Immediately after ChatGPT was released, there was a panic in the content marketing industry. It represented a revolution; all one had to do was feed it a question or a topic, and it would spit out answers. To content marketers and creators, it seemed to spell doom in the industry. Were they all going to be replaced by artificial intelligence (AI)?
Fortunately, it did not take very long for these professionals to realize that unless one was looking for the most basic type of content, simply couldn’t keep up. Many of the answers it produces aren’t up to date, it can make for a bit of a tedious read, and it often quotes sources that don’t exist.
Of course, these may be teething problems. As companies continue to improve AI programs, they are sure to correct some of the problems that ChatGPT has highlighted.
What will this mean for content marketers and the content industry in general? Is everyone going to be replaced by code? Will businesses be able to reduce the cost of content creation significantly? This article will explore these questions and more.
Entering The Marketing Profession
As individuals contemplate a career change to marketing, these are some of the questions they will grapple with. Marketing is an essential component in the world of business, and companies continue to pay top dollar for marketers who have the right qualifications and the drive to sell their products.
A good marketer must be familiar with data analysis and communication within diverse target populations, as well as being creative and an excellent communicator. Many universities have created courses that target these areas. St. Bonaventure University, for example, has a great Online Master of Arts in Communication course (including integrated marketing communication) that teaches students how to empathize with their audiences, strategic thinking for marketing strategy, and how to make sense of data.
As individuals consider a transition from their current career to marketing, they should focus on these issues. If companies turn to AI for content, it means fewer jobs, and the ones that remain will be highly specialized.
The best way to know how AI will affect marketing is to look at the effect it has had so far. How is it shaping marketing? Has it affected the way content is produced? How is it being used to drive customer engagement, and most importantly, is it effective?
Before examining how AI and apps like ChatGPT will affect how businesses create and use content, it is worth understanding what content marketing is and its role in commerce.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a strategic approach towards creating and distributing content that is relevant, correct, and interesting for a specific audience in a bid to get them to engage with a business. For many companies, the main aim of content creation is to attract new audiences and convert existing ones into buyers.
Rather than solely pitch products, content marketing aims to educate consumers and help them solve problems with a given product.
When businesses began using the internet to connect with consumers, it was all about pitching. They would talk about nothing but what they were selling and why consumers should buy their products or services. Before long, it became apparent that rather than learn about specific products, consumers needed information that could help them solve whatever issues they were facing.
Google came to the rescue. Google is in the information business, though few people see it this way. It is the biggest repository to have ever existed and its main aim is to provide content that helps consumers solve problems.
Why is Content Marketing Important For Business?
To answer this, ask another question. How would businesses educate potential customers about their products and services without strategically creating content and distributing it to its target markets? It would be difficult, and they would miss out on many profitable opportunities.
Content marketing has documented benefits. As soon as a business takes a strategic approach to content, it can expect to have increased sales, customer loyalty and cost savings – so long as the strategy is targeted optimally and finds success. It will have a bigger pool of prospects to talk to, and goods and services move much faster.
Content marketing has another advantage. It levels the playing ground for all entities. It doesn’t matter whether it is an iconic brand or the mom-and-pop shop around the corner, all must compete within the same space by putting out relevant, up-to-date content that is interesting enough to keep consumers engaged.
This is not to say that content marketing is a magic bullet. Many businesses spend thousands of dollars putting out content with minimal results.
New businesses, for example, must jostle with bigger ones to get a slice of user attention, and it can be hard to overtake established brands with a large budget. However, with consistency and relevant content, the new businesses eventually earn their place at the top.
The other problem that content creators face is holding user attention long enough to convince them to interact with a business. The average person, for example, receives more than 120 emails every day, and this includes an average of 21 spam emails that are directing them towards a product or service.
30 years ago, most people would read whatever emails arrived in their inbox. Over the years, the deluge of emails has become too much, and most users make it a point never to look in their spam folders.
It is up to marketers to figure out the best way to reach a demographic that is inundated by marketing messages everywhere they turn. In the role as a marketing professional, individuals will use available data to design different strategies to reach out to otherwise blasé users. They must figure out what will catch and hold their attention long enough to pass on information that makes them want to engage with the company, and the company may decide that AI is the best way to go.
What Role Has AI Played in Content Marketing?
Traditional methods of marketing have become highly competitive and sometimes ineffective, especially when reaching big audiences. Although the internet levels the playing ground for businesses, it also makes for an extremely competitive space, and it is only businesses that are consistent and persistent that make it.
The rise of AI has had a significant impact on the industry. Some businesses feel that they don’t have to pay content creators and marketers anymore. They would rather use AI tools like ChatGPT to reach their audiences, and it is expected to cause disruptions in the creator economy.
The creator economy is comprised of people who create content for online consumption. It includes diverse professionals, from writers to video makers to bloggers.
AI impacts this economy. Marketers now have the choice to hire a content creator or use AI tools. Many still choose to go with content creators because AI tools, however advanced they are, still lack a certain touch. They lack nuances, and often they lack context. However, as new AI tools are rolled out every month it has become apparent that there are certain areas where AI can be useful for marketers.
Generating new ideas
Audiences are easily bored. Companies that continue using the same old ideas will see engagement numbers start to drop. Users just aren’t that interested anymore.
AI has proved quite useful in generating and testing new ideas and using existing data to present information in ways that are sure to engage users and improve brand awareness. It does a good job at breaking down data to see which marketing messages generate the highest engagement and use that information to generate new ideas that marketers can use immediately.
Writing assistants like GPT-3 and Jasper have made it so much easier for marketers to create content. They are fast, efficient and they offer consistency. They are also cost-effective, especially for small businesses.
That said, many AI content creation tools lack finesse, and they often produce content that must be revised by a human editor to ensure that it is factually accurate, nuanced, and reads in a way that engages and cajoles readers to explore the brand.
When writing online articles, AI has produced tools that make it much easier to produce content that is properly optimized for search engines. These tools deliver relevant keywords for different niches, and they can re-write text to make it keyword focused.
They also highlight the content competitors are publishing, allowing creators to see what material is most engaging to their users.
Search engines have become quite good at identifying new and upcoming creators and recommending them to the relevant audience. Users can follow creators who produce content they are interested in, and content creators thus have a bigger audience to market to.
Influencers can produce more relevant content
Social media influencers have become popular, and brands now pay thousands of dollars to have a recognizable face recommend their products.
While it is easy to identify an influencer and a target market, it isn’t always easy to pinpoint what message would be most engaging to a particular audience. AI has been a big help in crunching data and pointing creators in the right direction.
Influencer marketing is also evolving. Rather than pay a human influencer thousands of dollars for a marketing campaign, businesses can create virtual influencers that are just as effective but not as expensive.
Target audience and customer segmentation
One of the biggest uses of AI is crunching troves of data and drawing conclusions that can be used to drive strategy.
For content marketers, this is proving to be invaluable. When they can collect data and feed it to an AI program, it tells them who their target market is and what message they should publish to increase brand engagement.
AI tools have also proved quite useful in customer segmentation. Rather than publish a marketing campaign and hope that the audience engages, these tools segment customers and point marketers towards the types of messages that are likely to engage the different segments.
Targeted marketing is always more effective than publishing a campaign on a whim.
Although AI does produce content that must be examined by the human eye before publication, it has relieved the burden of content curation, leaving marketers to focus on other tasks.
Feeding a topic into the tool quickly churns out material for publishing. It saves time, but more importantly, it saves small businesses money.
AI elevates messages through personalization
Apart from helping target a specific audience, AI has also enhanced personalized marketing, allowing marketers to speak one-on-one to prospects. It can help track consumer preferences, buying patterns, and more.
Targeted marketing is much more effective because consumers are more likely to respond to a highly relevant message. Personalization shouldn’t be underestimated. According to one report, 90% of Americans find personalized messages appealing. In 2018, just 29% of marketers were using AI to personalize their message. Today, that number is up to 84%.
This shows that personalization works, and businesses should be using AI to ensure that their marketing truly speaks to the target audience.
AI helps track performance
This is vital when creating both long and short-term marketing strategies. If marketers can track the performance of previous campaigns, it gives them a basis for future marketing messages. If they know that a certain slant is more likely to engage customers, they will create future campaigns with confidence because they know what users want.
Similarly, if a campaign didn’t perform, they know what to avoid in the future. It can help save thousands of dollars, and if done right, it can significantly boost the bottom line.
When a user buys an item online, or even looks at it for more than a few seconds, they will start to receive advertising messages telling them more about it, what it is for, and even discounted rates. They will also receive messages about similar products or products that are used alongside it.
All this can be done using AI. Ecommerce has evolved, and rather than wait for the user to go to a store, it actively pursues them and tries to convert them into buying customers.
This targeted marketing is highly effective. If, for example, someone is looking online for baby diapers, there is a good chance that there is a baby in the home. An AI program could pick up on this and send that user more information on baby-related products. As a result, there is a better chance that they’ll become a repeat customer.
What Does The Future of AI Look Like For Content Marketing?
It is impossible to predict the future with any degree of certainty because user preferences change so fast, but there are certain things that we can be sure about. The first is that although AI cannot produce the best content yet, those kinks will be ironed out, and before long we will be able to generate high-quality material from AI apps.
Does this mean that content marketers will lose their jobs? This is uncertain, but some people predict that only the best content marketers will find employment. The remaining marketers, because they produce the same content that can be churned out by an AI program, might have to upgrade their skills and produce high-level content that is well-researched, highly informative, and interesting.
AI is also making work easier for content marketers. Rather than wait for days for a human to produce articles or videos, they can get it done in minutes, tweak it, and upload it. This is great news for many small businesses as it eliminates the need to hire expensive content creators.
AI is revolutionizing content marketing, making it possible for even the smallest businesses to produce good content that engages users. Content marketers should keep an eye on the trends to ensure they are up to date with the latest technologies.