Artificial Intelligence (AI) is fueling many industries and businesses in today’s technology-driven world. But what function can it serve when it comes to content marketing—and marketing in general?
First and foremost, it helps to understand what exactly constitutes AI. (Because it’s not just automation.) To be true AI, the technology has to get smarter on its own. AI is the science of making machines smart.
AI can be used in marketing for myriad reasons, from reducing costs by removing manual tasks that take up a lot of time, to generating revenue by creating better, more relevant content for your brand that is delivered to the right audience at the right time.
But before delving into AI, consider these 5 steps:
- Identify specific, practical use cases for AI. You can’t just say “Let’s do AI.” You need to have a purpose and specific uses for the AI as it pertains to your suite of capabilities, which leads into Step 2.
- Use the “5 Ps” of AI for content marketing. There is a framework (shared by PR 20/20 at MAICON, which we recently attended) that is helpful in identifying those use cases, and it revolves around the 5 Ps: Planning (strategy/insights), Production (creating the content), Personalization (messaging), Promotion (connecting with your audiences across paid, owned and earned media), and Performance (analytics and measurement).
- Consider your business needs. Should you buy or build AI? Depending on your business and capabilities, it might not always make sense to try to create an AI hub internally. Consider partnering with the many AI-centric platforms in the industry to help you bring your ideas to life.
- Scrutinize the vendors who claim to have AI. It’s critical to understand the vendors, partners, and platforms that specialize in AI, primarily to determine if what they’re selling is indeed AI, but also to get a grasp on what exactly they offer. Challenge them, ask questions, and make sure you feel comfortable that what you’re getting is a machine-learning solution that gets smarter and improves its performance over time.
- Be OK with failing. Like any new endeavor, there will be roadblocks. It will be painful at first, but the end result will be worthwhile. You need to accept the risks and adopt a “test and learn” mindset. No one has AI fully figured out yet; not even the experts.
Stay tuned for a second installment about some ideas to jumpstart your thinking about how you can use AI in content marketing.