If Natural Language Processing (NLP) sounds like some obscure concept to you, it’s because it is. NLP falls under artificial intelligence (AI), which in itself is a very technical subject.

But, contrary to what you might think, NLP is not that difficult to understand.

What Is Natural Language Processing?

NLP falls under the AI group of technologies, which also includes machine learning, deep learning, image recognition, and so on. It is also the technology behind a computer’s ability to read, translate, or summarize text—whether in visual or audio form—and figure out what it means.

In addition, NLP is good at dealing with the nuances of human or natural language, such as spelling errors, slang or informal terms, or regional accents, enabling machines to perform tasks as accurately as possible.

Through NLP, a computer can understand human or natural language. NLP uses syntax and semantics to help computers and systems think like humans based on the data they receive, then perform a relevant response. Just think how Google or other sites can give you relevant results even though your search term isn’t spelled or phrased correctly—that’s NLP at work right there!

To serve its users the best browsing experience, Google uses NLP to identify the context or intent of search queries. What this means for your digital marketing team is you can also use NLP in your campaigns to make sure that your message reaches your target audience—people or organizations who can benefit from your content, product, or service.

In this infographic, you’ll see how NLP has been revolutionizing digital marketing in many ways, so you can identify the different possibilities to use this technology to your own advantage.

[Infographic] 6 Ways Natural Language Processing Can Level Up Your Digital Marketing

How to Use Natural Language Processing in Digital Marketing

Marketers used to create and optimize content mainly for search engines like Google. As long as you included enough target keywords, your content would have a good chance of being indexed. Over time, Google saw the need to tweak those algorithms with their Panda update to make sure that websites only published useful and relevant content for users.

But, how does NLP fit the bill in effective digital marketing?

NLP makes it easy for you to process tons of language data collected from Google search, website visits, or social media pages, and then use the information to improve your marketing strategies across these channels.

Lead capture and qualification

Countless customers are going online to search for information, content, products, and so on, at any given time each day. Google receives around 5.8 billion searches a day, which translates to lots of opportunities for your business to capture leads. However, customers don’t like the idea of having to wait too long for someone to respond to their queries.

With NLP, you can utilize bots to handle customer queries almost instantly and collect information about people who are visiting your site during the actual conversations themselves. Chatbots are also useful in lead qualification, as they can help identify if someone is ready to buy and use that insight to pass hot leads over to sales for immediate action.

Sentiment analysis

Smiling and frowning faces
NLP techniques like sentiment analysis allow brands to recalibrate their message and branding to fit their audience.

A lot about digital marketing entails measuring how well your campaigns are doing. This task is critical as you want to make sure that you’re using the right strategies or if you could improve those that are not contributing to your efforts.

One practical use of NLP is in measuring sentiment about your brand. You want to be able to track what your top-performing content is and then gain a clear understanding of what makes that particular type of content resonate well with audiences, so you can replicate more of it moving forward.

NLP technologies like social listening tools allow you to find language clues like positive, negative, or neutral terms that people use to describe your business or content. Knowing how people feel about your brand should help you plan how to maintain or shape good brand perception.

Audience reach

In today’s digital world, customer data can be the lifeblood of any business. As it is, the web already stores unimaginable amounts not only of text data but also speech data. In fact, in Q3 2018, smart speaker shipments grew nearly 200%, which shows how virtual assistants like Alexa or Siri have grown in popularity over the years.

Amazon Echo smart speaker
Virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri have grown in popularity over the years. (Photo by Loewe Technologies on Unsplash)

NLP’s voice search capabilities can help you target specific audiences, such as consumers who use their voice-activated devices to find things on the web. Since NLP can pick up specific keywords from audio conversations, you can better identify which content or ad matches their needs, interests, or stage in the buying cycle.

SEO rankings

People search in different ways depending on how they express themselves. For instance, someone may enter the keywords “Steps in updating LinkedIn profile,” while someone else might ask, “How to update my profile in LinkedIn.” As you can see, these are two different ways of asking the same thing.

Your goal is to use the right combination of keywords, which will help Google understand that your text or content is a good answer to that query and should, therefore, be included in search engine results.

By using NLP technology, you can identify with different variations of related or relevant keywords, learn how to use them in your content, and optimize your marketing assets better than ever before!

Content generation

One of your goals as a marketer is to create quality content that can drive traffic to your site and engage visitors. However, you know better that things shouldn’t stop at content creation.

You also need to audit your content assets and conduct competitor research as these things can help ensure that you have all the bases covered. This is where NLP comes handy, allowing you to see if there’s any missing or insufficient content in your blog posts.

Content Assessment CTA

You can also use NLP to identify the hottest topics in your industry and create your own content, paving the way for timely and meaningful conversations within the community.

Customer service

At the end of the day, it’s the customer-first mindset that makes businesses successful. Treading this path means you have to know who your customers are and what motivates them, and then create buyer personas to help tailor-fit your content to their needs.

Today, more and more businesses are using NLP techniques to cull customer data from a broad range of sources—emails, chats, feedback forms, help desk tickets, and the like—and improve the overall customer experience on their website.

NLP Matters for Your Content Marketing

Every good marketer knows that words have the power to stir emotions, behavior, ideas, and actions among people. As a technology, NLP’s growing list of diverse applications allow you to automate and optimize your content marketing efforts with machine-like efficiency, but also with a truly personal and human touch.

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