AI has taken the world by storm – especially in the field of content marketing. Nowadays, we have smart software and apps capable of throwing together a whole blog post with a single line of input. We have tools that allow us to conduct lengthy research – that would usually require hours – in a matter of minutes.
The list goes on.
Utilizing AI in the right forms can be highly useful, and it can bring about excellent outcomes for any content marketing strategy. But, the acquisition of these benefits is dependent on knowing how to use AI, when to use AI, and where to use AI.
If you feel a little overwhelmed with these questions, don’t worry. In this post, we’re going to be answering them in detail. We will look at the usage of AI in content marketing and how it has revolutionized the field.
Understanding AI in Content Marketing
Content marketing is a vast field that covers a lot of different approaches and techniques. But, if we wanted to pick out a common factor from all of those approaches, we’d say that content planning, content creation, and content distribution are some things that happen in all of them.
We will discuss the uses and applications of AI in these particular areas of content marketing.
1. AI in Content Planning
Let’s explore the uses and applications of artificial intelligence in content planning.
Once again, since there are so many branches and fields of content marketing, we can’t really think about discussing all of them here. Rather, we can generalize things a bit and look at them in such a way that we get the whole picture.
a) Conducting Theoretical Research
So, one of the first things that comes in content planning is research. In blogging, “research” can be done in order to learn more about a particular topic for the purpose of writing properly on it. Similarly, in other instances of content usage, i.e., product descriptions, newsletters, etc., research can be done for the purpose of finding out useful facts and figures with which you can corroborate your own arguments and findings.
Artificial intelligence can be highly useful when it comes to conducting this type of research. Using AI research tools, you can easily garner and gather different sources of information all in one place for easily viewing them, citing them, and so on.
A good example of the above can be seen in the tool Frase. Among other stuff, Frase allows you to get content from top-ranking pages. You can then use the content from those top pages and create your own write-ups with ease.
Here, this is how the tool itself describes this feature on the home page:
b) Conducting Audience Research, Keyword Research – Stuff About SEO!
Moving on, another major element/step (call it whatever you will) in content planning is conducting audience research, finding out the right keywords/FAQs to include in the write-ups, and so on.
And yet again, this is something in which AI can play an assistive role.
Let’s actually digress a little to explain why and how this type of research is related – nay, vital – to content marketing.
Understanding content marketing and SEO
Nowadays, content marketing relies heavily on search engine optimization. Search engines are the main platforms on which people interact with online brands and businesses. And due to that, the latter has to ensure that they are optimized enough to get the exposure they need.
And when doing so, i.e., when gearing themselves for the search engines, the brands and businesses have to create and publish optimized content. Such content is distinguished with the inclusion of the following:
- Proper metadata
- Optimized visuals
- Heading tags
And the like.
Of these all, the first one, i.e., keywords, is probably the most important. Keywords describe the relevancy of the website to the search engines. And it’s quite a job to find the right ones, meaning the ones that describe your site well and are easy to rank for.
So, coming around full circle and back to our point, this is what AI can help us with.
Coming back to the point…
A good example of such tools is SEMrush. SEMrush is a popular SEO suite that allows users to do different stuff, such as conducting keyword research and finding out useful metrics like traffic, backlinks, etc.
If you wanted to conduct keyword research with SEMrush, here is what it would look like:
As you can see in the image above, the tool shows a lot of different information about the provided keyword. You can find out the volume, the ranking difficulty, questions, variations, related keywords, and so on.
Now, all of this is good and all, but you could be wondering that we haven’t really touched on audience research, although we did mention it in the heading above.
Well, what we meant by “audience” research in the context of SEO, is portrayed nicely in the image above. If you take a little look-see, you’ll find that the tool (SEMrush) is showing things like the Trend, Global Volume and Intent, etc.
These types of metrics and details are within the ambit of “audience research” in our current context. With this data, you can tailor and adjust your content creation, publishing, and sharing approaches. For example, if you find that a particular keyword is dominantly searched for in a particular country, you can create content considering the preferences and nuances of those readers.
c) Creating Outlines
Creating outlines is also an important part of the whole content planning phase. When we say “outlines,” we pretty much refer to the map or the blueprint on which a piece of content is structured.
In most cases, the need for outlines is only required in long-form content such as blogs and newsletters, etc. Shorter forms of content, such as emails and descriptions, etc., don’t require them since…well, since they’re short.
We won’t talk a lot about outlines and why they’re important, etc. Considering that we’ve dragged on some of the previous parts of this post, let’s stick to brevity for now.
So, the application of AI in creating outlines can be easily seen in tools like Copy.ai. You can ask them to create an outline for any particular topic.
Here, you can see this in action in the image provided below:
Although the tool did branch out from the request that we gave it, it’s easy to understand how this functionality can be useful when it comes to creating outlines.
2. AI in Content Creation
That is pretty much it as far as content planning goes. Although there is a lot more that can be discussed vis-à-vis the specific types of content marketing, we wanted to keep our discussion general.
Now, let’s move on to look at the role that AI plays in content creation itself.
When it comes to content creation, there are basically two main approaches that we can talk about. One is the use of AI to generate content from scratch. In this approach, there is minimal human effort since it is only limited to the initial prompt and copying of the output later on. For this purpose, tools such as ChatGPT are used.
The other approach to content creation is the manual creation + automated optimization approach. In other words, this approach involves the manual creation of content. Then, AI is used to optimize the content. In this approach, tools like Paraphraser are used.
If we wanted to use some firearm terminology, we could say that the first approach is “fully automatic” and the second approach is “semi-automatic.”
Let’s look at both one by one.
Here is what it looks like when content is wholly created with AI:
And here is what it looks like when a piece of content is manually written and then improved with AI:
3. AI in Content Distribution
AI is also revolutionizing the field of content marketing by improving content distribution strategies and approaches. The manner in which content is made available to the readers can largely decide its impact.
Since content distribution is a multi-faceted and somewhat complicated topic, we think it would be more suitable to approach it with an example right from the get-go.
Consider the example of Mailchimp. Mailchimp is a popular platform that provides different types of marketing automation services. Among others, one of the services it provides is the segmented targeting of email recipients.
For example, you can set up your emailing campaign to work differently for people in a specific part of the funnel. You can also set up particular emails to be delivered to users who open your primary emails or ignore them.
In short, Mailchimp allows you not only to automate your marketing campaign but also to set them up to work differently for different users. Here is how Mailchimp itself illustrates this:
So, gleaning from this example, we can understand that AI is revolutionizing content distribution by:
- Enabling marketers to automate their emails
- Enabling marketers to schedule and publish blog posts and social media posts
- Enabling marketers to set specific for customers based on their behavior
The effects of AI on content marketing are multifarious. In this post, we’ve barely scratched the surface.
It is important to understand that while AI is revolutionizing the field of content marketing and while there are numerous ways in which it can be used, it has to be utilized within limits. Too much dependence on AI can bring negative outcomes, and it can eventually harm your content marketing strategy.
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