It’s no secret that artificial intelligence (AI) is on the rise in virtually every field. Digital marketing is no different. However, there are numerous considerations — and concerns — to be aware of when traversing this new landscape as a marketing professional. You’ll need to balance using the latest technology available to you with staying transparent and genuine. Here are some ways to navigate the coexistence of both AI and human intelligence in digital marketing.
Considering Public Perception
The public is generally all for the use of automation when it produces tangible results in an industrial, agricultural, or public service context. When it comes to more creative industries or applications, opinions are more divided.
In fact, a 2023 survey on AI in advertising revealed that 48% of people agree that neither generative AI nor Photoshop should be used in social media marketing.
This is a little less than half of those surveyed, illustrating the split in public opinion. Before using AI to enhance your marketing, consider the public-facing components — and whether or not your audience would appreciate knowing that this messaging or imagery was AI-generated.
Your brand’s messaging should evoke trust in your audience to garner long-term, loyal consumers. If it’s obvious you’re using AI to falsify creative media or improperly represent your product or services, this can leave a poor lasting impression.
If used correctly, however, AI can also employ authentic intelligence. The term “artificial” invokes feelings of fakeness, leading people to view the artificial product in a negative light or not as good as the “real thing.” If you think about the people that don’t want to see Photoshopped images or AI-generated copy in ads, this is likely due to not wanting to be duped.
They want to know that they are purchasing from a brand that is authentic and real and advertises as such. If this sounds like your target audience, you can still use AI in digital marketing — just use it wisely.
Using AI to Your Advantage
It’s important to remember that utilizing AI can help digital marketing efforts in many ways. As long as you are keeping your audience in mind and being intentional with AI, it can boost your productivity and efficiency. Strategic applications of AI in digital marketing include:
Brainstorming is often the most time-consuming process in digital marketing. However, many marketers are using AI to help during this stage with the help of natural language processing (NLP) systems.
Examples of using AI for content creation include A/B testing generated email headlines or coming up with ideas for product names. However, it’s best to go about this process strategically. Most marketers use NLP systems, such as ChatGPT, to help generate ideas, but like humans, most of these systems still come with their flaws.
For one, they may not come up with original ideas. In fact, NLP systems are notorious for “hallucinating” — essentially, generating false information. To avoid this, it’s best to only use NLP systems for brainstorming ideas only. You should also do extensive editing afterward to avoid plagiarism and fact-check your work to avoid the spread of misinformation.
Graphic design and photography can become expensive for brands. Using AI for image generation can certainly be a time and money-saving alternative if you’re looking to advertise a brand. However, it does have its limitations.
For one, keep an eye out for any inaccuracies if you use any human faces or bodies in the image. Most generators have a difficult time conceptualizing certain aspects of the human body — faces and hands, for example — which may look funky from a consumer’s perspective if left unaltered. In addition, make sure you don’t fabricate products or customer experiences.
Instead, draw inspiration from AI-generated images, such as variations on a product that you can create in real life.
Automating conversations with current and potential customers is commonplace. It’s quite useful when a live chat agent isn’t available and customers still need simple questions answered. It can also save a company money and be more time-efficient for businesses and customers alike.
However, you should note that AI chatbots only improve with time. The more conversations it has and tracks, the more it improves. This means that, inevitably, the chatbot may be a little rusty during its first conversations.
To counteract this issue, keep a human attendant on call for any bumps in the road. You may also be able to download historical transcripts for AI to learn from, thus improving the chatbot at a faster rate.
In any case, you should also keep a human attendant available at all times, even once the chatbot is running effectively, as some customers will want to talk to a human, however, so leave that option open.
Ad and website optimization
This is more behind-the-scenes digital marketing. AI allows you to finetune your webpage and ad copy based on what has worked for similar brands. Predictive marketing is crucial to campaign success, and AI can make this possible in a relatively unobtrusive way.
It can also help automate the process. For example, Facebook Ads uses AI to filter ad campaigns to the right target audience for companies. This can be helpful if you’re struggling to reach the right people.
However, AI cannot and should not replace the creativity you use in content creation for your website or your ads. Nor can it replace any strategic plan you have for the campaign. Instead, you should use AI to save you time on more menial tasks in the process, so you can focus on bigger-picture strategies.
Using a hybrid approach when working with AI-based technologies can be attractive to companies who are looking to do more in-house marketing, as opposed to outsourcing this work to contractors or other companies. Businesses that generate AI-based images in-house will ultimately have more control over the final product than they would if working with a freelancer.
With the right tools, timing, and insight, AI can positively transform your digital marketing techniques.
About the author
Amanda Winstead is a writer focusing on many topics including technology and digital marketing. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts.