AI (artificial intelligence) refers to intelligence demonstrated by machines to simulate human intelligence. Over the past few years, the number of businesses adopting AI has been steadily growing, and currently, more than 9 in 10 leading businesses have ongoing investments in AI.
More and more organizations across different industries are starting to implement AI in a variety of applications as part of their marketing strategies.
The deployment of this technology can be a game-changer, and if this is something you are considering for your own business, then read on to learn more about the ways AI will change the future of digital marketing.
1. Advanced data collection and processing
One of the biggest changes brought on by AI in digital marketing is in the area of data processing.
We are already living in an era of Big Data, but the data we are going to collect in the coming years will increase at an exponential rate.
The Internet of things (IoT) means more and more devices are plugged into the internet daily. This means the amount of data we collect is going to be massive.
But, as we get better at collecting data, we are also going to become better at advanced data processing so we can do more with that data in 2021 and beyond.
Machine learning algorithms are already becoming better at processing huge amounts of data quickly and this AI technology will catch up with the huge volume of data being produced, allowing us to make more and better use of the data collected.
Among the most obvious changes that will come about due to advanced data processing will be the super personalization of marketing messages.
Right now, most marketing personalization relies on consumers volunteering a lot of the data needed to make this possible.
But, we are already seeing a shift toward AI-driven data collection that runs in the background (on social media, websites, and other platforms).
And, with the added help of emerging technologies like face recognition, businesses now have the capability for advanced customer targeting and the creation of hyper-personalized marketing messages — all without having to rely on consumers to provide the information.
2. Improved marketing content
AI is helping marketers discover the type of content that is most effective based on the behavior of their targeted customers.
This is a change that will greatly impact the future of digital marketing because it allows you to utilize the content that gets optimal results without having to spend tons of time and money on tests, studies, or surveys to discover which content works best for your target audience.
There are now AI-driven content tools that offer feedback and insights to help content creators get better results from their efforts. These AI tools can help with every aspect of content creation, including:
- Writing data-driven blog posts that rank well
- Drafting optimized social media posts that drive engagement
- Personalizing emails and website copy for higher conversions
- Conducting effective keyword research to match user intent
This is particularly good news for beginners and marketers with small budgets who need effective ways of creating and curating high-performing content. The data-driven insights from these AI tools will make the entire process of creating and promoting content easier, faster, and less costly.
3. Chatbots for enhanced customer service
These days, chatbots come in all shapes and sizes, with applications from basic customer service to driving sales conversions, and much more. Chatbots are becoming the standard in most industries, and customers are now used to interacting comfortably with them on websites, social media, and various other platforms.
In part, this growing popularity is due to AI-powered virtual assistants like Alexa and Siri. But, the biggest impact of chatbots has been in customer service because they help businesses go beyond the “one-to-one” to the “one-to-many” customer services approach.
Using chatbots also comes with a wide range of benefits:
Businesses can now deliver service to lots of customers, across different time zones, at the same time.
- Also, AI chatbots never rest, which means they can deal with customer queries in real-time 24/7.
- Being able to provide support outside of normal business hours significantly improves the customer experience.
- Furthermore, customers can interact with AI customer service chatbots in their preferred language, which helps brands deliver effective localized customer service.
Chatbots are also becoming more sophisticated, and harder to distinguish from real humans. This change brought on by AI has been so impactful that some marketers believe that chatbots may need to be reined in a little. For example, Facebook had to abandon its experimental chatbot project after the bots started to develop their own language (scary, I know!)
However, there are still a lot of companies that are investing time and resources into the development of chatbot technology, and it’s likely that we will continue seeing advances this year and beyond. For example, Instacart utilizes chatbot software to assist instacart shoppers with getting the customer orders correctly picked and communicated.
This includes things such as:
- AI semantic recognition.
- Voice conversion technology.
- Language processing.
With these kinds of enhancements already in play helping to deliver a better customer service experience, chatbots will be the standard before long, and consumers will expect to see them on all websites and apps. This means that companies that don’t use them will probably get left behind by their competitors.
4. Cost saving on advertisements
One of the biggest changes brought on by AI will be to the advertising industry. In the past, companies had to shoot brand commercials multiple times using different items, colors, or brand names.
Today, AI allows brands to reach different markets with reduced money and time through deep learning and synthetic media. This technology has already helped to create a new generation of content creation tools to allow digital advertisers on platforms like Google, Facebook, and Instagram to provide the best experience possible.
They analyze the user’s information, such as gender, age, demographics, interests, etc. in order to show them the most relevant ads. This, in turn, improves the performance of the ad and increases ad ROI (return on investment).
According to Statista, ad spend worldwide is estimated at around $649 billion.
Even with the impact of the current global coronavirus pandemic, this figure is expected to skyrocket in the coming years as more and more businesses implement AI as part of their advertising strategy to help them uncover new, profitable advertising channels.
With AI, marketers can also spot micro trends and possibly even predict new trends. Advertisers are better equipped to make strategic decisions pertaining to budget, targeting, and delivery of ads. And the result of all this? Brands will be able to reduce digital ad waste and make sure their ad spend brings the highest ROI possible.
5. Voice search
There is no denying that voice search is among the most successful areas that have adopted AI. For the past few years, voice search has been on the rise, and the trend is likely to continue well into the future.
This is yet another spinoff effect caused by the increased use of Alexa, Siri, and other AI-powered VAs. Now, more and more people conduct voice searches instead of typing.
And, as the world moves progressively towards mobile, it makes sense that users are also switching to a more hands-free way of inputting data while on the go.
According to research, over 60% of consumers used voice search at least once in the past year, with over half that number using voice search daily to find information online. The same study also predicts that by the end of 2021, 50% of all searches on the internet will be voice-based.
This massive growth can be partly attributed to the huge advances in understanding human speech using machine learning algorithms. These days, technology has advanced to the point where speech-to-text conversion programs are extremely accurate.
For instance, Google’s algorithms can now understand speech with an accuracy of 95% – which is actually the same level as a real human. The more technology improves, the more comfortable people get using voice commands. And the more that happens, the more businesses will be forced to adjust their search engine optimization (SEO) and content marketing strategies in order to better align with voice search.
And now we’ve come to the end of our article on the 5 ways that AI will change the future of digital marketing. Of course, there are tons more ways AI will impact marketing, like email marketing platforms that are helping brands personalize email marketing campaigns and deliver more relevant emails in your customer’s inbox.
AI will also impact augmented and virtual reality applications, causing more companies to embrace the technology. But, as a business owner, you don’t have to wait to start implementing AI as part of your digital marketing strategy. You can jump on the latest trends by using AI for:
- Customer service chatbots.
- Creating relevant, well-optimized, high-performing content.
- Personalized product recommendations (like what Amazon does).
- Better, more cost-effective advertising.
- Data collection and processing.
Whichever approach you choose, make sure you keep your finger on the pulse so that you stay current with the latest trends in this fast-paced industry.