What Parts of Content Creation Can Be Automated?

what parts of content creation can be automated? ask InLoop

How to Decide Between Artificial Intelligence and A Human Writer When Creating Content

Automated content seems to be the wave of the future when it comes to digital marketing. The automated content creation sector was estimated to be worth 3.65 billion dollars in 2014. That number is expected to grow to 5.5 billion dollars in 2019, showing that automated content marketing is more than a fad. 

Every day we see technology makes leaps and bounds when it comes to the automated content creation process. However, we can’t rely on automation tools for all of our content creation. AI systems can handle increasingly difficult tasks, but they still fall short of, for lack of a better word, humanity. 

There are all sorts of factors that influence whether your content creation should be automated or human-made. Factors differ whether it’s email marketing, writing a blog post, social media content, or anything in between. So, let’s talk about the best times to employ the human touch, and the best times to leave it to the machines.

How AI Systems Make Great Content

The trick to knowing whether to trust your automated systems to produce content depends on the type of content you want to produce. Here’s the most important rule of thumb to remember. Automated content’s best use is to free up your human employees’ time for areas where it’s really needed. 3

AI systems make great automated content

The Details are in the Data Collection

If you read our blog last week, you learned about some of the amazing benefits of automating your digital marketing strategy. For example, using automated software to create landing pages on your association’s website that ask for visitor’s email address and other identifying information. 

Automated software can take this content and create personalized marketing campaigns tailor-made to your association members and email subscribers. Technology has a strict advantage in this arena. It can create content that reflects particular visitors so much more quickly than human efforts ever could. 

Content Automation Helps in Making Good Predictions

Speaking of looking at all that data, automation helps it’s human counterparts another way in regards to data. Collecting all of that data and putting it into one convenient and easy to read place helps your human employees make better predictions going forward. 

Perhaps you’re looking at marketing data, traffic on your association’s website, or anything else. Automated technology will aggregate your data quickly and efficiently. By taking this collection time away from your human employees, it frees up time and energy that can be more efficiently put to use. One of those uses is definitely examining this data that you’ve collected. Then put it in to consideration for your content creation, marketing, and other efforts moving forward.

Optimizing Your Content 

The technology to automatically generate blog content is out there, and it is fairly sophisticated. Sure, it’s sophisticated enough to generate and publish content for your association’s blog. But it often lacks the depth and insight of human writing. However, one thing automated technology can do for your blog posting is to make it more informed.

Programs like Buzzsumo look at blog topics and keywords that receive the most attention on search engines. This technology gives your human writers a better idea of the kind of content and specific words that match up with what people want to see. While you might not want to leave the writing itself up to automation, it can greatly improve your human employee’s ability to write the type of content that is going to get noticed by your target audience.

The Types of High-Quality Content Produced by Humans

So, we can rely on automated technology to collect and organize data. We can also rely on it to use that data to inform our human employees on how to optimize their own content creation. But what specific forms of content are your human employees best at?

create creative content ideas with automation tools

Creative Content Ideas

The best job to give to your human content creators is creativity. As we stated earlier, automated blog posts tend to lack the human touch that makes a real connection with your audience and what they want. Your human content creators have something your digital content creators never will, empathy.

Computers and automated technology, impressive as they are, lack the true ability to write like a human. They lack the ability to empathize with human emotion, and therefore lack the ability to touch human readers on an emotional level. If you want your blog posts to have a real impact on humans, it’s best to use a human writer. 

Creating Structured Data

In addition to creativity, humans have a better ability to understand what humans want, and how to relate to them. Think of structured data. If you want to increase your association’s SEO, structured data is a great way to do it. Structured data quickly and efficiently shows search engine users with relevant information in your article.

However, we can’t rely on automated technology to know exactly what that relevant information is going to be. Your human employees understand the emotions and motivations of your members and prospective members. The human touch is key in tapping into the main drivers of your audience.

Natural language generation technology is great for automating simple content based solely on data. However, it has a much more difficult time basing its content on soul and feeling. If you plan on sharing content that you’d like to really connect with your audience, human writing will always be the way to do it.

the integration of humanity and technology

The Integration of Humanity and Technology

The ability to automate some of the strenuous work we undertake as the heads of associations is enticing. We work extremely hard, our employees work extremely hard. Being able to take away some of that burden feels like a gift from above, and the temptation might be to push that envelope as far as it will go. 

However, we haven’t reached the point of being able to automate every facet of our content creation. As far as technology has come for us, it still lacks the ability to truly tap into what it means to be a human, what motivates our belief systems and our actions. As technology becomes further integrated into our lives and our businesses and associations, it’s crucial to keep in mind the power of the human touch.

The Role of Automated Chatbots and Smart Content

the role of automated chatbots and smart content

Automation: Your Tool for Real-Time Member Communication

Creating a pathway for members to communicate is key when maintaining a successful association. The problem is, associations don’t necessarily have the time it takes to communicate 24/7 with members.

Generally speaking, associations have a few main goals. They want to retain members, bring in new members, and keep current members happy with their membership. Between writing and responding to emails, answering messages and comments on social media, and picking up the phones, this is very time-consuming.

So what tools can associations use to reduce the time spent on communication while still delighting members? The answer is automation. In the end, the purpose of membership is to grow professionally. Machine learning makes automating content simple, efficient, and effective for everyone involved.

automated website content

Here are a few ways that associations can provide the opportunities that members need to maintain their membership:

  • Host networking events
  • Invite members to industry events
  • Create discussion forums via social media
  • Engage with members with social media and email
  • Publish new and interesting industry insights
  • Create member-exclusive content

By and large, the key to all of this is constant, real-time communication with members. Understand their needs, what they like to see, and the events they would like to go to.

When associations take advantage of what explicitly programmed automated website content offers, time is better spent. Subsequently, member experiences and satisfaction skyrockets.

use automated chatbots and member communication

Automated Chatbots and Member Communication

Have you ever visited a website page and saw a little speech bubble in the bottom right corner pop up? That is likely a customer service chatbot. Using AI (artificial intelligence) technology, these chatbots answer simple customer support questions for the web visitor.

This is a valuable tool for answering questions such as:

  • Where can I find the member portal?
  • When is my membership renewal date?
  • When is the next association event?
  • How can I sign up for membership?
  • Where can I find (X) resources?

Associations can set up chatbots to answer simple questions. After that, it will direct the web visitor to contact the association for more complex inquiries. This saves associations a ton of time answering the same simple questions and most importantly, responds to the user faster.  

the coding behind AI software for associations

Likewise, chatbots can also be designed for social media. In today’s world, people expect to receive a response on the same day via messaging apps and platforms like Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Chatbots can make this possible for associations to achieve! In short, here’s how you can go about setting up a chatbot.

Steps to Setting Up a Chatbot

  1. Create an internal team for the project
  2. List association FAQ’s
  3. Answer these questions
  4. Create a list of links to direct people to for each answer
  5. Find chatbot software
  6. Hire a chatbot specialist if needed
  7. Build out the Q&A’s
  8. Test it out internally (several times)
  9. Deploy for “beta testing”

After this, be sure to review answers from the chatbot to make sure it’s flowing well. Meanwhile, be sure to review the questions people are asking. After that, it will help inform future communications and marketing efforts.

create smart content to target your audience

Create Smart Content to Target your Audience

One of the main services associations provide to members is industry content. In the past, associations had the majority of authority when it came to industry insights. Today, members can find similar information on the internet at no cost to them.

Take a national association for doctors, for example. This association would have all of the exclusive content available on industry news. It would be difficult to find the same level of content anywhere else. Now, hospitals, private practices, and medical professionals have the same ability to publish high value and free, high-quality content.

Smart content has been an upcoming trend in content marketing automation over the past few years. Consequently, many businesses and organizations use smart content strategies to curate content, newsfeeds, emails, blog posts, and more.

A content management system allows associations to curate relevant content tailored to specific members. It gives members the personalization they’re looking for. And with less time spent on behalf of the association. Above all, it’ critical now more than ever for associations to use smart content to their advantage!

what is smart content?

Smart Content: Breaking it Down

You may still be wondering, “what exactly is smart content”? This specific type of AI is known as Natural Language Processing (NLP). It has developed significantly over the years. And, it’s becoming more and more in tune with what members are looking for. Using specific algorithms, NLP develops smart content with human-like accuracy. But, does it actually work?

To clarify, the results published by Associations Now are extraordinary:

“When associations use AI to personalize content, we see open rates of 40 percent or more. Furthermore, when you are looking at segments of a community that have interacted with AI-curated content, we see open rates as high as 60 percent and click-through rates as high as 25 percent.”

In other words, smart content is the future for associations. Associations can now spend less time curating content for members and more time building authentic connections with them. As a result, data shows that members enjoy smart content even more than the content that takes more time to deliver.

As many associations know, creating content is a long process. With little resources to keep up with the demand for daily content, associations may wonder how everyone else is doing it. So, either they have an insane amount of staff specifically there to create content… or they’re using AMS.

AMS for automated marketing

Association Management Software for Automated Marketing

Using an Association Management Software (AMS), associations can use the power of automation to elevate marketing efforts seamlessly. Here they can connect with members, provide valuable content, and encourage new members to join.

AMS software allows associations to take advantage of AI technology without having to hire several specialists to do the work. Moreover, it makes these concepts easy to apply with the state of the art analytics used to inform future marketing decisions.

Smart content and chatbots are only a couple of ways associations can use automation to power membership, certainly. Simply put, it’s a matter of efficiency.

The more automated tools associations use will allow for more growth and communication as an association. Businesses, organizations, and nonprofits all over the world are already implementing AI technology to streamline these processes.

In conclusion, it seems that there’s only one question left to ask. What can your association do with the power of automation?

what can your association do with the power of automation?

Build Your Association’s Retention Strategies Using Predictive Analytics

use predictive analytics to build on retention strategies

Understanding Data Trends Keep Member Retention Rates on the Rise

Every year, association members choose whether to continue their annual membership or cancel. During this time, associations are revising their retention strategies to encourage more renewals.

There are a few member factors that go into the renewal decision-making process. First and foremost, are they happy to be a member?

Aside from having a generally positive experience with the association, members may also consider:

  • How often they engage with the association
  • How often they use association resources
  • How many association events they were able to make
  • How many new contacts they’ve made through networking events
  • How often they felt a part of an association community

These factors are also a great way to anticipate who will renew and who may be at risk. A lot of associations struggle to categorize members by risk to see who needs a little extra attention.

a good retention strategy involves collecting data on current and past association member data

Understanding these trends is an essential part of strong retention strategies! Introduce predictive analytics into your current retention strategies and see how data can help you retain membership.

What is “Predictive Analytics”?

It’s clear how predictive analytics can help associations develop retention strategies. However, defining predictive analytics may not be as clear. Essentially, it is the process of using and combining historical data and statistical algorithms to give you an accurate depiction of the future. The idea of predictive analytics has been around for quite some time but has only recently started to grow more rapidly.

The reason why it’s become a popular strategy for businesses is that it’s more accessible now than ever before. In the past, this type of data analysis was used mostly by mathematicians and statisticians. Now, anyone can collect this data and interpret it. As data continues to grow over generations and provide more insightful information, it will become more and more valuable to associations.

Predictive Analytics for Association Retention Strategies

businesses and associations use predictive analytics to retain memberships

There are many reasons why businesses and organizations use predictive analytics. For the most part, it’s used to avoid company fraud, increase high-value leads, optimize marketing efforts, reduce overall risk, and retain current client bases.

For example, everyday use of predictive data that you may be familiar with is your credit score. Credit scores are calculated using this same data interpretation! For associations, predictive analytics can collect data regarding member interactions to help associations target members who are at risk.

A few variables that can be calculated include:

  • Email Opens and Activity (do they scan it or actually read emails?)
  • Social Media Engagement (how often do they comment or like posts?)
  • Content Reads (do they read blog content or online resources?)
  • Attendance at Tradeshows and Networking Events
  • Web Footprint (how often do they visit and search through the association website?)
  • Event Participation (do they often RSVP for association related events?)
identify member engagement strategies that work for your association

Anything else that can identify member engagement can be used as a variable. Collect this data on past and current members and create a data file that links to these variables.

The general process for predictive analytics is this:

  1. Add a statistical modeling technique that provides an equation related to the variables
  2. Grade members based on the equation and rank by grade
  3. Segment members into 10 groups from least to most at risk
  4. Create a profile for each group explaining their rank
  5. Form a personalized retention strategy for each group

How to Start Predictive Analytics-Based Retention Strategies

In a perfect world, you could read this blog post and say, “oh, perfect! I’ll get right on that!” and have all this data collected in minutes. Unfortunately, this is not the way of the world. If the idea of spending months collecting data and adding it to a spreadsheet, followed by consistent hours used on maintenance doesn’t appeal to you, well, don’t worry… there are other options.

Using proprietary machine learning algorithms, you can interpret this data in no time. 24/7 data analysis collects all of the variables mentioned above automatically. It analyzes and delivers predictions for what members want to see and be a part of. Using a resource like predictive analytics can help associations truly understand their members in a way that they may not articulate themselves.

get the most from predictive analytics to raise retention rates

Get the Most from Predictive Analytics

Overall, using predictive analytics is a great way to understand your members and segment them to provide personalized services.

In this way, predictive analytics can be used for more than retention strategies. It can also be used to connect with strong leads, delight current members, and give valuable association insights. Through this data, associations can get to know thousands of its members in a matter of minutes.

How AI is Playing a Larger Role in Providing Personalized Content to Association Members

How AI is Playing a Larger Role in Providing Personalized Content to Association Members

Personalized Content Through AI Changes The Way Associations Deliver Benefit to Their Members

Personalized content through AI is changing the way associations interact with their members

An association’s members are its lifeblood. We all know this to be true. That being said, making sure that your association’s interactions with these members are positive ones is extremely important.

Members don’t want to feel as though they’re part of a digital marketing scheme working for the association’s bottom line. Members want to feel like they’re part of an association that cares about their business, career, and the things they want out of life.

So how can your association accomplish this in an era of split-second interactions and distractions coming from every direction?

AI Can Help Associations Personalize Their Content

This is where associations can benefit from a little bit of help from AI to ensure their members receive personalized content that resonates with them – even if the association’s communication team is stretched thin.

And personalized content with the help of AI is not just a fad. According to Forbes, more than half of all marketers plan to begin using AI software to help tailor-make their services. But this is not just for marketers attempting to make a profit. It is about creating an individual connection to each of your association’s members.

AI software for personalizing content is so much more than random streams of code

So, wait, how does AI work, exactly?

In layman’s terms, AI (artificial intelligence) software collects massive amounts of data and signals and sifts through all of it. While mining through data, AI searches for connections and correlations, challenges and opportunities, and identifies trends. People provide signals; they log in or they don’t. AI uses those signals and looks for patterns in their interactions. Through the power of these signals, AI is able to find common threads where people are most engaged on an individual basis.

your members, like these pictured, are looking for value from their professional trade association so consider help from AI to personalize content and don't only rely on events

AI, Associations, and Engagement

Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to play a more significant role in how associations provide content that is not only relevant to its members but content that is personalized for them. We are already familiar with the way our human team members collect and interpret information to help give individualized subject matter to our members.

But frankly, that’s old news.

In this day and age, members’ expectations are different from even a decade ago. Associations have to be willing to change how they market themselves and the industry as a whole. It’s critical that associations adapt to this era of technology, and embrace it even.

AI Assists With Personalized Content and Engagement

AI is assisting with member engagement because as more and more data is collected, the more personalized the content becomes. After all, membership renewals and even referrals sent to peers from current members (email forwarding, anyone?) increase based on how engaged they are with the content hitting their inbox. If there’s churn it’s because member engagement has been lost at the most important touchpoints – email or social media.

If your association’s members aren’t actively engaged, how do you keep them? Well, you can’t. The value proposition isn’t there. But, thanks to AI, you can help identify where the barriers are, and how to fix the problem.

Let us explain.

What Can AI Do For Your Association?

If it seems like your association cannot avoid software, it's true. Consider what AI and other software can do to help your non-dues revenue.

The first step to understanding what artificial intelligence can do to deliver personalized content to your members is to identify what our human employees can’t do. AI can help to identify where members are passively engaged and those who are passively disengaged. AI creates an engagement tool for identifying potential challenges and risks, opportunities and trends.

Personalization software can easily scan the open sea of the internet, including social media, communication services, and local news outlets for mentions of your association by individual members or the community. This can help you create content for a personalized experience that will let your members know that they are important.

But My Members Like My Content, Don’t They?

Here’s the thing. Right now, 30-40% of association members are not engaged because the content they are being sent is not targeted specifically to their interests. It’s general, broad sweeping content, and not personalized content.

AI, when provided with your members’ interests, can deliver personalized content to your members. This is not only going to leave their queries satisfied but leave our members knowing that their individual interests matters.

What Are The Benefits to Using Content Personalization Software in Your Association?

Personalized content can help your members see the value of your association and it can be like a one on one dialogue as these people are having.

AI’s Prediction Methods Help to Find Solutions that Work for Your Members

In an article posted on SingleGrain.com discussing how AI is utilized by marketing companies, it states that AI software is helping to, “…predict the behavior of customers”. Prediction is something we should be very interested in when it comes to our members.

Predicting and anticipating what members want and need is going to keep your association relevant. Knowing what members want before they do, and providing them with it when they do know, is going to keep them engaged and interested in your association.

AI can sift through massive amounts of data and find correlations, connections, opportunities, and risks. When prospects or existing members interact with your content, AI looks at those interactions and finds the opportunities and the challenges. This method of “prediction” gives associations a chance to see what works and what doesn’t, and perhaps opportunities for new ways to create additional engagement.

Engagement is at the heart of any association, like these women relating and laughing together. AI can help facilitate engagement when it's not in a social setting.

Delivering the Types of Content that Matter to your Members

When you know what matters to your members, you’re in a better position to cater to them.

We currently live in a world where all types of information and services are just a click away, so you want to deliver personalized content that is specifically useful or important to your members. Personalized experiences are at the heart of connecting with your consumers, members, and prospects.

AI software gains more insight into these specific needs at a rate which would be impossible for humans to do on their own. By scouring the exponentially growing amount of data effectively, AI is able to cut the wheat from the chaff more efficiently. And by cutting away the information that is not relevant to your members, your interactions will be more effective in keeping them engaged.

What types of personalized content and information would be important to members of an art + technology association? Perhaps they would attend a presentation like the one here where an artist-in-residence is lecturing at a gallery nearby?

Driving Traffic With Personalization Strategies

AI’s ability to determine the values of our individual members gives us the means to pinpoint a much smaller target audience than ever before for our content and services. Being part of an association should make our members feel like they belong to something that appeals to their specific beliefs and needs.

If our content is a blanket statement to our audience of thousands, hundreds, or even just dozens of members, we are going to inevitably be leaving some people out of the equation. Utilizing the ability to look into the kind of minutia that AI observes allows us to direct traffic and information with a precision that was not previously possible.

And it’s just that: we should view AI as a utility. We have entered the stage where AI and machine-learning is the underlying plumbing for everything. Not just content, but everything you could possibly consider that relies on a massive amount of data to gain insight.

Personalized Content to Keep Up With a Fast Paced World

You don’t have time to fritter away on guesswork, and neither do your members. If you want to keep your members association-loyal, you need to keep them engaged with the services and information that only you can provide them with.

When it comes to revenue, associations live off of member dues and non-dues revenue opportunities. If members are highly engaged, they are most likely to attend your association’s annual conference. So, obviously, you want the maximum attendance at these events because it brings in huge dollars. Your annual conference brings members and industry leaders together; AI will help you to achieve this goal.

Associations bring people together, like these two at a business meeting, but what happens when they leave? AI is one solution to leverage personalized content to keep your members coming back for more, thus finding greater value in your association.

Personalize Now or Lose Relevance Tomorrow

Artificial intelligence is not about “the what”; it’s about when and where. Utilizing AI is no longer a choice for associations. It used to be that having personalized content or experiences was a kind of luxury if you will.

In today’s world, if you are not delivering personalized content, you’re on the road to oblivion. Members will disengage, overwhelmed with the noise of the internet and their inboxes, and your association will, unfortunately, suffer the consequences. It’s now or never: if you don’t adopt this technology now, you will head the way of the dinosaurs, or perhaps a better comparison would be the way of the printed newspaper.

Giving your members personalized information is a line of direct communication from the largest figurehead to the smallest demographic, the individual member. Your members don’t have time to sift through the entirety of what we can provide them with to find what they specifically want. You have a very small time frame where you can catch their attention (and, more broadly, their continued membership).

The amount of information available to your association will only continue to grow. Adopting AI services into your processes is going to be the best way to keep up with a world that continues to move, growing faster than we can all account for.

Associations Struggling with Member Engagement

for associations struggling with member engagement it's important to create practical strategies

Defining Practical Strategies for Increasing Member Engagement and Retention

When we speak with association leaders and subject matter experts about the most important challenges and the pain points they face, they will most often put member engagement at or near the top of the list.

Associations know how important engagement is in keeping organizations healthy and advancing their mission, yet many are struggling to use their digital channels effectively.

A recent association benchmarking survey quantified the challenge of engagement. This study showed that 55% of associations felt that engaging members is  a challenge.

Traditionally, member engagement meant participation in annual conferences, training programs, or purchasing publications. With the advent of email, social media, and scores of apps, digital outreach became a quick, easy, and less expensive way of connecting with members. These digital options also brought forth a substantial number of new competitors vying for members’ attention.

Oren Ahronson, CEO of InLoop points out that,

“With the huge volume of data and spam that we receive every day, a simple approach of posting content to a website, email, and on social media no longer achieves the goal of engaging members. This is especially true in trying to get members to engage with digital content. These responses elevate engagement levels which are crucial to increasing association member recruitment and retention.”

associations have to make practical plans in order to increase member engagement

The rules of the game have changed. Associations need a more strategic approach with specific objectives and metrics. We provide practical tips for increasing member engagement.

Defining Engagement

In a world where electronic communications transfer information in nanoseconds, bombarding your members with “information overload” engagement is not just the existence of a relationship between an association and its members. You also need members acting on those communications and renewing their memberships.

Engagement = Member Recruitment + Action + Retention

Since each association has different goals, the exact definition of engagement will vary across associations. But the primary objective remains the same… increase engagement by increasing member participation, acquisition, and retention.

However, Wendy Scott, a Partner at ReedScott warns that,

Associations often focus primarily on recruitment while tolerating a decrease in retention until it’s too late. Delivering valuable, customized content is one of the best ways to retain members and remind them of the value you provide to meet their current and, hopefully, unmet needs over time. Retention is crucial because it can cost up to six times more to recruit a new member than the cost to retain an existing one.

Indications of Member Engagement Issues

member engagement and retention goes hand in hand

How do you know if you have an engagement issue with your membership? According to ReedScott, there are several reliable indicators:

Warning Signs that You May Have a Retention Problem

  • your association has a retention rate that is less than 75%
  • attendance at conferences and meetings is decreasing
  • the number of members volunteering is decreasing
  • you are seeing a decrease in benefits utilization
  • your sales from multiple revenue streams are decreasing

Time and time again, we see that the members who are highly engaged are the ones always coming back. So how do we measure engagement? And why is it important to measure it?

Measuring Engagement

by measuring engagement, associations can focus more on member retention and member engagement

It is important to measure engagement for the simple reason that “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Without data, you have no information upon which to make sound decisions about which direction to head with your content and communication strategies.

But, how can your association figure out how to measure engagement?

At a high level, measuring engagement is about aligning metrics to your strategic objectives. At a more detailed level, these metrics will be specific to each marketing channel. AI is playing a larger role in how we measure engagement by providing personalized content to association members.

Strategies in keeping members engaged rely solely on the content we send to members; content must be useful and unique to the personal needs of all members. We only have a short window to catch the attention of our members, so we have to be sure we take full advantage of all the resources available to us in this increasingly technologically-run world.