The widespread use of AI-generated B2B content is pretty much inevitable. But where does it belong in the marketing and sales funnel? Where, in its current stage of evolution, does it do the most good?

As nearly everybody in B2B marketing takes a long, hard look at generative AI as a tool for producing more content, more rapidly, we need to be sure of exactly where it can do the most good within the capture-and-conversion path.

(How people perceive AI-created content? That’s another issue altogether.)

A colleague who’s an expert in startup marketing recently reminded me that if you’re selling commodified products at a low price point, a predominant reliance on AI-generated content is probably fine.

But as for selling a high-ticket, long-cycle product or service? That’s a funnel of a different color, length and complexity. That is, if the funnel even really existed.

Where can AI-generated content serve the B2B funnel?

At the top of the funnel, AI-generated content can help create awareness and attract potential customers. This can include AI-generated blog posts, social media content, and targeted advertising. By leveraging AI, businesses can analyze customer data and preferences to create personalized and engaging content that gets the attention of prospects.

Plus, AI will make it easier to quickly and agilely publish SEO-focused content to grab views, though it’s more important than ever that this content be authoritative, not just well-provisioned with keywords.

When we reach mid-funnel, AI-generated content can assist in nurturing leads and putting valuable information in front of handraisers. AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can offer personalized recommendations and answer frequently asked questions, helping potential customers make informed decisions.

Additionally, AI-generated case studies, whitepapers and product comparisons can provide them with useful insights and help their evaluation process.

B2B A.I. Content in the Marketing Funnel

At the bottom of the funnel, AI-generated content can be used to drive conversions and close deals. Personalized emails, proposals, and product recommendations generated by AI can help sales teams deliver targeted and relevant content to prospects, increasing the chances of conversion.

AI can also assist in lead scoring and prioritization, identifying the best opportunities for Sales to put its focus.

It’s important to note that AI-generated content shouldn’t replace human interaction and relationship-building in B2B sales. Instead, AI can enhance and support the sales process by automating repetitive tasks, analyzing data, and delivering personalized content at scale.

Why can’t we just rely on AI?

B2B marketers can’t solely rely on AI-generated content for a bevy of reasons:

  1. Lack of human creativity and originality: While AI can generate content efficiently, it usually lacks the creativity, originality, and emotional intelligence that human writers bring to content. They’re all crucial in developing unique, engaging content that resonates with the audience, even in the B2B realm.
  2. Inability to understand nuances and context: AI may struggle with understanding nuanced industry-specific language, tone or cultural context that’s vital to success in B2B marketing. Human marketers can incorporate industry knowledge and tailor content to specific audiences, which AI may not fully comprehend.
  3. Risk of impersonal or generic content: AI-generated content might sometimes come off as impersonal or generic, lacking the personal touch and authentic storytelling that human-created content can provide. B2B marketing often demands a personalized approach to effectively connect with decision-makers who want to feel they’re being presented with insights and solutions from real experts – not algorithms.
  4. Challenges in complex decision-making: B2B sales cycles involve complex decision-making processes. Human marketers can understand and navigate these complexities better, providing tailored solutions and insights that AI might (so far) struggle to comprehend.
  5. Maintaining brand voice and consistency: AI may have difficulties consistently maintaining a brand’s unique voice, leading to inconsistencies in messaging and brand perception. Human marketers can adeptly align content with the brand’s voice, values and goals.
  6. Unforeseen errors and inaccuracies: AI-generated content can still produce errors or inaccuracies, especially in complex or technical content. Human marketers provide the ability to fact-check, ensure accuracy and add necessary context where AI would possibly fall short.
  7. Relationship-building and trust: Building relationships and trust with B2B clients requires human interaction, empathy and understanding. While AI can assist in generating content, that old human touch is essential for establishing trust and fostering long-term business relationships.

Experiment with AI in your B2B funnel

It’s basic: To know if AI can help you invent a better mousetrap – meaning, a more effective and efficient prospect journey – you should experiment with the use of AI to see how/where it works best for your enterprise.

A/B test against handraisers to see how they respond to AI and non-AI content tactics. Every B2B industry and vertical is different, and the differences in what works (and to what degree) with separate personas/stakeholders within a single industry can be extreme.

AI mousetrap
An AI mousetrap, designed by an AI. Not quite there yet, is it?

Don’t forget this: Make sure to audit what your competition is doing on this front, too. Learn from their failures, take note of their successes, and listen to what your target audience is saying about B2B content marketing. In B2B, there’s the chance they’ll become disaffected if they realize you’re sacrificing human-generated value for volume.

As we’ve said before: If you’re relying too heavily on AI instead of human-crafted B2B insight and inventiveness, your targets will eventually recognize the fact and turn to other sources. Because if your content isn’t original, why should they expect your products and solutions to follow suit?

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