“Build it and they’ll come,” one of the most famous misquotes of modern times, is a fallacy. Audiences are time poor, and however much work you put into a marketing strategy, its existence alone isn’t enough. It needs to talk specifically, persuasively and consistently – and the most effective way to do that is with the help of content intelligence.
The fundamentals of content intelligence
People love stories, and stories that tell themselves – or sell themselves – are a marketing pro’s greatest asset. Content intelligence makes this possible. Using natural language processing (NLP) to read and understand your content, combined with machine learning to monitor and profile your audience, content intelligence helps AI-equipped content management systems sort big data, give it structure, and apply it to delivering timely, persuasive marketing.
The process would once have been done by hand, but rarely went beyond tagging for SEO, and while this still has its place, automating the process is faster, adaptive, and much more effective. A CMS platform with content intelligence understands that ‘train’ can relate to transport, improving your mind and what you do at the gym but, because it also knows your audience, can tag your content to accentuate whichever of those three terms engages your reader or viewer – and excludes the other two.
But publication is really the half-way point of the process, which starts with ideation and leads through gauging response, at which point the cycle repeats. Content intelligence tools can help at every step, actively suggesting topics that data indicates would engage an audience, helping marketers refine headlines and subjects –not just through A/B testing – and prioritising content types with a solid track record.
Content intelligence, the unsung hero
Look around you. From websites and mobile apps to e-shots and corporate blogs, if something works, the marketing push behind it will increasingly be underpinned by some kind of content intelligence.
Concured has tools for every stage of the cycle, from brief building to personalizing CTAs. It will even benchmark performance against a brand’s fiercest competitors.
Beyond the web, smart speakers and voice assistants aren’t shy about using anonymized data to heighten their understanding, and it’s no surprise that relevant ads appear in social feeds when you’ve browsed related content elsewhere. Cookies track your movements online, and in-store beacons use Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to bolster user profiles. Brands use lead scoring to filter this kind of big data so they can calculate which image, story or ad is most likely to engage users at the individual level. It’s how they minimize their marketing spend while maximizing return.
Using intelligence to commission content
Effective content intelligence allows brands to project into the future. Traditionally, marketing – both print and online – was a largely reactive skill, which relied on a careful reading of analytics, calculating what worked in the past, and thinking of ways to improve. Tools like Sensei, from Adobe, and Concured’s Content Studio help brands as diverse as the BBC and Coca Cola to evaluate content before it’s even produced.
Creative cloud-based marketers can use Sensei to quickly repurpose content for the web, automating the process of adding metadata, optimising short-form content to better suit small screens, and drawing out key points from more in-depth pieces so that content produced just once can be re-used several times over. It can even crop and mask images to conform to brand requirements, while retaining their focal point, without human intervention.
Salesforce likens content intelligence to ‘car navigation for your marketing’. Marketing Cloud Einstein, its tool for gauging the likely response to content at its point of creation, helps marketers craft material that speaks to specific demographics, to understand its most likely emotional impact and to optimize delivery so that it reaches customers when they’re likely to be most responsive.
Content that works
The strength of content intelligence lies in its objectivity, bypassing the biases of marketing staff in favor of empirical evidence. To AI, content is nothing but a tool to be used in the acquisition, conversion and retention of customers – actual or potential – not a work of art crafted with care by a copywriter or coder.
If you’re worrying that reducing the role of humans in the process will dehumanize the result, you shouldn’t.
We’ve all engaged with the Bisto family, papa and Nicole with their Clio, and Aleksandr Orlov, the meerkat who’s been selling insurance since 2009. Content intelligence makes engaging characters like these more likely, not less – so long as they talk to the audience each brand wants to attract. Whichever content furthers the marketer’s aim will come to the fore, and the results will speak for themselves.