Content marketing continues to be highly beneficial to businesses that want to grow online. It raises brand awareness, builds authority and credibility, creates loyalty and trust so that your business is an expert in its industry.
However, with approximately 409 million people viewing more than 20 billion pages each month, businesses are finding it harder than ever to cut through the noise and provide content that truly resonates with their audience. And yet, if you don’t manage to do this, your audience will turn to another brand for the information they are searching for.
This is where artificial intelligence AI comes in — most (80%) ahead-of-the-curve business execs who use it say it’s helping them already. You may not have thought about this, but AI can help you improve every aspect of your content marketing efforts, from strategy to creation. It can help you ensure that your content engages and converts your audience for higher ROI.
In this article, we’ll look at 5 ways to optimize your content strategy using AI.
1. Perform A Competitor Analysis
Why should you study what your competitors are doing?
Analyzing competitor content, performance, and distribution highlights gaps in your own content marketing strategy whilst showing you what marketing strategies and tactics your competitors are implementing (and making huge gains).
Once you’re armed with this information, you can then reverse engineer what your rivals are doing, and create content that your audience wants to read.
Moreover, you can take what you’ve learned from your competitors and make your content better than theirs, simply by spotting any weaknesses they have.
Perform a competitor analysis by using an SEO tool that’s powered by AI, such as SEMrush’s Competitive Research Toolkit. It collects data on your rivals’ traffic sources and other content marketing efforts and then pulls all of the information into a dashboard for you to research and then take action quickly and seamlessly so that you can outperform your competitors.
2. Perform Research Using Chatbots & Other Tools
What topics interest your audience the most? What are their pain points and challenges?
Unless you know the answers to these questions, you’ll be producing content that does not interest your readers.
You can, of course, research your audience manually, and you can use tools like BuzzSumo to generate content ideas. But this takes time and effort, and it’s not always accurate. A much better idea is to use AI-powered tools that allow you to generate data-driven research and feedback.
For example, you can use social listening tools that give you insights into what your target audience is talking about on social media. You can “listen in” on conversations they’re having about your brand and your current content, as well as what problems they’re currently experiencing.
You can also use chatbots to learn more about your audience. Chatbots are essentially messaging software powered by AI. They interact with your site visitors when they land on your page, asking them questions, recommending products, and solving any problems they have. Over the course of a conversation, the chatbot gains data that you can use to understand more about your customers, and therefore provide content that addresses their core pain points.
3. Create Topic Clusters Using AI
What are topic clusters and why do they matter?
A topic cluster is a group of web pages that are linked around a connecting topic.
For example, a topic cluster will always contain one pillar page, which is the main topic page. It’s usually the longest, most in-depth, evergreen, and discusses a key topic that your audience is interested in. For the sake of illustrating a point, let’s imagine this is digital marketing.
Your topic cluster will then also contain several subtopic pages that expand on a particular topic within your main topic. In our example, these pages will be centered on social media marketing, content marketing, SEO, and more. Each of these pages links back to your pillar page, thus creating a topic cluster.
Topic clusters are important because they demonstrate to Google that you’re an expert on a particular topic. You’ve covered all the bases and you’re delivering lots of value to the end-user. They’re also important for SEO reasons as they allow you to get more juice out of keywords.
To ensure you’re creating effective, high-quality topic clusters, you can use AI.
AI tools such as Hubspot’s content strategy tool show you possible topic clusters that will send more organic traffic to your pages. This will help you increase your reach with the right audience, whilst allowing you to improve your search authority.
4. Use AI To Optimize Content
Optimizing content for discoverability and readability is essential when your audience has so much content available at their fingertips. If your content isn’t optimized, search engine users will view your competitors’ content instead.
If you don’t have the time to go through each piece of content with a fine-tooth comb yourself, you can use AI tools such as Atomic Reach. Atomic Reach automatically rewrites difficult-to-read sentences to words your readers are familiar with.
The tool edits the content based on recommendations from historical content and its engagement metrics. Other edits it can make will be around readability, length, language complexity, vocabulary, and emotional tone so that every single article to publish is designed to maximize a desired response from the reader.
5. Let AI Generate or Design Content By Itself
The idea of letting a machine create our content for us sounds a little bit daunting. However, in 2020 AI is now able to automatically create smaller pieces of content by using data and transforming it into an insightful narrative.
Indeed, you’ve probably read AI-generated content without even realizing it. Companies such as Yahoo who has used Wordsmith to generate 70 million reports and match recaps.
It’s ideal if you’re in a hurry and need short content creating quickly, but don’t have the time to do it yourself.
If, however, you’re not keen on the idea of letting AI generate content by itself, you can at least let it assist you with the content creation process. For example, a tool like Cortex is able to accurately predict how your target audience might connect with your content. It suggests ways of optimizing content via image placement, themes, colors, structure, and so on. This allows you to boost customer engagement rates, and thus conversions.
And, on the web design front, you can take advantage of UI kits to automate the creation of graphic elements and other components of the user interface. Essentially, these can help you automate wireframing and save countless hours of your time.
AI is here to help companies transform their content marketing efforts into a high-converting, well-oiled machine. When companies start utilizing the content marketing tools that it powers, they will be able to better research their audience, build a solid content marketing strategy, and create content that improves brand awareness and ultimately boosts sales.