Embracing the Future: How Startups Can Leverage AI Tech in Content Marketing
Among the many tools reshaping the content marketing landscape, one has quickly risen above them all: Artificial Intelligence (AI). 91.5% of leading enterprises are investing heavily in AI on an ongoing basis—and for good reason.
As a startup, wrestling with the challenges of limited resources, tight budgets, and the hunt for brand recognition creates a… difficult situation, to say the least. Crafting compelling, tailored content can easily get put on the back burner. The traditional route of hiring an expensive in-house marketing team is off the table. And tasking another team member with content marketing without the right tools can quickly lead to burnout.
But in 2023, AI tech is leveling the playing field. By integrating AI into your content marketing strategies, you can change the way you engage audiences, optimize campaigns, and increase business growth. Plus, you won’t need to hire multiple employees or risk burning out any of your team members.
In this blog, we’re looking at a few ways startups can leverage AI tech in their content marketing strategies, complete with tips, tricks, and prompts! Let’s redefine time-consuming content marketing and make it more accessible, thanks to AI technology.
Starting out with AI Tech
Hopping into the world of AI tech can feel like a leap into uncharted territory. And in a sense, that’s true for many of us since the release of ChatGPT in late 2022.
But this new world offers many tools that can amplify your startup's marketing goals, right from the beginning. From analyzing vast amounts of data to streamlining the production of content, AI tech offers numerous benefits to folks with a lot on their plates. Before jumping into using AI tech in your strategies, you should know there are tons of platforms out there. But here are a few great platforms to get your feet wet:
- For writing - Jasper
- For editing - Grammarly
- For SEO - SurferSEO
- For marketing automation - Ocoya
- For video generation - Pictory
- For transcription - Otter.ai
- For customer insights - Personalize by Human
- For ideation, writing, and much more - ChatGPT by OpenAI
There are numerous options within each category, so do your research as pricing and features vary wildly (and are changing as the AI tech advances).
Using AI Tech in Your Content Strategy
Now that you are familiar with a few things AI tech can do, let’s hop into some examples of how to use it within your own content strategy. These strategies are listed in the natural order flow of how you would be doing it yourself.
Researching Your Competition
Did you know 90% of Fortune 500 companies already leverage competitive intelligence to gain an edge? Simply put, it’s important.
Competitive research is a strategic process that involves evaluating and analyzing the marketing tactics, strategies, and activities of similar companies in your industry. So how does AI tech come into the picture?
By using ChatGPT or similar AI tech, you can quickly analyze your competitors by using prompts to extract the best information. For example, let’s say you only know a couple of your direct competitors but would like to find more. Use this prompt to find them:
“Which companies are similar to [competitor company name]?”
Now you have a few to work with. For each competitor, use more prompts to compile a list of the best data you can use going forward in your content marketing. Here are a few to get you started:
- “What type of content is popular on [competitor website]?”
- “What are the main complaints about [competitor]?”
- “What new content could [competitor] use?”
- “What are the top trends related to [company]?”
Doing this for each of your competitors will put you days ahead compared to having to slog through this process manually.
Using AI for Ideation
Needing to get that next content piece out of the door but feeling stuck and uninspired? Even the best of us have off days. So how can you quickly (and easily) get out of the rut?
Using ChatGPT or a tool like Copy.ai’s content idea generator can help you quickly come up with the big idea for that next content piece (or 10, 20, or 50 pieces). This can be used for blogs, social posts, newsletters, emails, or even longer-form guides and whitepapers. Use these prompts to get started:
- “Brainstorm [number] unique blog topics related to [your topic] for the [your company] blog”
- “Give me a comprehensive guide idea for [your topic] related to [your product]”
- “What are some engaging social posts I can write about [your topic]?”
- “Give me [number] SEO-friendly ideas for [your topic]”
These prompts should get you a solid baseline of content ideas to start sending pieces flying out of the door and into the hands of your target audience.
Writing Compelling Headlines
No matter what your role is in the startup, writing headlines is difficult for even the best of the best marketers and writers.
A good headline (for any piece of content) should answer three questions:
- What is this about?
- Is this for me (the reader)?
- What promise is made if I read?
For example, the headline of this blog, “Embracing the Future: How Startups Can Leverage AI Tech in Content Marketing” answers each of these questions as such:
- It’s about startups leveraging AI Tech for content marketing
- It’s for marketing leaders in a startup environment
- The promise is you’ll learn how to leverage AI Tech for content marketing
The headline also sparked a bit of curiosity, as you had to click to learn HOW to leverage AI tech. So how can you use this method combined with AI to spit out high-quality headlines? Try this prompt:
“For a [content type] about [specifics about your topic], give me [number] headline options that answers these questions: What is this about? Is this for my intended audience of [your audience]? What promise is made if I read?”
If you punch this into ChatGPT, here is what you’ll see:
Creating Solid Outlines
AI Tech can go beyond headlines and outlines, but you should never take the copy AI spits out at face-value. You’ll always want to edit, refine, and fact check it to ensure you don’t publish inaccurate content. So for this blog, we’re going to focus on nailing the structure of your content piece.
With a tool like SurferSEO’s free outline generator, you can type in your keyword(s) and have an SEO-optimized outline quickly in hand. For the ChatGPT free option, you’ll need some more handy prompts to whip up a solid outline:
- “Create an SEO-friendly outline for a blog on [your topic]”
- “Write a complete outline for a [content type] on [your topic]”
- “Write an outline for a [content type] on [your topic], and highlight H1s, H2s, and H3s for SEO optimization”
These prompts should give you a good starting point to flesh out your content. Plus, you can generate as many outlines as you want and pull the important sections from each to make something fresh and unique.
Analyzing Campaign Insights
Marketing analytics can generate tons of data points like clicks, views, impressions, and much more. AI tech has helped by making it much easier to gain quick insights when resources and budgets are limited.
With a tool like Personalize by Human, you can achieve a 50% better response rate and increase revenue—their words, not mine. If you’re using a CRM or email platform, many of these analytic tools can integrate right into your existing solutions.
You can use these insights to inform if your marketing strategies are working or may need a few tweaks and changes for improvement. Without these insights, you’re flying blind. And that’s no bueño. Use AI to get the data-backed insights you need for successful marketing campaigns.
Mistakes to Avoid
While the potential of AI tech in content marketing for startups is promising, getting tangible results will take time, plus involve a lot of trial and error.
One common misstep is assuming AI is a plug-and-play kind of solution. As of 2023, it’s not at the level where you can just publish whatever it spits out. Instead, using it as a springboard or starting point is a much better idea.
Overestimating its capabilities and getting frustrated when you don’t get the responses you want can lead to more headaches than solutions. Being prepared to go back and forth with varying your prompts to get the material you need will take some time to get used to. But over time, this process can get quicker and more efficient as you learn the technologies you decide to invest in.
And speaking of investing… AI tech can get expensive. The 8 entry-level packages of the platforms listed above add up to around $200 per month (or $2,300 per year). The more content you need, the higher the price goes up. And it's not a done-for-you service.
So forget about AI tech being an out-of-the-box option for publishing high-quality content. It can’t—yet. But what it can do is supplement your content marketing efforts to help you speed up the process and get pieces published.