Is Content Creation Dead?
Seven Impacts of Technology on Content Marketing
Betteridge’s Law holds that a headline posed as a question has a simple answer: “No.” So, if a headline asks, “Will Artificial Intelligence Save Journalism? Or Kill It?”, we can quickly respond “no” twice. But it’s more complicated than that, of course.
AI and automation are improving every day, and they have wide-ranging implications for how communications professionals work. The range of presentations at this year’s virtual Content Marketing Institute ContentTECH Summit made one thing clear: Technology is reshaping every aspect of how we create and market content.
Fear not! Embrace the change because it will offer valuable new opportunities in the future. Here are seven areas where content marketing is evolving because of technology:
- B2B’s Been Consumerized: B2C practices continue to influence the expectations of B2B customers. So, follow those practices! What works best for B2C (“Because you watched The Queen’s Gambit, you may also like…”) won’t always apply in a B2B context, but in many cases it does. Recommend content based on engagement metrics and tracking. Inspire your audience and build loyalty by automating delivery of useful content that’s easy to engage with.
- Audience Is Everything: Focus on engaging and delighting your audience. Design the customer experience with their digital journey in mind. Use analytics to improve customer intelligence and adapt accordingly. You can also layer automation and triggers to capture even more behavioral data, which will help maximize marketing touchpoints across distribution channels and facilitate repeatable success.
- Personalize: Personalization is critical to a customer-centric approach that generates higher engagement. This means much more than putting the contact’s first name in the email subject line. Marketers are now creating dynamic, personalized content experiences tailored to each user to address specific needs and interests. The end goal is to connect audience members with the content they need, when they need it, on their preferred device.
- Measure: You can significantly improve results by consistently monitoring engagement, setting KPIs and building relevant analytics. Then you can extract insights to inform decisions about design, delivery and adjustments. See what’s working and do more of that; update and repurpose successful content. See what’s not working and stop it, even if that means killing your darlings. Diligently measuring engagement helps you build better audience profiles to generate more leads and more revenue.
- Scale: To get the most from content technology, design content that can scale and function well with your digital resources. It’s critical to balance standardization and personalization, which includes auditing existing content while developing new content to effectively optimize and scale with intelligent content systems.
- Templatize and Modularize: Microcontent isn’t written in a really small font size. It’s content focused on one concept that can be clearly identified, labeled and indexed so that it’s available to reference whenever you (or your intelligent content system) need it. By organizing content in small chunks according to taxonomies and relevance tags, it can later be stitched together with content templates to create dynamic new materials. In this way, marketers can use AI-generated content to personalize automated content delivery. However, AI is far from perfect, so you still need a savvy human to review and edit before hitting “Publish.”
- AI-Enabled Content Is Coming: As AI improves rapidly, it will change content development and personalization. Complex algorithms using artificial neural networks can help determine the content you need, and machine learning improves our understanding of each user. AI can then aggregate content from many sources, deliver it in many formats and even create content using natural language generation. Just remember to have a flesh-and-blood proofreader check it for adherence to content standards!
Will the content robots become self-aware and revolt? No. But automation and innovative tools will require developing new roles and skill sets. Increasingly, AI-enabled solutions can help content marketers gain better insights into the customer journey, produce agile content at scale and enhance the user experience to improve outcomes. Think of it like a robot vacuum. Let technology help with the chores and leave the more important work to us.
By Sean Hojnacki
Photo by Khizar Hayat from Pexels