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Today’s content marketers face tons of challenges.

For starters, they have to create a lot of content. Most brands distribute unique content across email, blogs, general webpages, social media, and one-to-one marketing campaigns every day. They also have to manage a team of supporting content producers, usually with tools that aren’t equipped to scale (for example, a spreadsheet editorial calendar). Finally, they must prove content marketing ROI using data from multiple disjointed systems.

And that ROI is a pretty significant investment: B2B content marketers surveyed by Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs reported that almost a third (29%) of their marketing budgets were allocated to content marketing.

This amounts to a massive input of time and money—and because today’s consumer expects hyper-personalized content at every stage of the buyer’s journey, it still doesn’t always achieve the ideal outcome. It’s just too much for a human marketer to achieve.

This is where artificial intelligence can make a major difference in the profitability of your content—but are marketers ready?

Are Marketers Ready to Embrace AI?

Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute conducted a study of hundreds of marketers to assess their thoughts on using AI to intelligently automate more than 60 common marketing tasks.

Content marketing topped the list of highest-rated AI marketing use cases. Of the top 10 use cases marketers identified, seven of them related to content marketing, including keyword selection, A/B testing content, content analysis, and optimization.

Three-fourths of respondents were decision makers, identifying as Managers (30%), VPs/Directors (19.5%) or C-Level/SVPs (26.3%).

And the tasks they want to automate are actually all possible with AI tools that currently exist on the market.

What does this mean? Marketing leaders are ready to approach content marketing in a new way. A way that scales, increases efficiency, and makes more money.

AI Can Increase Efficiency, Performance, and Revenue

AI is being rapidly adopted by marketers facing pressure to produce high-performing campaigns faster than ever. It operates with speed and capability that humans simply cannot, so it solves problems that humans can’t. This is why it’s used daily to make marketing more efficient, personalized, and data-driven.

For content marketers, AI does this in three main ways:

  1. It creates content faster. And in turn, creates more content than humans, without sacrificing efficiency. One example of this is natural language generation, which accurately writes data-driven content. You can arrange data points in a spreadsheet and run it through an natural language generation tool, which turns the data into a story—automatically.
  2. It creates better content. AI learns by your example. This means you can feed it large data sets and it will instantly learn your brand’s standards, for example. Natural language processing can do this very task, then review the content your team has written and offer suggestions for a better-performing end product.
  3. It assesses content performance. AI can analyze large sets of data and help you improve your content marketing with what it learns from the data. Even more impressive, it can do this on a hyper-personal scale. For example, it can learn a website visitor’s preferences and intent on an individual basis, then recommend content that can help—answering questions the visitor didn’t even know they had.

All of these benefits result in high-performing, highly personalized content at scale that moves contacts through the buyer’s journey and towards purchase.

It’s Time to Move Forward with Marketing AI

This is a great opportunity for forward-thinking marketers who rely on content to drive their businesses. AI can be your competitive advantage, giving content marketers the ability to brainstorm, create, promote, and optimize like never before.

Content marketers need to start making AI a real part of their marketing strategies. And the inaugural Marketing Artificial Intelligence Conference (MAICON) is built to help. It’s an event for practitioners and leaders seeking to drive the next frontier of digital marketing transformation within their organizations.

MAICON is designed to help marketing leaders truly understand AI, educate their teams, garner executive support, pilot priority AI uses cases, and develop a near-term strategy for successfully scaling AI.

Ready to take the next step with AI? Register today.

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A roundup of this week’s best content marketing content for content marketers. 

1. Discover Hidden Backlink Opportunities

This post from the Portent blog is a great how-to resource for discovering great backlink building or co-marketing opportunities hidden in your Google Analytics

You should know the channels that drive tons of leads…While that’s great information, your boss will probably also know what’s obviously working. What we want are traffic sources that are unsung heroes in your marketing mix.

See Also: Content Marketing Moneyball: The Secret Strategy to Data-Driven Content Success

2. Content Gap Analysis

Before you finalize your 2018 content plan, it’s crucial to do a content gap analysis first according to a recent post on Search Engine Journal. (Plus, we think our Content Marketing Platform is pretty handy tool for helping you do just that.)

It doesn’t matter how many visitors you drive to your website if you don’t have the right content and user experience in place to optimize for conversion. This is why it’s essential to not only conduct a website gap analysis but a full content audit.

See Also: How to Conduct a Content Audit

3. Podcasting’s ‘Super Listeners’

This post from the Knight Foundation could be a masterclass in persona research. The most engaged podcast listeners prefer their content to be asynchronous, mobile, and niche. And they’ll also tell you about it—super listeners are big boosters of the podcasts they love.

This active audience is incredibly mobile: 93% say they listen to podcasts via smartphone, with 84% indicating that is their primary means of listening to podcasts.

See Also: A Content Marketer’s Guide to Podcasting

4. Audience-Centric Content Strategy

The folks over at Moz recommend creating a content strategy that starts with customer pain points and your unique value proposition and then layers a keyword strategy over that framework

Moving away from a keyword-first-driven content strategy and into an audience-centric one will put you in a better place for creating SEO content that converts. Don’t get me wrong — there’s still an important place for keyword research. But it belongs later in the process, after you’ve performed a deep dive into your audience and your own brand expertise.

See Also: SEO Survival Guide

5. It’s Time for Creative to Retake Center Stage

This post from Marketing Land is specific to the advertising industry but has learnings for us content marketers as well. In a sea of digital noise, focus on creating highly relevant, highly useful experiences that are a pleasure for your audience. More isn’t necessarily better; better is better.

But somewhere along the line, the problem of how to distribute the message became more important than the message itself. Creative now takes a back seat to the media plan.

See Also: The Two Best Secrets to Writing Brain-Craving Content

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