Manual Optimization vs. AI Optimization for Content Marketing

Content marketing optimization has been done manually for much of its existence. Many have been successful and award winning in this endeavor over the years. Fast forward to today and there’s a new kid on the block – artificial intelligence (AI). Efficiency in optimizing content marketing campaigns has reached new heights with the addition of this technology.

The human mind is capable of amazing things. However, when it comes to large amounts of data (AKA big data) it can take teams of data scientists to reach any resemblance of efficiency compared to AI. It can handle similar tasks in minutes versus the human mind en masse which can take weeks or longer.

Most marketers are familiar with A/B testing and multivariant testing to get the results they seek online for maximum optimization. That’s a great practice, but practically speaking, a robust team of marketers or data scientists can only manage so many permutations over time. Are 100 variations of headlines, photos, snackable social shares, videos, targeting, channels or email subject lines a lot to test? For a marketing or data scientist team? Probably.


AI has the capability of testing tens of thousands of variations and permutations in content marketing in a very short period of time – minutes. Teams of data scientist and/or marketers would likely take weeks to months to accomplish this task.

Some have expressed concern that this technology will eliminate jobs across industries. However, studies show that it will actually increase jobs. The fact is, not only does AI make brands smarter more quickly, but it makes the marketers (and other departments using AI for their respective missions) driving it more successful.

A Cautionary AI Tale

There are thousands of tech companies that swear AI is their value proposition. They lead with it and make people think it will have a huge impact on their brand. For many tech companies, it’s a marketing ploy. The first question that needs to be asked is whether the AI provides actual business value.

Here’s an example: ever post a picture on Facebook with friends and it prompts to tag one of them? That’s AI. For the vast majority of readers, the answer is yes. Does it provide actual business value? Would you pay for it? Doubt many would. That same dichotomy exists with B2B technology buying decisions. The fact is, today many are data rich, but insight poor, as a result.

For example, if a marketer invests in AI to optimize cost per thousand impressions (CPMs) on their content they have no optimization towards cost per click (CPC). If they optimize using AI towards CPC they have no optimization towards cost per engagement (CPE). Do marketers want impressions, clicks or actual engagement with their content? If they’re good the answer is actual content engagement.

The AI Value Proposition

Not only does AI optimize towards a top KPI, but at the same time lowers the cost and increases CTR on on-page calls to action (CTA) over time. Again, this is something that would take marketers and data scientists much more time to accomplish manually. See the average difference below:


AI is not something we need to fear. It’s not going to take our jobs. However, it will make us much more successful and efficient in our jobs. This technology is making businesses much more effective every day. Whether it be in cost savings, optimized KPIs, or greater throughput – regardless of the department. However, before making any technology purchasing decision regarding AI, be sure to evaluate its business value and make sure it’s not a buzz word for Sales to close the deal. AI optimization, when done correctly, will always trump manual optimization.

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