Artificial Intelligence in Content Marketing: Should You Fight It or Embrace It, Part II
Last week, I looked at forthcoming AI systems in content marketing and how they will impact content marketers in the near future. This week, I’m going to dive into a few qualities that AI cannot replicate or replace as well as some ways that content marketers can embrace AI immediately.
Here are a few qualities that AI cannot replicate or replace (yet):
Let’s define creativity as the unusual association of two ideas. This is definitely something a robot could do. Heck, it would probably come up with millions of strange associations in a matter of seconds. But how do you program a robot tell the difference between trash and emotionally powerful ideas?
The human mind is subtle and extraordinary. You cannot tell a robot to be creative. Creativity is, therefore, the human faculty that is most difficult to automate.
2. Emotions (or the “gut” feeling)
Machines are not designed to act on instincts. They act on measurable data. Feelings can only be measured to an extent. We have been studying the human brain for hundreds of years and have yet to unravel all of its mysteries. Blink, or the power of thinking without thinking reveals that the ability to process information isn’t what makes great decision makers.
“The only way that human beings could ever have survived as a species for as long as we have is that we’ve developed another kind of decision-making apparatus that’s capable of making very quick judgments based on very little information.”
3. Moral Choices
In his book (Blink), Malcom Gladwell also talks about the moral choices that people make. These choices are generally emotional, not analytical. Although artificial intelligence uses rules to answer to different situations their system is fundamentally flawed. That’s because most moral choices require an emotional response. Only humans can give emotional responses.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
4. Genuine Interaction
Chatbots are not a new concept. Cortana, Alexa, and Siri are all chat-bots. In the rush to acquire new customers, companies are replacing human interaction with artificially intelligent agents. While the concept of real-time conversations with consumers sounds tempting, I believe that bots will never be able to replace genuine human interaction.
Forecasting the Future
Content marketers have the right to be worried considering the rate at which AI is being adopted. But this doesn’t mean that you have to fear it. “Content marketing is probably going to die at the hands of robots, but it’s still got a long life ahead of it” said Jayson DeMers for the Huffington Post. I don’t think this “death” will be definitive.
We’ve talked a lot about the death of SEO. We’ve even heard rumors about the death of content. Both are still here, just altered. To me, artificial intelligence represents the next stage in the maturation of content marketing. It should not be feared, but rather embraced. As Adam Weinroth so eloquently points out, AI-based platforms will free up time for higher-value projects. Thus, they will enable marketers to focus on qualitative data, rather than quantitative data.
Automation is Necessary, but Not Sufficient for Content Marketing
As content marketers we are surrounded by AI. We use dashboards to schedule social media posts (Hootsuite), tools to draw keyword data (Ahrefs & SemRush), content aggregators for inspiration (Scoop.it & BuzzSumo) and IFTTT systems to automate almost any imaginable task. However, these tools don’t run on auto-pilot. A human that is capable of interpreting & distributing data will always be necessary. This concept is known as humanrithm.
Embracing the Power of AI in Content Marketing
Instead of viewing artificial intelligence as a threat, let’s see how we can leverage its power:
1. Find out what your Audience Really Cares About
Content marketing is all about providing useful, relevant information to your targeted audience. But in order to do this, you have to understand what your audience really wants.
- What are your readers’ pain-points?
- What makes them tick?
You have probably read dozens of posts with titles like “The Ultimate Guide to Publishing on Facebook,” “The Best Times to Tweet,”, or “The Fail-proof Way of Getting Backlinks.” All of these articles are missing a key element: YOUR audience. Content marketing is different for everyone. What works for Moz might not work for you. That’s why you need to analyze data and make correlations that are relevant to YOUR business.
AI is incremental to data processing. With it you can quickly identify behavioral patterns, make meaningful connections, and define buyer personas. Of course, you can’t let AI do all the work. After all the data is neatly organized, a human has to analyze it, develop a strategy, and add a personal angle.
Recommended Read: Actions & Measurement in B2B Content Marketing
2. Optimize Content for Search Engines
Even the most experienced SEO needs the right tools to operate. Artificial intelligence makes it possible to check thousands of pages to see if they comply with the most important SEO rules. It can also point out pages that have errors and make suggestions based on the data it has collected. Furthermore, plugins like Yoast can also check your content’s readability and optimization level in real-time.
3. Distribute Content the Right Way
Today’s digital landscape is extremely disruptive. I’m having a hard time optimizing for every channel, especially when there are so many cat pictures popping up all over my news feeds. As a CMO I have to come up with strategies, manage a team, promote our clients through various channels, overview SEO processes, and increase brand awareness.
How exactly can I manage dozens of social channels, projects, posts, and publishing events?
Well, I can’t.
But artificial intelligence can.
Social media dashboards, collaboration tools, content aggregators, you name it — they can help
Recommended read: 5 Ways to Make Marketing Automation Part of your Overall Strategy
4. Conduct Predictive Analysis
According to NarrativeScience, AI uses statistics, modelling, machine learning, and data mining to make predictions about the future. Predictive analysis has tremendous potential because it can anticipate your audience’s actions. Using this data you can:
- Provide thoughtful recommendations.
- Make better content decisions.
- Remind yourself what to focus on in your next article.
- Predict the performance of future content.
Note: All of these tasks require the initial work of an AI system, followed by the contribution of a human.
5. Publish More Content
According to a Hubspot report, businesses with a large number of pages get six times more leads than businesses with 50-100 pages. While high-quality content should always be the primary focus, you can supplement this strategy with “robot writers” who can help you churn hundreds of pages that capture new leads.
“Instead of one story with a million page view, we’ll have a million stories with one page view each.” – Robbie Allen, Automated Insights CEO for Wired
All that’s left for you to do is to place meaningful CTAs to redirect these leads to important pages on your site.
As you can see, artificial intelligence is a vital aspect of content marketing. Nevertheless, it will never render humans obsolete. We must learn to embrace AI and the changes that it brings in order to provide users with meaningful experiences in the future.