As content marketing becomes more and more popular, businesses are starting to look for ways to automate their content strategies. And artificial intelligence (AI) seems like the perfect solution. After all, AI is great at automating repetitive tasks, and content marketing require a lot of repetition. But is AI really the future of content marketing? Or is this just another overhyped technology? In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the relationship between AI and content marketing and see what the future might hold for us.
For years, scientists and engineers have dreamed of creating computers with human-like sensory perception and decision-making capabilities. Although it remains a distant dream, various promising developments in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) have already started to transform human life in many ways.
Of course, like many others, this technology has fallen victim to both extreme glorification and criticism.
However, in recent years, AI has started to show tremendous potential in content marketing, one of the largest segments of the global digital marketing industry. The growing relationship between AI and content marketing has produced several interesting viewpoints where people speak for and against this union.
In this article, I will examine the relationship between the two and discuss how AI can help content marketers, people who are already using this technology today, whether or not it will end our current content marketing tactics and what lies ahead.
I know it seems a lot to digest. So let’s start with the basics.
In simple terms, artificial intelligence is the ability of a computer program (ergo, a machine) to think and learn. It includes human thinking, problem-solving, communication, and learning skills. As you can see, the whole concept of AI revolves around the creation of machines capable of interacting with their environment on their own, without human intervention.
Now that we know the basics, let’s see how AI can help content marketers.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
In order to be successful at content marketing, you need to be able to produce a lot of content quickly and efficiently. And this is where AI can help.
There are already a number of content marketing tools that use AI to help content marketers with their tasks. For example, there’s Quill, an AI-powered writing assistant that can help you generate content faster by taking care of the research and writing for you.
Contrary to popular belief, the concept of AI has been around for more than half a century. Stanford researcher John McCarthy, one of the founding fathers of artificial intelligence, first coined the term in 1955. Along with Marvin Minsky, Allen Newell, and Herbert A. Simon, he organized the Dartmouth Conference in the summer of 1956, which marked the beginning of AI as a field of computer science.
During the 1950s and 1960s, AI experienced its first golden age. Scientists made great progress in areas such as natural language processing, machine learning, and robotics.
However, the field hit a major setback in the 1970s, known as the AI winter. This was caused by a number of factors, including overblown expectations, inadequate funding, and a lack of progress in AI technology.
Fortunately, AI soon recovered from this setback and entered into a second golden age in the 1980s, thanks to the development of expert systems, which are computer programs that simulate the decision-making process of humans.
The 1990s saw even more progress with the advent of machine learning, a subfield of AI that deals with the development of algorithms that allow computers to learn from data and improve their performance over time.
And in the 2000s, we saw the rise of artificial neural networks, which are computer systems modeled after the human brain. These systems have been used to develop powerful applications such as Google’s self-driving cars and Facebook’s facial recognition technology.
Now that we’ve seen how AI has progressed over the years, let’s take a look at how it can shape content marketing in the future.
As I mentioned before, one of the biggest challenges content marketers face is the need to produce a lot of content quickly and efficiently. And AI can definitely help with that.
In the future, content marketers will be able to use AI-powered tools to automate tasks such as content research, writing, and editing. This will free up a lot of time so that content marketers can focus on more strategic tasks, such as planning and producing high-quality content.
AI-powered content marketing tools will also be able to personalize content for each individual reader, based on their interests and preferences. This will make content more relevant and engaging, which will lead to better results.
Overall, AI is definitely the future of content marketing. It has the potential to help content marketers save time, produce better content, and achieve better results. So if you’re not already using AI in your content marketing, now is the time to start.
Not really. Machine learning (ML) is one of the most common applications of AI and can use AI to collect and analyze large amounts of data.
“Artificial intelligence is a broader concept than machine learning, which uses computers to mimic human cognitive functions. When machines perform tasks based on algorithms in an “intelligent” way, that’s AI.
Machine learning is a subset of AI and focuses on the ability of machines to receive a range of data and learn for themselves. Algorithms change as they learn more about the information they are processing. “
So don’t get confused with using the terms AI and machine learning interchangeably. The scope of AI is practically unlimited. It’s a much broader concept than just a technology.
Where does AI fit in the content marketing landscape? The role of AI in content marketing is diverse. It can help digital marketers understand the ever-growing amount of data on the web, speed up the process of content creation, and leverage personalized advertising, among other things.
Recently, the proliferation of the internet and the increasing popularity of social media have contributed to a huge increase in the amount of data we create on a daily basis.
According to a 2017 IBM Marketing Cloud study, 90% of all data on the web was created in the two years prior to the survey. The study also predicts that data growth is likely to accelerate even further with the emergence of new devices, sensors, and technologies.
This data is a treasure trove of valuable insights into your prospects and their online behavior. Unfortunately, much of this data remains uncategorized and untagged. It needs to be analyzed to extract useful and relevant information. This is where AI comes into play.
Many companies are already using machine learning for this purpose. Most AI programs such as B. WEXDAE (IBM Watson Explorer Deep Analytics Edition ) use both machine learning and NLP ( Natural Language Processing ) to identify hidden insights from the data.
You can scan internal and external data sources like your website, social media, news, and others. You can use key phrases to analyze and visualize the textual information to identify clear trends, patterns, and anomalies in the seemingly unstructured data.
More and more small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are using predictive analytics. In their 2018 Magic Quadrant for Data Science and Machine Learning Platforms report, Gartner shows that not only tech giants but also traditional software editors are shifting their focus from classic descriptive and diagnostic analysis to predictive and prescriptive analysis.
According to Gartner, advanced analytics is no longer the domain of the big four: Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon (GAFA). Forrester, on the other hand, forecasts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% for the market for predictive analytics and machine learning solutions (PAML) until 2021.
AI not only helps you uncover valuable insights from hidden data but also uses those insights to optimize your content marketing efforts. The process is called predictive analytics because it involves data mining, statistics, and modeling to make predictions about future outcomes.
If you already know what your consumers think of your brand, you can provide them with content that suits their needs and interests. With predictive analytics, marketers can accelerate the sales process – and AI accelerates predictive analysis.
It can quickly analyze a large amount of data to find meaningful patterns and build a content marketing model based on those insights. This means actionable results can be achieved quickly compared to a team of marketers and analysts.
Instead of waiting for calculations to finish, you can deliver your marketing campaigns in real-time. AI also helps avoid replication of data from any source. The consolidated data is not only correct but also supports multiple applications and users.
Personalization can go a long way in the digital marketing world. According to Statista, 90% of US adults find personalized content “very or somewhat appealing,” versus 4% of people who say they find it “not very or not at all appealing.”
Because delivering unique and authentically personalized experiences to your potential customers can be a bit difficult, AI is a great tool to help you build solutions that allow your brand to connect with each consumer personally.
From customized emails to bespoke eCommerce landing pages, AI can help you personalize various aspects of your marketing efforts. Most importantly, it can help you decode key customer variables such as location, context, behavior, and values in real-time.
This allows you to distinguish each customer down to the last variable. For example, you can determine if a customer is vegan or vegetarian, or what type of meals they prefer when traveling, on weekends with their family, or when eating alone. These results are analyzed together and help you create highly personalized content.
Instead of relying on developing the ideal customer personas, you can use extreme personalization to create one-of-a-kind personas. You can also update the variables like interactions, context, behavior, and location changes in real-time. This allows you to focus on the data that directly impacts your critical customer variables and avoid data paralysis.
As a marketer, you have many responsibilities, and writing a blog post often takes up the time you don’t have. AI can help you create content, although the scope of content automation extends far beyond just content creation. You can also use AI to curate and distribute content, saving you money and time.
Just like NLP, Natural Language Generation (NLG) is also a discipline of AI. You can use NLG-based algorithms to write simple posts and news articles without human intervention. Numerous companies such as The Associated Press, FOX, and The Washington Post are already using this technology to write weather reports and sports stories.
However, because bots rely heavily on data and structure to create content, they cannot produce free-flowing content like humans. So if you write down your own thoughts, you have to hire a human writer. Still, these content bots are making rapid strides in the fields of marketing and journalism.
AI-based tools like Jasper can help you discover new content, schedule posts, and streamline your social media communications. These tools can sort through a variety of online articles to provide you with the most relevant and quality content.
You can use tools like Buffer and Hootsuite to streamline your content distribution by automatically scheduling and tracking ROI for all your social media posts across all your social accounts.
Let’s put all the hype aside and see who is using AI today and how starting with content creation bots.
The Washington Post started using its in-house content auto-creation bot called Heliograf to create short reports for the Rio Olympics. Stories about convention races and soccer games are also published these days.
As of September 2017, the Post had published 850 articles written by Heliograph. However, these are rather short journalistic reports like the following.
The Los Angeles Times created the Quakebot to report earthquakes. Whenever an alert is received from the US Geological Survey, Quakebot extracts the relevant data and writes the report into a template.
After verification by a human editor in its content management system, it is published as shown below. Now the content creation bot even has its own Twitter handle.
Peach Aviation, a new Japanese airline, has started using Deese, an AI-powered algorithm, to provide customer service. The AI can provide customer support in seven languages including Japanese, English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Cantonese, Korean and Thai.
In the one-month test phase from December 2017 to January 2018, the system was able to automatically answer 87% of around 100,000 queries in seven languages.
In 2017, National Geographic launched its first screenplay series entitled Genius, marking a new milestone in its history. Because the show was about the life of Albert Einstein (during the first season), the network decided to create a chatbot that would allow fans to chat with Albert Einstein.
The AI-powered chatbot talked about Einstein’s personal and professional life, including the theory of relativity, other scientific topics, his relationships, or anything else. It had a sense of humor and “a masterful understanding of when to use GIFs” and proved to be an incredible promotional boost for the show.
Sephora, a leading beauty and cosmetics brand use AI for marketing. You can use the Sephora Virtual Artist app to upload your selfie. The app uses face recognition technology to recognize your unique facial features and measure your skin tone.
With an augmented reality overlay, you can virtually try on different makeup products to find out which one suits you best. You can buy these products directly from the app. Sephora has also launched a web version of this application.
AI will not completely replace your existing marketing strategies or the human element involved. However, you need to change some of your current content marketing strategies to get the most value from AI-driven marketing.
You need to carefully examine your business goals and market niche to understand the role AI-based technologies can play. Take content creation bots for example: they still lack the ability to create emotionally moving blog posts. Whether you want to use AI to manage your internal data exchanges or to communicate with your end-users is up to you.
Automated content marketing is only going to get stronger in the coming years. It will also take some of the human element out of business, especially menial, task-oriented jobs. However, it is highly unlikely that current content marketing will be completely replaced in the long run.
AI can help content marketers in various ways. For example, AI can be used to:
In conclusion, AI is not the future of content marketing, but it can be a valuable tool to help content marketers achieve their goals. As with any new technology, there is a learning curve. But once you understand how AI can help you, you can use it to your advantage.
Although the content automation used by marketers today saves time and money, most of it is done manually. In the future, however, these tools will be much more advanced. You can discover keywords, plan blog post topics, write, optimize, personalize and automate content without human intervention. You will also perform manual tasks like designing content strategies.
For now, AI remains the playground for tech and internet giants like Google, IBM, and Facebook. Eventually, AI technology will become more affordable and accessible, and various AI technologies will be made available as cloud-based service platforms, allowing small and medium-sized businesses to use AI in their marketing mix as well.
Do not worry. None of the possible disturbances will occur soon! This means you still have time to plan your move to an AI-focused content marketing strategy. Just make sure you have a content marketing strategy in place before you fully implement AI into your content marketing mix.
Content marketers need to start paying attention to the opportunities that artificial intelligence presents. There are already many AI-based content marketing tools available, and more are being developed every day. If you want to stay ahead of the curve, you need to start using AI in your content marketing. Otherwise, you risk being left behind.
What are your thoughts on content marketing and artificial intelligence? Have you started using AI in your content marketing? Let us know in the comments below!