Text: Gary Parkinson, enterprise content manager, Shutterstock
The digital marketing landscape is in a constant state of evolution. New technology leads to new platforms that help brands of all sizes communicate with their respective target markets. As new channels are released to the digital ecosphere, creative experts must produce enough content to keep those channels fresh and intriguing to audiences.
Unfortunately, marketers are limited by several universal challenges:
- There’s no time to spare amongst busy creative departments
- Budgets and resources are very finite, leaving few options to scale content creation
- Deadlines and expectations are what they are, and marketers must rise to the occasion
All of these limitations compound the challenge of growing businesses at scale. This is why many brands are incorporating AI solutions into their existing workflows. AI can automate many tasks and streamline creative processes. In the end, AI helps marketers rise out of the weeds of content creation so they can focus more on strategic forward-thinking decisions.
Here are some trends surrounding AI and what it all means for marketers, especially in flourishing APAC markets.
Digital marketing spend on the rise with no sign of burnout
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely noticed the number of sponsored pieces of content that appear in your personal feeds. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google, YouTube, and many more allow brands to leverage their features and services to target highly segmented groups of viewers. If your personal interests align with a brand’s positioning or product offerings, it’s very likely that you’ve been targeted by one or more of these ads.
Global advertising spend will increase by 3.8% in 2019, according to a study published in Entrepreneur Magazine. However, growth in ad spend across APAC markets will surpass 4.5% this year, and digital will be the leading channel for all of that investment.
The APAC market is one of the fastest growing markets for digital ad expenditures. Consumers in that region are eager to spend, and they’re curious about new products/services.
“This region has been leading the way in the uptake of new technology for quite some years, and the world-leading growth in digital seen in this forecast continues to show the Asia Pacific at the forefront of new developments in this area,” says Nick Waters, CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network Asia Pacific.
Strategic advertising yields greater returns
Given the projected APAC ad spend, you need to incorporate those trends into your brand’s marketing plan for 2019 and beyond. That means:
- Crafting a digital spend budget
- Calculating engagement models
- Defining client profiles
- Mapping out logical customer experiences from pre-sale through post-sale
As part of those plans, you need to produce the right types of content that help you reach and intrigue your ideal customers. That means understanding what resonates with your target audience at a localised level. This includes:
- The positioning of your digital ads
- The messaging you choose to publish
- Perhaps most importantly, the visual assets you use to connect with your audience.
Once you’ve identified those creative touchpoints, you can start running ad campaigns. Go to market with a variety of visual assets that help promote your brand while capturing the attention of your audience. Slight tweaks and variations of those visuals (or videos) help you build a thorough A/B testing strategy. This way, you can learn and iterate on your initial launch into the digital advertising realm.
AI helps automate A/B tests
In order to make A/B testing as efficient as possible, you should look into machine learning software. This type of technology utilises AI to analyse marketing trends and big data analytics, while also monitoring user preferences and performance metrics.
AI helps teams produce predictive ad content, saving valuable time and improving ad conversion rates.
Use AI to help localise campaigns
AI is an invaluable addition to your creative process, especially when producing campaigns that target users in multiple markets. Take a market like Australia as an example. Billions of dollars are spent on digital advertising in Australia each year, and analysts predict that 60% of ad revenue in that market will be generated by mobile conversions.
What does that mean for you as a marketer? Well, at the very least, you need to adopt to the mobile user experience. Data shows there are approximately 20 million mobile users in Australia as of 2019. That means there are 20 million people who are in a 'discovery mindset' as they scroll through feeds on their phones populated with lots of interesting content. They’re searching for new ideas that capture their attention as they browse through their phone screens.
AI helps you quickly and efficiently determine best practices to engage with those consumers.
Localised content stands out in feeds
There are articles that describe best practices on how to produce quality in-app content. But, you need to understand what resonates with your audience in a particular market before you begin creating content. If Australians are scrolling through their feeds, and they see an ad featuring the New York City skyline, what are the odds that user will click on or engage with that ad? The answer is, probably very low odds.
On the other hand, if an ad displays content showing landmarks in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, or other identifiable locations, people feel a stronger sense of connection to that content. They’ll associate your brand as being part of the community, which is a powerful incentive to purchase new products or, at the very least, feel driven to learn more about a brand.
Machine learning software automates efforts to analyse all of these data points. AI summarises the data so you and your team can focus more time and energy on making strategic decisions with content. As teams are limited by both time and resources, any automation software is a welcomed blessing to streamline creativity.
What is the impact of AI on business?
Remember the universal challenges faced by marketers everywhere:
- There’s no time to produce content
- Creative teams are limited in size and scope
- Deadlines for deliverables are necessary for business growth
AI helps teams shift away from ‘pressure-cooker’ approaches to content creation and instead become more strategic with creativity. Using technology, you can quickly and efficiently determine the right types of content to connect with your audience. A/B tests become more profound, more iterative and, ultimately, lead to more successful ad campaigns.
If you’re bringing people into your marketing funnel, your ad campaigns are having an impact on the business. By using AI and other forms of technology, your content becomes more localised and has greater resonance amongst your target audience. This will attract higher quality leads into your funnel, which increases opportunities for new business.
At the same time, ads that are more targeted and attracting more of the right types of prospects place less pressure on the marketing engine. Costs per lead will dramatically decrease as the quality of client improves over time. This translates into very real and very tangible ROI that provides opportunities to expand on your campaigns in order to scale to a whole new level.
Creativity no longer needs to be a time consuming process. Technology is transforming marketing in the digital age, and you best hop aboard the technological train to reach your ideal destination.
Part II will dive deeper into examples and best practices on how to use technology and machine learning to create high-quality content at scale.