Web services can automate parts of your podcasting workflow, even when you're not online! Here are my favorite web-based automation tools.
The premise of “automation” (versus automatic actions)
Many tools can do things automatically. But all of the following tools are focused on automation, that is, automatically doing many things for you and not only a single task.
Automation may have a learning curve, but the ultimate result will make up for it!
Zapier or IFTTT
No conversation about automation is complete without mentioning either Zapier or IFTTT (If This Then That). Both services will monitor a myriad of sources and trigger actions based on customizable criteria.
IFTTT is free, fairly simple, and limited to a single action.
Zapier is a paid service and offers more powerful automations and multiple actions.
Here are some examples of things you could automate with either tool:
- Automatically send a text message whenever someone buys something from your online store.
- Automatically crosspost content from one platform to another.
- Receive data from other services and automatically reformat and route it somewhere else.
- Automatically do almost anything you want with your latest podcast reviews (via a paid My Podcast Reviews account).
Email service providers
Building an email list for your podcast is helpful for many things: engagement, marketing, education, and much more (episode 198). These automations could be a series of emails or other processes based on subscriber activity.
- Write a series of emails to automatically send every week for a year. Then, every new subscriber starts at the beginning and never misses the same great content everyone else gets.
- Automatically send an email to a subscriber based on their activity on your site (or lack thereof). This can get them more engaged or connect them with other stuff they wanted.
- Automatically segment your subscribers based on almost any criteria. With that, you can ensure only the right people receive the right messages.
- Automatically deliver special offers or resources you give away.
Here are my favorite email service providers, and what I would recommend them for.
- ActiveCampaign: This is my new favorite email service provider! ActiveCampaign makes powerful automations easy. Plus, it has website activity-tracker unmatched by anyone else! I haven't found anything other platforms do that ActiveCampaign can't do better.
- ConvertKit: This is the cool new kid on the block. ConvertKit simplifies automations with a single list.
- Aweber: This may be the industry-standard tool for email newsletters and autoresponders. Their reputation and delivery is high, and they provide fantastic support.
- MailChimp: Get started for free with an email list up to 2,000 subscribers or 12,000 emails a month. I think MailChimp is the easiest-to-use provider and offers simple automation options (though it seems more is coming).
I don't think podcast audio has a “viral” problem, but there are times you may want to share a snippet of great value from your podcast. Putting this in video makes it available to and stand out more on visual platforms, like Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Wavve automates this process by allowing you to create a template for your videos, and then uploading your audio clip to be processed and applied to the template. You can even have multiple templates, ideal for different platforms (such as square video for Instagram)!
Audiogram works in much the same fashion allowing you choose an audio clip from an episode you've already published or upload it. You can then change the font, background image and visualisation style to suit your needs and brand.
Podcast reviews don't affect your iTunes ranking, but they can be a great way to build your reputation and engage your audience (episode 263)! The problem is that there are 155 different iTunes stores for 155 different countries. Each store has its own reviews for your podcast. Checking all of these would take a long time.
Even when you find reviews in iTunes, you can't share them, you can't copy them, you can't sort them much, you can't filter them, and you can't integrate them with any other tool.
But My Podcast Reviews can help you with all that!
- Automatically find and collect all your podcast reviews from all iTunes stores and other podcast directories.
- Automatically email your new reviews on the day you record so you have them for your next episode.
- Integrate with Zapier, IFTTT, and other apps for automatic display, sharing, and more.
- Sort and filter all your reviews so you can see exactly what you want.
- Share individual reviews that also contain subscription links to help you build your audience.
I rarely recommend automating content on social networks, but automating a schedule (especially a recurring schedule) can be a great way to save you time and better engage with your followers!
- Automatically post leading up to, and during regularly scheduled events, such as a live-stream.
- Automatically reshare old but timeless content, such as blog posts, podcast episodes, and guest appearances
- Automatically start conversations by engaging your community with questions.
- Automatically and regularly promote monetized content.
I urge you to custom-write your messages, so they're personal. Also, I recommend you set your schedule to no more than once per hour, but less frequently if you don't have a lot of content to share.
They're also handy for simply crossposting the same message on multiple accounts right at the moment.
Speaking of crossposting, there are several tools that can do this as soon as you publish your own content.
Libsyn's OnPublish feature uses their feed to automatically crosspost your latest podcast episodes across many social and content platforms.
Blubrry's Post to Social feature can do the same thing from the PowerPress feed for Blubrry hosting customers. Blubrry's option can even truncate the audio and automatically add a trailer, such as saying, “To hear the rest of this episode, listen and subscribe at MyAwesomePodcast.com!”
Repurpose is a standalone service that, as its name suggests, repurposes your audio or video content from nearly any source (even Facebook Live!) and automatically reposts to other destinations.
I talked about the Auphonic desktop app in my episode about Windows- and macOS-based automation tools. This time, I want you to look at the Auphonic web service.
Clear, consistent, and understandable audio is crucial for all podcasts (audio or video). Auphonic can automate the processing and more! Here's an example workflow Auphonic could do:
- Reduce background noise and hum
- Reduce reverb
- Even out volume differences
- Raise or lower perceived loudness to a target industry level
- Add an intro and outro
- Create a transcript
- Mixdown to mono
- Encode to MP3
- Upload to your media host
Auphonic is available with a limited free plan and premium plans for larger limits.
Quuu automatically shares your content with other influencers in your space. It's also a great way to find relevant content you can automatically share on your own social accounts.
Created by my friend and fellow podcaster Craig Carpenter, Relay dramatically speeds up the creation of professional-looking, branded images for your blog or podcast. You can create a template, enter your text, and then Relay will automatically create the multiple sizes ideal for different social networks.
Designfeed is somewhat similar to Relay, but it automates the process of finding relevant images based on the text you insert.
Appointlet, Doodle, Calendly, or ScheduleOnce (and many more)
If you need to schedule anything with someone else, you probably know the frustration of finding a time that works for you. Even when you pick the right time, it takes extra work to remind and follow up.
That's where an online scheduling tool helps! Appointlet, Doodle, Calendly, and ScheduleOnce each have their unique features and they're all focused on making it easier to schedule time with someone else. Plus, they offer different types of automations, simplifying the process of reminders, followups, integrations with other tools, and more.
It can be tough to stay on top of your industry, but Google Alerts makes that easy by finding and sending you relevant stuff from across the Web. This can be with simple keywords or advanced search queries (like excluding certain things).
- To help celebrate and contribute to my upcoming 300th episode, listen to my first episode of The Audacity to Podcast. Then send me feedback and critiques as if you want to help that podcaster improve.
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This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.