Technology is digital marketers’ gateway to lead gen and relationship building. So it’s no surprise that the rise of AI is reshaping their approaches. But because AI itself is evolving, some skepticism and hesitation are natural.
Will this emerging technology’s capabilities transform online marketing to the point where it’s unrecognizable? Or can companies leverage it so it’s a positive and fruitful source of disruption? Here’s how AI stands to impact the digital marketing world and influence marketers’ strategies.
Laser-Focused Content Creation
Without online content, digital marketers can’t reach their target audiences. But the content creative teams spend precious time crafting doesn’t always make a splash. You can carefully map out a content strategy with every single detail, including desired outcomes for each piece. Yet you’ve got to have the talent to produce those pieces at a high level of quality and a breathtaking pace.
Constantly brainstorming and executing content ideas to perfection is unrealistic, even for teams at the top of their game. Inevitably, human brains come to a standstill. Call it writer’s block, a rut or a creative slump. It happens to content creators all the time. And the pressure to produce something can mean pieces that don’t match a strategy’s ambitions.
While the debate rages as to whether AI will replace human content creators, it can be a good ally. AI can generate outlines based on inputs, such as audience characteristics, keywords and search intent. The technology is able to build structures for entire blog posts or articles, helping writers focus on the points they need to drive home to specific audience segments.
AI tools developed by content marketing firms such as MarketMuse elevate those capabilities. With the help of ChatGPT, the tool makes outlines infused with topic modeling data that can then be turned into blog posts ready for a human touch. Content teams can fine-tune those pieces, ensuring they match strategic intent.
AI saves time by streamlining the creative process. It also helps raise the bar on quality, so published pieces produce better outcomes and content strategies come to fruition.
Marketing strategies develop from data about human behavior. However, digital marketers may discover what they thought they knew about an audience isn’t quite right. Or the information they have is too generalized. It doesn’t provide enough fine-grained insights to develop a goal-crushing campaign.
Digital marketers also see market data through a subjective lens. They may miss patterns because of biases and assumptions. Even the culture of the companies marketers work for can influence the interpretation of data such as customer surveys. Executives looking for a quick fix may unknowingly promote a “be everything to everyone” approach. Consequently, digital marketing messages become too generic.
But AI can sort through large volumes of market data without ego. The tools pick up on patterns across multiple sources, including chatbot conversations and social platforms.
While AI can inform digital marketers of aggregate audience insights, it also shows what’s happening at the individual level. A customer’s past Starbucks coffee purchases can predict if they’ll engage with promo messages in an app. AI helps personalize strategies so they feel more conversational.
Augmented Reality Experiences
Augmented reality is expanding the definition of content marketing. Customers are looking for more than words and videos to engage them. A NielsenIQ survey of shoppers shows 56% say augmented reality increases their confidence in a product’s quality. And around 61% of consumers prefer to shop with brands that offer AR experiences.
When digital marketers use augmented reality, it can influence customer behavior, engagement and sales. The technology encourages shoppers to linger longer. They’re more likely to try more products in online environments. AR experiences can also boost sales. That said, research shows the technology is more effective with brand-new buyers.
Digital marketers targeting new audiences may want to incorporate augmented reality into their strategies. Retailers such as Crate & Barrel already offer this capability to shoppers who may have concerns about buying items like furniture online. Exploring AR environments helps overcome objections to the sale by showing how purchases will look and feel in people’s homes.
These experiences can also extend to behind-the-scenes content about a brand and its locations. People unfamiliar with a company and its products are able to interact in a low-risk environment. They can learn about a brand’s values, gain knowledge about its offerings and “visit” locations they otherwise wouldn’t be able to. Interactive content with built-in augmented reality builds trust and interest without coming across as intrusive.
AI’s Impact on Digital Marketing
AI promises to change how the world works, including the ways digital marketers reach audiences. While relying on technology to drum up interest and sales is part of a digital marketer’s playbook, AI expands it. With the tech’s abilities, your strategies can become more streamlined, personalized and engagement-oriented.