How to Use AI in Your Content Strategy (+Practical Tips)

Sidra Condron
April 19, 2024
8 min read
Contents

If you're a content marketer, you're probably feeling a mix of uncertainty and FOMO around the rise of generative AI.

It's natural to feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to navigate this new category. But if you want to stay competitive and not fall behind as AI becomes more prevalent in marketing, it's crucial to develop a framework for strategically leveraging AI in your content strategy.

You've likely seen some cringe-worthy examples of "lazy AI" out there—blog posts or emails that were clearly generated by ChatGPT with minimal human oversight or editing.

The key is to use AI to enhance and streamline your content execution, not to replace the strategic thinking and perspective that only humans can provide.

In this post, we'll break down the difference between content strategy and tactics, share specific use cases and tools for leveraging AI in your content workflow, and provide a step-by-step guide for auditing your process to identify opportunities for AI integration. By the end, you'll have a clear roadmap for staying ahead of the curve with AI.

What is a Content Strategy vs. Content Tactics?

Before we dive into how to use AI, it's important to distinguish between your content strategy and your content tactics:

  • Your content strategy lays out the mission, vision, and overarching plan for your content. This includes defining your content lanes, publishing cadence, content types, target audience, distribution channels, and success metrics.
  • Your content tactics are the actual execution of that strategy. This encompasses creating, optimizing, repurposing, and distributing your content assets.

AI should be leveraged to streamline and enhance your content tactics—not to replace the human touch required for high-level content strategy.

As advanced as language models have become, they still can't replicate the lived experiences, unique perspective, and subject matter expertise that you bring to the table.

How AI Can Enhance Content Strategy Execution

Now let's look at some specific ways AI can make you a more efficient and effective content marketer:

Research and Insight Gathering

AI tools like Perplexity make it fast and easy to research topics, find relevant statistics, and gather data and insights to inform your content. Rather than spending hours combing through Google results, you can quickly surface the information you need.

Content Brief and Outline Creation

If you work with an internal content team or external freelancers, you know how time-consuming it can be to create detailed content briefs and outlines.

With AI, you can generate those briefs and outlines based on your existing process, ensuring consistency no matter who is writing.

Tools like Copy.ai allow you to set up custom workflows, so you can plug in your preferred brief template and have the AI generate an outline that aligns with your strategy.

👉 Tip: Use this Workflow template to generate your content briefs

Drafting and Editing Content

One of the most powerful applications of AI is using it to generate first drafts of content that are infused with your unique perspective and voice.

Rather than having the AI pull from its existing knowledge base, you can provide your own "training data" in the form of transcripts or recordings.

For example, you could use Otter.ai to record yourself riffing on a topic, then feed that transcript into a tool like Copy.ai to generate a draft.

This allows you to efficiently transfer your subject matter expertise into the AI's outputs.

You can also leverage AI to streamline your editing process.

👉 Tip: Use and edit this Workflow to build your own AI content editor

Tools can be trained on your company's style guide and programmed to check for grammar, tone consistency, SEO best practices, and more.

Content Refreshing and Optimization

Many content teams struggle to find the bandwidth to go back and update older content assets.

But often, refreshing content can lead to major SEO gains with less effort compared to creating net new content.

AI tools like RivalFlow AI can analyze your content library, identify gaps and opportunities, and provide recommendations for how to improve each asset. This allows you to strategically refresh content at scale without getting bogged down in manual analysis.

👉 Start optimizing your existing content for free

Interactive Tools and Asset Creation

Have you ever had an idea for an interactive tool like a caption generator or quiz, but lacked the design and development resources to bring it to life?

With AI, marketers can quickly spin up these engaging micro-experiences without needing to code.

For example, the team at Copy.ai used their own product to rebuild all of their free tools, like their Instagram caption generator and sales email templates.

This allows them to provide more value to their audience while showcasing their AI's capabilities.

Internal Linking and Content Distribution

Finally, AI can help supercharge your content distribution and SEO efforts. You can use it to identify internal linking opportunities across your site, ensuring that you're strategically connecting your content assets.

You can also leverage AI to repurpose long-form content into multiple formats like social posts, email newsletters, and video scripts. This allows you to maximize the mileage and ROI you get from each piece of content.

How to integrate AI into your content workflow

If you're bought into the potential of AI but aren't sure where to start, here's a simple process you can follow:

  1. Map out your current content workflow from start to finish. Break down each stage from strategy to planning to execution.
  2. Identify which tasks in each stage are the most time-consuming or repetitive. Which ones require a lot of manual effort from your team?
  3. Evaluate which of those repetitive tasks truly require a human touch vs. which ones could be fully or partially automated with AI. Remember, the goal is to use AI to enhance your work, not to replace human creativity and strategic thinking entirely.
  4. Once you've identified some opportunities, research AI tools that can help with each use case. We've included some recommendations below.
  5. Develop a plan for integrating those tools into your workflow. Consider what training and change management may be required to get your team bought in and using the tools effectively.

Recommended AI tools for content marketers

RivalFlow AI

RivalFlow AI offers an AI-driven platform aimed at improving your existing content to outperform competitors in search engine rankings. The platform identifies gaps and recommends improvements by analyzing questions competitors answer more thoroughly, ensuring a website's content is more comprehensive and relevant.

Features

  • AI-Driven Content Improvement: RivalFlow AI utilizes AI to analyze your content and compare it with competitors' pages, identifying gaps and recommending specific improvements to help your page rank higher, such as answering questions more thoroughly.
  • No Technical Requirements: The platform is designed to be incredibly user-friendly, requiring no setup, developers, HTML, JavaScript, API keys, or even access to Google Analytics or Search Console. This accessibility ensures marketers can focus on content rather than technical integration.
  • Seamless Integration with Current Workflow: RivalFlow AI is built to fit into your existing content creation and management process. Whether you're using AI writing tools or not, it looks at what your page ranks for, identifies gaps, and recommends improvements without disrupting how you currently work.

Copy.ai

Copy.ai positions itself as a groundbreaking AI-native platform, designed to fundamentally change business operations through AI technology. This platform differentiates itself by offering high-quality data and outputs that can be easily customized to match specific business needs.

It stands out not just as an AI tool, but as a secure, comprehensive platform for AI-driven marketing and sales operations, offering a zero-retention data policy to protect user inputs and provide flexibility across different models.

Features

  • High-Quality Data Outputs: Copy.ai distinguishes itself with its impressive AI technology that generates high-quality data and content which can be tailored to meet specific business needs.
  • Seamless Integrations: The platform has a seamless integration capacity with over 2,000 different types of data sources, ensuring that it can easily adapt to and enhance existing business systems.
  • Secure Data Usage: Copy.ai puts a priority on data security, offering a zero-retention data policy so that user inputs are not stored, thus maintaining user privacy and confidentiality.
  • AI-Driven Content Creation: Copy.ai enables efficient and effective content generation, ranging from ads and emails to product descriptions and more. Its AI-powered tools can help save time and resources while boosting the quality of outputs.

Pros

  • Powerful AI Workflow automation across their AI Sales & Marketing OS.
  • Generates unique content through a deep machine learning model.
  • Highly regarded AI writing software with a range of features and pricing options.
  • Quick and easy to use with a minimal learning curve.
  • Offers a free plan that includes 90+ writing tools without requiring card details.

Cons

  • Workflows can sometimes take too long.
  • Workflows can be intimidating to new users.
  • Does not generate high-quality content in every instance.

Pricing

  • Offers a free plan with 1 seat, 2,000 chat words, and 200 bonus credits.
  • Paid plans start at $49/month for 5 seats, unlimited chat words, and 500 workflow credits.
  • Team plan is $249/month for 20 seats, unlimited chat words, and 3,000 workflow credits.
  • Enterprise plans available with unlimited seats, SSO, SOC 2 compliance, and dedicated account management.
  • Uses a credit-based system for workflow automation—more complex workflows cost more credits to run.

Perplexity

Perplexity is an AI-powered search engine that aims to unlock the power of knowledge through information discovery and sharing. It utilizes advanced natural language processing models like GPT-4 and Claude 3 to provide accurate and nuanced responses to complex queries.

Perplexity offers a free version with web results as well as a Pro version with upgraded AI, unlimited file uploads, and API access. The chatbot-style interface allows users to search naturally using conversational language. Perplexity excels at aggregating diverse, high-quality information from the web into comprehensive, source-based responses suitable for research and learning.

Features

  • AI-Powered Search Engine: Perplexity functions like a chatbot powered by advanced AI technology, pulling in information from recent articles and providing short summary answers to questions rather than just listing websites.
  • Daily Web Indexing: The platform has robust indexing capability, updating its information on a daily basis from the internet, enabling users to ask about recent news, game scores, and other typical search queries.
  • Custom AI Chatbot Facility: Perplexity uses various large language models (LLMs) to understand questions and summarize relevant answers. It also allows users to ask follow-up queries, and remembers the context of each conversation.
  • Pro Search Feature: In addition to quick search options, Perplexity's Pro Search works to understand the specifics of a query and tailor responses, often asking users follow-up questions to fine-tune results.

Pros

  • Conversational AI: Perplexity offers a conversational interface, allowing users to interact with the search engine in a more natural and intuitive way, asking questions and receiving summarized answers.
  • Daily Content Updates: The AI search engine indexes the web daily, ensuring that users have access to the latest information and can ask about time-sensitive topics like news events and sports scores.
  • Contextual Memory: Unlike traditional search engines that treat each query independently, Perplexity remembers the context of the conversation, making follow-up questions more accurate and relevant.
  • Summarization Capability: Instead of just presenting links, it provides direct answers and summarized information, saving users the time and effort of sifting through websites to find what they're looking for.

Cons

  • AI Hallucinations: The AI module behind Perplexity known as Large Language Models (LLM) might add extra details that aren't strictly true and make assumptions that could lead to inaccuracies or misinterpretations.
  • Limited Accuracy in Matching Information: Despite pulling in recent information effectively and indicating its references, its capability to deliver accurate information is not always optimal. There might be a need to fact-check or verify the given information.
  • Assumptions Based on User Input: Perplexity sometimes makes assumptions that might be plausible but are not entirely true. For example, when asked to recommend pubs in Dublin for live music, it suggested a place called 'Pipers Corner' specializing in piping which was not accurate. 'Pipers Corner' was just owned by a piper.
  • Subscription Cost for Pro Features: Perplexity Pro, which offers more powerful AI models and allows hundreds of Pro Searches per day, comes at a monthly cost of $20. Not everyone might see the value in paying for such a service.

Pricing

  • Monthly Subscription: $20, billed per month.
  • Yearly Subscription: $200, billed per year, which includes a $40 savings compared to the monthly rate.

Descript

Descript is a cutting-edge multimedia editing platform that's revolutionizing content creation through its unique, text-based editing system. Aimed at podcasters, video creators, and content producers at large, Descript simplifies the editing process by allowing users to cut, paste, and delete content as easily as editing a document.

Additionally, it offers advanced features such as AI voice cloning, studio-quality sound enhancement, and automatic background removal, setting a new standard in multimedia production efficiency and accessibility.

Features

  • Text-Based Video Editing: Descript offers an innovative and intuitive way of editing videos where users can edit their video content just as they would edit a text document. This simplifies video editing, making it accessible for various skill levels.
  • AI Voice Cloning: With Descript, users can generate ultra-realistic AI voice clones and transform text into speech. This feature is particularly useful for creating various multimedia content like podcasts or video presentations.
  • Studio Sound: Descript allows users to achieve studio-quality sound with a single click. The platform has capabilities to remove background noise and polish audio, enhancing the overall quality of video and audio content.
  • Video Background Removal: Descript provides a tool to remove the video background and place the subject anywhere with just one click, making it highly user-friendly and efficient for creating high-quality video content

Pros

  • Ease of Use: Descript offers one of the most intuitive editing interfaces on the market, making it user-friendly for content creators of all skill levels.
  • Efficiency: The tool is designed to streamline the user's workflow, offering time-saving efficiency.
  • Collaborative Features: Descript provides a collaborative platform that includes transcription, a screen recorder, publishing, and full multitrack editing, making it suitable for team projects.
  • Access to Core Features: Upgrading unlocks advanced features like transcription, collaboration, and multitrack editing.

Cons

  • Learning Curve: Despite its user-friendly interface, some users might experience a learning curve, especially when it comes to mastering the more advanced features.
  • Limited Advanced Video Editing Features: Professionals looking for in-depth video editing tools might find Descript's capabilities a bit limiting compared to specialized video editing software.
  • Subscription Cost: While Descript offers basic functionalities for free, accessing its more powerful features requires a subscription, which might not be ideal for users on a tight budget or those who only need the tool occasionally.
  • Dependence on Internet Connection: Since Descript is a cloud-based platform, a stable internet connection is crucial for smooth operation, which can be a hindrance for users with limited or unreliable internet access.

Pricing

Free Plan
  • Transcription hours: 1 hour per month
  • Remote recording hours: 1 hour per month
  • Video export resolution: 720p
  • AI features: Limited use
Creator Plan
  • Transcription hours: 10 hours per month/editor
  • Remote recording hours: 10 hours per month/editor
  • Video export resolution: 4K
  • AI features: Moderate use
Pro Plan
  • Transcription hours: 30 hours per month/editor
  • Remote recording hours: 30 hours per month/editor
  • Video export resolution: 4K
  • AI features: Unlimited use
Enterprise Plan (custom pricing)
  • Features: Everything in Pro, plus custom options like 45 transcription hours per month per editor, single sign-on integration, a dedicated account representative, and more.

Otter.ai

Otter.ai is an AI-powered assistant designed to enhance productivity by providing real-time transcription services, automated notes, and summaries packed with action items.

Features

  • Real-time transcription: Otter.ai is known for its ability to transcribe speech to text in real-time, which can be beneficial in live events, meetings, or interviews.
  • Integration capabilities: Otter.ai integrates well with a variety of platforms like Zoom to enable recording and transcription of meetings.
  • Speaker identification: Otter.ai has a unique feature where it can identify individual speakers and attribute the transcribed text accordingly.
  • Search and Share: It allows users to search through transcripts for certain words or phrases, and easily share the transcriptions.

Pros

  • Indexing Topics: It indexes topics within transcriptions, making it easy to navigate through the document and search for specific information.
  • Playback from Script: Users can listen to the recorded audio directly from the transcription. This makes cross-verification of the transcribed text easier and more efficient.
  • Quick, Clean Transcription: According to reviews, Otter.ai provides a quick and clean transcription process. This is helpful in various scenarios, like transcribing interviews, reports, lectures, etc.
  • Excellent Audio Transcriptions: Otter.ai is praised for providing excellent audio transcriptions, even capturing accurate spacing in the transcript where there are pauses in the recording.

Cons

  • Functionality and Usage Limitations: Sometimes, the transcription may dictate the incorrect word or misspell a word.
  • Technical and Integration Constraints: Usage might not be as efficient when not integrated into Zoom, indicating potential limitations outside of specific integration scenarios.

Clay

Clay is a powerful AI platform that helps teams scale outbound prospecting and automate personalized messaging. It consolidates contacts, provides useful CRM features, and integrates with over 50 data providers and 15+ other tools. Clay leverages AI to enrich data, research prospects, and draft compelling outreach campaigns. The software receives consistent updates and has earned praise for its robust capabilities despite some initial learning curve.

Features

  • Comprehensive Data Access and CRM Integration: Marketers can access data from over 50 providers, enriching their customer and prospect information comprehensively. Additionally, they can synchronize this data with their CRMs, ensuring all customer interactions are informed and personalized.
  • Targeted Lead Generation and Personalization: With the capability to build targeted lead lists using data from 10 built-in sources and the power to craft personalized messaging through an AI email builder, marketers can create highly targeted and personalized outreach campaigns that are more likely to convert.
  • Automated Workflow for Efficiency: Features such as automated inbound lead processing and outbound message prioritization streamline the lead nurturing process. This allows marketers to focus on strategy and creativity, rather than manual data management.
  • Advanced AI for Research and Content Creation: The integration of advanced AI tools like ChatGPT for limitless research and content creation empowers marketers to generate insightful content and conduct extensive market research efficiently, boosting campaign effectiveness.

Pros

  • Flexible Data Enrichment and Integration: Clay offers powerful data enrichment tools that can integrate with numerous other platforms. This allows users to maximize coverage and enhance outreach for their campaigns.
  • AI-Enhanced Email Generation: The platform has an AI-powered tool that can create personalized emails based on a wide range of data inputs.
  • Dynamic Data Providers: Users have access to data from 50 providers, offering a diverse range of information sources.
  • Email Finder: It offers a verified email finder, which enables users to find emails across all data providers, significantly aiding lead generation and outreach.
  • CRM Enrichment: It offers CRM enrichment which connects, enriches, and syncs your CRM with Clay in seconds.
  • Built-in Sources: With 10 built-in sources and 50 filters, Clay helps users in finding the perfect leads on the internet.

Cons

  • Complexity for New Users: Despite Clay’s no-code approach, the vast array of features and integrations might overwhelm new users or those not tech-savvy. There's a learning curve to efficiently utilize its full potential.
  • Dependence on Third-party Data Providers: Clay.com integrates data from over 50 providers. The quality and freshness of data might vary depending on these external sources, potentially affecting the reliability of the information gathered.

Pricing

  • Clay uses a credit-based pricing model rather than subscriptions. You pay for credits and use them to access data providers and AI tools.
  • There are 5 pricing tiers with paid plans starting at $149/month: Free, Starter, Explorer, Pro, and Enterprise. More credits are included at higher tiers.
  • Credits rollover month-to-month on monthly plans. On annual plans, all credits are granted upfront.
  • Bring your own API keys to use your existing data provider subscriptions for free. You won't be charged credits for those enrichments.
  • Higher tiers unlock more capabilities like unlimited users, CRM integrations, webhooks, and higher search limits.

Use AI strategically, not as a crutch

Content marketers who embrace AI strategically will have a major competitive advantage in the coming years. By leveraging AI to streamline and enhance your content tactics, you can create higher-quality content in less time - while still retaining the human touch that's essential for thought leadership.

The key is being intentional about where and how you leverage AI tools. Audit your existing workflow to identify the biggest opportunities, then start with one or two tools to experiment and build confidence. When in doubt, use AI to augment your capabilities as a marketer, not to replace your own expertise.

Ready to take your content to the next level with AI? Try RivalFlow AI free to see how you can optimize your content to outrank your competitors.