AI in Content Marketing: Efficient Uses, Operations, and Challenges
Content marketing leaders have been navigating the AI waters for a little over a year now. A lot has been said and many agencies and brands have explored ways to integrate these new content marketing tools and capabilities into their operations. Let’s dive into the state of things as of today.
The rapid evolution of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has brought about transformative changes in various industries, including content marketing strategy, and we’ve all talked about it and had fun with it in the last 12 months.
As AI continues to advance, content marketers are presented with both opportunities to enhance their strategies and challenges to navigate.
I wanted to delve into the efficient uses of generative AI in content marketing and highlight the importance of a well-defined AI operations plan.
Efficient Uses of Generative AI in Content Marketing.
Content teams, small and large, have found various ways to integrate generative AI in their strategy, creative and production processes. I outlined a few here.
- Idea generation: Generative AI-powered tools can help to spark idea generation and accelerate the creative process. It’s capable of quickly generating ideas based on existing data, allowing marketing teams to explore concepts they hadn’t previously considered.
- Writing and Editing Assistance: Generative AI and content creation tools can act as a research and brainstorming partner, helping writers overcome the dreaded “blank page syndrome.” These powerful tools can provide editing tips for tone and style, assist with SEO during the writing process, and even repurpose proprietary content.
- Audience Understanding: It can also provide deeper insights into the audience’s preferences, concerns, customer experience expectations, and information sources. By quizzing AI personas, marketers can gain a better understanding of what their audience values, actionable insights into their reality and eventually create stronger connections with them.
- Content Promotion: Artificial Intelligence can be instrumental in amplifying content promotion. For instance, it can assist in crafting social media post copies for articles and subject lines for newsletters, ensuring the message aligns with the target audience’s interests.
- Production Efficiencies: Generative AI can transform long-form content into various formats suitable for different platforms, from YouTube videos to tweets. This versatility allows for a broader reach and engagement with diverse audience segments.
- Content Creation Process: Governance and processes vary from one organization to the other, but in many cases, content marketing teams can benefit from the capabilities of AI tools in improving how content is produced and delivered.
At Toast, we’ve used AI in multiple cases. One of them was to submit a list of blog post articles, and then asking an analysis of “what’s missing” and “what other topics should absolutely be addressed”. Finding gaps in your content library is always a challenge and this is the type of use case that would have taken hours to do.
This means that not only can generative AI tools allow teams to make great productivity gains, it can act as an additional multifaceted team member when used properly.
The Importance of an AI Operations Plan.
AI cannot be used like any other tool. There are considerations to keep in mind and warning signs that content leaders must look for.
As brands produce more and more content, and as content teams become more and more complex and ubiquitous across organizations, content operations are becoming a key element of any successful content strategy. It’s often quoted at Toast that what makes a great content strategy is how it’s implemented through people, processes and technologies.
Through this, Generative AI and general AI uses are trying to find their ways into operations and there are multiple elements that content executives and Chief Content Officers need to keep in mind.
- Artificial Intelligence Policy for Brands: Major brands like Amazon and Apple have set strict parameters around AI technology. It’s crucial for companies to develop specific policies guiding AI’s use in content and marketing to ensure alignment with brand values and address business challenges.
- Measuring AI’s Impact: While efficiency is a notable benefit of AI, its effectiveness is equally important. A/B testing can help compare AI-assisted content with human-created content, shedding light on performance differences.
- Quality Control: AI-generated content requires human oversight to ensure quality, accuracy, and alignment with brand voice. Fact-checking and editorial reviews are essential steps before publishing AI-generated content. Your content needs a human touch, never neglect this.
- Legal and Ethical Implications: AI introduces challenges related to copyrights, privacy, and data security. Companies must exercise caution when using AI tools, ensuring they adhere to legal standards and prioritize data protection.
The Chief Content Officer blog has a great and comprehensive article on this. A must-read: The Power of the Prompt: How to Plug AI Into Your Content Engines.
Challenges and Considerations.
- Human Touch: While AI can assist in various content-related tasks, it shouldn’t replace skilled human team members. The human touch is irreplaceable, especially when it comes to creativity, context understanding, and emotional connection.
- Bias and Ethics: Generative AI can sometimes reflect biases present in the data it was trained on. It’s vital to have diverse perspectives during the review process to ensure content inclusivity and avoid potential pitfalls.
- Originality Concerns: Relying heavily on AI tools can lead to content that lacks originality. It’s essential for brands to maintain their unique voice and stand out in the crowded digital landscape. There is also a lot of talk around how search engines will consider and value AI-generated content.
Why has it been the talk of the town in 2023? AI offers a multitude of opportunities for content marketers, from streamlining production processes to gaining deeper audience insights. However, it’s essential to approach AI with a well-defined strategy, understanding its capabilities and limitations.
By combining the strengths of AI with human creativity and expertise, content marketers can achieve unparalleled success in their campaigns, especially during uncertain economic times.