We’ve arrived at a point where we think machines can do everything. When it comes to content marketing, this belief has taken root due to some pretty amazing developments in marketing personalization.
Who hasn’t seen an ad appear on Facebook or another website targeting your personal tastes, location, and other preferences? Some say the Internet spies on us, and others even claim smartphones can read their minds. Just think of a product and it appears on your feed. Yikes.
The reality is that automated marketing personalization has reached incredible levels. Today, segmentation matters less and less because each person has become their own segment.
The Content Bottleneck
Now, given this highly personalized marketing, the only thing missing is good content. That’s why some claim that content production – not data – is the primary bottleneck when it comes to digital marketing. We can identify our targets with great precision, position ourselves in front of them, but what do we have to show them?
In this age of hyper-personalized content, do we have to create a different blog post for each and every visitor? Email tech has already moved into this realm as images and messages are swapped out as per user preferences.
Automated Blog Content – The Ugly Side
If you extrapolate all this to blog content, you’d need an army of writers to produce enough personalized material — or one good machine. Still, be careful out there.
When we searched Google for “automated blog content generator”, one of the first sites that appeared was this one. It claims to “rewrite” original, fresh content in seconds. When we typed in “content marketing” as the keyword, the first article came up like this:
At first glance, we thought, “Wow, that was fast. It’s readable with some decent insight. Impressive.” But we were only fooled for a millisecond. If you Google the opening paragraph, this article about content marketing from Forbes shows up. It’s the exact same text. Even the image caption is the same.
Some call this content “scraping” and there are varying levels of sophistication. Other platforms will scrape and spin the content in an attempt to avoid Google penalties.
Automated Blog Content – The AI Side
There are legitimate services out there that actually use AI to write blog articles. For example, AI Writer claims to produce AI written articles based on any topic. So we asked for an article about “content marketing”, and the opening paragraph came out like this, word-for-word:
“Content marketing also offers additional benefits as it supports other digital marketing channels.
It offers additional content for social media marketing and contributes to search engine optimization by generating natural inbound links and creating good content on your website that can be found in search engines.
In fact, for many companies, most of their SEO efforts should be focused on content marketing.”
The service also has an editor, and it shows you the source documents. Basically, you then need a writer to edit, polish, and add the secret sauce. What’s the secret sauce? Human insight.
Some services even position themselves as “AI-assisted” content generators by having humans and machines working together to create content.
Not Yet Ready for Prime Time
Stand alone, machine-generated content (as good as human-created content) has yet to materialize. Will it ever? Maybe. But for now, serious brands can’t rely on this alone. If you’re just looking for SEO fodder, then a “scrape & spin” strategy might work. Or it might land you in the Google doghouse.
For now, any automated blog content generator still needs the human touch. A much more effective process is to have your writer interview key people connected with your brand. Then the insight is baked in, and a good writer can develop it even more.
What do audiences want more than ever these days? Authenticity. So give it to them.
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