Marketers love things that make their lives easier, am I right? Well, everyone loves things that make their lives easier (have you ever heard someone complain “Gosh, I wish there was something that would make this task much more difficult than it actually is!”? If you hear someone say that, run away); but busy marketers have so much to do and keep up with on a daily basis, that we really seem to latch on to tools that will help us to actually get some of it done.
IFTTT is one such tool, and has become very popular for automating some of the more mundane tasks that, while necessary, many marketers don’t want to deal with doing. IFTTT (which stands for If This Then That) allows you to create “recipes” that use various other technologies (such as other online tools, mobile apps, email, etc.) as the “ingredients.” These recipes follow the basic format of “If this happens, then do that.”
For instance, I have a Belkin WeMo® Switch that is controlled by the WeMo® app on my phone. I have recipes set up in IFTTT to turn that switch on and off at certain times – so “If it’s 6am Monday through Friday, then turn on the switch.”
IFTTT can be particularly effective for content marketing. Here are some of the main ways I have found it can be used:
- Content curation
- Industry and brand monitoring
- Social media posting
- Generating and storing content ideas
One recipe I created that falls into that last category monitors certain Reddit subreddits (specifically, r/ppc, r/SEO, and r/DigitalMarketing) for hot topics, then sends me email alerts once a day with a list of those hot topics. Here is the recipe for the PPC subreddit.
I asked other marketers what their favorite content marketing IFTTT recipes were, and I learned about some really creative (and steal-worthy) ways this tool is being used:
Danica Jones, Marketing Manager, ConsumerAffairs.com
Recipe: Save links from bit.ly to Evernote [Get this recipe]
“One of my FAVORITE recipes for IFTTT helps me save URLs for content marketing ideas directly to my Evernote account in a special notebook, where I can visit the links later and use them for research or content generation. I use this to share links I want my content marketing interns to research for various content projects we have going on in the office. It’s nice to be away from my desk and still able to save a link, make some notes, and revisit it or have a team member review at any time.”
Steve Swift, CEO, PetCeption
Recipe: Tumbler to Buffer [Get this recipe]
“PetCeption uses IFTTT recipes for content curation from Tumbler out to multiple social media platforms. The distribution hub we use is Buffer, which is free for up to 10 posts that are then scheduled to be released at some future time and date.
Our IFTTT is basically looking for particular attributes of the Tumbler post (i.e. pic or gif) and designates accordingly. The ability to have an IFTTT that can then send this query to Buffer is super convenient, because Buffer allows the query to be shared across several platforms.”
Larissa Cox, Marketing Manager, SafetyLine
Recipe: Tag a Feedly article with a tag, add it to a Trello board [Get this recipe]
“I love IFTTT for content creation ideas. I use a recipe that allows me to add a Feedly article to a Trello board. When I am browsing Feedly for article ideas for our corporate blog, I can simply tag the article, and it will be in my ‘Content Brainstorm’ board on Trello for later. It is a super helpful recipe that saves me a lot of time emailing myself articles that may get lost later.”
Recipe: Thanks a new follower with a tweet [Get this recipe]
“One of my favourite recipes helps me easily share content with new followers on Twitter, and even convert them into email subs. With this “Thank new followers with a tweet” recipe, I can edit it to give a new follower a link to our most recent eGuide, which will prompt them to enter a valid email address to receive the guide. It’s a very handy way of establishing thought-leadership, and growing our database at the same time!”
Mark Mathson, Stand Modern
Recipe: Get feedly categories in digest [Get this recipe]
“Feedly, since Google Reader went by the wayside, has become my feed reader of choice. With Feedly + IFTTT, I can setup a special ‘Folder’ that has my top blogs and news sources to watch for buzz and then set up the IFTTT rule to automatically email me a daily digest.
“Why is this the best? Well, for a couple of reasons: I don’t have to go out and manually subscribe to tons of email lists to get content (and some blogs don’t offer). Also, it allows me to curate the most interesting topics for content ideas, and pare down as needed. A quick click will remove it from the Feedly folder IFTTT is watching daily.”
Brian Patterson, Founder, Go Fish Digital
Recipe: Email Alerts for Wikipedia Page Updates [Get this recipe]
“Get an email alert when a Wikipedia page is updated. This is useful for industry Wikipedia pages as well as clients – I always know how they are represented online.”
Recipe: Mark Watch Later on YouTube and save it to Pocket [Get this recipe]
“If I see a video or tweet but don’t have the time to watch it at that moment, I’ll just click ‘Watch Later’, which will add it to my Pocket queue. I use that to catch up on industry articles and having things all together is really helpful.”
Recipe: Pocket favorites saved to Evernote [Get this recipe]
“If I favorite something on Pocket, it gets added to my Evernote. That way I always have it and it’ll be super easy to find.”
Alan O’Rourke, Director of Marketing, WorkCompass
Recipe: Curate conference tweets into Google Docs [Get this recipe]
“One of my favourite IFTTT uses is to curate the highlights from industry conferences around the world. Here is how I do it:
- Track down the twitter hashtag for the event.
- In IFTTT, I set up a new project and connect it with my Google Docs.
- IF someone on twitter tweets with the hashtag, then add it to a
new row in a Google spreadsheet.
- At the end of the conference open the spreadsheet and pull out the best
quotes and insights to use in a blog post. It will take you about an hour
to do this and format it nicely so it is not a wall of text.”
Michael Netsch, Director Marketing, MultiBase
Recipe: Get an email as soon as your (brand) name is mentioned on Reddit [Get this recipe]
“You don’t want to get surprised when you get mentioned on Reddit and either your webservers go down or you have to fix a problem of some kind. This is why I set up an IFTTT recipe to alert me via email as soon as my brand name is mentioned on Reddit.”
Mandy Kilinskis, Content & Social Media Manager, Quality Logo Products
Recipe: Post your Instagram pictures as native Twitter pictures [Get this recipe]
“My favorite recipe is the one that pushes Instagram photos to Twitter. I was really bummed when Instagram didn’t allow pictures to show up in Twitter feeds anymore, so this was an excellent way to get visual content back into our Twitter feed without having to upload the pictures individually! This keeps our feed interesting and allows us to share more of our brand personality with current and possible customers. It’s also a great way to show off our products!”
Eamonn Colman, Director of Marketing, ComputeNext
Recipe: Track influencer activity on Quora [Get this recipe]
“We love…Quora to help us find good topics for content, so we’ve created recipes to help us automate the research. For Quora we take the influencer road, and track some of our most important industry analysts or company evangelists. First you’ve got to find their profile and convert it to an RSS feed. There’s some simple tools to do that such as Page2RSS. [We then receive] instant alerts when important industry evangelists are on new trends or asking questions we could be answering via blog or PR outreach.”
Sandy Sidhu, Online Marketing Strategist, Sandy Sidhu Media
Recipe: Share branded hashtag content from Instagram to Facebook [Get this recipe]
“One of my favorite IFTTT recipes for content curation is sharing branded hashtag content to my Facebook Business page. When I share an Instagram post and use a specific brand hashtag, that photo will be shared on my Facebook Business page. This lets me share specific content that is in-line with my brand and not overwhelm my page with all my Instagram photos.”
What is your favorite IFTTT recipe for content marketing (or any other marketing, for that matter)? Share yours in the comments below!