Automated content creation: what is it all about?

In this blogpost we will find out what automated content creation is all about and how to create large-scale content with it!

Babelee
Marketing Team
Marketing Automation Automated content creation: what is it all about?

Table of Contents

Automated processes have a centuries-old history: they originated during the Industrial Revolution to limit human effort in repetitive tasks. Over the years, thanks to the tools made available by digitization and in even more recent times by artificial intelligence, automation, in addition to physical labor, has gradually affected creative and intellectual work as well. Automated content creation was born in this area, finding an application that we could almost say was revolutionary in areas hitherto only relatively touched by automation, such as marketing and advertising.

In this post, we will provide a definition of automated content creation, describe its impact on digital marketing processes, and finally, we’ll focus on the automated production of a particularly effective type of content: videos.

Automated content creation: What does it mean?

Automated content creation includes methodologies and tools to minimize human intervention at different stages of the content lifecycle. The goal of automated content creation is to schedule or automate the content creation process by intervening in the most repetitive (time-consuming, informationally redundant, and economically expensive) actions. 

In general, automated content creation solutions allow each piece of content to be developed and organized in an automated, standardized, and reusable way. For example, some technology applications that invest in semantic analysis and natural language processing are able to return written or spoken content similar to that produced by a human being. 

In the case of video, the strength is the large-scale production and distribution, with a few simple steps and limited economic effort, of consistent and engaging content that, in the case of technologically innovative platforms, is also data-base and data-driven.

A fascinating and complex phenomenon

When we think of automated content creation, it probably calls to mind a universe where super-human bots—which we often picture in their robotic version—create articles (of a generally dismal quality) that present—in the majority of cases—barely a semblance of the complexity  produced by a flesh and blood person when it comes to text content. 

The exceptions here are very rare: the short reports and social updates of sporting events in The Washington Post” or the artificial intelligence system GPT-3 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3) that uses a neural network machine learning model to reproduce natural language, going so far as to, according to The New York Times, write with a fluency equivalent to that of a human being. To give you an idea of the complexity involved in the automated content creation phenomenon, consider that the previous version of GPT-3 was so effective at writing fake news that OpenAI, the nonprofit organization that created it, was forced to withdraw it, at least from the public market, for fear that it would be misused.

Content automation software must be stripped of a certain technocratic romanticism and instead be considered in their instrumental reality: while such software is undoubtedly innovative, it is also largely dependent on the human operator who uses them. Only thus, by observing them in their concrete contexts of use, immersed in the flow of everyday activities, is it possible to appreciate their genuine disruptive power. 

That said, the strides that artificial intelligence has made in automated content creation are, undeniably, gigantic. Although we are far from a world where robots replace authors, scriptwriters, and other creatives  and automation does not control the entire production, there are now platforms, even very advanced ones, that can generate excellent content that is functional for certain communication goals.

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Automated content creation between martech and digital marketing: how much is the marketing automation market worth?  

The importance digital marketing has taken in generating sales and building customer loyalty—even in light of the business continuity ensured during the recent health emergency—has forced companies to promptly and continuously update their communication channels, to implement technologies and digital touchpoints that are scattered along the funnel. In order to succeed in keeping pace within increasingly crowded compartments, forward-thinking marketers have invested in solutions with high strategic value. In particular, they have focused their attention on automation tools that enable them to gain a competitive advantage by taking advantage of market and consumer trends (one trend above all: the need for increasing interactivity and personalization). 

If we broaden our view, we will see how marketing automation is part of a much broader horizon (martech) that encompasses the set of digital technologies applied to marketing. It is an ecosystem that continues to achieve great success, so much so that organizations’ spending on these technologies shows no signs of diminishing. 

To recap: digital marketing increasingly employs automation tools to optimize its processes. On the other hand, it is precisely in the field of digital marketing that automated content creation is being widely used today, emerging as one of the most promising applications of marketing automation among all of those currently available. 

What is the current state of marketing automation?

To get an idea of the relevance marketing automation has taken on, let’s look at some numbers. 

  • Within martech, whose value in 2021 exceeded $344 billion, marketing automation represents the second largest investment compared to the budget allocated to other marketing items.
  • The marketing automation software market, which was $3.60 billion in 2020, is projected to reach an astronomical $11.46 billion in 2027.
  • In 2021, 76% of companies said they were using marketing automation tools. Among those not using them, 26% planned to use them in the near future.
  • The automation adoption rate increases even more when we look at Salesforce Research surveys, which report 81% of surveyed organizations will use it in 2021.
  • 77% of chief marketing officers have turned to AI technologies to automate redundant tasks.

What can automated content creation do for digital marketing?

The integration of automation platforms into companies’ technology suites is becoming an increasingly popular option both because, in general, it offers concrete support in achieving marketing objectives and because, in a fully multichannel perspective, it encourages the creation of a rich and diverse content strategy. Nearly half of sales and marketing professionals recognize the strategic—and no longer just tactical—significance of automation tools, considering them an integral part of their company’s content strategy.

Email marketing, social media marketing, search engine marketing—all the different techniques typical of content marketing—can be enhanced by automation. At the same time, integrating automation tools that work in synergy with customer relationship management (CRM) systems into the enterprise infrastructure positively affects workflow management by marketers and sales.

According to the ZHAW School of Management and Law, 2021, 72 percent of “successful” companies use at least the basic functions of content automation to complete lead generation, qualification, and customer retention activities. In this sense, it would seem that the comprehensive and professional use of content marketing technologies is indeed directly related to a company’s digital success. 

Underlying both of these developments—content marketing and sales flow management—there is a prerequisite that is central to any marketing automation solution: the presence of specific data analysis capabilities, which are the prerequisite for monitoring, measuring, and controlling the performance of digital marketing tools. 

Although more and more organizations are orchestrating combinations of both physical and manual as well as digital and automated interactions in their designed customer purchase paths, there are still relatively few (19%) content marketing teams systematically using automation platforms (Semrush, 2022).

Yet greater automation is inevitable to enable labor-intensive processes to be carried out efficiently. The scope for improvement is enormous. 

A successful application of automated content creation: video automation

Automation, we have just seen, is now widely used to optimize numerous marketing processes, including, albeit to a lesser extent, content production and distribution processes.

One of the most successful applications of automated content creation is undoubtedly video automation, which enables the creation of large amounts of video while still maintaining high quality standards.  Automated content creation, in the case of video, has made it possible to move away from slow, complex, expensive, and often frustrating “traditional” production to offer marketers, publishers, communication specialists, and content creators new opportunities to build more authentic relationships with customers, both acquired and potential. It has made it possible to reach an expanded and simultaneously more qualified audience by leveraging the knowledge gained from data analysis.

In this sense, video automation has given rise to a real revolution. Whereas producing effective videos in the “traditional” way requires time, substantial investment, and specialized skills, a video automation platform enables a scalable, data-driven approach. Thousands of videos in different versions, immediately available. 

With the most advanced video automation, it is possible to:

  • set the appropriate atmosphere to communicate a given message by choosing from dozens of editable predefined templates
  • customize individual scenes by changing colors, transitions, calls to action, and any other elements in the scenes in real time
  • link the dataset containing the information you want to display
  • make different versions of the same video
  • easily share the generated videos via email, SMS, social networks, in-app push notifications, or any other channel
  • quickly test test the different elements that appear in the video and make changes in a timely manner and with minimal effort, including in terms of costs
  • discover which video strategy works best to keep customer interest high

Video summaries, video news, animated infographics, personalized videos: video automation can unlock innovative ways to reach and engage customers and increase the efficiency of the entire creation process.

Automated content creation is about freeing your creative energy

When we talk about automated content creation, we are talking about solutions that save time and money. We’re talking about automating certain processes that would have seemed completely impervious to any attempt at automation just a few years ago. When we talk about automated content creation, we are talking about how the company can make more efficient and intelligent use of its resources.

Using automated content creation to work with limited resources, digital marketers can simplify numerous tasks, speed up the content creation process, optimize a wide range of operations, increase productivity, improve lead generation, and grow revenue.

Automated content, as we’ve seen with video, gives marketers (but also publishers, creators, and communications specialists) a huge advantage because it allows them to produce content faster, and because it takes over such mundane and iterative tasks, freeing up intellectual energies that were previously committed to lower-value activities that can then be diverted to overall strategy design and have a substantial impact. In this way, automated content creation frees up creative energies.

Video automation, especially, fully expresses this quantum leap that does not simply end with making the process more efficient and competitive. We see this especially with the most advanced video creation platforms, which allow all data about the target audience (data that the company already possesses because it comes from a range of services: names, emails, information about preferences, interests, consumption behavior). In this sense, videos are extremely valuable content for a successful digital communication strategy: easily creating automated videos that incorporate data about the individual recipient of the communication helps build stronger relationships.

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