Perspective

Future-Proof Your Content Strategy for AI

Adjust Your Content Today to Accomodate AI’s Influence on Tomorrow

The widescale adoption of AI tools will dramtically influence how people find and consume information online. The two most important factors businesses should consider are context and content structure.

There is a lot of conversation around AI these days…we know. From copyright questions to search behaviors, there doesn’t seem to be a part of the digital landscape untouched by robots.

Luckily, there’s still time to prepare and as you might have guessed, all roads lead to content.

Context is Your Ally

From Mashable:

Another feature is the AI-driven reorganization of search results based on the context of the query. For instance, when searching for restaurants in a new city, Google now categorizes the results to fit scenarios like date nights or business meetings. This tailored approach minimizes user effort in sifting through irrelevant information, making the search experience more efficient and user-friendly.

Yeah, yeah…content is king, we know. But what do you do when everyone is friends with the King? You look to the real power–the Queen. In this case, the Queen is context and that means understanding the headspace your searchers are in when they’re looking for information and then ensuring you’re meeting those needs with information that’s not just relevant to who they are, but where they are in their journey.

This becomes even more important when we look at how search behavior is evolving as more users look to AI tools like ChatGPT and Perplexity, which are conversation-based tools. Imagine chatting with someone who can’t fathom the context of your conversation. While you’re asking the person how to get to the nearest gas station they keep talking about the factors that influence the price of gas. Interesting, sure, but not particularly helpful in that instance.

Search Behaviors Are Changing…Quickly

As noted above, we’re already seeing changes in how people seek out information online as AI tools become more prevalent. Right now, these tools are largely used by early adopters but that will change. From AI-generated summaries to automated organization, Google is integrating AI into nearly every aspect of the search experience. Apple is reportedly close to finalizing a deal with OpenAI, which could potentially integrate ChatGPT into Apple’s ecosystem, possibly as an enhancement or replacement for Siri.

The big news is OpenAI’s new GPT-4.0 model, which enhances ChatGPT with quicker responses and a more engaging–dare I say, human–tone. This upgrade aims to make interactions with ChatGPT feel more lively and personable, all of which is to say it’s meant to be more approachable.

All of which is to say that these tools are quickly finding their way to the mainstream. These tools–and more importantly, the behaviors that follow–will soon be the norm. And that means how people find and interact with content is about to have a massive shift.

Content Structure Matters…Again

AI tools like ChatGPT and Perplexity find and summarize information on the Internet using a combination of techniques:

  • Data Retrieval: They access vast datasets and use search algorithms to locate relevant content based on user queries.
  • Natural Language Processing (NLP): They analyze the text to understand context, keywords, and key points.
  • Summarization Algorithms: These algorithms condense the information by extracting essential details while preserving the core message.

Bullet two is why it’s important to understand context. Bullet three is why it’s important to structure your content effectively. If you’ve used Google in the last year you’ve seen the introduction of Search Generative Experience, or SGE, and its use of “AI Overviews.” Basically, these are AI-generated summaries at the top of search results. Knowing this and knowing how these summaries are generated is key to ensuring your content is a source for information.

Since these tools look to summarize information for the user it will be important to have the key points clearly identified and ordered on the page. It’s also helpful to have a brief overview on the page, supported by the details below. The good news is those are also UX best practices.

 

Wrap it up already

It’s Best to Prepare For Coming Disruption

If you work in this industry you’re familiar, if not comfortable, with disruption. After all, the rise of the Internet has been one of the biggest disruptions in business in at least the last several decades. Some companies adjusted and found new ways of doing business. Others…didn’t. Preparing now for coming disruptions at least gives you a fighting chance.

By derekphillips

Derek brings nearly 20 years of experience working with some of the biggest brands across multiple verticals, including Valvoline, Nissan, AT&T, and The Recording Industry Association of America. With a strong background in Content Strategy, Derek excels at setting clear goals and objectives and has a drive for developing effective strategies that deliver results. Ask him about the White Stripes, I think he has a story about them.