The impact of artificial intelligence on content marketing

When people hear the words artificial intelligence their minds seem to immediately leap to I, Robot, Ex Machina or Terminator – a world where machines take over and enslave humans. And while Sofia has caused quite a stir and has left many people quivering at the idea that a future with robots as our rulers has already come, I urge you all to calm down because we aren’t quite there yet.

According to Siemens, “Artificial Intelligence is software that gathers and analyses data… The next step of artificial intelligence is mimicking the human brain with computers – machines learning to act as we, humans do.”

AI is already a part of our lives, think about how there are custom playlists on Spotify and Apple Music – the playlists are curated based on what you’ve listened to previously and present you with playlists of music that you’ll probably enjoy. Think of Uber, the calculations that tell you how far away your ride is, when there’s surge pricing, etc. Uber uses machine learning for computing pick-up locations, estimated time of arrival, etc.  AI is already here, it’s just getting better.


AI in content marketing:

Auto Generated Content: According to Google Support, automatically generated content is content that is created by a program. The purpose of this content is to manipulate search rankings by generating text with search keywords that will make your website rank higher on Google.

The increasing need for unique content has resulted in a greater need for auto generated articles. These are articles that are generated by apps, with some apps being able to create content based on a unique keyword or phrase that you input, while others can completely rewrite an article to make it a “new article”.

You might be thinking about how Google is capable of rooting out such content and you’re right… but not completely. Technology is evolving and getting smarter, these articles are created to look like humans wrote them and there are thousands of artificially generated articles online that Google hasn’t detected.

Chatbots: Dictionary.com defines chatbots as, “a computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users, especial over the Internet.” They imitate human conversations and automate conversation between consumers and customer support.

Chatbots are a means of saving time because the customer support process is automated, with only essential and the most important requests being passed on to human personnel. Like elevator and on hold music, some chatbots entertain customers with conversation and fun facts while they wait. Most businesses have automated their Inbox on Twitter and Facebook Messenger.

Customized news feed: AI is how your news feed on your various social networks only shows you content that interests you. This is done through an algorithm that analyses several variables to almost perfectly predict which posts you will enjoy seeing on your timeline.

Knowing what users are liking, commenting on and sharing helps marketers know what kind of content produces the most engagement and is used to target specific groups and create adverts targeted at specific individuals. All this is possible through AI.

Augmented reality: “A technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world, thus providing a composite view,” according to Dictionary.com. Augmented reality really made a splash in 2016 with Pokemon Go when the AR game came seemingly out of nowhere. In Pokemon Go, users have to catch virtual pokemon. The pokemon are scattered in the real world and encourages players to traverse various locations to “catch ‘em all”. Other examples of AR are Snapchat, Facebook’s AR platform, Apple’s ARKit and Google ARcore.

 

For those of you thinking of fighting this change, in the words of The Borg, “Resistance is futile.” According to this article on Adobe, 85% of interactions between the brand and consumer will be through automated technologies by 2020. It’s estimated that in the next two years there will be over 200 million AR users and by 2020 the VR market will be worth over 40 billion.

Technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, chatbots, augmented reality are here to improve how people experience and engage with content and providing marketers with the insights that they need to give consumers what they want. They’re here to stay.

Cole Ndelu graduated from the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography with a degree in Visual Communication. She is an internationally awarded photographer and is part of this years class of Design Indaba Emerging Creatives. She is a content producer at HKLM, specializing in social media management, PR and strategy.

Cole Ndelu

Cole Ndelu graduated from the Stellenbosch Academy of Design and Photography with a degree in Visual Communication. She is an internationally awarded photographer and is part of this years class of Design Indaba Emerging Creatives. She is a content producer at HKLM, specializing in social media management, PR and strategy.

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