audience engagement

Audience Engagement – Technology is Key to the Future for Small Businesses and Publishers Digital Marketing

Now this may seem like a pretty intuitive statement, “if we want to maintain or increase target audience engagement it’s critical to make sure we are on message with what will truly resonate with them”.  Fair point, right?  But too often, the organizations, small businesses, as well as marketing and PR firms serving them are engrossed in the ‘how’ we are connecting with the target audience…

  • When can we have a new website with fresh content?
  • I need to increase the number of my social media posts!
  • Let’s send out a bunch of email blasts…
  • We need more followers on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn…

The list goes on – we’ve all heard and have been swept up in the rush to do more and more on the ‘how’ do we reach our target audience, but these are simply the different ways we can reach out to our target audience.  It’s what we have to say that’s as important if not more so than how we outreach.  It’s the message and the high-quality content that we’re presenting to them that captures their attention and stirs their creative thinking!

Larger organizations and companies have teams of analysts, experts, PR firms dedicated to deeply understanding what resonates with the target audience and then continually refining and pitching their messages that both engage them and get them to action.  Whether the focus is in selling the latest consumer products, advocating for political or community change, delivering compelling editorials and industry updates to your newsletter subscribers, or marketing business-to-business solutions across every industry, these organizations have the power and resources to master influence and audience engagement.  However, most small and medium-sized businesses and niche publishers (“SMB’s”) lack the resources, expertise, and investment dollars to be successful.  Unfortunately, the solutions offered by many marketing and PR firms are often expensive and sometimes not very effective.

How can artificial intelligence technology (“AI”) help niche publishers and SMB’s be more efficient and successful in creating and pushing compelling content to the right prospects at the right time?  Today we will outline for you 3 immediate ways you can use AI to affordably, effectively, and successfully create content that will engage your target audience and find new ways to partner with PR and marketing firms, and get the most value from these important relationships.

If It’s Not About the Content, It’s About the Content…

A big challenge for SMB’s is producing highly engaging pieces of content consistently.  Many business owners and organization directors have their hands full running the day to day of their operations, with little time to dedicate to creating or reviewing large amounts of their own content.  AI technology can automate and perform much of the heavy lifting through what’s called “re-contenting”.  Using the elements of AI technology in natural language processing and machine learning, AI can be your customized team of content analysts that consistently sift through and identify the most appropriate high-quality articles, blog posts, podcast episode segments, vlog posts, and so on. It is able to do this not using keywords or Boolean searches but using math through document scoring to easily apply custom trained AI engines to compare the context and meaning of huge amounts of content instantly to surface what’s critically important.

There are large and inexpensive repositories of news and media content from trusted sources like Forbes, The Economist, etc. where AI can “read” through huge quantities of content to identify and surface the pieces that are right on topic for you.  These third-party content pieces can then be positioned and delivered (re-contented) across any communication channel of your choosing, even if the original version was in a completely different format.  AI can spot in a two-minute segment of podcast episode conversations among hosts and guests that speaks directly to your specific messaging and the audience you’re trying to reach.

“But hold on,” you say, re-contenting isn’t new and PR firms have provided clipping services for decades.  Today, many organization websites, newsletters, and email blasts will feature a news feed of what the latest happenings are in each market.  And of course, PR firms and marketing consultants provide a modern version of clipping services where they will use Google alerts to find news and third-party media or even your own content and rework it into new stylized compilations that can be used to support content campaigns.  Critically, these types of services are mostly manual, they take time to produce results, and are very expensive, so they don’t fit into the budget of the majority of SMB’s.  AI-driven solutions on the other hand can affordably and quickly produce the types of content results SMB’s need to keep up a consistent flow of high-quality articles, blog posts, vlogs, and podcast episodes that will delight and engage with their customers and stakeholders.

Be Truly Personal with Each Reader in Your Audience

Many communicators have a general understanding of the role keywords play in content and how they help to drive their campaigns into the view of the market. Personalization means much more than simply ensuring your content includes common terms that your competition also uses that align with your audience’s search habits, this will not produce the levels of audience engagement you’re trying to achieve.  Strive to demonstrate that you understand your audience –  “show me you know me”, to quote a notable sales effectiveness coach, which requires providing increasing levels of personal and relevant content to the individuals in your prospect audience.

Personalization using AI dynamically responds through the observation and then analysis of the behavior of readers.  It can do this by identifying firstly what content they engage with (likes, shares, add this to my profile, online viewing time, etc.) and secondly, uses this information to then train machine learning algorithms (unsupervised learning) on the context and meaning of your audience’s interests.  These algorithms are at the core of the recommendation engines used by all the social media giants, and now can be available to all SMB’s through the availability of new AI content platforms like

Be Timely and Consistent in Your Messaging

Now that you’ve implemented AI to build an arsenal of content, with a mix of your own and third-party sources and types (text, video, and audio), it’s critical to be both timely and consistent in the delivery of your content to your audience.  In the same way, we can use AI to personalize content, these recommendation engines will quickly and efficiently identify the new content pieces and types that are most relevant to your readers.  AI is constantly scanning the flow of new updates and changes to your content repository. It will provide the latest updates immediately as they happen by pushing to your readers the information they want through any engagement point they choose – mobile, email, text, online, or even integration to other platforms.

Over time, the machine learning and recommendation engines can continually learn from your readers’ interactions to ensure you are consistently engaging with them on the most relevant interests and needs.  As interests potentially shift, and all markets are changing at an accelerated rate, AI enables the SMB to keep pace with these changes and meet the audience demand dynamically as it happens.  AI enables you to be both timely and in pace with the constantly changing interests of the target audience.

Today, it’s imperative that niche publishers and small businesses understand how AI can transform their digital efforts.  People and technology will continue to change – and understanding how the changes in AI can impact your capabilities is critical to keeping pace with the market and not just getting ahead.

Contexture AI is a Northern Virginia-based AI technology solutions company providing multi-media monitoring, curation and analytics solutions for broad range content creative and marketing organizations including niche publishers, public relations teams, policy and legal affairs firms and marketing agencies.

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