AI has lowered the bar for entry into content creation
The content marketing world has been in a swirl ever since the Chat GPT broke into the scene. Till then the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in content writing has been bubbling under the surface. Will AI finish the career journeys of content writers or will it add new dimensions to them?
From scaling up SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) companies purely on the back of good content to now ushering startups on content-marketing fueled path of growth. Madhav Bhandari, Head of Marketing at Early Stage Marketing, has certainly come a long way. In this freewheeling conversation, he ponders over the role of AI in the content marketing space and for content professionals, and what an ideal tech stack would look like. Let’s dive into the excerpts:
1. You are a marketing evangelist. Give us a glimpse into your career journey to date.
I started my career in SaaS marketing by accident. I wanted to start my own company, but I didn't know how. So I thought the best place for me to learn was to be at a startup and figure out how to build things from the ground up. At the time, SaaS was not as big as it is now, so I joined the first SaaS startup that I saw.
Over the years, I've worked with some great companies, and during that time, I started recording my experiences and writing about them. Writing helped me network with a lot of founders, and through that, I was able to secure roles and opportunities as head of marketing.
I did that for about 10 years, and then last year, I decided to start my consulting and become an advisor. Now, I help early-stage startups with their marketing. My site is also called earlystagemarketing.com.
2. What was the reason behind your decision to work with early-stage startups instead of larger enterprises or agencies?
Initially, when I started in the startup world, it was simply the easiest thing to break into. Joining an early-stage startup allowed me to learn a lot, and I quickly realized that being in the early stages meant that we were in the building phase. We were going from zero to one, and there was no red tape or processes in place. I had complete creative freedom, and every effort I made had a significant impact.
A good campaign could help increase revenue by 20%, which is not something that could happen while working with a big company.
As I continued to work with early-stage startups, I realized that this was a big opportunity for people who were struggling to go from zero to one and one to ten. That's when I decided to dedicate myself to helping early-stage startups with their marketing efforts, which eventually led to me starting my own consulting company.
3. Now that AI like GPT-3 and Chat GPT is a reality, what are your thoughts on the evolution of marketing?
Over the last decade, the number of content creators has increased exponentially, and competition has become fierce. One of the most significant changes I've seen is that consumers are relying more on reading reviews, blogs, and websites to make purchasing decisions, rather than speaking to salespeople or reading case studies, which can come across as biased.
Today, content is marketing, and AI has lowered the bar for entry into content creation. This will result in an influx of content and more people entering the market. To succeed in this competitive market, it's essential to focus on concise content that can convey a book's worth of information in a one-minute snippet.
People's attention spans are decreasing, and there is just so much content out there. I believe we are currently witnessing one of the most significant content evolutions, and to navigate it successfully, one has to be smart about it.
4. Can you share your thoughts on how AI will impact the future of content creation?
As a marketer who has been thinking about the impact of AI on the writing industry, I believe that the question of whether AI can replace human writers entirely is a nuanced one. While AI can generate content quickly and at a fraction of the cost, it cannot provide expertise and personal experience.
I believe that low-quality writers who produce mediocre content will be replaced by AI, but higher quality writers who use AI as a writing assistant rather than a replacement will come out on top.
In short, AI has the potential to enhance the work of human writers, but it cannot replace them entirely.
5. Can you share some of the daily challenges and difficulties you face as a content marketer? What are the pain points that you encounter regularly in your work?
Sure, as a content marketer, I face various challenges on a day-to-day basis. One of the biggest pain points is the direct link between sales and marketing teams and revenue. This creates a lot of stress because when revenue is not coming in, sales and marketing teams are often the first ones to get laid off. Furthermore, every quarter, the pressure to grow can be intense. It's like a very linear relationship where if you do this, you'll get this much revenue.
I think companies need to realize that there's a lot more to it than just that. They need to take a long-term perspective and understand that marketing can have a lasting impact beyond just the immediate quarter.
6. As a content marketer, what are some of the tools and assistants that you use on your laptop and Chrome extensions?
Well, you probably already know this, but there are a lot of tools that content marketers use. For me, the top five tools that I use are a writing assistant, Copy AI, which helps me generate ideas and write copy, Ahrefs for keyword research, Google Search Console to track website traffic and search engine rankings, and a CMS like WordPress or Webflow.
In addition to those, I also use X Blaze, which creates keyword shortcuts to save time when typing out repetitive phrases or snippets. These are the main tools that I use for content marketing, and while they may not be particularly innovative, they get the job done.
7. What are the essential tools that you believe should be included in the content writing stack?
As a content marketer, you need to have a strong understanding of the tools available to you and how they fit into your overall strategy. In terms of analytics, I always recommend having a good analytics tool to help you track attribution and measure the success of your campaigns. Google Analytics is a great option, but other tools like Mixpanel and Amplitude are worth considering.
When it comes to SEO and keyword research, I find tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush to be very helpful. These tools allow you to research and analyze keywords, track your rankings, and identify growth opportunities. And of course, having a good CMS is essential for content creation and publishing. WordPress is my go-to, but other options like Webflow can work just as well.
For email marketing, I use tools like ConvertKit, ActiveCampaign, or Customer.io. And when it comes to project management, Asana and Trello are my preferred tools. They allow you to organize and prioritize tasks, track progress, and collaborate with team members. Documentation is an important aspect of content marketing, and I find Notion to be a great tool for this.
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