Artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to permeate the marketing landscape. But how do you best use it to your advantage? One exciting application is a new marketing technology called content intelligence, which utilizes artificial intelligence and big data to offer unprecedented marketing insights.

Content intelligence refers to the systems and software that transforms data into actionable insights for content strategy and tactics. Companies currently using content intelligence to power their software include: Salesforce which uses Salesforce Einstein to improve customer experiences, OneSpot which uses image recognition and natural language processing to automatically tag and categorize content and images, and Conversica which uses AI to automate the lead contact and qualification process.

Content intelligence gives marketers the full context of an individual piece of content. It helps marketers understand what the content is, what it’s related to, and how it’s performed in the past. This includes understanding how competitor content may have performed as part of the broader context it sits in.

Content intelligence technology allows you to understand everything there is to know about a piece of content. It analyzes how content has performed in the past to help predict the future and make recommendations. It may sound like a pipe dream, but when compared to the advancement of technology in other industries, it’s a natural progression. Think car navigation systems.

Maps: Spreadsheets or Nothing at All

Thirty years ago if you got lost driving in a city you would look around for street signs, consult a map, look at a grid and get a rough idea of where you were.

The information a map gives you though, is helpful but incomplete; much like using a spreadsheet for your content marketing platform. You don’t know any of the speed limits, or where there are stop lights. Forget about real-time changing conditions such as roadwork or traffic. Similarly, a spreadsheet doesn’t bring in any additional information outside of what you’ve manually plugged in, doesn’t update in real-time, and doesn’t give you input on how to move forward with your strategy.

Many content marketers are currently at the map or spreadsheet stage when it comes to content strategy. Sixty-eight percent of content marketers don’t have a documented content marketing strategy, and only eight percent of marketers consider themselves “very successful” or “extremely successful” at tracking content marketing ROI.

Part of why so many marketers don’t understand where they are is because they look at ‘vanity metrics’ such as page views or social shares. They don’t measure content lower in the funnel, or show content’s impact on your business.

GPS: Marketing Analytics Tools

Next in the evolution of car navigation came the advent of GPS, which let you pinpoint exactly where you were on your journey, although it didn’t necessarily tell you which path you needed to take.

Similarly, some marketers today go beyond a spreadsheet and connect all the dots by using technology to pull in significant quantities of data that’s hard for a human to compile, let alone compute. These companies pull data from many disparate sources and apply that to content to get a fuller understanding, manifested as analytics and reporting. 

Much like GPS did for location, they can look at a report and get a comprehensive look at where they are. They can then make an intelligent and informed decision about a course of action, which was formerly not possible. These marketers are using technology to understand where they are, but are deciding how to move forward on their own.

Car Navigation: Where Advanced Content Marketing Platforms Are At

Now Google Maps exists for drivers. This technology tells you both where you are, and how to get where you want to go. These platforms have real-time traffic data—not to mention satellite navigation such as Sirius, offering a real-time dynamic understanding of traffic flows and patterns.

As AI marketing technology advances, content marketing platforms are evolving in a similar direction to navigation systems. Analytics gives you a much more accurate picture of where you are, while AI will offer suggestions to help you get where you want to go in terms of revenue and other KPIs. (Currently, this is where marketers apply their intuition.) These suggestions could include whether or when to refresh an evergreen article, or advising whether to spend money on paid promotion for an article that’s popular and could go viral.

The Self-Driving Car: The Next Step in Content Marketing Technology

The future of AI in transportation is self-driving cars. At this stage of the technology, you not only know where you are and how to get where you want to go—AI drives you there. It’s completely automated.

Content marketing is unlikely to become completely automated by AI. The creative aspect of the job requires a certain amount of outside the box thinking. But AI will help content marketers by providing a ‘hands-free option’ that automates some parts of content creation as well.

Content intelligence software from Narrative Science can already automatically write simple stories. Persado meanwhile, uses content intelligence to create Facebook advertisements and recommend content to readers on your website. Content intelligence will soon have the power to automatically recommend which content to create, which format to create it in, and automatically promote and distribute it in an optimal way for that piece. The main reason it can’t already is because of a lack of data—which is changing fast. 

It’s easy to see why content intelligence will become an integral part of the content marketing industry over the next two to three years. It will automate the process of content measurement, prove which content is working, and streamline content strategy and ideation. Early adopters of content intelligence will enjoy a significant competitive advantage in driving leads and revenue. If you’re intrigued about what content intelligence could offer your business, read Content Intelligence: The New Frontier of Content Marketing Technology for an in-depth exploration of the subject.


Sasha Laferte is Curata’s Content Marketing Manager. She’s written for several digital marketing publications including Content Marketing Institute, LinkedIn Marketing Solutions blog, HubSpot’s Blog, and Young Women in Digital. Her experience spans writing content for marketing software companies to creating viral media for Wenner Media (the parent company of Rolling Stone and Us Weekly). Sasha enjoys marketing, tech, travel, fitness, sushi, and her cat. Sasha has a BA in Writing, Literature and Publishing from Emerson College in Boston, MA.