How Banks Can Use AI to Fix Content Marketing That Doesn’t Connect

Artificial Intelligence isn't just a black box under IT's control anymore. Marketers and agencies developing content programs for banks and credit unions can apply this technology to figure out what kinds of content appeal to which kinds of audience, and how to improve on the best. This helps content marketing live up to its potential.

The planning and delivery of solid and successful content marketing campaigns represents one of marketers’ greatest challenges today. Figuring out what will connect with a target audience — and why — relies on interpreting many variables. Get it wrong and it’s hard to earn another try. Get it right and people will come back for more.

The average chief marketing officer’s technology shopping list may be long nowadays, but a growing number of CMOs are kicking the tires on artificial intelligence with more than casual interest. In its “2018 Digital Trends Survey,” Adobe found that 31% of global marketers polled said they planned to invest in AI over the next 12 months.

In a time when Gartner has recommended that marketing departments double down on their efforts to demonstrate their business value, there’s never been a better time to explore the potential of AI-driven solutions to help prove — and improve — that value.

I see firsthand the pressure that financial institution marketers face as they try to drive more engagement with their audiences. On one hand they must maneuver around and over regulatory obstacles. On the other they are working to educate and influence audiences who may lack awareness of their institutions’ products and services, and who are thus very difficult to crack.

To keep up with the frenetic pace common in today’s marketing departments, and show their value, I see them trying to make important content decisions armed with insufficient data. This forces financial marketers to rely on educated guesses arrived at through trial and error.

Even in cases where they have data, it may not be telling them anything useful — failing to deliver the insights that marketers need to get the results they want and to drive the business forward.

As a result, marketers are left guessing. And this is where AI comes in.

Used correctly, AI can quickly analyze content and generate insights that can be used to optimize marketing campaigns. AI can also help overcome some of the most stubborn obstacles marketers face, including the three I see as being the most common: a mountain of undigested data, the priority to personalize, and the need to make content decisions that are free of human bias.

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Turning Mountains of Data into Something Actionable

One thing I hear time and again from marketers is that they are drowning in data that still doesn’t tell them anything meaningful. They may know that a certain call to action works well in one instance versus another, for example. But they may have no clue why.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Today’s AI solutions can help marketers quickly — within hours, or in some cases minutes — analyze and optimize language requirements like emotion, tone, sentiment and complexity. AI can provide insights they can use, instead of more information they must try to interpret.

Armed with this, teams can make the right decisions and start making an immediate, positive impact on their goals and metrics.

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Personalization Made Easy With AI

Sheer noise is another significant challenge that financial marketers face. Everyone wants to cut through the massive volume of content that most consumers have pouring in to them. Certainly, employing the right kind of content matters, be it video, copy or imagery, as does the quality of what you’re putting out there.

But ultimately, even the best content falls flat if it’s not personalized to the person reading it, and made relevant to where they are in the customer journey. Using AI can make it far easier for marketers to build personalized and segmented content profiles that can be optimized for any key performance indicators.

The result? More engagement, more conversions and more value to the business.

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Removing Human Bias from Content Judgments

I recently checked in with a marketer who had run a series of concept trials with AI solutions. She and her team already intuitively “knew” — so they thought — the most effective ways to craft blog and website content so that each would get maximum traction with their audiences.

The data AI generated quickly told them a different story, however. In fact, it demonstrated that their judgments were completely wrong and that their assumptions were wrong. This enabled the team to break away from at least one of the problems that come with preconceived notions. That’s one example of the human bias in action. Left unchecked, it can gradually inflict significant damage.

AI can help establish a steady stream of insights that challenge popular wisdom about what content will most engage, and provide creators with tangible proof of what will resonate and what won’t, using more than gut feel or personal preferences. Over time, this will show the impact of your writing. This will show top management in your institution that your content creators play a valuable role.

Content marketing may always be a mix of art and science, and I won’t deny that there’s something to be said for the intuition of an experienced professional.

Mixing that expertise with the speed and power, however, is too good an opportunity to pass up. Don’t let more time slip by without exploring what it can do for you.

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