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How Is AI Being Used in Content Marketing and What Is The Potential?

Content Marketing

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in digital marketing is nothing new, but in the last few years, we have seen a rise in new tools specifically designed to automate the creation of content marketing (content marketing AI).

AI has revolutionised how we ideate, create and measure content. It generates content faster, develops more effective content strategies, makes better decisions and targets and talks to our audience more effectively. For example, AI content marketing tools, like Jarvis, can create 1,000-word articles on any subject known to man in a fraction of the time it takes a person to write it.  Now, most brands use AI to talk to their customers through chatbots. But where AI previously took a back seat — automating processes behind the scenes — it’s now being used as a marketing hook. Image generators like Dall-E and Midjourney are allowing marketers to create unique images based on keywords alone.

AI Is Evolving Past Automation and Into Creative Fields

Heinz’ ‘This is what ketchup looks like to AI’ used the Dall-E generator to prove that even computers know which branded ketchup is the ultimate ketchup. Their stunt used the open platform to create a series of images based on random ketchup-related phrases. The resulting images it spat out were undeniably inspired by Heinz’ signature branding, with the campaign simply proving that Heinz is synonymous with ketchup. “With AI imagery dominating news and social feeds, we saw a natural opportunity to extend our Draw Ketchup campaign rooted in the insight that Heinz is synonymous with the word ketchup to test this theory in the AI space,”  said Jacqueline Chao, Senior Brand Manager at Heinz. 

Luggage storage comparison site, Stasher, also put AI at the forefront of their content this year, creating tourist posters by using famous country tourism slogans to find out how they would be visualised, according to Midjourney. The aim was to see what a robot could ‘dream up’ without having been there and the resulting images were impressive. 

There have been many more examples of where brands have used AI to ‘imagine’ artwork and, most of the time, the campaigns have been greeted with applause. However, with more and more brands realising its potential, it poses the question how far can this trend go? Are we just in a brand AI artwork bubble? Is it just going to be used for one-off content marketing activations or will it evolve into something bigger? Could it also ideate as well as create? 

Can AI Evolve to Become the Ideator? 

IBM spoke to 30 AI experts to get their opinions as to whether AI has the potential to become a true creative partner for brands. Can AI be taught how to create without guidance? John Smith, Manager of Multimedia and Vision at IBM stated: “It’s easy for AI to come up with something novel just randomly. But it’s very hard to come up with something that is novel and unexpected and useful.”

The experts seemed to be in agreement that teaching computers is very different to the way humans learn to create and, therefore, cannot be taught. Jason Toy, CEO of robotics company, Somatic, begged the question: “Can we take what humans think is beautiful and creative and try to put that into an algorithm?” and concluded with: “I don’t think it’s going to be possible for quite a while.” The conclusion from the discussion was that AI needs us more than we need it when it comes to creating the ideas behind the artwork. 

We have no idea where the boundaries of AI’s role in creativity are and, while we know we are still a way off the mark from AI taking over the ideating of creative ideas, it’s still going to have a big part to play in creative content in the next few years and something, as an agency, we will follow with interest. 

Are you looking for an agency that can combine the use of AI and tech with the creative flair of human thinking? Get in touch with our Creative Content team who are always up for a challenging brief.