“Alexa, optimize this article for SEO.” Unfortunately, that’s not something Amazon’s AI-powered assistant will be able to help you with just yet. However, artificial intelligence and machine learning are growing at an exponential pace. From intelligent grammar and style checkers to hyper-targeted ads to content that literally writes itself, AI innovations are set to transform the digital marketing space over the next few years. Let’s take a look at the top five ways that AI is set to revolutionize your digital marketing experience:
Crossing Your T's and Dotting Your I’s for You: Writing Enhancement Assistants
AI-powered writing enhancement assistants (WEAs) like Grammarly and Whitesmoke have been on the market for several years now. In that time, there’s been a quiet but profound paradigm shift in the way we write. Earlier WEA solutions, like Microsoft Word’s built-in spelling and grammar checkers, were bound by a set of predefined rules. But language doesn’t work that way. While grammar is rules-bound, the exact ways in which words and punctuation are thrown together depend on style, context, and even just personal preference.
AI-based WEA solutions analyze millions of texts to identity what makes a sentence right in a given context. Over the next couple years, we expect WEAs to iron out their issues with edge cases. Today’s WEAs still have some trouble when checking niche and specialized content - the “normal” rules don’t always apply here. As they continue to learn and adapt using larger and larger datasets, these issues will go away.
We also expect WEAs to become more “confident.” Current solutions offer you a set of alternatives to pick from when they find something wrong in your text. Greater contextual awareness will let future WEAs pick the right answer themselves: think Grammarly, but with just one click.
Interesting Read: Check out these SEO Writing Tools for Optimized Content
This is Exactly What You Need: the Rise of Hyper-targeting
Those banner ads on the side of most web pages have been getting very specific of late. If you were thinking about upgrading your PC, you might see a great offer for RAM three days down the line. If you uploaded a picture of your retro knit sweater, PPC ads for plaid socks might start stalking you across websites. Thanks to cookies, heuristic analysis, and the wealth of demographic and psychographic information people voluntarily send to social media sites, advertisers have a lot to work with when trying to work out the things you like.
User datasets have been ballooning in size. Three years ago, a journalist asked Tinder for a copy of the data the company kept on her and received 800 pages worth of insights.
The glut of personal information raises big questions about privacy and security. However, it’s catnip for AI algorithms. At the enterprise level, large retailers will continue to push the right products to the right customers at the right time.
We expect the benefits to trickle down to individual digital marketers, too. CRM solutions leveraging the same AI capabilities could conceivably tell you exactly how to pitch cold emails to individual prospects. Insights into schedules and interests could make follow-up conversations feel effortless and personal. Too often, mass campaigns forget to put individual customers front and center. AI based hyper targeting will help digital marketers reach exactly the right prospects with pitches that convert.
AI and Media Production: Creating Videos that Don’t Suck
Many digital markers don’t offer a full-service experience because media productions - crafting photos, ads, and video clips - is incredibly tough. Anyone can add a couple swipe transitions and stock music to a video clip. However, creating content with high production values can involve calling in top-tier professional support.
The rise of GANs (general adversarial networks) is helping to democratize the media production process. Soon, AI-based solutions should make it possible for just about anyone to create great video and photo content. In the video game space, enthusiasts have been using the ESRGAN AI to create high quality assets for older games.
Deepfakes, on the other hand, are raising questions about privacy, consent, and accountability. In-between these two extremes, AI-based video production software - still in its infancy right now - is helping digital marketers create video presentations with high production values in a matter of minutes. While TV ads and other substantive media will need expert support, AI should make it possible for digital marketers to author high-quality day-to-day video content for social media platforms at a fraction of the current cost.
NLP and Chat Bots: the Next Level of Automated Customer Support
Businesses already use automated chat bots to handle inquiries and low priority support needs. But because of their limited capabilities, chat bots function like L0.5 customer care: customers and prospects need to escalate to a real human being if they want to get anything done. Advances in NLP (natural language processing), though, mean that in the years to come, AI chat bots could actually replace L1 customer care, instead of pretending to do so. NLP allows chat bots to understand what someone’s saying, not just the sum total of the words in a sentence.
It works the other way around, too: NLP solutions trained on manuals and SOPs understand what to do and how to respond in a given situation. Understanding tone and subtext are key here: advanced NLP-based chat bots will be able to offer different solutions to leads who are just window shopping and prospects who actually want a solution. This will allow businesses to focus on great person-to-person L2 engagements with prospects who are already invested.
The Ghost in the Machine: AI-Powered Content Writing
Are you sure a person wrote this article? Yes, definitely. 😉 However, if you asked this question five to ten years down the line, the answer might not be so clear-cut. Advances in NLP don’t just help AI programs understand people. They’re helping AI to create content. Experimental AI-based news bulletins have been available for some time. However, what’s really exciting is the possibility of NLP advances that allow AI to imitate the tone and voice of human writers. By studying large volumes of authored content, AI solutions will be able to craft articles that vary in tone, form, and structure to address different target audiences.
They’d be able to do this in a fraction of the time it’d take a human writer. But, while list features and low-effort content might soon become a role performed by AI, we expect that human writers will still be in demand: high value content that requires analysis and insight is well beyond the capabilities of existing AI solutions.
AI: Where Digital Marketing is Headed
AI’s everywhere today, from your smartphone assistant to search engines to high-end light fixtures. In the digital marketing sphere, AI advances are allowing software to talk to people, understand them, and even imitate them.
There’s no telling exactly where this path will lead us. But for the time being, at least, forward-facing digital marketers are looking at AI as the way to reach prospects, support campaigns, and grow. At Flying V Group, we stay ahead of digital marketing trends - this lets us pioneer solutions that work instead of jumping on the bandwagon. If you want to future-proof your digital marketing strategy, reach out to us here.
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Arjun Krishna Lal is a Penguin-published author and currently a news editor at Notebookcheck, one of the world’s largest consumer tech platforms. He was the communications lead at Ciber Digita Consultants, a cybersecurity MNC. Arjun loves to travel and speaks four languages. He’s written hundreds of pieces on digital transformation, enterprise, and consumer technology.