In recent years, AI has made leaps and bounds by helping content marketers automate otherwise mundane or time-consuming tasks. But as the use of AI in content marketing continues to become more sophisticated, content marketers may fear their jobs are in jeopardy.
The truth is—AI is here to help you, and it’s here to stay. Embrace it or get left behind in the innovation.
Defining AI in Content Marketing
AI is a buzzword that we hear more and more about as technology advances. Almost everywhere you turn—especially in the content marketing industry—talks and workshops discuss how artificial intelligence is changing the game or how to use the latest AI marketing tools.
But before analyzing the programs and tools we use every day, let’s bring it back and define what AI actually means.
According to the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute, AI is the concept that machines can learn from our prior experiences. The point of this concept is to make our everyday functions more accessible and efficient.
“Artificial intelligence is the “science of making machines smart,” says Demis Hassabis, founder and CEO of AI company DeepMind. “At a basic level, “smart” means achieving a goal by mimicking human cognitive functions. That goal could be winning a board game, correctly identifying a cat in a photo, adeptly using data from sensors to drive a car or anything else a human can do.”
Components of AI in Content Marketing
Every content marketer should understand three main components of AI, says Jared Loftus, strategic advisor at Rasa.io.
- Artificial Intelligence is a technique that authorizes computers to mimic human behavior. This is the definition that most of us know and encompasses the two other components.
- Machine Learning is when a computer can learn without being explicitly programmed. Rather than using complex coding software routines, machine learning is supposed to train the algorithm to learn. Training consists of feeding vast amounts of data to the algorithm, allowing it to adjust and improve.
- Deep Learning is machine learning with a pinch of spice. This component uses algorithms to create artificial neural networks that can learn and make decisions independently.
“So with the emergence of the internet and the huge increase in the amount of digital information being generated, it’s become much more feasible to do this machine learning because we can teach computers and machines how to do it all,” Loftus says. “And it’d be far more efficient to code them to think like human beings, then plug them into all of this information so that that can give it the experience to take it forward.”
Mixing Up Our Strategies With AI-Generated Content
AI-generated content is simply content created by an AI tool. When applied to content marketing, AI technology can basically do it all, including building content strategies, writing content, personalizing content, and other content marketing tasks.
AI can also determine when it’s the best time to post and even find the best keywords for your content—an element every content marketer knows is essential to relevant search results and successful performance. These planning steps are all done by editors and content marketing managers, but AI content marketing and digital marketing tools make the process much more efficient.
“Things that every editor does are done exclusively manually right now. And none of it should be. Every one of those can be assisted by a machine,” says Paul Roetzer, founder of the Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute.
Here are a few other ways that AI has helped marketers improve the quality of their content marketing:
- Create personalized content feeds on several digital platforms—such as streaming platforms and social media.
- Collect data and make a predictive analysis for existing marketing strategies
- Assist in researching and developing new content marketing strategies.
- Develop an interactive experience on your website by using quizzes to create a personalized set of products or content for the user to see.
You can do a lot by yourself, but AI can help lighten that load. “AI simply has one capability that humans do not have: the ability to process data at a speed that seems near-instantaneous to our minds,” Roetzer says.
No, AI Doesn’t Bite
While AI may be known for its processing capabilities, it’s not quite as bright as you may be led to think. It’s no secret that AI has had many positive impacts on the content marketing field, but the technology definitely won’t replace humans any time soon.
(There will be no uprising of the machines—we hope.)
It’s important to remember that AI is mimicking technology. It mimics whatever behavior we give it, but it’s not always 100% accurate because it’s prone to making some mistakes—just like us. Yes, AI can help us write, edit, and create different types of content and strategies. But it can also alter the tone of the pieces or change the intended messaging.
AI lacks that extra human element that only we, as content marketers, can provide. The technology can get your written content as close to human language as possible, but it can have an almost robotic tone when you read it closely. This inconsistency leads to users skipping over your content and your performance to take a nosedive.
“Imagine a team of 100 writers and five editors (a common occurrence). Without a content AI platform, the editors would be working overtime to whip all that content into shape,” shares May Habib, co-founder and CEO of Writer.com. “But with an AI writing assistant on their side to catch style, language, voice and clarity issues, writers can continue to crank out content, and editors have help getting through their side faster.”
AI is advancing technology, but as your ally—not your enemy.
AI is Your Friend—If You Treat It Right
Using AI technology correctly is an added bonus to content marketing. It’s not the enemy and can improve how we do our tasks. As your programs learn from you, you can learn quite a lot from the technology.
By creating content, AI can help you:
- Build and maintain your brand voice. Your brand voice will have a lasting impact on your audience, so keeping it consistent gives your writing the sticking power that you want. With very little time to make an impression, AI can ensure that your voice is consistent throughout all channels.
- Edit your first writing draft. There are many talented editors with a keen eye for details that can catch many errors, but they can’t see everything. It can be hard to catch them all, from twice-written words to typos, even for the most experienced editors. AI can be the second line of defense to your editing processes. I.e., Grammarly, Wordtune, and more.
- Help spread your current messaging. Your audience is constantly evolving, so it’s only logical that your company’s messaging appeals to your target audience. Instead of manually going through all the outdated content, AI can make the process happen quicker.
“In the content world, your imagination, your curiosity and your creativity are not being farmed out to AI,” Loftus says. “It is a machine making better predictions.”
Beware of the Ease of AI in Content Marketing
While AI has many benefits and uses that can help us improve processes, simplify tasks, and save time, it’s essential not to sit back and rely solely on the technology.
“Sometimes AI gets colored as this magical, all-knowing thing that’s going to fix all the problems that we’ve had,” Jared says. “It can amplify the problems we have if you don’t go about it correctly.”
One major issue? Self-reinforcement. While AI can gather data to help it understand what content to create and how it will perform, data-filled content won’t land well with an audience. “Sometimes you have to override data to tell an aspirational brand’s story because the data speaks to your actual customers and not your aspirational customers,” says Brad Simms, president and CEO at GALE.
AI in content marketing is truly remarkable, but we are the ultimate power behind it.
As content marketers, we are the teachers—AI can only learn what we program it to understand. You have to lead by example, so to speak. AI is here to stay. Embrace it to continue building high-quality content.