Content marketing: what impact will AI have on its future?

Claude Malaison – September 13, 2023

The Content Marketing Institute, USA’s content marketing bible, recently published a new study that looks at, among other things, the very future of content marketing in business and the future of those who practice it.

I’ll pass quickly over the salary aspect. Apart from the fact that content marketers earn an average of $112,000 a year in the U.S., almost half of those surveyed (47%) claim to be fairly compensated (not the norm here in Quebec, mind you). What interests me in this new study is the impact of AI on content experts and on their content itself.

Increasingly widespread use

Also according to the CMI study, many are using generative AI in their content roles. Content marketers like to explore and test new things, including AI technologies. Three out of four (!!!) use generative AI tools such as ChatGPT or Grammarly in their work.

By the way, OpenAI doesn’t just want ChatGPT to be the platform on which everyone builds a B2B company. It wants to be a B2B company, given last week’s introduction of ChatGPT Enterprise.

Unsurprisingly, the announcement says it offers “enterprise-grade security and privacy and the most powerful version of ChatGPT to date”.

Is this good, bad or ugly news?

utilisation de l'IA

Anyway, back to our digital sheeps, it’s no surprise to find that over a third (36%) use AI to generate content. Almost half (47%) use generative AI platforms to brainstorm new topics, and 46% use them to search for elements such as titles and keywords. Twenty-nine percent say they use AI tools for proofreading. You’re probably familiar with the Pareto principle (80/20).

Once again, the principle applies to the adoption and use of AI. In the CMI graph above, the proportion is 75/25. I predict that by the end of 2014, this proportion will reach 80/20. But adoption will not come without fear and tug-of-war. I would add with some fear. There’s a big BUT in the room:

But they fear AI could harm their careers

While many are using tools such as ChatGPT and Bing Chat, content marketers aren’t necessarily thrilled.

As one respondent put it: “I’m very worried. I think our work is already undervalued, and AI will probably only make things worse.” Oops, undervalued at $112,000?

More than half of writers and editors say that breakthroughs in generative AI will trivialize their writing skills and make them less respected at work. And 46% fear that generative AI will lower their pay. Forty-five percent fear the loss of content marketing jobs. Fewer humans, more AI. There’s bound to be an impact on the content itself…

And so it goes…

rémunération

Marketers are strengthening their skills in areas not covered by AI.

As a result, interest in writing skills is waning… Lower-quality content?

Unsurprisingly, the No. 1 skill content marketers say they want to acquire is learning to work with new technologies (48%) – up two points on the outlook for 2023. Improving analytics and data science skills (42%) and leadership skills (42%) are not far behind.

In contrast, content marketers are less focused on developing creative skills such as writing, editing, video and audio. A year ago, 40% of those surveyed said they were interested in honing their writing and editing skills. This year, that figure has dropped to almost half, or 22%.

compétences créatives

I’m referring to a post by Lynda St-Arneault on the ExoB2B blog. In it, she writes: “Ultimately, the future of content marketing will likely be a combination of human creation and artificial intelligence-based automation.”

Marketers and brands that can strike the right balance between the two will probably be the ones that manage to endure and stand out in an increasingly crowded market.

She continues: “The (r)evolutions of ChatGPT are rapid, and I predict that within three years, there will be experts who know how to use these language models to take them to an unprecedented level of autonomy.” The figures above seem to prove him right.

If you’d like to chat with us, or if you have any comments or questions on this subject, we’d be delighted to hear from you. We continue to explore and use AI in content development (for all marketing) for ourselves and our customers.

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