Practical AI Marketing Applications Today
While some marketers are embracing artificial intelligence (AI) head-on, a large portion of the industry still reports not using AI at all. The most common reason marketers aren’t using this technology is a lack of knowledge about how it works.
More than 80% of marketers agree that AI is critical to the future of marketing, and 84% of business owners think AI should be a priority for their marketing in 2023. But where do we see marketers using it today?
If you keep up with industry news, you’ve likely seen a lot of chatter lately about AI’s relevance in content development. But the technology can be just as powerful for aiding in other digital marketing efforts, including advertising.
Here, we take a look into AI’s capabilities and how it can help bolster your search engine marketing (SEM) and paid social media campaigns to get your ads in front of the right people – ultimately leading to more conversions.
What is AI, anyway?
Simply put, artificial intelligence refers to the ability of a computer to complete work that is typically completed by humans. AI can be developed to carry out complex tasks quite quickly, which is why we are seeing it being introduced in nearly every field, including health care, technology and consumer goods.
In the marketing world, AI is making its way into nearly all corners of the industry, including:
- Online shopping
- Digital advertising
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Content development
- Marketing operations
- Social media
How can AI be used in advertising?
When it comes to digital marketing initiatives, the use of AI can make your ad campaigns more effective and efficient. It does this by:
- Automating tedious, everyday marketing tasks, such as digital ad placement and scheduling
- Delivering personalized messages
- Identifying and targeting current customers who are at risk of losing brand loyalty
- Using large data sets (also known as “big data”) to gather more holistic insights on customer patterns and associations
When used in SEM, AI can be applied to help build your digital brand, differentiate you from competitors and provide you with the data you need to stay one step ahead. AI enables unprecedented access to consumer data, customer engagement and, when used successfully, can deliver more sales and a stronger return on investment (ROI).
When considering SEM and paid social media, AI is best known for its ability to offer a targeted customer journey.
Benefits of using AI for your business
- Anticipate customer needs: AI can give you broader insight on consumer behavior for your ideal customer personas by using historical data to predict your customers’ future needs, enabling you to create messages that will resonate with your audience based on their specific points in the consumer lifecycle. It can help you better answer questions like:
- What demographic of customers is most likely to purchase our products or services?
- What types of products or services is our target market most likely to buy?
- What in my current marketing plan is and isn’t working?
- Performance tracking: If you have an expert marketing analytics partner like TruStar working with you, you are already tracking your campaigns. AI tools help us take it a step further. AI can track your marketing progress and provide insights into which of your marketing campaigns are most effective and the type of content that’s driving the most engagement. This analysis can then be used to develop stronger messages.
- Social media trends and influences: AI helps answer social media influence questions like:
- What is currently trending on social media?
- What type of content should I be posting and when?
- What social media messages are most effective within my targeted demographic?
- Social media engagement: AI in paid social media can identify patterns in your highest engaging posts so you can continue to build on what has worked with past ads. This helps you offer unique user experiences that encourage audiences to interact with your content more often, which enables your posts to be viewed by more people. We are able to do this now.
- Content scheduling: AI allows you to schedule marketing content in advance, reducing some of the tedious labor that manual posting can involve.
- Increased cash flow: With the in-depth knowledge you can gain about your customers and the improved experiences you can create for them through the use of AI in your marketing, opportunities for cash flow increase are endless.
Benefits of using AI for your customer:
- Optimized content: With AI incorporated into your SEM and paid social media, you may be able to offer customers the exact content they are looking for – when they are looking for it – based on algorithms set up in certain AI tools.
- User experience: AI can improve your customers’ user experience by affording your business the opportunity to truly engage them. For example, these improved experiences could include:
- Augmented reality, where consumers can virtually “try on” products like glasses or makeup
- Chatbots, where customers can receive 24/7 product and service support
Implementing AI for SEM and paid social: Things to consider
AI is a tool that can enhance your SEM and paid social media. With that being said, it’s not the best tool for every digital marketing effort.
If you’re thinking about trying AI on for size, first consider the following.
- Suitability: Your marketing team, including your specialized digital marketing partners, is the knowledge center on your SEM and paid social media. Consult with your analytical digital marketing team to ensure that incorporating AI tools is the best option for your business and the products or services you are selling.
- Strategy: Develop a strategy with your team. Start by answering big-picture questions such as:
- What am I looking to gain from implementing AI into my SEM and paid social media?
- What do I want my customers to gain from implementing AI into my SEM and paid social campaigns?
- Implementation: Get expert help to determine the best way to “test” AI carefully and methodically using A/B controlled approaches to ensure you are reading the data objectively. Marketing analytics experts, such as TruStar Marketing, ensure controlled tests and roll-outs that are accurately evaluated. This approach ensures that you are ramping up the AI applications that are genuinely delivering improved results. Then, you continue to build on what is working.
- Monitor results: Continue to monitor campaigns and adjust buys, ads, targeting and overall strategies based on statistically accurate results.
AI enhances the intelligence tools in your marketing arsenal. It does not replace the need for marketing analysts.
Look at AI for what it truly is – another marketing technology coming of age in your team’s arsenal. It does not create your objectives or strategies. It provides an additional, real-time data enhancement capability that empowers you to turn it up, down or adjust it.
AI tools can provide recommendations for increased ad spend to specific audience segments and adjust ad copy automatically. But you must monitor, manage and analyze it continuously. You are at the controls managing this new intelligence to ensure it is presenting relevant, appropriate information that is converting to more good business. Or, you can hire a team like TruStar Marketing to help.
When marketing with AI, the “set it and forget it” mindset does not work. We’ve seen it quickly lead to unnecessarily high costs, inappropriate product cross-sell recommendations and more. So, monitor, manage and continually analyze to ensure you are using the AI marketing tools to the benefit of your brand and bottom line. And enjoy the new intelligence. You, the human, are still in charge!
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