Acrolinx claims to be the only software that can actually “read” your content and then make suggestions as to how you can make it better.
A bold claim and one which many authors would chuckle at – I’d love to feed it a few pages of James Joyce’s Ulysses and see what it makes of that. I know, I know, that’s not what it’s intended for and I’ll be serious from now on.
The main premise from which Acrolinx’s proposition appears to have been developed is that “Better Content = Better Business” and they’re certainly right about that, at least when it comes to online text-based content marketing. I’m not sure that this approach is going to be much help when viewed in the light of the fact that a high proportion of content marketing is gradually, (in fact quite quickly), transitioning towards video with text included simply as an adjunct.
There are versions of Acrolinx available as extensions to popular packages such as Word, Google docs, Excel, and so on. I suppose its a bit like having your English Grammar teacher constantly looking over your shoulder and, for many content writers, that would be no bad thing. Does it really work? I don’t know – you’ll have to judge for yourself in the light of the writing talent you have available. The trouble with AI is that it is unlikely to be of much use to those with exceptional talent – image how Picasso would have reacted to an AI painting advisor telling him he had got the eyes in the wrong place or Hendrix being told he was playing the guitar in a way that conflicted with almost every known acceptable way of doing so – but still managing to sound like God playing on a very special day.
Unfortunately, most businesses don’t have that kind of talent and Acrolinx would probably be a Godsend to them.
It seems that many of the world’s greatest brands trust Acrolinx? Whether their content is designed to generate leads, social interactions such as likes or shares, or to generate conversions or sales, Acrolinx claims that it can help deliver better results.
They also have a content scoring system and claim that their research “has proven that content with a higher Acrolinx Score increases brand trust, conversion rates, and reduces content production costs.” They have research that seems to bear that out and there is no surprise in learning that content that adheres to a certain, proven, “formula” can engage and convert at a higher rate.
If content marketing is important or, more likely, unavoidable, for your business and if you do enough of it to justify the cost, then Acrolinx could well be the one for you. They are one of those irritating businesses that don’t publish their prices – instead you will have to talk to one of their experts, AKA salesmen/women in order to discover the likely cost.
It could well be worth the arse-ache of doing that however because, my cynicism aside, there is a lot of rubbish churned out under the guise of content marketing. I’ve always been of the opinion that a lot of businesses are really good at what they do but couldn’t market their way out of a paper bag – that is particularly true of content marketing when many talented business owners really struggle to put things into words on paper in a way that will actually stimulate engagement and sales and often have to hire others to do it for them.
I’m sure that Acrolinx does a splendid job of helping content marketers to produce copy that maximises and optimises the brand values of the organisation using it and ensures adherance to the optimum style and voice for that organisation and that brand. How it would fare when working with skilled copywriters, especially sales copywriters, I remain to be convinced.
Acrolinx Platforms and Workflows
Acrolinx works with many enterprise marketing systems, such as Adobe Marketing Cloud (AEM), Salesforce.com, SDL, WordPress, IBM WCM, and many more. They also support agile development processes having worked with systems like GitHub and SonarQube. It isn’t just English either, supported languages include Chinese and Japanese – no mean feat, together with German, (it is developed in Berlin), and others.
As the pricing is not published it is difficult to come to any conclusion as to value save to say that, for most smaller businesses, their money may well be better spent hiring a really talented copywriter. Come on Acrolinx, prove me wrong.