How to Generate Content Using an API
Content generation is a key piece of any modern marketing strategy. Companies use content to funnel potential clients to their product pages, stimulate discussion about their services, or link out to affiliate sites to generate revenue. Content essentially creates more awareness for the company’s brand, and there are a few ways to generate content more quickly than hiring content writers.
Generating content using an API is one of those ways. APIs are an extremely efficient method of plugging information into your content and analyzing potential leads for you to take advantage of. Rather than having to manually update article after article, or blog after blog, your API can do it for you automatically, saving you time and money.
If you’re interested in learning more about APIs and content generation in general, keep reading. We’ve outlined the essentials to keep in mind when thinking about API content generation and how you can use the technology for your benefit.
What is an API?
An API might sound like complex technology, and you would be right. It is. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t understand what it is and how you might be able to use one.
API stands for Application Programming Interface. Essentially, an API is an intermediary between two or more applications. The API allows the applications to “talk” to one another, exchanging data or informational changes that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.
Not only that, but an API also can tell an application what to do. For example, most weather forecast websites use an API that rips data from the source, like NASA or a weather satellite ticker, and then plugs that information into the website. The API communicated the weather data from the primary source to the secondary source but then changed the secondary source’s output to match the data.
APIs work by web scraping, a process which allows you to mine websites for the underlying information that informs their headers and data points. This information isn’t always readily available, so coding a web scraping API will help you automatically plug that information into your website without doing the digging yourself.
Consider yourself sitting at a table in a restaurant. You, in this example, are the device or user. The kitchen, on the other hand, is the system that stores and sends out information. The missing link between you and the kitchen is the waiter, who is the API. The waiter relays your food order to the kitchen, and then the kitchen starts preparing the order. Once your food is ready, the waiter delivers it back to you. This is exactly what an API does between applications.
Most companies use APIs in some way or another. From weather data websites to stock price tickers, companies utilize the automated nature of APIs to do all sorts of things. They’re an incredibly useful tool that can save you the time of finding and plugging in updated information yourself.
How Can an API Help with Content Generation?
There are several different types of APIs that you and your company can implement to help with your content strategy. Each one serves a specific purpose, and we’ll go over some of the most useful ones below for automated content generation.
Integrating Content from Different Sources
Although APIs can’t write content, you can still use them to automate some parts of the content generation process. APIs can move content around to different URLs automatically, freeing you up to focus on creating new content.
For example, your company might have different websites that you market to different niches, or your website might address different subjects in several sections. You can use an API to share content automatically between the different sections of your website or between your separate websites.
Essentially, you set up an API to search for keywords or subject lines that apply to several categories, then automate the API to integrate that content across the different websites. This helps save you and your company an immense amount of time copying content from one page to another.
A good example of this would be how the New York Times automates its marketing for different articles to readers who have set up notifications for different sections of their publication. An article might have to do with Tech but is published under Business. The API might recognize that the article has to do with both and then push that to users who subscribe to Tech as well as those who subscribe to Business.
An important part of any content marketing strategy is allowing user engagement with content and user to user conversations to take place on your website. This helps drive traffic into your website rather than funneling it to other channels where the conversation might take place.
However, we all know that the internet can be a pretty toxic environment where opinions clash and messages get heated. APIs play an essential role in user-generated content moderation. An API might be tasked with filtering out certain keywords that a user might post, then deleting that automatically.
This is especially useful when it comes to hate speech or threats. Human moderators might miss what an API would not, making them much more efficient moderators.
Collecting Data and Plugging it into Content
Whatever content you might write for your website, it probably has primary sources that inform the information you’re putting forward. For example, you might write about stock prices for a certain company. However, stock prices change, and so does other information that directly relates to the company’s performance.
Using an API, you automatically update the information you’re providing in the content piece. If the company’s stock price changes, the API will automatically plug that new information into your already-written content.
Manually updating this sort of information is essentially impossible. With so many updates happening every day, you would likely spend all of your time revising a single data point to keep your content relevant. An API does all of this heavy lifting for you.
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