February 15, 2023

Should You Use AI Tools in Digital Marketing?

By: Mary Hiers

In some ways, AI tools are like additional brains you can access for specific tasks. They can help with digital marketing in a variety of tasks.

Many digital marketers now choose to incorporate AI tools into their strategy. That’s because marketing messages must compete with more information than ever. Finding advantages through traditional research takes time that most marketing professionals simply don’t have.

Several AI tools for digital marketing exist now, and some of them even have free options. Here’s why you should consider using AI tools in your marketing and how to begin if this is new to you.

The Main Goal of AI Tools in Digital Marketing

The ultimate goal of AI tools, whether in digital marketing or any other task, is greater efficiency. In digital marketing, in particular, the goal is to deliver greater marketing ROI. This can happen by expanding the audience or by targeting campaigns more effectively.

If you try an AI tool and discover that it doesn’t do what you need or that it is more trouble than it is worth, then you don’t need it. Creating your own customized AI toolkit requires research, trial and error, and sometimes not choosing a tool everyone else is raving about. 

How AI Tools Help Digital Marketing

Although AI tools exist now, the field could hardly be considered mature. These tools can help with tasks like 

  • Content creation
  • Automated chat
  • Predictive analytics

Content Creation 

The discovery that AI engines can generate content — including long-form content — dominated SEO news at the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023.

Tools like Jasper and Content.ai can write emails, blog posts, and social media posts, though they still must be heavily edited for quality. In general, the longer the content you ask AI to write, the more editing will be necessary for decent quality. 

AI tools that spit out headlines don’t often need a lot of editing to have useful results. They can be great for creating SEO-fortified headlines when it’s hard to think of one. 

There is a big caveat, however. Google has a stern eye on content for signs that it is low-quality, and AI content is likelier to be low-quality than most human-generated content. 

Additionally, “watermarking” of AI content may already be happening to distinguish machine-generated content from human-generated content. Furthermore, the detection of AI content isn’t very good yet. 

Some SEO experts envision an “arms race” of better AI-generated content followed by better AI detection. And the jury is still out on exactly how Google will handle AI-generated content in its search results. 

The bottom line with AI-generated content is that you must be careful. Don’t create huge volumes of content just because AI makes it easy. Thoroughly edit and fact-check AI-generated content before posting it.

Better Automated Chat 

Chat through Messenger and SMS is an easier “win” for AI. Tools currently exist that can answer many basic questions through these channels and free up humans from having to do so. 

These tools should become more “educated” over time but can already address the most common questions that companies get through online chat and SMS.

Style and Tone Recommendations

We’ve all heard of the Golden Rule of treating people how you want to be treated. The better version is to treat people how they want to be treated

AI tools that recommend certain styles and tones help businesses do this better. Knowing your audience will always be crucial, and these tools help elevate that knowledge by using tones and styles that are tailored to the recipient. 

This can be particularly effective in email marketing. Developing a consistent tone and voice is critical to ongoing campaigns and keeping people subscribed. 

Predictive Analytics

Past behavior is often predictive of future behavior. We all know this. Predictive analytics puts AI to work analyzing historical data to better understand future behavior.

You see this when you shop on Amazon and receive recommendations after you browse products or put an item into your shopping cart. (“People who ordered X often order Y.”)

It’s easy to see how predictive analytics can help with marketing through upselling and creating personalized marketing messages. 

How AI Tools Are Expected to Help

AI tools are newer to some digital marketing tasks. However, they are expected to become more sophisticated and valuable for more specialized use cases, including

  • Demand forecasting
  • Churn prediction
  • Hyper-personalization and targeting
  • Influencer matching

Demand Forecasting

AI is not yet mature enough to take over demand forecasting. It’s an inexact science that must account for unpredictable events like recessions

But as learning models advance, they may eventually be able to help digital marketers significantly with demand forecasting. This can influence the types of marketing tactics chosen as well as tone, style, and channel options.

Churn Prediction 

Everyone knows that keeping an existing customer is far less expensive than acquiring a new one. Wouldn’t it be great if an AI model could tell you which five customers are at the greatest risk of jumping ship and choosing a new provider?

Churn prediction tools aren’t there yet. But many marketers believe that AI will soon be able to help businesses identify and re-engage with their more fickle customers before they have the chance to go elsewhere. 

Hyper-Personalization and Targeting 

No digital marketer wants to send marketing messages to people who are not receptive. Likewise, no consumer wants to see ads for things they don’t care about. 

Hyper-personalization and hyper-targeting of marketing messages are expected to be potentially important use cases for AI. This could also become an important way to maximize return on ad spending (ROAS).

Influencer Matching 

Influencer marketing doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon. But how can businesses choose the right influencer for their audience?

It isn’t easy. Choosing the “wrong” influencer can turn off potential customers and cause widespread loss of respect, potentially damaging a company’s reputation.

AI tools may soon be able to help companies select the best influencers for their campaigns based on massive amounts of data that no human would have time to analyze. This should make influencer marketing more effective and “safer” for business reputations.

Do’s and Don’ts of Incorporating AI Tools

If you’re new to using AI in digital marketing, here are a few do’s and don’ts to consider.

Learn about real use cases for AI in marketingBelieve 100% of the hype surrounding AI
Start with one or two tools and evaluate their usefulnessDownload every free tool and put all your faith in them for marketing
Invest in training for the tools you selectChoose tools without consulting the team members who will use them
Start by automating simpler, smaller tasksExpect AI to solve systemic problems with digital marketing

AI is a big part of the future of digital marketing, and there are already many great tools available to help with a wide range of tasks. In the near future, even more advanced AI applications will be developed to help with advanced challenges like churn prediction and hyper-personalization. 

As you consider which AI tools to use for your business, it’s important to choose carefully, so you don’t make an expensive mistake. Our team of experts can help you navigate the world of digital marketing and choose the right tools for your business. Set up a call with our team today if you need assistance. We are delighted to help!

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