17 Ways to Leverage AI in Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is full of shiny new toys. You’ve probably seen trends come and go all the time. There’s this little nagging voice in the back of your head that keeps saying, “This is too complex, it’s not for me,” or “I’ve been doing fine without it, why bother?” Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of those things that’s been making waves lately. And I won’t lie, AI trends make me think if I’m getting left behind by the bandwagon.
You and I, we’re both human. We’re hardwired to resist change and fear the unknown. When we see something new like AI, we naturally feel a pang of intimidation. But let me tell you this: You’re not alone. All of us, even the most tech-savvy among us, felt this way when we first encountered AI. That’s just temporary discomfort.
So how do you leverage AI in digital marketing? You can harness the power of machine learning algorithms to automate tasks, derive insights, and personalise experiences. If you want to use AI tools to your advantage, you’ll need to crunch vast amounts of data and extract meaningful patterns to inform your marketing strategies. At its core, AI platforms are all about turning your marketing from a guessing game into a slightly more precise science.
17 ways to leverage AI in digital marketing
- Personalised content recommendations
- Predictive analytics
- Chatbots and virtual assistants
- A/B testing automation
- Content ideation
- Dynamic pricing
- SEO strategies
- Lead scoring
- Influencer marketing matchmaking
- Content gap analysis
- Social media crisis management
- Ad budget allocation
- Customer journey mapping
- “Try before you buy” experiences
- Sentiment analysis
- Market research
How do you leverage AI in digital marketing?
1. Personalised content recommendations
Personalisation is more than just addressing a customer by their name in an email. It extends to crafting and delivering content that is individually tailored based on a customer’s historical data and predictive behaviour.
At the core of this strategy lies an understanding of your customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviours, all of which contribute to creating content that speaks directly to them.
AI-driven algorithms can analyse vast amounts of data quickly and accurately, enabling businesses to gain insights into what their customers like, how they react to specific types of content, and what motivates them to take action.
Data confirms the value of personalisation in digital marketing. According to a study by McKinsey, personalised content can deliver five to eight times the ROI on marketing spend and improve sales by 10% or more.
2. Predictive analytics
In digital marketing, predictive analytics can help businesses anticipate customer behaviour, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions. It helps in identifying the most profitable customer segments, predicting customer churn, and optimising marketing campaigns for the best results. It can also help in understanding how changes in the market could potentially impact your business.
Simply put, predictive analytics allow you to forecast which marketing strategies are likely to succeed and which ones may fall flat.
Australia’s National Australia Bank (NAB) uses predictive analytics to anticipate customer needs and deliver personalised offers. By analysing customer behaviour and spending patterns, NAB can recommend the most suitable banking products and services to its customers, thereby increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
3. Chatbots and virtual assistants
These technologies are primarily used to improve customer service, provide instant responses to customer queries, and offer personalised recommendations. They can operate 24/7, delivering timely and efficient support to customers across different time zones.
A significant advantage of using chatbots and virtual assistants is that they can handle multiple customer interactions simultaneously, freeing up your human staff to focus on more complex tasks.
In Australia, Domino’s Pizza utilises a chatbot named “DRU Assist” to help customers with their orders. The AI-powered chatbot can understand a customer’s pizza preferences, recommend toppings, and even handle transactions. This innovative use of AI technology has not only improved customer experience but has also increased the company’s efficiency and profitability.
4. A/B testing automation
A/B testing, also known as split testing, is a common practice in digital marketing. It involves testing two versions of a web page, email, or other marketing element to see which one performs better.
AI can automate this process. By testing multiple variables simultaneously and accurately interpreting the results, you’ll be able to save so much time and resources – or in other words, automated A/B testing gives you the benefit of scalability.
5. Content ideation
The value of content ideation shouldn’t be underestimated.
AI can analyse existing content to identify gaps and opportunities for expansion or improvement. It provides insights into what content performs well and why, helping businesses create content that drives engagement and conversions.
As Emily Taylor Gregory from FT Longitude writes, “Unfortunately, many companies waste time and money because they don’t know how to create content that engages with and influences their target audiences.” AI can help overcome this challenge by providing data-driven topic suggestions that are likely to engage your audience and meet your business objectives.
6. Dynamic pricing
This is a pricing strategy where businesses set flexible prices for their products or services based on current market demands. AI can automate this process, analysing factors such as customer demand, competitor pricing, and seasonality to adjust prices in real time.
Dynamic pricing allows businesses to maximise profits during periods of high demand and maintain sales during periods of low demand. It can also improve customer satisfaction by offering prices that align with the perceived value of a product or service.
Uber is a case in point. As a ride-sharing service, Uber uses dynamic pricing to adjust fares in real time based on demand. By doing so, Uber can maintain a steady supply of drivers during peak times and continue providing service during off-peak hours. This innovative use of dynamic pricing has contributed to Uber’s success and growth in the Australian market.
Now, here’s a hypothetical example. Let’s pretend for a moment you run a hotel. A nice, luxurious one with pillows that feel like clouds and a mini-bar that doesn’t cost your entire paycheck. You’ve got rooms to sell, and you want to get the most bang for your buck.
Enter the dynamic pricing strategy. Your smart AI algorithm gathers data from across the internet. It’s looking at weather forecasts, event calendars, flight schedules, competitor pricing, and historical booking data, among others.
AI takes all that data, stirs it up in its virtual cauldron, and spits out the optimal pricing for your rooms. Got a big conference coming to town? Boom, prices go up. Forecast says it will be rainy and miserable all week? Bam, discounts galore.
This way, you’re always getting the best deal, both for your customers and for your pocket. It’s like having a stock market for hotel rooms, and your AI is the Wolf of Wall Street (without the illegal stuff, of course).
7. SEO strategies
Search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies form a significant part of digital marketing efforts. SEO involves optimising your website’s design and content to make it more attractive to search engines, resulting in higher rankings in search results.
A higher ranking increases your website’s visibility, driving more organic traffic to your site.
AI can significantly enhance your SEO strategies by automating and optimising many aspects of the SEO process. For instance, AI can analyse a vast array of keywords and identify the most effective ones for your business. It can also examine search engine algorithms and adjust your SEO strategy in real time, helping you stay ahead of changes in search engine ranking factors.
AI can also provide insights into your competitors’ SEO strategies. It can analyse your website’s SEO performance and recommend improvements to increase your search engine rankings.
Pro tip: According to a 2019 study by Backlinko, the number one result in Google’s organic search results has an average click-through rate (CTR) of 31.7%. Keep in mind most users never scroll past the first page of search results.
8. Lead scoring
Lead scoring is like a dating game for businesses. Just like you wouldn’t marry someone on the first date, you wouldn’t go all-in with a potential customer without knowing if they’re interested. Lead scoring is the suave way businesses figure that out.
Here’s how it works.
Lead scoring is like having a mental checklist to figure out who’s into you.
Each lead gets a score, kind of like a rating. You’re essentially sizing up how interested prospects are in your product or service, and how likely they’re going to take the relationship to the next level (like making a purchase).
This score isn’t just pulled out of thin air. It’s based on information like:
- Demographics: Is this lead in your target age range, location, industry? If yes, add points.
- Engagement: Are they opening your emails, clicking your links, and attending your webinars? More points.
- Behaviour: Did they spend half an hour browsing your online store, or did they bounce after two seconds? Adjust points accordingly.
- Buying Intent: Are they downloading price lists, or just some free, general content? More points for price interest.
With AI-powered lead scoring, your sales team can focus their efforts on the leads that are likely to convert, instead of wasting time on those who are just flirting with no intention of commitment.
9. Influencer marketing matchmaking
AI can enhance influencer marketing campaigns by streamlining the matchmaking process. It can analyse a vast array of data, including an influencer’s audience demographics, engagement rates, and content relevance, to determine the best match for your brand.
In addition, AI can continuously monitor influencer performance, double-checking if they deliver the promised results. It can also identify fraudulent influencers who use deceptive practices, like buying followers, ensuring your marketing budget is spent wisely.
10. Content gap analysis
Content gap analysis involves identifying topics and keywords that your competitors are ranking for, but you are not. By filling these content gaps, you can improve your SEO performance and increase your organic traffic.
AI can automate the content gap analysis process, quickly and accurately identifying gaps in your content strategy. It can also suggest relevant topics and keywords to help you fill these gaps.
11. Social media crisis management
Have you ever watched a brand’s social media account go from toast of the town to burnt toast in a matter of hours – just because of a single negative post?
Scene 1: A major corporation’s social media blunder
Take, for example, a major corporation posts an advertisement on social media that’s meant to be edgy and cool but instead comes across as insensitive and tone-deaf. The Internet does what it does best: it explodes in rage.
Scene 2: AI to the rescue
Using advanced sentiment analysis, their AI system starts monitoring social media reactions in real time. It’s not just looking at the numbers; it’s reading the room, feeling the anger, the frustration, the disappointment.
And it’s doing this at the speed of light – analysing thousands of tweets, posts, comments, and memes, all screaming that the brand messed up. Big time.
Scene 3: Real-time analysis, real-time response
The AI doesn’t just stop at gathering the bad news; it breaks it down. Who’s mad? Why are they mad? What are they saying? It’s like having a thousand super-savvy PR experts combing through the chaos and finding the patterns.
The AI system quickly identifies the core issues and helps the brand’s crisis management team to craft responses that are timely, sincere, and on-point. No generic apologies here. The brand needs to show that it’s listening, that it gets why people are mad, and that it’s ready to make things right.
Epilogue: Crisis averted (or at least managed)
With AI’s help, what could have been a brand-ending disaster turns into a tough but valuable lesson. The brand weathers the storm, makes amends, and moves forward (hopefully a bit wiser).
AI can help automate the survey process, from designing questions to market research analysis. It can also suggest questions based on your objectives, ensure a logical flow to your survey, and adjust questions based on respondent answers, improving the quality and relevance of your data.
You can also leverage AI tools to draw meaningful insights. It can identify trends and patterns in the data, provide in-depth analysis of open-ended responses, and highlight significant findings.
13. Ad budget allocation
Determining how to allocate your advertising budget across various channels is a common challenge for many businesses. Spending too much on one channel may result in missed opportunities on another, while spreading your budget too thin may result in insufficient impact.
AI can significantly improve your ad budget allocation process. It can analyse a variety of data, including past campaign performance, industry trends, and competitor activity, to suggest the most effective allocation of your ad budget.
Example: A Local Bakery’s AI-Driven Ad Campaign
The business scenario
Consider a small local bakery, “Sweet Delights,” operating in a bustling city. The owner, Sarah, wants to promote her seasonal pastries and newly introduced vegan desserts. She has a limited advertising budget but understands the importance of reaching potential customers through various channels.
The bakery’s customer base is diverse, including working professionals, students, health enthusiasts, and families. Sarah wants to target these different segments through online ads, social media promotions, local newspapers, and even radio spots. However, her budget is tight, and she needs to ensure that every advertising dollar is spent wisely.
AI-driven ad budget allocation
By employing an AI-driven advertising platform, Sarah begins by analysing her existing customers’ preferences and online behaviours. The AI system identifies patterns, such as increased interest in vegan products among young professionals and a preference for seasonal pastries among families.
The AI then finds that social media is an ideal platform for targeting young professionals, while local newspapers resonate more with families. It also assists in tailoring the ad content to the specific interests of each segment. For instance, it schedules social media posts featuring vegan desserts during times when young professionals are most active online.
Thanks to AI-driven ad budget allocation, “Sweet Delights” sees a noticeable increase in foot traffic and online inquiries. The targeted advertising appeals to different customer segments, and Sarah’s limited budget is utilised to its fullest potential.
14. Customer journey mapping
Customer journey mapping is a visual representation of the customer’s experience with your brand from initial contact to final purchase. It helps you understand the various touchpoints your customers interact with and how they feel at each stage of their journey.
AI can automate and enhance the customer journey mapping process. It can analyse data from various sources (e.g., website analytics, CRM systems, social media) to create a detailed and accurate map of your customer journey.
15. “Try before you buy” experiences
“Try before you buy” experiences allow customers to test a product before making a purchase decision. This can significantly increase conversion rates and customer satisfaction.
For instance, AI can create 3D models of furniture that customers can place in their homes using augmented reality. This allows customers to see how the product looks in their space, increasing their confidence in their purchase decision. Look at how IKEA does it.
Similarly, Australian cosmetics company Mecca provides a virtual “try before you buy” experience through its app. Customers can virtually try on different makeup products, helping them make informed purchase decisions and enhancing their shopping experience.
16. Sentiment analysis
Certain AI platforms can identify positive, negative, and neutral sentiments, helping you understand how customers feel about your brand, products, or services. This can help you gauge the success of your marketing campaigns, manage your online reputation, and understand the impact of various business decisions on customer sentiment.
17. Market research
A study by Qualtrics reveals that 93% of researchers say that AI can be used as a force for good in the market research industry.
AI can automate and enhance the market research process. It can quickly process large volumes of data from various sources – such as social media, online reviews, and market reports – to provide insights about market trends, customer preferences, and competitor strategies.
Should I invest in AI marketing?
I’ve had the same question bouncing around my head too. But let me break it down for you.
Think of artificial intelligence as your trustworthy personal assistant. It never gets tired, always has insights to share, and can juggle numerous tasks with utmost ease. From automating repetitive chores to delivering personalised content to your audience, AI is the wonder worker in the realm of digital marketing.
Imagine being able to understand your customers’ needs even before they do, being able to predict market trends with razor-sharp accuracy, or having the power to allocate your marketing budget where it would create the most impact. That’s what AI brings to your business table.
Circling back to your burning question: “Should I invest in AI marketing?” I highly recommend that you do. This choice isn’t just about jumping on the AI bandwagon. It’s about considering how AI makes your business more efficient, your customers happier, and your returns healthier.
AI can transform your marketing strategy in many ways. It can help you target your customers more accurately, personalise your marketing messages, streamline your marketing operations, and optimise your marketing budget, among other things. This then can lead to higher ROI for your marketing campaigns.
Let’s Brainstorm Next Level Marketing Campaigns Together
The road to AI adoption may seem daunting, but remember, no one’s expecting you to become an overnight expert. It’s a journey. The key to successful implementation is to start small, test, learn, and scale up as you see results.
At Manifest Website Design, we’re all about making this process as seamless and rewarding as possible for you. AI is simply just one of the tools in our digital marketing toolkit. We believe that when technology and creativity meet, the possibilities are limitless. Let’s take this leap together, step by step, today.
About the Author
Jillian has over 30 years of experience in technology, programming, and digital marketing. Her work with the stock exchange in Australia, as well as other large corporations, has given her invaluable business expertise.
At Manifest Website Design, she helps goal-driven entrepreneurs build their business, regardless of size and industry, using the power of the internet. She’ll walk alongside you every step of the way, making sure that your website is running smoothly, and most importantly, generating leads. Connect with her on LinkedIn.