How is artificial intelligence used in digital marketing?
Today’s marketing landscape is fragmented and highly competitive. Digital marketers face many challenges including ways to keep their businesses sustainable, how to retain customers, as well as preserving a good reputation.
At the core of these changes is the shift of power from businesses to consumers following the ease of access to information. Consumers can now buy products and pay for services wherever and whenever they want.
Consequently, digital marketers need ways to understand consumers better, connect with them and give them what they want.
Artificial intelligence rose to provide digital marketers with valuable solutions. AI algorithms can analyze big data fast, find patterns and help us formulate and implement better marketing strategies
As a result, marketers can integrate artificial intelligence into online marketing strategies and make informed decisions based on data.
In this article, we will look into 5 interesting applications of artificial intelligence in digital marketing in 2021.
1. Content Creation
The main responsibility of digital marketers is to create content that answers people’s questions. Such content attracts organic visitors who are potential customers. So when done correctly, it enhances the prospects of business profitability.
But content creation can be challenging.
According to the Content Marketing Institute B2B Content Marketing 2021 Report, 63% of marketers who reported low marketing success attributed their results to challenges in content creation.
It takes a lot of time, and work to research, write, edit and optimize content that converts.
Since content creation is inevitable, as a business you have to hire content writers and dedicate a percentage of your budget to cater to rising content production budgets.
Fortunately, content creation is one of the best applications of artificial intelligence in digital marketing because it makes content creation far easier at a fraction of the time and cost.
AI-powered tools use natural language generation (NLG) technology to produce content that is almost indistinguishable from human language.
This impressive technology can turn numbers into narratives based on pre-set templates and formulate complete summaries of articles and books.
Imagine having the freedom to focus on other critical marketing tasks such as content distribution and networking without compromising publishing consistency.
Or, hiring one content developer to proofread AI-produced content while you channel more resources to product development and marketing for amplified returns.
AI can help you maintain a competitive advantage in an era where billions of gigabytes of data are produced daily.
When The Washington Post found it hard to staff more than a handful of the most significant games each week, it turned to AI.
It built Heliograf, an automated storytelling technology to cover all Washington DC’s area high school football games weekly. They could now cover every game they had data for giving teams and fans instant coverage.
2. Content Curation
Millions of blog posts are published every day. As a digital marketer, you read and learn from relevant articles to be well informed. But then, you cannot possibly skim through all of it in a lifetime. Ideally, you only want valuable articles on topics of interest.
That’s where content curation comes in. It is the process of gathering information relevant to a particular area of interest and selecting what will add value to you.
Digital marketers need to be on top of the latest news to stay ahead of the competition.
But sieving through an enormous amount of data every day to select relevant content is challenging and time-consuming.
Artificial intelligence lightens the challenges of content curation.
AI-powered content curation algorithms process your search history and find patterns. Then, they use these interpretations to recommend content relevant to you based on topics. So it forms another amazing application of artificial intelligence in digital marketing today.
Artificial intelligence reduces the manual effort required to skim through content and select share-worthy articles. You only need to set your content preferences to narrow down the content you find relevant.
A great example of an AI content curator is Feedly; an AI-powered RSS Feed that instantly aggregates articles and news allowing marketers to spend more time creating valuable content.
Vestorly integrated AI into its comprehensive marketing platform FMG Suite resulting in a new product: Curator. Curator allowed advisors to personalize their content feeds to better serve their client’s interests.
Customers could share relevant and timely content and the FMG Suite could track content engagement and learn about customers’ preferences.
3. Targeted Advertising
Rudimentary online advertising is difficult, time-consuming, and costly. You have to research, collect and analyze data to predict the most effective advertising strategies to maximize lead generation and profits.
Also, this strategy is inadequate and prone to human error.
Often, you select publishers based on limited information of the target audience and their behaviors on the site. Then you apply trial and error to determine the publishers attracting the most profitable customers.
A lot of resources go down the drain before you can optimize your online marketing campaigns to become even remotely profitable.
Artificial intelligence solves this problem by incorporating automation and machine language to target ads to the right audience. AI algorithms use search history data and site topical relevance to serve relevant ads to website visitors.
But it doesn’t stop there.
Machine learning models also determine when and how much to bid on ads. AI segments people into groups based on their search history and delivers ads to them intelligently and efficiently.
The return on investment of applying artificial intelligence in digital marketing dwarfs traditional online marketing. Consequently, more marketers continue to invest in targeted advertising more than any other display advertising.
Pandora Jewelry launched a Facebook marketing campaign to generate positive sentiment among German audiences during the Christmas shopping period and test whether a brand campaign would impact the ecommerce business.
They employed AI-powered Facebook Ads to promote a video campaign that resulted in a 10-point lift in favorability, 61% lift in purchases, and 42% increase in new buyers.
The test demonstrated how brand video and direct response achieved more together than separately.
4. Customer Service
A website attracts customers you wouldn’t have access to using traditional marketing schemes. However, it also comes with a significant challenge, especially to websites offering services; the need for consistent customer engagement through the various channels available.
Customer service is crucial since it determines how long a business can keep its customers. According to HubSpot, 90 % of American customers use customer service as a factor to decide if they’ll do business with a company.
Businesses thus hire customer care agents to answer customers’ questions.
Considering customer service is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year industry and 50% of inquiries are related to common and frequent problems, a lot of resources are spent ineffectively by businesses who have to hire customer care agents.
Integrating artificial intelligence in customer services is not only inevitable but also a necessary development. In fact, it is one of the most common applications of artificial intelligence in digital marketing as I explain below.
This integration comes in the form of Chatbots, an application that simulates human-like conversations with users through text.
AI-powered Chatbots use Natural Language Processing to interact with users and provide an experience almost similar to talking to an actual customer care agent. They streamline interactions between people and services while eliminating human customer care agents.
Amtrak, a public transportation company, serving 30 million passengers annually, created Ask Julie, a Chatbot to help visitors find what they needed without having to call or email customer service.
As a result, the company achieved 800% return on investment, saved $1 million in one year, and increased booking by 25%.
Gartner predicted that 15% of global interaction would be handled by Chatbots following the quick adoption of AI and the rapid advancement of Chatbots.
5. Personalized Experience
Ecommerce has grown tremendously over the last two decades. Thousands of ecommerce sites want a share of this trillion-dollar market whose competition continues to rise by the day.
As an ecommerce digital marketer, you need to use customer data to figure out what they buy, when and why, to compete favorably and stay profitable,
Considering the large inventory these sites accumulate with time, and the growing number of customers, finding meaning from big data can be very challenging.
A marketer in a grocery ecommerce store with frequenting customers will have to aggregate data on a spreadsheet and manually go through it to find patterns such as when most sales are made.
So how can we apply artificial intelligence in digital marketing to deliver personalized experiences to our customers?
Machine learning algorithms can quickly analyze this data to find patterns and predict consumer choices no matter the size of the data volume. AI tools collect data on customer purchases over time and give users a personalized experience through relevant recommendations.
Also, when customers search for products, natural language processing (NLP) helps narrow down results to find the most relevant products based on previous search history.
This offers a great user experience considering that many customers give up e-commerce experiences when the search results displayed are irrelevant.
Lastly, artificial intelligence can analyze critical features of each product and generate product descriptions saving copywriting costs.
StitchFix, a clothes online shop, implemented artificial intelligence in the ecommerce site to collect data on their style preferences from clients and offer customized clothing unique to the client’s style.
Its AI-powered site would also streamline logistics and operations by recommending products to customers based on their location.
The last century has seen a great deal of technological advancement in the sphere of business digital transformation. Nevertheless, every technology comes with new challenges. This case isn’t different with digital marketing.
Digital marketing has improved advertising strategies and saved businesses advertising costs. However, its full potential is only achieved with the use of artificial intelligence.
And this was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to artificial intelligence use cases in digital marketing in 2022.
AI bridges the gap between machines and humans, making digital processes highly human-like. As evident with the exciting applications we have discussed, AI can help digital marketers improve the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns.
The cost, time, and energy saved in the process enable progressive digital marketers to have the upper hand against their competition.
How are you currently using artificial intelligence in your digital marketing efforts?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below?
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