December 18, 2019 | 7 Min

How to use the Dynamic Content Zapier integration to build a better workflow

Helen Bertram
AuthorHelen Bertram
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This blog post is a practical introduction to our Dynamic Content Zapier integration. We’ll walk you through some recipes to show you just some of what you can achieve when you have Zapier, Dynamic Content and your other business apps working together.

The problem: when you need many tools for the job

In a typical project, a business will often make use of many different tools, each of which is suited to a particular task and each of which has a place in the overall workflow. There never has there been, nor will there be, a business tool where one size fits all.

Let’s take the example of the tools a team might use to track a website release.

  • Developers could be using JIRA to track all their work items. This would be linked to BitBucket, allowing them to track branches and releases.

  • The project manager or department head uses tools such as Roadmunk or Zoho Planner to manage milestones and releases. This view is great for them because they only see the view of the data they need to see at the project level.

  • The designers may manager their work using Trello to track their own work and tasks from colleagues, in areas such as photography, that may be blocking content creation.

What is interesting is that all the actors in the above process or workflow require different levels of information, but all have tasks which are dependent on each other to make sure the website release happens.

The team are also likely to have different needs and preferences when it comes to communication. Developers and designers may prefer an instant messaging tool like Slack, while email might be the preferred choice for the project managers.

Joining the systems together with Zapier

In situations like this you need to be able to ‘join’ the different systems together so that every actor is receiving the information they need to do their job. Everyone should get the updates they need in a way that is automated, seamless and not disruptive to the way they choose to work. This makes the whole process less error prone and it also encourages collaboration.

At Amplience we recognise this and have introduced a number of capabilities to help business workflows. We know that ‘one size does not fit all’ and provide you with tools, such as webhooks and our integration with Zapier, that are flexible enough to fit in with your workflow.

Zapier helps connect the software you use together. It has support for over 1500 web apps and- even better- we’ve made it easy to connect these apps to Dynamic Content. In the rest of this blog I’ll provide you with some recipes for using Dynamic Content with Zapier and give you a taste of what you can accomplish.

If you want to learn more about Zapier click here.

Getting Started

Amplience setup

Before you begin there are a few prerequisites:

  1. You will need to request credentials from Amplience support. You’ll be provided with a client ID and secret to use with the integration.

  2. Create a Zapier account if you don’t already have one and sign up for the Zapier beta programme.

Zapier Setup

Once you have your credentials you can set up the Dynamic Content integration in Zapier.

  1. Navigate to ‘My Apps’ and search for Amplience Dynamic Content
2. After selecting the application, a new window will open requesting the client ID and Client Secret. Enter the credentials provided by our support team.
3. Select continue

You are ready to go.

Example 1: Using the Dynamic Content integration as a trigger to perform an action in Slack

Our Zapier integration will pick up on the following triggers:

  • an edition scheduled

  • an edition unscheduled

  • a content status change

  • a snapshot is published

In this example, I will demonstrate how you to use one of these triggers to notify a team or channel in the Slack instant messaging app.

Select ‘Make a Zap ‘and search for our app

The “Make a zap” button is available at the top right of the screen. Selecting this will open a new page. Here you will be able to name your zap and search for the Amplience Dynamic Content application.

Select your trigger

Once you select the application you will be asked which trigger you will be listening for. For the purposes of this blog I have chosen edition scheduled.

Connect your account and test

You will then be asked to connect an account and select from a dropdown. This will be prepopulated with the account setup in a previous step.

You can now choose the Dynamic Content hub from which from which scheduling an edition will trigger the Zap. You will also need to provide a description. The description here will be used when integration sets up the webhook in Dynamic Content.

Setup the Slack Notification

Now your trigger is setup, you can decide what content to include in your Slack message. Select the ‘+’ to add an action. The setup of the Slack event is very similar to the steps completed for Amplience Dynamic Content (1.0.0) Application: you will need to search for the Slack application, choose the event and connect your account.

Once you’re setup, you will be able to customize the message, adding fields from the Dynamic Content notification such as edition name and status .

For more set up details, see the Zapier integration page on our documentation site.

Example 2: Zoho Projects triggers an action in Dynamic Content

Using our integration you can also set up another application to trigger the following actions in Dynamic content:

  • Create an event

  • Create an edition

  • Create a content item

In this example I will set up a Zap to use Zoho Projects to use as a trigger to create a new event in Dynamic Content.

Select ‘Make a Zap ‘and search for the Zoho app

As per the first example you will need to search for the app that you wish to use as a trigger and input the relevant credentials. I used Zoho projects as a planning tool because it’s capable of capturing all the tasks required for a website update.

In the example I set up a new project for ‘New Year Whoop’ Campaign with a start and end date.

Ensure data is in the correct format

Dynamic Content expects the start and end dates to be sent in UTC ISO date time format. This is a different format to that sent from Zoho projects, so an interim step will need to be added. Zapier has a number of handy tools to help you transform, parse and filter your data.

The formatting tool lets you take data from step 1 and transform the data into the date format expected.

Make the Create Event request via the Dynamic Content integration application

The final step is to connect to Dynamic Content and create the event. In the example shown you can see I have sent the Zoho projects ID. I also track the event ID returned from Dynamic Content. This allows for two things 1. greater visibility when tracking errors etc and 2. the ability to create other items in Dynamic Content.

For example, when creating a scheduled edition in Dynamic Content, it will need to know which event an edition is linked to and so will need the ID. Should the project manager want to track the relevant editions these can easily be added to the Zoho plan and replicated in Dynamic Content – reducing setup effort and increasing visibility for all stakeholders.

Tracking of specific data items such as ID is also helpful for status updates for when an edition is scheduled, unscheduled or published.

Final thoughts

In my role as Delivery Manager at Amplience I love using Zapier and other integration tools such as Microsoft Power Automate to streamline processes and introduce workflow improvements.

From my experience the key to success is understanding both your data needs and most importantly the needs of the person consuming the data.

The simple examples I have shown take minutes to set up but provide so much value. You can build much more sophisticated integrations that link up all your content planning and production activities. So, sign up for the Dynamic Content Zapier integration beta programme and start supercharging your workflow.