Keep your digital marketing skills up-to-speed by looking into the future. The future looks like an influx of artificial intelligence in social media marketing.
We brought in the big guns to tackle this topic, Chad Pollitt. Chad recently wrote a free ebook called, Everything You Need to Know About Marketing Analytics & Artificial Intelligence. So, I asked him a few questions, and this is what happened.
Artificial Intelligence In Social Media Marketing
In your latest book about marketing, you speak about how AI is disrupting marketing. Can you give us a brief overview of some of the key ways you see this happening?
Many people are starting to see AI cropping up in their marketing automation. It allows for predictive analysis for the best audiences to send emails to and the best time to send them.
It creates customized lead scoring on the fly over time. It can more optimally connect brands with influencers, measure sentiment and provide for real content intelligence.
These are wonderful things that AI is enabling. However, this is just scratching the surface.
The AI applications mentioned above are all only predictive in nature. Meaning, the technology takes a look at past structured and unstructured data to predict an outcome. The marketer is still left with the decision to act and execute. Where the disruption will occur the most is in prescriptive AI. Meaning, the technology not only parses structured and unstructured data on a massive scale to make a prediction, it also tells the marketer what steps to take next. In some cases, the technology can take the steps necessary for the marketer.
In the not-to-distant future we’ll likely see fully automated PPC technology. If we can teach AI to win at Jeopardy or chess it’s just a matter of time before it takes over our PPC.
Since social media is kind of our jam, in what ways do you see AI being used well in our world of social media marketing?
I see it primarily being used on the paid side, although there’s some listening and sentiment analysis occurring on the earned side. It’s also being used in several influencer marketing (paid media) platforms in order to better connect influencers and brands.
There’s two main areas where I see AI having the biggest impact in paid social media:
- Interest mining – Let’s pretend for a moment that you want to target “first time mothers” on Facebook. You look that up and are told the recommended bid is $0.37 – $0.62. What if you could use AI to mine content about first time mothers in order to discover the words (interests) that are statistically highly correlated to “first time mothers?” Maybe the technology identifies “Peppa Pig” as highly correlated to “first time mothers.” When you type that into Facebook it recommends a bid of $0.01 – $0.03. Now what if you can identify 20 more “Pegga Pig” words that highly correlate to first time mothers? You’re cutting your cost per click on Facebook by a significant amount. In fact, I’ve seen CPC as low as $0.005.
- Cost per engagement model – Many content marketers are hesitant when it comes to their use of paid distribution channels because they’re notoriously difficult to optimize towards engagement. Instead, they’re optimizing towards views (CPM) or clicks (CPC). For the first time, AI is making it possible on social media and other channels to optimize the cost towards content engagement. That means that a content marketer wouldn’t pay if the ad unit was clicked on or saw. Cost would only be realized it the person clicking actually engaged on the content featured in the ad unit. This engagement can be measured as time, scroll depth or some combination of the two.
Where is the future of AI as it relates to social media heading? What can we look forward to?
The two biggest impacts we’ll see will be from the advancement of the capabilities mentioned in my answer above. CPE models will be expected norms and people will pay less than the clicks they pay for today. The other thing that AI (blockchain, too) is delivering to social media and other paid channels is a new level of transparency.
AI-powered analytics has the power to 3D map all of the Internet in any brand’s sphere of online influence. Currently, most people only see 20% of the available information about their online sphere of influence. This is because our analytics is one dimensional and include a significant amount of hidden information behind the “Direct” channel.
AI has the capability to look at nearly 100% of the available information in a brand’s online sphere of influence because it looks at attribution up to three degrees away, eliminating most “Direct” traffic. I go into much more detail on this in my new free ebook.
How does analytics play a role in all of the above questions in a way that is beneficial for brands looking to ramp up their social media marketing?
AI infused analytics plays a very substantive role across all channels, including social media marketing. It’s biggest benefit is likely on the paid side, currently.
However, on the non-paid side, AI is really good at determining the most powerful social channels for a specific brand. It takes the guess work out of social and empowers marketers to spend their time, energy and effort exclusively on the channels that will help them accomplish their goals.
It eliminates the waste associated with experimentation on channels with a poor probability of being successful. AI-driven analytics already knows which channels your profitable prospective audience uses and engages with. This allows marketers to spend their social media budgets with purpose and precision.
With content intelligence tools like the one described above, AI can also help marketers craft content specifically to targeted buyer personas in order to deliver it on the social channels they frequent and engage with.
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