According to experts, the global market for artificial intelligence is projected to exceed $1.8 trillion by 2030!
And, while over one-third of companies worldwide report using AI, larger companies are twice as likely to utilize the solution than small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
That’s a lot of money to leave on the table! Here’s how your small business can leverage AI to challenge much larger competitors.
How Small Businesses are Using AI to Compete with Big Companies
Artificial intelligence empowers small businesses to compete with larger companies by simplifying solutions to the problems that SMBs face.
According to Forbes, 60% of SMBs are challenged by attracting new customers. Meanwhile, nearly 40% find it difficult to market to their target audience, and 35% need help converting their leads into sales.
Fortunately, these are all areas in which automations empower small business owners to amplify their productivity. A common theme between all 3 challenges is that they can be resolved by leveraging artificial intelligence in digital marketing.
How to Leverage AI in Digital Marketing
Digital marketers are leveraging artificial intelligence for:
- Consumer Insight
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
- Project Management
- Schema Markup
Consumer Insight: AI Empowers Predictive Analytics
If one word dominates the digital marketing industry, it’s personalization. A solid 80% of your customers are more likely to convert in response to a personalized experience (Epsilon).
In fact, according to Statista, over 60% of your customers would stop being loyal if your experience were not personalized. This makes it vital to analyze behavior and predict consumer choice.
However, doing so on scale can be time-consuming and resource intensive. Employ artificial intelligence to optimize operational efficiency, audience segmentation, and resource allocation.
Use Artificial Intelligence for Operational Efficiency
Without AI, you must rely on human employees to collate and analyze consumer data. Even with software assistance, this process demands more time and money than AI-powered solutions.
Furthermore, the human mind must contend with cognitive biases, such as confirmation bias, framing bias, and the primacy and recency effects. Our predictions can be skewed by our assumptions, the context in which we learn about the data, and even the order in which we discover the information.
Machine learning AI analyzes large volumes of data, from diverse sources, and does so quickly and without bias. This results in predictive analysis that is more reliable and resource-efficient.
Use Artificial Intelligence for Audience Segmentation
While analyzing your consumer data, you’ll want to group your audiences together based on their shared characteristics. Otherwise, how can you attempt to personalize your experience for each of these groups?
Again, AI-powered tools are more effective and efficient at this than human-powered teams. Machine learning can provide more granular insights, and it can even update its models rapidly as new information becomes available.
This enables you to better define your Ideal Consumer Profile(s) and target audiences. In turn, you empower your Revenue Operations team to attract, qualify, and nurture the best prospects for your sales funnel.
Use Artificial Intelligence for Resource Allocation
Of course, your RevOps team isn’t concerned about attracting, qualifying, and nurturing leads alone. They also want to do so in the most time- and cost-effective manner possible.
AI-powered predictive analytics identify valuable patterns in customer behavior. This provides your team with insights into the best investments for their time and budget.
Therefore, the benefits are twofold: firstly, you’re offering a personalized experience to the most receptive audiences. Secondly, you’re minimizing the resources (in both time and money) that are wasted in pursuit of those results.
Marketing: Use AI to Compete with Teams of Corporate Creatives
Historically, marketing teams could be massive. There were people to direct the department, people to ideate campaigns, people to create the assets for those campaigns, people to buy the ad space, and people to measure a campaign’s success.
Today, much of this work can be delegated to artificial intelligence. From creating media to identifying partners, AI optimizes marketing for — you guessed it — effectiveness and efficiency.
AI is Your Artist, Videographer, and Copywriter
Your marketing team can use generative AI to develop nearly all of your creative assets. This includes imagery, video content, and copy — all generated from a simple text command.
As AI becomes more ubiquitous and integral, the debate rages on whether it’s ethical to replace humans with machines. However, these arguments rarely consider the perspective of small and medium-sized businesses.
For many SMBs, there’s usually just one person who’s responsible for filling all of these roles — and often, that person is the business owner themselves. If your company lacks the budget to hire experienced creatives for every task, then utilizing AI empowers you to level the field with bigger businesses.
Artificial Intelligence is Your Quality Assurance
To ensure effectiveness, your marketing team must be able to review the results of your campaigns. We discussed the value of AI in analytics above, but we didn’t discuss one, major hurdle that marketers face: intentional sabotage.
Since you are likely familiar with the term ‘troll,’ it should come as no surprise that marketing campaigns can be hindered by fraudulent activity. These can include bot attacks, review bombing, and irregular clicks/impressions from a single source.
Machine learning algorithms detect these unusual patterns and flag them as potentially fraudulent. This minimizes the possibility of investing time and resources into channels, touchpoints, keywords, or audiences that aren’t legitimate.
AI Finds Content Creators with Established, Niche Audiences
Celebrity endorsements are a profitable investment for businesses that can afford them. However, this expense is often impossible for smaller companies to justify.
Fortunately, thanks to social media and parasocial relationships, even lesser-known content creators can form powerful bonds with their audiences. In fact, “everyday” people are often seen as more relatable than larger-than-life celebrities.
Today, many companies are using artificial intelligence to identify “micro-influencers.” These are content creators with small, loyal audiences who are more likely to represent a particular niche — and who are less expensive to activate.
Advertising: Use AI to Optimize Your Outbound Marketing
At some point, you’ll undoubtedly decide to place advertisements to attract business. As with other forms of marketing, outbound marketing requires thoughtful targeting and optimization.
And here, again, AI outperforms its human counterparts. Using machine learning, you can optimize your ads in real time, and reach audiences you may never have considered before.
Artificial Intelligence + Dynamic Creative Optimization
Dynamic creative optimization (DCO) is a programmatic advertising technology that creates personalized ads based on real-time data, such as demographics and interests.
In other words, DCO enables your marketing team to optimize your ads at the moment they’re served, based on the person viewing them. This maximizes their relevance and effectiveness.
In turn, this ensures a higher ROI, which is vital for smaller businesses to compete with larger advertisers. AI makes “throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks” obsolete.
Use AI to Communicate with Multilingual Audiences
Globalization is so entrenched in modern economics that nobody is even debating it anymore. Where once there was a conversation around its advantages and disadvantages, today, there is only action.
In fact, as evidence of its role as the status quo, most companies today spend considerable effort advertising their diversity. However, rather than attempting to convince the public of your diversity, you should just advertise to diverse audiences.
Artificial intelligence empowers you to do so by offering machine translation. This enables your marketers to create ad scripts in multiple languages, and empowers you to compete with large companies who have spent years expanding into these markets.
CRM: AI Improves Your Customer Experience & Minimizes Churn
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is vital for businesses of any size. It’s the cornerstone of building and maintaining strong connections with your ideal consumer.
In turn, these relationships facilitate loyalty and maximize revenue. With artificial intelligence, even the smallest companies can provide world-class customer service.
Use Chatbots for Customer Service that Never Rests
Chatbots are AI-powered virtual assistants that have revolutionized customer service. Unlike human agents, chatbots are available 24/7, ensuring that customers get immediate responses to their queries.
This leads to higher customer satisfaction and frees up valuable human resources for more complex tasks. Additionally, chatbots are adept at handling multiple conversations simultaneously, ensuring that no customer is left waiting in line.
Use chatbots to:
- Provide instant answers to frequently asked questions.
- Guide customers through troubleshooting processes.
- Assist in product recommendations based on individual preferences.
Use Machine Learning to Predict & Minimize Customer Churn
One critical challenge that your business will face is customer churn. Also known as “turnover,” this is the rate at which customers stop doing business with you.
AI uses machine learning algorithms to analyze vast amounts of data and identify patterns. Then, AI identifies signals among these patterns that indicate a customer might be on the verge of churning.
By detecting these early warning signs, you’re empowered to take proactive steps to retain your customers. Ultimately, this preemptive (and personalized) action increases customer lifetime value.
Use Image Recognition Technology to Improve Your CX
Visual content is increasingly vital in digital marketing. In fact, it’s been shown that videos can increase conversions from landing pages by up to 80% (StoryChief).
Image recognition technology enables you to analyze and interpret visual data rapidly. In turn, this makes available an abundance of opportunities to enhance your customer experience.
For example, you can use this technology to offer visual search functionality and personalized product recommendations. You can also use visual content analytics to refine your marketing strategies through a better understanding of how users interact with visual content.
Project Management: Use AI to Automate Tedious, Repetitive Tasks
According to Monday.com, around 55% of your employees spend over 5 hours weekly on tedious tasks. This might include approving workflows, tracking deliverables, and inputting data.
These are tasks that require little creativity (if any) and can easily be automated with artificial intelligence. Automating these responsibilities minimizes their cost, and enables you to delegate more complicated tasks to these employees.
Additionally, by providing these employees with work that requires more creativity, you’ll likely boost their sense of ownership and satisfaction. Therefore, AI reduces cost on tedious, repetitive tasks, and boosts the morale of those workers who seek a more fulfilling role in your organization.
Accounting: AI Minimizes Errors to Boost Efficiency & Accuracy
In accounting, precision is paramount. Even the slightest error in data entry may lead to significant financial discrepancies that delay your accounts payable processes or reduce your profitability.
However, according to a report by McKinsey & Company, over 85% of accounting tasks could be automated. And AI-powered accounting tools excel in accuracy and efficiency.
For example, AI software can analyze PDF invoices (and even pictures of receipts) and convert them to structured reports, automatically. This minimizes human error, streamlines financial operations, and offers a real-time view of your financial health.
Schema Markup: Use AI for SEO to Dominate the SERPs
As any digital marketer can tell you, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is foundational to online visibility. AI has revolutionized SEO strategies, particularly through natural language processing and machine learning.
With AI-driven tools, you can analyze search patterns, understand user intent, and optimize content with precision. Moreover, AI-powered tools empower you to implement Schema Markup effectively, and on scale.
Schema Markup helps search engines like Google to understand the content on your page, giving you a competitive edge on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This is particularly helpful if you have hundreds of pages of products to index — delegate that hard work to AI!
Conclusion: AI Revolutionizes Digital Marketing for SMBs
Artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the way that companies, large and small, complete their work. In fact, it might be said that small business owners no longer have any excuse for failing to challenge their larger competitors — particularly within a targeted niche.
Digital marketing for small businesses is more effective than ever before. Today, AI empowers SMBs and their marketing teams to analyze, categorize, and personalize with ease and precision.
Of course, your AI-powered tools are only as effective as the team that’s using them. If you’d like support from sales and digital marketing professionals with experience employing artificial intelligence successfully, contact the Hyport Digital team today!