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What Is Content Intelligence? And How Does It Work?

Relentless digital disruption over the past few years has jetpacked us into a new frontier of content personalization. To keep pace with evolving digital expectations, we must unleash the power of data to deliver individually relevant content at scale. 

Captivating the human on the other end of the digital channel means delivering the right content, at the right time and place. But you don't necessarily need more content to do so – you need deeper insights and data capabilities.

So how can you fill this missing piece? With Content Intelligence, aka “technology that helps content understand itself” –  Ryan Skinner.


tech that helps content understand itself


Content Intelligence transforms your digital assets into a self-sustaining content engine that converts at every touchpoint. Through AI-powered automation, these tools deliver real-time hyper-personalization and lead generation – at a fraction of the cost and time of traditional personalization and content marketing. 

Here, I’ll explain what content intelligence is and how it works. We’ll also look at different platforms and the best (and quickest) way to put these ‘superhuman capabilities’ in place to tug at your audiences’ heartstrings. 

Let’s jump in.  

What is content intelligence, and why should you care? 

Content intelligence turns content into data sets that can be converted into “intelligent insights,” ultra-personalized experiences, and performance analytics. Think of it as a fork of data intelligence that deals specifically with digital content. 

In other words, it’s about working smarter, not harder. 

Through deep learning and AI-powered technology, content intelligence gives your audience more personal and individualized experiences at every touchpoint. On your end, you get a 360-degree view of content performance across all digital journeys. 

In a content-driven world, the magic of artificial intelligence and machine learning allows you to engage and convert more members and constituents. That’s precisely why content intelligence has become the gold standard of content marketing. 

In real-time, the content engine adapts to changing informational needs and delivers dynamic recommendations for every web visitor. These superhuman capabilities go even deeper as the intelligent system continually updates itself. 

What are content intelligence platforms / tools? 

Content intelligence tools and platforms, such as Optimizely’s Intelligence Cloud, are Optimization as a Service (OaaS) solutions that use Big Data and real-time analysis. 

Big Data in Content Intelligence

These tools are designed to process and deliver self-directed content demands – including privacy and advertising preferences – through a lens of contextual, user-centric experiences. Content intelligence (CI) technologies also identify and implement new revenue-generating data insights via machine learning. 

In addition to Optimizely, other CI solutions include Buzzsumo, ContentFu, and Contently. It’s a small-scale industry itself, so it comes with different capabilities, components, and deployment methods. 

  • For a consumer, there are two components: services and solutions. 
  • CI solutions can be deployed in three ways: on-premise, cloud, and hybrid. 
  • CI solutions have three sizes for scale management: individual, business (SME), enterprise (big corporations). 

CI platforms are often confused with Artificial Intelligence Content software. The latter uses AI to create new content, whereas CI technologies pull from your existing assets. 

Gaining clarity on the best solution for your organization and situation is highly recommended. If you need help, please reach out to us here to get your questions answered by a specialist and/or figure out the best option for your organization. 

How does a content intelligence platform benefit you? 

 You might shrug the idea off. I mean, how can a machine and software guide your organization better than you? Well, they cannot, but these AI-powered, self-adaptive software systems do have the capability and capacity to interpret complex data.

Deep Learning, Machine Learning, AI diagram

By “complex data,” I’m talking about metadata – the data about your other data. For example, the purpose of data assets, social activities, descriptive information about a resource, etc. All this metadata or “digital exhaust” tells you a lot about user behaviors, tendencies, desires, etc.

When you have thousands or tens of thousands of these metadata points, interpreting it all requires non-human help. This is where the magic of content intelligence comes into play. 

Many CI platforms also monitor what competitors are creating on an ongoing basis. Relevant data is automatically incorporated into the content engine’s self-adaptive information hierarchies and translated as necessary in the content suggestions. 

The content intelligence market is well on its way to becoming the primary way of reaching potential members, constituents, and customers. It’s estimated that the market cap of CI services will hit 2.65 billion dollars by 2025 at 33.2% CAGR.


Features of Content Intelligence Solutions


 #1 - Automation

A wise man once said that automation is solving the problem once and then putting it on autopilot. If you’re not already on the automation train, then you simply cannot optimize the entire insights-to-action journey at speed, scale, and precision. 

Automated data intelligence solutions have been around for quite some time. Powered by years of machine learning, these AI tools discover deep insights in real-time and translate that intelligence into action based on the user journey and competitive marketplace. 

Content intelligence solutions like Optimizely allow you to automate your content publishing and marketing process by allowing the AI to study statistics and execute user-specific decisions that are increasingly personal and individualized. 

And we all know that Google’s ranking algorithm (and others) love publishing consistency and quality. As humans, we cannot maintain the same machine-level consistency in terms of accuracy and frequency. Machines can, and that’s why automation is essential. 

#2 - Content Management

Efficiently managing content for online platforms is no joke. The sheer amount of the content itself is overwhelming as you grow bigger. 

Content intelligence tools help with this in several ways depending on the integration. Optimizely’s Intelligence Cloud, for example, is incorporated into its Digital Experience Platform (DXP) umbrella for comprehensive content management, analysis, and reporting. Others connects separately to standalone content management systems for data and analytics purposes. 


#3 - Content Analysis 

Content Intelligence tools use adaptive data insights to consolidate, process and analyze thousands of raw metadata points from internal and external sources in real-time. This is done by automatically isolating or grouping content assets and then predicting potential reach and engagement. 

Many CI solutions automate the entire insights-to-action journey based on this deep analysis to streamline content analysis and optimization. This allows you to produce significantly top-quality content for each user across touchpoints.


#4 - Reporting Metrics

Advanced Content Intelligence platforms include a unified dashboard for users to specify advertising preferences and control privacy settings. This user-facing dashboard allows for completely self-guided digital journeys and maximum personal privacy protection. This is the gold standard of digital experience individualization.  

Of course, most CI technologies provide native reporting functionality for short-term planning and long-term forecasting.


Uses of Content Intelligence Tools and Platforms


# 1 - Measuring ROI Effectively

Most marketers say effectively measuring ROI is one of the biggest challenges we face. Say you are using Facebook Ads, and a sale occurs on your platform from a user who saw that advertisement within the last few weeks. The sale may have occurred for several reasons, but Facebook (and many other ad platforms) will claim the sale. 

Content Intelligence uses AI to study the data in-depth for more accurate and thorough insights (aka data-driven content recommendations).


#2 - Individualization & More Targeted Personalization

It’s hard to identify and gear your entire marketing and research towards a specific demographic. Many online platforms are forced to generalize and follow a “one-size-fits-all approach.” 

But CI tools can help you personalize your platforms for your primary demographics and help target your customers much more efficiently. 

To stand out in the complex digital world, you must provide greater levels of individualization to each user/member/constituent over time. Relying on segmentation will not cut it amid exponential progress and continuous improvement. Content Intelligence technology makes use of all the data insights you have collected over each relationship to communicate on a more human level. 

#3 - Market Research 

AI-driven algorithms can help gain insights from market data and research that would be complex for an average human. It helps analyze your content, your competitor's content, and market trends to quantify the effectiveness of a particular piece of content. This helps limit (or even eliminate) the guesswork.


Content Intelligence Tools and Platforms 


Here are some of the best content intelligence tools and platforms in 2022: 

  1. Optimizely: Intelligence Cloud offers real-time content intelligence, automated audits, and AI-driven reporting to maximize content effectiveness across digital channels.
  2. Buzzsumo: It is the most popular and widely used research and intelligence tool that helps identify trends and research keywords to help the creators.
  3. Curata: It is more geared towards content curation that helps discover trends and curate the best possible content for the same. It is often used for scaling to help the content and marketing team.
  4. Contently: It is a popular tool for reporting and analysis. Contently provides insights on audience engagement, the best time to publish content, and more.
  5. SpyFu: It is geared towards search engine marketing (SEM) that helps you, well, “spy” on your competitors. You can get nearly accurate insights on their important keywords, queries, bids on Google Ads (and other platforms like FB Ads), and much more!

What makes Optimizely’s Intelligence Cloud better? 


You can tell by now that we lean towards Optimizely Intelligence Cloud – and for good reasons. The Digital Experience Platform is easily the leader in content intelligence. Here are a few reasons why: 

  • Innovate and experiment deep in your stack of digital touchpoints.  
  • Combines content, commerce, omnichannel, and predictive analytics.
  • Includes live recommendations and power audits for max engagement. 
  • Processes data from various sources in a real-time, unified dashboard. 
  • Incorporates data privacy and compliance by design as well as multilingual and multi-site flexibilities.

Of course, be sure to see your options in action before making any decisions. 

For more info or to watch demos on the different types of content intelligence software and features in the marketplace, send us a note. We’re happy to connect!

Emily Shine

Topics: Analytics, Content Strategy

Written by Emily Shine

Emily Shine is a content writer and SEO strategist who helps purpose-driven organizations and entrepreneurs build their online presence. When she's not behind the computer, you can catch her in the park, gigging on a stompbox, or playing tennis.