Artificial Intelligence in Content Marketing: Can Bots Take over a Marketer’s Job?

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02/09/2018
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Automation of marketing platforms has had a great impact on the industry over the past few years, it is helping to make marketers more efficient, profitable and successful. However, marketing automation still relies on manual control. It consumes all that time that your marketing team spends on repetitious work. One great technological solution to this problem is AI marketing. AI technologies that are available nowadays can perform that drudgery more efficiently. As Demis Hassabis, founder and CEO of AI company DeepMind, says, artificial intelligence is the “science of making machines smart”. What it means is that AI are machines taught to do humans’ work.

However, machine optimization comes with both benefits and limitations. On the one hand, it simplifies routinely processes of data collection and analysis. On the other hand, it is limited and uniform, which excludes the element of disruption.

This article will help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of artificial intelligence in content marketing and shed light onto the question “can bots take over a marketer’s job?”

Key concepts of AI

Before diving into exploring the world of artificial intelligence, it is necessary to understand key terminology. Here is a list of terms used in this article:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is intelligence displayed by computers.
  • Machine learning is the way of teaching algorithms to AI for better outcome while processing data.
  • Natural language generation (NLG) – an AI technology that is able to create a text content from data. This technology uses code rules and algorithms to create reports on data.
  • A neural network – a group of software and hardware created by analogy with the work of human brain. It is a system of organized layers of interconnected artificial neurons. Every layer can be taught to prioritize certain criteria over others, by their weight.
  • Deep learning – a way to train neural networks to solve problems that they were not programmed to solve.
  • Natural language processing (NLP). A way of understanding a human language by a machine like Amazon’s Alexa, Google translator, Siri or Cortana.

Key content marketing activities

Content marketing is a technology for creating and distributing popular content to attract the target audience. When your potential client receives the necessary information ‘just in time’ and in the right place, it means your content marketing strategy has struck home.

So can bot actually do what content marketers do on a daily basis. Let’s look at content marketers’ basic functions:

  • creating and testing content
  • driving traffic, engagement, leads
  • developing an effective content marketing strategy and editorial plan
  • content categorization and structure
  • content development, distribution and measurement
  • development of brand voice, style and tone
  • channel management of digital content hubs and all supporting social channels including email/newsletter distribution
  • measurement and optimization of the program
  • management of all creative resources including designers, writers, and other agency personnel

Is it possible to delegate any of these functions to AI? Probably, it is. But this comes with some reservations.

Pros and cons of AI content marketing

As we can see, content marketers have a lot on their plate. And it turns out, AI not only can help content marketers but also cope with some of those tasks even better than humans. Does that mean that human resource is no longer needed or valued in this area and may soon become obsolete? Not so fast!

One the one hand, AI can considerably reduce a marketer’s workload. The arguments in favor of AI abound:

  • Enhanced experience. AI brings a new take on content marketing. It widens its areas of possibilities, provides new interesting experiences for marketers and consumers.
  • Time economy. AI is essentially developed to partly or completely replace people’s effort. That means it spares more time for more creative or demanding kinds of work that still cannot be done by artificial intelligence.
  • Range of tasks. In content marketing AI can replace numerous types of work, from creating content ideas to actually creating content itself.
  • Future possibilities. AI is a technology that is always evolving. Therefore, the future of AI and marketing is full of endless extraordinary possibilities.

On the other hand, we often tend to be overwhelmed by the power of new and oversee its downsides or limitations, which are:

  • Lack of creativity. So far, AI’s creativity can’t go beyond the data fed. The possibility of transforming people’s emotions into relevant content is alien to AI.
  • Lack of trust. Nowadays people are still not sure of the fact that AI is trustworthy. This could be the influence of mass media. More likely, however, is that the mistrust of algorithms is part of our human nature. Here is the research that confirms that.
  • More bugs. AI systems are making thousands of actions in just one minute, so there will definitely be mistakes. For example, a typo in one post will instantly be shown to all of your customers.
  • AI cannot spark discussion. Sure, chatbots are popular now and people are curious about them. It is possible to talk to them, but this cannot go beyond their program.
  • Lack of understanding a bigger picture. We still cannot teach AI to act on quality data, its functioning is limited to quantity data. Since it cannot be programmed to act on moral or cultural issues, it will not work properly in conflicting environment.
  • AI’s incapability of innovation. To perform an optimization, AI finds the lowest or highest points of a certain function. Then it finds the best settings, but only within the space that it is aware of. It means a larger scale will yield a better solution.
  • Inability to fulfil more demanding tasks. For example, AI isn’t able to create a winning marketing strategy.

How can AI assist in content marketing

For all we know, artificial intelligence can now replace certain jobs and save time. But how exactly can AI help in content marketing? What are the main tasks and areas that can be taken over by artificial intelligence? Here are some jobs that bots can do.

Content ideas discovery

Before AI, the search for ideas consisted in surfing the Internet and analyzing what is popular now and what competitors are up to. However, AI uses a more accurate technique. For example, a tool like Curata can analyze the most relevant and popular choices for your company’s target audience by way of artificial intelligence. Another good example can be Buzzsumo. It can analyze keywords, themes, and domains based on social share volume.

Provide content writing force

Content writing is very time-consuming, so it is reasonable to hire someone else to do it. What does AI have to do with content creation? Consider the example. Online marketplace Scripted uses AI to bring good freelance writers to businesses. AI’s job here is to analyze writing samples and pick the best writers on any topic, also analyze the cost and time for content creation.

Test content’s performance

AI is now able to test your content’s performance. It can save some time and provide great quality. To test your content, use Cortex an AI marketing platform. This platform is able to predict how users will react to your content.

Automate content creation (NLG)

Automated content creation is no longer a pipe dream. With the help of natural language generation (NLG), it is possible to create content from given data. So how does it work? For example, you can program the system that the fall of 30 percent or more should be displayed as “a big decrease”. This technology uses these types of code rules and algorithms to create reports based on the data.

Where can we see this technology in action? NLG is used by Narrative Science to create automated content from business and marketing data at scale. Automated Insights uses NLG to create thousands of content stories for clients instantly.

Of course, AI content is nowhere near as creative as the worst copy of your genuine content. It hopelessly lacks in personal touch – human intelligence, emotions, wit, and soul. So use artificial intelligence in moderation.

Content optimization

Artificial intelligence is not only able to create and test content but also optimize it! Technologies evolve and an SEO developer should evolve too! For example, MarketMuse is a software search optimization tool. It can compare an ideal set of content topics, generated by AI, against a website’s content inventory. Based on that, it creates prioritized content plans. These plans can help marketers prioritize their time management. It can also improve your content on a page level by showing relevant keywords, keyword variations, and pages that are ranked higher in the search for a particular query.

Personalize content

Artificial intelligence is able to personalize your content for different audiences. Therefore, it brings the best ROI (return on investment) from every single resource. This way people automatically get the information they need. AI can analyze all kinds of data, for example, demographic, and define what kind of information a particular user would like.

Branded content benefits from AI as well. AI can analyze behavioral data (data collected from customer interaction with content) and define their preferences and the phase of shopping.

After analyzing the entire data, AI platform presents the exact content a consumer wants and needs. That is where using machine learning can bring brand content to a higher level. In this example, AI is taught to determine data structure in order to know what the user will desire next. For this technology to excel, the input data should be as accurate as possible.

Here are some examples of personalized content:

  • CaliberMind, platform that analyzes consumer behavior by your CRM, social networks etc., and suggests content throughout the journey.
  • Scoop.it, AI platform that can recommend content that will lead to better traffic.
  • Boomtrain, AI marketing platform. With the help of AI-powered predictive intelligence, this platform can bring you the understanding of your customers’ needs and give the opportunity to respond to those data automatically in real-time.

Ad creation

Artificial intelligence is capable of automating different steps of advertising creation. In the near future, it will be totally AI’s function. Not so long ago M&C Saatchi created an AI poster. It can create ads based on the reaction of an audience. The core of this technology is a genetic algorithm (an algorithm that uses posters with the best results and combines them into better version) that analyses different combinations of copy, layout, font, and image (genes). How does it work? At first, combinations of different components are random, AI analyses which posters got more attention, and then, to create a better ad poster, it combines the most successful ones so it basically performs a genetic evolution.

Another example is Facebook that suggests advertisements for your business page and dynamic ads. These types of ads are automatically shown to people that consider your products relevant.

In addition, last but not least is Persado. It is a cognitive content platform that combines NLP and machine learning algorithms to create different combinations of text and images to motivate audience.

Future predictions

Nowadays AI is a growing technology. The possibilities are endless. What do experts in this area think? The Forrester analysts have made a list of forecasts that they expect to happen in the next five years:

  • Virtual Assistants instead of Search Engines. These days search engines are still the main tool for content discovery. However, it will change soon. Virtual assistants are expected to take over. They can provide you with more accurate, relevant and real-time information. For example, Facebook M virtual assistant can already perform search functions and even make restaurant reservations. Soon enough assistants are going to become smarter. They will be able to analyze your preferences, behavior, emotions and suggest content based on this information.
  • AI-aided content creation. Gartner predicts that 20% of business content will be authored by robo-writers by 2018. AI will create content based on data and analytics such as reports, press releases, and other documents. The future might bring us quality content created by AI. Since good content is equally important in content marketing as its frequency, Artificial intelligence can become a great solution to a successful content marketing strategy.
  • IoT will personalize your marketing. With the growth of IoT, marketers will get a great amount of consumer data. With this new specific input, marketers can provide more personal and in-depth interaction. Here is to know more on this topic.

Conclusion

So, can bots take over a marketer’s job? For now, it is just a possibility of the distant future. AI is good for time-consuming tasks that do not require creativity. However, it still needs human supervision and decision making. And it’s hopeless at creative and more demanding tasks where a personal touch is a game-changer.

Our take is that with the introduction of AI, new and more complex AI training and control tasks will appear. Therefore, people will remain in great demand. But it is necessary for marketers to start acquiring skills of working in new conditions today in order to keep up with AI marketing so that they could use it to their benefit!

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