In the early days of the internet, content strategy and marketing was relatively straightforward. You’d build a website and fill it with as much content as possible. You’d produce blog posts, ebooks, webinars, and videos – anything that could be converted into an asset that could be used to attract visitors, convert leads into customers, and then keep them coming back for more. Thanks to the increasing development of AI technology, the landscape is changing as we speak. Let’s discuss!
The Evolution of Content
As technology has advanced, content has developed in different and interesting ways. This changed the way content was created, and it showed that the strategies and methods of content creation did not have to stay exactly the same.
I have been amazed at how the nature of content marketing has changed in the last ten years! Whilst content creation used to be all about the text, with modern content marketing things have gotten a lot more visual than it used to be.
Nowadays, it’s about great images and video. For example, if you’re creating a blog post or an ebook, you’ll want to make it interesting visually by posting nice images and maybe even adding in some videos throughout the text.
Social media has taken over a massive part of most people’s content consumption. People don’t always have time to sit down and read a very long article, so social media fits the bill perfectly for quick and convenient consumption.
These are just some of the main ways that content has evolved in recent times. Where will it go next?
How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing The Content Strategy And Marketing Landscape
We have all known about AI for years and probably heard lots of stories about it that wowed us. But for many years AI in content marketing was not a realistic option for the masses.
But these days, AI is changing everything – this is because it is finally becoming a more affordable and widespread phenomenon. Gone are the days when AI is only available to big companies like Google, now it is available to you and I.
The main reason for this sudden change has been the introduction of Elon Musk backed Open AI’s GTP-3.0: a neural network system that will make AI more powerful, cheaper, and easier to use than ever before. Suddenly, AI based content platforms are literally popping up every day! As someone that reviews AI writing applications, I can hardly keep up.
What Does This Mean for the Future of AI Driven Content Marketing?
Right now, AI is in a period of excitement – it’s being developed and improved all the time. This means that we are just seeing the very early days of what AI powered content marketing can do. Because of this, it is difficult to predict exactly what will happen in the future.
Let’s Look at What Content AI Can Produce Well Right Now
At the time of writing, the mainly GTP-3 driven tools available to regular business people can do the following things well:
- Short Social Media Posts
- Email Sequences
- Question and Answer FAQ style content
- Content Outlines/ briefs
- Title Generation
- Basic Text to video creation
- Chatbot & Conversational marketing
Have you noticed anything about these content types? Well, they are all short form in nature. You see, the current AI tech is not yet able to create longer form content, or when it does, it does it pretty badly on the whole.
The technology is simply not complex enough yet, coupled with the fact that OpenAI publicly admit they are discouraging their API’s use for creating such content. They don’t want to make it easy for dubious marketers to spam the internet with mass produced AI text I think 🙂
Below you will see a video showing how easy it is to come up with blog titles using AI content platforms.
Other Uses For AI in Content Marketing
Making Content Unique
There are several solutions popping up that promise to give your customers a more personalised experience based on what the AI knows from its bank of previous customers. This could mean anything from showing different blog posts to different types of website visitors to different sales pages depending on a person’s interests.
Another good use for AI in content marketing is to use it to audit what we have already written and show us where to improve. For example, companies such as Market Muse have developed complex AI systems that can look deeply into an article you have written and analyse what others have written about the same thing. It will then tell you any areas you need to improve in order for the article to match or even improve on what others have written.
Big companies can use AI to quickly sort through masses of data around their content strategies and give insights based on previous machine learned experience.
And this is not something that is exclusive to big business, this is started to filter down. I recently tried out a platform called Morphio that can the same thing for small businesses running paid marketing, for example.
What’s the Downside of AI in Content Marketing?
Right now AI can do some amazing things that will leave you ‘wowed’ (like I am sure the video above did!). This is because we are not used to seeing anything vaguely intelligent generated by software! However, the current AI still needs babysitting by an adult.
Yes, it can come up with short blurbs that sound convincing, but it doesn’t always understand the wider context of how things link together. This leads to conflicting information, illogical conclusions, and a feeling that the information is not being presented in the best possible way.
This is where AI is at right now for content marketing, in my opinion. Working alongside humans is the only sensible option.
The other problem that the current AI technology gives us is the lack of creativity. Most current openly available AI writers, for example, are simply scraping the web for ideas and formulating these into new ideas. This means that new and unique ideas are not being added.
This is another reason why the creativity from a human is currently needed, and it could be dangerous for creativity in the industry if the current AI is relied on too heavily.
Of course, as the AI develops, it will find ways to improve and get around this issue. But we are some way away from this at the time of writing.
What does the future hold?
Currently, we have an excellent set of content marketing AI tools that work alongside humans to augment what they are doing. This can speed up how fast a human copywriter can work, for example.
Although AI cannot currently work independently, I do believe this will happen at some point, its inevitable. However, this next step to full autonomy for AI is a massive one that I believe will take longer than a lot of people expect. I would make a conservative estimate that this will happen in the next ten years.
As short social media blurbs mesh well with the current state of AI, I expect this area to get taken over by AI writers first. Although they will have to grow a humour bone first probably 🙂
So All Content Marketers are not Fired?
I certainly don’t think so. Yes, AI can be quite creative at creating short form content, and in some cases that can be an advantage. But we are ways away from AI doing this by itself. In the short term, this may increase the humans efficiency and reduce the amount of job openings, but it long from being a dead role. And with the AI learning loop being a fairly closed one that additional human creativity and ability to think outside the box is vital.
To sum up, this is what I think AI is doing to content marketing. In the short term, it is a great way to speed up the content marketing process and provide a lot of ideas quickly, augmenting what humans are doing. It won’t get rid of humans entirely, but may reduce the amount needed (especially at lower levels). However, in the medium to long term, this is something that is going to gradually get worse. It’s inevitable that as the AI develops, it will be able to take over more of what humans do.
Maybe ten years down the line, we will have fully automated content marketing campaigns that don’t need humans, but it’s not something you need to worry about now.