Artificial intelligence (AI) may sound like something out of a science fiction film, but the truth is this powerful technology is being developed for and by advertisers. Better yet, its application goes a lot farther than Siri or Alexa. Harnessing the readily-available AI technology in your marketing will help you reach more prospects than any mere mortal ever could.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning are two operations that go hand-in-hand. To break it down, machine learning takes mass amounts of data and processes them to find patterns and make predictions. Think of it as the training process. Then, AI comes into play to make human-like decisions based on the information and paradigms the machine has picked up.
While this all sounds very theoretical, it has significant practical applications on the internet. For example, if you’re watching a video on YouTube, the platform in its early stages would show you more videos by that same creator. But now, you’ll see a mix of videos from different authors that are all incredibly relevant to the video you have pulled up. That’s how YouTube gets you down the rabbit hole, causing you to stay on the site longer and to be served more ads. For some reason, the next video always seems so interesting…
This isn’t a coincidence. YouTube knows what will get you to click because of AI. Better yet, the algorithm is constantly refining itself – it’s learning. Researchers have noted that the videos YouTube recommends tend to increase in intensity as you watch. As one Ted Talks speaker noted, watching a video about vegetarianism will recommend a video about veganism. YouTube’s AI has tapped into humans’ vulnerability for intensity that scales.
Sure, this software is interesting, but how will it help you sell more? The answer lies within Facebook.
Facebook uses a powerful AI technology to identify people based on their interests, demographics and online activity. While this may sound standard at first, you must consider that Facebook has the perfect mix of ingredients for large-scale machine learning. As one of the most-used social networks, Facebook has access to an unfathomable amount of data on us. It also owns Instagram, the third most-used platform. With machine learning, Facebook’s software is constantly scraping data in realtime, learning from our evolving habits and preferences as well as its own failures and successes.
This allows Facebook to identify people in a certain interest group who will respond well to an ad. It also lets the advertiser choose Lookalike Audiences – people whom the algorithms predict will also be susceptible to the ad’s messaging.
The power to hyper-refine and personalize ads on Facebook and Instagram is one reason why the U.S. intelligence community is so concerned about foreign advertising influencing our elections. This technology is powerful, there’s no question about it.
So, while we don’t recommend meddling in an election, we do recommend that you get on board with the superhuman power behind today’s social media marketing.
John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising. Strong began his career as a fresh-faced account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry. The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners. Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40” feature and the 2017 CEO Awards. The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.