How can AI be used in Content Marketing?
Last year, on April 1st, we announced at WittyPen one of our most ambitious projects – Project Nora. The response to that was better than what we could have expected.
With the help of Artificial Intelligence, we offered to get your content written by some of the greatest minds in human history. Initially, the number was kept to 6 – Steve Jobs, Warren Buffett, JK Rowling, Bob Dylan, Bill Gates, and Philip Kotler.
You pitch the idea, select the writer, and behind the scene, our AI algorithms would work to ensure the content as per your desire. Can you imagine how crazy it would be to have your brand story by J.K Rowling, and your sales pitch or PR article composed by none other than Steve Jobs?
Keeping the huge amount of structured and unstructured data, complex algorithms, and the brilliant engineering aside, just think only from the perspective of the outcome. How beautiful it can be for you as a business owner to share your idea with the greatest minds in human history and let them speak for you!
Nothing short of a fairy tale, right?
People appreciated the idea of using AI in content marketing, talked about it, reached out to us, showed their interests, and asked for samples. It was simply an amazing response for a young startup like us.
But if you read the first line again, and notice the date mentioned, it’ll come to you that it was a 1st April prank. Nonetheless, a beautiful one. People still casually talk about the uniqueness of the idea and the possibility of its execution.
Well, pranks are supposed to be attention seeking and funny. It was both. But sometimes, there is a certain extent of reality involved in the prank. This, too, wasn’t a complete lie.
With this prank, we were experimenting with the possibility of the adoption and acceptance of AI in the Indian content marketing space.
The appreciation for Project Nora could have been the ‘initial enthusiasm’ for a fresh idea, but did the idea have the potential to generate success on a greater scale? Given the nascent stage of AI, and even content marketing in India, did the idea stand any chance?
Directly connected to it, but the bigger question, is:
Is AI in Content Marketing any Relevant?
Whenever there is an introduction of a new technology, the debate of ‘Machine vs Human’ is almost mandatory. People are sceptical that the introduction of more efficient and powerful machines will replace professionals and snatch their jobs away.
The best examples are Computers. When computers were introduced in India, people opposed it on the basis that it’ll take away all of their jobs.
However, with time, it was proven that it wasn’t much of a threat to jobs. In fact, thousands of jobs in the Indian It sectors are created every year, thanks to computers.
Now, coming to the freelance sector in the country, India is the land of 20 million freelancers. 1 out of 4 freelancers in the world is an Indian. A fair share of them consists of content writers. It is natural to think that the introduction of AI in content marketing will replace them. But, think again. Will it?
No, it’ll not. However, AI will most definitely be helpful in:
- Automatization of analysis of the target keywords
- Efficient targeting of the Audience
- Optimizing the content according to the target audience and different devices
- Better accessibility of various social media channels
- Efficient analysis of the performance of each channel
The above are just a few of the innumerable advantages AI has to offer. But, the thing is, AI will never replace the human creativity needed for quality content creation (at least, not in near future).
The human brain is way more complex for algorithms to mimic anytime soon. That way, it is not going to replace the human creative effort, but will help optimize and make it more efficient.
Now, the question is:
How Artificial Intelligence can Help with Content Marketing
Every content piece has a journey. It takes roots in your business, flourishes along with your target audience, grows with your prospects, and matures with your customers.
Let’s see how AI can be used in content marketing.
If we break the journey down in stages, it’ll look something like this:
Stage 1: Problem – Idea or something that you want to educate your readers about
Stage 2: Find Your Audience – Who you want to target
Stage 3: Keywords – So that your target audience finds you when they are looking for the solutions
Stage 4: Content Creation – To convey the idea
Stage 5: Distribution – So that it reaches the majority of the audience
Stage 6: Analysis – How did your content do?
Saying AI can help you at every single stage of the 6 mentioned, won’t be an exaggeration. Well, let’s see how:-
1. Let’s Take a Start
Taking a start is always difficult, but crucial.
You know way too much about your business. Your business is not just a static object to you. It’s like a living person, breathing, moving, and growing along with you. You know every tiny detail of it.
But others don’t know as much as you do about your business.
The difficult part is to bridge that gap, and equally crucial as well. Crucial, because without bridging this information gap, you cannot have customers who put their trust in you.
At this point, you are surrounded by thousands of content marketing challenges.
How do I explain what my business is all about?
Is it important to tell everything about it or only the benefits?
How Should I approach my content strategy? Should I keep it formal? Should I keep it fun?
Do I need to talk only about my business, or I can include other things as well?
What are the things that I should make sure to cover in all the content pieces?
Let me tell you, it is difficult to sort everything out manually, even if you have a team of professionals.
AI can certainly help you there. AI can help you automate all the above-mentioned processes, which you have to manage manually. Not only it reduces the human effort, it is more efficient as well than doing it manually.
2. Who is Looking for You?
Youtube always leaves me awestruck. Their search recommendation service is simply brilliant. I, sometimes, think of a song, type the first word of it, and can easily find my song on the list, often at the topmost position.
How do you do it, Youtube?
The answer is AI.
But there is another aspect of Youtube, I am fascinated about is the accuracy of their advertisements. Most of the times, if not every time, the advertisements in my feed make sense to me. Whether I’m buying or not, is a thing for another day but I am considering it for sure.
The world is a huge place, and a lot of people are looking for exactly what you offer. If you possibly could identify them all, and tell them what you do, half of your job is done. You are already set for stars.
But how can AI help you with that?
Exactly, the way it helps Youtube.
Youtube records your browsing pattern, the kind of content you consume, and the products you previously have shown interest in. Based on this data, Youtube analyzes your persona, matches with the available records, and offers you exactly what you are looking for?
AI can do the same for you, what it does for Youtube. It can connect you with your Target Audience.
But this is not enough. Before you could serve them best, you need to know their requirements. You need to know:-
3. What are They Looking for?
Sometimes, starting from the very beginning is too boring, and sometimes telling too much is simply waste of time.
So, what do you say to the people who are looking for your products/services?
Exactly what they want to know.
With the help of right keywords targeting.
There is an entire industry working around SEO and keyword targeting. Based on the number of hits and frequency, keywords are chosen and inserted in the content. This approach is fruitful at times, and it can certainly be improved by matching these keywords with your target audience.
Let’s say you are a business providing cloud services to Startups/SMEs, and large corporates. Going by your services and the keywords frequency hits, you may find – “Cloud Computing” as the most suitable keywords. You take this keyword and design entire content strategy around it.
The problem with this arrangement is that most of the users clicking on your website are going to early college students, who are looking to learn the basics of Cloud Computing. I’m not saying that they will never buy from you but the chances of them buying your products are really thin.
So, what happened there?
You didn’t get the keywords frequency verified by your target audience.
AI can keep you more targeted in that aspect. With AI, you can get it as accurate as possible.
Okay, so now AI’s job is done, right?
At this point, you know what your target audience is looking for, but:-
4. Are you Providing the Same?
The single most important question in your entire content marketing strategy – Are you providing the right solutions or just beating around the bush?
Think of people who were so excited of the launch of the first iPhone that they waited overnight outside Apple headquarters for June 29, 2007 launch. These people believed that they are going to witness something that no one in entire human history ever had.
Image Source: media.wired.com
Think of their enthusiasm and excitement for a product, just for a minute.
Now, rethink what if the first iPhone wasn’t as good as people thought it would be. All the enthusiasm would’ve converted into a sham.
You don’t want it to happen with your audience either. That is why, this is the most important step, and you don’t want to go wrong here.
At this stage of content creation, AI can help you with:-
a) Sentiment Analysis – Is the message is coming out right?
b) Readability – Is it reader friendly or written for machines?
c) SEO – Are you providing what users are looking for?
d) Relevant External Links – Is it providing additional information to the reader?
e) Image/Video Suggestions – Is it visually appealing and relevant?
This is something, you can get more accurately with AI than a mortal human being
5. Are You There, Where They Are?
Facebook is the world’s biggest social network and if you watch your feed carefully you’d notice that it’s probably the biggest marketing network as well.
LinkedIn is the biggest and most powerful network of professionals. You can find from college students, early professionals, to top corporate officials here.
Every major B2C company is on Twitter and using it address the concerns of their customers.
Are you using these?
Also, are you using Quora, Instagram, Pinterest, and Reddit?
How are you using these channels? Because the audience on each of these platforms is different from the other. You cannot target them all with the same approach.
You need to adapt.
AI can help you understand which section of your target audience is hanging out where? AI can also tell you which section of your target audience is interested in which feature of yours. Show them what they are looking for. Also, talk in their language but don’t lose your authenticity.
6. How did it Go?
Nothing’s perfect, and AI, anyway, is in a really early stage. You cannot expect it to hit the nail for you every single time.
Because ultimately it is the people that you are dealing with. People like to make rational choices true to their conscious but often they go by their emotions.
That is why there can be no single absolute theory that can decide your steps. The most you can do is to try to be as accurate as possible. Observe, evaluate, learn, and try new things.
AI, again, can be helpful in evaluating the output produced by the content at each stage. You can take that into account and learn where you are going wrong.
Where is it that you need to put a majority of your focus and energy? Once you are done with it, you need to:-
7. Redesign the Content Strategy
This is where you’ll love AI.
Even though it may not be 100% accurate,AI in content marketing can surely evaluate the whole process and quickly suggest the steps to improve the overall content distribution strategy.
AI will surely produce better results in future as it learns better. Learning is better because it identifies its own mistakes better.
Let’s see how giants are using AI in their day to day operations:-
Facebook researchers use AI to turn whistles into orchestral music, and power other musical “translations”
Technologies don’t die. They evolve and transform themselves into something better, something more efficient. Same is the case with AI. AI is here to stay, and it is all set to change the way we work or see the world.
At present, we are discussing the scope of AI in content marketing and experimenting with its role, making effective use of content marketing resources and with time, this discussion will shape the reality.