At first, the use of artificial intelligence in business was simply a great way to deal with housekeeping tasks. While AI looked after simple jobs, we could focus on the bigger picture. Now, this is changing. In the world of marketing, more platforms are integrating artificial intelligence into their solutions. This has led to a new era of advertising innovation, testing new creatives, and offering the best digital ads with the audience in mind.
Compared to traditional ad formats, we now have an opportunity to customize campaigns and measure returns more effectively than ever. This is great news for businesses, so long as they use AI in the right way.
Not so long ago, a member on our team was browsing Instagram, and the exact same ad kept popping up. Initially, it grabbed their attention; they were actually close to clicking on the ad to learn more about the recipe app. However, over the course of the week, the EXACT same ad kept appearing. Somebody made a mistake. While an ad repeated this many times might catch the viewer’s attention the first time, it will soon frustrate and push your potential customer away.
If you want to take advantage of AI optimization growth, the importance of new creatives cannot be understated. In the past, we’ve heard a lot about mixing up the search keywords, target market, location of the ads, and bidding process. However, you aren’t going to enjoy results if you’re doing all this while keeping the creatives the same.
Whether it’s the copy, images, or even a video, all of this content needs to be refreshed every so often. This will eliminate your audience’s frustration with seeing the same ads, and hold their attention with insight into the various angles of your products or services. AI optimization now allows us to work on creatives, test between multiple variations, and choose the ones most likely to convert.
If you’re a small business, don’t think that AI optimization is only reserved for the large companies. With all the amazing services at your disposal, there’s no reason why you can’t get started right away. Machine learning evens the playing field and simplifies implementation. Previously, you might have had different campaigns for Google Play and Google Search. Now, the Universal App Campaigns (UAC) from Google mean that everything is in one place. Once you’ve added the images and text, the rest will be done on your behalf.
We understand if you’re skeptical about AI for marketing. If you’re a young business, your resources might be limited. We would encourage you to try UAC because, compared to other Google app promotion products, UAC can increase conversions per dollar by 140%.
Did you know that creatives are said to be the largest contributor to digital ad success? Creatives hold great potential for advertising innovation, brand message illumination and instant brand recognition. Although we know the importance of creatives, the value of the optimization process is often ignored. It’s commonly believed that AI optimization is too expensive, time-consuming and subjective to be left to an algorithm. Now the industry has shifted, and advertisers have seen the positive results from machine learning, AI and algorithms in optimizing ad creatives.
Historically, guesswork was the king of ad creatives. We valued experienced marketing professionals because they had the most reliable gut instinct to make critical decisions. In the early days of A/B testing, some advertisers used technology, but conclusive results only came with an investment of resources.
With new AI tools, several concerns have evaporated. With our access to massive amounts of data from past campaigns, we can assess new creatives with predictive analysis. Of several potential creatives, which would yield the highest return?
AI not only selects the creatives, but also helps build the process in the first place. Have you ever spent hours looking through images to find the perfect one for your brand? AI can help you choose an image that communicates your message most clearly, and even implement original music to make your ads more interesting.
While it is advanced in many ways, technology will not take over the entire creative building phase anytime soon. Will it help us learn which creatives work and which don’t? Absolutely; but it can’t do everything. Technology processes data, not abstract thoughts; which means, in many ways, it lacks reasoning and innovation. With this in mind, humans are needed! With creatives, AI is an assistant rather than a replacement.
In 2018, many reports (including one from Gartner) suggested that marketing budgets were decreasing. Despite this, AI spending increased, and it formed an important part of marketing strategies around the world. Cloud computing bandwidth grew and software-as-a-service (SaaS) became more available, which cleared the way for AI.
It is evident that AI only continues to become more sophisticated. Now that it is fully available to the marketing community, we’re seeing bigger and better models, which has led to increasingly complex machine learning programming.
We only need to look at 21st Century Fox to see how advertising innovation is taking off. Not so long ago, the Chief Technology Officer announced they were using machine learning and AI to place advertising material more effectively. The company is now enjoying an equilibrium between placing advertising where it will get attention, and maintaining the integrity of the user experience.
Rather than sticking with the traditional means of advertising TV shows and movies, 21st Century Fox is rethinking the entire creative phase based on these new technologies. Fox operates in nearly 70 languages and in most countries on the planet, which means they need new creatives for each market. Historically, this was a laborious process which involved shipping film and tapes to various countries. However, with digitization, it creates the final content for partners and consumers automatically.
Because of automation, the company no longer works backwards. With each campaign, all content is stored and catalogued with little effort. What’s more, it goes through the analysis and approval phases instantaneously so that partners in production always have new content. There are hundreds of companies going through similar changes.
We’ve focused on large, well-known brands here, but the technology is so affordable and widely available that even startups can use AI to optimize their digital ads. While some will focus on new creatives, others need help with bidding, scaling and targeting. We’re not expecting AI tools to replace the genius and free-thinking minds of humans, but they’re certainly making our lives easier.