If you work in content marketing, you’ve likely heard the phrase Content Intelligence floating around for the past few years. You may have dismissed it as another marketing buzzword, but that’s where you would be wrong!

Content Intelligence is more than a trend—it’s a set of technologies that’s permanently changing the way brands approach their content. Not only is Content Intelligence allowing content marketers to make more strategic decisions, but it’s also letting them connect with their target audience on a deeper level and prove the value of their work.

We’ll use this post to take a deeper dive into the world of Content Intelligence and the impact it can have on your marketing efforts—both today and in the years to come.

What is Content Intelligence?

Before we go any further, let’s define exactly what Content Intelligence is. We love this explanation from Ryan Skinner, Principal Analyst at Forrester, who defines Content Intelligence as “technology that helps content understand itself—what it's about, how it speaks, how effective it is at accomplishing certain goals, what emotions it calls to mind, etc.”

Put another way: Content Intelligence uses AI-related technologies, such as machine learning, natural language processing, and big data to produce meaningful insights from and about your content. Content Intelligence platforms like Knotch package up these tools in an intuitive, easy-to-use way that gives content marketers the exact data that they need and want to see.

You may be wondering: why do we even need Content Intelligence, to begin with? The simple answer is that content marketers need to prove the value of their work. In fact, measuring the impact of content is top of mind for many teams. Semrush found that “how to measure content marketing success” is ninth in the list of questions asked about content marketing, and “tools” is the fourth most discussed topic in tweets about content marketing.

However, existing tools are failing to deliver the necessary insights. That’s why 59% of marketers feel there’s a lack of actionable insights derived from current methods for tracking content marketing ROI.

Without these insights and the ability to prove ROI, content marketers are operating blind. Not only is this hindering teams from delivering the best content to their target audience, but it’s also preventing them from gaining a seat at the table with the other departments who can prove the value of their work to the organization.

How Content Intelligence Strengthens Marketing Efforts

Content Intelligence platforms can help marketing teams break out of this frustrating cycle by improving three key areas:

Understanding Your Target Audience

A survey found that the top challenge facing content marketing teams is creating content that generates quality leads. This is mainly because existing tools only provide superficial insights like bounce rate, rather than giving marketers meaningful data that informs how their content is resonating with their target audience.

Content Intelligence, on the other hand, was built specifically for content. So it can uncover insights around which pieces of content are performing well (or not), how readers feel about what they’re consuming, and what types of actions they’re taking in response to your articles. These insights can help you understand, on a deeper level, precisely what your target audience is looking for, so you can customize your content according to their needs.

Making Data-Driven Decisions

Every experienced marketing leader knows that strategies need to evolve. But without the right information in hand, you don’t know which direction to shift your strategy toward. As Fernando Angulo, Influencer Lead at Semrush, puts it:

“Many content marketers struggle with monetizing their content and driving ROI. Yet, they keep building their content strategies around their own assumptions and guesses, which doesn’t lead anywhere. Without technology that can transform thousands of data points into actionable insights, we are simply walking blindfolded.”

Content Intelligence addresses this problem by arming content marketers with the data they need to make smart decisions. For example, a Content Intelligence platform can show you that your long-form content generates more leads, sees more positive sentiment, and results in more deals signed than short-form blog posts. In response, you can shift your strategy to invest more resources in ebooks, white papers, and guides.

Proving ROI

Content leaders need to prove that their team's work directly impacts the bottom line. However, as we mentioned before, the generic tools many marketing teams are using are falling short. Web analytics platforms, for example, are used by many content marketers, but they don’t tell them anything about business-driven outcomes like brand impact, ROI, or audience engagement. That’s why nearly 60% of businesses aren’t getting the insights they need from their content.

Your Content Intelligence platform is key to helping you connect the dots between a piece of content you published and a boost in on-site engagement or a valuable lead coming through the door. This will also give you the confidence to discuss the value of content marketing with the rest of your organization.

The Future of Content Intelligence

You may be wondering: is Content Intelligence here to stay? How do I know that this isn’t just a temporary fad that will disappear as soon as I invest in a Content Intelligence platform? Here’s what the data has to say:

  • According to a report by the ANA and The Content Council, there was a 73% budget increase for content marketing over a two-year period. The report also projected a 42% spending hike by 2022. With this increased investment in content marketing, Content Intelligence is likely to continue growing as well.
  • Gartner’s 2019 Marketing Technology Survey found that almost half of their respondents expect analytics to be one of the top three most important technologies available. This indicates that marketers are eager to tap into data-driven tools to support their work.
  • Content Intelligence continues to dominate a huge chunk of the martech industry. In 2020, 1,936 out of 8,000 martech solutions were under the category of content and experience, reflecting an increase of 5.6% since 2019.

In short, all signs point to the fact that Content Intelligence is here to stay and will only continue to grow in the foreseeable future.

Hopefully, this article gives you a clearer sense of what Content Intelligence is and why it’s vital to your content marketing efforts. By applying the right technologies, you’ll be able to prove the value of your work, make strategic decisions, and connect with your audience on a deeper level. If you want to learn more about Knotch’s Content Intelligence platform, request a demo.