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Content Intelligence: How to Move the Needle for Marketing Results in 2020

Last updated: 12-25-2019

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Content Intelligence: How to Move the Needle for Marketing Results in 2020

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Marketers can feel pressured to ensure content investments lead to increased traffic, engagement and achieve the overall business objectives of their organizations. Fortunately, adopting a content intelligence tool can help move the needle for your marketing efforts in 2020, writes, Bart Frischknecht, Vice president of Product Strategy, Vennli.
Chances are that in the last 12 months, you’ve either demoed, tested, or even adopted a new marketing technology that includes artificial intelligence (AI). While the tool may or may not have been built for content intelligence, 2020 may be the year you adopt a tool or program that uses AI to help you make better decisions around your content marketing. 
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Every marketer that invests in a content strategy can feel pressured to ensure content investments lead to increased traffic, engagement and – ultimately – to achieving the overall business objectives of their organizations. Fortunately, there is a reliable way to achieve these results. Below you’ll find ways how adopting a content intelligence tool can help move the needle for your marketing efforts in 2020 and beyond. 
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Understanding Content Intelligence 
Before you adopt a content intelligence platform, you need to understand what it is. Content intelligence describes a category of marketing technology that helps provide marketers with better results from their content by applying AI to content marketing decisions. This technology works on the principle that better content marketing results are possible when you make data-driven decisions around content rather than gut decisions.
By implementing a content intelligence tool, marketers can help align their organization around its target audience and content activities by streamlining the decisions that are being made during the content planning and execution process. 
To see best results, marketers should make sure that the created content aligns to audience needs and desires. Accurately matching content to an audience is a simple concept, but in order to see successful results, the organization must be aligned internally on their intended target audience. Additionally, there are several key decisions to keep in mind while moving through the content process – these decisions come in stages from planning, creating, personalizing and distributing, and measuring content. 
1. Planning Content 
 
During the early stages of creating content, there are several decisions to be made – these include: 
Target audience (i.e., targetable characteristics, behaviors, and preferences)
Specific action we would like our audience to take as a result of the content (i.e., calls-to-action and customer journey stage)
Format for the content (i.e., video, blog)
Distribution and promotion channels (i.e. digital/offline, owned/earned/paid media)
Topic and keywords 
2. Creating Content
 
Content creation begins once the plans are approved. As marketers, we will wrestle with a new set of decisions including:
Length
 
3. Personalizing and Distributing Content 
Content only drives results if it gets into the hands of our intended audience. This stage is important, as it determines how to effectively store, tag, organize, and retrieve content.
Once content management is sorted, it’s time to share the content with the world. Effective sharing may involve customizing, personalizing, and scaling our reach with tools for automating distribution. Part of any distribution strategy is promotion. Here we make decisions about promotion channels, level of spend, and length of campaign.
 
4. Measuring Content 
In order to evaluate content’s effectiveness, it’s recommended to divide content measurement into two broad groups. This is done by applying measurement in both groups to your own content and potentially your competitors’ content, too. You can assess two outcomes: 1. Did you successfully reach a large number of your target audience? And 2. Did a high percentage of your audience engage with the content and take the intended action you hoped they would? 
 
You may also ask yourself other questions, such as: 
What are the keywords and topics covered, and do these align with your intended audiences’ needs and desires? 
How well did the creative execution align with the original content brief?
How effective was the creative execution in delivering on the desired tone and other brand guidelines?
If the content is meant to be distributed online, was it designed with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind?
 
Lining up the best tools for each decision 
The content intelligence tools available on the market today contribute in unique ways to the many small decisions that go into achieving the overarching objectives of a content marketing strategy. However, they don’t always fall neatly into one of the content marketing decision-making stages. Some tools focus very narrowly on a single decision, while others span multiple stages. Almost all tools rely on some type of content measurement to inform their recommendations for earlier-stage content decisions. 
While by no means intended to be a comprehensive or exclusive list, here are some of the standout tools available in this space. 
1. Planning Tools
 
There are a number of planning tools that focus on getting marketers' data on topics, trends, and keywords relevant to their audience, from traditional SEO platforms like SEMRush or traditional social media research and monitoring tools like BuzzSumo. There are also several platforms that have grown directly out of the content intelligence movement. 
2. Creation Tools 
 
There are tools that coach us on our writing. When it comes to content intelligence, these tools take the experience of a general editor like Grammarly to the next level. These tools include names like Persado, Acrolinx, TextOptimizer, Atomic Reach, and Qordoba. Some of these platforms focus more on auditing and recommending, while others seek to push as far into automated language generation as possible.
3. Personalization and Distribution Tools 
 
While there are a number of tools that can help with personalization and automated distribution, others focus on optimizing paid promotion of content. 
Adobe Target and Emarsys are examples of enterprise solutions for automating content personalization. There are a number of other tools that help automate and personalize content delivery, including companies like PathFactory and Uberflip. Within these tools, some focus on a specific type of content delivery such as optimizing email send times, i.e. Seventh Sense and Bluecore or automating chat like Drift. 
4. Outlining the best place to start with content intelligence 
 
With an abundance of content strategy tools on the market, choosing which one to use can be overwhelming. It may help to think of it in terms of hiring a full-time marketer to join your team. Where would you make that hire to have the biggest impact on your marketing results? Which of the content decisions listed above would that marketer take on? 
Once you’ve zeroed in on particular content decisions, check out the content intelligence tools that best support those decisions. Is there one you believe could help you capture some of the benefits of that new team member that you are unable to hire? That’s where you should start.
Adopting a content intelligence tool into your overall marketing strategy can give you the ability to communicate the importance of your content across departments, increase engagement levels with target audiences, and create better alignment around customers and marketing priorities. Let your content strategy be your competitive advantage in 2020. 
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