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: As owner and CEO of Strong Automotive Merchandising, John Paul Strong brings more than two decades of advertising experience to the table. He is the author of Next Day Traffic and leader of 115+ employees servicing more than 250 clients across the country. In 2018, John Paul was listed in the Birmingham Business Journal's Top CEO Awards and 2013's Top 40 Under 40.