Nowadays, one of the things marketers are interested in is how they can REALLY use Artificial Intelligence (AI) in practice. Not just concepts and theories but programs they can use. Today.
One of the best places for success to save you time and money? Content generation.
I know. I know. You’ve probably read some article about how robots are replacing writers. I don’t want to burst your bubble, but that’s not likely to impact you immediately. Yes, companies are using Artificial Intelligence to assist with their copywriting efforts. Still, we’re definitely not in a place where you can buy some software in the morning and gut your entire creative team the same afternoon.
So, how can YOU use Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning to improve your content now? Here are four sure-fire ways to get started…
OIL CHECKS AND PRECISION OPTIMIZATION
So, here’s how it goes… You write some copy (Product Detail Page, Blog Post, PR, Social, etc.), and it’s fantastic – the very best you have to offer today. What happens in 6 months, however? Do you routinely go through and check it? Do you make sure it’s still current and accurate? It’s hard to write all the new stuff and keep up with the old stuff, too, right?
AI excels at regular tune-ups on your content. You can use it to update/correct information; enhance your copy based on current events or what your competitors are doing; integrate what your customers are saying in your reviews and on Social; include how the leaders/influencers in your category are using/reacting to it; find, add, and enhance long-tail keyword opportunities; and more. It’s also great for identifying duplicate and low-quality content and laser-targeting what you should eliminate, refresh and possibly consolidate.
AI/ML is excellent at optimizing your old content with precision AND can also be used to help write new copy. You can use it for first drafts (your mileage will vary on this one), or even better, you can use it for idea generation to help you best write the initial copy. Then, when you’re done, you can let your AI fine-tune it for you. It can clean up spelling and grammar errors; identify empty fields and places where you are missing information/specifications; give internal link recommendations; help you with additional/generic/industry/filler copy; review search intent classification; and much more. Bottom line: AI excels at gruntwork, so it’s fantastic for helping you with content clean-up and refinement.
Many marketers also use it to help with prioritization and planning. Planning can be hit-or-miss depending on who/how is managing the process and your structure. If your foundation is solid, it can be a goldmine. If you’re using one of those freebie tools without discretion? Likely a raging dumpster fire.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a lot of work. The search engines are constantly changing the rules, and you’ve got to keep your customers happy too. (Not to mention the Brand Police, Legal, etc.) No matter how hard your team works, their To Do list is likely overwhelming. AI to the rescue!
With some oversight, AI can help you do tactical things like position monitoring, keyword clustering, and schema markup. It can also do many content-related items like generating and optimizing title tags, identifying popular Frequently Asked Questions and the appropriate responses, developing meta descriptions, suggesting testing recommendations, and such.
It’s excellent at pinpointing areas where your content is duplicated, oversaturated, or purely manipulative. (As the algos become more and more punitive, please be wary of things that may work short-term but are likely to fail spectacularly long-term.)
IMPROVING YOUR ACCESSIBILITY SCORES
The search engines have spoken. Meeting accessibility standards is no longer “a nice to have addition” to your site. It’s mandatory. In the interest of full disclosure, even the eCommerce giants don’t score perfectly on accessibility. The issues aren’t difficult to fix (most of them anyway), but there are lots (and lots) of things you need to do to become fully compliant. The good news is that AI can help with this in many areas, including content generation. It can help you better name and label your photos; provide transcripts for your videos; write first-draft captions for your review; fill in missing fields; ensure that you have clear and consistent breadcrumbs and secondary navigation options, and identify forms that need labels with suggestions.
One of the best things about using AI is improving your accessibility scores. It will do it continuously! After establishing a solid foundation, you can set up your system to do it in the background, day in and day out, so you keep building on your hard work and effort.
Need to know more about accessibility? This is an excellent place to start: https://www.w3.org/. There’s also a handy free accessibility checker that you can use to quickly and easily spot problems on your site: https://wave.webaim.org/. (Hint: start with your #1 most trafficked page and then move down the list.)
As an aside, image tagging is one of the ways I’ve seen AI to be most helpful. (Computer vision is a thing, folks. Whether we use it or not, it’s definitely one of the bigger silent killers of traditional marketing right now.) Artificial Intelligence is also beneficial for image optimization too.
RESEARCHING COMPETITORS, PRODUCTS, AND MARKETS, OH MY!
Whether you’re writing something new or updating one of your most popular evergreen pieces of content, AI is good for researching your market, product(s) and service(s), and competitors. It can also help determine your topical and/or product authority in the market and identify specific areas for improvement.
One of the ways it’s most helpful? Establishing connections. AI/ML often spots patterns humans do not see or think about. Yes, some of the stuff The Machine spouts out is guano-crazy, but it frequently comes up with rock-solid insights that we may never have thought about before.
How are you using AI/ML in your content generation? Have a tip you’d like to share? Tweet @amyafrica.com or write email@example.com.