Whether we like it or not, AI is here to stay. And marketers cannot escape it or ignore it. The only way for them to survive is by learning to integrate AI into their daily activities. So, in this article, we discuss how B2B businesses need to adapt to incorporate AI into their marketing engine.
We will cover:
10+ applications of AI in marketing
- 5 reasons why AI is worth the hype in marketing
And finally, what the AI-driven future means for marketers, and how they should adapt
Applications of AI in marketing
As a marketer, if you need to learn how to adapt to the sudden evolution of AI, you need to first understand how it is being applied today in the field of marketing. Below are the ones we will be discussing in the article:
- Automated video generation
- Text-to-speech conversion
- Image generation
- Text generation
- SEO automation
- Voice-to-text conversion
- Brand language optimization
- Ads optimization
- Conversational AI
- Email marketing
- Social media analytics
- Predictive analytics
- Content repurposing
1. Automated video generation
To understand this better, check out the below sample video we created using HeyGen:
While this method is about using a script to create videos, another video generation technique uses prompts to create stock videos. Gen 2 from Runway is an example of a tool that can do this.
2. Text-to-speech conversion
As the term suggests, text-to-speech conversion is the technique of automatically converting text to voice using AI. This can be used for adding voiceovers to videos, creating podcast intros & outros, or any other audio content.
ElevenLabs is a text-to-speech conversion tool that has taken the market by buzz lately. Another choice is Speechelo, which is what we use at Skalegrow to create our AI videos. For example, see the below video where the voiceover was created using Speechelo:
3. Image generation
For example, the below image was generated using Stable Diffusion using the prompt: “A business meeting in an office conference room with windows and bright sunlight coming in.”
Though not always accurate, AI-based image generation will soon replace stock image databases. Even a tool like Canva has introduced AI into their suite with a new feature called Canva Magic Studio. We are likely to see more design and image-related tools integrating AI into their stack in the coming years.
4. Text generation
With everyone being familiar with ChatGPT, text content generation doesn’t need an explanation. Other than ChatGPT, there are specialized content generation tools like Jasper, Copy AI, Peppertype AI, LongShot AI, etc., that can used to create content for blog posts, social media, video scripts, ad copies, and more.
5. SEO automation
SEO automation is in a relatively nascent stage in terms of adoption compared to most of the other applications on the list. This is because applying AI for SEO automation is only required when you are doing SEO at a scale that cannot be easily handled by normal SEO tools or manual interventions.
Following are the ways in which AI helps when it comes to SEO automation:
- AI-based keyword analysis (e.g. BrightEdge)
- Automated schema updation (e.g. WordLift)
- Technical SEO audit (e.g. Alli AI)
- SEO testing (e.g. MarketBrew)
For a detailed understanding, watch the below video from MarketBrew on SEO testing:
6. Voice-to-text conversion
Voice-to-text conversion is the opposite of text-to-speech conversion. It is used for repurposing video or audio content into text form such as blog posts.
Long-form videos like webinars can be automatically transcribed using AI-based tools like Descript or Veed, which can then be edited by a human to convert into a full-fledged blog post. This technique is also used to generate subtitles for videos.
7. Brand language optimization
This is about optimizing the colors and voice of your brand across your marketing campaigns for consistency. A variant of this is also called AI website personalization. Phrasee and Intellimize are
examples of tools that can do this.
8. Ads optimization
AI helps to better manage and optimize advertisements across platforms such as Google ads and Facebook. With the help of AI, you can do the following:
- Automatically create multiple ad creative variants
- Analyze ads at scale to allocate budgets smartly
- Find the best or new audiences for your campaigns
9. Conversational AI
In marketing, conversational AI is mostly used for automatically responding to website visitor queries on the chat interface. While chat automation was previously done using rule-based workflows, AI made it possible to automate even more tasks that required some level of intelligence.
The below video from Drift gives an overview of how conversational AI in marketing and customer interactions works.
For further reading: How conversational AI is transforming marketing (and sales)
10. Email marketing
The primary application of AI in email marketing is text generation. You can use ChatGPT or any other AI-based content assistant to generate subject lines, preview text, and email copy.
Another key application of AI in email marketing is in the form of content curation. Tools like xIQ can curate different content to personalize your email campaigns based on the characteristics of the recipient.
11. Social media analytics
Social listening tools in the past worked just like how a dashboarding tool like would collect data to create visualizations. They would look at different data points and consolidate them along various parameters.
But today, social media analytics platforms are more advanced and leverage AI to come up with insights that cannot be otherwise gauged. Auris from GenY Labs is a tool that uses AI to analyze your social media activities.
12. Predictive analytics
Here are a few example use cases where AI can be used for predictive analytics in marketing:
- Predicting event ticket sales
- Customer churn analysis
- Revenue and lead forecasting
- Website traffic predictions
This is not an exhaustive list. But this gives you an idea about where predictive analytics is headed in the marketing domain.
13. Content repurposing
Content repurposing is time consuming, But with AI, you can automate the process. Tools like Automata can do this for you. Another example is BlogTweet which can turn a blog post into a Twitter thread in a few clicks.
5 reasons why AI in marketing is worth the hype
Before we learn more about the future AI trends in marketing and how marketers should adapt to it, let us look at 5 reasons why AI is worth the hype in marketing, especially B2B marketing.
- From video generation to text generation and SEO automation, AI can help you do a wide variety of tasks faster.
- With the ability to create voice and videos from scratch, AI can reduce your dependency on voiceover artists, video production crew, video editors, etc.
- The AI tools ecosystem is growing. You will only have more tools at your disposal in the future. So learn AI by the time it becomes a more mature ecosystem.
- AI can spot errors that humans might miss. The very fact that many content writers use Gramnarly is a testament to how AI can help with error detection in marketing.
- AI will keep improving in accuracy. So you will be losing out if you don’t start utilizing it soon.
AI in marketing – future trends and how marketers should adapt
AI will transform marketing significantly and the applications and future trends can’t be limited to a few. However, let us look at some of the most relevant developments likely to happen with respect to the application of AI in marketing in the coming years.
1. Zero-click content
The days of getting clicks from SERP (Search Engine Results Page) and gaining traffic at any cost are gone. Modern B2B buyers seek information in newer ways which requires B2B businesses to serve information at places where their ideal clients hang out. And that’s not usually your company’s website. Zero-click content refers to content that focuses on solving your ideal client’s problems without them having to click through to your website or landing page (more about zero-click content here).
This essentially means that B2B marketers have to create content that does not force users to click through (or submit their email ID) to access content that addresses a specific problem or search query. This goes against the traditional school of thought where leads have a linear journey and nurturing them using their email IDs is the only way to eventually convert them. Zero-click content, on the other hand, focuses on serving the right information to your prospects, ‘hooking’ them with it and having them come to you when they are ready to buy.
2. AI-based revenue attribution and pipeline analysis
Revenue attribution is the process of figuring out the amount of revenue and pipeline each channel brings to your business. We have spoken about why today’s revenue attribution model is broken and how to fix it in the below article. Do check it out:
However, even the method discussed in the above article focuses on a rule-based attribution system. The future will see the application of AI here where machine learning models will be able to give you insights from your existing pipeline and attribution data in addition to predicting what the future revenue and pipeline will look like.
This offers marketers the opportunity to gain more insights from their data. As the first step to adapting to this shift, marketers need to get the attribution game right (as we discussed in the revenue attribution article) so that when technology enablers come up with ways to apply AI to this, they are ready.
3. No code to AI-based website development
We all know how popular no code website development tools like Webflow and Bubble have become nowadays. But did you know that there are tools that help you create websites using AI with a few clicks (10Web for example)?
AI tools can build the first draft which you can then go ahead and edit to create a full-fledged website. Today, this is in the early stages of adoption. But with these platforms adding more and more features, we are likely to see widespread adoption in the near future.
So this is a good time for marketers to get familiarized with some of these tools and learn how they can make website product development faster and more efficient.
4. Automated creative design
We discussed how image generation tools can help you automatically create images and designs. However, they don’t always offer high levels of accuracy. In the future, there will be two key changes with respect to creative design using AI:
- Image generation tools like Midjourney will significantly improve in accuracy
- More and more tools will come up that help automate the design of banners, carousels, brochures, etc. This is already happening with tools like Designs AI automating various design tasks. But as more vendors enter the space, it will become more common in the future.
This leads us to believe that the future of design will be AI-driven. Design professionals need to adapt by learning to use AI to make their designs better while marketers in general should adopt AI tools to enhance their output.
5. AI-based touchpoints
No marketing channel is going to escape AI. From conversational marketing to email and content, every touchpoint is going to have ‘AI interventions’. Even big players like HubSpot are investing in AI to make customer interactions smoother and more effective. The company’s introduction of ChatSpot is an example of this.
Hence, marketers have to shift from an ‘I don’t need AI’ mindset to a ‘how I can integrate AI into my daily life’ thinking.
Closing words about AI in marketing
One thing to keep in mind while attempting to apply AI in marketing is that you should do it only if it makes business sense. The idea is not to use AI because it sounds cool. Your focus should be on enhancing your business productivity and growing your topline and bottomline by making the best use of artificial intelligence.
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About the author
Naseef KPO is the Founder and CEO of Skalegrow. He comes with rich experience across multiple areas of B2B marketing including content marketing, demand generation, SEO, account based marketing, marketing analytics, revenue attribution, marketing technology, etc. He writes thought-provoking and relevant articles on The Skalegrow Blog and his weekly LinkedIn newsletter Elevate Your Marketing.
Prior to starting Skalegrow, Naseef led large marketing teams in multi-million dollar B2B organizations where he made significant contributions to the topline growth of the business. He has also appeared on numerous podcasts where he shared his thoughts on trending marketing topics such as the application of AI in marketing, startup marketing, ABM, and B2B content marketing, just to name a few. Being the founder of Skalegrow, he is currently focusing on helping its clients stay ahead of their competition by using innovative yet practical marketing tactics.
You can connect with Naseef KPO on LinkedIn.