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How AI Will Power the Future of Successful Content Marketing

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How AI Will Power the Future of Successful Content Marketing

Sponsored by Copy.ai

What’s next for content marketing? As writers look to streamline their creative processes and scale their ability to craft engaging, impactful marketing conversations, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will play an increasingly significant role. Just not necessarily in the way you might think.

No matter how sophisticated the technology may become, AI won’t replace the human content creators on your marketing team. Instead, it will help make their work more relevant, easier to produce, and better aligned with their audience’s needs and interests.

In other words, AI will empower writers to achieve their marketing goals with greater creativity, efficiency, and effectiveness.

Why AI won’t replace writers

If you’re reading this, you recognize the value of content marketing. You’ve probably also seen articles predicting that AI and machine learning will eventually replace the need for human workers across a broad spectrum of industries and roles. But when it comes to content marketing, creative marketers need not worry about machines taking over their jobs and rendering them obsolete.

The role tech will play is much more nuanced. Content is essentially a form of communication between two human beings; while automation can certainly enhance many aspects of its creation and delivery, it probably will never replace writers entirely.

Instead, it will make the writing process easier and more intuitive than ever, unlocking new opportunities for creators and dramatically transforming how marketers approach high-quality content creation at every level.

A creative revolution is on the way

Over the last decade, we’ve seen a massive shift in how brands leverage creativity to build their businesses online. Today, AI-powered writing tools are leading the charge to democratize content marketing success for businesses of all sizes and skill levels.

Just as the printing press and other disruptive technologies have previously evolved human communication, AI offers a tremendous potential to improve how we manage some of the most tedious, costly, and frustrating creative tasks, as veteran copywriter Jacob McMillen explains:

“I’ve paid several hundred dollars for first drafts I then rewrote completely. I’ve spent hours hung up on phrases and ideas that had me in a mental rut. I’ve procrastinated for days on pieces of articles that were simple and boring but mandatory. GPT-3 tools like Copy.AI have allowed me to skip some of the worst, most frustrating parts of what I do as a writer and jump straight to developing and polishing the core substance of my copywriting pieces. It’s the single most effective productivity tool I’ve ever used as a writer.”

AI offers a tremendous potential to disrupt how we manage some of the most tedious, costly, and frustrating creative tasks, says @chris_lu of @copy_ai #Sponsored Click To Tweet

3 ways AI will empower writers

1. Writer’s block will become a thing of the past

We all know how frustrating writer’s block can be – nobody likes staring at a blinking cursor for hours before churning out a single paragraph worth keeping. This is especially common if you find yourself writing about the same topic frequently – like content marketers often do when writing blog posts or crafting social media updates. Top writers are already outsourcing their first drafts to junior writers — now, imagine a world where anyone can write the first draft of a high-quality blog post in under five minutes.

Author and entrepreneur Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income explains:

“One of the hardest parts of writing is staring at a blank screen, aka. ‘the blinking cursor of death.’ AI can get us from 0% to 60%, and sometimes even up to 75% of the way there, so we’re no longer starting from scratch. It’s such a time-saver.”

Imagine a world where anyone can write the first draft of a high-quality blog post in under five minutes, says @chris_lu of @copy_ai #Sponsored Click To Tweet

2. Writers will work faster

As AI tools become more sophisticated, writers will be able to rely on them for many of the tasks that currently slow them down. For example, AI-driven software like Grammarly and Hemingway Editor can already help writers spot grammatical errors and sentence structure problems with ease. By reducing the need for writers to edit their own work, they’ll have more time for the fun stuff: researching new topics, exploring new formats, and coming up with appealing headlines.

3. Writers will learn more as they write

The latest natural-language AI models, such as GPT-3, are trained on a massive amount of data from the internet, giving them a far broader understanding of the world than any human could hope to achieve in their lifetime. As AI writing tools become more sophisticated, writers will be able to draw from an ever-expanding base of information as they compose their works. Not only will they write faster and smarter, but they’ll also uncover new ideas, insights, and perspectives they may not have considered before.

As AI writing tools become more sophisticated, writers will be able to write faster – and uncover new ideas, insights, and perspectives, says @chris_lu of @copy_ai #Sponsored Click To Tweet

Content marketing is here to stay, but AI will make it easier than ever

It’s hard to imagine a world where machines produce content. But it’s not difficult to envision a future where AI, writers, and marketers can work together to make their content better and more effective.

Machine learning should not be viewed as a threat to people’s livelihoods, but rather as a valuable tool for creating better workflows and producing more effective marketing campaigns. Ultimately, AI will complement human efforts, enhance our workflows, and make us more creative as we move into the future of marketing and technology.

Not convinced? Try out an AI writing tool yourself!

About Copy.aiCopy.ai logo

Copy.ai is the leading provider of AI-generated content in the world. We create everything from copy for your website to social media posts, email blasts, and more, all with a click of a button.

We believe that incredible ideas don’t have to be created by just a select few—instead, we should all be able to access our creativity and make it work for us. We’re here to help you achieve your goals with the power of artificial intelligence.



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Why Even Crushing Content Failures Aren’t Mistakes

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Why Even Crushing Content Failures Aren’t Mistakes

Did you follow the Apple iPad Pro content debacle?

Here’s a quick recap. A recent online ad for the new iPad Pro showed a large hydraulic press slowly crushing various symbols of creativity. A metronome, a piano, a record player, a video game, paints, books, and other creative tools splinter and smash as the Sonny and Cher song All I Ever Need Is You plays.

The ad’s title? “Crush!”

The point of the commercial — I think — is to show that Apple managed to smush (that’s the technical term) all this heretofore analog creativity into its new, very thin iPad Pro.  

To say the ad received bad reviews is underselling the response. Judgment was swift and unrelenting. The creative world freaked out.

On X, actor Hugh Grant shared Tim Cook’s post featuring the ad and added this comment: “The destruction of the human experience. Courtesy of Silicon Valley.”

When fellow actor Justine Bateman shared the Tim Cook post, she simply wrote, “Truly, what is wrong with you?” Other critiques ranged from tone-challenged to wasteful to many worse things.

Actor Justine Bateman shared Tim Cook’s post on X, which featured the ad, and added this comment: "Truly, what is wrong with you?".

A couple of days later, Apple apologized and canceled plans to air the ad on television.

How not-so-great content ideas come to life

The level of anger surprises me. Look, the ad does show the eyeballs on an emoji-faced squishy ball popping under the plates’ pressure, but still. Calling the ad “actually psychotic” might be a skosh over the top.

Yes, the ad missed the mark. And the company’s subsequent decision to apologize makes sense.

But anyone who’s participated in creating a content misfire knows this truth: Mistakes look much more obvious in hindsight.

On paper, I bet this concept sounded great. The brainstorming meeting probably started with something like this: “We want to show how the iPad Pro metaphorically contains this huge mass of creative tools in a thin and cool package.”

Maybe someone suggested representing that exact thing with CGI (maybe a colorful tornado rising from the screen). Then someone else suggested showing the actual physical objects getting condensed would be more powerful.

Here’s my imagined version of the conversation that might have happened after someone pointed out the popular internet meme of things getting crushed in a hydraulic press.

“People love that!”

“If we add buckets of paint, it will be super colorful and cool.”

“It’ll be a cooler version of that LG ad that ran in 2008.”

“Exactly!”

“It’ll be just like that ad where a bus driver kidnaps and subsequently crushes all the cute little Pokémon characters in a bus!” (Believe it or not, that was actually a thing.)

The resulting commercial suffers from the perfect creative storm: A not-great (copycat) idea at the absolutely wrong time.

None of us know what constraints Apple’s creative team worked under. How much time did they have to come up with a concept? Did they have time to test it with audiences? Maybe crushing physical objects fit into the budget better than CGI. All these factors affect the creative process and options (even at a giant company like Apple).

That’s not an excuse — it’s just reality.

Content failure or content mistake?

Many ad campaigns provoke a “What the hell were they thinking?” response (think Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner ad or those cringy brand tributes that follow celebrity deaths).

Does that mean they’re failures? Or are they mistakes? And what’s the difference?

As I wrote after Peloton’s holiday ad debacle (remember that?), people learn to fear mistakes early on. Most of us hear cautionary messages almost from day one.

Some are necessary and helpful (“Don’t stick a knife in a live toaster” or “Look both ways before you cross the street.”) Some aren’t (“Make that essay perfect” or “Don’t miss that goal.”)

As a result, many people grow up afraid to take risks — and that hampers creativity. The problem arises from conflating failure and mistakes. It helps to know the difference.

I moved to Los Angeles in 1987 to become a rock ‘n’ roll musician. I failed. But it wasn’t a mistake. I wasn’t wrong to try. My attempt just didn’t work.

Labeling a failed attempt a “mistake” feeds the fears that keep people from attempting anything creative.

The conflation of failure and mistakes happens all too often in creative marketing. Sure, people create content pieces (and let’s not forget that there are always people behind those ideas) that genuinely count as mistakes.

They also create content that simply fails.

Don’t let extreme reactions make you fear failures

Here’s the thing about failed content. You can do all the work to research your audience and take the time to develop and polish your ideas — and the content still might fail. The story, the platform, or the format might not resonate, or the audience simply might not care for it. That doesn’t mean it’s a mistake.

Was the Apple ad a mistake? Maybe, but I don’t think so.

Was it a failure? The vitriolic response indicates yes.

Still, the commercial generated an impressive amount of awareness (53 million views of the Tim Cook post on X, per Variety.) And, despite the apology, the company hasn’t taken the ad down from its YouTube page where it’s earned more than 1 million views.

The fictional Captain Jean Luc Picard once said, “It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not weakness. That is life.” The Apple ad turns that statement on its head — Apple made many mistakes and still won a tremendous amount of attention.

I’m not suggesting that people shouldn’t criticize creative work. Constructive critiques help us learn from our own and others’ failures. You can even have a good laugh about content fails.

Just acknowledge, as the Roman philosopher Cicero once wrote, “Not every mistake is a foolish one.” 

Creative teams take risks. They try things outside their comfort zone. Sometimes they fail (sometimes spectacularly).

But don’t let others’ expressions of anger over failures inhibit your willingness to try creative things.

Wouldn’t you love to get the whole world talking about the content you create? To get there, you have to risk that level of failure.

And taking that risk isn’t a mistake.

It’s your story. Tell it well.

Subscribe to workday or weekly CMI emails to get Rose-Colored Glasses in your inbox each week. 

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute 



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The Future of Content Success Is Social

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The Future of Content Success Is Social

Here’s a challenge: search “SEO RFP” on Google. Click on the results, and tell me how similar they are.

We did the same thing every other SEO does: We asked, “What words are thematically relevant?” Which themes have my competitors missed?” How can I put them in?” AND “How can I do everything just slightly better than they can?”

Then they do the same, and it becomes a cycle of beating mediocre content with slightly less mediocre content.

When I looked at our high-ranking content, I felt uncomfortable. Yes, it ranked, but it wasn’t overly helpful compared to everything else that ranked.

Ranking isn’t the job to be done; it is just a proxy.

Why would a high-ranking keyword make me feel uncomfortable? Isn’t that the whole freaking job to be done? Not for me. The job to be done is to help educate people, and ranking is a byproduct of doing that well.

I looked at our own content, and I put myself in the seat of a searcher, not an SEO; I looked at the top four rankings and decided that our content felt easy, almost ChatGPT-ish. It was predictable, it was repeatable, and it lacked hot takes and spicy punches.

So, I removed 80% of the content and replaced it with the 38 questions I would ask if I was hiring an SEO. I’m a 25-year SME, and I know what I would be looking for in these turbulent times. I wanted to write the questions that didn’t exist on anything ranking in the top ten. This was a risk, why? Because, semantically, I was going against what Google was likely expecting to see on this topic. This is when Mike King told me about information gain. Google will give you a boost in ranking signals if you bring it new info. Maybe breaking out of the sea of sameness + some social signals could be a key factor in improving rankings on top of doing the traditional SEO work.

What’s worth more?

Ten visits to my SEO RFP post from people to my content via a private procurement WhatsApp group or LinkedIn group?

One hundred people to the same content from search?

I had to make a call, and I was willing to lose rankings (that were getting low traffic but highly valued traffic) to write something that when people read it, they thought enough about it to share it in emails, groups, etc.

SME as the unlock to standout content?

I literally just asked myself, “Wil, what would you ask yourself if you were hiring an SEO company? Then I riffed for 6—8 hours and had tons of chats with ChatGPT. I was asking ChatGPT to get me thinking differently. Things like, “what would create the most value?” I never constrained myself to “what is the search volume,” I started with the riffs.

If I was going to lose my rankings, I had to socially promote it so people knew it existed. That was an unlock, too, if you go this route. It’s work, you are now going to rely on spikes from social, so having a reason to update it and put it back in social is very important.

Most of my “followers” aren’t looking for SEO services as they are digital marketers themselves. So I didn’t expect this post to take off HUGLEY, but given the content, I was shocked at how well it did and how much engagement it got from real actual people.

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

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7 Things Creators Should Know About Marketing Their Book

Writing a book is a gargantuan task, and reaching the finish line is a feat equal to summiting a mountain.

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