As we speak, artificial intelligence is taking content marketing by storm. Though, not in the hostile ‘AI takeover’ kind of way depicted in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movie The Terminator, but in a more peaceful, co-existing way that benefits businesspeople and marketers alike. According to a recent survey, 60% of marketers are planning on implementing some form of AI into their content marketing strategies by the end of the year. This is a significant increase from last year, where the numbers were more around the 43% mark, which paints a bright picture for the future of AI indeed. Yet, let’s put our crystal ball aside for one moment and focus on AI’s impact on content marketing as of now.
Data-driven marketing strategies
AI has become an irreplaceable tool for marketers all around the world due to the ever-growing size of the internet and Big Data. According to Cisco, global traffic will reach a staggering 2 zettabytes per year by 2019, which is the equivalent of a 72,000-year-long HD video. As a result, marketers turn to machines for insight to discern the relevant from all the irrelevant data. This removes the tedious guesswork out of the equation, allowing marketers to focus more on the content itself, thus improving its overall quality. More specifically, marketers use predictive intelligence to discover the characteristics of top-ranking content, unearth upcoming trends, and find engaging keywords for their data-driven marketing campaigns. By using natural language generation (NLG), AIs can even write blog posts for us now. Of course, not the whole thing as its still missing that crucial ‘human touch’ that is often associated with writing. But, with the help of human editors, a data-heavy text could be easily transformed into a budding blog post with the additions of a proper introduction, conclusion, and by adding some flavour to the raw content.
Today, audio-visual content is leading in the engagement race. Nonetheless, text still reigns supreme for two reasons: it improves the indexing and searchability of audio-visual content, and it makes content more accessible to people with poor internet connections or hearing problems. So, what does this have to do with AI you might say? Well, thanks to Natural Language Processing (NLP), AIs can now turn this audio-visual content into a text format which can then be repurposed into other articles, social media posts, or even slide presentations. As This American Life (TAL) podcast found out, transcripts of their radio programs were bringing in more search traffic towards their website. In the past, radio programs had to do this all by themselves, manually, which is long and choresome to say the least. Nowadays, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a veteran marketer looking to further optimize your content or you’re still just a student in need of a precise academic transcription for all those marketing lectures at university, AI-driven transcription accomplishes the task of turning speech into text with ease.
Introducing smart content
Consumers of tomorrow are constantly searching for a more personalized experience that caters to their specific needs and desires. Businesses that fail to do so risk losing a good chunk of their clientele. Luckily for them, AI and smart content are there to save the day. What is smart content though? In essence, it’s the lifeblood of modern customer-centric marketing. With the help of organic search, businesses can target their consumers with specific content that addresses their particular needs and demands. For example, Airbnb utilizes machine learning to facilitate data which includes the users’ past searches and clicks, host preferences, and other variables to create the ideal list for them. As a result, businesses can interact with millions of customers simultaneously in a more personal way.
Automation of repetitive tasks
Finally, AI is a team player and it doesn’t mind doing the same old mundane and boring tasks for you so you don’t have to. This includes the scheduling of posts on social media, planning content for your blog, replying to user comments, and so on. What’s more, thanks to machine learning, AI can now execute these tasks as effectively as humans, in some cases. For example, when you mix machine learning with NLP, you get virtual assistants, such as Siri and Alexa, as well as Chatbots that can communicate with humans via text and auditory cues that can search a huge repository of info and reply accordingly to their users. Finally, AI-powered tools such as Grammarly automatically check for spelling and grammar mistakes to help marketers improve the overall quality of their content.
To sum up, AIs are not the bad guys we see in the movies. On the contrary, they’re helpful and co-operative, for the most part, and make our daily lives so much easier, especially if you’re a marketer.