Within the past few years, we have been hearing more and more about Artificial Intelligence, AI, and how it can exponentially improve efficiencies wherever it is used. This is especially true within the field of marketing and AI has taken on greater roles as it becomes better understood and the technology continues to advance. In order to address the role of AI in content marketing, it would first be necessary to say a word about exactly what content marketing is.
The Basics and Purpose of Content Marketing
The purpose of any kind of marketing is to engage an audience in an effort to convert them into customers. That’s a very basic definition but it serves the purpose here. Content marketing, then, is a strategy used to accomplish that goal through the use of such things as relevant articles, podcasts, videos, and other types of media, including but not limited to graphics.
Content marketing is a key tool in promoting brand awareness so that when products or services are searched for, your business comes easily to mind. By creating and sharing the various types of media, the aim is to attract, engage and retain that audience, again, with the ultimate goal of conversion.
How That Audience Is Identified
In the past it was often a tedious, time-consuming task to research and identify a target audience. This was largely accomplished through the collection and analysis of data gathered from various channels. Imagine the amount of time it took to graph or chart an audience based on certain factors such as bounce rate and visitor interaction when landing on a piece of content.
Interaction could include clicking through to links on a page, placing products in a checkout basket and/or searching that site for further information. These are obviously very basic ways in which a target audience is identified but you can begin to see how painstaking an effort it was to gather and analyze data of this magnitude.
A Quick Glance at How AI Increases Efficiency
Machine learning and artificial intelligence can hasten the above stated process by negating many of the tasks that previously needed human intervention. Data is quickly collected and analyzed which increases efficiency exponentially.
However, AI goes beyond the mere collection and analysis of a market. AI technology was developed so that human behavior within that market could be predicted. This has proven to be an invaluable tool within marketing due to the speed at which these calculations and predictions could be made. Not only does it minimize the amount of time and money spent on labor, but human error is significantly minimized as well.
The Role of AI in Content Marketing Is Evolving
In the early days of AI in content marketing, the role was limited to all that was mentioned above. However, as AI technology advances, marketers have begun to rely on more than just data analysis and statistics. Now artificial intelligence is being used in the actual creation and generation of content as well as in the procurement of media placement.
Marketers are able to rely on the automated decision-making capabilities of AI based on observations of the market behavior identified through the processes also mentioned above. The marketer will often have the final say on whether or not to buy media space on a suggested site but there are times when the technology is programmed to actually automate the buying process within specific parameters set by the programmer.
Key Benefits of AI in Content Marketing
It is apparent that one of the key benefits of AI in content marketing would be a reduction in marketing costs. Since computers can work infinitely faster than humans and are less prone to error, marketing costs are significantly lower when AI is utilized.
When marketing to a target audience, there is a great deal of personalization involved. The use of AI enables marketers to target audiences based on the collection and analysis of human behavior when interacting with a given media.
AI can predict which marketing strategies work best as well. Sometimes email marketing is best suited to a specific product or campaign and other times blog posts and articles best serve the purpose. Then there are vlogs, videos and graphics that engage customers as well within a given demographics.
Briefly stated, AI content has multiple benefits all aimed at increasing efficiency which in turn significantly raises the profitability of a given marketing campaign.
Key Uses within Businesses
Today’s businesses can be best served by using AI to offer improved delivery of social media content. Whereas human social media followers once distributed content to such sites as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn, AI can automate posts at predefined intervals. It can further better identify the best placement sites, which again increases efficiency exponentially.
AI can also be programmed to offer enhanced customer service. The best example of this would be chatbots that are being utilized on more and more sites as time goes on. If there comes a point when the chatbot isn’t able to satisfy the customer, contact information can be passed on or the bot can directly open a human chat feature. This allows customer service reps to spend more time assisting those customers who need more detailed information or greater tech support.
The Role of AI Does NOT Negate the Need for Human Marketers
One of the big concerns has always been that machine learning and artificial intelligence will replace human marketers, customer service reps and other front and back-end employees. This is not the goal of AI but rather AI is meant to assist in efficiency, freeing humans to take on other tasks. Bear in mind that many of the issues customers will contact customer service for are also woven into content creation and content marketing because a key element in marketing is meeting the needs or answering questions of consumers.
It should also be noted that there will always be customers who prefer to communicate with a human representative. Even with the advancements in AI identification of emotion in content marketing, machine learning and AI have not evolved to the point where emotion is experienced. The key role of AI in content marketing, then, is to increase efficiency and thus profitability.