Last Christmas, my husband’s cousin gave our then 1-year-old a dancing robot with glowing eyes, a spinning top, and the loudest music you’ve ever heard come from a toy with no option to turn down the volume. My son was rightfully terrified of this robot and didn’t want anything to do with it — which actually turned out to be a good thing for us, the parents but not for the reasons you’d expect.
It just so happens that right about this same time my son was a fan of the doggie door. He’d regularly try to crawl through it and into the backyard when he thought no one was looking. So, instead of having robot dance parties in the living room, the gift was put to use as the robot guarded the doggie door. It served its purpose, putting an immediate end to his predictable toddler behavior.
I don’t tell you this story so that you can put your own robot on guard by the danger zones in your home. I tell it because many people I know feel the same fear and loathing about artificial intelligence (AI) — the adult version of robots — as my son had to this toy. That’s probably because there’s so much that’s still unknown about AI.
Full disclosure: This post isn’t going to give you all the ins and outs of artificial intelligence for content marketing. What it will do is offer a guide to this still ambiguous and vastly unexplored new world we’re moving into.
There’s something scary about the idea that a machine could steal our jobs, our husbands, or our favorite hobby.
Coexisting with robots isn’t as far of a stretch as you might think. After all, over a million people asked for Alexa’s hand in marriage in 2017 alone. Click those links and you’ll be taken to a few of the articles I’ve dug into as nightly reading lately.
And yet, this coexistence and seeming love affair shouldn’t be nightmare-inducing.
It’s fascinating and, like it or not, it’s the future of how people will live. And although it might seem like something that threatens every fabric of our being, I’d like to offer a different, more optimistic perspective.
AI has the potential to help us breathe a lot easier if we just stop fearing the possibilities.
I don’t know how whole heck of a lot about AI. Nobody really does at this stage in the game, but there are a lot of people who want to. That’s why MIT announced a $1 billion plan to create a college specifically for AI. I’m one of those curious George’s (Georgette’s?) ready to explore what’s in store. The best place to start is by exploring what’s already here.
AI isn’t some futuristic concept years away from implementation. It’s here and chances are you’re already using some form of AI already to make your life a little bit easier, either personally or professionally, in one of these forms.
A Listening Ear
I mentioned Amazon Alexa before. She’s just one of many voice-activated devices that people are happily putting in their homes. These little devices get smarter and smarter over time as they learn more about what you like and what you need to function (ahem, like coffee or wine).
I live in Vail, Arizona, which is otherwise known as ‘out in the boonies’ to most people in Tucson. The closest branch of my bank is a 30-minute drive away. I know because I used to have to make that drive every time I wanted to cash a check from a client until mobile check deposits became a resource. One of the best things to ever happen to my gas budget was mobile banking. Now I’m able to snap a picture of the endorsed check and go about my day saving an hour in the car. How is this function AI? It’s powered by Mitek, which continuously evolves, learning how to decipher handwriting and convert it into text.
Amazon is every mother’s dream come true! It’s not just the convenience of 2-day shipping (and in many locations, same-day shipping). It’s Amazon’s ability to know what we need when we need it by fine-tuning search results and recommending items that might complement our purchases. Do they make more sales by predicting our future purchase behavior? Absolutely, but does it also make our lives as busy, working parents easier? 100%.
AI’s making content marketing easier too — especially for parents who are side hustling and want to be their own boss without the overwhelm that comes along with it.
It’s not just everyday living that’s getting easier with these added robots and machines to our everyday lives. It’s content marketing.
When I started in this industry 10 years ago, we were forced to get creative. That creativity led to brain drain and excuses, which led to a lack of publication. Businesses hired people like me to come up with ideas and then put those thoughts on screen.
That type of guesswork just doesn’t cut it. It hasn’t cut it for years, actually.
There’s a science to coming up with topics. You have to look at domain authority, search queries, keyword strength, and so on and so on. It’s a daunting task that still takes a lot of time, leads to brain drain and excuses, and causes companies to post just for the sake of posting without knowing whether their investment will ever really pay off. You don’t have to have a business degree to know that that’s just not a smart approach. No wonder content marketers get so burnt out.
New tools are on the market tapping into artificial intelligence’s potential and ease that overwhelm felt by so many content producers. For busy parents trying to squeeze in a side hustle to save for kids colleges and adds some fun money to the family budget for camping trips, it’s even more of a lifesaver.
But here’s the reality… these tools really are going to steal people’s jobs. People’s jobs like MY JOB.
It’s not at all far-fetched to think that machines will soon write articles and automatically optimize those articles in a short period of time sending freelancing mamas like myself back to home plate. We’re not passing Go. We’re not collecting $200. We’re getting pushed out in the cold.
Sounds grim, doesn’t it? It’s not.
Now is the time to drop those blinders, shift focus, and lean into what’s in store for side hustling moms. AI holds tremendous potential for growing these businesses and quieting the overwhelm we’re feeling. Although I don’t have a clear roadmap yet for how this will work, here are a few ideas about how you can get out ahead of this.
Use Natural Language to Charm the Socks Off Your Audience
I don’t care how pervasive machines become in our lives, people want to hear from people. We, as humans, crave connection and conversation. That’s why Siri and Alexa speak with natural inflections. The same natural inflection should be felt in your voice on your website and your marketing.
That’s not a flippant concept either. It’s a critical piece to keeping your website a place people want to come back to time and again. Your website is your brand’s welcome mat to your business after all. Shouldn’t it feel cozy, inviting, and warm? Robotic talk won’t replace that feel anytime soon.
Keep Yourself Growing
I wrote last month about how I’m relaunching my blog after going into a black hole for about 5-months. I wasn’t sitting on my hands during that time. I wasn’t even eyeball deep in diapers and baby bottles (although plenty of weekends felt like that was my reality, and that’s okay). During every single one of my childcare hours, I was soaking up as much knowledge as I could and growing while continuing my work behind-the-website-scenes.
The result of that work alongside RocketSource is a newly launched workshop series called LevelNext, which I’m unbelievably proud to have been a part of. Go over and check it out if you’re in an area poised for transformation (and my guess is you are). There’s a lot there, so feel free to reach out to me anytime privately for more information and I’d be glad to let you know if it’s a fit for you. And while you’re there, sign up for the free series called Digital Dominance that will help shed more light on what the future holds and what it means to you.
The Final Word?
This is just the beginning of so much more to come. This space is so new, so refreshing, and so welcome. Is artificial intelligence poised to steal jobs? Absolutely! But you’re ahead of the game and forward-thinking enough to be here, reading posts like this one. I commend you for that effort and applaud your desire to learn more. Let’s do it together, shall we? Share a link with me on Twitter to something you’ve read or written that’s taught you something new — anything new!