When it comes to AI technologies, machine learning is the most popular one for companies to invest in. In 2019 alone, over $40 billion was spent on developing and improving machine learning.
This makes one thing clear: machine learning is a valuable tool that has the potential to bring immense benefits to companies that make good use of it. So much so, in fact, that the next most popular source of investments received around one-sixth as much funding.
Machine learning is particularly useful when it’s used in the field of digital marketing, and more specifically, in the context of crafting digital marketing campaigns.
So, what are the best ways to use machine learning in digital marketing? And, taking a step back, what is machine learning? We’re going to delve into these questions below.
What is machine learning?
Machine learning is a type of AI programming. AIs that are built to work on a machine learning basis gather data as they go. This data then helps those AIs improve their output.
Since the AIs continuously gather data, their performance gets better the longer they’re in use. That’s why we refer to them as machines that ‘learn’ – just like humans, the more experience they get, the more adept they become at completing tasks.
Digital marketing and machine learning
There are two key reasons why machine learning in digital marketing is so valuable.
Firstly, digital marketing campaigns thrive on the use of data to analyze and understand their target audience. By using machine learning to conduct these analyses, you can ensure your company knows exactly how to tailor advertisements to target your audience.
Secondly, data-based campaigns need to be able to evolve and adapt quickly to any changes. Since machine learning-based AIs can process vast amounts of data in a fraction of the time it would take a team of humans, this makes machine learning in digital marketing absolutely critical for successful campaigns.
It’s clear, then, that machine learning in digital marketing has the potential to be a fantastic tool. The question that remains is how you can make the best possible use of it.
Below are some of the most inventive and useful ways to use machine learning in digital marketing.
1. Personalize your marketing
Personalization in marketing comes with a number of benefits. As per a 2019 survey, marketers have found that by increasing the element of personalization in their campaigns, various other aspects of the company can be improved too:
It’s clear, then, that any digital marketing campaign is going to need to know exactly to whom it wants to appeal. It’s useful to know the approximate age, gender, location, and needs of your intended audience. But what if you could take personalization one step further?
This is where the opportunity arises to use machine learning in digital marketing. Your company probably already gathers data on its customers, since that’s a key part of most digital marketing campaigns. By letting machine learning AIs process this, you ensure your marketing strategy constantly evolves and becomes better at accurately personalizing advertisements based on customer data.
For example, you might use machine learning in tandem with free email marketing providers to make sure your customers (and leads) consistently receive personalized emails. Your machine-learning AIs would take care of the personalization aspect, while the email marketing providers would handle the distribution of the emails.
In this example, machine learning AIs would save your company a great deal of money. You wouldn’t have to pay employees to manually sort through large volumes of data nor would you need to invest in a team that could handle personalizing and sending out all of those emails.
2. Improve your analytics
Having a strong digital marketing campaign is just one part of the challenge. The next, and the one that’s often overlooked, is a continuous effort to hone and improve your campaign. This is another key use for machine learning in digital marketing.
For a practical example of the ways in which you can implement machine learning to improve your company’s analytics, consider how machine learning AIs would impact the way sales call reporting gets analyzed.
An AI that learns more about sales with every sales call report it processes is one that can create helpful analytics. That’s because it can accurately pin down the relationship between which products are getting sold the most and which marketing strategies are making that happen.
3. Stay on top of trends
Since machine learning AIs are able to keep up with hour-to-hour changes in trends by analyzing data as it’s created, they’re the ideal tool to stay on top of new and shifting trends.
Among other things, this is a great way to strengthen the perception of your startup. If you can show your prospective customers your business can keep up with rapid changes in trends, they’ll be likely to perceive you as resourceful, adaptable, and capable.
The way your company is perceived should always play into your marketing strategies. Are you seen as a business that understands the demands of its customers or as out-of-touch with currently relevant topics?
With the help of machine learning, you can ensure you fall into the former category, which is another reason you’ll want to use machine learning in your digital marketing strategies.
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4. Connect with customers to boost sales
Your customers need to know they can connect with you to build trust in your brand. With trust, you can turn one-time customers into brand loyalists and enthusiasts who increase your sales and to whom you can market your products. But they’ll only trust you once they know they can easily communicate with you.
Last year, over 20 percent of communications between businesses and their customers happened via chatbots. This is around twice as many chatbot-based conversations as there were in 2019:
What this shows is that chatbots are becoming more popular every year. These bots rely on machine learning to continuously improve the service they provide to customers. What’s more, the two most popular forms of communication (email and phone calls) can both be semi-automated.
In other words, machine learning AIs can help your business to improve the majority of your communications with customers, which builds the kind of trust in your brand that your customers need to develop loyalty and make them pay more attention to what you’re marketing.
You can use this technology to record calls and feedback that can influence your marketing strategy too. Once a machine learning AI has been taught how to record a phone conversation, it will do this automatically unless it’s specifically instructed not to. This means you can gather lots of useful information to inform your future marketing efforts.
5. Communicate with your coworkers
Enhancing your communications with customers is important. However, you can’t run a successful digital marketing campaign if your business communications aren’t up to speed. That’s where machine learning comes in.
You can use machine learning AIs to take notes during meetings, for instance, which makes clear communication much easier. When you have easy-to-read notes to fall back on, creating digital marketing strategies becomes simpler.
Another example of the ways you can use machine learning in this regard is by having a designated AI that helps your teams draw up preliminary marketing plans. The more plans an AI creates, the better each consecutive plan will be.
Plus, your teams get to work on a skeleton plan that was drawn up specifically based on the company’s needs, as well as on the customer data the AI analyzed.
6. Boost your online reach through SEO
Every marketing campaign needs an audience. The more members that audience has, the more potential leads your marketing campaign is generating. This is why it’s so important to increase your online reach (and thereby audience) when it comes to digital marketing.
One of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website is by improving your SEO performance.
SEO (search engine optimization) is all about ranking as highly as possible when people search for keywords relevant to your website. For example, if your enterprise focuses on SEO-based marketing, the goal is to be the top result when people google ‘enterprise search marketing’.
Perhaps the most effective way to increase your SEO performance is by employing machine learning AIs. That’s because these AIs will be able to help you bump your SEO scores up on an ongoing basis, which is important since your competitors will forever be trying to get the edge on you.
With machine learning AIs that learn from every webpage added to their database, your SEO can always keep up with the competition.
Why you should use machine learning in digital marketing
These six ways to make inventive use of machine learning are the tip of the iceberg. There are potentially hundreds of useful applications for AIs that self-improve as they work, especially when it comes to digital marketing.
Machine learning AIs can help you connect with customers and other employees at your business, all while improving your SEO performance and boosting your analytics.
You can employ as many different machine learning AIs as you need, meaning you can cover a great number of bases without needing to invest in unfamiliar resources. The best part? The longer you use your machine learning AIs, the better they will get.