Online content is meant to inspire, engage and inform. More importantly, its goal is to put a business on its target audience’s radar. Even if an informative blog post doesn’t immediately convert readers into customers, the information stays in the back of their minds. Consumers will see the company as a helpful resource, perhaps prompting them to consider its offerings down the road.
While digital content might be a good way for companies to reach increasingly savvy audiences, producing it takes significant effort. A lot more goes into social media posts, online articles and website pages than meets the eye. Businesses need a well-executed strategy, plus talented content creators with a bent for research and a bit of technical expertise.
At the end of the day, though, creative people are only human, and the job’s demands can become overwhelming. That’s when content teams should get some help from AI tools in handling the details. Here’s a look at how content marketing teams can harness the power of AI to improve their strategies in 2023.
1. Discover Online Search Intent
Most content marketing pros know target audiences use keywords when they search for information online. It doesn’t matter whether people type the words on a keyboard or use a voice assistant to say them. Conventional content strategies home in on the keywords consumers are most likely to employ. Yet while simple keyword research tools can reveal what phrases audiences are looking for, keyword research alone may not uncover search intent.
That’s a problem, because recent updates to search engine algorithms place more weight on search intent than keywords. If businesses want a post to rank, understanding consumers’ intent is more important than sprinkling targeted phrases throughout a piece. Search intent gets to the heart of why someone is searching. A content strategy built around this “why” will do a better job of satisfying an audience’s information appetite.
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This is where AI can step in. Research tools backed by AI perform more sophisticated analyses that reveal search intent. They do this by identifying patterns in a specific audience’s online behaviors. AI looks at how a company’s consumers interact with its digital content while making behavioral predictions. These insights give content teams more than just keyword-related topics by showing what information triggers engagement or conversion.
2. Build Content Frameworks
The words people read on their devices don’t come out of thin air. Someone must plan, organize and create them. But with the sheer volume of content creatives need to produce, coming up with those words can be more challenging than it looks. Ideas can run dry, and not just with regard to topics, but also outlines and the “meat” of various pieces.
AI programs boost creativity by generating topics, outlines and content suggestions. When teams aren’t sure what to write about next, AI produces fresh ideas. Topic generators analyze the material a business already has to come up with new titles in seconds. Then these programs can go beyond that. Topic generators also examine competitors’ content, online search trends, long-tail keywords and search intent.
The results provide writers with an extensive foundation for months’ worth of content. Besides topics, AI programs can create blog outlines. A content creator only has to give the tool a subject to run with. From those outlines, writers can start fleshing out what each section will say. They can also use AI to produce some of those details, tweaking words according to specific tones, audiences and search intents.
3. Check for Mistakes
If there’s one thing that’s certain about humans, it’s the tendency to make mistakes. Errors, regardless of degree, are how people learn. But when it comes to content creation, mistakes usually stand out like a sore thumb. Once grammar errors are online for everyone to see, they can distract readers from the content’s authority.
Editing and proofreading may be closely related to writing. Nonetheless, these activities demand a different skill set. It’s rare for creatives to excel at each aspect of online content creation. It’s difficult for even seasoned content creators to remember all the rules, since there are multiple style guides and conventions.
Grammar checkers with built-in AI help guide writers through those rules. These programs flag more than spelling errors. They identify ways to make sentences clear and concise while highlighting misplaced words. Although AI may not catch every mistake, it can assist writers in polishing their content. These programs also show how to make the language more engaging and tailored to specific reading levels.
4. Audit Content Performance
Content marketing is a long-term strategy. Most businesses won’t see immediate results. After someone hits publish on a piece, companies can reasonably expect it to take weeks, months or even years to produce a return. This length of time doesn’t mean content marketers won’t ever see the fruit of their efforts, however.
Industry statistics show content marketing revenues climbed to almost $66 billion in 2022. And if forecasts are correct, those revenues will double by 2026. Simultaneously, not every piece of content a business creates will produce an acceptable ROI. Some blog posts never gain the traction content teams thought they would. Furthermore, the information on landing pages may become outdated and stale.
Creative teams can analyze content performance manually, but it takes up a lot of time. Plus, there are pattern-based indicators humans might miss. Content audit tools with AI capabilities do the job faster and with increased accuracy. They identify poor-performing content and point toward reasons why a piece isn’t meeting benchmarks. Audit tools steer teams in the right direction, enabling them to optimize content in ways that can improve performance.
The Role of AI in Content Strategy
Businesses rely on content strategies to raise brand awareness. But given the sea of online information, creatives are under increasing pressure to perform and help their companies stand out. AI can enhance the skills of content teams by assisting them with audience insights, content ideas and much more. With AI’s abilities, content marketers can take their strategy and results to the next level.