AI Marketing
January 30th 2020

The Impact of AI on Content Strategy

9 min read

Artificial intelligence has come a long way since Alan Turing first posed the question, “Can machines think?” in 1950. Numerous promising advancements in this field have already started altering the digital marketing realm.

In recent years, AI has displayed enormous potential in content marketing. According to Salesforce’s 2017 State of Marketing report, 51% of marketers are already using artificial intelligence, and 27% are planning to use it in the near future. 

From business intelligence (BI) to natural language generation (NLG), AI is aiding content marketing in every way possible! NLG produces logical, coherent text with the help of AI. BI Helps marketers perceive the content marketing universe by examining the data of users, helping marketers better understand their intent.

Of course, AI, like many other technologies, has fallen prey to both extreme criticism and glorification. The rapidly developing link between AI and content marketing has led to several interesting points of view, with people arguing in favor of and against this union.

In this article, we explore the relationship between the two and discuss:

  • how AI is helping refine content marketing strategies
  • how digital marketers are leveraging this technology 
  • whether or not AI will bring an end to our present-day content marketing tactics
  • What lies beyond.

It seems like a lot to take in, doesn’t it? So then, let’s begin with understanding how AI is transforming the content marketing landscape.

AI in Content Marketing

The role of AI in content marketing varies greatly. It can aid digital marketers in making sense of the piling heaps of data over the web, accelerating the process of content creation, and helping create an effective content strategy, among other things.

Below are four ways artificial intelligence is changing content marketing for the better.

1. Delivering Unique Experiences With Predictive Intelligence

Predictive intelligence makes businesses structured. It helps companies understand the demands of individual customers and personalize content to address their needs and interests.

It also dramatically impacts lead scoring—a points system used to regulate prospects in the buyer journey. Predictive lead scoring allows marketers to speed the sales process by foretelling which customers are perfect for converting, depending on their history and past behaviors.

Predictive intelligence also provides marketers insight into which content to target for which group of customers. Once you understand where a user is in the buyer journey (through predictive lead scoring), you can leverage that information to target the particular content style they are most likely to engage with.

Seeing which content the target audience positively reacts to helps you plan content for the future in a way that it yields better results and decipher what customers want from your product or service.

2. Creating and Curating Content

Daily curation of relevant and engaging content is a tedious task. However, current content marketing tools are greatly aiding in researching which topics are trending with the masses. It still takes a significant amount of energy and time to sift through content, let alone curating content that is both- relevant to what your audience wants to read and engaging- at the same time.

In the long run, you don’t create content just for the sake of doing so. The goal is to move a prospect through the awareness stage, so they are more likely to purchase. AI helps marketers create content for their audiences that is relevant through each stage of the marketing funnel.

Algorithms make the process of data collection from the target audience a hassle-free one. Once you’ve added this knowledge to your arsenal, you can curate and create content that is relevant and addresses their queries. This boosts engagement and conversion for any offers you advertise to them.  

3. Drawing Data-Driven Insights for Intelligent Strategies

The majority of content strategists today solely rely on manually sorting through piles of data to build a content strategy. When we rely on data, there’s too much of it to sort the signal from the noise effectively.

Fortunately, AI exists! It does a better job than people of providing data-driven insights to form a cohesive content strategy.

Numerous artificial intelligence systems analyze your content performance data, compare that data with the one present on other websites, and offer related suggestions about everything right from what topics perform best to what to write.

These systems go by several names, like content intelligence tools or content strategy platforms. Still, they make use of AI to achieve one common goal: provide insights that lead to smarter content strategies.

4. Optimizing Content for Maximum Value

One of the most critical components of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the role of search engines. Through the years, search engines have become sharper and more authoritative in the process of page rankings.

AI’s influence on SEO causes marketers to think about the broader picture and how all elements of digital marketing come together and work toward meeting the end goal of an organization.

At this point, PPC, email, data tracking, blogging, and social media marketing can be seen transforming through the SEO lens.

As a result, comprehensive strategies involving machine learning, automation, and AI can be employed to ensure that each component of digital marketing helps to improve page rankings.

5. Natural Language Processing (NLP) for Conversation and Content

NLP is used in a wide range of applications, from chatbot text conversations to product descriptions and creative text. Natural language processing makes use of deep learning, a subset of NLP used to drive the understanding of human language and gain insight into how it motivates humans. NLP is also part of the process of natural language generation.

Is the End of manual Content Marketing nearing?

There might come the point where machines are writing the majority of news reports and business content. However, can a computer ever really write a novel or a moving opinion piece?

For the time being, AI content creation is algorithmic. Its potential is based on the information we humans feed into it. This is precisely where its limitations lie.

To replace manual content creation completely, first AI has to be able to think like a human. It needs to form opinions, it has to be able to feel (to have emotions), and more so, it needs to think critically.

Even as AI evolves, here are some of the many vital duties marketers will always be required to perform in the workplace.

Providing Authenticity to a Brand

A brand’s culture is composed of the mutual values of the individuals behind that brand. A machine can never really replicate that.

Brand culture is something that employees live and breathe. The reputation of that particular brand is then kept alive and spread by the passion of those employees.

Customers these days are smart enough to spot counterfeit brand culture as soon as they see it. Technology can never replace the power of people to provide authenticity to a brand.

Strategizing

Creating a strategy is a vital function where humans will always be required. 

We are living in an age of purpose. People are drawn to brands that speak to them, stand for something, and mean something. 

Brands with the best branding and marketing strategies possess a clear identity. Their approach is constructed around having that identity successfully communicated. They leverage marketing to connect with those who share that identity.

Formulating strategies is extensively personal. At the very least, it’s about contemplating human needs and fulfilling those at a human level. An outstanding approach is found in the sweet spot between the values of a brand and the values of their corresponding audience, which is something a machine can never replicate.

Playing Along Creatively

You may be able to use artificial intelligence to present a subject line — but can it truly replace the roles of your editors, writers, and designers in full?

The answer is no. It can’t! Human creativity is precise and sophisticated. The second meaning hidden within messaging or imagery often goes unnoticed by a computer.

For our images and copies to echo with human minds, humans need to create them.

Interpreting Results

Machine learning’s potential to get data from thousands of disparate points under one roof and produce highly detailed graphs, may sure as hell leave us in awe. But all those results and reports will be rendered useless without interpretation. Machines are great at telling us what has happened, but they drastically fail when it comes to explaining why.

Humans understand context in ways computers are yet to decipher. We can make connections to neutralize cultural differences. We can also comprehend the nuances of meaning in product messaging and the impact they have on the customer.

Therefore, it can be rightly concluded that marketing departments will always need humans, no matter how intelligent technology gets.

What lies ahead?

“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.”

– Elbert Hubbard

We have the media, propelled by the “if it bleeds, it leads” mindset, and the sci-fi genre to thank for making AI look petrifying. Marketing news is just as guilty of using fear to grab eyeballs. But, one doesn’t need to bother about headlines stating AI is going to take up content jobs.

The invention of the calculator didn’t erase the need for mathematicians. Neither did the launch of Photoshop eliminate the need for photographers. Likewise, AI writing platforms don’t wipe out the obligation for humans to add creativity, meaning, and direction in content creation.

AI-generated content will likely make marketers’ jobs more meaningful and easier; any marketing manager who has grimaced at assigning 50 pages of product- or location-based content to a writer knows this the best. Repetitive pages have the power to scramble even the most experienced writer’s brain. Why waste your time, money, and resources on something a smart algorithm can do?

Thanks to AI’s ability to gather data and hand it to you in a nice piece of writing, you are now free to harness your creativity, skill, and uniquely human experience to create content that holds more value, explores deeper meaning, and evokes real emotion in readers.

That’s something only the human brain is capable of doing.

So sit back and let AI do it’s thing while you do yours!

Rahul Varshneya

Written by Rahul Varshneya rahulvarshneya