The idea of a thinking machine may sound like a far-off, heady concept fit for Sci-Fi stories, but analytics firms have made machine learning very much a reality. Software that can continually learn from exposure to new and larger sets of data—and optimize its behavior accordingly—is a powerful tool ripe for numerous applications. One of the most exciting potential use cases for machine learning is in content marketing.
While it may sound counter-intuitive to task an algorithm to better engage people, machine learning has already proven to be a major asset in driving content marketing effectiveness. How is this possible? Let's take a look:
Where machine learning fits in
Infusing content with artificial intelligence technology is not an altogether new concept. The Associated Press turned heads a few years ago when it announced that it had used software to generate copy for certain articles - even creating entire stories through a machine without any human intervention.
We're still a long way away from machines taking over content marketing production, however. AP has so far used this writing software to create straightforward articles like financial forecasts aimed at presenting a series of facts with no editorializing. Meanwhile, content marketing still leans heavily on a human element to engage the reader.
If software isn't responsible for actually producing content, then where does it fit into content marketing? The answer is in the optimization of content and helping human writers, designers, social media specialists and videographers create the most effective materials possible.
Machine learning optimizes content delivery, quality
"Accelerating the production process will be essential to content marketing effectiveness."
Speaking with eMarketer, Stackla founder Peter Cassidy explained that machine learning can help marketers better understand what kind of content works and shows the best levels of engagement at any given time. This way, there's no wasted effort creating material that will fail to gain traction. With machine learning solutions, companies aren't creating content for content's sake. Every piece has been optimized to stand the best chance at finding and engaging an audience.
"Machine learning-powered tools can find the best content out on the web, including thought leadership pieces, brand-relevant user-generated content and other content types," Cassidy said. "The technology can then determine how content is being engaged with in real time, and how it's being pushed out across channels."
This level of insight will not only improve the quality of the content, but streamlines the development process, allowing creatives to produce more material in a shorter amount of time. Cassidy noted that one of the major pain points businesses experience with their content marketing efforts is keeping a large volume of material flowing. Although it will still rest on the shoulders of creatives to produce blogs, infographics, videos, etc., machine learning can shoulder much of the prep work needed to optimize that content.
Accelerating the production process will be essential to content marketing effectiveness. A recent Content Marketing Institute survey found that 85 percent of respondents who reported more successful campaigns and strategies, credited that level of success to an increase in production.
Machine learning will drive marketing forward
Machine learning can also go beyond the production of content to help marketers better leverage that material for maximum effect. By analyzing both customer behavior and competitor strategies, these tools can determine the best ways to engage with potential customers in the moment, while adapting to changing trends to put companies in a stronger position down the road.
From determining the content type and focal point to laying out an effective engagement strategy, machine learning can help with nearly every facet of content marketing. As this technology continues to prove its efficacy, it will become more widespread and, eventually, a tool in every marketer's arsenal. To stay ahead of the curve and begin reaping the benefits as soon as possible, talk to Clarity about implementing custom machine learning solutions today.