AI-Powered Content Engines: How to Build Them in 2024   

The digital marketing industry is overrun with misconceptions about artificial intelligence (AI), and one of the biggest is that AI-written content will never drive results, traffic, or revenue. Ross Simmonds, CEO of Foundation Marketing, set the record straight at the 2024 Traffic & Conversion Summit. He explains how challenging your beliefs and methods prepare you to create an AI-powered content engine that gets better results with less effort than ever before. 

Case in Point: CNET 

CNET, an American media website that provides reviews, informative articles, and analyses, made headlines when it published hundreds of AI-generated articles in 2023. However, the backlash was swift when readers discovered errors in accuracy, and many deemed the AI experiment a failure. 

Rather than seeing this as a cautionary tale, Ross says people should take it as proof that AI content generation can work. After digging deeper, he discovered CNET generated 5.1 million annual visits to their AI-augmented articles. You would have to spend $1.3 million monthly to generate that traffic with pay-per-click marketing. 

Getting Back to Marketing Fundamentals 

From Sudoku to visual recognition, AI can do many things faster than humans, and that’s why marketers should leverage its power. Ross suggests going back to the content growth framework, which includes: 

  • Research 
  • Creation 
  • Distribution 
  • Optimization 

A successful marketing team will adopt this framework and enhance it with AI. 

AI for Research 

AI can significantly accelerate your research process. Ross recommends using ChatGPT, particularly the Link Reader plugin, which reads and analyzes articles and Moz reports. Ask ChatGPT to take a specific perspective and pull-out key points, and you’ll receive summaries of dozens of documents in moments. 

AI for Creation 

Most marketers view AI primarily as a vehicle for content creation but worry that using it will hurt their Google rankings. Ross argues that Google doesn’t care where your content comes from as long as it’s valuable to the reader, and AI can help you achieve that goal. 

What Strong AI Content Looks Like 

Ross highlights 6 steps that digital marketers can take to set their AI content apart: 

  • Using high editorial standards that ensure the content provides good value 
  • Incorporating multimedia elements, including charts, graphics, and videos 
  • Following Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trust (EEAT) practices 
  • Creating text that reads like a human wrote it 
  • Including internal links 
  • In some cases, disclosing that content was written or augmented by AI 

By implementing these strategies, you can use AI to create something that educates, engages, entertains, or empowers your audience. 

Tools for AI-Powered Content Creation 

Ross starts his AI content creation with a spreadsheet of topic ideas from ChatGPT. He then uses Copy.AI to set up a complete workflow, including: 

  • Generating subtopics 
  • Finding data sources 
  • Generating story ideas 
  • Creating content outlines 
  • Writing blog posts 

Using Copy.AI, ChatGPT, and Midjourney for visuals, you can create hundreds of compelling articles in a few days rather than months. 

AI for Distribution 

AI also offers a time-saving way to repurpose your content. Ross recommends these tools: 

  • to develop transcriptions and summaries of videos and podcasts 
  • Runway to turn images into videos 
  • ElevenLabs to create audio that mimics the nuances and tone of your voice 
  • Midjourney to generate images and descriptions of images that you can use as prompts 

Ross sees these and other AI platforms as an ideal way to transform your content and spread it across multiple channels. 

AI for Optimization 

Despite all the possibilities of AI, Ross doesn’t advocate generating content and publishing it without reviewing it first. He suggests that you have a checklist to ensure that every piece of content meets your editorial standards. 

AI can also play a part in your optimization process. For example, you can ask ChatGPT to recommend visuals that align with an article’s focus or use a plugin that suggests ways to improve your SEO. 

Embrace Experimentation With T&C 2024 

Trying out AI is a big step for many marketers, and Ross cautions against giving up too soon. If your first attempt doesn’t work in a week, give it more time and run different tests to see what works best for you or your clients. 

As you build a content engine using AI, you can learn a lot from Ross and other presenters at the T&C Summit. There were hundreds of hours of actionable content at T&C 2024, and we recorded every minute. Grab your T&C Recordings to explore insights and tactics that can benefit every established, new, or scaling business. 

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