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Use generative AI as a tool to not only speed up your content creation process but also to elevate the quality and impact of your marketing efforts

In today’s competitive digital landscape, high quality content is more critical than ever to attract attention, add value, and nurture leads.

Generative AI is revolutionizing content marketing by enabling faster production of high-quality content, but it also poses the risk of generating unremarkable, generic content.

This comprehensive guide unveils the incredible potential of Generative AI and provides you with practical strategies to supercharge your content marketing efforts, including content creation, SEO, calendaring, resource allocation, tools, and measuring ROI.

Best Ways to Use AI in Content Marketing

We can all agree that using AI to improve content marketing is a potential game changer, but let’s explore some of the other advantages and opportunities:

Faster content creation

AI tools can streamline and optimize the content creation process. From generating topic ideas to writing copy, AI can assist content creators in producing high-quality content much faster. This partial automation reduces time and effort and if it’s done right, you don’t have to lose the human touch in storytelling and creativity.

More and better ideas: Hours of brainstorming new topics, blog titles, etc. can be reduced to just a few minutes. It’s not always perfect, but it’s almost always a shortcut and may take you in directions that you wouldn’t have gone otherwise.

Better and faster social media posts

Generating the enthusiasm required to write yet another social post or a series of posts can be challenging for most marketers. However, with the power of Generative AI, you can effortlessly get an endless array of ideas and have the posts tailored for maximum impact on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and more.

More consistent brand and voice

AI can play a crucial role in upholding brand consistency and maintaining voice standards in content marketing.

Improved SEO

AI tools excel at optimizing content for maximum impact. From SEO optimization to content structure analysis, AI algorithms can identify areas for improvement and offer suggestions to enhance content performance. This optimization ensures content is search engine-friendly, user-friendly, and aligned with the latest trends.

Accelerated content repurposing

Every content piece you create has the potential to be repurposed into various formats. An eBook can be transformed into multiple blogs, videos, infographics, checklists, presentation decks, emails, podcasts, and more. But that’s still a lot of work without AI. With the assistance of AI, leveraging the full potential of each content asset can be considerably easier and faster.

How AI is Changing the Marketing Landscape and What it Takes to Adapt

To leverage the benefits of AI in content marketing, it will be necessary to adapt every aspect of your content marketing strategy. Here are the key steps to do that and maximize the potential of AI:

First understand what AI excels at

Educate yourself about the capabilities and applications of AI in content marketing. Stay updated with the latest AI trends, tools, and techniques. Familiarize yourself with AI-powered analytics, content generation, personalization, and optimization tools to identify opportunities for implementation.

Set clear objectives that you can measure

Define clear objectives for integrating AI into your content marketing strategy. Determine the specific goals you want to achieve, such as improving content personalization, optimizing SEO, enhancing user experiences, or increasing efficiency. Clear objectives will help you align your AI implementation with your overall content marketing goals.

Choose the right AI tools

There are a lot of tools out there and more and more every day. It’s a full-time job just to keep track of it all. Research and select proven AI tools that align with your content marketing needs. Consider tools for content generation, analytics, personalization, SEO optimization, or workflow automation.

Pilot and test AI implementation 

Start by piloting AI tools on a small scale to evaluate their effectiveness and impact on your content marketing efforts. Most are SaaS tools, so you don’t have to sign long-term contracts. Test different AI-driven strategies and measure their outcomes.

Train and empower your team 

Every marketer wants to be up on the latest in marketing AI, but there are vast differences in expertise since AI is so new. Provide training and resources to your content marketing team to ensure they understand how to effectively utilize AI tools. Encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing to foster a culture of AI adoption within your team.

Experts at AI in marketing like Nicole Leffer offer quality training and coaching to accelerate AI adoption.

Continuously optimize and evolve regularly

Analyze the performance of your AI-driven content marketing initiatives and make data-driven decisions. Leverage AI analytics tools to gain insights into the most important things: audience behavior, content effectiveness, and trends. Use this data to refine your content strategy, improve personalization, enhance SEO, and drive better results.

Stay ahead of AI trends 

Stay on top of it all because AI technology is evolving rapidly. It’s crucial to follow industry experts, attend conferences, and engage with AI communities to stay up to date. I’ve gotten a lot of good info from Marketing AI Institute and their MAICON conference.

Overcoming the Inevitable Obstacles

While the potential of AI in content marketing is abundant, there are challenges to overcome before you start seeing real gains.

The biggest challenge is education and training. According to the Marketing AI Institute’s State of Marketing and Sales AI Report,

“The industry faces a major obstacle to achieving these attainable, real-world outcomes with AI: a significant lack of confidence in adopting and implementing AI. Nearly half (45%) of all respondents say they’re still beginners when asked to classify their own AI knowledge and capabilities. Only 29% say they have high or very high confidence in evaluating the AI-powered marketing technology that makes their desired outcomes possible.”

AI technology evolves rapidly, and keeping up with the latest advancements, tools, and best practices is essential. It requires investing in training and staying informed about emerging AI technologies, algorithms, and tools.

Another big challenge is making sure your content doesn’t read like it was written by ChatGPT. Yeah, the technology is smart, but the stuff it churns out has a certain vibe to it. I’ve heard other marketers say things like, “Oh, that was definitely written by ChatGPT.” And you know what happens then? People don’t take it seriously and are much more likely to stop reading. Some Generative AI tools are better at avoiding this issue, but you still need a real human to edit the text and give it some real insights. You also have to feed ChatGPT the right core content to keep it on the right track.

Another main obstacle is data privacy. As AI relies on vast amounts of data, ensuring data privacy and security is crucial. Businesses must comply with regulations and implement robust data protection measures to build trust with their audience.

Ethical considerations are also important. AI should be used responsibly, ensuring that automated content and interactions align with ethical standards and maintain authenticity. For instance, always use a plagiarism checker like Grammarly or Plagiarism Detector before you publish new content. While AI can automate many tasks, it still needs human oversight to ensure the content’s accuracy, relevance, and compliance with ethical guidelines.

AI by itself isn’t going to create high quality content that sets you apart. Strike the right balance between automation and human touch, ensuring that AI complements and enhances the work of your content marketing team rather than replacing it.

Essential AI Tools for Your Content Marketing Tech Stack

There is a vast array of affordable AI tools and technologies available, too numerous to mention in detail. However, I’m happy to share with you a few of my personal favorites that fall within a reasonable price range. Note:  I’m not paid to promote any tools I recommend.

  • ChatGPT is undoubtedly the most popular and widely recognized tool, partly because it’s free, easy to access, and works well. However, there are numerous other paid tools that elevate your capabilities to a higher level.
  • ChatGPT Plus is the paid version of ChatGPT, using the upgraded GPT-4 “multimodal” model. At $20 per month, it promises quicker response time, better factual accuracy, text and images, and access to a few beta tools. Is it worth it? Depends on what you use it for.
  • Writer is very similar to ChatGPT but more advanced and designed more for larger marketing teams. ($18 a month)
  • Descript makes it easy to produce and edit videos and podcasts. ($12 a month)
  • GoCharlie is great at capturing YouTube video transcripts and creating unique images from text. ($39 a month)
  • Grammerly has been around for a long time, but it’s been updated with lots of valuable AI technology for editing, checking for plagiarism, improving writing clarity, making messages more compelling, and in general, improving the quality of writing. ($12 a month)
  • MarketMuse is a powerful SEO tool, but it’s priced accordingly. ($149 a month)
  • DALL-E 2, an OpenAI product like ChatGPT, is a powerful tool for generating custom images in various styles. However, it may require some time to familiarize yourself with how to provide instructions that get the image you need. (10 cents an image with a $15 bundle)

Here are the essential AI tool categories for a robust tech stack:

AI-powered analytics 

Implement AI analytics tools to gain comprehensive insights into your content performance. These tools leverage AI algorithms to analyze data on user behavior, engagement metrics, and content effectiveness.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools 

NLP tools help you understand and analyze language patterns, sentiment, and user intent. They assist in tasks such as keyword research, content optimization, and sentiment analysis, allowing you to create more engaging and tailored content that resonates with your audience.

Content generation and automation 

AI-powered content generation tools can save time and effort by automatically generating content based on your requirements. These tools leverage machine learning algorithms to produce high-quality, relevant content at scale, freeing up your team to focus on other tasks.

Personalization and recommendation engines 

AI-based recommendation engines analyze user preferences, behavior, and historical data to deliver personalized content recommendations. By implementing these engines, you can provide tailored content experiences to individual users, increasing engagement and satisfaction.

SEO and content optimization

AI-powered SEO tools can assist in keyword research, on-page optimization, and content analysis. These tools leverage AI algorithms to identify SEO opportunities, optimize content for search engines, and improve your overall organic visibility.

Data management and integration 

Look at AI-driven data management tools to collect, organize, and analyze data from various sources. These tools enable you to consolidate data from multiple platforms, perform advanced data analysis, and gain actionable insights to inform your content marketing decisions.

A/B testing and experimentation tools 

AI tools that facilitate A/B testing and experimentation allow you to test different variations of your content and measure their impact. These tools help you identify the most effective content strategies, refine your approach, and continuously optimize your content marketing efforts.

For more recommendations for AI content tools, check out the list from Mike Kaput at the Marketing AI Institute: 40+ Jaw-Dropping AI Writing Tools

AI-Driven SEO Strategies for Content Marketing 

For content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO) plays a vital role in making your content visible and driving traffic to your website. AI has the potential to take your SEO efforts to the next level. Here are the steps to enhance SEO in content marketing using AI:

Select the right keywords

AI-powered tools can automate and streamline the keyword research process. These tools can analyze vast amounts of data, including search trends, competitor analysis, and user behavior, to identify high-potential keywords.

Optimize content

AI can assist in optimizing your content for search engines. Natural language processing (NLP) algorithms can analyze the structure, readability, and relevance of your content. AI tools can suggest improvements, such as optimizing headings, meta tags, and keyword placement, to increase the search engine ranking potential of your content.

Generate content

AI can help in generating SEO-friendly content. Chatbots and AI content generators can assist in creating articles, blog posts, and other content pieces that align with your SEO strategy.

Upgrade on-page SEO

AI-powered tools can conduct comprehensive on-page SEO analysis. These tools evaluate factors like page speed, mobile-friendliness, URL structure, and internal linking to identify areas for improvement.

User experience optimization 

AI can also analyze user behavior data to improve user experience (UX) and SEO performance. By understanding how users interact with your website, AI algorithms can identify opportunities to enhance navigation, reduce bounce rates, and improve engagement metrics.

Voice search optimization 

With the rise of voice assistants, optimizing your content for voice search is crucial. AI tools can help in identifying long-tail keywords and natural language patterns commonly used in voice queries. By tailoring your content to match voice search intents, you can increase your chances of appearing in voice search results.

Performance monitoring and reporting 

AI analytics tools enable you to monitor SEO performance effectively. AI algorithms can provide real-time insights and generate comprehensive reports, allowing you to track progress, identify areas for improvement, and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly.Top of Form

How to Build the Perfect Content Marketing Team and Org Chart 

Incorporating AI into your content marketing strategy requires careful consideration of who’s on your team and who does what.

While it’s understandable that not every content marketing team has the resources to hire the following experts, this is my wish list.

A significant trend among content marketing teams is the inclusion of a Prompt Engineer, an individual who specializes in maximizing the potential of Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT. This role requires a unique blend of artistry, knowledge, and skill, and some individuals excel at it more than others.

Other AI specialists are responsible for understanding and implementing AI technologies, ensuring the seamless integration of AI into content marketing workflows. They stay up to date with the latest AI advancements, experiment with AI tools, and provide guidance on their effective use.

Content strategists work closely with AI specialists to define content objectives, target audiences, and distribution channels. They identify content gaps, develop content strategies, and oversee the content creation process to maintain alignment with the brand’s goals and values.

Data analysts play a crucial role in leveraging AI-generated insights. They analyze data, identify patterns, and provide actionable recommendations to optimize content marketing efforts.

Creative professionals, such as writers, designers, and videographers, use AI tools to create engaging content. They work alongside AI to refine generated content, infuse creativity, and brand personality into the material, and ensure the content resonates with the target audience.

And for the team, fostering collaboration and knowledge-sharing among team members is essential to maximize the potential of AI in content marketing. Regular meetings, brainstorming sessions, and training programs can help team members understand AI technologies, exchange insights, and collectively explore innovative ways to leverage AI in their content marketing efforts.

How to use AI to Build and Execute a Content Marketing Calendar: Step-by-Step

Creating a well-organized content marketing calendar is crucial for effective planning and execution. By incorporating AI into the process, you can enhance your calendar’s efficiency and productivity.

Here are the steps to build a content marketing calendar with AI:

Define your content marketing goals 

Clearly outline your content marketing objectives. Identify key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic, engagement metrics, lead generation, or conversions. These goals will shape your content calendar and determine the types of content you need to create.

Choose an AI-powered calendar tool 

Explore AI-powered content calendar tools that can streamline your planning and scheduling of both content and social media posting. Look at tools like Hive and for features like automated content suggestions, data-driven recommendations, and integration with analytics platforms.

Conduct audience research 

Utilize AI-driven tools to gain insights into your target audience. Analyze demographic data, online behavior, social media trends, and customer feedback to understand their preferences and interests.

Generate content ideas with AI 

Use AI tools to generate content ideas aligned with your target audience’s interests. AI algorithms can analyze data, identify trending topics, and suggest relevant content ideas.

Implement content distribution optimization 

AI can help optimize your content distribution strategy. Utilize AI-powered tools to analyze data on audience behavior, channel performance, and engagement metrics. This analysis will help you identify the best times and channels to distribute your content for maximum reach and impact.

Automate scheduling and publishing 

AI-powered calendar tools often offer automation features. Take advantage of these features to schedule and publish your content automatically across multiple platforms.

Monitor and analyze performance 

Continuously monitor the performance of your content using AI analytics tools. Analyze engagement metrics, conversion rates, and audience feedback.

Iterate and optimize 

Based on the performance analysis, iterate, and optimize your content marketing calendar. Leverage AI tools to identify patterns, trends, and opportunities for improvement.

Stay updated with AI advancements 

I know I keep repeating this, but it’s so important to stay up to date. Follow industry news, participate in webinars, and join AI communities to stay informed about emerging tools and techniques.

Evaluating the Return on Investment (ROI) of AI in Content Marketing

Determining the ROI of AI in content marketing is crucial for learning what works and making sure you continue to get the budget you need.

Here are some key steps to measure the ROI of your AI-driven content marketing efforts:

  • Track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) 

Implement robust analytics tools to track relevant KPIs associated with your content marketing campaigns. These may include metrics like website traffic, bounce rates, social media engagement, conversion rates, or revenue generated.

  • Implement A/B testing 

Conduct A/B tests to compare the performance of AI-generated content against other content creation methods. Create different versions of content with varying AI-generated elements and measure the performance of each.

  • Attribute results to AI 

Determine the contribution of AI in achieving your content marketing goals. Compare the performance of AI-generated content against non-AI-generated content to assess the incremental impact of AI.

  • Calculate ROI metrics 

To calculate the ROI of your AI for content marketing, be sure to consider the costs associated with implementing AI tools, such as software licenses, training, or hiring AI specialists. Then compare these costs against the measurable benefits derived from AI, such as increased revenue, cost savings, or improved efficiency. Use this data to calculate ROI metrics, such as return on ad spend (ROAS) or cost per acquisition (CPA).

  • Iterate and improve 

Based on the insights gained from measuring the ROI, iterate on your AI-driven content marketing strategies. Continuously adapt your approach, experiment with different AI tools and techniques, and optimize your content creation process to further enhance ROI.

What’s Next? The Future of AI in Content Marketing

AI has already made remarkable progress in making content marketing better, but it’s just the beginning – there’s so much more to come, some of which we can’t even imagine yet.

If I were to bet on the most significant AI impact on the future of content marketing, I’d put my money on the production side. AI is set to supercharge content creation, making it faster and perhaps even smarter when it comes to SEO.

While we hope AI will enhance content quality over time, I don’t see it replacing great writers anytime soon. As marketers, we tend to focus on churning out as much content as possible, to our detriment, and with AI, we’ve taken that to a whole new level.

However, we must ponder: Who will be responsible for developing the next groundbreaking app that truly elevates content quality and has a lasting impact?

Here are a few other exciting areas to keep an eye on in the future of AI in content marketing:

Hyper-targeted personalization 

AI will continue to play a vital role in delivering personalized content experiences. By leveraging AI algorithms, content marketers will be able to better analyze vast amounts of data to gain insights into individual preferences, behaviors, and interests. This information will be used to create hyper-targeted and highly personalized content that resonates with audiences on a deeper level.

Advanced natural language generation 

AI-powered natural language generation capabilities will evolve further, enabling machines to generate content that closely resembles human-written material. The ability to create engaging and contextually relevant content automatically will become more sophisticated, reducing the time and effort required for content creation.

Intelligent content curation 

AI-powered content curation tools will become more intelligent and effective in aggregating, filtering, and recommending relevant content from various sources. AI algorithms will analyze content consumption patterns and user preferences to curate personalized content recommendations tailored to individual users, enabling businesses to deliver highly curated and valuable content experiences.

AI-driven content SEO 

AI will continue to enhance content optimization efforts. Machine learning algorithms will analyze content performance data, user behavior, and market trends to provide actionable insights for improving content effectiveness.

Endless Possibilities

The opportunities are immense, from AI-generated content and personalized customer interactions to data-driven decision-making and omni-channel approaches. By embracing AI strategically and staying at the forefront of technological advancements, you can unlock the power of Generative AI and propel your content marketing efforts to new heights of success.

As AI continues to evolve, it will redefine the way businesses engage with their audience, creating a more personalized and impactful content marketing landscape. Embrace the possibilities, experiment with AI tools, and adapt your content marketing strategy to thrive in the age of AI-powered marketing.

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About the Author

Gordon Johnson has held various roles in marketing, ranging from marketing consulting to VP of Marketing to VP of Content Marketing. However, no matter where his professional journey takes him, he always finds himself drawn back to content marketing. More about Gordon on LinkedIn and his marketing consultancy: FlashWorks Marketing.