Meet InspiroBot, the internet’s first artificial intelligence bot solely dedicated to generating unlimited inspirational quotes.
The results are an intriguing mix of terrifying, hilarious, and sometimes just a little too close to accurate. But here’s the thing: if you print out your InspiroBot creations and hang them around your office (like we did), no one is going to mistake InspiroBot’s quotes with actual inspirational quotes. The sentences are a little off. The inspiration is a little frightening. Something about them just isn’t…human.
InspiroBot is nonetheless a harbinger of what’s to come for content marketers, and we should be paying attention.
Feeding the Beast
There isn’t a content marketer alive who has not suffered at least once under the crushing weight of implementing a successful content strategy. Between blog posts, emails, social media, offsite blogging, whitepapers, and downloads, the content engine of the average digital marketer never stops. And it’s necessary: your marketing automation platform demands content. Your social channels demand content. Your email strategy demands content. In short, if you want to stay top of mind with your audience, you must have something to say.
Enter artificial intelligence. It’s appealing to think that a robot could produce copy for Twitter or emails or even blog posts. Marketers are starved for help with content creation, and that has created a market for machine-generated content. Gartner predicts that as much as 20 percent of business content will be authored by machines by 2018. For now, that content is largely created by Natural Language Generation, or NLG, which is a software process that automatically turns data into prose. The prose NLG creates is fed by a template and a structured data set, and it’s far from the natural storytelling people want to read.
NLG may offer a respite for content marketers in need of boiler copy or data crunch news releases, but much like InspiroBot, it’s not ready to replace the content marketer’s need for genuinely engaging stories and posts.
Throw Me a Lifesaver!
Fortunately, there are other ways content marketers can feed the beast and in most cases, get better content than the AI bots can currently produce. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of content needed to support your content strategy, here are a few options to lessen the load:
Content Blocks—if you have a specific message or literal block of content that you want to use in multiple email campaigns or over the course of a continuously running email campaign, try implementing variable content blocks. This is a feature available in the emfluence Marketing Platform that allows you to build blocks of content that will display based on the personalization variables you insert into your emails. Let’s say you want to send an email to your contact list but you want one portion of your list to see one block of content and another portion of your list to see a different block of content—you could use variable content blocks and save yourself the time it would otherwise take to build two email campaigns.
User Generated Content—user generated content is typically powered by reviews or testimonials. Brands are increasingly using this content in their advertising campaigns (both digital and traditional), and doing so has an added bonus: not only are you offloading content production to the people who love your brand already but you’re also tapping into the purchasing power of the user referral.
Internal Resources—look around you. You already have a content team. Ask your coworkers, your support team, your sales team, your product managers and your executives to create content for you. The people you work with have a specialty. Ask them to share how they impact the brand every day. Sure, you may have to do some editing for the non-writers, but what you’ll get may surprise you.
If you’re still suffering under the weight of your content strategy, don’t turn to bots. At least not yet. Reach out and let’s talk about your story and the best ways to tell it.