HubSpot Invests in AI –What’s the Real Value to Marketers?

HubSpot Ventures announced a big investment in Jasper, the artificial intelligence content creation platform. But is artificial intelligence something that really enables content creation 10x faster than starting from scratch?  Should that even be the goal for businesses?  Content Marketing Institute’s Robert Rose says that believing AI will help create 10x more content is the exact wrong way to think about it.

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Aired: October 21, 2022

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Hello there, and welcome. Well, AI is in the news again (as if you haven’t seen enough of it on your Facebook and other social media feeds). AI for content creators is a hot topic. And now, inbound marketing software provider HubSpot is joining in on the fun. Is content any faster with the robots running things? This is the news you need to lead in content marketing.

Hello everybody, Robert Rose here with the news. It’s what’s new – but, more importantly – what’s important in the world of content marketing. (For the best in best practices, you can always go to contentmarketinginstitute.com.)

This week, HubSpot, provider of a giant suite of inbound marketing, CRM, and other content­-related software, announced a big investment in Jasper, the artificial intelligence content creation platform that’s an ever-present billboard in all my social feeds.

In HubSpot Venture’s blog post on Medium (something I’m still scratching my head about), the head of HubSpot Ventures announced the new investment:

“I’m thrilled to announce [ed note: surprise, surprise] that HubSpot Ventures is investing in Jasper – a company that uses AI to write content such as blog posts, social media posts, website copy, and more.”

The blog mentions that the benefit of Jasper is to help content marketers write content “10X faster than starting from scratch.”

The announcement also mentions Jasper’s templates, which users can use to jump right into writing blog posts, Facebook headlines, Google ad headlines, creative stories, and more.

News on integration with HubSpot’s software suite is light (meaning none at the moment). The investment seems part of a bigger funding announcement (way to bury the lead there, Robert) that Jasper received – namely $125 million on a valuation of $1.5 billion. That funding comes from HubSpot Ventures and a slew of other venture firms.

Related: 3 Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Help Your Content Marketing Processes

So, what’s our take?

As we’ve said, AI in content creation is here – and it’s here to stay. And, while there are still heated, emotional positions about ethics and abuses that AI in content creation may create, the implementations in the content workplace will continue.

So, this funding and associated valuation are not surprising.

What doesn’t help the debate, however, is the positioning in the HubSpot Ventures blog post. It will be interesting to see how the story of AI in the content marketing process is helped or hindered.

As I’ve said in other venues, positioning AI in content creation as a “magic box” – or something that takes the “drudgery” away from the very human aspects of content creation – is the wrong answer to the wrong question.

Related: How To Use AI-Generated Content the Right Way (and Avoid the Downsides)

The HubSpot post cites a 2020 Semrush report that says the majority of bloggers are spending six or more hours writing a blog – one blog. The conclusion the post makes is that companies should be writing two to four blogs a week (I’m not sure that’s a productive conclusion either).

HubSpot’s blog says, “content marketing is very time-consuming and challenging to keep up with.”  Therefore, the post prescribes, “Jasper’s purpose is not to eliminate writers but to turn them into editors.”

So, AI can help content marketers write content 10x faster because the AI can create content for them. In other words, let the robot write the content you edit, so you can simply produce 10x as much.

As Luke Skywalker said, “Every word in that sentence is wrong.”

It’s early in AI for content marketing. We at CMI are working on more definitive education to deploy the tools for maximum value (more on that soon).

But what we know in the meantime is that there are two fundamental foundations:

Custom learning models are important

Most of the time, when we see AI and talk about learning models, we operate from the idea that the AI is a “creator,” and we want the most original thinking or content possible. That’s a very specific learning model.

When you see AI artwork winning awards at art festivals or cool pieces of content, this is the model. In business, however, and marketing especially, this is often not what we want.

We want a model that learns and adheres to the standards that we create. Words, phrases, adjectives, jargon – we want the more traditional version of AI that simply provides original ways of saying the same thing we just said. Put simply: We want AI to copy our brand thinking. Knowing when to apply each kind of model will be critical.

The biggest benefit of AI is not as the idea or content creator

It’s almost exactly the other way around from how it’s being positioned so often now. What AI is good at is reconstructing what we humans have created. There is content we construct (think webinar abstracts, some social posts, how-to, or process-oriented instructional content). Then there is content we create – visionary, thought leadership, creative, original, and empathetic content.

AI is currently good at the former (content construction) – taking our vision, our creativity, and our view of the world and reconstructing it in ways that adhere to our original vision, making us more efficient.

The value of AI isn’t that it helps us create 10X more content. It’s that it helps us create 10X more versions of the content we’ve already created.

The value of AI isn’t in helping us create 10X more #Content. It’s in helping us create 10X more versions of content we’ve already created, says @Robert_Rose [email protected] Click To Tweet

That’s quick, and there’s much more to cover. I promise we’ll have more to say on this in the coming weeks.

But, for now, that’s a human-created five minutes of news you need to lead in content marketing. I’m Robert Rose. Remember, it’s your story. Tell it well.

I’ll see you next week.

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