Content Intelligence Blog

3 min read

This Is Why Content Marketers Should Care About AI

Jun 25, 2019 9:52:08 AM

Artificial intelligence is transforming the landscape of many industries. But only a handful stand to see the most impactful change from AI—and marketing is one of them, according to McKinsey.

Content marketers should be especially excited. They face the pressure to create outstanding content, personalize it, and garner meaningful performance metrics from it. This is a tall order when it comes to scaling these functions, and many marketing teams don’t have the budget to keep hiring more content creators.

This is where artificial intelligence can make a huge impact, and why content marketers should pay attention.

What Is Content Marketing AI?

What if there were technologies that drastically improved content analysis, keyword selection, data-driven content creation, optimization, personalized content creation, and content A/B testing? What if it could do these functions faster and better than humans?

AI can.

Artificial intelligence includes various technologies, like machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, and natural language generation. These technologies perform different types of cognitive tasks as well or better than humans—and can actually be taught to “read” and “write” human language.

Reading language is the root of AI-powered technology called natural language processing (NLP). The ability to “write” and “speak” (like Siri and Google Assistant) is thanks to AI called natural language generation (NLG).

All NLP and NLG systems can analyze and create human language, but most impressive is that these systems actually learn and improve over time.

In content marketing use cases, AI tools read and/or write human language, learning how to improve each time. They get better quickly and at a scale humans could never replicate.

Are you convinced of AI’s importance yet? Here are three simple steps to start incorporating AI into your content marketing.

How to Use AI in Your Content Marketing Strategy

Now that you know what AI is and why it’s important to content marketing, it’s time to consider implementing it. Here are a few simple steps.

1. Use a framework for testing and implementing AI.

There are tons of marketing AI tools out there, and none of them do everything. That means you’ll have to create an intelligently automated martech stack to achieve the full potential of content marketing AI.

For content strategy specifically, you’ll want to make sure you have accurate benchmarks in place before you start adopting AI tools. It sounds simple, but plenty of brands miss this step. The whole point of AI is to improve performance, so you want to be sure the tools you adopt are actually doing that. The best way to do that is by being able to compare performance pre- and post-AI.

Once you’ve done that, Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute created a framework for vetting the tools you’ll want to include in your strategy. It’s called the 5Ps of Marketing AI, and it helps you assess new tech across five marketing disciplines: Planning, Production, Personalization, Promotion, and Performance. Using a framework like this, you can identify gaps and opportunities to incorporate content marketing AI into your operations.

2. Find out how much data you have.

For any type of AI to get smarter, it has to learn from large data sets. This is especially true of the AI you’ll use to enhance content marketing.

You can use NLG to create data-driven narratives at scale, but you must have access to structured data, like data arranged in a spreadsheet. It must be consistently labeled and arranged for the NLG tool to function properly.

While machines can automate the content generation process, human intellect is required to dig through the data and pull the thread to unravel a compelling narrative.

Keep in mind, your content strategy can benefit from applying AI to the data you have on the content you’ve already published or data on competing sites. But it can also benefit from the stories you can tell using other datasets.

3. Test out AI.

This is where the rubber meets the road. Jump in and get started with testing AI tools. Some marketing automation platforms, like HubSpot, already have AI capabilities baked into their product, so you can get started immediately. Many other products offer easy-to-use free trials.

And if you’re willing to take the time to learn, there are endless resources available online.

AI represents a massive opportunity for forward-thinking marketers, content marketers, and executives who rely on content to drive their businesses. AI can be your competitive advantage, giving content marketers the ability to brainstorm, create, promote, and optimize like never before.

To avoid getting left behind, content marketers need to start making AI a real part of their marketing strategies.

Mike Kaput
Written by Mike Kaput

Mike Kaput is the director of the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute and a senior consultant at PR 20/20 who is passionate about AI's potential to transform marketing. At PR 20/20 he creates measurable marketing results for companies using data-driven strategies, market-leading content, and scalable marketing technologies.

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