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JULY 26, 2018 //     

Will chatbots take over content marketing?

Credit: WordstreamBy: Vivian Dadamio

The robots are coming, and they want your job!

Artificial Intelligence is on the rise and, automation will soon dramatically change the workforce. According to a recent study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, 20 percent of Germans could lose their jobs to AI in the next two decades due to its strong industrial sector. However, while the job-loss risk varies by country and industry, it’s important to understand and prepare for the implications AI will have on our job functions and the services we provide to customers.

For communications agencies, AI’s implications are still up for debate. While automation can help optimize some tasks, those that require strategic thinking and planning will always benefit from a human touch. Take content marketing, for example. Automation can help optimize the quantity of content produced and its reach but may negatively affect its quality as perceived by consumers.

How can AI help?

Marketers increasingly look to automation to produce high quality content with less effort and costs. The data-based approach of AI offers several benefits in content marketing:

  • Streamlining complex omnichannel approaches to allow distribution of personalized content across all channels, everywhere and at any time
  • Merging user behavior data from different sources and analyzing data for a 360-degree customer view to enable intelligent content targeting
  • Improving customer experience with personalized content
  • Providing real-time customer interaction to increase customer loyalty

A recent example of the potential of algorithms is a German start-up (still in beta) that wants to automate content marketing with a chatbot. The intelligent assistant guides marketers through the whole content marketing process – from strategy, structuring and writing to distribution and content analysis. The company claims they enable brand marketers, bloggers and the like to produce and distribute valuable content without the help of external consultants or writers.

Master vs. machine

Will algorithms jeopardize the agency business model? Will our clients turn to chatbots for their content marketing? This is not a scenario that I foresee in the near future. Successful content marketing requires a long-term strategy and is a complex, multi-level process – especially for big brands. Goals, target groups, suitable topics and channels must be defined. Experts will still be needed, especially to develop the content strategy based on their experience and human ingenuity. And a closer look at the German chatbot start-up example shows their loud promises about making agencies redundant has limitations. In an interview with German marketing publication W&V they say their potential customers are tiny companies and individuals.

Despite its limitations, I predict AI will be useful in our daily agency work to help us become more efficient and more precise. In content marketing, I see strong potential in its ability to help us produce and distribute content across channels. We should embrace the new technology and use these intelligent tools to augment our human capabilities. A chatbot for content marketing can be a helpful assistant, but we will still be the masters of our work.

Vivian is a senior vice president and leads Allison+Partners’ Munich office.

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