5 ways AI is revolutionising content marketing
Ask one person and they’ll say robots are fabulous, enriching their lives and simplifying complex tasks. Ask the next person and they’ll break into tears, telling you about how simple life used to be at their old job – you know, the one they lost to an army of computer-controlled limbs.
But what will someone in content marketing say if asked the same?
Today, we’re examining five impacts AI will have on content marketing, and showcasing examples of how advanced self-learning software is already in use across the world.
Impact 1: More powerful sentiment analysis
Good data is at the very core of good content marketing – like the proverbial pineapple in one’s lump. And over the past few years we’ve seen that excellent data can (and should) be derived from sentiment analysis, aka the study and interpretation of a customer’s emotions towards, say, your content.
Thanks to AI, companies are now more than ever able to sift through mountains of sentiment data and achieve greater strategic results through reading human emotion.
- Example: Facebook is working on deep-learning technology that can recognise and interpret human faces in photos, and understand the many nuances of written language. This could lead to technology that measures emotional impact, as we discuss below.
-What is the impact?
Hundreds, if not thousands, of customers are viewing your content and interacting with your social feeds every month. This plethora of data is impossible for a human to use with any degree of efficiency, but self-learning AI has no such problems.
If we can get computers to understand emotion, suddenly we won’t just have boring old metrics like clicks and time on page, but of happiness, intrigue, boredom or even anger. Imagine running a happiness campaign and having actual, measurable results!
Impact 2: Better personalisation of ads
Customers don’t want ads that don’t relate to them. Heck, 11 per cent of all internet users are outright blocking ads, says an Ad Blocker report, and this number is growing year-on-year.
But if we hark back to those hundreds and thousands of interactions mentioned in Impact 1, we can guess how tricky it is to personalise each and every one of them. Which is where AI steps in.
- Example: Google’s Doubleclick team invented Custom Algorithm, machine-learning software that examines historical campaign data to better place future ads (the company’s test on its new Pixel phone had triple the impressions of past campaigns). Also, software from Cablato, a UK marketing tech company, uses customer data to analyse individual consumers’ needs and then tailors ad campaigns to them specifically.
-What is the impact?
Advertising is a war for attention, and if we can get the right ads in front of the right consumers on a much, much wider scale, we can safely predict that ROI will be higher.
Impact 3: Smarter future predictions
We all know a Sandra or John from marketing who’s a hotshot at predicting future content requirements by looking at spreadsheets. But can this fearsome duo stand up to the onslaught of AI? Probably not.
Predictive marketing software uses AI to compute all the myriad interactions your customers have with your content, emails and social media, mashes them into a big data mush, and then spits out highly accurate predictions of future engagement, behaviours, needs, actions and responses.
- Example: Salesforce marketing users can talk to Einstein, an in-built AI data scientist designed for this very purpose. Einstein is able to recommend products to customers based on their habits, predict consumer engagement and the meaning behind it, and identify where and how your products are being used (Einstein can look at photos to find your products in action).
-What is the impact?
Big data is all the rage, but its entire existence is designed to direct future business decisions in a more strategic manner. So of course, the more accurate those predictions, the smarter your decisions will be (as smart as Einstein, even), and the greater the chance they will increase ROI.
Impact 4: More efficient lead gen
A solid lead gen strategy underpins many a marketer’s plans to build engagement, so it’s no wonder artificial intelligence is affecting this arm of content marketing, too.
AI platforms are being used around the world to: analyse data and better understand what leads mean, to reach out and find new potential customers that have a high chance of converting, and to personalise content or retarget existing customers in order to increase lifetime value.
- Example: OneSpot is an algorithm that scans internet users and shows them links to your content it believes are most relevant to them, which helps encourage users to click and generate a lead. It also remarkets to outgoing customers and provides insights to content production teams so they know what does and doesn’t work.
-What is the impact?
This has the potential to be a very powerful tool. Imagine a future where websites morph depending on who visits – the most relevant content is always prioritised, and perhaps even landing pages are restructured and personalised depending on the customer. Time-poor users only ever see what they need or want, maximising conversion potential and minimising bounce rates.
Impact 5: Content that makes itself
You can already imagine that this impact is making one particular Castleford writer worried about for his future job prospects…
AI-driven content is being tested around the world, but (thankfully) has yielded … mixed results. Let’s look at some examples of successes and failures before we see the impact:
- Example 1: In May last year, Toyota commissioned IBM’s Watson supercomputer to write copy for hundreds of video ads that, while visually the same, had a script tailored to Toyota’s many different demographics. This resulted in thousands of ads being successfully created, each of which uniquely targeted a specific audience, resulting in a highly effective, widespread video campaign.
- Example 2: “Sunspring” is a short film – a mere 9 minutes long – written entirely by AI. It’s incoherent and mad, but an impressive attempt at such a creative task.
- Example 3: Written content marketing will be impacted by AI, too. Forbes is already using a program called Quill to produce its earning reports, and numerous platforms are in alpha or beta to trial content writing – think ai-writer, Articoolo and Article Forge. Such platforms attempt to generate thousands of original articles in a matter of seconds.
Artificial intelligence is impacting content marketing, and its influence is set to grow.
That said, our jobs are secure for now (phew). But, every year computers get smarter, and marketers find more varied uses for their power. Right now, your best bet at using AI would be in the data world, where you can get powerful, predictive insights about your customers and their needs.
As for auto-generated content? Maybe let that one simmer for a bit longer.