Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer the pipe dream that it seemed in sci-fi movies 30 years ago. Now, every variety of business across every sector is incorporating some form of artificial intelligence into their approach — and content marketing is no exception.
Working in the content strategy space, CONCURED has seen the appetite for AI-based marketing tools increase massively over the last five years. But, where once the AI element of these tools was meant as little more than a gimmick, today’s content marketers are now using AI to provide tangible metrics and prove the value of their content marketing approach. With this in mind, here are five reasons why AI will prove instrumental in content marketing in 2019:
1. AI can process a truly ‘inhuman’ volume of data
The main strength of introducing AI into the marketing sphere is so obvious that it’s often overlooked — it’s a machine, free of the physical limitations that restrict people. AI doesn’t tire, can’t get bored or frustrated, and is purpose built for repetition.
This means that the volume of data that AI can process is far greater than a human counterpart could ever hope to analyse. For content marketers, this means being able to review thousands of articles and the engagements that each one generates. CONCURED’s Kings of Content study, for example, analysed over 6,000 articles and over 10 million engagements using AI.
By using AI to analyse the content that is already available, content creators can be more informed than ever before. Through a greater understanding of what has and hasn’t resonated with their target audience in the past, content marketers can decide which topics and content types to pursue and which to remove from their marketing mix.
2. AI protects creatives from prejudices and confirmation bias
When content creators have misstepped in the past, it’s often due to their unconscious biases and opinions. Working with small sample sizes and their own limited experience, marketers inevitably lean towards their own preconceived ideas of what does and doesn’t make great content.
AI cannot eliminate bias on behalf of the content creator — after all, a human is ultimately making the decisions. What it can do, however, is provide a greater variety of options for the content marketer to work with, as well as an entirely neutral interpretation of the data. This provides the opportunity for marketers and creatives to identify previously unseen trends and to challenge their own preconceptions.
3. AI is applicable everywhere
The versatility of AI as a tool for creatives cannot be underestimated. Regardless of the vertical, AI can provide a flexible utility that can add value to any content marketing team. Powerful content and audience analysis are vital elements of any brand, no matter the size or reputation. As a neutral content marketing tool, artificial intelligence can provide direction and audience insights into any vertical sector — it just comes down to the scope of data sources that you feed into it.
This is true not only of different verticals, but also of B2B and B2C businesses. While a B2C business may have more direct interaction with its customers, B2B brands also need to ensure that the content they produce shapes their reputation in a way that suits their short and long-term strategies.
4. AI isn’t just externally disruptive — it’s changing internal processes as well
There is a stereotype of marketing directors as slightly inhuman individuals — boring, inexpressive, data-driven — that are the antithesis of the creatives who need to develop exciting ideas based on their data. The introduction of AI into the creative process can seem like an extension of this, but in fact, the opposite is true.
The reality is that all creative decisions, however brave or innovative, ultimately have to be based on data to demonstrate their viability. The removal of a human element from this process in favour of AI isn’t detrimental to creativity, but rather gives marketers the confidence to invest their time in creative ideas. By allowing marketers and content professionals to prove the value of their work to the business, AI helps open up more opportunities — and more budget — for creative ideas.
5. We’re just getting started
Arguably the most exciting element of introducing AI into a content strategy is that, while the benefits of doing so are already demonstrably impressive, the technology is only in its infancy. As larger brands continue to invest in AI solutions, the technology underpinning them will develop and evolve to provide ever more powerful tools to tackle a wider range of issues. AI may have supported content marketing in 2018, but in 2019 it will be helping to define the entire content strategy.
At CONCURED, interest in the platform is continuing from all verticals and all types of business. From Staples and M&C Saatchi to Barclays and Sky, some of the world’s biggest brands are showing a long-term commitment to the development of AI as a tool to develop better content for their customers. The earlier that a business gets involved, the more expertise and experience they will have as the technology continues to disrupt the creative process in 2019.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tom founded CONCURED in 2015 following nearly a decade of experience working in advertising and content marketing. Previously, Tom worked at Idio as Global Senior Vice President, and prior to that, Tom served as Head of Commercial at Press Association. In July 2018, Tom won Global AI CEO of the year at the Global CEO Excellence Awards, run by CEO Monthly.