AI and the future of Content Marketing

Artificial intelligence has been adopted in one shape or another in most industries today.  The ability of software to collate masses of information, and provide suggestions from it, has the potential to revolutionise content marketing.  This is not to say that AI is without its shortcomings, however.  So, what is artificial intelligence and what does it mean for the future of content marketing?

AI and the future of Content Marketing

What is AI and how does it influence Content Marketing?

In the words of the Terminator, AI is a ‘learning computer’ – a set of algorithms (or rules) that can develop its own algorithms based off the data it acquires.  In terms of content marketing, it is the ability to sift through swathes of data to discern consumer patterns of behaviour and devise successful campaigns.  

 

Netflix uses AI for its ‘recommended’ feature – influencing 75% of consumer viewing on the platform; Wall Street has seen 60% of its transactions become fully automated ”

There are major companies already utilising AI – Netflix uses it for its ‘recommended’ feature – influencing 75% of consumer viewing on the platform; Wall Street has seen 60% of its transactions become fully automated with AI; and even down to children’s toys, such as Meccano’s self-learning Max Robot which allows children to customise its commands.

How does this affect content marketing? Natural language generation – software capable of interpreting natural language (i.e. human-to-human conversation) – is able to produce written content without human oversight.

AI has many advantages that we do not – it can collate and analyse much more data, discern meaning from metadata patterns, and suggest future policies based on previous successes and failures.  All of this can be done in a fraction of the time that it used to. 
Where AI is lacking, however, is more interesting.  AI still has a lot of difficulty in interpreting emotions and video, two areas that really separate the great content marketers from the mundane.  Empathic, inspirational content, delivered with a perspective or insight that only human experience can illustrate is still a long way off.

How do Content Marketers Survive?

The term ‘survival of the fittest’ comes to mind when dealing with this question.  This is not the death of the content marketer – this is the death of the uninspiring, formulaic, content marketer.

But what of long-tail keyphrases and backlinks that dominate the SEO methods currently?  SEO and search engines are forever evolving, and AI certainly has an important part to play. However, for the foreseeable future content produced by AI lacks the engaging human element and as a result people will shun its formulaic approach in favour of engaging nuanced content marketing.  Dwell time for AI content will be outmatched by human content and search engines like Google will reflect this in their results rankings.

Another area of content marketing that AI will have difficulty matching its human counterparts is video.  Not only does video demand human involvement, but is also seen as the most effective method to convey emotions and encourage engagement.  As society shifts to ever more digital consumption in tandem with AI development, many will prefer to digest information in video as opposed to blog format.  It is an area of great importance to content marketers and one that currently seems insurmountable for AI.

AI’s skills lie in its ability to collate masses of information and discern meaning from it.  Even if it compiles written content – those releasing it will quickly learn of its shortfalls.  This is not a case of AI vs humans in the content marketing world, it is a partnership with the opportunity to refine campaign strategies and content production through new innovations.

The Future of Content Marketing

AI is one of the breakthrough technologies in the last few years, and it is finally finding its place in content marketing.  Funding for AI start-up companies has risen by a massive 460% since 2011, and it shows no signs of stopping.  Those wishing to expand the reach and effectiveness of their campaigns should take note; a New Base report back in April this year showed that 30% of businesses were planning to prioritise AI, up from 13% from the previous year.  If your company is in the other 70%, perhaps it’s time for consideration.