The Rise of AI is both intriguing and terrifying.
Though AI has its roots in the 1950s, its rise has been phenomenal for years. Today, fields that are left untouched by AI are very few.
With the evidence we have on AI, we can confidently say that the type of AI we use in Digital Marketing is primitive and harmless.
Let’s see this in detail.
The type of AI commonly used in Digital Marketing is Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI), considered weak. Do not mistake the word ‘Weak’ for ‘Inefficiency.’ ANI can outshine humans on any given day in terms of productivity.
In this article, you will see ten ways AI has influenced the Digital Marketing field.
1) By Improving Customer Support
Customer support is one prominent front that AI truly dominates in the online world. It is not uncommon for visitors to be welcomed by online chat widgets these days.
If you assume that a human being is sitting in front of a computer and welcoming you, think twice. Most of the chat widgets that you see today are run by chatbots.
These bots are nothing but programmable software pieces. They can address common customer queries such as FAQs, product features, and pricing. To an extent, they can carry a conversation.
Though a bot cannot match a human being’s flexibility and creativity in addressing queries, it does an excellent job of relieving your precious manpower from mundane tasks.
Some bots are so flexible that they can even help you increase conversions. One such bot is Nike’s StyleBot for Messenger. StyleBot allows the users to create their shoe designs before making an order.
2) By Automating Email Campaigns
Another segment where AI plays an important role is email marketing automation. Ask a true digital marketer, and he/she will tell you how important an email marketing Tool is for brands.
Every business that understands the potential of email marketing relies on AI-powered automation tools such as Mailchimp.
An email marketing tool helps a brand automate its workflows. It can send different emails to different audiences at various time points.
These tools assist businesses in sending personalized messages, getting product reviews, etc. Entities like online stores use these tools to conduct surveys, send coupons, reduce shopping cart abandonment, and a lot.
Some tools track how customers interact with the emails. They can tell whether a customer opened an email or at least clicked the link. This helps businesses optimize their campaigns.
3) By Writing Content Pieces
Yes. This section is about the potential villain of our domain, i.e., content writing.
Had you asked a few years ago whether an artificially intelligent piece of software can write content like humans, the answer would have been a maybe. But as the years pass, AI keeps becoming better and better.
Take Jarvis, for example. You can ask the program to write about anything under the sun. Let’s say you want to write about the health risks associated with the Mediterranean diet.
You can command the program to do the same. And in seconds, you can see the tool start writing authentic content for the asked topic.
Not just your regular pieces of content, but Jarvis can write Facebook ad copies, books, long-form articles, etc.
Remember that though AI tools can write original content, they cannot match a human’s creativity and emotivity.
4) By Personalizing Shopping Experience
AI programs are better known for their logical moves. They do this by closely watching customer behaviour.
They track customers’ purchase history, browsing behaviour, demographics, search history, etc.
The noticeable personalization one sees during an online purchase is the Product Recommendation section. The items in this section are not curated by humans but by intelligent programs.
Personalization does not stop there. Some AI programs even change the entire layout of an online store for each customer.
By doing so, they contribute significantly to conversions and Average Order Value (AOV).
5) By Replacing Traditional Keywords with Conversational Ones
Over the years, the way people interact with search engines for their queries evolved a lot.
With the rise of voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant, the volume of voice searches has increased by multiple folds. These voice assistants are invariably powered by none other than AI.
Since people use conversational keywords when it comes to voice search, it dramatically affects the keyword strategy of SE optimizers.
The traditional keywords no longer produce the results they did a few years ago, especially for local SEO. AI allows people to use natural language patterns for queries. It then converts the questions into a structured format to fetch relevant data.
With at least 33% of users have used voice search in early 2019, the importance of conversational keywords is growing day by day.
Image Source: Pixabay
6) By Providing Rich Data
Data is a precious resource for any business. This is the exact reason giants like Google use AI to collect every crucial data about a user.
Ecommerce companies collect customer data to predict their shopping behaviour. They use the data to create a personalized shopping experience for customers.
In 2016, Starbucks introduced ‘My Starbucks Barista,’ an AI technology that takes orders from users via mobile.
The technology gained massive traction among the customers who placed orders more conversationally.
The technology, which is a chatbot, also asks contextual questions to customers. Today, Starbucks uses the data collected by AI to send personalized messages and recommendations.
7) By Targeting the Right Audience
Targeting the right audience is crucial for any business. There is no point in marketing a helmet to a petrolhead.
Correct targeting helps companies get the maximum Return on Investment (ROI), and AI does that easily.
AI helps brands distinguish those with purchasing intent from the ones that do not have it. It does this by segmenting your target audiences.
AI wades through a sea of data and recognizes shopping patterns before informing the advertisers whom to target.
It also helps marketers create lookalike audiences. It is needless to say how essential lookalike audiences are for businesses.
8) By Curating Content
This benefit is very similar to product recommendations. Let’s say a brand has a blog. It is given that not all blog posts the brand creates are going to be shareworthy.
Some will soar, and some will be an eyesore.
If your blog is not fat enough, it is easy to find which stories are scroll-stoppers and which ones are couch potatoes.
Say that yours is a pretty good blog with lots and lots of content. If you have appropriate tools then, you can find which kind of content strikes a chord among your audience.
AI content curation tools tell you exactly what type of content resonates with your audience. The valuable inputs are instrumental to curating content for any niche.
9) By Pricing Dynamically
The e-commerce space is getting crowded every single day. With more and more companies selling the same products, the margins are becoming thin.
The same applies to airlines and hotel industries. Competitive pricing is no more a strategy but an unwritten norm for small-time players.
Businesses with the cut-throat competition are doing everything they can to stay afloat in the market. One of their main strategies is dynamic pricing. This is where AI comes to the rescue.
An AI tool closely watches a business’s competitors and their product prices. It will note any changes to the products’ prices and will reprice the company’s products.
Some AI tools even generate promo codes automatically to beat the competitors.
10) By Making Shopping More Fun
Like it or not, the online shopping experience can never match the joy of visiting a retail shop and buying things in person.
Businesses have been burning the midnight oil to make online shopping more lively and joyful. And the weapon they have chosen to achieve that is AI.
Yes. Using AI, they are trying to bridge the gap between online and retail shopping. A prominent example is Amazon’s Augmented Reality View.
Using the technology, users can get a sneak peek into how a product will look if installed or placed at a spot. This technology does wonder for those who buy furniture for their home and office.
All one has to do is point the camera at a spot where they want to install a product. The technology will then superimpose the 3D image of the product over the designated spot.
Artificial Intelligence & Digital Marketing FAQs
1) Will AI act on its own?
Nearly all the AI tools available in the market fall under the Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI) category. These tools will show their smartness only if we ask them to do so. In other words, an ANI tool is incapable of doing things on its own.
2) How AI affects SEO?
The visible impact of AI on SEO is the rise of conversational keywords, thanks to voice assistants. AI tools also contribute significantly to on-page technical analysis. Likewise, AI writing assistants can pen keyword-rich copies at lightning-fast speed.
3) What are the Drawbacks of AI tools?
The correct term would be Limitations, not Drawbacks. Though AI can surpass a human in terms of productivity, it is still a machine. It cannot match humans when it comes to creativity and contextuality. Your customers will not feel ‘connected’ while interacting with an AI tool like a chatbot.
4) Is AI tools cost-effective?
With AI tools starting riding shotgun in all sectors, their prices have come down drastically. There are loads and loads of free AI tools available out there for you to test the waters. Pick the ones that suit your budget.
Joseph Schneider is the Brand Consultant at Haitna, a Digital marketing agency in Dallas, TX. He is passionate about search engine optimization and he always keeps himself updated with the latest industry trends.
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