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How to Leverage AI in Digital Marketing: The Complete Guide

April 18th, 2024 Michael Mayday

Digital marketing has always been a fast-moving industry, but the introduction of artificial intelligence to marketing has added rocket fuel to today’s marketing machines. From content marketing and SEO to social media advertising and marketing automation, AI is revolutionizing how digital marketers engage with audiences and implement strategies.

MBPS AI and personalization

AI has the potential to transform your marketing efforts and your ROI along with it. In this guide, we aim to show you how to leverage AI for digital marketing success.

What is AI in Digital Marketing?

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AI in digital marketing refers to using artificial intelligence tools, like generative AI, to enhance the creation and implementation of digital marketing strategies. What this means in practical terms is wide-ranging but generally includes leveraging technologies like chatbots, marketing automation platforms and AI-powered analytics tools.

Why Use AI in Digital Marketing?

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AI has the potential to reshape how digital marketing executes. From automating resource-intensive tasks to spotting possible missed opportunities in data, here are some reasons why you should consider incorporating it into your strategy.       

Enhancing Personalization

Personalization is one of the most compelling use cases for AI in digital marketing. According to McKinsey, 71% of consumers say they expect personalization from the businesses they interact with, personalization is no longer an option.

However, manually creating personalized content for everyone is unrealistic. That’s where AI comes in.

With AI, businesses can quickly, accurately and efficiently create tailored content for diverse audience groups and individuals. AI analyzes customer actions to anticipate needs and decipher which content and product recommendations will resonate most.

By enhancing the user experience this way, AI-powered personalization doesn’t just boost engagement and improve conversion rates. It also creates a positive brand perception, which increases brand loyalty and maximizes customer lifetime value. 

Harnessing Data Insights

Navigating and interpreting data is essential for any digital marketer, but it can often be tedious and time-consuming. AI-driven analytics tools can speed up and refine this process, extracting valuable insights from large datasets in just a fraction of the time it’d take a human.

But increased efficiency isn’t the only benefit of using AI for data analysis. Even if AI tools took just as long as a human would, they would still be worth using. This is because understanding patterns in data is what AI systems do best.

The machine learning models underpinning AI are essentially data analysis tools trained to recognize complex patterns and make predictions based on their findings. For this reason, AI analytics tools can spot trends that might be missed using traditional methods.

With AI-derived insights, digital marketers can develop a more precise understanding of audience preferences, which can then be used to optimize strategies with data-driven insights.

Streamlining Marketing Automation

There are many reasons why a digital marketer would use AI, but one of the biggest benefits is AI’s ability to help streamline marketing processes. AI can automate repetitive tasks, fill in reports and follow up on leads, allowing for big savings on time and resources.

The breadth of automation possible through AI covers everything from personalized email flows to customer service chatbots. AI tools designed for digital marketing can also monitor the performance of different ad campaigns, even optimizing copy and scheduling wherever opportunities arise.  

By streamlining marketing automation, AI maximizes efficiency and gives marketers their most valuable asset back: time. With more time, marketers focus on what’s most valuable — usually on more creative tasks requiring human creativity and empathy. 

How Are Digital Marketers Using AI?

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Despite AI’s relative newness, it’s already an integral part of many digital marketers’ daily working processes. Here’s how you can use AI to supercharge your efforts.

AI in Content Marketing

AI uses what’s known as natural language processing to understand text in the same way that a human would. NLP has paved the way for natural language generation – where AI tools use their knowledge to produce their own original, human-like text.

This means that generative AI can create content autonomously — from blog posts to social media posts. Its role in content marketing doesn’t stop there — AI tools can also generate content ideas, personalize content around individuals’ needs and preferences and provide insights empowering marketers to optimize content strategies. 

Digital marketers increasingly include AI content marketing in their strategies because of its speed and agility. AI can significantly scale up content production by automating various processes and accelerating content creation, helping marketers meet the standards necessary to compete in today’s competitive landscape.

AI in Social Media Advertising

AI is revolutionizing the social media landscape, reshaping the way marketers administer campaigns, and transforming online customer interactions. From automating comment moderation to targeting insights, there’s very little it can’t help with.

When it comes to ad targeting, AI’s advanced algorithms can identify different audience groups, tailoring the ad copy to suit each segment. It can also provide recommendations for optimizing budgets and scheduling, depending on your criteria.

A/B testing is the cornerstone of successful social media advertising. Aside from streamlining the process through automation, AI tools can write ad copy variants and analyze historical data to predict which copy will perform best on each platform.

AI-powered chatbots are one of the most common forms of AI used in social media marketing. They can communicate with customers in real time, going beyond simple automated messages to deliver personalized responses that enhance the customer experience. 

AI in SEO

Digital marketers are also using AI to drive efficiency in the SEO processes. There are tools that can carry out keyword research, brainstorm SEO content ideas, proofread and review content against a brief, and even generate code for technical SEO tasks.

The advanced nature of these tools means that they can also analyze user behavior and predict SEO trends, helping digital marketers prepare for algorithm updates and optimize site performance.

Ongoing data analysis is at the heart of any successful SEO strategy, and AI can quickly process vast volumes of data. This allows SEO marketers to accelerate various processes, saving time and enhancing their search engine marketing efforts.

Understanding AI in Digital Marketing

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AI is a relatively new technology, and it can take time to fully understand how it works and what it can do within digital marketing. We’ve tried to make things a little easier by breaking down the concepts and technologies that are most relevant for marketers:

Demystifying AI for Marketers

The world of AI is full of complex concepts and jargon. If you’re a marketer trying to get your head around it all, here are the basics of what you need to know:

Generative AI

Generative AI is what most people think of when they think of AI. It’s the term used to describe AI that produces (generates) autonomously. Text-producing tools are examples of generative AI, but it’s also possible for AI to produce images and videos..

Predictive AI

Predictive AI is just as useful as generative AI, even though you might be less familiar with it. This technology can analyze large quantities of data and use the findings to predict future trends or events. By understanding patterns within data and turning them into valuable insights, predictive AI can help marketers to make informed decisions.

Machine Learning

The concept of machine learning is vital to understanding how AI is created. Machine learning is a dynamic process where computer algorithms go through a continual cycle of analyzing historical data and their own performance. These algorithms improve their efficacy by applying their learnings to future activity and then repeating the process.

Key AI Technologies

AI has produced a lot of technologies, with some providing more benefits to digital marketers than others. Here are some of the most important AI technologies for marketers to utilize:

  •       Integrated AI software: platforms that offer built-in AI features, like the ON24 Analytics and Content Engine, often use bespoke software. This means these AI features can be tailored to enhance different aspects of the platform while blending into the background of that solution.
  •       AI chatbots: can be used for generalized purposes such as content ideation and creation or for a more specific purpose. For example, ON24’s chatbot tool is designed to answer technical questions attendees may ask and provide additional information during webinars.
  •       AI-powered plugins: marketing automation is made easy with plugins that connect AI-powered software to other applications to create seamless marketing workflows.

The Impact of AI on ROI

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AI can significantly improve ROI by boosting conversion rates, reducing customer acquisition costs, and improving customer engagement levels. By automating processes and creating personalized interactions, AI can lead to cost savings, increased revenue, and improved efficiency — ultimately positively impacting overall ROI. 

Leveraging AI in Digital Marketing

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1.     Assessing Your Needs

It’s easy to get excited about the possibilities of AI, but before implementing it in your digital marketing strategy, it’s essential to assess your specific needs. Identify your current challenges, future goals and potential “easy wins” of using AI — such as reducing repetitive administrative tasks.

Technology has a lot of potential, but if it’s not implemented with your goals, it will only be a distraction. Make sure you set clear objectives for what you’re trying to achieve with AI and regularly review how it’s being used if you want to get the most out of it.

2. Selecting the Right AI Tools

Once you’ve evaluated your needs and goals, the next step is to research and identify the tools that will help you achieve them. Aside from the obvious criteria, such as whether the tool has the features that you require, you should also consider things like:

  •       Compatibility with existing software systems
  •       Additional technical support needs
  •       How it could scale in the future

Training and Integration

No matter how great AI digital marketing tools can be, you’re unlikely to see the results you’re looking for without knowing how to use them properly. Effective training is vital to use these tools to their full potential – as is careful integration with existing workflows. 

MBPS AI and personalization