by Hendrik Baird

I’m sure you are as wary of “the rise of the machines” as I am. When someone mentions Artificial Intelligence (AI), I immediately think of HAL in Stanley Kubrick’s movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. 

HAL stands for Heuristically programmed ALgorithmic computer, a sentient artificial general intelligence computer in control of the systems of the Discovery One spacecraft. We experience HAL as a camera lens with a red or yellow dot and a voice that speaks in a calm, soft, and conversational manner. HAL only follows his mission parameters and the audience experiences him as a villain, but he actually is quite sympathetic. 

HAL’s most famous line from the movie is, “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

This reminds me of the Little Britain series. In one of the recurring sketches, Carol Beer, portrayed by David Walliams, is a perpetually disillusioned woman who, when typing information into her computer and discovering that the request cannot be met, answers with a deadpan, “Computer says no.” 

Today AIis becoming more commonplace and we easily ask Siri and Alexa quotations or give them commands. Self-driving cars are becoming a reality and we regularly engage in conversation with online bots. Even the recommendations we receive from Netflix as to what it thinks we will enjoy watching is a form of AI.

While AI has been hailed as revolutionary and world-changing, it does come with some drawbacks and risks. It has been listed as one of the trends to watch in coming years, <<INSERT LINK TO ARTICLE ON BLOG HERE>>specifically when talking about content marketing, so we have to investigate what role it will play and how we can use it to our advantage.

What is AI and What Role Can It Play in Content Marketing?

AI is a broad term that covers many different technologies. There are four types of AI. 

  • Reactive AI. This is the most basic type of AI. It is programmed to provide output that is predictable based on the input received by it. A reactive Ai will always respond the same way in identical situations and cannot learn new actions. An example of a reactive AI is Deep Blue, the IBM supercomputer that can play chess and that beat chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov. The Netflix recommendation machine and spam filters for email are also examples of reactive AI.
  • Limited Memory AI. An Ai with limited memory has the ability to learn from the past and can build experiential knowledge by observing actions or data. It uses both its programming and data it has observed historically to make predictions and perform complex classification tasks. A self-driving car for instance has the ability to understand and interpret incoming data such as the other cars’ speed and direction. Their memory is, as the name suggests, limited, and is not saved in their long-term memory.
  • Theory of Mind AI. When you have a conversation that is meaningful with a robot that is emotionally intelligent, it may look and sound like a conversation with another human being. This kind of AI is not yet fully developed and remains some years in the future. There have already been some examples of these kinds of robots, such as Sophia, an Ai that can recognize faces and respond to interactions with her own facial expressions.
  • Self-Aware AI. This kind of AI is self aware, not only of their emotions and intelligence, but also of the emotions of those around them. This type of AI displays emotions and has desires and needs. Self-aware AI is still in the realm of science fiction and the hardware and algorithms that will support it is yet to be developed.

The Ai technologies that are at the moment available to us have many uses, from Grammarly offering recommendations to improve writing to Yoast that can help improve SEO. Gmail uses Ai to predict what word you will type next and your iPhone predicts appropriate responses to text messages. 

Using AI in Content Creation

It is the AI that has the ability to “read” and “write” human language that currently holds the most benefit in content creation. They work with a technology called natural language processing (NLP) and, in the case of Siri and Alexa, with natural language generation (NLG). The most advanced of these systems teach themselves to improve over time based on the inputs from the user. 

Current AI technologies can help the content creator in five ways.

  • It can automate small content initiatives;
  • It can get fresh topics and keywords;
  • It can gather user-generated content;
  • It can optimize content for SEO; and
  • It can improve content for landing pages and campaigns. 

If you are looking to create content, you can use Ai to come up with a rough first draft. It will still take a professional content writer to edit it and add the human touch before it can be published. What is useful is the AI’s ability to analyze historical data to determine which posts had the highest engagement and make recommendations for content to capitalize on this data.

Finding fresh topics to write about can be a struggle. An AI can generate countless topic ideas for content and find keywords to match in just a few seconds. Having a great many topic ideas can enrich a content strategy and screen ideas that have the highest chance of engaging your audience. Hubspot’s Blog Ideas Generator and Portents Idea Generator are examples of this. Number of ideas. You type in your keywords and it gives you a list of ideas.

A study has shown that 90% of shoppers make their purchasing decisions based on the insights they get from user-generated content (UGC). You therefore want to incorporate posts that relate to your brand and customer comments made on social media into your marketing campaigns. You will need Ai to help you identify and collect feedback customers have made about your products or services. 

Everybody is chasing a page one result on search engines and unfortunately this is becoming more of a challenge every year as the algorithms that determine search ranking get tweaked and changed. This is where AI-powered SEO can be of assistance, improving your rankings and increasing organic traffic by showing you hidden opportunities. These may include backlinks and related keywords. If you are familiar with the WordPress plugin Yoast, you will know how powerful  good SEO AI can be. 

Content still is king and having interactive landing pages that improve marketing performance is the holy grail that drives customer engagement. A, AI algorithm can do an in-depth analysis of the content on a specific page and recommend improvements for design and wording. 

Benefits of AI Content Marketing

As AI tools are developed and improved, content creators will increasingly benefit from using them. One of the biggest benefits is that it will take the tedium out of the content curation process. It takes a lot of time to get the latest news and updates and AI can speed up this process by searching through blog posts and articles, using keywords and interests, to bring the right resources to the attention of the content creator.

AI can assist in the automation of certain processes. It can process large chunks of information quickly and give insights, pulling together relevant information a content creator can use to strategize with and then act on. 

We are all looking to improve the experience of the user and it is here that AI can be particularly useful. It can help to balance the many touchpoints that a customer has with a specific brand, improving the front-end experience so that each customer feels they are having a personalized experience.

If you haven’t yet started making deliberate use of AI, now may be the time to start doing so.

Book a discovery call to discuss your content needs.