Content marketing is a great idea, especially on paper. You create high-quality content, Google loves it, your target audience is drawn to it, and the customers, blown away by your knowledge and expertise, line up to buy your products.
If you’ve done content marketing before, then you know it’s not that simple.
Creating high-quality content isn’t easy. To do content marketing well, you need a talented writer who understands your business and has a firm understanding of SEO. This doesn’t come cheap, and it also takes time.
That’s why AI is so appealing – it promises to make content marketing effortless.
As we all know though, things are rarely that straightforward.
AI and Content Marketing
You define your brand voice, create content guidelines, research your audience, research keywords, write your content, edit your content, and track its success. All of this is energy-intensive and it’s not straightforward work.
One of the appealing things about AI is that it can work for each stage of the content creation process.
With AI writers able to analyze your audience and use natural language to create personalized content, your marketing promises to be revolutionized. From creating detailed outlines (Frase.io) to turning your thoughts into fully blown ideas (shortly.ai), AI seems to have the answers.
Throw in software like Grammarly which spots even the smallest grammatical and spelling errors in your copy, and it seems like you’ve got the whole process covered.
Ok, so where’s the but?
AI vs a Human Writer
Now, as a freelance writer, I may be a little biased here – but there is a big but for anyone thinking AI can take over their content marketing.
The technology is very helpful, but it’s not capable of doing the whole job. Marketing and branding are all about being human and try as it might, AI hasn’t quite mastered that yet. It’s hard to say if it will ever reach the required level of literary mastery, but right now, it’s not a chance you want to take with your brand’s content.
Check out this video of the guys from Income School secretly entering a piece of AI-generated content in their writing competition.
For now, at least, content marketing still requires the ingredients the scarecrow and tinman were looking for in the Wizard of Oz – a brain, and a heart.
Valuable Tools for Content Marketing
Your dream of a magical answer to your content marketing challenges might not be a reality, but that doesn’t mean AI can’t be a massive help. These tools can be a huge help when it comes to research, editing, and yes, even writing.
While I wouldn’t rely on AI to write something (that’s my job!), it can be a great idea generator. When you’ve hit the wall on a subject and the ideas just aren’t flowing, AI can throw up some pretty original ideas to inspire you.
You don’t need to take what AI gives you as set in stone. You own the work, so you can use your own judgment, add your own flair, and generally make what you receive more human. This is as true for Grammarly (it’s not always right, and you need to use your own judgment too) as it is with Frase (optimized reports often lack flair and entertainment value), or even ShortlyAI (it can sound a little robotic).
At the end of the day, you still need the human element – that’s the magic ingredient. AI can make certain tasks easier and save you time, but to bring everything together, you still need talented people.
Talented people are going to be able to take the insight AI gives you and turn it into something greater.
How to Use AI in Your Content Marketing
At least for the moment, I think we should be looking at AI as a useful aid for content marketing. One of the key parts of creating content is bringing together useful information, and AI does this extremely well.
As the technology continues to improve, it might be something you can rely on to play a bigger role in your content marketing. However, it’s likely you will always need a level of human input and oversight, even if it’s just to bring accountability.
This will require talented people with a detailed understanding of your brand and audience (sound familiar?) So, AI might be able to take some of the load off, but at least in my opinion, you’re always going to need skilled people to bring everything together.
The important thing is that you take the time to understand what your business needs. There’s no point in being locked into expensive AI software if you’re not going to utilize the features. Lots of AI software offer free trials, so make sure you evaluate exactly what you’re getting.
If you’re going to use AI, then it’s got to make your processes more efficient – there’s no point just doing it because it’s trendy.
AI isn’t ready to take over your content marketing!
Whether it ever will be is another question, but if you’re going to be trusting your brand to a robot, then you’ve got to be very confident in it.
It might seem like content marketing is just about ticking a few boxes to get ranked in the search engine, but there’s a lot more to it than that. It’s an intrinsically human form of storytelling that informs and entertains at the same time.
Replicating the work of a high-quality content creator isn’t easy, and AI might never be able to do it. What it can do is make the process much easier for humans and for this reason, it already has a valuable role to play in content marketing.