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The Role of AI in Content Marketing & Publishing

Ben Wrixon
Written By
Ben Wrixon
Published On
Jan 05, 2024
An illustration of a woman in a retro-futuristic style sitting at a desk and typing on a computer

We all know the importance of blogging as a tool for engaging audiences and driving traffic to websites. With research, writing, editing, and numerous other behind-the-scenes tasks associated with SEO content production, maintaining a regular posting schedule can be overwhelming as you struggle to keep up—or sacrifice quality to meet deadlines. Both will negatively impact the performance of your content marketing efforts.

Enter AI. Fifty-two percent of businesses use AI to assist their blogging efforts. As the content marketing landscape changes, so should your processes—but what exactly is AI’s role in content marketing? How should you be using it effectively without losing credibility? Let us show you.

The Power of AI in Blog Production

Let’s rip the Band-Aid off: AI should be helping you write

Of course, we’d love a world where SEO writers are writing every word themselves, but that takes time and resources. AI can optimize all stages of the writing process, including idea generation, content research, drafting, editing, and even content distribution. As your content needs grow, AI can assist in scaling content marketing operations, maintaining a steady stream of blog content while preserving quality.

But don’t misunderstand us; we’re not advocating for you to just start pumping out hundreds of AI-generated blogs. Rather, we’re encouraging the use of AI in streamlining the content creation process so you can be more purposeful with the time and resources you do have. 

In an interview, Cassandra King, Head of Content & Community at Superside, expanded on this point—and offered a warning:

“AI can come up with hundreds of ideas, funny puns, and catchy titles in a matter of minutes. But what it can’t do is tap into fresh perspectives from SMEs,” King said. “I think marketers will need to start approaching a lot of their content creation from a journalistic POV, tapping into proven tactics that fuel both authenticity and authority, like interviewing leaders within their ICP. I like to think of this as expert-led content, though some folks also call it thought leadership.”

Embracing advancements like AI is essential to stay competitive. AI automates mundane and repetitive tasks, reducing the workload on human resources and enhancing operational efficiency. This automation translates into cost savings, allowing businesses to allocate resources more strategically and invest in areas that drive growth and innovation.

While utilizing AI is not absolutely necessary, it offers some advantages that can help you keep pace with the industry’s demands and trends.

A retro computer on a pink desk

AI Blogging Tools: A Closer Look

With the variety of tools available, the adoption of AI technology into your existing workflows is fairly easy and straightforward. 

Many AI tools are designed to be plug-and-play solutions, which can be seamlessly integrated into content management systems (CMS) like WordPress or your blogging platform of choice. Additionally, a lot of AI tools can be easily added as browser extensions, meaning they’re right there and available on whatever program you work in, such as Google Docs. 

Ultimately, the key to getting the most out of the AI tools available is finding ones that fit into your workflow. They should add to your processes, not become a distraction or feel too extraneous to be adapted. They’re supposed to help! 

Some notable AI content tools include:

The Integration of AI in Content Marketing Processes

From ideation to engagement, AI technologies are revolutionizing how content is conceived, tailored, and delivered. 

Still, as King noted, marketers can’t afford to slip into auto-pilot mode; “Regardless of how good these tools get, I think that content creators will need to review anything that AI touches to ensure brand consistency before hitting publish.“

With that in mind, let’s take a look at four areas of the content marketing process that can be streamlined using AI tools:

Content Strategy & Ideation

Integrating AI into the content strategy and ideation process starts with leveraging its data-driven insights to inform decisions. AI algorithms pull large amounts of data from a wide variety of sources to uncover patterns, trends, consumer preferences, and gaps in existing content. This can provide invaluable insights that inform your content strategy before you even start writing.

Additionally, AI’s ability to generate hundreds of content ideas based on specific parameters establishes a strong foundation for content planning. This is particularly helpful when trying to think of new ideas in a niche your brand has already written extensively about. It’s also great for helping pull some preliminary research to guide your more in-depth work, such as associated keywords or SEO-optimized blog structures.

Blog Calendar Creation with AI

AI programs like Hive can go so far as to actually help create a content calendar. By inputting initial ideas and desired coverage dates, Hive’s AI capabilities autonomously structure a comprehensive content calendar, effectively organizing the blog strategy. 

This takes admin work off your plate, enabling you to redirect your focus towards other critical tasks. With AI handling the administrative aspect of content calendar management, content marketing teams can dedicate their time and efforts to refining content quality, optimizing strategies, and fostering creativity—ultimately contributing to a more efficient and productive content marketing process.

Enhancing Content Quality & Relevance

Advanced AI models can evaluate content to guarantee alignment with the intended message and brand voice, resulting in a more consistent and coherent narrative. “In many of these AI content tools, you can input your own guidelines and rules to help ensure that what comes out is more closely aligned with your brand,” King explained.

One such program is BrightEdge, which can help determine what kind of content will work well for your brand by pulling data on what’s worked for competitors. It can also help you identify gaps in your existing content library that you should fill. 

Of course, AI algorithms can also proofread and suggest improvements, ensuring error-free grammar, structure, and readability. You don’t have to take its suggestions, but even just having it flag potential issues is incredibly helpful and saves time. This is also true for programs that can help detect plagiarism.

SEO Optimization with AI

Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential when it comes to blog production. There’s no point in putting in the time and effort to plan and write blogs if no one is going to read them! 

As it pertains to SEO, AI can help with preliminary keyword research as well as in optimizing written content for those keywords. Surfer SEO can help analyze blogs competing for the same keywords as yours, and then provide suggestions on what you should add or remove. Implementing these suggestions in a way that reads like a human actually wrote it will help boost your blog’s visibility on search engines so it ranks better and gets read more. 

Stylized quote from Cassandra King, Head of Content & Community at Superside

Understanding the Limitations of AI

Alright, now here’s where we tell you to hold your horses. AI is awesome—it’s actually kind of mind-blowing. However, it’s not a substitute for human creativity and that will become apparent to you rather quickly. 

AI-generated content lacks originality, as it’s pulling from material that already exists. If writers were to stop producing original content, AI would struggle to generate new, innovative ideas, leading to a sense of generalization and repetitiveness. 

Additionally, AI is not void of error. This is primarily because it depends on the quality and accuracy of the data it pulls from. So, if the data is questionable or biased, the content generated by AI will also reflect those inaccuracies. This necessitates the need for a human to verify its statistics. 

AI’s capabilities will remain limited so long as programs lack emotional intelligence and contextual awareness—both uniquely human qualities. 

“It’s definitely a big concern for me as a content leader, and it’s one the reasons why my team at Superside hasn’t embraced fully written AI content,” King said, speaking to the challenges of authenticity and trustworthiness. “At Superside, we use it mainly as an assistant in our content processes, including distribution. I think actually this is a big area that we can continue to explore—feeding AI existing expert-led content to create social posts, email copy, etc.”

Remember that AI is a tool rather than a crutch; you have to treat it as one. Just like a construction worker wouldn’t expect a hammer to build a house all on its own, writers can’t do the same with AI. Collaboration is the key.

Preparing for Human-AI Collaboration

The true potential of AI lies in a collaborative approach, where AI complements human creativity and skills. It has to work as a symbiotic relationship—like what goes on between hippos and oxpeckers (it’s pretty adorable, look it up). 

As it stands right now, AI is best served as a tool to get things started and then assist in applying the finishing touches. Use it to help kickstart your next topic brainstorming session or pull some relevant keywords. Then, once your blogs are written, use it to help optimize your content and check for typographical errors. 

What you don’t want to do is pretend AI is a writer. You shouldn’t use it to write blog posts from scratch or generate your entire content marketing strategy. That’s a great way to not reach your target audiences.

By leveraging AI in content marketing, SEO writers can focus on ideation, storytelling, and injecting that human touch. AI is not here to replace human creativity but to amplify and refine it through collaboration. Embracing this perspective is vital as we navigate the future of content creation. Personalization and the human element matter—now and forever! 

AI Writing: Finding the Right Balance

AI’s true power lies in its ability to assist content writers in various aspects of their craft. From idea generation and content research to SEO optimization and content personalization, AI streamlines processes and offers valuable insights, providing a strong foundation for writers to build upon. It enhances efficiency, accuracy, and productivity, enabling writers to focus more on the creative aspects of their work and less on repetitive or time-consuming tasks.

When used correctly, AI can be a wonderful tool. Ideally, you want to put it in the hands of some amazing writers and just watch and see how it unlocks their creativity! 

If you enjoyed reading this, we recommend you check out the other content featured on The Influence Agency’s blog. We’re always giving our two cents on all things marketing-related, from AI to getting the most out of your social media posts.

Thanks for reading!

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Author

  • Ben Wrixon

    Ben Wrixon is a Content Coordinator at TIA. Outside of work, he can usually be found at the gym, playing guitar, or stressing over a Blue Jays game.

    View all posts
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Author

  • Ben Wrixon

    Ben Wrixon is a Content Coordinator at TIA. Outside of work, he can usually be found at the gym, playing guitar, or stressing over a Blue Jays game.

    View all posts


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