Brands that rely on content marketing are in trouble.
In 2018, only 37% of B2B marketers said they had a documented content strategy.
This means most content marketers are flying blind.
Not to mention, they’re working harder and faster to create more content—all without a smart plan for it.
Nobody is uncertain of the goal.
Brands want to create better content, faster and at scale, to build trust, engagement and lead flow.
But it seems like few are sure how to do this.
There is a better way.
Brands need to stop throwing more people and time at the problem.
Instead, brand leaders must consider smarter technology as a solution.
Today, no smarter technology exists to solve this problem than artificial intelligence.
AI gives brands superpowers. With it, you can create better content, faster, and at scale.
What Is Artificial Intelligence and Why Does It Matter to Brands?
What exactly is AI?
Ask 10 different experts and you’ll get 10 different answers. But, at its core, AI is technology that helps machines do some cognitive tasks better than humans.
There’s plenty of complexity behind AI technologies. But, as a brand marketer, all you need to know is this:
AI tools are great at analyzing large sets of data, then making predictions based on that data.
This functionality powers everything from self-driving cars to Amazon recommendations. One great example you use every day is Apple’s Siri voice assistant. Siri uses AI to process your commands, then predicts which information best meets your needs.
For marketers, AI is able to look at content marketing data, then predict what will work best. That data might come from your brand or competitors or the internet at large. AI systems might then use that data to predict everything from what to write about to what keywords to use.
This means AI can actually help you do some cognitively intense marketing tasks like:
- Build content strategies.
- Plan editorial calendars.
- Compile keyword databases.
- Rank content higher.
- Create more content people want to consume.
- Find popular topics.
AI can enhance or automate all these tasks. That presents a huge opportunity for brands.
The opportunity is this:
AI can enhance, automate, and scale your content marketing programs. And it can do so in a more intelligent way.
That means better performance, faster results, and more (and better) content.
Brands that do AI right can actually increase their content production and performance. And they can do it without a commensurate time and resource investment.
It’s this kind of power that leads McKinsey to predict AI will unlock up to $2.6 trillion in business value in marketing and sales.
Your brand needs to get on board with AI—or risk losing a serious competitive advantage.
How to Get Started with AI
So how do you actually get started with AI?
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see real benefits.
But, you do need to start making a concerted effort to pilot and test AI technologies.
Start with use cases for your brand.
AI isn’t a fit for every marketing activity. The last thing you want to do is try and apply AI to every problem.
Instead, start with time-consuming tasks you do every single day. For brand marketers, this might include content strategy, competitive research, or content creation.
Research, research, research!
Then, start doing research into AI tools that exist to address these use cases. This might be as simple as starting with “AI for…” online searches. Research is key at this stage, so you can understand exactly what tools are available.
AI moves fast, and AI in marketing is maturing by the day. It is critical to stay on top of recent developments in different areas of AI, and revisit your research as new use cases become available.
(You might also find ideas in Marketing AI Institute’s Marketing AI Buyer’s Guide.)
Many AI vendors offer demos and trials. Sign up for promising tools, and asking questions of vendors. You’ll start to get a sense of what’s possible, and what isn’t, with AI.
Over time, you’ll arrive at a shortlist of potential vendors to explore further.
One tool to look at is Vennli, an AI-powered tool for content strategy and intelligence. Vennli uses AI to show you what content and messaging customers want. Try it out below.
This article first appeared in www.forbes.com
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