AI SEM – Leveraging your Ad spend with AI and ML

AI SEM – Leveraging your Ad spend with AI and ML

The online advertising world or the SEM industry is very compact yet a complex one. Search advertising or search engine marketing as some would prefer to call it, are being mainstreamed in myriad ways with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms. And these changes have a significant, if not a critical influence on how you approach your search advertising.

Without a contention, Google AdWords and Facebook Ads take the major chunk of the search engine marketing market. In this post, we will look at how AI has influenced both these platforms, where they are headed, and how you can make the most of your campaigns, given that every business likes to get more out of the advertising buck.

Google AdWords – Getting more value

Google has been slowly incorporating AI into its AdWords framework as a result of which there is a greater scope of opportunities. They could be getting one up on the competition, or saving time for strategic thinking by automating low-level tasks. Let us look at a few ways in which you can make more from your AdWords campaigns.

Weeding out poor performing ads

The first scenario, clicks rolling in but no sales or conversions is a disastrous scenario for any campaign. This means you are leaking money without any ROI.

The second scenario, getting bids on an advert but not clicks, your quality score [QS] goes for a toss. End of the day, your ROI takes the fall.

Imagine the time taken to filter out these ads, analyze them and pausing them. If you are running a campaign for your business, it is easy, but in a scenario where you are handling multiple accounts, you will be spending all your time here without any time to create strategy.

How about using a machine learning [ML] algorithm to weed out these ads and pause them automatically? This will help in keeping your ROI intact as well as take care of QS.

Getting into the finer detail, your ML algorithm should be able to:

  • Abandon or pause the ad before it affects the ROI. Based on previous performance factors, it should be able to estimate potential gains and losses using statistical inference.
  • Analyze at a molecular level. The ML algorithm should be able to factor in other individual segments like mobile traffic, non-revenue producing browsers, times and days that see a poor performance and ad variations before it pauses the entire ad outright. With this analysis, it can close or fine-tune the non-performing factors one after another with realtime analysis.

Automation and machine learning are a big emphasis on Google currently and our industry as a whole. The more we as practitioners can leverage these tools, the more time we can dedicate to higher-level strategy and other account growth opportunities.” – Josh Brisco, Sr. Manager, Retail Search Operations @ CPC Strategy

Using dynamic ads as a part of your SEM strategy

Dynamic search ads are an ML-based tool offered by Google AdWords as a part of the platform. These ads generate automatic headlines that can capture the attention of the searcher. All you need to do, is to create and upload the list of landing pages that you want to generate dynamic ads for. The tool will identify searches that it deems fit for your landing pages and generate ad content using the phrases from your landing pages. Sounds easy, but imagine doing it manually, if you are running multiple campaigns.

Using ML, AdWords also generates ad suggestions. Ignore them at your peril because these are generated using prior performance data. Incorporating them after due diligence will boost your results.

Dynamic ads can also be created using a custom ML algorithm that should incorporate:

  • External factors such as days and times.
  • Mix and match the audience, imagery and copy with multivariate testing using self-learning or evolutionary algorithms.

If you are not looking at a custom dynamic ad ML algorithm, there are a few tools in the market that can be useful – Zalster, Sentient, AscendRefuel4, and IBM Watson.

Used with due diligence, they could save your ROI and time. 

Using automated bidding for best results

Using machine learning algorithms to cap your bidding, is becoming popular today. Bidding is a very important mechanism in search engine marketing –  keeping your bids low means losing out on opportunities, and keeping them high means an ROI sacrifice.

Google Adwords comes with an automated bidding interface, however, it lacks the intelligence of maximizing your ROI. Maximizing ROI would require the input of certain external factors like seasonality, consumer trends, demographics, purchase behavior, and customer lifetime value amongst others.

A good ML algorithm for automated bidding must:

  • Be able to estimate the price range of each ad based on previous bids.
  • Calculate and factor in the click value from each click depending on the previous click data. For this, it should factor in the website data and this is a challenge. If you have multiple landing pages and keep removing or adding new ones, previous data that is fed to the algorithm could be bad or zero. Therefore, use the algorithm for aged landing pages only.
  • Identify the bidding landscape changes and results and adapt quickly to them instead of assuming that past performance guarantees future performance. This could be a big challenge for want of niche data.

Make use of existing platforms

What we discussed above could lead to an assumption that a custom ML algorithm is a necessity. However, we are speaking about marketing and hiring data scientists would be a waste of money and time when there are a platforms that could be leveraged to do the needful. Let us look at some:

  • Trapica: The best part of this tool is that it can scale your campaigns by identifying the right audiences and matching them to creatives thus optimizing bidding.
  • Acquisio: Built for Bing, AdWords, and Facebook ads, this ML platform helps you cut CPC and CPA while raising clicks and conversions.
  • Frank: Works with Facebook ads and AdWords and connects to millions of publishers. Frank is automated to launch campaigns and optimizes them by channel, creative and target audience.
  • Cognitiv: This tool uses deep learning and predicts the best spends using customization based on historic data for each brand, based on historical data.

Google has already announced its “AI-first” future when Sundar Pichai highlighted their efforts of expanding and integrating AI and ML capabilities across their products, 2 years ago.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WRJYEA-mwY
Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google on “AI-First” Initiatives

Apart from the Google AdWords platform, choosing an alternative to create and control spending could be a challenge, however, knowing your requirements well and comparing it with the features of your chosen platform, will be a wise way to go about it.

Facebook ads – Improving campaign performance

Unlike Google, Facebook has a lot more relevant data about users. The recent scandals, albeit negative, are evidence to this fact. Concerns over private and personal data are not misplaced. Commerzbank and Mozilla have taken a negative stand over security concerns.

However, this goldmine of data that Facebook has, used with security and in a proper manner can result in much better insights about user preferences, tastes, and behavior. This will also help run relevant and personalized campaigns that can get better results, additionally, users can breathe easy without the generic ad bombardment every time they log in.

This filtered data is used by Facebook to help marketers create ad campaigns and the platform churns out a host of automated optimization options, helping marketers run effective ad campaigns.

Let us look at Facebook’s ML capabilities that can help you achieve this.

The importance of campaign objectives

The best part of the Facebook ad manager is that it wants you to specify a campaign objective, unlike any other platforms. Most other platforms give you objectives that are not specific to a simple goal. For example, one ad campaign cannot raise brand awareness, get you more reach or traffic and still get you a good ROI. One campaign for one objective is what works.

Courtesy – Marketingland

First up, while creating a campaign, you must understand what is to be achieved. The ad manager gives you thirteen options to choose from. Remember, campaign objective is not a cosmetic attribute. It will define the reach and placement of your ad. For example, if you choose “video views, Facebook’s AI algorithm will place the ad in front of people where there is a better chance of viewing, derived from user behavior.

Once chosen, the campaign objective cannot be changed post-launch. If I was doing it for my business, I would choose “conversions” and choose the sub-objective higher up as a CTA. This will help me keep my campaign, unique amongst all those ads looking for clicks.

Criticality of placement

Facebook looks at making money and this is the reason why most campaigns have placements offered this way. The more the ad serve, the more money Facebook makes, however, for marketers, choosing all placements will result in placement optimization through Facebooks’s AI algorithm. It is a win-win situation.

Courtesy – Marketingland

When chosen, the algorithm will decide where to place your ads considering the lowest CPM (Cost per thousand impressions). Placement optimization can save up to 20% costs when “Facebook newsfeed” and right-hand column are selected manually.

There are strategies that you can create using add-ons like Instant Articles, In-Stream and FAN, but brand safety becomes a concern there. Though there are filters available to categorize the placement, the newsfeed is a better choice considering the brand. A small price to pay, but worth it.

Optimizing ad delivery

If using campaign objectives was one part of the delivery mechanism, you still have options to further customize “Optimize for ad delivery”

Courtesy – Marketingland

Here, you will see options depending on the campaign objective you chose, and you can further focus on building a user persona to deliver those ads. “Value” is the latest addition to the list of choices.

Additionally, you can also use Facebook’s split-testing feature because testing is vital to your campaign.

Conclusion – Is AI SEM the answer?

AI Marketing is the future and has already turned into a mainstream feature in the search engine marketing or the PPC space. Micromanaging keywords and bids is no more a marketer’s job, it can be taken care of by simple algorithms, while strategy takes the center-stage for marketing success. Many industries are yet to include automation into their marketing and the first players to adopt AI/ML technology will see a quick boost.

AI SMM – How AI can transform social media marketing?

AI SMM – How AI can transform social media marketing?

Over 2.4 billion people across the globe and about 70% Americans use social media and it is critical that businesses leverage this channel with best marketing practices to shore up their bottom-lines. Be it marketing, support or sales, social media has become a big weapon in the marketing arsenal. It is an invaluable asset in terms of customers interacting with the brand and vice-versa. With millions of tweets, likes, and interactions being generated by the minute, it is impossible for big brands to keep up with the data flow. Human intervention in the form of employees takes the front seat, however, even the biggest of brands have at best, “tiny” social media teams. This is where AI SMM or Artificial intelligence-based social media marketing comes in. The situation today is – a business that ignores the capabilities of AI SMM loses out on a multitude of opportunities.

Automation is the only answer to the deluge of data that is growing by the day. But automation has its limitations and so does a human brain. Crunching huge amounts of data is not a human specialty and talking and interacting with humans is not a strong point of automation, at least not yet. Humans have to prioritize on data crunched by automation software (AI SMM) to create engagement opportunities, so the entire situation becomes symbiotic, where one part is human intellect and the other is artificial intelligence. Let us look at some areas in which AI can transform social media marketing for magical results. This is what we term as AI SMM.

1. The complement of human intelligence and AI SMM

AI applications and human beings form a complementary team in a social media marketing or SMM process. AI is growing leaps and bounds through extensive research in terms of natural language processing. However, real-time and targeted engagement remains a challenge. Whereas, human beings, on the other hand, are adept at engagement while they fail at crunching massive amounts of data that AI can achieve in seconds. This complementary relationship between AI and the human brain can be put to use effectively when deployed with a well-thought out strategy. AI SMM, fine-tuned, is also capable of removing noise and deliver useful data to an SMM marketer, so that he can be effective and quick in his approach to engage and convert.

2.Chatbots                                                                           

Chatbots are not only used on website frontends but have also found use in the social media marketing niche. Chatbots are evolving quickly and today they are used to handle smaller customer issues while the bigger ones are delegated to human intervention. This translates to effective use of human potential. Chatbots are equipped to create and handle multiple conversations at the same time and are available 24/7. This, I have already discussed in one of my previous blog posts – AI-Based Marketing – 12 winsome AI ideas to leapfrog your efforts.

The fact that over 60% of customers expect an answer to their complaints in 60 minutes or less is a reality. By deploying chatbots on customer support platforms, they can help keep customers happy and improve retention rates. Not that chatbots will resolve all queries, but they can keep a customer engaged while flagging humans for faster resolution of issues. Chatbots can also prioritize complaints and help boost social media engagement by better customer interaction.

AI SMM
3. Post intelligence

Artificial intelligence is capable of identifying engagement opportunities on social media.  A business called post intelligence has developed an application called PI that can track social trends in a given niche. The tracking data is then matched to the user’s recent posts and level of engagements thus creating an opportunity to fine-tune or recommend content that can be posted. It also has the capability of generating social media posts. As a social media marketer, you can imagine the possibilities here.

4. Kosei and Pinterest

Pinterest has acquired a business called Kosei to add to its AI capabilities and predict personalized recommendations for users depending on their interests and search data. Kosei uses a recommendation modeling algorithm to help Pinterest churn out relevant results.

5. Bright and LinkedIn

Bright is a job search business acquired by LinkedIn in 2014. Bright used machine learning to match employment opportunities with candidates. The bright algorithm helps LinkedIn to assess hiring patterns, work experience, locational preferences, and other myriad data to score candidates for a given employer. LinkedIn adds a new dimension to its job opportunities section by integrating Bright in addition to its data making it a more focussed hiring portal.

6. Slack bots

Slack bots throw guesswork out of the window for social media marketers. This AI SMM tool helps them to develop effective posts to promote their brands more effectively while suggesting content. Slack bots are seeing deployment in content marketing too since they are adept at analyzing niche content and suggesting the next steps. In the case of SMM, they analyze the posts on specific social media platforms based on the suggested niche. Slack bots can also predict engagement success rates by comparing your posts to others, especially the promoted ones. In short, they help create effective and focussed social media campaigns by taking out the guesswork.

7. Facebook and facial recognition

On of the best AI, SMM technologies have been deployed by Facebook to engage and enhance customer interaction. Facial recognition saves time on tagging on the Facebook platform. It is still in the early times, but with facial recognition history, Facebook may use the data to deploy the algorithm to suggest products, offers, and places.

8. Marketing Automation using text mining

AI’s machine learning technology is enabling text mining and it will be very helpful for marketing automation techniques. Text mining algorithms are meant to analyze both, structured as well as unstructured data, analyze, and predict customer behavior trends. In turn, this will help marketing automation in terms of hyper-personalization which is lacks in today’s marketing strategies. It can also predict the correct times for social media posting, and will help reach a diverse audience to create maximum impact of social media marketing campaigns.

9. Social media marketing automation

There are many tools like Buffer, HootSuite, and Co-schedule that can help you automate social media marketing by scheduling posts for a month or more, depending on your SMM strategy. So, what will take weeks can be achieved in a coupled of hours. However, they will not help with interactions or engagements, and human interaction is necessary.

Conclusion

There are many AI solutions out there, but there is no holistic solution that can serve the purpose. It is necessary to choose wisely and ensure that your choices add value to business. They should be deployed to extract holistic, actionable intelligence for the business and not as a solution to a subset of a marketing process. In the case of social media, they should be capable of uncovering insights and should help build customer-centric social media marketing strategy. Using social media automation tools creatively is the secret sauce that CMO’s need to figure out.

For more help on creating an effective AI-based social media strategy, get in touch with us today.

Leveraging AI SEO is the way ahead for marketers

Leveraging AI SEO is the way ahead for marketers

Google updated its search engine algorithm on 6th of June 2019. And, now there is a chatter about an unconfirmed update on July 11/12th 2019. Result – the whole SEO community is shaken and stirred. Some lost traffic, while some gained and as an SEO professional, you must be running pillar to post to find out more and rectify, especially if your or client’s traffic dived southwards. Is AI SEO, the answer to your woes?

Let’s look at it at a deeper level. With all due respect to every professional’s knowledge and skills, there is every reason bother about search engine updates. Taken that, you have been honest, built a technically fantastic website (as per technical SEO recommendations) and marketed it organically without using or focussing on bad links or using copyrighted content. Only the market or consumer trends will effect your traffic and nothing else.

I have been following the updates just for the sake of profession and never made unnecessary changes to any of mine or client’s websites, apart from making them customer centric and none of them have been hit, over the last 15 years. There is a secret to it, of course. September 2013, the Hummingbird update was what got me going.

You, me and SEO

Following AI SEO techniques to create an SEO strategy is a good idea, once and for all. I can understand that everyone is in a hurry to promote keywords and get to the top of Google’s organic results. What I do not understand is, if you you are not better than the one on the top, how do you expect to get there.

Following success and getting one-up is the game here, and not gaming the search engines. If you are trying to game them, surely, you need to think about damage control with every update. Search engine updates are here to create a level playing field and playing by the rules is the only way to get there.

AI or artificial intelligence “was” for the nerds. Today, it is effecting every facet of your digital life – Alexa, Siri, AdWords, FB ads, Amazon or Netflix recommendations, you name it and it’s there. So, it’s already made headways into digital marketing, so, what’s wrong with applying it to SEO.

AI SEO – The impact and the relationship

What do you think the search engine algorithms are? They understand more than we can perceive including irrelevant backlinks, keyword stuffing, bad content etc. They rank your webpages depending on these and many other factors and, are created to learn using machine learning which is an integral part of AI.

Understanding AI and playing by the rules is critical to success. This can help you create cohesive strategies and bring more bang for the buck. Let us see, in this post, how you can leverage AI SEO for better ROI.

Today, the impact of AI is very strong. For example, the search results on Google that you see, take into account a number of considerations like favorite websites, geographical location, search history and similar customers who searched the same query. This means that the impact of AI on page rankings will be strong and can vary very quickly due to customer behavior. Your SEO strategy has to consider this impact with a critical eye.

Role of Machine Learning in search engine rankings

SEO or search engine optimization is an organic marketing processes executed to tame search engines and get to the top of organic rankings. Of course, marketing is ever-evolving (which keeps me interested in the first place), and search engines also evolve at the same pace, especially in the area of SERP or page rankings where they exercise utmost influence.

As SEO professionals, we have been meeting the algorithm requirements through keyword optimization, metadata, acquiring inbound links and adding new website content frequently. Did we forget something? Will get to it in a minute.

Machine learning

The leader of search engines, Google continuously improves search results based on search trends and not by what you and me do. Google is consumer specific and analyzes search trends over time using machine learning and applies the same to its algorithms. How many of us SEO professionals have tuned the search to consumers? We have always ranted ranking and ranking and ranking.

So if traffic falls for some websites and rises for some after an algorithm update as a result of an organic fall, don’t fret, you just need to adjust your sails to the search engine winds. If you had the consumer in mind, the adjustment will be small, but if you had rankings in sight, it could still be your best fall ever.

Google estimates that 50% of search volumes will come through voice in an interactive language, by 2020. And, Google is ready with its voice assistant, image search and maps locations, bettering it by the day to interpret natural language and provide relevant results. Are you working towards it? Is your SEO working towards using natural language keywords?

Applying AI is the only way to understand and tame the search engines. There are many tools out there, like Moz, Yoast etc. that can help you with keyword usage, optimize content and page optimizations. However, tuning your website to rank for voice search is the the key to success.

Content and AI SEO

Content is critical to SEO and we are not talking content marketing here. We are talking about shape, size and tone of content that needs to change effectively. AI can help you create opportunities to reach wider audience. However, it is for you to intertwine these opportunities and create a proper and sustainable SEO strategy.

You could, but how? Every secret lies in the data. Check your content, blog posts and other publications for traffic data and analyze why some did well and some did not. How many of them appeared in voice search and what did you get out of them? An AI empowered digital marketing agency could help you do well here.

AI helps you leverage consumer insights and create strategies around it. Kia Motors did this successfully by partnering with an influencer marketplace to find the right influencers. And, do you know how the marketplace found them? Using AI. Kia’s 2016 Super Bowl commercial is a perfect example of attracting relevant consumer groups for their Optima model, using branded content.

AI used in content can provide insights and ideas about:

  1. Landing pages – performance of old ones and suggest new ones.
  2. Personalized content – dynamic content depending on user preferences.
  3. Experiences – Unique to customers according to their preferences.

Additionally, tools like BuzzSumo or Hubspot are able to pin point customer preferences in real time enabling you to act in time to win business. There are many other AI tools out there that can help you leverage your content for best use. As an SEO professional, you can well understand the criticality of having those above in your arsenal.

Hyper personalization – AI to the rescue

The best way to attract or captivate a visitor to convert is through hyper personalization. IF the messaging is fine tuned to the language used by the visitor, messaging at times he/she prefers and using names is the best way to further your interests. I mean, wear the visitor’s shoes and you will understand what I am talking about.

Standing out amidst the impersonal content that rules the internet is the only way to get to to the visitor’s heart. In fact, data says that about 80% businesses achieved revenue targets and more using a proper personalization strategy. AI based personalization that is customer intent based can actually raise potential profits by about 15%. Personalization engines created using AI will see a rise and obviously adding personalization to your website, content and SEO will see hyper results.

Another great example of personalization success is Starbucks, which offers loyalty cards by leveraging mobile app data. This enables the business to provided menu recommendations on mobiles to customers approaching the store. Their secret to customer success, despite having 90+ million transactions a week along with a lot of data. That’s what leveraging data using AI for hyper personalization, can do for your business.

The future of AI in marketing

Search engines like Google evolve continuously and as SEO’s we cannot expect ourselves to know what’s on the inside of a search engine algorithm. It’s only when the updates are deployed, we measure the results, happily or unhappily. Sad, but true.

However, realising that all those changes are customer-centric and keeping the customer in mind is of utmost importance. If search engines are leveraging AI to meet consumer needs, why can’t you do the same to cater to search engine needs. AI based tools are adept at measuring how your blog post or content will perform in search. Isn’t it a great starting point to better your marketing, with AI SEO?

Conclusion

In short, AI has matured from a data collection and an analytics tool to become an integral part of digital marketing. The sooner your business realizes the impact of AI SEO to your marketing bottom-line, the better. The bottomline is that your SEO has to evolve alongwith AI and that you will nomt be able to do without the use of AI. Deploy and see results.

Get in touch with us for a more detailed discussion.

AI-Based Marketing – 12 winsome AI ideas to leapfrog your efforts

AI-Based Marketing – 12 winsome AI ideas to leapfrog your efforts

Artificial Intelligence or AI is what it is – artificial. A software that can learn from enormous amounts of data that it is fed. AI has been an ambiguous concept until recently, and no marketer wanted it to touch it with a bargepole, or make it a part of his digital marketing strategy or learn/ implement “AI marketing”.

2019 is seeing a paradigm shift in AI usage owing to clarity and capabilities that have been proven to work, and marketers are more than willing to incorporate it into their marketing strategies.

AI, as I can see, will keep evolving for the next 25 to 30 years. In this piece, let’s discuss the uses of AI in digital marketing to make it more relevant and effective – AI marketing. Before we get there, let us look at a couple of important facts.

  1. According to a MeMSQL survey on 1600+ marketers, it was found that over 61% wanted to incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning, as they will be the top data initiatives in 2019.
  2. Salesforce says that most marketers believe that the use of AI will grow over 53% in 2019, which is more than any other technology presently in use.
Picture Consultancy – Salesforce Blog

The internet has turned into a huge repository of information collected at an alarming rate through logins, behavioral trends, subscriptions lists, IP addresses, web crawls, and many other processes. This information when processed through an AI capable software, to make it more meaningful, to analyze, becomes very useful to all stakeholders including marketers.

The best example of such deployment is Google AdWords or Facebook Ads that deliver “relevant” ads to the sites you visit or on your Facebook page. That is AI in action, and for marketers, it is a giant leap forward since “relevance” results in more clicks and thus more bang for the buck, in addition to making the advertising process more effective.

The most potent weapons in the AI arsenal are deep learning, machine learning, and natural language processing. These weapons are a marketers dream when deployed for a focussed purpose.

Every marketer works with data or information about customers or prospects. When that information gets analyzed to create logical and usable inference through segmentation or lead scoring, it becomes highly useful. Now let’s take the dive into those winsome dozen AI applications that can help you market better.

1. Search

AI based search

Search has revolutionarily changed over the years and has slowly become a bigger challenge for marketers in terms of search engine optimization and how marketers create and market their content. This is the result of AI taking over, and most important deployments that have contributed this are Google’s RankBrain and voice search.

Prime examples of voice search are Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home devices in addition to Microsoft’s Cortana and Apple’s Siri. These have a simplified search where simply pressing a button and using your voice gives you desired results.

According to a Google blog, about 70% searches that Google Assistant handles are in conversational and natural language. People do not use keywords to search through voice as they do in a classic Google search.

This has become a huge challenge for SEO. Classic keywords and the long-tail ones go out of the window, and the use of conversational keywords has risen. So content now becomes a conversation instead of being monotonous, well-written or informative. Creating a balance between these factors is a huge challenge for content marketing.

2. Search Engine Marketing

search engine marketing

As I had mentioned above, search engine marketing is probably the most benefitted by the use of AI technology. Digital advertising has come a long way in predicting and delivering relevant advertisements to users on both, the Google AdWords platforms as well as Facebook Ads.

Data collected from search [Google] and interests [Facebook] and a combination of both is processed through AI for demographic as well as personalized information collected over time, analyzed and used in a focussed manner to deliver those advertisements. In fact, today there are many third-party AI platforms like AdText that are evolving to serve the purpose more effectively.

3. Chatbots

chatbots

Across the globe, major brands and websites have begun to converse with visitors and customers through third-party apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or Slack. The delivery of messages and replies becomes faster instead of waiting on phone-calls.

Today, many websites have followed suit and offer Chatbots on their website frontend to understand and process visitor queries. These Chatbots are AI-powered and most of them are capable of understanding and responding to open questions asked in vocal language.

Chatbots comes with some major advantages – saves on human time, they are available 24/7 and retain data. Another great advantage is that they can handle multiple queries at the same time, so a customer or visitor need not wait on an IVR forever.

One of the best examples of Chatbot implementation is Sephora. It uses a beautiful Chatbot to offer excellent cosmetic products, based on some great beauty advice. With the Sephora Visual Artist, one can test cosmetics like eye-shadows and lipsticks. It is capable of identifying facial features and uses augmented reality technology [AR] to apply the chosen product on a user’s photograph. This Chatbot actually mimics a sales representative. It cannot get any better, can it?

Chatbots are self-learning tools that are not expensive to create.

4. Creating and Generating Content

content marketing

Yes, creating content is no more a challenge, of course, none of the AI tools are perfect enough to do that. Human intervention and editing is inevitable.

An AI cannot write about politics or happening news or even a blog post. However, it is capable of creating content useful for a website. No wonder then Forbes, Associated Press and other brands like The New York Times, CBS, BBC, Washington Post, and Reuters is making the most of its limited capabilities. They mostly put it to use to create and write reports using available data.

There are a few intelligent tools like Quill, Wordsmith, and Articoolo amongst many others that are being used by the above-mentioned brands.

If you follow the Washington Post, you will find hundreds of articles in there are credited with Heliograf – an artificial intelligence technology, used by them.

5. Content Curation

content curation

AI may not be able to generate content perfectly, but it can curate it accurately to show relevant content to visitors and customers.

Content curation using AI is normally used for personalized content recommendations. A typical example is “people who buy X also buy Y,” as we consistently see on Amazon. Another fantastic example is the Netflix recommendation system that suggests movies and TV shows that could interest you.

You can see that both the recommendation engines are pretty accurate.

6. Email Marketing

email marketing

Personalization is the key to email marketing. And by personalization, I do not mean something as primitive as mail-merge to change names, addresses or greetings, it is at a much deeper level and helps establish the right connect with a customer or visitor.

This also involves machine learning technology that analyses tonnes of data and concludes the right date and time to deliver the email, the frequency of emails that a recipient prefers the kind of content that he/she likes the most.

Implementing AI into email marketing can get you more clicks and thus more business.

Tools like Phrasee, Boomtrain, and Persado are a few tools that can help you integrate AI into your email marketing campaigns.

7. User Experience

user experience

UX or User Experience is one of the most sought after factors for conversions through a website. AI empowers marketers to personalize website experience. Of course, this involves insights into terabytes of data that may include devices, location, demographics, interactions, etc. The end product or UX can be customized according to the results.

A good UX results in repeated visits to the site and improves the chances of conversion. For example, Chatbots are a great medium to enhance UX and interact with the visitor.

8. Web Design

web design and development

Web design no more depends on the programmers or a designer. Today, you can design and deploy a wonderful website using tools like Grid. It uses AI to create a website in no time using inputs like text, CTA’s and images. This actually saves on price, time as well as resources. If you are looking to migrate to the cloud or have not already embraced cloud computing, you may have to positively think towards putting your website on a cloud hosting platform for best performance.

9. Speech recognition

natural language processing

AI-powered, voice-activated devices are flooding the markets all around us. And, these are a challenge for marketers because these devices understand most dialects and are very accurate, and it is overtly difficult to get into voice-activated search results.

AI-powered natural language processing algorithms have grown to be over 95% accurate and Baidu claims an accuracy rate of 97%. Using AI, these devices today, are able to interpret requests correctly and provide the required information with accuracy.

10. Audience Segmentation

lead segmentation

As we spoke about personalization above, the need to segment the market data is of prime importance before applying AI to it. The more granular the segmentation, the better the personalization and marketers have to realize that this seemingly unimportant task until now, has taken the front seat to get better results from their efforts.

In fact, AI is also adept at segmentation and targeting, if you can set your standards accurately and apply them to the AI. Deeper the standards, better will be your segmentation. Complex segmentation also involves AI at the level of sentiment analysis to create buyer personas.

People are changing, so is your competition, which means, sticking to static segmentation is not going to work anymore. Dynamic segmentation involves AI and behavioral analysis becomes critical to better segmentation.

Let us say, I at 50, want to buy a gift for a 7-year-old, a static segmentation may not be the right choice, while a dynamic one will put me in the right segment depending on real-time data and behavioral analysis. Better segmentation results in better targeting and the results are obvious.

11. Augmented Reality

augmented reality

Augmented Reality or AR is an outcome of computer vision which a process of programming computers to ‘see’. And the computer would collect and process the videos and digital images that it captures from the process.

Absolutely perfect computer vision programming involves huge data sets of data processed through machine learning. This results in training a machine, robot or a computer to identify or recognize objects.

Accuracy of computer vision is critical to developing a good AR and its applications in marketing. AR is a layer over computer vision and is highly dependent on it for AR to work effectively.

For marketers, this empowers them with AR advertising that can integrate with the target’s environment without being intrusive. AR can open up new avenues of marketing like offers, product insights, shopping, etc. in a highly effective and powerful manner.

AR is already being used by a few furniture, beauty, and home improvement businesses like Home Depot, Lowe’s, Ikea, L’Oreal, Sephora (as discussed above in Chatbots [3]), Estee Lauder, Lenskart, etc.

12. Predictive Analysis

predictive analysis

Predictive analysis is the use of statistical algorithms and machine learning over huge data sets of data to predict future conclusions and the probability of buying or selling.

There are innumerable uses for predictive analysis and resulting models as you can see. However, in the case of marketing, predictive models can be used to determine if a specific visitor will convert or not, or how many visits will it take for him to convert, etc.

The criticality of predictive analysis is that it highly dependent on the data you feed it. Like most marketers who have tons of outdated data, will not be able to make proper use of predictive analysis. The probable mistakes in your data or the data that is no good for the present market will give you useless models.

The best marketing example of predictive analysis is the way you rank or lead-score your prospects. A predictive analysis applied to such data can give you insights like who could be a “qualified client”. Acting on such information becomes much easier for sales with focussed priorities.

Ready to transform your marketing for the better?

AI Marketing is where the future is. The benefits of better decision making have always been valuable learning for all of us marketers. AI helps you make better decisions about your digital marketing strategy. Choosing a modernistic, AI integrated digital marketing agency is the best way ahead for your business instead of replacing teams to learn any new marketing initiatives.

In the posts that follow, we will look at how AI-based marketing can help your efforts in SEO, SEM, SMM, and other areas, individually.

Get in touch with us, to discuss further.

Is cloud computing for you? A 2019 perspective.

Is cloud computing for you? A 2019 perspective.

Cloud computing is no simple term, but it is neither as complicated as you may think. This post gives you the simplest definition of what cloud computing offers and its potential in the coming years. Once you read this completely, you should be completely convinced that you should move your website to the cloud immediately.

Everyone is connected to the internet these days, at least everyone I know is. So, it does make sense to keep all your data and apps over the internet instead of your hard disks, USB drives and other storage devices, isn’t it? Simple, has the internet instilled enough confidence about the security of your data or apps to make use of it it on a regular basis, professionally? For example, whenever you use Google Drive or tune into iTunes you are using cloud services. So, it did, isn’t it?

In this article, we will see the advantages of keeping your data on the internet a.k.a, the cloud.

Before I come to that, I remember it was 2013 when I was backing up my data on to Dropbox since I was quitting my job. Though I understand software, it seemed that I did that quite well and viola, I got home and never could access the data again, not even today, it’s just vanished. Dropbox has been there since 2008, the problem was that I was not an early adopter and never could figure out where I went wrong. What did you think I did? Of course, swore, never to use cloud storage again. I am sure many of us have gone through such harrowing experiences, some, more than once.

cloud computing
‘You’re pretty new to cloud storage aren’t you?’

But then, somewhere along the line, I got used to using the Google Drive [probably found it much simpler to use] and today I use many other cloud spaces including Dropbox. In fact, this very website is hosted on Google Cloud. Along the learning curve, I found the cloud storage helped me to:

Be flexible with my data

Yes, I can access my data anywhere, anytime I need to including on the mobile phone. Dealing with AI databases, I do store huge volumes of data out there and believe me, it is so simple to use. And, since I run a small business, it also opened my eyes to using it as PaaS [Platform as a Service], SaaS [Software as a Service] or IaaS [Infrastructure as a Service]. Nothing to be confused about, it is just about how you want to go about using the cloud to suit your business needs.

A little more explanation – PaaS is used to host a customised application for your business so that your employees, vendors etc. can use it to fasten your business processes. SaaS deals with applications that are already on the cloud or your own application built on the cloud to offer subscription for business to use [Example – Google Drive].

In a nutshell, we can say that PaaS allows companies to come up with customised applications suited to their needs, while SaaS requires them to choose an application to subscribe to. So for SaaS, the service is provided by a host that also manages the application itself. IaaS is about using the resources on the cloud to get your work done. [Example – Hosting your website]. Again, all these can be used in tandem, as required for your business.

Why I use cloud computing?

Available all times: Resources on any cloud computing platform are available all the time or you could say it is on-demand. You don’t need all that paperwork and the IT department to do the job for you.

Device independent: You can call and use any resources you need using your mobile phone, laptop, home computer or even a tablet, all you need is a consistent internet connectivity which is not a challenge anymore.

Shared resources: Cloud computing or storage is a multi-tenant model which means that the same resources can be shared at the same time by various users without any security risks since privacy is controlled through multi-layered security protocols and passwords. This kind of resource pooling is like living in a gated community but sharing the resources provided without any security risks. You still have to lock your house though!

Scaled resources: If you are running a business, you can well understand that you will need excess resources, probably for a short period of time and those requirements will be needed ‘yesterday’. Cloud computing is equipped to take care of such needs at a second’s notice. You can scale your requirements as needed, for as much time as needed and billed for it, as used, no more, no less. And, remember, in most cases, this is automated with detailed reporting.

Pay per use: Yes, cloud computing is based on a pay-per-use model, with detailed reporting of what you have used over a period, you are billed accordingly, so no extra money wasted or extra resources lying idle somewhere.

Why I moved to the cloud?

I am a very orthodox businessperson and believe in cost-cutting but not by cutting corners or at the cost of customer satisfaction. I look for value for money and cloud ensures that I get it. How?

Reliability: Assuming that your cloud provider is down due to some reason, which doesn’t normally happen, your data is automatically backed up on a parallel cloud where you can access it easily. So, the cloud is highly reliable. Cloud technology works on a distributed data management system [OMG, another acronym DDMS].

Flexibility: You could have employees or providers across the globe and yet get the best out of them using the cloud. Since it is omnipresent, the flexibility of scaling, costing and accessibility that a cloud can provide is enormous.

Recovery: Since your data is on the cloud, for example your WhatsApp chat data is backed up on Google Drive, it is very easy to get that data recovered in a matter of minutes even if your phone is bricked and you get a new one and login with the same credentials. In a business scenario, this becomes highly important once a local server or a laptop go bad suddenly.

Environment friendly: As a result of using cloud computing, your cost of maintaining IT infrastructure reduces drastically. You are not only cutting costs but also running a business that does not contribute to global warming.

Security: Believe it or not, cloud computing is the most secure way to store your data. Since most cloud providers use Linux servers, they are not prone to virus or malware attacks. Also, since clouds are simpler to configure, access level securities are quite possible offering no chance to the hacker community to test their skills.

Instant monitoring: Since the cloud is always at your disposal, it is very easy to figure out your reporting in a jiffy. It is easy to check how many tissue rolls you have sold in Indonesia and what is the inventory left sitting at your plush corner office in Chicago. You don’t need to send emails to-and-fro and find out inventory or sales requirements.

Implementation: Many still think that cloud implementation is a complicated process. Yes, it is, depends on the purpose of implementation, But, again the advantages it brings are enormous and implementation is only a one-time process.

Investment: Cloud computing is an investment, yes, but look at what it is going to save you over the next two years in terms of resources and time, and how it can bring efficiency into your business and elevate the opportunity costs. Not to mention, having that ever heavy-headed IT department around. Compare costs, you will see that the investment in cloud computing initially will only be a fraction of benefits it will bring.

Competition: Last but not the least, adopting cloud computing is going to shoot you up through your competition. Take for example, hosting your website on the cloud – your website becomes faster than most of your competitors and speed, as you may know is one of the marketing factors that matters most to your customers as well as SEO.

The 2019 perspective

Cloud computing has been there for a decade now and it has improved leaps and bounds to create ripples in the business and technology arenas. In fact, most businesses are making it a priority to shift to the cloud because of the advantages it offers. More and more cloud services are taking birth every day, so it caters to more needs of your business than you may think. I can well understand that following the cloud industry is not your forte for you as a businessperson, but giving it an hour of your valuable time in terms of research and your competition can give you important insights that could boost your business.

If you are looking forward to migrating your website to the cloud and need some expert help, we are always here to help you make the transition.