Seven in 10 marketers are planning to leverage artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and other forms of cutting–edge tech to improve the efficiency of their content marketing processes in 2021, according to a report released earlier this year by CMO Council.
Marketing leaders now recognise how AI can be used to create value from data, drive the cost-effectiveness of core tasks, and deliver better digital experiences that engage customers across different platforms, among other improvements.
While there is still a long way to go in terms of the maturity of new tech and its ability to support everything from concept to execution, AI is slowly emerging as a necessity rather than a ‘nice to have’ for the majority of campaigns.
If you have recently implemented a successful digital transformation scheme and are now able to call on AI in some capacity, here are seven ways that you can leverage this exciting tech to improve your content marketing endeavours, according to industry experts.
Data and analytics have taken greater precedence in recent years due to the need to drive return on investment (ROI) from digital marketing, improve decision–making, and generally optimise every action taken before, during and after each campaign.
Vision33’s David Strausser believes that AI will supercharge a company’s ability to come up with data–driven insights that enable leaders to determine what is working and what is not, so that better results can be achieved in the future.
The use of AI will also help to broaden the range of topics and keywords that brands can explore to engage audiences who are ready and willing to consume blogs and articles that are tailored for them.
Answer clients’ questions
The research undertaken to find the right keywords and topics is conducted with the aim of addressing the needs of customers and clients. Being able to answer pressing questions and solve problems via the content you publish each week can really help to build long–lasting relationships that are valuable for your business.
Vitalis Extraction Technology’s Joel Sherlock says that his company uses a range of AI-powered tools to “spot trends or new opportunities” for content marketing. It then acts on this data to deliver content that answers real questions.
Customise calls to action
The simple directive statement known as a ‘call to action’, or CTA, is an important tool in a marketer’s arsenal as it sets out the actions that readers should take after consuming something that they enjoy, which eliminates confusion.
AI can be used here by customising CTAs based on the target audience and the steps you want them to take afterwards. Research by HubSpot found that personalised CTAs are considerably better at converting customers than basic CTAs, and that text-based ones within blog posts are the top performers overall.
By using AI to improve the quality of your CTAs and how they are used within content, you can drive key metrics and improve the returns from your blogs and articles.
Personalising text and images within ads
RMG Media’s Alexander Divinsky believes that AI has opened up a whole new way of creating ads that can resonate with different subsets of a target audience and enable brands to engage with different demographics, rather than a singular customer profile.
By crafting slightly different versions of ads with personalised text and images within each, it is much easier to deliver relevant campaigns and “speak directly” to people rather than a broader audience.
Predict audience reactions
During the formative phases of a new campaign, it can be difficult to gauge how an audience will react and whether fresh content will hit the right notes. Confoe’s Michael Fritsch says that AI can eliminate these blindspots by offering a clearer picture about how articles and videos will be received.
This form of predictive analytics can reduce the risk of investing too heavily in something that may not work and pinpoint alternative topics that will lead to better results for a particular campaign.
The confidence gained from knowing that you are going in the right direction gives you the power to go all in on “great content creation” that aligns with your strategy, according to Fritsch.
Set up new A/B testing
Traditional A/B testing in digital marketing is a process where you can test different variants of your site to see how they perform. In the past, this manual process was quite laborious and time–consuming. The age of AI offers incredible potential in this area, enabling webmasters to see the differences with just a few clicks.
InfoSec Global’s Gregory Lipich believes that AI is now capable of replacing older A/B testing methods completely. More importantly, these new systems have the ability to self-optimise, which increases their utility over time and makes important tasks even quicker to implement.
Lipich also expects the new AI-powered systems to help visitors and future clients by auto-suggesting the content that will be most helpful for them. This could be transformative for the lifespan of content after it is initially published.
Get creative up and running
While outsourcing to an agency or freelancer will give you access to a professional team of copywriters and editors, effectively creating an infrastructure for creative processes overnight, AI can be used to support user-generated content efforts and other simple tasks to get things up and running.
It is now possible, for example, to create a social media post using predictive text and attract royalty-free pictures using AI. This basic form of account management is unlikely to impress audiences when used regularly, but it can plug gaps in your calendar when you need something at short notice.
With research by Fabulate showing that inefficient processes are leading to up to $0.25 out of every $1 being wasted, the onus will be on companies to put the tech building blocks in place to make use of AI and automation to address those issues.
While cost-effectiveness is a major driver for the uptake of AI, the trends listed show that there will be a lot of other exciting use cases for it in content marketing in the years to come.