AI-Assisted Content Marketing
Sometimes using an AI Assistant is like the blind leading the blind. But in the case of marketing, the assistant is blind as to what needs to be created and without skillful prompting and oversight will usually produce generic content that may look good on the surface but is totally unsuitable for your purposes.
One of the great opportunities of the Internet is the ability to create content and use it as a way to attract potential prospects and convert them into customers. It can be a daunting exercise, though, requiring time, resources and know-how to do it right. AI can help you do it faster and easier — IF you know what you’re doing and why.
Every small business owner likes to think they know how to market their business. But many fail miserably. To most, promoting their services involves simply just putting up a sign — in this case, a web page or social media profile — that says, “Here I am. Come and get it.” Sometimes that’s enough. Usually it isn’t.
Instead, they’re left trying to figure out who their potential customers are and how to reach them. As for attracting them to you and working them through some conversion process, well, that’s an even harder story to write.
Marketing experts have written volumes on the subject. That’s why they make the big bucks. But for the little guys who promote themselves on shoestrings, they don’t have the luxury of handing their marketing off to some expert or service to do for them. Rather, in my experience you have to find what works for you and got you to where you are today. Where’s the sweet spot of effort that generates the bulk of your results? (An astute user of AI might gather the data needed for the AI to process and answer that question, but that’s beyond our scope at the moment.) Only once that is understood and perfected should you move on to new things.
Content is King
They call it content marketing for a reason, because you let the content you create to tell others what you do do your talking for you. Your content needs to be effective and on point, well-thought out and designed to generate the actions you want its audience to take. But do you even know what that is?
The place I like to start with content marketing is to evaluate existing efforts and how they fit into your operations. What have you done so far? What’s worked? What hasn’t? Where could you have done better?
Content marketing is like creating and connecting the links in a chain. It’s only as strong as your weakest link. So identifying and addressing places where improvement is necessary can help a lot in leading your target market into your sales processes. Careful evaluation of each step will help you see where you fall short.
But content by itself doesn’t do much. Sure, it may look nice on your website and social feeds, but does it do anything to help you grow, much less build your bottom line?
Have a Content Strategy
Content marketing starts with a plan. At the core of that plan is the strategy(ies) you will implement to achieve the results you want. Is yours coherent and viable, at least somewhere other than in your own mind?
Your strategy may be to attract and qualify prospects. It may be to lead them to sale. Or it may just be for branding purposes, to cement your offerings in their awareness and gain piece-of-mind. Each of these and others will require a different strategy to execute a differing intent and purpose. And of course, there are many others.
Decide on Your Tactics
Once you’ve settled on a strategy, now you need to devise the tactics to implement it. We know creating content is one of those, but what kind? Blog posts? Podcasts? Videos? Public speaking? Or something else?
AI can help you create content, but it isn’t simply a matter of pushing a few buttons. It takes thoughtful and concerted effort, not to mention a wizened eye to know when what you create is what you need and gets to the point you want your customer to get.
So you decide on writing some blog posts. Besides posting them on your website, what else will you do with them?
Distributing Your Content
If you’ve ever been to Twitter (now X), you know it’s not only a place to express yourself and argue with others. It’s the prime place that media companies share their content. Think of your tweets as a media release that gives readers some piece of information to catch their interest and attract them to click through to read or watch on your website where you can hopefully get them to take some other action (assuming you know what that is).
So not only do you need the content created for your blog post. You also need to generate the content for your social post that shares the link to your article. Sometimes that can be created in a “Twitter card” directly from your website (e.g., WordPress). Sometimes you have create that social post manually, like if you were sharing an ad for a lead magnet to entice them to signup for your mailing list.
Of course, there may be a whole host of programs and plugins you need to integrate to automate that process. Then again, there may not be, depending on what you want to do. So you have to compare what’s available with what you need and decide whether you can do it with off-the-shelf solutions (either free or with cost), or need custom programming to accomplish it.
Twitter/X isn’t the only place to share your content. Your options are plentiful; what you need to do is find what works for you that reaches your customers where they already are or go. Then when those channels are perfected, layer in new ones to supplement your efforts and attract new people.
I wish I could give you a hard and fast rule to follow, but unfortunately it’s very subjective and often results from trial and error. Those learning pains are valuable, but you can shortcut the process by discussing it with an outside advisor who can suggest new methods and approaches to do what you want to do (and if it should be done at all).
What Kind of Content Do You Need?
Now that you’re starting to form a picture of what you want to accomplish, you’ve got to get started putting your system in place. There are many forms of content that can be created for your content marketing system. Here are just a few you may want to consider:
- Marketing plan
- Content calendar
- Blog posts, podcasts and videos (with or without summaries or transcripts)
- Social media profiles, posts and threads
- Lead magnets, landing pages and ad copy
- Autoresponder emails
- Product descriptions
- Flyers, brochures, case studies, white papers and such
- Product or services to be offered in your sales funnel
All of these and more can be created with AI, either in full or at least perform a good part of the process. But your marketing doesn’t stop with creating and distributing your content.
Wouldn’t it be nice if it ran by itself? Just think. AI deciding what to create, then doing and distributing it? Dream on. It’s not there yet. You need to be fully involved in the process at every stage. But that doesn’t mean you have to do it all yourself, at least once you set things up to handle some of the steps for you.
One way that I recommend is sharing your content automatically to your different social profiles. Another would be to recycle old content that was still viable. Still more would involve batch creating content and scheduling it for future release.
You get the idea. Your content marketing system should use integration and automation wherever available and feasible within your means.
Monitoring and analysis
Given access to the right data, AI can tie together different tools and help you track your efforts and results, and suggest improvements where necessary. Knowing when you’re off track can save you time and money, not to mention a lot of frustration wondering why your hard work isn’t paying off the way you want.
Google analytics can provide some of that information. But you’ll then have to figure out how it relates to what happens on the ground. Sometimes getting customers is a numbers game. Sometimes you can hone in directly on those who will convert and you can get by with attracting only a qualified few.
You get the picture. Get the data and keep on top of your results. It will allow you to adjust course when you need to.
Call to Action
Don’t just throw your hands up in the air and think it’s all too much for you to take on. Break it down into chunks, implementing and testing a little at a time. See what works and what doesn’t. Slow and steady does more than rushing around to put it all in place, and then see it fall flat when you can provide the ongoing attention, support or resources to make it happen.
As you can see, there’s a lot more to marketing than meets the eye. If you’ve got the ability, turning it over to a seasoned professional may be your best course of action. Your next best would be to have one looking over your shoulder and advising you every step of the way.
I can help you get clear on where you’re going and how you can implement a content marketing strategy for your business. It starts with scheduling a consultation.
Why wait? The sooner you start, the sooner those customers will start coming in the doors.