Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been the subject of books and movies alike. It’s been a growing concern for its ability to be used in political censorship and to create deep fake news, to be misused in the hands of authoritarian governments to track and control citizens, to create a huge potential loss in jobs over time, ushering in Biblical end time prophecies, and the possibility of a Terminator or Matrix type scenario. There’s also been concern over probable long-term agendas concerning the technology.
However, that doesn’t mean we have to throw AI out the window (and with the looks of things, it seems like that would be very hard to do in the future). Artificial Intelligence can have many benefits, especially in the field of digital marketing, which we’ll be talking about in this article.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What is AI?
- How does AI work?
- How can AI be used in digital marketing?
What Is AI?
What is Artificial Intelligence? AI is a specific area of computer science that focuses on creating intelligent machines that react and work like people do. It can be used for learning, problem solving, planning, speech recognition, facial recognition, etc.
AI makes Machine Learning possible, allowing a system to learn on its own, and to improve from the experiences it has. Because of the nature of digital algorithms, AI’s improvement has proven to be exponential.
There are two ways in which Artificial Intelligence is generally classified. The first compares the AI’s abilities to the abilities of a human brain – how much like a human mind is it? This classification divvies up AI into four categories: Reactive Machines
These don’t have any memory, but simply respond to different stimuli. These AI cannot learn from the past, but can only react based on a limited number of combinations or inputs. It was a reactive AI machine called Deep Blue (by IBM) which in 1997 beat chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov of Russia at chess.
Limited Memory Machines
Incorporates the use of memory to learn from the past and improve its future responses. These use big data stored in their memory as references for solving future problems. For example, an AI machine used for image recognition is trained with the use of thousands of labeled images. Over time, it will learn to recognize the content of new images and label them with increasing accuracy. Most (if not all) of AI applications as of recent, from chatbots to self-driving cars, have been limited memory AI.
Theory Of Mind
These understand the needs of other intelligent entities, such as understanding their needs, beliefs, thought processes, and emotions. As of June 19th of this year, it was mentioned that researchers were then working on innovating this next level of AI. Artificial Emotional Intelligence will be a huge breakthrough in AI and very useful, but first it needs to be able to recognize people as individuals, who are shaped by multiple different factors, and to “understand” that as best as possible.
These will theoretically have human-like intelligence, as well as (supposedly) self-awareness. It is thought that this will be the final stage of AI development. Hypothetically, it becomes so similar to a human brain that it becomes self-aware. Now, many of us believe that consciousness IS NOT merely a matter of the physical, but requires a soul and/or spirit, and this is actually being pointed towards in recent scientific studies. Given the belief by many of us that this extra element (along with the physical) is created and given by God, acquiring a truly Self-Aware AI would be impossible, although it may seem very much self-aware because of its advanced technology, or someone else or something else controlling it, and society could be told anything.
The other classification system has three categories, which are as follows:
- Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI)
These are AI systems that can do specific tasks autonomously using capabilities similar to those of humans. They apparently form the majority, if not all, of existing (known) AI systems (as of June 19th of this year – based on the above article). They essentially do what they are programmed to do. These include all Reactive AI and Limited Memory AI systems (therefore all self-learning AI systems as well).
- Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)
These are AI that can function, understand, and learn “completely” like a human being. They will hypothetically have the ability to work on multiple projects by themselves, and generalize and make connections across different spheres. They will be able to learn much faster.
- Artificial Superintelligence (ASI)
As stated, this is the hypothetical Self-Aware AI. If this were even remotely possible, or close enough to it, it could outperform humans in nearly every task, due to its (potentially) larger memory, and quicker analysis, data processing, and decision making abilities. Although, that said, AI can already outperform humans in many fields. At this point, or close enough to it, AI would have the potential to take off on its own doing who knows what, and growing at an exponential rate.
Using AI For Digital Marketing
MarTech (Marketing Technology) keeps growing, and AI is taking it to the next level. Artificial Intelligence actually has many uses within digital marketing, from writing content, to creating websites, to managing ads, and more. This automation of marketing activities can help save time and money, and is both kind of cool and kind of scary at the same time.
AI has a few benefits in digital marketing, including automating processes, making more calculated decisions faster, doing things more quickly, and personalization. Personalization has become a huge buzzword in the world of marketing. It has become the way many people expect content or ads to be delivered to them. Personalization can mean appealing to a person’s interests, demographics, or location, and since AI is automated, it excels at such tasks.
Here’s a few examples of how AI can be used in digital marketing:
1. Content Creation – Efficiently Creating and Scaling Content
Yep, believe it or not, AI can write articles. It may seem a bit far fetched, but it’s real. Although its abilities may be limited (for example, you wouldn’t want it writing a political opinion piece or giving advice), there are some things it can be useful for. For example, AI can autonomously create news and reports based on particular data. These in turn can be helpful in bringing visitors to your website.
Some well known publications are already using AI tools for creating content. Forbes and the Associated Press for example are using / have used tools like Quill, Wordsmith, and Articoolo to automatically write news pieces, helping them to attain more website clicks. And they’re not the only ones, the New York Times, BBC, Reuters, CBS, The Washington Post, and Bloomberg have also been noted to use this type of technology. It’s said some use these services to automate regular financial reports, thus freeing time for their human writers.
That said, you could just hire a bunch of people who love writing and editing financial reports, doing monotonous tasks, or who just need the income, instead of using AI to do it, particularly if you’re a large organization making tonnes of money or backed by wealthy individuals.
In case you may be thinking such an article may appear too robotic (which may or may not be the case), some of these platforms allow the user to enter keywords and data into fill-in-the-blank spaces or templates, giving a little more humanness to the article.
Many would find this type of service a huge relief. According to Adobe.com’s blog, “47% of marketers say that producing content at scale is one of their biggest challenges.”
You can even get AI to suggest the most popular content for you to write about, using tools such as Concured. Just in content creation alone, AI could greatly boost your digital marketing efforts and efficiency, from planning to creating to curating.
2. Content Curation
AI can also curate content. This is helpful, because as a visitor sees more relevant and related news on your website, it can help keep them on your site longer. AI uses fairly simple reasoning to curate relevant content, akin to saying “people who like or buy this also like or buy that”, similar to what you might see on some popular eCommerce sites. Thus, an AI system can organize content curation quickly and efficiently.
3. Web Design
It’s not just articles that AI can create. Oh no, Artificial Intelligence can also create entire webpages. An AI web builder called Leia claims to be able to create a unique website for you in 60 seconds or less – for free. The Grid is one such platform that has been around for quite a while now. If you’d like to consider some other options, here’s an article that looks at a few more. All you’ll need to do is provide the AI platform with some basic info, like CTAs (Call To Action), text, images, etc.
4. User Experience (UX)
AI can analyze thousands of user behavior data points and display relevant content and offers for each individual user. Of course, this is likely part of what helps create modern social bubbles and echo chambers as well. Data considered may include things like demographics, location, interactions with the website, and the types of devices used. It’s just common sense that if you can get a person to stay on your website for longer then you have a better chance of conversion. This application includes a variety of topics, such as content curation (which we’ve talked about already) and chatbots (which we’ll talk about next).
Chatbots are those sometimes helpful, often annoying, and occasionally useless automated replacements of the human you’d actually like to talk to. Chatbots can be used for quick responses and speedy cookie-cutter type fixes, or to direct users to the right department. Some companies that have used chatbots to communicate with their customers include Facebook (Messenger), Slack, and WhatsApp. As stated, they can be good for quick responses (instead of being put on hold), but they probably shouldn’t be used to completely replace your human customer support agents, or to make it nearly impossible to reach them except by phone (I mean seriously people, what’s wrong with email?! You know who you are).
Frequently Asked Questions would be a wonderful area for chatbots to excel in. Other benefits of chatbots include the facts that they can work around the clock, never lose their cool, and they can respond to multiple people at the same time.
Many chatbots simply operate on pre-programmed answers for certain keywords and phrases, etc., and can be very frustrating to work with at times. However, “practical AI” (or AI that can actually learn and adjust) can be used in better chatbots to be able to provide more dynamic answers based on more complex or difficult questions.
If you need to create a chatbot, this article has 14 options for you to check out. You might also check out wit.ai, a Facebook bot tool.
6. Email Marketing
When done right, email marketing has one of the highest ROIs of digital marketing methods. And now, using artificial intelligence in email marketing could give you even higher returns. Artificial Intelligence can help better personalize your email campaigns based on users’ preferences and behavior. Based on millions of points of data per consumer, AI can determine things such as: which email subjects and titles generate more clicks; the best time of day and the best day of the week to contact a consumer; recommended email frequency; the most attention-getting types of content; etc.
While A/B testing is good, you still need lots of trial and error to find better options, and you may never know if the area of consideration is perfectly optimized or not. For this reason, AI can be of great assistance in personalizing your emails.
7. Internet Searches
More people are starting to search for things on the internet through voice command (enabled via AI), and as such, they often search for things using normal, conversational language. Algorithms, like Google’s RankBrain, interpret these verbal search requests and try to give the best results based on the user’s spoken conversational language and the context of what they were asking. How does this benefit marketers? Well, it means that you should consider shifting your normal, standard keywords to conversational keywords, mix them in. Think about how a user might ask a question or give a command verbally to a device and try to form your keywords around that. Let us know how it goes… this is still relatively new, so make sure to do your own due-diligence research as always before applying this new method.
8. Digital Advertising
Google and Facebook’s ad platforms use AI to find people more likely to take a certain action desired by the advertisers. This has become standard targeted marketing for many digital marketers. The AI analyzes user information such as demographics, interests, and more, in order to discover the best audience for the advertiser.
If you’ve got the money, Adext.io is a Google and Facebook ad automation AI system that automatically optimizes your ad spend and finds the right audience for you. The platform claims conversion numbers that are through the roof, +105% average conversion upift! But it’s also pretty spendy – then again, with the conversions it claims, I’m sure increased revenue would more than make up for the cost. Here’s a step-by-step guide to connecting Adext to your ad accounts.
9. Predictive Analysis On Customer Behaviour For Improved ROI
Nearly everything one does on the internet is recorded. People are also largely creatures of habit. AI can take advantage of these two factors to predict the likelihood of an individual responding to a particular product or ad, what price and content is necessary to acquire a sales conversion, which people will likely make more than one purchase, etc. This is all done through predictive modeling. Predictive modeling uses data mining and probability in order to forecast particular outcomes.
That said, however, predictive models are only as good as the data they receive. If you give them data with mistakes or with a high level of random data points, then they will likely not give accurate results (predictions).
It can also help a physical sales team out. You can train such a model to rank individuals based on certain criteria, and focus most of your time and efforts on prospects that are more likely to convert.
10. AI Phone Conversations
The time is coming (and may already be here) when you won’t be able to tell the difference between a human and an artificial intelligence on the other side of the phone line. One company called Dasha AI is working on just that. You can listen to the impressive/scary level of progress they’ve recently achieved in this demonstration with subtitles.
Artificial Intelligence holds many benefits for a marketer. It can help drastically increase efficiency, productivity, and profitability. It seems the internet world of digital marketing, and even non-digital advertising will be irreversibly altered by AI.
Obviously, we have not covered everything AI presents in this day and age, benefits or dangers, but concerning AI in digital marketing, that’s certainly a good round up for you to think about.
If you’d like an article like this, or other content for your business (infographics, reports, social media posts, etc), or if you need other digital marketing services, please contact us and let us know your needs.
The views and opinions in this article are those of the particular writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Cyberius company as a whole. Also, this article is not intended to be used as investment advice of any kind. Any consequences which arise from actions taken as a result of reading this article or looking into the contents therein shall be the sole responsibility of the action taker.