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The Future of AI in Digital Marketing

By April 27, 2023Digital
The Future of AI in Digital Marketing - HenkinSchultz

AI is here, and we are now entering a time where new digital marketing tools and platforms are going to pop up seemingly overnight as organizations race to capitalize on the hot market.

Where Will AI Be Present in Digital Marketing?

As we write this blog, we know that thousands of AI tools are being developed and tested by companies both big and small to bolster digital marketing efforts. Our team has been researching what’s possible and dreaming about the future, and there are a few ideas and opportunities we’re particularly jazzed about.

Search Engine Innovations with AI

Picture this: you want a new TV for your living room, but you want to pick one that will fit in your car. You go on Google and search, “What 4K Smart TV in Sioux Falls will fit in the back of a 2019 Honda CR-V?”

In mere seconds, a text response is generated at the top of your Search Engine Results Page (SERP), and it tells you that the store down the street has a 50-inch TV in stock that will fit—and if you want it, you can click on a button in the response to purchase it and schedule it for pickup that afternoon.

This very well might be what the near future looks like in terms of SERPs.

Before now, queries had to be one-dimensional and couldn’t lead you to a purchase this efficiently. But with AI, you can ask a search engine a detailed question, and it will give you a dynamic answer based on exactly what you are looking for.

This could present a lot of challenges for SEO, making frequent content updates and proper keyword research more important than ever. This may even mean more opportunities for growing business, too.

One thing neither Google or Bing have disclosed is whether or not the AI generated responses will be influenced by pay-per-click search ads or something similar. If they are, there will be immense opportunities to directly interact with consumers and get high-quality leads and conversions.

If not, the goal of every marketer will be to figure out how to get your brand mentioned in that AI generated response, forming a new wave of SEO.

It might even have an impact on the coveted map packs. If the AI sees that someone is asking for a place to grab tacos near them, and it knows that the logged-in user has previously enjoyed eating at local restaurants, it might recommend a locally-owned business based on the tracked behaviors.

Basically, we anticipate there will be big changes in store for Google and other search platforms — including social media — that will require marketers to adapt and take advantage of incredible new opportunities. Rest assured, we’ll be ready to try out everything that’s available to us as soon as we hear about it.

Targeting, Segmentation and Placement Optimizations

Everyone has an idea of what their target audience is, and, through A/B testing and segmentation, we have been able to increase ROI for multiple organizations by narrowing down these personas.

Furthermore, lookalike audiences through social media platforms have done a very good job at expanding these audiences by matching people with similar attributes, resulting in increased efficacy.

But what if we were able to remove the guesswork and let AI do the targeting for us? That’s where things get interesting.

For example, let’s say we’re creating a digital campaign encouraging people to meet with a local financial advisor for a free retirement plan audit and consultation.

As of right now, the marketer in the scenario would ask questions to figure out who the audience is and where they are interacting with the brand. After that, they would formulate recommendations on strategy.

The audiences would be segmented into a few groups across multiple channels to cover all portions of the funnel, and then the placements and targeting settings would be refined over the coming months.

However, if we were able to leverage AI in this scenario, we may only need to come up with an ad concept and campaign, then tell the AI what we’re hoping to achieve, and then let it optimize from there.

Obviously we would supervise and make sure we’re covering all bases, but, ideally, the AI would identify who is most likely to act on a campaign and naturally work them through the funnel, increasing ROI in the early stages of a campaign.

It may even be able to adjust the targeting later on, and, like many current systems, identify ideal moments to switch up creative assets — only this time with actual recommendations on what to focus our design and copy on.

AI Predictive Analytics

Building off the previous section, we come to the idea of predictive analytics.

With predictive analytics, AI would take your potential campaign and test it to determine what the likely outcomes will be for the predetermined KPIs.

Most digital marketing and social media platforms have a very rudimentary version of this, but the real glamor would be the ability of AI to compare this campaign to others and then give specific recommendations on how to improve the performance of the campaign.

This could even be modified into a tool to supplement (or be a budget-conscious replacement for) focus groups. If you want to know what the reception of an ad will be like, maybe AI could give you an educated guess.

Keyword Research, Content Planning and SEO Analysis

AI is far from our favorite tool when it comes to content creation, but it might be a good technology to utilize when it comes to planning out that content and analyzing its performance.

We already make use of a variety of SEO tools to gauge the performance of a website in its current state and come up with a strategic plan for improving its rank in the future — and these tools are pretty effective when backed by proactive content creators.

Our hope is for AI to become integrated with these current tools we utilize to inform our decisions and use predictive analytics to determine how a drafted piece of content will perform for a specific keyword.

The way the tools work now is great, but there’s no denying they could be better with the power of artificial intelligence helping them.

What Else Will AI Change?

Honestly, we’re not sure. A few more areas we anticipate seeing AI help out with include:

– Audience Segmentation

– Ad Personalization

– Journey Customization

– Tracking Automation

– Behavior Monitoring

In reality, the best digital marketing tools based around AI probably don’t exist yet or are just a mere idea at this point. Technological innovation moves fast, though, so don’t be surprised if we tell you about a new tool in a few years (or even months) that’s going to dramatically improve your digital marketing strategy.

Be a Part of the Future with HS

Regardless of what happens, we can be sure of two things: Your organization will need to be ready to adapt and change its digital strategy in the coming future, and if there’s a new AI technology worth using for marketing, we’re going to be here to tell you about it.

In the meantime, if you want our real digital strategists to come up with real solutions for your business or non-profit, give us a call — we’d be happy to help.

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