The future is here.
Robot journalists sound a bit like the premise of a bad science fiction movie. But if you’re into reading financial reports or sports articles, you might be surprised to learn those stories are often gleaned from the mind of a computer. That’s right—artificial intelligence is here—and it may have an implication for content marketing.
In the age of information, it’s impossible for humans to provide all the data that bombards our newsfeeds every day. The demand for content has spurred an entire industry of “automated narrative generation.”
Using highly sophisticated algorithms and natural language generators, these robo-writers can produce stories that are difficult to discern from a human journalist.
Consider this quote:
“Things looked bleak for the Angels when they trailed by two runs in the ninth inning, but Los Angeles recovered thanks to a key single from Vladimir Guerrero to pull out a 7-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Sunday.”
Would you believe it was written by a robot? It’s true—and not uncommon. The Associated Press is now using Automated Insights’ Wordsmith platform to create over 3,000 financial reports a year. Take a look at the New York Times’ interactive quiz to see if you can tell the difference between human and computer written quotes. It’s more difficult than you might think.
Don’t fear for your content marketing job just yet though.
With the implementation of automated reports, the Associated Press is now producing ten times as many reports every quarter, but hasn’t cut any jobs. Rather, automated articles free up writers to focus on reports with a unique angle. Data entered into the algorithm can become a news story within seconds. That saved time allows writers to begin crafting more in-depth and insightful follow-up pieces.
So what does this mean for marketers?
Automation has its place in marketing, but not all automation is created equal. Content marketing tasks that are repeated can, and should, be automated. These include tasks like lead nurturing, social media management, and measuring marketing campaign success. You can read more about this in our previous blog, 4 Ways Marketing Automation Shapes-Up Business.
Although automation tools are useful for marketers, content marketing is driven by stories and emotion. When you combine automation tools with human judgment, you get much more effective content marketing. This human touch provides a connection between our readers and our product.
Writing with a strong personality that matches your brand will help to set you apart from your competitors and drive traffic to your site with engaging content. Humans want to read what other humans have to say—there’s no connection with a robot.
And let’s be honest, no algorithm knows your business as well as a human does. Content should be crafted by a human that has a stake in your company and wants to see its success. This genuineness shines through the words. Who would ever want to make a purchase from a company where the marketers don’t even believe in it?
Artificial intelligence might shake up our content marketing strategies, but (human) marketers are here to stay.
P.S.- This blog post was 100% generated by a human being.