How Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming Digital Marketing

is transforming digital marketing

Going into 2021 and beyond, one clear trend in digital marketing is a rise in artificial intelligence. Once viewed with a certain degree of skepticism – can tasks like strategy and content creation really be automated? – more and more marketers are embracing AI.

In fact, according to a study by trueNorth, 61% of marketers now say AI is the most important part of their digital strategy and 80% of business and tech leaders say AI boosts overall productivity. The positive perception of AI goes both ways – 97% of mobile users now use AI-powered voice assistants.

What changed? In short, there has been a lot of recent advancements in AI technology and machine learning. Technologies once thought of as possibly short-lived trends are now proving invaluable to digital marketing strategies. As their value becomes clearer and clearer, advancement will continue at a rapid pace. AI is taking off as both a viable solution for common bottlenecks and a powerful tool in its own right.

If you have not already incorporated artificial intelligence into your digital marketing strategy, now is the time to do so. The industry is growing at an unprecedented rate and the innovative tools AI provides can help you surpass your competitors.

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

The term is so ubiquitous these days – and applied to such a wide variety of tools – that it is often easy to forget its precise definition. Artificial intelligence is a vast umbrella term to describe how machines and computers can be taught to mimic human behavioral patterns. While AI is commonly thought of in terms of chatbots, it emcompasses a wide range of technologies.

Artificial intelligence is becoming more mature and advanced as we learn more about digital algorithms and machine learning. AI is now capable of everything from ideating content to assisting with advertising strategies and predicting consumer behavior.

AI is not a replacement for human intelligence, but it can be an invaluable assistant when used correctly. Marketers can glean insights from AI to automate processes, re-strategize their campaigns, and increase overall ROI.

Artificial Intelligence And Digital Marketing: What Are The Possibilities?

Artificial intelligence is often called “the future of digital marketing,” which is a bit of a misnomer – artificial intelligence is being used right now by major companies like Spotify, Google, and Apple to optimize their marketing campaigns. AI already has immense influence on digital marketing, and that influence is only expected to grow as new technologies emerge.

In recent years, new breakthroughs in AI technology have resulted in surprising new capabilities. Tasks we once assumed could not be automated can now be vastly improved upon with the assistance of AI. 

Content Generation

Anyone who has worked in content marketing or digital media knows ideation itself takes as much mental energy as actual content creation. Paying close attention to trending stories,  analyzing metrics like CTR, and so on are all important to ensuring your content reaches relevant audiences. Now, AI can potentially help creators identify what content can gain real traction.

In fact, The Washington Post has already successfully used AI to streamline their reporting processes. In 2017, The Washington Post created their own artificial intelligence technology called Heliograf to help report on both the Rio Olympics and various elections. Heliograf not only produced 850 articles on its own, it enabled reporters to better do their jobs. During election cycles, Heliograf was able to identify trending news stories and alert the newsroom about incoming election results. This allowed reporters to jump on trending topics ahead of the competition, breaking stories earlier than rival publications.

The success of Heliograf could have major implications for content marketing. Similar bots could be used to identify trending topics in any given industry, allowing marketers to find niche topics and predict trends. In the future, AI may even be able to generate reports on content initiatives and write drafts based on specific variables.

This would take a lot of work off the content marketing team’s shoulders, allowing them to focus on creating compelling content rather than identifying trending topics and analyzing site metrics.

Machine Learning And Smart Bidding

Machine learning is an aspect of artificial intelligence that gives systems the ability to learn and improve from experience. They do not need to be explicitly programmed to do a task, but will pick up on it organically much like a person learns over time.

Suffice to say, machine learning has endless potential for the digital marketing world. Right now, smart bidding is becoming an increasingly popular type of machine learning technology. Smart bidding is a subset of automated bid strategies. It takes both contextual data and historical user behaviors into account to predict the likelihood of a conversion. Then, it increases bids automatically when a conversion is most likely to occur.

To put it in layman terms, smart bidding studies user behavior and uses what it learns to automate tasks like ad delivery and placement. 

Smart bidding’s possibilities extend beyond automating tasks. Smart bidding provides invaluable insights about consumer behavior. This information can help your team strategize for future campaigns.

Smart bidding is a good example of how a combination of AI works best with a human touch. Machine learning automates ads based on what is working and what is not. This allows your team to pinpoint nuances like language, images, and so on that may impact conversions.

An Improvement In Chatbots

It is impossible to mention AI technology without mentioning chatbots. Chatbots – in their earliest forms – were almost a joke online given how their responses could be clunky and robotic. In recent years, however, chatbots have become increasingly sophisticated. Forbes even called chatbots a “gamechanger” for the digital marketing world.

Chatbots can now answer many questions quickly and efficiently and can put customers in contact with a real person when necessary. Smart chatbots can even use original responses generated in real-time, personalizing the experience and making customers feel heard. Automated systems – once a source of widespread consumer frustration – are now an appreciated perk for individuals visiting your website.

The ability to answer questions 24/7 puts you ahead of the competition. With more and more transactions taking place online, it’s easy for customers to move on to another website if their needs are not immediately met. Chatbots can help secure leads and transform them into conversions even when no one is working.

Predictive Analysis And Email Marketing 

Another advancement that can largely be attributed to machine learning, AI technologies are now capable of collecting massive amounts of information at a rapid-fire pace. This information can be used to analyze and ultimately predict consumer behavior.

Programmers and data scientists are now being employed by marketing agencies as their skills have become invaluable to modern digital marketing. Rather than sit down and sift through swaths of information, you can automate analysis to see trends in consumer behavior. 

For example, say customers who spend 5 minutes or more lingering on one of your product pages are 88% more likely to open a subsequent email. This gives you powerful insight to inform retargeting campaigns.

Email marketing specifically benefits from behavioral and predictive analytics. When you have reasonable predictions of who is most likely to convert, this helps you best allocate your resources. You can automate follow-up emails based on behaviors like staying on a certain page, clicking on a particular link, and so on.

Rather than sending out mass emails – most of which go unopened – you can create hyper-personalized messaging directed at those consumers most likely to make a purchase. This increases your overall ROI.

Artificial Intelligence: The Future Of Digital Marketing

Over the years, marketing in general has become more precise. The digital sphere as a whole has dramatically changed how we connect with consumers, allowing for more personalized interactions and specific targeting. Advances in artificial intelligence provide an exciting opportunity for digital marketing’s future.

Artificial intelligence allows you to make educated and frequently accurate guesses about consumer behavior. Smarter, more targeted ads can save your company money while increasing sales, bettering customer relationships, and creating sustainable long-term growth.

Ready to embrace AI? At LookinLA, we transform great companies into industry leaders with data-backed strategies. This includes identifying areas where AI technologies can automate tasks. Reach out here to learn more.

Conversation Rate

How To Improve Your Conversion Rate With SEO

For years, business owners have struggled with one major question regarding their website:

Should they tailor their site design to satisfy the humans who visit it, or should they tailor it to satisfy the search engines that lead visitors there in the first place?

It’s not an easy choice to make. You need the search engines to love you in order for people to find your site. But you need humans to have an excellent experience on your website if you want those visits to turn into conversions.

Fortunately, there’s no longer much need to choose between SEO (search engine optimization) and CRO ( conversion rate optimization). In fact, the more sophisticated search engines become, the more SEO and CRO go hand-in-hand.

After all, search engines have one objective: to identify the web pages that will be most useful to the human beings searching for them. With advancements in technology, the bots are increasingly sensitive to the nuances of the user experience. They’re no longer just trolling for keywords (though keywords are still important!). Now search engines collect hundreds of clues to determine how informative, intuitive, and engaging your site is.

This means search engine optimization is also a stellar guideline for improving your conversion rate.

If you’re still just keyword-stuffing in an attempt to get more eyeballs, you’re a couple steps behind. The good news is that there are countless moves you can make that will boost your search engine rankings and inspire more conversion rate at the same time.

Here are some game-changers to start with.

Add Video Content

If you’ve been following our blog regularly, you know we love video. It’s such an incredible tool for raising brand awareness, inspiring a more personal brand-customer connection, educating users about your product or service, and ultimately boosting conversion rate.

Another great benefit of video is that search engines love it. They love it because they know people love it. Plus, video increases the duration of visits to your site. Generally speaking, you’re doing fairly well if people spend 30 seconds to 2 minutes on your site. If you can get above 2 minutes, you’re really rocking it, and the search engines notice.

And what’s one reliable way to get visitors to stick around that long? Providing something that will keep them engaged so they don’t go anywhere. It could be a longer video that’s deeply compelling, or it could be multiple short videos on the same page. It could even be a combination of video, infographics, and really killer content.

So video engages your visitors and gives you more credibility with search engines. But what about conversion rate? Well, here’s a fun fact:

77% of buyers say they’ve decided to purchase a product or service after watching an explainer video.

Video is an essential part of the strategy. And don’t feel intimidated if you’ve never tried video before. There are now tons of beginner-friendly video content tools like Animoto and Biteable to get you started.

Create Content with Real Value

On that note, it helps to make sure all your content has value to a human audience. Use a combination of written content, images, infographics, and video. Provide information that’s useful or ideas that are entertaining. Not only does this help increase your average duration of visits, but it’s also important to write for humans because the search engines scan for things like relevance and readability. Search engines love blog posts that are around 1,000 words or more. They prefer short, simple, easy to read sentences.

Frequent paragraph breaks are great, too.

Another idea worth considering is whether there is a way to create dynamic content for your website. Dynamic content is content that adapts depending on the locations, needs, and behaviors of the individual visitor. An example of dynamic content would be an ecommerce store featuring a banner advertising free shipping to the visitor’s specific state. Dynamic content also includes purchase suggestions we see so often on sites like Amazon.

Dynamic content is AI at its best. It helps search engines connect your site with people looking for the very specific goods and services you provide. And once those people find you thanks to stellar search engine rankings, they’ll see the specific answer to their specific pain point laid out in black and white. Boom. Conversion.

Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

While we’re on the topic of providing very specific solutions, let’s dig into long-tail keywords.

Long-tail keywords are those specific phrases Internet users search for. Rarely does a human being type “used cars” into the search box. They’re much more likely to search for “used cars in San Jose,” “pre-owned BMW in San Jose,” “how do you know you’re getting a good deal on a used car” . . . you get the idea.

People search for specific solutions, not a general theme. Which means the more you can tailor your content and keyword strategies to resolve a specific search request, the better your chances at getting on the first page of the search results. And, in turn, the likelier you are to get visitors who are actually looking for the very services you provide.

There are many keyword tools that can help you figure out what your prospective customers are looking for and which words they’re using to search. We recommend Google Keyword Planner and KW Finder.

Increase Site Speed

Nobody likes a draggy site. Human beings don’t have patience for it, and neither do the bots.

Optimizing your loading time is one of the simplest things you can do to boost your SEO and your CRO in one step. It’s one thing business owners all-too-frequently underestimate. But we’re willing to bet you’ve abandoned a website before because you just weren’t willing to wait for a sluggish page to load. You can assume your target audience would do the same.

If you’re not sure how well your site performs, speed-wise, run it through Google PageSpeed Insights. This should give you some idea of whether it’s time to look into kicking your speed up a notch.

Optimize for Mobile

How does your website perform on mobile devices? If it looks sloppy or is confusing to navigate, you’re losing yet another opportunity to tell the search engines your site has value.

You’re also losing customers. A lot of them. In fact, nearly 40% of all online purchases made during the 2018 holiday season were made on a mobile device.

If you’re not sure if your page is mobile friendly, run it through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. When you run this test, you get one of three results. Your site may deemed mobile friendly, end of story. You may learn that it’s mobile friendly, but there are some issues with loading a specific page or two. Or you’ll learn that you have some major issues to address. Fortunately, Google tells you exactly what they are so you can resolve them without too much guesswork.

This is by no means a comprehensive list. Modern search engines look at literally hundreds of details when weighing the value of your website. But the bottom line is that SEO is absolutely essential for your business . . . not just because it helps buyers find you, but because it shows you how to give buyers the best experience possible.

You should care what the search engines want, because the search engines want what humans want.

That said, we know improving your website’s SEO can be a sizeable and confusing undertaking. If there’s anything we can do to help, we’re always here and happy to talk to you. Drop us a line.

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