Anyone who moves in the digital world stumbles over the topic of “artificial intelligence” again and again. Currently hyped by ChatGPT and Composed AI. The topic itself is huge and will certainly reach into many areas of life and work in the future – including marketing. Marketing content, which is indispensable to any marketing process, is one of those areas that offer many starting points for the application of artificial intelligence. In some places, they have already arrived, such as in content marketing. But what role does artificial intelligence really play in content marketing at the moment and how can we best deal with this new technology? These are precisely the questions that form the basis of this article.
What is artificial intelligence?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science. It deals with the automation of intelligent, human behavior. Since there is no single definition of “intelligence,” AI is also difficult to narrow down. In the most common cases, artificial intelligence describes an attempt to understand and mimic the human brain, its functions and learning steps – usually in the form of a computer or computer program. Artificial intelligence, then, is a term used to describe applications in which machines perform human-intelligent tasks such as learning, judgment, and problem solving. These AI applications can be very diverse, ranging from “simple”, logical computational sequences, such as the digital chess opponent, to algorithms, to futuristic ideas of humanoid, autonomously acting and thinking robot humans, as in the movie “I, Robot”.
How does artificial intelligence show up in marketing?
Humanoid robots don’t exist in marketing today, but if we look at the marketing materials of most martech companies, AI-powered tools are now ubiquitous. MarTech is the combination of marketing and technology. The term refers specifically to key actions and tools that use technology to achieve marketing goals.
The technological capabilities in this space have evolved so quickly that, ironically, many marketers themselves are struggling to holistically grasp where and how they can apply AI to their strategy, processes, and talent to get the most out of this technology. The difficulty here is not skepticism about the tools. The sheer variety of options requires massive rethinking – and that takes time. All processes that have already been implemented must be scrutinized and the resources freed up by the new application must be reallocated.
Status quo of AI in content marketing
In the area of content marketing, the State of Marketing AI Report 2021 found that this is one of the most important areas where AI is already being used. Of the ten AI use cases for marketing, six were related to content creation and/or assessment and improvement:
- Gain insights on top content and campaigns
- Create data-driven content
- Prediction of successful advertising media (e.g., digital ads, landing pages) without prior A/B testing.
- Delivering individualized content experiences across all channels
- Selection of keywords and topic clusters for content optimization
- Optimization of website content for search engines
How AI supports content marketing in advance
Away from some bad news about AI in content marketing, which wanted to evoke the job loss of many marketers, we would like to emphasize the advantages of using AI at this point. No matter how good, artificial intelligence will not put everyone in the marketing industry out of work for a long time yet. On the contrary, it is rather the small-scale, tedious and laborious auxiliary work that can be replaced by AI. This leaves much more space and time to draw qualitatively valuable conclusions from prepared information. What can AI already do in content marketing today?
- Artificial intelligence generally helps perform repeatable and automated tasks smarter, faster, and at scale.
- It provides use cases for content research, planning, and strategy.
- Even before content production, AI can help develop a relevant and effective content calendar.
- Artificial intelligence-based tools can search the Internet to gather data and generate topics, keywords, and content ideas based on current and historical trends.
- AI mines unstructured data, particularly in social media, to find brand and category mentions, based on which topic suggestions can be created that match the current sentiment of target audiences.
- The tools help identify the best A/B testing options to boost content performance.
- AI supports in the ongoing content creation process
Not only upfront, but also in the content creation process, AI can be a great help for marketers. Here are some promising possibilities: AI helps develop article structures, tables of contents, and first drafts of long content. This saves a lot of time and massively supports the implementation.
Artificial intelligence creates really solid micro-content like social media posts, search and display ads, email subject lines and sales copy, as well as formulaic content like press releases and boilerplate copy. In keeping with the spirit of sustainability, AI also helps to recycle extensive content. Transforming evergreen content into case studies, infographics, product descriptions, or video scripts, as well as translating content into multiple languages are great use cases. What AI is also very good at is long-form technical content. Financial and annual reports or technical manuals, which previously hardly made a marketing heart leap, can now be easily delegated and automated. The large area of chatbots could also gain new and lasting momentum through the targeted use of really good AI tools.
AI in quality control and follow-up
As you might expect, AI can also make a valuable contribution to quality control and follow-up. In many places, this is already happening without us actually being aware of it. Here are a few specific examples:
- AI gives us appropriate recommendations for personalizing content and products.
- AI tools are unbeatable when it comes to saving time: From research to content creation, its distribution and measurement. This leaves more time for other tasks.
- Across the SEO space, artificial intelligence can boost performance. This way, the best keywords can be integrated and performant SEO strategies can be designed.
- Artificial intelligence supports with recommendations to increase the content effectiveness of content. What is really clicked, liked and read can be derived easily and quickly.
- Content and workflow standardization: Intelligent content management platforms can help streamline the process from planning to creation and distribution, especially for larger, dislocated teams.
AI in content marketing: big change and big opportunity
AI is getting exponentially better at understanding, writing, and speaking human-like language. For this, it needs local languages, grammar, punctuation, brand style guides and other parameters. Feeding AI with this input and setting a guideline for its development will certainly be the future field of activity in marketing. The fact is, AI is giving a traditionally rather time- and labor-intensive human activity, such as writing, a speed and scalability that is not humanly achievable. Instead of seeing this fact as a danger, we should recognize the opportunities in it.
However, accuracy, context, and nuance are still areas for human intervention. Even though AI is constantly learning, well-trained editorial teams and strategic quality control are still important and will have to do this much more in the future. Using AI in content marketing will no longer be about doing a lot, but doing the right thing. Although many marketers have also been committed to this guiding principle in the past, this emphasis was not apparent in many an implementation.
In very practical terms, AI can help conserve resources: Writing resources, for example, are expensive and should be used where they are really needed. When processes are organized in a way that shifts much of the routine and volume-heavy work to AI tools, the people behind the content can do more value-added tasks. It is important that we learn how to work with AI and how to make greater use of the newfound time for content context and relevance, increased quality control, strategy alignment, and fact checking. Keyword “process optimization”: integrating AI-powered content marketing tools across martech is important for efficient and seamless workflows, but equally important is the issue of incorporating subject matter expert, management, and legal approval workflows into AI-created content. Here, too, more workers will be needed who cannot be replaced by AI. We also need to ensure we build internal expertise to make the most of the technology and engage employee:s in AI training to generate more relevant industry and brand-focused content. Considerations Before Investing in AI Tools for Content Marketing Where do marketers start on the path to using AI tools for marketing processes and ideally? At the beginning, there is still the content strategy and the overview of the use cases.
As with any other technique, clarity is first needed about what is to be achieved and why. The tools applied are the how in the implementation. So, once it’s clear where you want to go, it’s a matter of figuring out what tools can help you along the way to work faster and smarter to achieve your strategic goals. Identifying the right use cases is a natural outcome of this process. Important selection criteria for AI tools are based on this:
- the quality of the generated content
- the user friendliness
- the research capability of the tool Here we usually have no choice but to try, test, compare and exchange with others.
Conclusion: AI in content marketing
AI content tools will change the way the performance of marketers, authors and content itself is measured – that’s clear. As I said, it’s not about creating more, it’s about creating better content. Content creators with AI tools that are able to research and create content more efficiently gain additional kudos because they deliver significantly more productive, higher quality content and improved conversions.
It’s true, marketers still have a lot to learn, but in an exciting and opportunity-filled field of development. The potential of AI-powered technologies is obvious when it comes to reducing costs, increasing revenue, and even providing differentiated content experiences. AI also provides us with valuable services when it comes to condensing data into a golden record. What makes us hesitate in part is not the fear of AI per se, but our need for more understanding and knowledge about how this potential can best be used and integrated in a sustainable way.
Properly applied, AI could be the perfect solution for our digital world, taming the content and data tsunamis while sustainably improving what humans are really good at – creating context.
Who got the desire to try something yourself? Here are two links to it: Rytr – text creation with AI [Craiyon] (https://www.craiyon.com) – image creation with AI