Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere, allowing different forms of the technology to analyse data sets and make appropriate decisions for businesses. From booking flights to chatting with consumers about their insurance needs, AI is changing the way we work. Beyond the initial steps into voice recognition technology, AI is also affecting how marketers connect with consumers.
AI is the term used for technology that is able to ‘think like humans’. Below are four ways in which it is changing digital marketing, along with some of the applications that will soon become essential for any marketer wishing to stay ahead of the game.
AI for GDPR compliance
AI excels at gathering and analysing large sets of data to find insights. Much of a marketer’s job is to tailor advertising and digital marketing campaigns for specific buyer personas, segmented demographics, or on insights gleaned from the buyer journey. Given this information, AI is the perfect partner for these tasks.
Through the collection of data from a range of different platforms – like social media and a company’s own website – AI can be used to sift through the vast amounts of information. The technology is able to spot consumer behaviour patterns that will aid a marketer’s decisions when building a digital marketing campaign.
This is expected to help in a number of ways, from tweaking campaigns as they run to better engage an audience or even customising ads so individuals are more likely to take the requested action.
‘Artificial intelligence would be the ultimate version of Google. The ultimate search engine that would understand everything on the web. It would understand exactly what you wanted, and it would give you the right thing…’ Larry Page.
Voice search and speech recognition
62 per cent of British people are already happily using voice operated technology for shopping, music, and searching the web. AI can enhance a range of different searches, including voice recognition, by remembering user history.
This impacts marketers in a number of ways. Firstly, voice searches often take a different form to typed searches. We tend to use a more conversational tone when speaking, whereas typed searches encourage economy with words. Long tailed keywords will become more useful as voice search becomes the preferred way to use the internet for getting information and shopping.
Speech recognition can also be used to heighten consumer security. Similarly to how the UK banking system has adopted a “my voice is my password” approach to phone banking, businesses can ensure purchases made from a customer’s account were in fact requested by them. Even better, users will no longer need to rely on complex passwords.
Generating new leads
It’s no secret that AI can be used to sort through the data you have already gathered and provide additional insights to support a digital marketing campaign. However, AI can also be used to find more ideal customers, new clients and even work colleagues.
For B2B communications and certain B2C interactions (depending on the individual EU country’s consent requirements), AI can save you copious amounts of time. When it comes to searching for new leads, advanced tech can provide you with more time to craft the best pitch or email outreach campaign you can. LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator and Node are two programmes which can be used to help generate new leads for your business.
AI is moving forward at a surprising speed. Understanding how to use the many applications of this technology ethically and effectively will allow marketers to remain on the right side of the law. It will also provide more opportunity to reach consumers in the ways they wish to connect with businesses.
This has been a guest post from Blue Label Labs.
5 x meta data descriptions for five web pages.
Meta data descriptions for your website. This limited time offer, includes five complete meta data descriptions for five of your web pages to greatly improve your SEO. Includes: page title, slug link and description.
$100 (normally, $350). No GST charged. Limited spaces only. Offer ends midnight, 25 May 2018.
What is a meta data description?
These are the summary of what your web page contains that is implemented at the backend of your website. This is the information that search engines (such as Google) uses to index your website and web pages and displays when someone searches for your keywords. They need to be cleverly crafted so that they appeal to both Google's robots and to human readers to improve your ranking/SERP. They are a vital part of your SEO strategy and plan.
Terms and conditions
You must have an existing website.
You must pay in full, upfront.
You must provide SEO keywords
Please provide you website URL and designated web pages (that you want your meta descriptions for) within 24 hours of payment/booking.
Does not include uploaded meta data descriptions to the backend of your website. Does not include SEO keyword research.
Meta data descriptions will be provided in a Word document for your convenience.
Can not be transposed for any other service or writing.
No GST is charged on my services.
I reserve the right to cancel your order and refund your money, should I be unable to fit your work into my client schedule or I deem it inappropriate to work with you.
The five web pages to be provided at time of booking and cannot be altered once submitted.
Your meta data descriptions will be delivered within two to four weeks (sometimes sooner, depending on client schedule and workload).
Not able to be used with any other offer.
Additional meta data descriptions will be charged at $70 each.
My usual terms and conditions apply, please familiarise yourself with them.
Email marketing is still a reliable advertising medium for over ten years now even with the introduction of newer digital advertising technologies. According to a recent analysis by Vertical Response, about 72 per cent of consumers say that they prefer to hear from businesses via email. Email marketing still continues to be one of the most cost effective ways to reach potential clients and customers.
Not only that but it has a flow on effect to social media as well. ‘Email subscribers are three times more likely to share content on social media than leads who came through another channel,’ QuickSprout tells us.
Not everybody who engages in email marketing gets it right and with so many businesses competing for inbox space, sending lacklustre emails isn’t enough to make the desired impact. Keeping up to date on the best practices ensures email communications stand out and offer a successful campaign.
Fortunately, email marketers develop new ways to make EDMs even more powerful every year to stay on top of their game. To ensure that you stay on the cutting edge, here are some of the email marketing trends for 2018.
Make personalisation and segmentation a priority
2018 is set to be the year that email personalisation will be a significant player in email marketing campaigns. Personalisation within the email marketing context means creating uniquely tailored experiences which make users feel valued by your business. For example, one of the most common forms of email personalisation is using the recipient’s name instead of the standard “hello” or “dear customer”. But now, more than ever, it’s up to you as a marketer or business owner to enhance personalisation even more. By implementing comprehensive list and client segmentation, email marketing will be able to reach new heights of personalisation that extends beyond addressing your clients by name.
People are more likely to respond to emails which have been tailored specifically to them than to generic emails. By creating a personalised experience for your customers, you can also boost continuous engagement through dynamic content.
Segmentation is simply the process of carrying your personalisation efforts further by segmenting your mailing and contact lists into customer groups based on various distinctive criteria ranging from birthdays to time zones to when the last time they opened your emails were. This provides acutely relevant content to your recipients and its importance cannot be overestimated. According to a 2017 DMA report, about 79 per cent of email marketing ROI came from segmented and targeted campaigns. By segmenting your mailing lists by age, gender, geography, interests, education level and so on you can provide more relevant emails and boost engagement. And customer service is consistently refined and implemented through email marketing.
Create interactive content
Have you come across an email message with an embedded GIF image or a survey attached to it? This is interactive content. Interactive content allows users to interact with the email interface keeping the digital content interesting and unique. Additionally, they also help companies increase customer research, engagement and even retention. Email marketing interactive content may include:
Marketing Sherpa data reveals that the use of GIFs in email can increase click thru rates by 42 per cent, conversion rates by 103 per cent and revenue rates by 104 per cent.
How to make a GIF.
Erica Stacey from Scout Digital Marketing and Training says,
'While social media understandably continues to be the bright, shiny marketing tactic for many businesses, email marketing activity is increasing year-on-year and studies show that email marketing has an average return on investment of 122 per cent. That’s four times higher than other digital marketing activities!
Huge consumer trust is involved when someone decides to subscribe to receive emails. It is a piece of contact information that you own, far more valuable than a like or a follow and it should be treated as such.
Additionally, a comprehensive email marketing strategy, that sits within an overall digital marketing strategy should be a key consideration for most businesses.'
Want upskill in email marketing? Scout Digital Training can help.
A new marketing funnel
Also, there will be shifts in the traditional marketing funnel and it won’t appear as linear as we are used to. Emails will need to be of higher value and automated campaigns will need to be ramped up as this is where the revenue comes from. Remember the timeless customer process:
The world is constantly evolving and new email marketing strategies are being implemented every day. It has, therefore, become important to seek out and integrate the latest trends into your email marketing strategy to achieve the best results in 2018. Email marketing is still one of the strongest assets in your marketing arsenal!
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Content articles are one of the most pivotal parts of not just your content marketing plan but your overall marketing plan. Statistics show that the more content your site has, the more Google will rank your page.
Content articles are not only important for your SEO but for your customers and sales as well. 82 per cent of customers have a more positive outlook on a company after reading custom content. And seventy per cent of people would prefer to learn about a company from content articles than adverts.
Is it shareable?
Would you personally share this content? Or would the leader of your organisation share it with their networks? This simple test is often a quick objective way to determine whether the content is of good quality.
SEO content articles
Is it search engine optimised? Use this Yoast plugin SEO checker tool to check if your content follows best practice and is web ready.
Call to action strength
Does it have a strong call to action? Relevant and well placed calls to action has been shown to increase revenue by a whopping 83 per cent. Here's how to write call to action.
Content writing keywords
Include your target keywords in your heading, subheadings, first paragraph and throughout the article. But avoid keyword stuffing. How many times should you write your keyword?
There's no hard and fast rule but try to include it multiple times in your content article. But this should never be at the sacrifice of brilliant copywriting. If it sounds unnatural, then it will hinder SEO performance and turn away your readers.
Are there clear takeaways and action steps that you offer your reader? What do you want your reader to do exactly? Spell it out.
Include some tangible information. That means including statistics, facts, research and links to sources. This will add to the content article’s credibility and help convince the reader when they come to the call to action. Never sacrifice brilliant writing. The average reader only spends 37 seconds reading an article or blog post (NewsCred Insights).
End and begin well
Top and tail your posts really well. Write a clear and informative introduction and a succinct paragraph at the end of the article that provides them information about with what to do next.
Heighten your assets
Make your content articles part of your assets.‘Ninety two per cent of marketers said their organization views content as a business asset.’ Ensure your content writing is of a high enough quality to add value to your asset pool.
You might like to read more about content writing.
As a copywriter and content marketer, I offer a range of services including marketing retainer packages. A business may only need a copywriter for on a project basis, which is great and something that I love as I love the variety in my client work. But there is enormous value in hiring a marketing professional on an ongoing basis. Here are eight of reasons why you should consider a marketing retainer.
It ends up being so much cheaper for you
As a service provider, I often prefer offering a retainer service as I thoroughly enjoy watching success. It’s a treasure to watch marketing activities unfold over time and I don’t have to learn a new business, business’s objectives, customer journey, strategy, target audience and so on every week. And I will reward the client for this by including hefty discounts on a package of work.
Long term potential
This copywriter will be more invested in your long term growth and success if you, the client, purchases a retainer package.
Knowing that you’re enthusiastic about using a copywriter’s services long term means they are very inclined to go the extra mile and research your business thoroughly. By really understanding your business goals and objectives the copywriter is beside you enthusiastic to invest in your ongoing success.
It’s particularly important because marketing is a marathon, definitely not a sprint. So, having someone run alongside you as you aim for the finish line, will greatly enhance your chances of success.
‘A company blog has more long-term ROI than traditional marketing efforts,’ Source.
The briefing process only has to be done once
They will learn a lot more about your business and you will save time, resources and money when briefing them. A typical briefing meeting can take approximately two to five hours, depending on your requirements and if we include the administration time of filling out a brief and getting a quote and approval of and so on. With a retainer, you only have to do this once and it’s taken care of until you decide to cease the services.
It’s like having a staff member, without the bad things
Hiring a freelancer means you get the benefit of a staff member without having to pay those ancillary costs such as taxes, equipment and furniture, super and entitlements and without the human resources component of onboarding, managing and ending the employment cycle.
‘There is nothing more important than the people we hire,’ Barry Davis, CEO, Crosstex Energy.
It’s a quick way to get an expert
Not only are you hiring someone with industry expertise but a professional will have other clients and skills that will easily be applied to your package. For example, if one of my clients has had a positive experience with helpful software that I know another client will greatly benefit from, there is nothing stopping me recommending it. There is so much transferrable knowledge that can be shared amongst clients.
It’s added peace of mind
You can rest easy knowing that each month your email marketing, content marketing, blogging, SEO or whatever marketing services you’ve designated to a marketing retainer, are getting taking care of without you having to micromanage or monitor their progress. You can almost forget about them until you see the results and that allows you to focus on your core role or other business operations.
The regular predictability of outcomes and marketing assets and activities achieved also add an extra layer of security to your organisation and knowing that someone is invested in helping your business succeed will quickly help you sleep better at night.
'The measure of success is happiness and peace of mind,' Bobby Davro.
Monitoring and measuring
Having someone onboard for longer than a single project sets up an opportunity for ongoing measurement and monitoring. This means there is potential for the service provider to optimise content or assets dependant on their previous performance, using analytics and other measurement tools. For example, if a certain type of content article is gaining a lot of traction and engagement (Google Analytics can tell you how many people are reading and clicking on the article) then the marketing consultant can use this information to plan your future content – they might choose to repurpose, link to or emulate that high performing content article.
Depending on the level of retainer package or prior agreement, there might be some flexibility in the service. Some months you may require a lot of public relations and media release help (say if you’re launching a new product or service) and other months you might be keen to focus on rewriting your website. This is a great fit for those businesses that have multiple projects or differing seasonal marketing needs throughout the year.
More action, less talk
By investing in a marketing retainer, you will be undeniably taking action- it’s a “doing” premise. No longer will you just be talking about it or hypothesising what would happen if you finally took the plunge to hire a marketing professional! Hitting that “go” button would ensure that it’s happening without you barely having to think about it. See the point above peace of mind.
'Action expresses priorities,' Mahatma Gandhi.
Are retainers for everyone?
No. If you don’t have the budget to commit to a marketing service every month or quarter or on an ongoing basis, then engaging in a marketing retainer is not for your business.
Likewise, if you are not clear on your long term vision (at least for twelve months) and what marketing activities you wish to engage in, then a marketing retainer is also not for you. If you are not organised enough to plan at least four weeks ahead you might be better off undertaking all your business’s marketing yourself or hiring a staff member.
How do you know what type of marketing retainer is right for you?
It will depend on two things: your goals and your budget. Identify your achievable business goals first and how much you can realistically commit to spending each retainer period. Aim to stick to your retainer packages for at least six to twelve months to see genuine, measurable results. Talk to your marketing consultant about what they can offer for your budget and what kind of flexibility they offer with their services offerings.
I offer a limited number of marketing retainers for the following services:
Contact me today to discuss your copywriting needs.
Writing structure: five terms you need to know
Copywriting is a tricky artform which can really power up your marketing assets. If you're new to copywriting or even creative writing, there are some fundamentals that you need to learn before you embark on your content writing journey. Here are five fundamental elements of writing structure that you need to learn.
Read more about excellent writing structure here.
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