How can B2B marketers use AI in content creation - B2B marketing agency for technology sector | London | Now

Spoiler alert:

Some of this blog was written using AI, some wasn't

AI sceptics in content marketing: your days are numbered!

Should B2B copywriters be worried about AI?

We’re a cocky bunch of content creators in B2B marketing. When something like AI comes along to threaten our gravy train the knee-jerk response is to attack. We talk up the negatives and ignore the positives. Truth is, most content creators haven’t even tried AI. Many wouldn’t even know how or where to start. We didn’t want to be those guys, so about three months ago we started experimenting.

The hypothesis

We’re in B2B, and most of our clients are tech innovators. They’re either ambitious startups with a new idea, or leading enterprises delivering bleeding edge tech.

In these environments the knowledge base can be quite immature, so we expected AI to deliver limited value. Our experiments focused on understanding AI’s limitations and then working out how AI might support the content production process when content needs to focus on new potential rather than the tried and tested.

Example

In our business, for example, we need to know how AI can support a speculative, vision-based content goal like “What contribution is Phase Change Material likely to make to the sustainable energy market over the next 10 years”.

If our business focused on more mature, tried and tested products and services like say, tourism, a content goal might be “What are the must-see tourist attractions not to miss during a weekend trip to Paris”.

Method

  • Over three months, make AI apps one of the resources we use whenever we need to create new content (we used OpenAI, Jasper and Sudowrite).
  • Score AI’s contribution to the content production process from 0% (AI didn’t contribute to the production process at all) to 100% (AI produced content that required only minor edits or personalisation)
  • Create a bug sheet (lists things AI tended to get wrong)
  • Create a workflow (shows where/how AI best fits into our content production process)

Findings:

For B2B content writers AI's ability to adopt the role of Subject Matter Expert makes adopting the tech a no brainer

AI is just deserts for lazy content creators

Hands up if you recognise this scenario.

The marketing team feels threatened by a competitor. Company X’s content is killing you. Their “Guide to topic Y” is becoming the go-to resource in your market, and you need to respond pronto.  So what do you do?

Well, nine times in ten, the knee-jerk response is to study the wonderful (but threatening) content Company X has produced, research more associated ideas on the internet to add value to CompanyX’s original, and then knock out something with a cheeky title like  “The ultimate/definitive/complete guide to topic Y” as quickly as you can.

AI can do this now, and it can do it better and faster than most copywriters.

Using AI as Subject Matter Expert

Copywriters need to become Subject Matter Experts for every topic they write about before there’s really any chance of magic happening and AI takes much (not all) of the SME requirement away.

The more mature a topic is, the better AI performs as Subject Matter Expert. Ask it to write a blog about “the top 10 attractions not to miss during a two-day visit to NYC” and the AI output can almost be cut and pasted into any web page without human edits.

But in B2B marketing (especially B2B tech marketing), topics can be much less mature and so much more contentious. Ask AI to write a blog explaining “how Phase Change Material will help produce more sustainable energy solutions” or “How zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) improves security within the blockchain” and AI starts to struggle.

In these cases, AI can contribute 50-70% of the base content with humans framing arguments based on opinion and judgement (the bits that make content unique and special).

AI & us: how we'll use AI from now on

It’s not going to replace the content creators in our team just yet, but it is going to free them up to actually “create” something new.

As AI takes on the role of Subject Matter Expert, content marketers can increasingly dedicate writing hours to developing unique, compelling arguments that add value to the knowledge base that’s already out there. There will be more time to consider why a product or service adds unique value to the landscape it serves and more time to develop compelling debates within the content we produce. And that helps every business tell a much more distinctive story.

That’s got to be exciting right?

We tried to pass off AI generated content as our own

Think we fooled anyone? Here's what our clients said...

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Yip we know, it's dastardly...

As part of our AI kickabout, we asked OpenAI, Jasper and Sudowrite to create blogs or news stories for some of our clients. Then we send them the content without telling them it was written by a bot.

Did it fool anyone? Did it f***!  Only 15% of this test group were surprised to learn that the content wasn’t written by a human (and the outputs for the 15% who didn’t notice were pretty basic: landing page copy, strap line suggestions and the like).

For the lion’s share of our sample, we chose clients with products or services that are (we think) genuinely innovative and bleeding edge: startups with innovative new tech or software companies developing next-gen banking or security systems. All of them had issues with the accuracy of the output. Why?

When mature arguments don’t exist (at scale), AI takes a wobbly. The more innovative, new and groundbreaking something is, the more AI struggles to write about it with any certainty. As the innovation matures, so too does AI’s ability to create accurate, reliable content about it.

What’s interesting here is the “at scale” bit. Some experts tried to proactively “educate” the AI but the AI didn’t seem to listen. This is probably because the AI is trained to treat one person’s opinion with suspicion. If more sources deliver similar corrective education, we think AI may well start to respond.

Could AI become the new measure in optimisation?

This seems to have huge implications for content optimisation strategies in the marketing game.  In today’s framework, we tend to argue that content is working because it ranks highly in search, delivers long read times on-page and gets authority backlinks. But as AI’s impact builds, should we ultimately be saying: “when all the established measurements (above) are positive, AI is intuitively more prone to consider content trustworthy and authoritative and therefore leverage it”. We’re working with a small team of AI gurus to explore this idea and it’ll be exciting to see where it takes us.

"Sorry about the short notice guys, but if you could whip up a basic 10-point marketing plan for my internal meeting tomorrow that'd be just awesome!"

AI got us out of jail here. This is what ChatGPT came up with (given that most plans fall down after about 4 weeks anyway, this one is as good as any)

Define your target market:

Identify the specific group of businesses you want to target with your marketing efforts. This could be based on factors such as industry, size, location, and needs.

Research your market: This could involve conducting surveys, focus groups, or interviews with potential customers to gather information about their needs, preferences, and behaviors. You can also look at industry reports and market research studies to gather data on your target market.

Identify common characteristics: Look for patterns and trends in the data you have collected and use them to identify common characteristics of your target market. This could include factors such as age, gender, income, location, interests, and needs.

Create a customer profile: Use the information you have gathered to create a detailed customer profile that includes information such as demographics, interests, behaviors, and needs. This will help you understand your target market more clearly and create a marketing plan that is tailored to their specific needs.

Review and refine your customer profile: As you continue to gather data and conduct market research, you may need to update your customer profile to reflect any changes in your target market. Regularly reviewing and refining your customer profile will help ensure that your marketing plan is always aligned with the needs and preferences of your target market.

Conduct a SWOT analysis:

This will help you identify your business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This information can help you create a marketing plan that takes advantage of your strengths and opportunities, while mitigating your weaknesses and threats.

Identify your business’s strengths: Think about what makes your business unique and sets it apart from competitors. This could include factors such as your products or services, pricing, customer service, or reputation.

Identify your business’s weaknesses: Consider what areas of your business may be holding you back or presenting challenges. This could include factors such as a lack of resources, limited distribution channels, or poor customer satisfaction.

Identify external opportunities: Look at the market and industry trends to identify opportunities for growth and expansion. This could include factors such as changing consumer preferences, new technology, or emerging competitors.

Identify external threats: Consider any potential challenges or obstacles that your business may face in the future. This could include factors such as economic downturns, changes in regulations, or increased competition.

Create a SWOT matrix: Organize the information you have gathered into a SWOT matrix, which is a grid that separates your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats into four quadrants. This will help you visualize the information and identify potential areas for growth and improvement.

Use the information to develop a marketing plan: Use the information from your SWOT analysis to create a marketing plan that takes advantage of your strengths and opportunities, while mitigating your weaknesses and threats. This could include strategies such as investing in new technology, launching new products or services, or targeting new markets.

Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals:

Your marketing plan should have clear and specific goals that are measurable, achievable, relevant to your business, and have a specific timeline for completion.

Determine your business’s overall objectives: Think about what you want to achieve with your marketing plan, and how it aligns with your overall business goals and objectives. This could include goals such as increasing sales, improving customer satisfaction, or expanding your market share.

Break down your overall objectives into specific, measurable goals: Once you have determined your overall objectives, break them down into specific, measurable goals that can be tracked and measured. For example, if your objective is to increase sales, your specific goal might be to increase sales by 10% in the next quarter.

Make sure your goals are achievable and relevant: Your goals should be realistic and achievable given the resources and constraints of your business. They should also be relevant to your business, and align with your overall objectives and target market.

Set a specific timeline for achieving your goals: Your goals should have a specific timeline for completion, such as a quarter, a year, or a specific date. This will help you stay on track and ensure that you are making progress towards achieving your objectives.

Review and adjust your goals regularly: As you execute your marketing plan, regularly review your goals and track your progress towards achieving them. If necessary, make adjustments to your goals to ensure that they remain achievable and relevant.

Develop a unique selling proposition (USP):

This is a statement that clearly defines what makes your e-learning platform unique and sets it apart from competitors. Your USP should be included in all of your marketing efforts to help businesses understand why they should choose your platform over others.

Identify your business’s unique characteristics: Think about what sets your business apart from competitors, and what makes it unique and valuable to your target market. This could include factors such as your products or services, pricing, customer service, or reputation.

Understand your target market’s needs and preferences: Research your target market to understand their needs and preferences, and how they compare to the offerings of your competitors. This will help you determine what differentiates your business and makes it stand out in the market.

Create a unique selling proposition: Use the information you have gathered to create a concise and compelling statement that summarizes your business’s unique value proposition. This should be a clear and concise statement that differentiates your business from competitors and showcases its unique value to customers.

Test your USP: Once you have developed your USP, test it with potential customers or clients to see how well it resonates with them. This can help you refine your USP and ensure that it effectively communicates your unique value proposition.

Use your USP in your marketing efforts: Include your USP in all of your marketing materials and efforts, such as your website, brochures, ads, and social media posts. This will help ensure that your target market understands why they should choose your business over competitors.

Create a budget:

Determine how much money you can realistically allocate to your marketing efforts and create a budget that will allow you to execute your plan effectively.

Determine your marketing goals and objectives: Review your marketing plan and determine the specific goals and objectives you want to achieve. This will help you determine the resources and funding you will need to execute your plan effectively.

Research the costs of different marketing channels: Research the costs of different marketing channels, such as social media, print advertising, email marketing, and more, to determine how much they will cost to implement.

Estimate the expected return on investment (ROI) for each channel: Estimate the expected ROI for each marketing channel, based on factors such as your target market, the cost of the channel, and your expected results. This will help you determine which channels are likely to be the most effective and cost-efficient for your business.

Create a budget: Use the information you have gathered to create a budget that allocates the necessary funds to each marketing channel, based on your goals, objectives, and expected ROI.

Monitor and adjust your budget: As you implement your marketing plan, regularly monitor your budget and track your spending. If necessary, make adjustments to your budget to ensure that you are staying within your allocated funds and achieving your desired results.

Choose your marketing channels:

Decide which marketing channels will be most effective for reaching your target market and achieving your goals. These could include social media, email marketing, direct mail, print advertising, and more.

Research your target market: Review the information you have gathered about your target market, including their demographics, interests, behaviors, and needs. This will help you determine which marketing channels are likely to be the most effective for reaching and engaging your target audience.

Consider the strengths and limitations of different channels: Research the strengths and limitations of different marketing channels, such as social media, email marketing, print advertising, and more. This will help you determine which channels are best suited to your business and your target market.

Test different channels: Try out different marketing channels to see which ones are most effective for reaching and engaging your target market. This could involve conducting small-scale tests or pilot programs to gather data and feedback on the effectiveness of different channels.

Choose the most effective channels: Use the information you have gathered to choose the marketing channels that are most effective for reaching your target market and achieving your goals. These could include channels such as social media, email marketing, direct mail, or print advertising.

Allocate your budget to the chosen channels: Once you have chosen your marketing channels, allocate your budget to each channel, based on its expected effectiveness and ROI. This will help ensure that you are maximizing the impact of your marketing efforts and achieving your desired results.

Develop a marketing calendar:

Plan out your marketing activities on a calendar to ensure that they are executed consistently and effectively. This can help you coordinate your efforts and avoid overlapping or conflicting activities.

Review your marketing plan: Review your marketing plan and the goals and objectives you want to achieve. This will help you determine the specific marketing activities you need to include in your calendar.

Identify key dates and events: Research key dates and events in your industry, such as trade shows, conferences, and holidays, that could impact your marketing efforts. These should be included in your calendar to ensure that you are aligning your marketing activities with relevant events.

Plan out your marketing activities: Use your marketing plan and the key dates and events you have identified to plan out your marketing activities on a calendar. This could include activities such as email campaigns, social media posts, webinars, or in-person events.

Coordinate with other teams and departments: If your marketing activities require coordination with other teams or departments, such as sales or customer service, make sure to include them in your planning process. This will help ensure that all teams are aligned and working towards the same goals and objectives.

Review and adjust your calendar regularly: As you implement your marketing plan, regularly review your calendar and track your progress. If necessary, make adjustments to your calendar to ensure that you are staying on track and achieving your desired results.

Create marketing materials:

Develop marketing materials such as brochures, case studies, and webinars that effectively communicate your USP and showcase the benefits of your e-learning platform.

Review your marketing plan: Review your marketing plan and the goals and objectives you want to achieve. This will help you determine the specific marketing materials you need to create.

Understand your target market: Research your target market to understand their needs, preferences, and behaviors. This will help you create marketing materials that are tailored to their specific needs and interests.

Develop a brand identity: Create a brand identity that includes elements such as a logo, color scheme, and font that reflects your business’s unique personality and value proposition. This will help ensure that your marketing materials are consistent and cohesive.

Create marketing materials: Use the information you have gathered to create marketing materials that effectively communicate your USP and showcase your products or services. This could include materials such as brochures, flyers, social media posts, or website content.

Review and refine your materials: As you create your marketing materials, regularly review and refine them to ensure that they are effective and aligned with your target market and goals. This could involve testing different versions of your materials to see which ones are most effective.

Launch your marketing campaign:

Put your marketing plan into action and start reaching out to your target market through your chosen channels. Be sure to track the success of your efforts and make adjustments as needed.

Review your marketing plan: Review your marketing plan to ensure that you have all the necessary elements in place, such as your budget, marketing channels, and marketing materials.

Create a launch plan: Develop a plan for launching your marketing campaign, including a timeline, key milestones, and responsibilities for each team or department involved. This will help ensure that your campaign is executed smoothly and effectively.

Implement your marketing activities: Put your marketing plan into action by implementing your marketing activities through your chosen channels. This could involve activities such as sending out email campaigns, posting on social media, or creating ads.

Monitor and track your results: As you launch your campaign, monitor and track the results of your efforts. This could involve tracking metrics such as website traffic, sales, or engagement on social media.

Make adjustments as needed: As you gather data and feedback on the effectiveness of your marketing campaign, make adjustments as needed to improve your results. This could include changing your marketing channels, revising your budget, or updating your marketing materials.

Evaluate and adjust your plan:

Continuously evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and make changes as needed to improve your results. This could include adjusting your budget, changing your marketing channels, or revising your goals and objectives.

Set benchmarks and metrics: Before launching your marketing campaign, determine the benchmarks and metrics you will use to evaluate its success. This could include metrics such as website traffic, sales, or engagement on social media.

Monitor and track your results: As you implement your marketing plan, regularly monitor and track your results against the benchmarks and metrics you have set. This will help you understand the effectiveness of your efforts and identify areas for improvement.

Evaluate your results: Once your marketing campaign is complete, evaluate your results against your benchmarks and metrics. This will help you determine whether you have achieved your goals and objectives, and identify areas for improvement.

Make adjustments as needed: Based on your evaluation, make adjustments to your marketing plan as needed to improve your results. This could include changing your marketing channels, revising your budget, or updating your marketing materials.

Continuously evaluate and adjust your plan: As you continue to execute your marketing plan, regularly evaluate and adjust it to ensure that it remains effective and aligned with your goals and target market. This will help you maximize the impact of your marketing efforts and achieve your desired results.

Note to reader!

If you are a human looking for other humans to actually understand your business needs…

Get in touch and let’s start planning your next marketing move.

But wait, there's more!

Now that the AI has saved us a couple hours rewriting a 101 marketing plan. We asked if it could produce some blog content titles, hashtags and social post suggestions. Once guided through the desired subject matter, it even put it into a handy table format when requested.

 

Blog IdeasRelated HashtagsSocial Post Suggestions
“10 ways machine learning is revolutionizing elearning”#machinelearning #elearning #education1 “Did you know that machine learning is revolutionizing elearning? Check out our latest blog for 10 ways it’s changing the game: [insert link]”
2 “Machine learning is transforming elearning. Don’t miss our latest blog on the topic: [insert link]”
3 “Elearning just got a major upgrade thanks to machine learning. Check out our blog to learn more: [insert link]”
“The future of education: how AI is transforming the classroom”#ai #education #future1 “The future of education is here and AI is leading the way. Check out our blog to learn more: [insert link]”
2 “AI is transforming the classroom. Don’t miss our latest blog on the topic: [insert link]”
3 “Get a glimpse of the future of education with our latest blog on AI in the classroom: [insert link]”
“The role of machine learning in personalized learning”#machinelearning #personalizedlearning #education1 “Machine learning is key to personalized learning. Check out our latest blog to learn more: [insert link]”
2 “Personalized learning just got a major upgrade thanks to machine learning. Check out our blog to learn more: [insert link]”
3 “Don’t miss our latest blog on the role of machine learning in personalized learning: [insert link]”
“How AI is enhancing online course creation and delivery”#ai #onlinelearning #education1 “AI is revolutionizing online course creation and delivery. Check out our latest blog to learn more: [insert link]”
2 “Online courses just got a major upgrade thanks to AI. Check out our blog to learn more: [insert link]”
3 “Don’t miss our latest blog on how AI is enhancing online course creation and delivery: [insert link]”
“The top 5 machine learning algorithms for elearning”#machinelearning #elearning #algorithms1 “Interested in the top machine learning algorithms for elearning? Check out our latest blog: [insert link]”
2 “Want to know which machine learning algorithms are key for elearning? Check out our blog: [insert link]”
3 “The top 5 machine learning algorithms for elearning are just a click away. Check out our blog: [insert link]”
“Exploring the ethical implications of AI in education”#ai #education #ethics1 “Exploring the ethical implications of AI in education. Check out our latest blog: [insert link]”
2 “The ethics of AI in education is a topic worth exploring. Check out our latest blog on the subject: [insert link]”
3 “Don’t miss our latest blog on the ethical implications of AI in education: [insert link]”
“The future of work: how machine learning is changing the job market”#machinelearning #futureofwork #jobs1 “The future of work is here and machine learning is leading the way. Check out our latest blog: [insert link]”
2 “Machine learning is changing the job market. Don’t miss our latest blog on the topic: [insert link]”
3 “Get a glimpse of the future of work with our latest blog on machine learning: [insert link]”
“5 examples of AI in action in the elearning industry”#ai #elearning #education1 “Want to see AI in action in the elearning industry? Check out our latest blog for 5 examples: [insert link]”
2 “AI is making waves in the elearning industry. Check out our latest blog for examples: [insert link]”
3 “Don’t miss our latest blog featuring 5 examples of AI in action in the elearning industry: [insert link]”
“The role of machine learning in improving student outcomes”#machinelearning #education #studentoutcomes1 “Machine learning is playing a major role in improving student outcomes. Check out our latest blog: [insert link]”
2 “Improving student outcomes just got easier thanks to machine learning. Check out our blog to learn more: [insert link]”
3 “Don’t miss our latest blog on the role of machine learning in improving student outcomes: [insert link]”
“A beginner’s guide to integrating machine learning into your elearning strategy”1 “New to machine learning in elearning? Our beginner’s guide has you covered: [insert link]”
2- “Learn the basics of integrating machine learning into your elearning strategy with our beginner’s guide: [insert link]”
3 “Don’t miss our beginner’s guide to integrating machine learning into your elearning strategy: [insert link]”

So what's next?

The current version of Chat GPT-3 is astounding, but it's not perfect.

The major flaw with this tech is that it doesn’t have any real-time data to give the subject it talks about any context. The information it has been trained on is huge, but it doesn’t have the ability to scrape the internet for up-to-date information.

Yet…

There is a new version of Chat GPT-3 currently in beta that does have the ability to access the internet and retrieve information about companies, competitors and even suggest content rewrite suggestion for specific pages you give it. However there is a content limit to each request so isn’t capable of replacing thorough human research.

This technology isn’t going to be replacing humans any time soon, but it is shaping up to be a great tool in the marketeers toolkit for generating content ideas instead of spending hours sifting through the junk that already exists on the internet. We look foward to working with our new AI buddy. Beep boop. 🤖

I just wanted to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for all your efforts. The Sunamp website looks great!

Catherine Dowdell, Digital Marketing Manager, Sunamp