Today’s content marketers are swimming in data, tracking not only customers and users but also the efficacy of content as it drives behaviors ranging from clicks to visits to shares to purchases. Our Wordsmith platform for data-driven writing (sometimes known as natural language generation or even “robot” writing) can turn that data into meaningful and targeted marketing content. It’s a way to configure narratives that effectively write themselves.
As a content marketer, you might cringe at that statement, wondering what it means for your job as a creative and a marketer. The good news is that you don’t have to wage war against the machines. Instead, you can embrace the ways they change your job for the better. The first step, of course, is understanding what the rise of data-driven writing really means. Here are four big ways that automated writing will change the content marketing landscape.
1. There are certain types of content that you’ll never have to create again.
Do you ever have to write articles based on structured data? Rows and columns of figures can be drudgery to sift through, and some of the most important content you produce is rooted in that data: trend reports, market summaries, buyer insights, and more. These are all very compelling types of stories – the kind of data-rich content that draws readers to sites like eMarketer.
The trouble, though, is that many people find writing these types of stories monotonous, especially if you want to write them on a large scale. Even if you’re highly proficient with Excel, it’s likely that you didn’t go into marketing to grind through a bunch of spreadsheets.
Fortunately, that grind is perfect for data-driven writing software. Feed the software data about a market, a trend, or even campaign performance , and such software can generate a compelling, plain-language report about it that people will want to read.
2. You’ll create content you never thought was possible.
Marketers typically approach content like journalists do – you write one piece of content intended for many readers. Good marketers write with a target audience in mind, of course — in some cases, getting only a handful of readers may constitute success, so long as those readers are the right ones. But in general, bigger audiences are better.
Data-driven writing flips that model upside down. It allows a writer to create one narrative structure to support thousands, even millions of customized stories. Instead of writing one piece of content and hoping thousands will read it, marketers can now generate thousands of stories, each specifically crafted for an audience of one. Content marketers can thus make something new: connections with every customer on a personal level. It gives account-based marketing even greater relevance.
Imagine looking through your company’s data and writing an email to just one of your customers about the ways they use your product and could make the most of it. Data-driven writing lets you scale that personalized message for every single customer.
3. You’ll learn a new way to write.
Creating story structures within a data-driven writing platform to create compelling content will soon become an integral part of content marketers’ jobs. Fortunately, creating these structures and using data to generate unique, personalized content is no more difficult than learning the ins and outs of a publishing platform like WordPress.
The key is to reframe your understanding of content around the underlying data that powers it. That means marketers will need to know how to structure their data and set up the logic that turns it into narratives.
It may seem overly technical at first, but it’s really just a way to codify what you do all the time when you write a story. The data-driven writing platform, like a content management system, is simply a way of getting ideas out of a writer’s head and onto a computer screen.
4. Your creativity and ingenuity will be more important than ever.
If you’re like many marketers, you’re drawn the challenge of creating stories and get great satisfaction from seeing how they incite people to action. Soon, you’ll have more time to do just that, offloading less engaging work to data-driven writing software frees content marketers to do the work you enjoy the most.
You’ll still be writing entertaining video scripts. Interviewing influencers. Tweeting hilariously appropriate GIFs. For many types of content, people will be better than algorithms for a long time. By embracing data-driven writing, the best content marketers will get to embrace the most creative side of themselves.