3 Simple Ways Marketers Can Use Artificial Intelligence

By Rhonda Bradley / 20 September 2018

Discover 3 simple ways your small business can use artificial intelligence (AI) to produce more effective marketing campaigns.

Scientists first coined the term “Artificial Intelligence” at a Dartmouth College conference in 1956.  

The study of artificial intelligence (AI) took off for a short time but lost government funding in the 1970s as interest faded. Throughout the 80s and 90s, interest in AI surged and dropped repeatedly. 

When IBM’s computer beat a Russian Grandmaster chess champion in 1997, though, the world took notice. AI was here to stay.

Today, many small businesses think that artificial intelligence is a distant, high-tech technology that they won’t have access to for quite a long time. That couldn’t be further from the truth. AI is a powerful technology that can be used specifically to support and strengthen marketing initiatives.

In this article, we’ll examine 3 simple ways you can integrate AI into your brand’s marketing to enhance the results.

  • 3 simple ways to use AI for more effective marketing
    • Segmented email lists to personalize content
    • Social listening tools to learn more about your audience
    • Machine learning to improve ad copy and placement

3 Simple Ways to Use AI for More Effective Marketing

AI is becoming more helpful to marketers every year. In the following list, we’ll take a look at some tactics you may already be familiar with, as well as some of the latest AI technologies. All can be used to improve your marketing efforts.

1. Segmented Email Lists to Personalize Content

Artificial intelligence allows your email marketing software to collect information about your subscribers. For example, you can track which emails are opened, which CTAs are clicked within those emails, and even who interacted where on your website.

The data you gather is powered by AI and allows you to create segmented email lists so you can deliver personalized content to your subscribers.

For example, if your business is a travel agency that tracks customer interactions and email activity, you might learn that certain customers are very interested in traveling to Italy. So, you can personalize content to showcase more of what they’re interested in, like hotels, adventures, and food experiences in Italy.

Or, if you’re a fitness company and you discover that certain people are tight on time, you can personalize their content with shorter, 10-minute workouts.

Fitness email example

There are countless ways to segment subscribers and personalize content, thanks to programs that integrate artificial intelligence.

2. Social Listening Tools to Learn More About Your Audience

Social listening helps businesses improve and grow their brands by listening to what people are saying online.

Thanks to AI, social listening tools are able to track your brand’s mentions and industry. Then, the AI can develop a big-picture view of how consumers react and respond to your brand. Not only can AI monitor the sentiment and emotion surrounding your brand, but it can also turn the information into measurable data to analyze.

For example, with social listening tools, you can monitor the conversation in your business’s industry. Say you own a local pet store. You can use social listening to better determine what local pet owners in your area are talking about. You can stay up-to-date on the latest cute animal memes and other broader animal news.

You can also stay on top of any emerging scandals. Say a local pet owner falsely accuses your store of treating its animals poorly. You can use social listening to understand the full conversation surrounding your store and responding appropriately, honestly, and efficiently.

Social listening can help your business:

  • Learn what type of products are most appealing to your audience.
  • Discover content topics that inspire your followers and customers to engage.
  • Help you avoid problems by red-flagging any negativity surrounding your company - in real-time.

Ubermetrics and Mention are 2 popular social listening apps that can be used by small businesses.

Ubermetrics screenshot
Source

Social listening tools can be pricey for small businesses, but most providers offer entry-level services at a low rate. This allows you to determine the value of social listening before committing to larger-scale programs.

3. Programmatic Advertising to Purchase Advertising

Many of today’s advertising platforms are auction-based models. Charlotte Rogers of Marketing Week magazine refers to programmatic advertising as “a bit like having a robot shop for you on eBay.” Essentially, programmatic advertising works by bidding on ad space on the open market for you. 

In some cases, programmatic advertising can help you better plan, buy, and target ads to your audience.

To learn more about this area of AI, the Digital Marketing Institute has compiled a Beginner’s Guide to Programmatic Advertising that explains everything you need to know to take advantage of this type of artificial intelligence.

You can also learn more about how programmatic advertising works by watching this video.

Machine Learning to Improve Ad Copy and Placement

Machine learning is a subset of artificial intelligence. While AI gathers information and data, machine learning uses the data to make informed decisions.

Machine learning is coming into the mainstream for small businesses with Google’s new Google Ads program, offering a number of machine learning-based tools for marketers.

The features were first announced in July 2018, before the official re-launch of its advertising programs. Google described the upcoming tools as “the largest deployment of machine learning in ads.” 

Google machine learning announcement image

Some of Google’s new AI-based machine learning tools include:

  • Responsive Search Ads
  • Maximum Lift
  • Local Campaigns
  • Smart Shopping

These tools are part of Google’s new Smart Campaigns for small business. They can help you tweak ad copy, connect with buyers after they watch their video, run local ad campaigns, and fully automate ad campaigns across multiple networks. 

AI Has Come a Long Way

Artificial intelligence has come a long way since its inception more than 60 years ago. 

Today’s AI can help small businesses automate tasks and free up precious time. 

Artificial intelligence can help you manage tasks and make decisions, especially ones that require data - for example, when and where to place advertising.

By taking some responsibility for the data-driven tasks of your job, AI frees up your time to develop better relationships with customers and produce more creative campaigns than ever before.

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