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Case Study: How IEEE Built an AI-Led Content Strategy

6 min read

IEEE recognized an opportunity to reach new audiences through more SEO-driven content. The content team wanted to set up an AI-centered machine that would reduce manual processes, speed up content brief creation and content approvals, and improve search rankings.

They brought MarketMuse on board to centralize their SEO content strategy, speed up human-led processes and ramp up their publishing cadence. MarketMuse’s managed services including Content Briefs allow the team to create more, edit less, and publish faster — all while maintaining their authority.

Using MarketMuse, IEEE achieved a 50% YOY increase in traffic, 203% growth to one of their microsites and 80% growth of keywords in the first three positions.

The Company

With over 400,000 members across 160 countries, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE, is the world’s largest association of technical professionals. They’re also the largest non-profit publisher of technical content, including journals, conference proceedings and peer-reviewed content, as well as industry research and related articles around the topic of electrical engineering.

Consultants Allan Tear and Nicholas Napp work with IEEE to maintain a set of AI-powered tools to help the organization rank their highly-technical content in ways that intersect with search and create new audiences.

Driving such a robust content initiative, ensuring accuracy and maintaining authority while also creating engaging content that earns high positions in SERP is no short order. Read on to discover how the pair uses MarketMuse as the underlying engine to drive an impressive content output.

In this case study, learn how IEEE uses the power of AI to produce large-scale content across departments and how the team increased organic traffic 203% YOY and saw 80% growth of keywords in position 1-3 after partnering with MarketMuse.

The Challenge

No stranger to large-scale content production, IEEE has been in the content creation game for nearly 60 years — since the organization’s inception in 1963. A strategy that once centered around volumes on a shelf, tangible items that came at a premium, had already come a long way with the onset of the internet age and the democratization of content.

While IEEE was serving their existing audience well online, they recognized a gap — an opportunity they had to reach new audiences for the organization through more SEO-driven content.

“Existing audiences already know how to find what’s in their library. New audiences don’t know because IEEE is so wide and deep, they don’t know what is in there that might help them in their engineering career,” explained Tear. “That gap is really represented by what people look for versus what IEEE calls it, or how they internally talk and speak about a particular technology or topic.”

Tear and Napp identified an opportunity to not just create individual articles that rank, but to reorient a content strategy around topic areas (or content clusters) ripe for building new audiences through performance in the SERPs.

Unlike other enterprise organizations and large publishers, IEEE does not have a centralized content effort via a singular content marketing team, instead there are hundreds of nodes across the organization responsible for creating content. Creating an effective strategy at scale involves a lot of moving parts.

Enter AI.

Working with MarketMuse

"“The brief is really the secret sauce. It’s [makes] it possible for a good, competent technical writer to produce something that reads well, is authoritative, covers all the bases," says Allan Tear.

The team uses MarketMuse’s managed services including plans, briefs and integrated writing network that partners clients with top-tier writers. With some initial guidance from a subject matter expert at IEEE, writers are able to execute publish-ready content for the org. This process allows for laser-focused content and shortens the feedback loop, allowing the organization to publish more content, faster while maintaining their high standards for accuracy, authority and expertise.

AI helps IEEE create robust content plans and high-quality technical content at scale and execute efficiently across the organization’s many sectors. For IEEE, MarketMuse helps bridge the gap between their existing expertise and creating optimized content that wins in SERP.

“How Google actually works from a search engine performance point of view is very opaque. This is a way to build a bridge between what Google is naturally looking for and the content that IEEE already have,” explains Nicholas Napp.

Results

The team started seeing meaningful results from MarketMuse and their investment in AI within 90 days of implementation.

IEEE works to execute what they call “technology roadmaps,” longform content centered on the future of a specific technology. Partnering with MarketMuse on these roadmaps, the team saw a significant lift in traffic, which trickled down to other KPIs for the organization.

“When we started publishing about the future of semiconductors, the roadmap was at the same level as half a dozen other roadmaps, and when we finished, its traffic is 5 to 6x the nearest comparative roadmap,” said Tear. “That’s an incredible traffic gain and as a result, the actions of new audiences joining the semiconductor community and the downloads of the roadmap, again, increased tremendously over the nearest comparison within IEEE.”

That roadmap is now the most mature and wide-reaching content segment for IEEE and sees success across a wide range of metrics, including keyword ranking, SERP position, downloads and other on-page actions.

The organization’s last business review showed significant growth for the across content efforts, including:

  • 50% YoY increase in organic traffic to their International Roadmap for Devices and Systems.
  • 203% YoY growth to IEEE Brain (a microsite) driven by new pages published and improved rankings.
  • 80% growth of keywords in positions 1-3 for IEEE Digital Reality microsite, leading
  • to a 47% increase in organic traffic.

The team is also on track to publish 100 pieces of long-form evergreen content this year through their work with managed briefs and the writing network.

“MarketMuse is powering a completely new process that would not have existed or been possible within the organization without it being in place,” says Allan Tear.

“It’s really now helping reorient the content strategy of the organization around search in order to create new audiences and it’s making it possible to scale the approach in a way that just wouldn’t be possible if we were relying on the human infrastructure of IEEE to do it,” Tear said.

“The simple fact is that for an organization to stay on top of what is going to keep their content fresh and available through search engines is an enormous undertaking at this point and you need a partner that can do the heavy lift for you unless you’re willing to invest just extraordinary amounts of time and money to do so,” relayed Napp. “What I’ve seen again and again is that MarketMuse does that heavy lifting and makes it pretty effortless for us as a client.”

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