Automation is no longer a thing of the future but a choice we can make to improve our lives as individuals and businesses.
However, according to Adobe, in 2018, only 15% of businesses were actively involved in using AI-based systems. Of course, the numbers are different now, since the same report predicted that around 31% of enterprises would make the switch in the following year.
We can see the change as more and more businesses use intelligent chatbots to improve the customer service experience and increase their level of efficiency in dealing with low-level issues. There’s also an increase in people who use voice assistants (such as Siri, Google Assistant, or Alexa) – according to a recent Pew Research Center report, almost 50% of US citizens interact with their smartphones using voice commands.
But Artificial Intelligence systems are not just about voice assistants and chatbots (as amazing as they are)! These systems promise to cover mundane tasks that are currently handled by employees, so we can use our brains for more creative and challenging work. As such, AI is reshaping the world as we know it, influencing entire industries from customer relations to production and manufacturing.
Given this, it should come to no surprise the fact that digital marketing is one of the most impacted segments. Marketers are already familiar with systems designed to provide predictive analytics based on data collected from various sources, but AI brought forth a new way of making decisions and identifying audiences (among others).
AI’s Influence on Digital Marketing
The main change powered by Artificial Intelligence in Digital Marketing strategies is seen in the way brands connect with their audiences. Many brands use chatbots, but marketers also use intelligent systems for content personalization, creating better-targeted campaigns, and cutting down costs. As a side note, this also shows that digital marketers may also need to learn Artificial Intelligence (at least at a basic level) in the nearest future.
Chatbots for a Better Client-Brand Connection
In simple terms, chatbots are software tools designed to interact with customers and provide useful information. Right now, the chatbot industry is on the rise, and more developers focus on creating intelligent systems that can sustain a natural human conversation.
This is possible due to the development of AI semantic recognition, voice conversion technology, and language processing. While we’re still working on perfecting these tools, basic chatbot systems can perform simple tasks such as answering basic questions, taking orders, guiding users through various processes, and more.
The main benefits of brands using chatbots are:
- 24h, non-stop access to customer services – chatbots don’t need sleep or a break, so they can provide support around the clock;
- One-to-many approach – one system can simultaneously work with several customers, eliminating the limitations of a system operated by humans where only one-on-one interactions are possible at a given time.
- Better customer experience – chatbots don’t get frustrated with impatient customers and don’t lose their calm.
- Localized customer service – many chatbots systems can be used in several languages, so a client can select their native language.
- Speedy delivery – chatbots have access to an extensive database (including users’ previous interactions with the platform), and they can provide the requested information a lot faster than a human operator.
Chatbots are even more critical since many brands switched towards communicating with customers via text apps such as Facebook Messenger, Slack, or WhatsApp. And, as it turns out, over 50% of consumers love the idea of a simpler, faster communication with their favorite brands!
This is about personalizing each user’s experience with a site or a platform by making suggestions of content that better fits their needs.
A good example here is the algorithm used by YouTube to recommend content for each user based on their previous selections. But this only happens if you have an account. Otherwise, you’ll be shown recommendations for your current location.
In a similar attempt, marketers can (and do) use AI systems to provide their viewers with products, offers, content, and other items that fit their previous interactions with the platform. Moving one step further, the same system can be used to boost sales by making more accurate recommendations for users.
Lastly, AI systems can also determine the type of content that’s most likely to appeal to your audience. This way, you eliminate a lot of the guesswork and trial and error systems that are still prevalent in today’s digital marketing strategies.
The main advantage behind current intelligent systems is the fact that they can process large amounts of data at high speeds, thus delivering results that can have an impact in real-time.
Refining Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of those tools that define time and technology, staying in shape, and delivering incredible ROI even in the age of AI. Even so, it can use a bit of refinement, and we now have the perfect way to do it right.
We now have intelligent systems that setup triggers for various actions (based on previous behavior). This allows marketers to target just the right people with the right content, making the experience more relevant for the customer and more profitable for the business.
For instance, many brands use a segmented emailing strategy based on the status of a user. As such, they send out one type of email to someone who just signed up for an account, a different email to someone who is a member and has a wishlist, and a different email to someone who is a loyal customer.
Mind-Blowing Ad Concepts
Ads (especially digital advertising) are getting smarter, and it’s all due to AI-provided insight. We can see this all over social media platforms and Google, where intelligent systems are used to target the right audience.
Due to AI technology, marketers can accurately predict trends and cash in on micro-trends, which allows for better targeting, thus reducing digital advertising spending waste. According to Statista, the global advertising spending estimate for 2019 was over 560 billion dollars and, because of the trial and error system most businesses use, some of it was wasted. However, as AI takes over, less and less of a company’s advertising budget will be lost.
Now, artificial intelligence is not just about making sure your budget is well-spent. It’s also about innovation and creativity. In fact, most social media platforms that run ads can create copy that fits your needs based on past users’ behavior and the links you want to promote. As such, the content creation process of a digital marketing agency can be boosted and refined by AI-powered platforms.
Also, some brands combine modern technologies such as augmented reality or virtual reality to create mind-blowing ads that keep the people engaged and retain their attention.
While innovation and better targeting are extremely useful for marketers, business owners are really excited about AI because it is a fantastic opportunity to reduce costs.
Just think about it.
Just by using chatbots, companies save money and increase profits by offering a better customer experience. The same happens when planning marketing strategies or personalizing content.
AI-powered systems have the intelligence to take over some of the menial tasks that used to be covered by human operators. This means fewer employees and more efficiency.
The main job of a digital marketer is to get into the customer’s head and understand what they may end up searching online, with regards to the product or service they are promoting. In the past, this task used to be rather easy because search engines used keywords to find relevant pages.
But those days are long gone, and this is due, in part, to the development of intelligent systems. Nowadays, a search algorithm understands nuances and contextual meaning (aka semantic search). Even more, some algorithms deliver results by taking a user’s search history into consideration.
With the launch of virtual assistants (Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, and more), AI systems also can use voice search and speech recognition to identify new niches and tap previously unknown resources.
So, what does this mean for SEO specialists?
In a nutshell, it means digital marketers must be open to new possibilities and that they have a powerful ally in AI-powered platforms.
Now that we know why and how intelligent artificial systems are a part of the digital marketing industry let’s have a look at some of the tools we can use.
Google Cloud AI
This is a tool for learning how to use and implement AI in your business, and we strongly recommend browsing some of their modules. Google Cloud AI offers amazing examples of tools and designs that may become extremely popular in the future.
It also offers insight into what your competition may do to gain an advantage and cut a bigger market slice for themselves.
A fantastic platform for brands that strive on social media campaigns!
Zoomph offers insight and helps marketers understand their audience and the social platforms they use. It also analyzes the emotions and feelings that make a campaign fly, delivering more accurate data than traditional CPM models.
MarketMuse is an AI-powered platform for SEO, content research, and competitive analysis and helps marketers create content that is truly relevant for their audience. Besides this, it provides useful information on various keywords and identifies potentially unexploited areas.
So, if you feel your content is lacking that ‘je ne sais quoi’, you may benefit from a bit of help from such a platform.
This is the ideal platform to use when your social media presence gets a lot of engagement via comments and reviews.
Yext is the right tool to use when you want to know how your company or brand is being represented online. It processes data from social media platforms, reviews platforms, and more and understands the general vibe. It also prioritizes the reviews and comments that need your attention to boost your online reputation.
As we already mentioned, a marketer must know and understand the audience’s needs (what they may look for online) in order to create an effective campaign. As such, Chorus is a platform that uses the power of AI to analyze patterns that lead to a successful sale in calls.
It can also provide insight into why a sales call wasn’t successful and allow salespeople to focus on their primary task – closing deals. It does that by automatically creating reports for each user interaction, thus taking this task off the hands of human operators.
After reading all this, the conclusion is rather apparent – AI systems are deeply integrated into our professional and personal lives. As digital marketers, we see it act from both perspectives, and it’s time to understand and accept that the way we used to do things isn’t useful without help from intelligent algorithms and data analyzers.