By David Gutierrez.
At first glance, it may seem premature to talk about the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in content marketing. After all, we still have a long way to go before computer-generated content is comparable to what a human can create.
Neural networks have tried their digital hands at poetry, cooking, art, and even movie scriptwriting, but the results, albeit entertaining and weird, are still nonsensical.
Nevertheless, AI already plays a notable role in content marketing and, more importantly, quickly changes the way things are done in this industry. Here are six areas where AI is having an impact on content marketing and what they mean for marketers and SEO specialists.
1. Streamlining Client Interaction via Chatbots
Chatbots (which one sees today generally in the lower-right corner of countless websites) are programs that imitate human behavior during conversations with users.
While they are still incapable of dealing with complex requests that require open-ended answers, they already can reduce the workload of a company’s customer support team by answering more straightforward queries and providing relevant information in real-time. Combined with other types of algorithms, they can also send personalized promotional content to users who initiate the interaction.
2. Automatic Content Generation
While writing a complete natural-looking article is still well beyond the capabilities of even the most advanced neural network, they are already quite adept at producing repetitive and straightforward content, freeing up time for human employees.
For example, after studying thousands and thousands of stock updates, an AI can provide a stock report based on new data that looks virtually indistinguishable from a similar piece written by a human.
Voice transcription software can create highly accurate transcripts and captions, saving time that would otherwise have to be spent on this arduous work. Algorithms can create personalized recommendations and word them in (somewhat) natural-looking ways.
3. Content Analysis
The amount of content produced today, every single day, is staggering. As a result, content marketing continually evolves to meet the requirements of prospective readers and better suit the ever-changing digital landscape.
No human is capable of analyzing this amount of content to produce meaningful conclusions—which is why it is wise to invest in AI. It can make sense of all this information and suggest useful alterations to your approaches and practices (e.g., changing the average length of blog posts or using specific layouts of landing pages to improve conversion rates).
4. Predictive Analytics
Typically, analytics help a business understand what caused an increase or decrease in performance in the past to draw conclusions about their mistakes and to avoid them in the future. Predictive analytics is different.
By analyzing huge swathes of data (and not necessarily just the data of the company itself—e.g., you can learn a lot by analyzing brand searches of your competition), AI and help a business can better understand what the situation on the market currently is and in what direction it is moving.
In dealing with individual clients, it can help estimate potential customer value before they make their first purchase, and even identify at which stage of the customer journey they are. By differentiating between distinct types of clients, you can focus your efforts on those who are more likely to convert, and customize your content marketing strategy to better suit selling to them.
5. Text Mining of Unstructured Data
Data specialists like to say that your business already has all the information it needs to improve its performance dramatically—you just don’t know what it looks like. AI can help alleviate this problem.
By mining unstructured textual information (e.g., customer feedback, blog posts, transcripts of successful/unsuccessful customer service interactions, etc.), you can unearth hidden insights. For example, if a particular word crops up unusually often in negative customer reviews, it may help identify a problem you have to address as fast as possible.
A neural network not only finds the information based on your requests, but it can also point out to you potential improvement suggestions on its own.
6. Reverse Engineering Google Algorithms
Google now uses search algorithms so complex that nobody fully understands how they work, including Google’s employees. Google’s system is heavily dependent on AI, and it uses so many variables that no human SEO specialist can hope to fully understand how to influence it.
AI has a much better chance of getting an insight into the inner workings of these algorithms by analyzing search terms and web resources that get to the first ten pages of results. The ideas produced this way can serve as a foundation for a new and improved content marketing strategy.
While AI still cannot produce natural-looking content, it has multiple other, potentially more important uses. While a human can write a top-notch blog post, AI gives us an opportunity to do many things that are impossible in any other way—and forward-looking marketers should not ignore it.
David Gutierrez started his career as a web designer in 2005. In 2012 he founded a creative design agency. Now it serves clients all over the world across multiple industries with a specific focus on FMCG and Fin-Tech.