In many ways, artificial intelligence (AI) is already influencing digital marketing in general, and content marketing in particular. But the truth is, there is so much more to come – so many more changes and improvements that AI will surely bring to content marketing.
In this blog post, I’m going to explore some of these changes in order to try to understand what the future holds – read on to discover the 3 ways that artificial intelligence will change content marketing.
What exactly is artificial intelligence?
Before I can discuss the effects of artificial intelligence – also known as AI, machine intelligence and in some cases, machine learning – on content marketing, it’s important to first understand what exactly artificial intelligence is.
So, what is AI, exactly?
Techopedia defines it as “an area of computer science that emphasizes the creation of intelligent machines that work and react like humans. Some of the activities computers with artificial intelligence are designed for include:
- Speech recognition
- And problem solving”
For example, such a machine would be a self-driving car: a car that doesn’t need any humans to operate it in order to safely drive itself. Or, a computer that can play chess with you and take on-the-spot decisions as needed. Or, a simple every day example and something that many can relate to – the content that Netflix suggests you watch (all based on machine learning).
In other words, AI permits machines to learn from data and use that knowledge to perform human-like tasks.
And unsurprisingly, AI has also already started to make an impact on marketing, from AI content curation to chatbots – but how exactly is it (and will it be) impacting content marketing?
More Personalized Content
One of AI’s main functions is its ability to analyse huge amounts of data – and interpret them. That is an incredible feature and something that can have huge effects on content marketing and even marketing in general.
One of these effects is that it will help content marketers understand exactly who they’re targeting. Not in a creepy way, but rather in a way that many consumers expect: a Salesforce study, for example, found that 76% of consumers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations.
After all, many of today’s most popular products and services offer highly personalized experiences – like, of course, Amazon.
Content is no different than other forms of marketing when it comes to the need for personalization; consumers want a personalized experience, including only seeing content that is directly relevant to them.
So, how exactly will artificial intelligence help us create this type of content?
It’s all about the data and segmentation: AI can absorb huge amounts of data and help you segment it easily.
When it comes to audiences, AI can help you understand who exactly forms your audience, what platforms they use predominantly, what other content they read, what types of content they prefer, and so on.
Build Better Content Marketing Strategies With An AI Marketing Assistant
One of the ways that AI is already heavily impacting content marketing is with AI marketing assistants – like IBM Watson’s Lucy.
Lucy is an incredibly powerful tool that marketers can use for research, segmentation and planning – and it’s so powerful that it can do more in a minute than an entire team of marketers can achieve in months.
So, how exactly does an AI marketing assistant like Lucy work?
To start with, Lucy can absorb and analyse literally all of the data your company owns, or that has commissioned or licensed. What’s more, once it absorbs all of this data, you can ask it any question you might have, no matter how complex, and it will find the answer for you:
- Which regions should I first target?
- What mix of content should I create for my audience for maximum results?
- What are my competitors up to?
- What are the main personality traits of my audience?
These are questions that companies need to answer in order to put together a strategy that works. But finding these answers is not exactly easy when you don’t have a tool like Lucy on your side – gathering and interpreting these vast amounts of data would be a difficult, if not almost impossible task without help.
And the possibilities of marketing assistants like Lucy don’t end here:
- You can create clear and complex segments of your target audience so that you can create highly personalized content
- Plan your content marketing (and other marketing) strategies by seeing how different strategies would work and what results you can expect
Systems like Lucy will have a huge impact on content marketing as they become more affordable and more popular. They will help companies better understand their audience and their data in general and what’s more, they will help marketers put together more effective strategies as well as help them understand what types of outcomes they can expect.
Will AI Take Over Content Writing Jobs Completely?
Unsurprisingly, when it comes to technology this powerful, it’s easy to get a little scared: will it take my job from me? Will all content be written by machines in a few years?
If AI can analyse this much data and take human-like decisions based on this data – and even arguably better decisions, since a powerful machine can hold so much more knowledge than any human realistically can – can’t it also write the content, maybe just as well or even better than a human can?
In the world of journalism, it’s already happened – as far back as 2015. Back then, the Associated Press published a short financial news story: “Apple tops Street IQ forecasts”. The piece could very well have been written by a real human – but if you read until the end, you would see that it was actually “generated” by Automated Insights; in other words, it was written (or generated, if you will) by a so-called “robot journalist”.
Associated Press aren’t the only ones who experimented with robot journalism (or automated journalism) either; numerous top publications use it, such as Washington Post, who published as many as 850 articles generated by their robot journalist over the course of one year.
That might sound gloomy to many, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that AI is taking over any and all content writing jobs. Rather, this type of AI technology can be used to free up your time and give you all the data you need so that you can focus on creating better content. It can be used to automate the little tasks – like Associated Press’s news story about Apple’s quarterly earnings – while humans can focus on writing the more complex and sensible content.
Conclusion: Will AI Take Over Content Marketing Jobs?
Clearly, AI will rapidly become an even bigger part of digital marketing. It already is taking over numerous aspects of our lives and even threatening some jobs, but how much will it really affect content marketing?
While no one can predict the future, the present does tell us that AI will have a real impact on content marketing – from creating incredibly detailed marketing strategies based on huge amounts of data to generating content automatically, marketers will start using AI more and more to help them every step of the way.