Tools to Leverage Artificial Intelligence in Marketing and WordPress
There was a time when the mention of artificial intelligence was met with fear (“Oh no! The machines are gonna take over!”) and apprehension (“Agh! They’re gonna put me out of a job!”) Business owners have quickly discovered that there isn’t much to fear, at least when it comes to leveraging artificial intelligence like machine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing for marketing.
A Business Insider Intelligence report paints an impressive picture of AI technology in marketing today:
The only problem businesses are having with AI right now is in the preparedness factor.
Conductor’s 2018 marketing and technology report showed that more executives feel unprepared for artificial intelligence than any other marketing technology:
Having acknowledged that, is the adoption of AI in marketing even realistic for most businesses?
Whether it’s inside of WordPress or in your efforts to promote the business outside of the CMS, there are a number of ways in which you can leverage artificial intelligence in marketing. You might be surprised by how many ways there are and how effective they can be.
How to Leverage Artificial Intelligence in Marketing and WordPress
TUNE asked over 340 CEOs, marketers, and influencers the following question:
“What technology or set of technologies will impact marketing the most next year?”
The overwhelming response was that AI and its associated technologies (chatbots, voice search assistants, etc.) was anticipated to be the most impactful technology this year.
Rather than wait until AI has become commonplace and has given your competitors enough of an edge over your website, let’s brush up on the benefits and ways you can leverage AI in marketing now.
More Efficient Data Handling
In general, artificial intelligence gives you the ability to make smarter decisions when faced with greater amounts of data. Think about how much more efficient and accurate your audience segmentation and user journey profiling would be if you could mass analyze all that data your website and other marketing channels receive.
Add deep learning, machine learning, and predictive analysis, and you can go even further with AI. Through these learning techniques, “machines” grow and adapt as more information is added to the system. The machines then make inferences about user patterns, behaviors, and triggers to come up with real-time recommendations that help prevent user churn, cart abandonment, and so on. They also suggest optimal campaign conditions and platforms to help you see the best results from your marketing efforts.
Amazon currently uses machine learning to optimize its supply chain and maintain the right inventory levels. It also uses deep learning to provide personalized recommendations to users.
Enhanced Customer Service Through Automation
Chatbots have been part of the public lexicon for a couple years now, thanks to Facebook’s Messenger service. But it’s in 2018 when we should expect to see this website trend really shine. With access to more data and tools to now process it, chatbots don’t have to be relegated to answering overly simplified questions.
Enhanced Customer Service Through Data
Customer service is getting better now, too, thanks to what human support representatives can do with properly labeled data. Take, for example, Udacity, that uses a supervised learning system to influence responses its support and sales team give to users.
In essence, it works like this:
- The co-founder and assistant of Udacity noticed that certain support center replies were more effective.
- Using a reinforcement learning system, they labeled chat room logs based on what they deemed were successful interactions and what they deemed failures.
- The data was then sent through the supervised learning system and used to make predictions about what kinds of responses were best for certain queries.
- The sales team was given these “successful” messages and asked to use them when those kinds of queries arose.
As a result of the extensive data analysis, labeling, and team training, Udacity boosted effectiveness rates by 54%. And, because of the increase in successful conversations, salespeople were able to handle twice as many customers.
Quicker Searches and Responses with Natural Language Processing
We have already seen ways in which voice users might interact with a WordPress site and what you should do to reach them in search. With natural language processing technologies, AI systems (like chatbots, social media bots, voice-activated devices, and so on) can receive spoken queries and respond in a natural-sounding manner.
As these devices interact more with users and learn what kinds of responses are the most well-received, this technology will become incredibly important for improving the user experience in search.
Optimized Content Production
As of right now, AI-powered bots are really only capable of writing short news posts comprised of short textual summaries. So, it looks like you’re going to have to continue employing that freelance writer for a little while longer (ahem).
That said, there are other areas of content production that can be automated and optimized by artificial intelligence.
Dynamic email marketing is one such way. Basically, the AI reviews your website and your newsletter subscriber’s behavior when they’re on the site. It then compiles custom and personalized email marketing messages from the data.
Email marketing, in general, can also be automated by allowing an AI to curate content from your website or from other RSS feeds.
Other aspects of your marketing strategy can be optimized, too. For instance, you can use AI algorithms and predictive analysis to choose the right platform and timing to send messages on social media. You can also use this to improve publication of blog content so that it’s created in the right form (e.g. written, video, etc.), goes out at the right time, and is received by the right audience.
Improved Customer Acquisition
One of the frustrating things about the customer acquisition process is how long it can take. Sometimes it’s because you’re too busy to nurture those leads and build a relationship with prospects. And sometimes it’s because you don’t have the right software to segment your data, which would consequently give you a clearer path to conversion.
But AI-powered technologies can take away those pains for you by mass-handling the data, segmenting your list, and automating your lead generation efforts.
This is an AI and machine learning method that’s still currently in the works, but it’s one worth mentioning. Basically, sentiment analysis is a system marketers will be able to use to sweep platforms like social media and forums to get a sense for what the general public opinion is towards a brand.
Right now, we’re able to use tools like customer ratings and testimonials to gauge something like that. However, that is really only just the tip of the iceberg of reviewing public opinion. With sentiment analysis on one’s side, a marketing or development team could quickly scan large amounts of text to gain a general consensus.
Artificial Intelligence Tools for Marketing and WordPress
Clearly, there are a lot of use cases for AI in marketing these days. Even if your business and website haven’t had a chance to accumulate massive amounts of data yet, you can make use of other kinds of artificial intelligence methods like chatbot customer service and content production automation.
Here are some of the artificial intelligence tools to leverage for marketing both inside and outside of WordPress.
You already know about Akismet. It’s the de facto anti-spam plugin we all use to keep comment boards, forums, and contact forms safe from spam. While this isn’t the most advanced form of AI, it is AI all the same. Not only does the plugin know to look for verified spam, but it learns quickly what kinds of content you deem as spammy (even if they don’t necessarily come from malicious sources).
Albert is an AI tool that optimizes cross-channel marketing campaigns. That means you no longer have to handle each part of your marketing strategy in isolation. With Albert, you create or curate content and it will direct you towards the ideal campaign execution for it. It also conducts autonomous testing and analysis in order to improve future marketing campaigns.
Natori, a women’s fashion design label, credits Albert with helping it to significantly increase conversions and returns on social media ad spend.
Dynamic Yield is another example of an omnichannel marketing campaign optimization tool. This one focuses on helping users more effectively segment their customer base and then create personalized messages and marketing campaigns to target them. Specifically, Dynamic Yield targets e-commerce, media, travel, and gaming websites–especially ones trying to make a splash on mobile and email.
As an example, Dynamic Yield helped online retailer Lamoda create over 160 customer segments and then deliver highly targeted messages and personalized offers to each.
Grammarly is a tool I generally recommend to boost productivity and streamline the content creation process. This online writing assistant is easy to use. Simply install it in your browser and allow it to mark up your on-page communications and content for errors. As you provide it with feedback on what actually constitutes an error on your part, it will provide better recommendations in the future.
IBM Watson Assistant is more than just a live chat tool. It’s a bot-powered interface that automates customer support while also helping connect your visitors to real people (when needed). The great thing about this plugin is that you can program it to respond exactly as you would, which means less friction for the user as they’re encountered by a more natural-sounding support representative.
While your WordPress blog should put out custom content regularly, sometimes it’s hard finding time to sit down and craft something completely new.
One way to supplement your blog writing process is to curate content from other sources. With the MyCurator plugin, you’ll receive recommendations on third-party content worth sharing. As you review the recommendations and up- or down-vote them, the plugin learns what your tastes are and provides more accurate suggestions in the future.
Internal link building is a marketing strategy that allows visitors to find more and more related content within your site to peruse. When it comes to blog posts, there’s another opportunity for internal linking; only, this one takes place at the bottom of the post when you suggest related content for them to read.
This plugin analyzes all of the content on your site and creates natural connections between them. Then, as it automatically makes recommendations after each post, it monitors user response to “learn” which ones work best.
If you want assistance improving the overall quality and impact your content has on visitors and search engines, look no further. WordLift is an AI SEO tool that carefully dissects your content and optimizes it where needed.
For the user experience, it provides suggestions on information and visuals that it knows your end users want to see and that would enrich their experience overall. For search, it adds semantic markup for better structuring and readability. You can also use this tool to review various distribution platforms and publish at the right place and the right time.
The one thing I would suggest is to be careful in how much artificial intelligence you adopt and how much you depend on it to control your marketing. That’s not to say you shouldn’t leverage artificial intelligence, just be smart about what you use.
As explained by Harvard Business Review, there are three risks to be mindful of with AI:
- Machine learning biases can unintentionally stem from the original human source if you’re not careful.
- AI technologies focus on statistical truths and not literal ones. Machines predict outcomes based on what patterns and histories show to be the case the majority of the time. However, the best course of action might not be the statistically proven method and may need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
- When an error is made, diagnosis in deep learning or machine learning can be near impossible.
So, leverage artificial intelligence for what you can, use it to improve your business, but remember that these systems should complement your marketing efforts; not replace them altogether.