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How machine learning impacts the need for quality content

As Google continues to invest in machine learning technology to help it better understand and parse user queries, columnist Eric Enge emphasizes the need for marketers to continuously improve content quality and user satisfaction.

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How to go above and beyond with your content

Wondering what’s holding you back from greater content? Columnist Julie Joyce discusses what you can do to go above and beyond the usual.

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Google launches Ads Added by AdWords pilot: What we know so far

In the new test, ads based on existing ad and landing page content are added to ad groups by Google.

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Content Marketing as Seduction

Phil Connors is having a bad day … over, and over, and over.

The arrogant Pittsburgh weatherman has once again been sent to cover the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. He soon discovers that visiting once a year wasn’t all that bad, given that he’s now living this particular Groundhog Day again, and again, and again.

It all begins at 6:00 a.m., the same way each day. The clock radio clicks on with Sonny & Cher’s I Got You Babe, followed by the declaration, “It’s Groundhog Day … and it’s cold out there!”

After the initial shock wears off, Phil (played by national treasure Bill Murray) realizes he’s in a time loop. No matter what he does each day, there are no lingering consequences for his actions, because he wakes up and starts over again fresh the next morning.

This initially leads to hedonistic behavior, such as binge eating and drinking, manipulative one-night stands, and criminal acts. Eventually despair sets in, and Connors repeatedly attempts suicide.

No dice — he still wakes up the same way the next morning. It’s not until Phil commits to bettering himself and serving others that he achieves redemption and breaks out of the loop.

The film Groundhog Day is regarded as a contemporary classic. In 2006, it was added to the United States National Film Registry and deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

Further, the movie has been described by some religious leaders as the “most spiritual film of our time,” in that it represents the concept of transcendence.

Buddhists and Hindus see the repeated day as a representation of reincarnation on the long path to enlightenment. In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the time loop can be thought of as purgatory.

Don’t get me wrong. Groundhog Day is a hilarious film, and Bill Murray considers it his finest performance. But it’s also seriously deep. Jonah Goldberg of the National Review said, “… we have what many believe is the best cinematic moral allegory popular culture has produced in decades.”

Groundhog Day also contains an example of marketing gone terribly wrong. This travesty happens all too often in the real world, which means it’s what you want to avoid at all costs.

A tale of a data-driven marketing fail

In between his hedonism and subsequent despair, Phil decides to achieve a different goal. He begins romantically pursuing his news producer, Rita Hanson (played by Andie MacDowell).

He starts by being uncharacteristically kind to her, and then asks her to describe her ideal man. Through day after day of similar encounters, he amasses an amazing amount of information about her.

Phil finds out her favorite drink, and her ideal toast to drink it to. He knows she hates white chocolate and loves Rocky Road ice cream. He even quotes from Baudelaire after finding out she majored in 19th-century French poetry.

Through his unique situation, Connors discovers all the right information in order to arrive at the “perfect” romantic evening with her “ideal” man. It takes weeks, but as far as Rita knows, Phil has simply transformed from the jerk she works with to an amazing person in a single day.

Talk about marketing research, huh? He’s got his “who” down cold.

Except there’s one problem — Phil’s only goal is to have sex with Rita. There’s literally no tomorrow for him, so he has to close the deal on the first date, or not at all. Hence, he can’t contain his insincerity despite all the valuable intelligence he has on her.

Phil even stoops so low as to tell her he loves her when she resists his advances. Each evening invariably ends with Rita slapping Phil’s face, and what she says to him is especially telling:

“I could never love you, because you’ll never love anyone but yourself.”

Content marketing as seduction

In marketing and sales circles, there’s a running joke about losing a prospect thanks to the equivalent of trying to propose marriage on the first date. And yet, it doesn’t stop it from happening, even with people who should know better.

Phil has a treasure-trove of data about Rita, just as modern marketers have big data about you. And yet Phil tries to fake authenticity, engagement, and connection, which Rita sees right through.

The same thing happens every day at all levels of the marketing spectrum.

Think of it this way — Rita reveals her core values, and Phil tries to reflect them back to her. It works, up until the point that Phil’s desire to close the deal on his terms, based on his own desires, tramples all over Rita’s core values.

I’ve described content marketing as a story you tell over time. If that story places the prospect at the center of the story and delivers the right information at the right time, you have a courtship.

If you take it a step further and deliver the information in a way that delights the prospect at each step, you have something even more powerful. You have a seduction.

The word seduction can certainly have a manipulative connotation. But when you truly know your prospect, and your core values truly do align with theirs, and you truly do communicate based on their needs first, well …

They get what they want, and you get what you want. That’s not manipulation; that’s just good business.

Empower the journey

Before the internet, inadequacy marketing ruled. Without access to alternative perspectives, prospects were targeted by marketers with messages that positioned the brand as the hero, which promised to save the poor prospect from the anxiety manufactured by the message.

The imbalance in access to information favored the seller. Now, prospects are empowered to self-educate, which means the buyer’s journey is well underway before any particular seller is even aware of it.

Today, prospects face a different form of anxiety. The abundant access to information from thousands of competing sources threatens to overwhelm the prospect. That’s where you come in.

Your brand becomes heroic in the sense that you arrive to further empower the prospect to solve their problem. You help them make sense of the relevant information. And in the process, you demonstrate — rather than claim — that your product or service is the perfect solution for that particular person.

So yes, your brand can become a hero. As long as you never forget that the prospect is the main hero, or protagonist, of a journey that they are at the center of.

This is why Joseph Campbell’s monomyth, or hero’s journey, provides the perfect metaphor, and map, of a content marketing strategy that succeeds. It forces you to keep your focus on empowering them, with you and your content playing the role of the mentor, or guide.

The easiest way to understand this is to look at the character relationships in some of the best-known examples of Campbell’s hero’s journey in popular culture — films such as Star Wars, The Matrix, and The Wizard of Oz.

  • The prospect is Luke Skywalker; you’re Obi-Wan Kenobi.
  • The prospect is Neo; you’re Morpheus.
  • The prospect is Dorothy; you’re Glinda the Good Witch.

Structuring your content marketing strategy in this way leads to success. By understanding your prospect as well as possible, you’re now in a position to guide and empower her to solve the problem with you.

What you say matters most

“What you say in advertising is more important than how you say it.”

– David Ogilvy

It might come as a surprise to hear that from Ogilvy, a famous “Mad Man” and copywriter who made millions by finding just the right way to say things. But he’s right … if what you’re saying is wrong, it doesn’t matter how well you say it.

Next week, we’re going to get into actually mapping the buyer’s journey, so that we know what to say, and when.

The key point of this article is for you to understand that because we’re guiding the prospect on a journey, when is an inherent aspect of the what.

You can choose to rush things and lose, or travel alongside the prospect and eventually win.

Phil Connors does end up with Rita, but only when he actually becomes her ideal man instead of trying to fake it. The time loop ends thanks to an authentic seduction.

Here’s to not making the same mistake over, and over, and over again … at least with your content marketing. Mapping the buyer’s journey is the next step in getting it right sooner.

The post Content Marketing as Seduction appeared first on Copyblogger.

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How to Know Exactly What Content to Deliver to Convert More Prospects

Back in the 1940s, psychologists Fritz Heider and Marianne Simmel conducted an experiment. They showed study participants an animated film consisting of a rectangle with an opening, plus a circle and two triangles in motion.

The participants were then asked to simply describe what they saw in the film. Before you keep reading, take a look at it yourself. I’ll be here when you come back.

So, what did you see? Out of all the study participants, only one responded with “a rectangle with an opening, plus a circle and two triangles in motion.” The rest developed elaborate stories about the simple geometric shapes.

Many participants concluded the circle and the little triangle were in love, and that the evil grey triangle was trying to harm or abduct the circle. Others went further to conclude that the blue triangle fought back against the larger triangle, allowing his love to escape back inside, where they soon rendezvoused, embraced, and lived happily ever after.

That’s pretty wild when you think about it.

The Heider-Simmel experiment became the initial basis of attribution theory, which describes how people explain the behavior of others, themselves, and also, apparently, geometric shapes on the go.

More importantly, people explain things in terms of stories. Even in situations where no story is being intentionally told, we’re telling ourselves a tale as a way to explain our experience of reality.

And yes, we tell ourselves stories about brands, products, and services. Whether you’re consciously telling a story or not, prospects are telling themselves a story about you.

Are you telling a story? And more importantly, does that story resonate with the way your prospective customers and clients are seeing things?

This is the key to knowing what your prospect needs to hear, and when they need to hear it, as part of your overall content marketing strategy. And in a networked, information-rich world where the prospects have all the power, this is your only chance to control the narrative.

What kind of story to tell?

You need to tell a Star Wars story. And by that, I mean you need to take your prospects along a content marketing version of the mythic hero’s journey.

In The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell identifies a “monomyth” — a fundamental structure common to myths that have survived for thousands of years. Campbell’s identification of these enduring myths from disparate times and regions has inspired modern storytellers to consciously craft their work following the monomyth framework, also known as the hero’s journey.

Most notable among those inspired by the hero’s journey is George Lucas, who acknowledged Campbell’s work as the source of the plot for Star Wars. As a content marketer, you can also consciously incorporate the monomyth into your launches, funnels, and general editorial calendar.

Hero's Journey

The image above shows the general elements of the hero’s journey, which can be broken down into much more detail than presented here. It’s important to note that not all monomythic stories contain every aspect, but the original Star Wars faithfully follows almost every element of the hero’s journey.

Let’s focus on the first two steps of the journey, in the “ordinary world” before the journey truly begins. Here’s how those elements occurred in the original Star Wars.

  • Luke is living in the ordinary world of his home planet, working on the family farm.
  • The “call to adventure” is R2-D2’s holographic message from Princess Leia, the classic princess in distress.
  • Luke initially refuses the call due to his family obligations, until his aunt and uncle are killed.
  • Luke meets his mentor and guide, Obi-Wan Kenobi, who convinces Luke to proceed with his heroic journey.
  • Obi-Wan gives Luke a gift that determines his destiny — his father’s lightsaber.

How does this apply to content marketing? Simple. As I mentioned last time:

Your prospect is Luke. You are Obi-Wan.

The mistake most often made in marketing is thinking of your business as the hero, resulting in egocentric messages that no one else cares about. The prospect is always the primary hero, because they are the one going on the journey — whether big or small — to solve a problem or satisfy a desire.

  • The prospect starts off in the ordinary world of their lives.
  • The call to adventure is an unsolved problem or unfulfilled desire.
  • There’s resistance to solving that problem or satisfying the desire.
  • A mentor (your brand) appears that helps them proceed with the journey.
  • You deliver a gift (your content) that ultimately leads to a purchase

By making the prospect the hero, your brand also becomes a hero in the prospect’s story.

And by accepting the role of mentor with your content, your business accomplishes its goals while helping the prospect do the same. Which is how business is supposed to work, right?

8 core steps in the buyer’s journey

I’ve been using the hero’s journey to teach marketing and sales since 2007. I’ve found that just the act of thinking of the prospect as the hero makes you a better content marketer.

When you think in terms of empowering people to solve their problem by playing the role of mentor, you’re naturally performing better than competitors who take an egocentric approach.

This is also the exact way we come up with content marketing strategies for our own launches, funnels, and general editorial calendar. After years of using this strategic process, I’ve found that every buyer’s journey contains key points where you must deliver the right information at the right time to succeed at an optimal level.

Remember, each journey is tied to a particular who that you have documented. Some people create content journeys for multiple personas, but my advice is that you pick one at first and focus. Even Apple stuck with one target persona for the entirety of the Get a Mac campaign.

You’ll notice I use the word “problem” below, rather than “problem or desire.” An unfulfilled desire is a problem in the mind of the prospect, so it works on its own.

1. Ordinary World: This is the world (and worldview) that your ideal prospect lives in. She may be aware of the problem that she has, but she hasn’t yet resolved to do something about it. You understand how this person thinks, sees, feels, and behaves due to the empathy mapping process.

2. Call to Adventure: The prospect decides to take action to solve the problem. It could be a New Year’s resolution, a longstanding goal, or a problem that rears its head for the first time.

3. Resistance to the Call: At this point, the prospect starts to waver in her commitment to solving the problem. Maybe it seems too hard, too expensive, too time consuming, or simply too impractical. As we’ll discuss in a bit, this is a key content inflection point.

4. The Mentor and the Gift: This is the point that you are initially accepted as a mentor that guides the buyer’s journey. The prospect accepts your offer of a gift, in the form of information, that promises to help her solve the problem.

5. Crossing the Threshold: This is the point of purchase where the prospect believes that your product or service will lead to the problem being solved, which will lead to transformation. The most important thing to understand is that, unlike flawed funnel metaphors, the journey does not end at purchase.

6. Traveling the Road: The customer begins using the product or service with the goal of achieving success in the context of the problem. Who cares if the customer stops the journey right after purchase, right? Wrong — too often this leads to a refund request; plus you miss out on the huge benefits that accompany a happy customer.

7. Seizing the Treasure: The customer experiences success with your product or service. What does this look like for them and you? How will you know when it happens?

8. The New Ordinary: The customer has experienced a positive transaction with you, and yet we’re just now getting to the really good stuff. This is a perfect time to prime them for repeat or upsell purchases or referrals. At this point, deliver content that aims at retention for recurring revenue products, and make savvy requests for direct referrals, testimonials, and word of mouth.

Of the eight, only Traveling the Road isn’t universal — if you’re an electrician, you show up and either fix the problem or don’t. But if you’re selling software-as-a-service, for example, content that gets users engaged with the platform is critical to reducing churn.

These core steps can provide you with a beginning framework for a detailed map of the buyer’s journey. The next step is to add the touchpoints that are unique to your product or service.

Your unique journey map

You may be thinking about how exactly you’re supposed to map this out. Fortunately, there’s already an established procedure for this, just as during the who phase.

An experience map is a visual representation of the path a consumer takes — from beginning to end — with your content, and then with your product or service.

By mapping the journey, you know where the additional crucial touchpoints are, and what content can empower the journey to continue.

Here’s an example from Adaptive Path for Rail Europe:


This map demonstrates the journey a consumer would take while riding the trains in Europe. It follows her from the early stages of research and planning to the end of her trip.

You see what she is doing (searching Google, looking up timetables), what she is thinking during each action (do I have everything I need, and am I on the right train?), and what she is feeling (stressed: I’m about to leave the country and Rail Europe won’t answer the phone).

Do you see the correlation with the empathy mapping exercise you did back when developing a snapshot of your ideal customer? It’s no coincidence that we’re now applying what the prospect is “Thinking,” “Seeing,” “Doing,” and “Feeling” in their ordinary world to the journey they need to travel.

In a piece called the Anatomy of an Experience Map, Chris Risdon at Adaptive Path suggests your experience map should have these five components:

  1. The lens: This is how a particular person (or persona) views the journey. Keep in mind, this journey will not be the same for everyone. You will more than likely have more than one experience map.
  2. The journey model: This is the actual design of the map. If all goes well, it should render insight to answer questions like “What happens here? What’s important about this transition?”
  3. Qualitative insight: This is where the Thinking-Seeing-Doing-Feeling of an empathy map comes in handy.
  4. Quantitative information: This is data that brings attention to certain aspects of your map. It reveals information like “80 percent of people abandon the process at this touchpoint.”
  5. Takeaways: This is where the map earns its money. What are the conclusions? Opportunities? Threats to the system? Does it identify your strengths? Highlight your weaknesses?

You can find more detailed information on creating a customer experience map here. Like empathy mapping, it can be done solo, but works even better as a collaborative process, so that everyone on your team understands the journey from the perspective of the prospect and subsequent customer.

Mapping the 7 key influence principles

When you consider influential content, you may naturally think that it’s about how your present the information. While that’s true from an engagement standpoint, which principle of influence to apply and when to emphasize it is an exercise in what as well.

In other words, beyond the raw information of the what, you’ll also want to identify the order of emphasis for things like reciprocity, social proof, authority, liking, commitment and consistency, unity, and scarcity.

Every successful digital marketer I know purposefully applies those seven principles in their content and copy, because they all treat Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini as their bible. If you haven’t read it, you should — but in the meantime check out this six-page PDF that explains the original six principles, and here’s an article by Sonia Simone on the all-important 7th principle of unity.

At Rainmaker Digital, we think in terms of four different types of content when mapping the buyer’s journey. Keep in mind that great marketing content contains all of these elements; you’re simply selecting a category based on the primary aim of the individual piece at the appropriate time.

First up we have Attraction content, otherwise known as “top of funnel” information. This corresponds best with the Resistance to the Call point of the journey — it addresses the problem while also addressing common objections to moving forward. In addition to creating the feeling that “you’re reading their mind,” you’re also invoking early influence through reciprocity, social proof through share numbers, and establishing authority.

Next up, you have your cornerstone influence principle thanks to Authority content. The important thing is that you demonstrate authority, rather than claim it. Your Attraction content sets the stage, and your Authority content should be gated behind an email opt-in. At this stage, you’re establishing clear authority, continuing to leverage reciprocity and social proof, and adding liking, plus commitment and consistency thanks to the opt-in.

Affinity content solidly positions you as a “likable expert,” but it goes beyond that. This is where you let your core values shine. You reflect the prospect’s worldview back to them in a completely authentic way, prompting the powerful principle of unity. Never underestimate how often people choose to do business with people they like, and who also see the world like they do.

Finally, it all comes down to Action. Unlike Phil Connors, you don’t look for ultimate action at the beginning of the journey. But you do rely on smaller actions along the way, especially at the bridge between Attraction content and Authority content. That said, the key influence principle at this stage is scarcity, which you’ve earned the right to employ thanks to the other six principles. People fear missing out more than they desire gain, so make sure to use it ethically.

This is the outline of your story

It’s tempting at this point to try to imagine how you’re going to execute on your strategy, but you’re not quite there yet. Soon, I’ll share with you a “real world” example of how this looks in action.

For now, map the journey experience. In addition to your character, you’ve now got the plot points in the narrative you’re weaving.

All that’s left is to figure out how to tell the story. That’s up next week.

The post How to Know Exactly What Content to Deliver to Convert More Prospects appeared first on Copyblogger.

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New AdWords interface alpha is rolling out to more advertisers

As Google continues to build out the new UI, more advertisers are getting access.

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SMBs are overwhelmed with digital marketing choices. How to stand out and win their business.

LSA survey reveals important standards SMBs want from a provider that will help marketers stand out from the competition and reduce churn. Columnist Wesley Young elaborates.

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The Essential Artificial Intelligence Glossary for Marketers

ai featured image.png

Thank goodness for live chat. If you’re anything like me, you look back at the days of corded phones and 1-800 numbers with anything but fondness.

But as you’re chatting with a customer service agent on Facebook Messenger to see if you can change the shipping address on your recent order, sometimes it’s tempting to ask, am I really talking to a human? Or is this kind, speedy agent really just a robot in disguise?

Believe it or not, this question is older than you might think. The game of trying to decipher between human and machine goes all the way back to 1950 and a computer scientist named Alan Turing.

In his famous paper, Turing proposed a test (now referred to as the Turing Test) to see if a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior is indistinguishable from that of a human. An interrogator would ask text-based questions to subject A (a computer) and subject B (a person), in hopes of trying to figure out which was which. If the computer successfully fooled the interrogator into thinking it was a human, the computer was said to successfully have artificial intelligence.

turing test.png

Since the days of Alan Turing, there’s been decades and decades of debate on if his test really is an accurate method for identifying artificial intelligence. However, the sentiment behind the idea remains: As AI gains traction, will we be able to tell the difference between human and machine? And if AI is already transforming the way we want customer service, how else could it change our jobs as marketers?

Why Artificial Intelligence Matters for Marketers

As Turing predicted, the concepts behind AI are often hard to grasp, and sometimes even more difficult recognize in our daily lives. By its very nature, AI is designed to flow seamlessly into the tools you already use to make the tasks you do more accurate or efficient. For example, if you’ve enjoyed Netflix movie suggestions or Spotify’s personalized playlists, you’re already encountering AI.

In fact, in our recent HubSpot Research Report on the adoption of artificial intelligence, we found that 63% of respondents are already using AI without realizing it.

When it comes to marketing, AI is positioned to change nearly every part of marketing — from our personal productivity to our business’s operations — over the next few years. Imagine having a to-do list automatically prioritized based on your work habits, or your content personalized based on your target customer writes on social media. These examples are just the beginning of how AI will affect the way marketers work.

No matter how much AI changes our job, we’re not all called to be expert computer scientists. However, it’s still crucial to have a basic understanding how AI works, if only to get a glimpse of the possibilities with this type of technology and to see how it could make you a more efficient, more data-driven marketer.


Below we’ll break down the key terms you’ll need to know to be a successful marketer in an AI world. But first, a disclaimer …

This isn’t meant to be the ultimate resource of artificial intelligence by any means, nor should any 1,500-word blog post. There remains a lot of disagreement around what people consider AI to be and what it’s not. But we do hope these basic definitions will make AI and its related concepts a little easier to grasp and excite you to learn more about the future of marketing.

13 Artificial Intelligence Terms Marketers Need to Know


An algorithm is a formula that represents the relationship between variables. Social media marketers are likely familiar, as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all use algorithms to determine what posts you see in a news feed. SEO marketers focus specifically on search engine algorithms to get their content ranking on the first page of search results. Even your Netflix home page uses an algorithm to suggest new shows based on past behavior.

When you’re talking about artificial intelligence, algorithms are what machine learning programs use to make predictions from the data sets they analyze. For example, if a machine learning program were to analyze the performance of a bunch of Facebook posts, it could create an algorithm to determine which blog titles get the most clicks for future posts.

Artificial Intelligence

In the most general of terms, artificial intelligence refers to an area of computer science that makes machines do things that would require intelligence if done by a human. This includes tasks such as learning, seeing, talking, socializing, reasoning, or problem solving.

However, it’s not as simple as copying the way the human brain works, neuron by neuron. It’s building flexible computers that can take creative actions that maximize their chances of success to a specific goal.


Bots (also known as “chatbots” or “chatterbots”) are text-based programs that humans communicate with to automate specific actions or seek information. Generally, they “live” inside of another messaging application, such as Slack, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Line.

Bots often have a narrow use case because they are programmed to pull from a specific data source, such as a bot that tells you the weather or helps you register to vote. In some cases, they are able to integrate with systems you already use to increase productivity. For example, GrowthBot — a bot for marketing and sales professionals — connects with HubSpot, Google Analytics, and more to deliver information on a company’s top-viewed blog post or the PPC keywords a competitor is buying.


Some argue that chatbots don’t qualify as AI because they rely heavily on pre-loaded responses or actions and can’t “think” for themselves. However, others see bots’ ability to understand human language as a basic application of AI.

Cognitive Science

Zoom out from artificial intelligence and you’ve got cognitive science. It’s the interdisciplinary study of the mind and its processes, pulling from the foundations of philosophy, psychology, linguistics, anthropology, and neuroscience.

Artificial intelligence is just one application of cognitive science that looks at how the systems of the mind can be simulated in machines.

Computer Vision

Computer vision is an application of deep learning (see below) that can “understand” digital images.

For humans, of course, understanding images is one of our more basic functions. You see a ball thrown at you and you catch it. But for a computer to see an image and then describe it makes simulating the way the human eye and brain work together pretty complicated. For example, imagine how a self-driving car would need to recognize and respond to stop lights, pedestrians, and other obstructions to be allowed on the road.

However, you don’t have to own a Tesla to experience computer vision. You can put Google’s Quick Draw to the test and see if it recognizes your doodles. Because computer vision uses machine learning that improves over time, you’ll actually help teach the program just by playing.

Data Mining

Data mining is the process of computers discovering patterns within large data sets. For example, an ecommerce company like Amazon could use data mining to analyze customer data and give product suggestions through the “customers who bought this item also bought” box. 

data mining.png

Deep Learning

On the far end of the AI spectrum, deep learning is a highly advanced subset of machine learning. It’s unlikely you’ll need to understand the inner workings of deep learning, but know this: Deep learning can find super complex patterns in data sets by using multiple layers of correlations. In the simplest of terms, it does this by mimicking the way neurons are layered in your own brain. That’s why computer scientists refer to this type of machine learning as a “neural network.”


Machine Learning

Of all the subdisciplines of AI, some of the most exciting advances have been made within machine learning. In short, machine learning is the ability for a program to absorb huge amounts of data and create predictive algorithms.

If you’ve ever heard that AI allows computers to learn over time, you were likely learning about machine learning. Programs with machine learning discover patterns in data sets that help them achieve a goal. As they analyze more data, they adjust their behavior to reach their goal more efficiently.

That data could be anything: a marketing software full of email open rates or a database of baseball batting averages. Because machine learning gives computers to learn without being explicitly programmed (like most bots), they are often described as being able to learn like a young child does: by experience.

Natural Language Processing

Natural language processing (NLS) can make bots a bit more sophisticated by enabling them to understand text or voice commands. For example, when you talk to Siri, she’s transposing your voice into text, conducting the query via a search engine, and responding back in human syntax.

On a basic level, spell check in a Word document or translation services on Google are both examples of NLS. More advanced applications of NLS can learn to pick up on humor or emotion.

natural language processing.png

Semantic Analysis

Semantic analysis is, first and foremost, a linguistics term that deals with process of stringing together phrases, clauses, sentences, and paragraphs into coherent writing. But it also refers to building language in the context of culture.

So, if a machine that has natural language processing capabilities can also use semantic analysis, that likely means it can understand human language and pick up on the contextual cues needed to understand idioms, metaphors, and other figures of speech. As AI-powered marketing applications advance in areas like content automation, you can imagine the usefulness of semantic analysis to craft blog posts and ebooks that are indistinguishable than that of a content marketer.

Supervised Learning

Supervised learning is a type of machine learning in which humans input specific data sets and supervise much of the process, hence the name. In supervised learning, the sample data is labeled and the machine learning program is given a clear outcome to work toward.

Training Data

In machine learning, the training data is the data initially given to the program to “learn” and identify patterns. Afterwards, more test data sets are given to the machine learning program to check the patterns for accuracy. 

Unsupervised Learning

Unsupervised learning is another type of machine learning that uses very little to no human involvement. The machine learning program is left to find patterns and draw conclusions on its own.

Have an artificial intelligence definition to add? Let us know in the comment below.

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Report: Google AMP results in Google News more than double

Want your content to be found by mobile users in Google News? Well, it seems like you need to have AMP to make that happen now.

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SearchCap: Google News AMP, LSA survey & Google doodle

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

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