If you’re reading about AI and picturing the rise of the robots who will inevitably take over and will have no use for inferior human beings, that’s a tiny bit off-base, but not that much. In fact, AI has already permeated the online sphere and is being used successfully to expand businesses and increase traffic and sales.
You’d be surprised at how many different applications AI actually has, from marketing to content, and even user experience and interaction. Here is how you can leverage AI technology to grow your online business.
1. Creating internet content
Creating online content is not nearly as simple as it seems. If you want quality writing, it doesn’t come quickly and it doesn’t come cheap. We definitely still need actual human writers creating intelligent, creative, thought-provoking content, but did you know that AI is also able to create content too?
Yes, it won’t be a funny, creative review of the latest Marvel movie, but if what you need is a kind of report generated using data and information already available online, artificial intelligence can do that for you. The technology is excellent when reporting news and such because it can provide a matter-of-fact, data-based piece of content. But, it also has applications in other niches, like simple, basic how-to articles and the like.
How can this help you? That’s more than a few hours (and a few dollars) saved for a platform that needs constant content to publish, and the technology is already being used by several major news outlets and online publications. It can also form the basis of your research for a more detailed piece and save you several hours gathering sources and doing basic research.
2. Targeting for email marketing
If you’re not already making use of email marketing, then you need to hop on that train fast. If you are, then artificial intelligence can help you by targeting specific content towards specific users, based on their stated or perceived preferences and tastes.
Right now, sending the same generic email to your entire mailing list has as many chances to strike gold as it does to fail. That’s because not all of these people are interested in the same things, and while your content may appeal to some people, it will not excite others. But what if you could send a personalized newsletter to each and every one of your followers?
How can this help you? AI is actively analyzing your audience (and even people who have the potential to become part of your audience) looking for patterns in their habits and behavior in order to figure out how to word content aimed at them, when to send it, how frequently and what keywords will motivate them to click. By learning everything there is to know about each user or potential buyer, you can send them tailored emails that increase the chance of them opening your emails and reading your content.
3. Targeting for advertising purposes
Advertising is already an exercise in AI use, mostly – you’re probably familiar with Facebook and Google advertising. They make use of artificial intelligence to gather data about their users to most accurately target them and increase the effectiveness of their ads. All of our online behavior and habits – what we search for, how much time we spend on social media, what we look at, etc. – are used to create an approximate profile, including probable age, gender, marital status, income, and preferences.
Based on this profile generated with the help of AI, we are shown advertisements that are most likely to appeal to us specifically, and most likely to determine us to click or even buy.
How can this help you? You may not have considered it before, but the ability to target your ads this specifically is invaluable – it enables you to reach the most amount of people in the least amount of time, and with minimal effort. Instead of launching ads into the unknown, hoping that someone will find them interesting, you have the certainty of an already interested audience that can be more easily persuaded. And in the years to come, the technology will become even more accurate.
4. Improving user experience
Especially if you’ve got a new or otherwise growing online business, your website and the user experience it offers are essential to your success and the way customers will perceive you. If it’s clunky and frustrating, customers will not return, but if it’s intuitive and pleasant to navigate, you are much more likely to retain them as customers.
Artificial intelligence can actually contribute to this user experience by offering unique and personalized content for your customers, based on the same data discussed earlier – past behavior and preferences, as well as location and other metrics. That way, your potential customer is more likely to identify strongly with your brand and your services.
How can this help you? It’s not rocket science – the more comfortable a user is on your website and the more they feel like your products and services are tailored to them and their needs, specifically, the more likely they are to click, purchase, and return. The future of retail and business, in general, is to provide highly personalized experiences for your customers, leading to a higher customer retention rate and increase in sales.
5. Improving customer service
If you don’t already have a chatbot, you’ve surely encountered one on a website before. Most of them seem to be present on retail websites, but you can also find them on news sites or on brand pages in general. If the website offers a service of any kind, you can bet that the chatbot will be there at your disposal, ready to take inquiries, regardless of the time of day.
Now, these live chat pop-ups can also be super annoying (especially when their arrival is marked by the loudest ping in the world), but it turns out that they’re pretty successful, actually, for both businesses and customers. You see, people no longer have to hold on the phone listening to elevator music for forty minutes to ask a simple question about their order or for clarification on an FAQ. On their part, businesses save time and money because their operators aren’t all caught up on client interactions dealing with simple, easy-to-solve inquiries.
How can this help you? You don’t have to be some major website to have a chatbot. A lot of small, up-and-coming companies already have them. A chatbot can eliminate the need for a separate customer service employee dealing with customer questions because it’s able to answer basic questions and give directions to customers, all with the help of patterns and keywords.
All in all, while AI may seem like an intimidating foray into the future, the technology is actually already here – and more applicable than you thought! Artificial intelligence technology can do a lot for your growing online business, and it mostly has to do with accurately identifying your core audience and a highly personalized approach to business. Everything from content, to advertising, to marketing and the user experience can be tailored specifically to each customer in order to offer them a more satisfactory experience, which leads to better brand loyalty and customer retention.