Until recently, Artificial Intelligence (AI) was only referenced in science fiction novels. In what feels like a very short amount of time, AI has now permeated into our everyday lives, and has already made significant changes to the ways we work.
Even publishing, which has previously been slow to adapt to changing technologies, has started to integrate AI-driven tools into our daily workloads. In this article, we highlight some of the key tools that you can start to use to make your job easier – and what to keep an eye out for next!
Everyday AI: easy tools for social media
TikTok’s Script Generator
For key industry platforms such as TikTok, where BookTok continues to rapidly change and thrive, AI tools are a quick springboard for developing content, allowing busy marketers to spend more time on improving the overall quality and production of the video, rather than generating the initial outlines.
TikTok’s Script Generator tool (which is available on the Creative Centre when logged in with your business account) allows you to quickly map out video content based on just a few simple prompts, cutting down the time spent writing script briefs and freeing you up to focus on creative production.
Simply select an industry, keywords, duration, video format, and input a product description to generate a range of script options to choose as your starting point. You can then go on to develop the script with other video editing tools designed to make your life easier, such as CapCut or Runway.
[Source: Social Media Today]
Runway offers AI generative features such as green screens to edit video backgrounds, object removal, text to video features, and image section replacement (allowing you to change parts of an image with just a few written prompts), ultimately reducing the pressure of getting that ‘perfect shot’ under a deadline!
Gone are the days of having to put together a proof copy for assets and promotions. With tools like Canva and Photoshop, it’s never been easier to quickly put together a realistic book mockup using nothing but an uploaded cover file and one of their templates. Canva’s book mockup generator allows you to select from a variety of backgrounds and environments, upload your cover design, and then will automatically create a mockup of the book in seconds.
Whilst the choice of backgrounds can sometimes be limiting, and are not a full substitute for a custom photo-shoot, the generator is an incredibly quick and easy tool that provides you with a mockup you can adapt for your own asset creation purposes when production resources are tight.
LinkedIn has recently tested the use of AI copy suggestions in Campaign Manager. The suggestions are designed to reduce ad input time and guide creative content based on previous ad performances.
Based on your company page, previous campaign insights, and Microsoft’s OpenAI data, LinkedIn will swiftly generate a range of suggested introductory texts and headlines for your ad. You can simply edit the copy to your liking from there, freeing up time that would otherwise be spent on plugging in information to focus on campaign strategy, creativity, and experimentation.
Whilst this feature may be a game-changer, using AI in social media ads is a tried and tested concept. Facebook has long used machine learning and audience behaviour models to calculate which users to show certain ads to. Whilst most of this is decided based on audience behaviour, there are certain things you can do to make the AI work for you! For example, ads with sensationalist language, any kind of bait for engagement, or even too much text in the asset, have been shown to underperform with the algorithm.
LinkedIn is also testing AI prompts for feed posts, where you can share rough content ideas and have the AI fashion them into a draft post.
Before you jump in, a word of warning… There are understandable reservations about how AI generated organic and ad posts may affect overall brand authenticity and voice. LinkedIn values opinions and thought-leadership as a platform, so our recommendation would be to use the tools as guidance, editing the generated posts yourself to ensure the content stays valuable to your audience. There is no value to be had on a platform that is simply a bunch of computers telling each other what to think!
The Big Picture: AI for strategy, planning, and resources
Beyond everyday social tools, a 2020 Publishers Association survey examined how publishers were using AI to best further their broader industry-specific objectives. The results showed how publishing-specific tools could be used to undertake market forecasts and predict consumer responses, identify copyright infringement and plagiarism, complete automatic invoicing and stock management, and improve metadata and categorisation.
Spotting data patterns
Taylor & Francis recently partnered with Denmark based tech company, UNSILO, to improve metadata and create a recommendation engine that was supplied to their academic library customers. The AI tool worked by reading their content and creating a knowledge base of the most useful keywords that can then be used as tags.
Whilst this may seem like a large-scale example, especially to many budget-limited or smaller publishers, it is a good demonstration of how NLP (Natural Language Processing) tools can spot patterns and recognise language akin to the human brain.
A more easy-to-implement example of this is the use of tools such as Grammarly, which uses NLP to automate simple editing and formatting tasks, allowing human editors to focus more on the big-picture structural changes and content value.
Market trend predictions
Tools are also emerging to help predict future trends, which could vitally reshape commissioning departments in a forward-acting industry such as publishing.
One example is Meltwater, who first launched their media intelligence service back in 2015. Its software collects data from hundreds of thousands of media sources (from podcasts and forums, to broadcast and print) to track and analyse the most common topics associated with your brand. The result is a social listening tool that not only allows you to understand your company’s industry positioning, but also predict where conversations will be turning next.
Of course, the very nature of the world dictates that not everything is predictable (who could have foreseen how the pandemic would have shaped trends and tastes?), but AI market prediction tools make staying on top of trends easier.
So what can publishers do now?
The first step is to keep up to date with any new changes on the platforms your organisation is currently using, whether that’s generative content tools or ways of making time-consuming processes more efficient. LinkedIn’s data suggests that 55% of users intend on using generative AI tools, so it’s important to prioritise which tasks could benefit from the assistance. It’s also important to understand that AI tools are not magic bullet solutions. Like all tools, they require skill and understanding behind them to be able to use them effectively.
The BookMachine blog and social channels will be posting updates to the social algorithms, new tools, and explanations in the future, so watch this space!
Megan (she/her) is a Digital Marketing Executive at BookMachine Creative Agency. She has a broad range of experience marketing for academic, independent, and children’s publishers, where she crafted a variety of digital ad campaigns, organic social content, newsletters, emails, and analytical reports. After exploring the trade side of the industry during her publishing MA, she went on to specialise in marketing academic products during her time at Oxford University Press, giving her an invaluable and diverse insight into both the trade and educational fields.