Harnessing AI for Small Business Marketing Success
The idea of artificial intelligence has been a hot topic for years.
From talks of AI taking over the world, to causing mass unemployment, there has been a lot of fear associated with AI when it comes to business.
Recently however, we’ve started to actually see the application of AI at a tangible level.
New tools and software have been introduced for use by the general public, and business owners have started to take notice of AIs transformative potential for small business marketing.
While I’m no ultimate expert, I’m excited to share what I’ve discovered through my own exploration of AI tools and technology.
As you read this post, remember that this realm is ever-evolving. And, while this might seem daunting it’s also quite exciting.
I don’t know about you but I’m always looking for ways to reduce my workload and streamline my tasks in the name of saving more of my time and energy.
The key to navigating this vast ocean of AI tools? Curiosity. My journey involved tinkering, exploring, and sometimes even being amazed at what these tools could achieve.
Below, I’ve shared some of my favourite discoveries.
At its core, artificial intelligence is about creating machines that think and adapt like humans, but on a vastly accelerated and broader scale.
From smartphone assistants to recommendation systems on online shopping sites, AI impacts our daily lives.
However, while AI can provide data on consumer behavior, it cannot fully comprehend the nuances of human emotion and psychology that are essential for creating effective marketing campaigns.
Meaning? AI can be a supportive tool for your business, but it can’t replace your entire marketing team or completely create marketing strategies for you (at least not in ways that will truly be effective for your business).
Your personal knowledge and insights, your deep understanding of your audience, and the relationships you have with customers and stakeholders are all critical parts of marketing that can’t be replaced by a machine.
Generative AI vs. Traditional AI, and how to implement them in your business
The primary difference between generative AI and traditional AI lies in their objectives and functioning.
While traditional AI aims to perform specific tasks based on predefined rules and patterns, generative AI goes beyond this limitation and strives to create entirely new data that resembles human-created content.
Both of these forms of AI can be supportive for you as a business owner.
Time is a precious commodity, and time saved is money earned when you’re running a company.
Traditional AI excels in automating repetitive tasks like data entry, as well as analyzing algorithms and previously collected data to provide you with insights to support your marketing strategy.
These forms of AI can also be used to enhance personalized online user experiences, from presenting ads that might appeal to online shoppers, to providing helpful responses via online help chats.
The beauty of generative AI is that it doesn’t just learn from previously available data, it’s also creating new information.
From articles to artwork, generative AI technology is being introduced in new ways all of the time to bolster creativity, allowing you to spend more time focusing on core business strategies.
Content creation and AI
Crafting content is an art and a science.
It’s imperative that you continue to show up regularly for your audience through content like informational or entertaining blog posts, social media content, and/or videos.
Continuing to show up in these ways each day though, can feel overwhelming.
To simplify and streamline our daily, weekly, or monthly marketing tasks, we can lean on AI.
Artificial intelligence can help you ensure your content is optimized, relevant, and engaging.
By analyzing vast datasets, traditional AI can predict what type of content resonates best with your audience. This can be beneficial for creating a social media content calendar, or deciding on which blog posts you want to publish next on your website.
Generative AI forms can then take this a step further by creating a starting point for this suggested content. For example you might ask AI to draft a blog post for you, or to create a social media graphic to accompany a specific post idea.
Let’s dive into some specific platforms you can utilize in your small business marketing, to make this really tangible for you.
ChatGPT: A New Age of Customer Interaction
Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer, is a large language model–based chatbot developed by OpenAI and launched on November 30, 2022.
ChatGPT enables users to refine and steer a conversation towards a desired length, format, and style, with a specific level of detail and language used.
Successive prompts and replies, known as prompt engineering, are considered at each conversation stage to provide additional context.
Here are a few ways you can utilize ChatGPT in your business.
- To generate attractive topic ideas for content marketing.
- For content creation in written forms including emails, social media posts, or blog articles.
- For market and audience research. You specify the product or service idea you want to get information about, and tell it exactly what you want to know, and it can provide data-focused insights for you to review.
- For writing product descriptions.
- For SEO Optimization. Chat GPT can help you generate meta descriptions, or can do some keyword research for you to help you find searchable titles for your content.
- To create customer surveys.
- With chatbot integration, ChatGPT can offer personalized user support.
Jasper.ai: an AI Marketing Tool
Jasper is an AI writing tool designed to generate marketing copy, such as blog posts, product descriptions, company biographies, ad copy, and social media captions.
Its capabilities also extend to generating AI images.
The main difference between Jasper AI and ChatGPT is that Jasper AI is specifically designed for marketing content, while ChatGPT is more of a general-purpose generative AI that can be used for a range of tasks.
While it might not be as versatile as ChatGPT, the focus of Jasper on marketing means that it has more features to support you with developing specific marketing strategies, honing in on your brand voice and style guide, and creating effective campaigns.
DeepBrain AI: Great for Training or How-To Videos
DeepBrain AI is a leading video generator, with capabilities to transform text into videos swiftly with photo-realistic AI avatars.
This is a great tool for training and how-to videos!
The software provides multilingual support, diverse customizable avatars, and intuitive editing tools, optimizing video production costs and time.
Grammarly: Crafting Perfection in Communication
In today’s fast-paced world, clear communication can help set you apart. Grammarly is a writing assistant tool that helps you ensure the content you’re creating is clear and compelling.
It supports you in fixing typos, improving grammar, and above all else ensuring the tone, clarity, and intent of your writing are pitch-perfect, allowing the content to resonate more clearly with your audience.
This is a versatile tool which can come in handy whether you’re writing blog posts, emails, or social media posts.
SEMRush: AI Writing Assistant
SEMRush is another AI writing assistant that can support you in a host of tasks related to your business including:
- SEO: running technical audits, and suggesting keywords to support your search rankings
- Content marketing: finding topics that resonate with your audience, and helping you optimize your content for engagement and organic traffic
- Market research: helping you analyze websites and unveil competitor promotion strategies, and
- Copywriting: helping you generate copy for emails, blogs, call to actions (CTAs), your website, social media posts, ads, video scripts, product descriptions, and even job descriptions
AI Article Generator
With the AI Article Generator tool, simply input a headline, subheadings, or the subject with some target keywords.
AI then quickly puts together a full article based on what you’ve provided, and provides an SEO score with suggestions for improvement.
Video and Image Magic with CapCut and Opus Clip
The era of video is here, and incorporating video into your marketing strategy is essential as a small business owner.
In fact, stats show that over 70% of global internet traffic in 2022 came from video.
However, video can also feel new and intimidating for those who haven’t explored it yet.
CapCut can generate videos simply from a video idea, and Opus Clip can support you in repurposing long talking videos into short videos like Reels with captions quickly. AI analyzes the video for the most compelling hooks and highlights and creates several short videos.
Image Magic with MidJourney
Midjourney is an advanced AI tool that can turn text prompts into images, video, and more.
Descript is an all-in-one tool to write, record, transcribe, edit, collaborate, and share your videos and podcasts.
You edit your podcast episode or YouTube video by making changes to the transcript — the same way you’d edit a text document!
Things to be aware of when using AI
While there are a lot of incredible ways AI is enhancing (or can enhance) our life and business, we also need to recognize that these tools are not without drawbacks.
I’ve written another entire post about the benefits and drawbacks of AI as a small business owner, but here are the top three things you should keep in mind.
01: You need to be clear about what you’re asking
AI can only go off of the information you’ve provided it. So, don’t be surprised if the first time you ask ChatGPT to generate a social media post for you, it doesn’t sound “on-brand.”
Providing information about your business, the tone of voice you use, and your audience can help AI tools generate content that is more appropriate and useable for you.
The better you get at asking AI questions, and providing these specifics, the better artificial intelligence tools will become at responding to you, and creating relevant content.
02: You need to verify the information you’re receiving
Generative AI’s issues with hallucinations stating incorrect information with confidence are well documented.
These hallucinations might decrease in time as technology progresses, but AI will never be a perfect source of truth. Imperfect humans create AI tools with imperfect data.
So, when using AI, don’t trust it blindly. Check to confirm that the facts you receive are really facts.
03: You need to be careful of potential copyright issues
AI doesn’t cite its sources, making it challenging to confirm whether the information it’s providing you is uniquely written, or incredibly similar to the original work that inspired it.
This is getting better, but you still need to be aware of possible copyright issues.
Often, the best way to use content generating AI tools is as a source of inspiration for you to tweak and rewrite as needed.
Where to go from here
AI is here to stay and is only growing in its many uses.
While we’ve covered a host of tools and different ways AI can redefine marketing and operations for small businesses, it can still be overwhelming to jump into all of this head first.
Get curious. Explore the tools listed. Take time to evaluate which would best support you with your marketing goals and business endeavours.
From there, choose one to get started with. Implement it into your marketing strategy and see where it takes you and how it feels!
I’m here to support you along the way. Let’s chat about how we can implement AI into your marketing strategy to save you time and energy.