By Eugene Kudashev, on Feb 27, 2015

Zapier automates common content management tasks in Contentful (webinar recap)

On Feb 12 we've had a webinar in which our customer success specialist César showed some ways to improve common content workflows and increase productivity by using Zapier, an automation tool. In case you missed it, find a summary transcript and a video recording of the webinar below.

Integrations aplenty with Zapier

Putting it simply, Zapier helps apps talk to each other. Many widely used apps like Gmail, Dropbox, Trello, Instagram and the like have APIs available so that the data inside them can be manipulated with code instead of a visual interface. Contentful, being an API-first CMS, is of course no exception.

Zapier uses these APIs to automate workflows, following if this then that approach: if something happens in one app – say, a new photo is published on someone's Instagram account – do something else in another app – say, save it to Dropbox folder. The brilliant thing is that you need approximately zero programming skills and five minutes of time to achieve that – thanks, Zapier.

Zapier leverages Contentful workflows

Content workflows can greatly benefit from such automations – that's the primary reason we've integrated Contentful with Zapier. Here are some examples which we came up with and which will be explained in detail below:

  • Batch upload entries from Google Sheets into Contentful
  • Send an email notification each time a new entry in Contentful is created
  • Publish entries created in Contentful to a Trello board

These are somewhat simplified examples, but they are illustrative in demonstrating how Zapier works.

Batch import data from Google Sheets

Each time a new row is added to a specified spreadsheet in Google Sheets, Contentful creates a new entry automatically within a specific space. This can be used as a simple way to import content into Contentful. Depending on the Zap settings, the new entry can also be published at once. The main trick here is to set up a correct structure for the content type in Contentful, so that it matches the structure of the spreadsheet row.

1  spreadsheet 2  spreadsheet in ctf

Get an email notification about each published entry

Be up to date when your team publishes new content. This zap simply watches a specified space and content type. Whenever a new entry is published, an email will be sent. All the contents of the email is certainly adjustable: you can customize the From field, subject line and the email body, and you can also use data of the published entry inside an email.

3  ctf gmail 4  email in inbox

Collaborate with a team by importing Contentful entries in Trello

Content creating is most often a collaborative process. You might want to have colleagues comment on the entry or to go through several iterations. A task management tool would be suitable for such a purpose. We chose Trello for this example, because it is simple, straightforward and also supports Markdown.

5  trello in ctf 6  trello

This zap watches a specific space and content type and imports every new entry on a specified Trello board, preserving the markup and enabling conversation.

What's next

We hope to have inspired you to come up with new ideas, and we'd be glad to know what workflows you were able to automate with Zapier. Take a look at the Zapier directory for other available Contentful integrations. If the tool you need is not in that directory, please let us know which integration you would like us to implement next.

Eugene Kudashev

Copywriter at Contentful. You can follow Eugene on Twitter.