Why You Need an AI Content Playbook

When it comes to your AI content strategy, are you missing out on ROI? It…


When it comes to your AI content strategy, are you missing out on ROI?

It wouldn’t be the first time a business has failed to get its money’s worth from the latest technology. According to HBR research, the average business leaves 50% of potential value from digital transformation on the table. That’s because they rushed to implement technology to keep up with a buzzword, rather than carefully considering their strategy.

The same thing is happening with generative AI. Influenced by headlines about how AI will revolutionize the world, companies are creating content with AI just for the sake of being able to say they’re using it. But AI is a technology, not a strategy. And rushing to implement it without considering your goals, the landscape, or the potential risks could lead to disaster.

To get the most value from AI and safeguard against risk, you need an AI content playbook—a plan for integrating AI into your content strategy.

What Is an AI Content Playbook?

An AI content playbook is both a strategy for getting value from generative AI and a roadmap for implementing it. It’s tailored to your business, taking your brand, audience, goals, and content processes into account.

A good AI content playbook should be based on your existing content strategy. From there, you need to determine where AI fits in the implementation of that strategy. In other words: What are all the ways that AI will support your overall business and content goals? Content creation and optimization? Research assimilation? Personalization at scale? Keyword discovery?

An AI content playbook helps you establish a clear vision of what you want to achieve with AI, coupled with a concrete plan for getting there. Depending on where you are in your AI journey, you may need help mapping opportunities and potential use cases in your content workflow, or you may need to chart a program to pilot AI for content creation. But once you have a plan, you can start to implement AI in a way that ensures you capture its value.

So let’s take a more detailed look at why you need an AI content playbook, what it might include, and how it can help you leverage AI to support content strategy and business goals.

Why You Need a Playbook for Your AI Content Strategy

The hype isn’t wrong: AI is poised to have a transformative impact on business. But that doesn’t mean you should rush to implement it for its own sake. Plenty of companies are running ad-hoc experiments with AI. But it’s hard to coordinate AI efforts across different teams and functions to deliver a content experience that generates value. It’s imperative to solidify your organization’s generative AI vision and get everyone on the same page.

Here are a few more marketing-specific reasons to develop your own AI content playbook, customized for your organization’s needs:

Maximize the ROI of Your AI Investments

The challenge with AI is unlocking value in the right places. Used effectively, AI can help you scale the more tactical elements of content creation, optimization, delivery, and personalization, leaving your team more time to be strategic. At Tendo, we don’t recommend using AI to scale every aspect of your content operations from A to Z. Instead, a customized playbook would help you evaluate potential use cases and determine which ones to implement.

Maintain Brand Consistency and Authenticity

AI-generated content is like any other content: It needs to meet your brand guidelines and editorial standards and fit into your overall content strategy. However, few companies are comfortable training a public LLM on their secret sauce. Luckily, there are approaches that can be included in your playbook to mitigate the risks. For example, certain AI tools offer the ability to confine your data to a private instance, so that the AI can train on your brand voice and knowledge base without sharing them with your competitors. Other ways your AI content playbook can help protect your brand include ensuring a workflow that allows for rigorous editorial review and excluding the use of AI for certain content types.

Hit the Mark with Greater Audience-Centricity

AI can support more focused lead generation activities based on detailed audience insights, as well as personalization and targeting at scale. But success depends on a well thought out, strategic approach. An AI content playbook that takes your overarching business and marketing goals, and the informational needs of your key audiences, into account will help you to build a thoughtful framework for how to generate and utilize ongoing audience insights and understanding using AI.

Your Team Members are Already Using AI

More than half of U.S. employees say they use generative AI tools on the job, according to a Conference Board survey—yet only 26 percent of companies have an AI policy. That’s a potential problem. Don’t get us wrong: It’s not bad that employees are experimenting with AI. That’s how you build expertise and encourage innovation on your team—both of which are solid ways to gain a competitive advantage. But everybody on your team needs to be aligned around how to use AI in a way that fits in to your content strategy.

Elements of an AI Content Playbook

How to begin building your AI content strategy depends on your organization’s needs and where you stand in your AI content journey. Depending on your situation, an AI content playbook could contain any of the following elements:

  • Current state assessment: This is helpful as a first step to document where AI is (and isn’t) being used in your organization. It can also include a review of your people, processes, resources, and non-AI content technology to help you start to identify where AI could fit in to your content workflow.
  • Outside research: It’s also useful to take a look at AI developments that are applicable to your business—whether that means competitors who are publicly using AI, or AI-fueled changes in the overall landscape that could affect your field (and your content).
  • Opportunities report: This analysis, personalized to your business and the current state of your content strategy and operations, shows where generative AI can yield value for your business by identifying use cases that solve for your needs.
  • Action recommendations: It’s hard to know where to start with AI, and often the first applications that come to mind are not the ones that will truly save time or add value to your content workflow. An AI content playbook can provide recommended actions, prioritized by impact and level of effort.
  • Implementation plan: This is the real meat of any AI content playbook, and can include recommended tools, resources, and processes. Many businesses might start with a plan for piloting AI for one or two use cases on a limited scale and testing its impact. Businesses that are currently in the piloting stage might need help assessing the results, making adjustments, and rolling AI content workflows out to the rest of the organization.
  • Governance, guidelines, and guardrails: Yes, we said the G-words! Like all good strategies, the success of your AI content strategy depends on consistent implementation and practice. Including helpful guides as well as guardrails in your playbook helps focus your team on the do’s and don’ts of generative AI for your organization.

Make It a Living Resource

Just like an editorial style guide or a content governance framework, consider your AI content playbook as a dynamic, ever-evolving document. The pace of AI innovation won’t slow down any time soon, so revisit your playbook’s recommendations and guidelines on a regular basis. Also think about which team members—across relevant departments—should be involved in oversight and updates.

Look to Tendo for AI Content Guidance

At Tendo, we know content—and we’re following developments in AI content strategy closely, from prompt engineering to AI policy and governance. We can advise you on the best way to integrate AI into your content processes and workflows so that you get the most value from your generative AI investments—and lead the transformation of AI content so that you don’t get left behind.

Let Tendo help you build your AI content playbook tailored to your specific marketing goals and content strategy. Contact us today.


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