Hemingway tried to warn us.
“All you have to do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
And bleed we shall.
Because we’ve created a monster that’s bent on ruining the content marketing that was once the saving grace in our long journey toward self-destruction.
“There is a content monster, and it’s tearing apart content marketing. Monsters are creatures that are out of control, that don’t respond to reason or logic, that just are; with no purpose.”
You know what’s even scarier?
Almost everyone is doing content marketing. Yet, less than half of B2B marketers feel their efforts are performing better than “meh.”
We’ve got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to turn things around.
If what Seth Godin said about content marketing being the only marketing we have left is true, we’d better grab it.
Artificial intelligence is here, and it might pull content marketing back from the brink of destruction — if we’ll just let it.
When I say AI will save content marketing, you might jump at the thought of getting some of your most time-consuming tasks — like that whole writing thing — off your plate.
Not so fast.
Quality content isn’t something that can be completely automated just yet. But it can be augmented.
Some chatbots are already smart enough to put tons of relevant data at our fingertips as quickly as we’re able to make a query.
Take GrowthBot that is used by over +12K marketers today. It talks to over a dozen systems and APIs to bring some of these cool, useful features:
And yes, it is true that AI can write entire blogs. In fact, it already has. You might have read one without even knowing it.
Associated Press already uses AI to create stat-heavy sport and finance write-ups.
Engadget mixed a million words and a few rules to create a “Blogbot” that spit out a complete, though drab, tech announcement.
The rear-facing camera is a 12-megapixel unit, which is lower resolution than most sensors in this price range, but Samsung claims it takes great pictures anyway thanks to its larger pixels and fast autofocus.
Can you believe a robot wrote that? Probably.
As far as coherence and creativity, this is the outer limit for AI.
These current limitations might actually be a good thing, considering that a deluge of content isn’t exactly working.
What is working is quality. Quality content gives the reader a unique experience. Quality content meets both your objectives and theirs.
Quality content is epic.
“Content volume is important. Enterprise organizations need lots of content in many different forms and multiple channels. But quality cannot be sacrificed. To break through the clutter, content must be epic.”
— Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute
Can AI create epic content? Not yet.
But it can go a long way in helping you research, edit, and maintain extremely valuable content marketing.
Remember Clippy, the paper clip the world loved to hate?
It might not have been self-aware, or all that helpful, but it heralded a future for content marketing that Vedant Misra, founder of machine-learning company Kemvi, dreams of:
“Machines will help us produce content. Machines will suggest assets to include in the content you’re making, or subsets of content to include. Executive control will remain with creators, but the ideation and production process will become increasingly automated. Think Clippy the Microsoft Office Assistant, but with a much bigger brain.”
While that dream isn’t yet fully realized, a shape is starting to form that looks a lot like a life raft rescuing us from drowning in content.
AI-enabled tools can examine trends to tell you what content each and every one of your readers wants to read. And they can tell them what to read based on their behavior and tons of other data.
But can they help develop that epic reading material from scratch?
Take for example Atomic AI.
Once given enough data about the target audience for your story (or email, or whatever), the smart program will calculate readability to give you customized, predictive recommendations in real time.
That, of course, is only the first step.
If there’s one thing AI excels in over humankind, it’s making sense of data.
AI-enabled platforms deduce behavioral patterns from a number of inputs that would take us years to organize, much less understand.
Better yet, they can tell you how to act on this knowledge.
“By analyzing hundreds of data points about a single user (including location, demographics, device, interaction with the website, etc.), AI can display the best-fitting offers and content.”
- Content Marketing Institute
Once you have the perfectly-personalized content in hand; an intelligent system can tell you when, where, and how often you should be publishing and sharing it for maximum impact.
Then the whole cycle starts over again with smart recommendations on which topics your audience is interested in based on how they’ve interacted with your content.
The implications go well beyond simply crafting epic blog posts.
Evergage and Researchscape International found that 70 percent of organizations surveyed said email was the most important marketing channel to personalize.
Luckily for those respondents, AI makes it easier than ever to actually personalize email content based on the stuff subscribers care about.
No more yelling into the void.
User experience and conversion rate optimization can also benefit from intelligent personalization.
An AI-enabled platform allows you to serve the perfect content and products throughout a user’s experience, increasing the likelihood of a conversion while keeping the churn rate low.
AI will deliver us from crappy copy by making it obsolete.
I like to think we haven’t done things completely wrong as content marketers. Maybe we’ve done too good of a job.
Too much content with too little intelligence is crushing us under its weight.
Consumers have shown us they want extreme value. They want relevance. They expect the perfect solution at the perfect time.
They want epic content marketing.
We need a little help cutting through the chatter. The most powerful tool we have to reach epic status is AI that augments our natural skills.
Artificial intelligence isn’t replacing content marketers, it’s working alongside us.
Afterall, Hemingway told us “There is nothing to writing. All you have to do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
Let’s see a machine do that.