the balance between the voice and background elements is good to maintain listener focus.
- Podcast Generation: Automated audio creation tools can produce podcast episodes from written content, allowing creators to efficiently expand their content's reach without additional recording.
- Customized Voice Assistants: Businesses use these tools to develop unique voice assistants for customer service, providing a personalized and interactive user experience.
- Audio Books and Narration: Transforming written educational materials and novels into audio format, making content accessible to a wider audience, including those with visual impairments.
How does Plainly act as a “glue” in automating content creation?
As a video automation software, Plainly holds different pieces of your AI toolbox together. It acts as a “glue” because it can receive inputs from your other AI tools, combine them, and create branded videos automatically.
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.
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 on 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you automate content creation?
Yes, you can automate content creation by using AI tools like chatGPT 4 that generate text, images, or videos. However, they often require human input for refinement. There are even social media management tools and marketing platforms that use AI and machine learning to determine the best time for posting your content, allowing for almost complete content marketing automation.
What are content automation tools?
Content automation tools rely on using technology, especially AI, to generate and simplify content creation and content management, reducing manual efforts and streamlining your content production process. Different content management systems such as automation platforms can also be handy for content creation and management, content distribution, and measuring content performance. These can be a valuable ally in the social media marketing process and in improving content strategies for all kinds of businesses.
What is AI-based content creation?
AI-based content creation involves using artificial intelligence tools to automatically generate digital content, including text, images, and videos, often requiring minimal human monitoring. It allows you to completely automate the content creation process but it offers best results when curated.
What is the best AI tool for content creation?
The best AI tool for content creation varies according to every person's need, but popular options include Jasper.ai, ChatGPT, Grammarly, and Semrush, known for their efficiency and wide range of features.