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If you were to take a content marketer from 2013 and plunk him or her down in 2018, he or she would most likely be pretty confused by the changes in content marketing technology that have taken place over the past five years. Good thing we made you this content marketing technology guide.

It seems wild to think about, but content marketing technology has evolved and changed so quickly that today’s tools and features would most likely to be a complete surprise to yesterday’s marketers.

Take a look at the latest breakthroughs in content marketing tech, as well as a few future predictions for the near future, then think about how you can use tech to improve your brand’s content and content marketing.

What’s Going on? Here’s Your Content Marketing Technology Guide

Our content marketing technology guide shows that advancements in content go hand in hand with the latest developments in other types of technology. For example, you hear a lot about artificial intelligence and its role in business and tech. Well, AI also has a role to play in content marketing.

For example, AI — particularly machine learning — allows marketers to create and recommend content to a user or audience member based on preferences that user has stated in the past.

Other tech advances that have translated into advances in content marketing technology include augmented and virtual reality. Virtual reality gives marketers the opportunity to create life-like content experiences, while augmented reality lets content creators experiment with placing virtual objects in real-world environments.

By 2020, the amount of revenue produced by AR and VR technologies combined is expected to reach $162 billion, up from around $5 billion in 2016.

The use of virtual assistants is another of the latest and most groundbreaking examples of content marketing technology. In this case, “virtual assistants” refers to devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, not admin assistants who work from home.

In the US, around 14 percent of people had an Echo, and around 6 percent had a Google Home device. Additionally, nearly 61 million people used a virtual assistant at least once a month in 2017, either on a specialized device or their smartphone.

Content Marketing Technology Guide to Improving Your Content

Now that you know what the big advances in content marketing technology are, how can you use them to improve your brand’s content, or your content marketing in general? There are a few ways:

AI personalizes & customizes content.

How can you make sure that the content you create is relevant for your audience? How can you ensure your audience gets the content they need? With AI. Artificial intelligence content marketing can quickly learn what types of content a person has read or viewed, and how he or she responded to that content (i.e., did he or she read or watch the whole thing, or quickly click away?). AI can then make suggestions to people based on what they’ve searched for, read, or viewed in the past.

AI produces more and better content quickly.

Artificial intelligence doesn’t just help the right audience find the right content. It can also help marketers and brands produce more and better content more quickly. Don’t panic — AI isn’t replacing writers and video producers just yet. But it does streamline the process of sorting and tagging, so that the content gets published much more quickly. AI can also handle simple content creation tasks, such as customer service chatbots or simple reports (like the weather or who won what game).

Virtual Assistants deliver content at the right time.

“Alexa/Google/Siri, show me…” Virtual assistants are creating a lot of need for specific content, giving marketers a chance to fill that need. One great example of a brand responding to the increased use of assistants and home devices is the American Heart Association’s instructions for performing CPR, or information on recognizing the signs of a stroke or heart attack. That type of content isn’t only useful — it can be life-saving.

AR/VR creates immersive, interactive content.

These days, everyone loves interactive content. You really can’t get more interactive than immersing someone in a simulated world with virtual reality. Or, give them materials to augment an existing environment. One particularly creative use of VR content creation comes from the Golden State Warriors. The team wanted Kevin Durant. So, it created an entire VR experience to show what life is like with the Warriors. It worked.

Content Marketing Technology Guide to Use & Measurement

How can your brand start using the latest and most groundbreaking forms of content marketing technology? It’s less complicated than you might think.

First things first: Choose a content marketing technology and focus on it.

If you want to create more interactive, visual content, you might choose AR/VR. If you’ve been struggling to personalize or streamline your content creation process, AI might be the better option for you. Creating audio content designed for use with a virtual assistant device can be the perfect choice to improve reach.

Today’s content marketing platforms and programs often offer the newest forms of technology. And, they are continually evolving and improving the tech they offer as things advance. In other words, you don’t have to worry about building an AR or VR program from scratch. It’s very possible that a platform already exists for it.

There is another benefit to using an existing content marketing platform instead of DIY-ing your own. Content marketing technology platforms also include tools to measure and track your programs. That way, you’ll be able to see if your new tech has a positive effect on your marketing.