Robot band at Robot Restaurant in Tokyo

Artificial Intelligence can write your blogs and record your podcasts, but can it improve your content? Yes, it can! But we don’t think it’s a good idea to hand the controls over to the robots just yet. Here’s how to use AI to the advantage of your content.

As content creators we have to admit that we’re a little bit nervous about increasingly clever Artificial Intelligence (AI) taking our jobs! Online podcast platforms already give individuals opportunity to have their chosen text read out to them, such as newspapers. I’m sure it won’t be too long before the AI is providing its own opinions as well.

There’s no shortage of speech to text converters that will spit out a blog for you too. You could just set up a microphone in the office and record a strategy meeting, then get the AI to convert it to text for an online case study or blog. Maybe you could dictate your weekly EDM straight to the computer.

AI is all around us, but probably not in the way you’re thinking. Sure, it’s in your phone when you talk to Siri or Ask Google, but the real AI is in the video cameras all around us. The ones we can see and the ones we can’t.

There’s AI in satellites, scanning the earth for solar panels and things that people don’t want to be seen. In drones flying above forests and inaccessible areas to monitor power poles and other remote assets. And in cars that we hope one day will drive us autonomously, but for now can maintain a safe distance between us and the car in front.

There’s AI on Facebook Messenger, pretending to be human, answering our questions and doing a pretty fine job of it. The revolution will not be televised, it will talk to us intimately through our chosen device and we’ll be none the wiser.

Can I get AI to create content for my website?

Yes, is the short answer. But can you trust it to create content that represents your brand and helps your SEO? That’s a question with a much longer answer.

There’s a variety of robots available to create content and they even have their own communities, such as Botnik, which brings writers, artists and developers together. Last year the Botnik’s got together to create a new Harry Potter novel using AI – and it worked! It was just a little strange.

‘Harry Potter and the Portrait of What Looked Like a Large Pile of Ash’ took Harry into dark places.

“Leathery sheets of rain lashed at Harry’s ghost as he walked across the grounds towards the castle. Ron was standing there and doing a kind of frenzied tap dance. He saw Harry and immediately began to eat Hermione’s family.”

“The tall Death Eater was wearing a shirt that said, ‘Hermione Has Forgotten How to Dance,’ so Hermione dipped his face in mud.”

Sure, it’s entertaining, but I don’t think the average Harry Potter fan would appreciate the nuanced comedy of the AI version of JK Rowling’s work.

We often have a laugh at the AI transcription service that we use for our interviews. It does a reasonable job if we speak clearly and provide a very high-quality recording. But most people have a bit of an accent, or an unusual way of speaking – and being on the phone doesn’t help either.

“That’s alright but I think that’s great. Yeah, I don’t have a lot of space to write home actually writing to 500 words so they’re pretty tight. The Ladoga school is heaps but that’s where I’m at.”

That’s me explaining to a client that I’ll be writing a 500-word blog. It never stops making us laugh – Thanks AI.

But AI’s blunders aren’t always funny. We spoke to a client recently who was seeking support for her social media posts. Her main concern was that we humans would actually be writing the posts and monitoring the social media accounts.

As we dug deeper into her concerns we found that she had engaged a content agency in the past who relied on AI or automation to post for her. We assume that it was looking for basic keywords to provide a basic message along the lines of “I’m so happy for you”.

Unfortunately, it found the keyword in a post about the death of a family member from one of her clients. The comment was later deleted but still appears on the post and every so often comes back to haunt her.

Your customers want to hear from you, not a robot

The key element in content marketing is connection with your customers. You should be creating content to answer the questions of your customers – and you know what those questions are because you have been listening.

When your content is shared on social media, in AdWords, on other websites, you have to be ready to respond like a human. Your customers are likely to connect with your brand several times before converting. They’ll be more likely to convert if those early connections are warm and friendly, rather than cold and calculated.

In their article 12 Social Media Mistakes That Will Drive Followers Away From Your Brand, Forbes highlights failing to listen to customers, social presence with no personality, and not engaging with your audience as big no-nos.

AI can help you achieve these things, but it can’t yet do all of the work for you.

Use AI to help your content marketing, but don’t let it take over

I’ve just spent an hour uploading a podcast to our website, creating a short link, writing social media posts for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and then posting to each one individually.

I know! I’ve got my face in my palm just thinking about it.

I could have used the automation provided with my website to it all in one fell swoop. I could have set up automated social media posts with a third-party app to take care of it all.

Instead, I wrote each post personally and made sure our brand personality came through. As I posted each one I re-read it, correcting typos and tweaking it to suit the individual channel I was using.

There’s nothing worse than seeing your social media looking not-quite-right because the formatting in the third-party app doesn’t come across to the social media channel. Or tags that don’t work, or messages that were clearly written for one social media channel appearing in another.

I use AI and automation to help me create and manage our website and social media. Then I take hold of the steering wheel to ensure that our posts appear as we intended.

AI can do a lot to make your life easier. Just don’t let it take over your life yet.

For more on the latest developments in AI and its strengths and weaknesses, have a listen to this episode of our weekly podcast, Masters Series.

 

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