5 Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Help Your Brand Grow

5 Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Help Your Brand Grow

Why has AI become one of the most popular topics among marketers? Because it makes our lives easier.

And then there’s the next question: How can it help?

We’re facing an invasive amount of information, and we need to be able to process the huge chunks of data now available to us and make the best use of them. Yet, in most cases, we are at a loss, and the only easy way is to go by intuition alone. Does it work? Once in a thousand years, sure. Or perhaps it does, but the results are far from where you had aimed.

That’s where AI comes into play.

Several years ago, when I heard or saw the phrase “artificial intelligence,” I thought it was crazy how many people believed in that nonsense. I never expected I’d be so wrong.

Consider IBM, Google, Facebook, Tesla, Lenovo, Coca Cola, Adidas, Starbucks, Amazon, Microsoft, and Uber. What do they have in common? It’s simple: All of them have started using AI in their marketing strategy. Here are a few of the most vivid examples of how AI is helping brands grow.

Tesla, Lenovo, Adidas, Starbucks, and more have all started using AI in their marketing strategy
Click To Tweet
1. AI and Digital Advertising

We’ve all heard a lot about programmatic advertising, as well as about cognitive advertising based on advanced algorithms helping with demand and supply optimization. Prepare to start hearing more about AI advertising, as well.

We used to make ads ourselves, and many of us still do, but now, why bother? Let AI make ads for you. That’s exactly what Coca Cola and Quartz, partnered with DigitasLBi Hewlett Packard Enterprise, decided to do. They’re poised to win the market over with this win-win. IBM Watson has become the most empowering tool for any business, and still more companies are using AI to boost sales.

Look at Albert, Harley-Davidson’s AI-driven platform for marketing.

Harley-Davidson AI Albert

Albert helped increase sales leads by 2,930 percent and saved time and effort for Harley-Davidson’s marketers. Besides the numerous outstanding features Albert has to offer, it’s making ads really outstanding and influential. Albert improved ad wording when it discovered calls to action with the word “call” performed almost 450 percent better than those with the word “buy.” The improvement was obvious.

2. AI and Customer Service

After “advertising,” “personalization” is the first word we hear when talking about AI in marketing. Brands are clamoring to make personalized experiences a standard of their marketing plans. However, you’ll never achieve utopian personalized customer service without AI.

Personalization presupposes strong communication. No brand can dedicate a personal human assistant to each customer when it comes to purchase assistance. Here come AI personal shop assistants and chatbots that replace human beings in the communication chain.

Brands are already making the shopping experience more interactive with AI. It can not only give product recommendations, but also analyze what your customers will like more and, faster than any human, and create an engaging and entertaining contact.

Take Starbucks and its virtual barista that allows customers to place orders by tapping a button and communicating with the personal assistant. Or look at American Eagle’s Aerie chatbot. The brand attracted more users with Aerie than with all their other social media channels combined. The fun, quiz-like interaction helped the brand win audiences over.

Aerie chatbot

3. AI and SEO

The most important thing to remember about AI in SEO is the power of voice search. Voice search technologies like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa have forever changed search queries. Now, question words like “how,” “where,” “what,” “who,” “when,” “why,” “close,” and “nearby” have all become query triggers. It’s why we’re now facing the need to change our keyword planning strategy as well.

You can also take advantage of AI in your content marketing, where AI is almost obligatory for saving precious time. That doesn’t mean content spinning or paraphrasing tools for spammers—it’s something more sophisticated. We’re talking automatically generated content, customized news feeds, and predictive intelligence.

I began using Office 365’s AI-based Editor to get the most out of my freelance writers at Essay Dune. This AI product is vital for me and a must for my colleagues. I analyzed 60 articles scheduled for my blog, 30 of which were written by the same freelancers without the Editor. The other half were written with the Editor. 37 percent of the first half contained minor mistakes, but only nine percent of the articles that used the Editor had mistakes.

4. AI and Augmented Reality

The Pokémon Go obsession showed that augmented reality (AR) rules the mainstream. AR has already become an inherent part of our lives, and virtual reality (VR) glasses, virtual desktops, Google’s Tilt brush, and many more tools and toys are selling themselves on the net. Lenovo’s New Glass C200 combined AI and AR in a very smart way. In the near future, we’ll have a chance to make purchases in VR environments as well.

5. AI and Website Design

If you’re a designer, you already know about AI website design and how the Grid works. The Grid is called the website of the future, and perhaps it is—the website that designs itself without any human help deserves respect. Likewise, AI technology in website design has boosted Cosabella’s sales by 35.6 percent. And that’s only the beginning—we’re only at the starting line of a tremendously promising adventure in marketing and design.

Elon Musk once said, “We’re going to have the choice of either being left behind and being effectively useless or like a pet—you know, like a house cat or something—or eventually figuring out some way to be symbiotic and merge with AI.”

And nobody wants to be left behind. That’s a clear-cut rule of our brains.

Do you believe AI can become a must in the digital world? Have you tried to use AI in your marketing strategy? Let us know in the comments.

Get a weekly dose of the trends and insights you need to keep you ON top, from Jay Baer at Convince & Convert. Sign up for the Convince & Convert ON email newsletter.


5 Best Practices to Sustain Your Employee Advocacy Program

5 Best Practices to Sustain Your Employee Advocacy Program

Brands always rely on ‘word of mouth marketing’ and customer referrals to increase their market share. With the advent of social media and digital technologies, your employees are becoming the marketing engine of your business. They hang out in different social media channels and share updates to build their personal brand. Organizations today shouldn’t miss out this incredible opportunity to transform their employees into trusted brand advocates. In today’s digital world, employee advocacy is becoming an important component of online marketing strategy. Modern marketers are embracing this new marketing communication channel to improve their earned media presence online.

Employees are the most trusted of all other key stakeholders in the company. Here are 5 best practices to nurture your employee advocacy program:

1. Make Employee Engagement a Priority

During the planning phase of implementing employee advocacy program, involve human resources professionals to devise an actionable internal communication strategy.


How to Create Snapchat Ads in Snapchat Ad Manager

Wondering how to advertise on Snapchat? Have you explored the Snapchat Ad Manager? Businesses of all sizes can create Snap ads with the platform’s self-serve Ad Manager tool. In this article, you’ll discover how to create an ad with Snapchat Ad Manager. Set Up a Snapchat Advertising Account Before you can start advertising on Snapchat,

This post How to Create Snapchat Ads in Snapchat Ad Manager first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle


SEO Above the Funnel: Getting More Traffic When You Can’t Rank Any Higher

Posted by Tom.Capper

Normally, as SEOs, we follow a deceptively simple process. We identify how people are searching for our product, then we build or optimize pages or websites to match searcher intent, we make sure Google can find, understand, and trust it, and we wait for the waves of delicious traffic to roll in.

It’s not always that simple, though. What if we have the right pages, but just can’t rank any higher? What if we’re already satisfying all of the search volume that’s relevant to our product, but the business demands growth? What if there is no search volume relevant to our product?

What would you do, for example, if you were asked to increase organic traffic to the books section on Amazon? Or property search traffic to Rightmove (UK) or Zillow (US)? Or Netflix, before anyone knew that true online streaming services existed?

In this post, I’m going to briefly outline four simple tactics for building your relevant organic traffic by increasing the overall size of the market, rather than by trying to rank higher. And none of them require building a single link, or making any changes to your existing pages.

1. Conquer neighboring territories

This is a business tactic as well as an SEO one, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for reasonably uncompetitive verticals adjacent to your own. You have an advantage in these, because you already have a brand, a strong domain, a website to build upon, and so forth. New startups trying to make headway in these spaces will struggle to compete with a fairly low-effort execution on your part, if you judge it well.

Start by ideating related products. For example, if you’re a property listings site, you might look at:

  • Home insurance
  • Home valuation
  • Flat-sharing listings
  • Area guides

Once you’ve outlined your list (it’s probably longer than my example), you can do your basic keyword research, and take a look at the existing ranking pages. This is a bit like identifying keyword opportunities, except you’re looking at the core landing pages of a whole vertical — look at their Domain Authorities, their branded search volumes, the quality of their landing pages, the extent to which they’ve done basic SEO, and ask whether you could do better.

In the example above, you might find that home insurance is well served by fairly strong financial services or comparison sites, but flat-sharing is a weak vertical dominated by a few fairly young and poorly executed sites. That’s your opportunity.

To minimize your risk, you can start with a minimal viable version — perhaps just a single landing page or a white-labeled product. If it does well, you know it merits further investment.

You’ve already established a trusted brand, with a strong website, which users are already engaging in — if you can extend your services and provide good user experiences in other areas, you can beat other, smaller brands in those spaces.

2. Welcome the intimidated

Depending on your vertical, there may be an untapped opportunity among potential customers who don’t understand or feel comfortable with the product. For example, if you sell laptops, many potential customers may be wary of buying a laptop online or without professional advice. This might cause them not to buy, or to buy a cheaper product to reduce the riskiness.

A “best laptops under £500,” or “lightest laptops,” or “best laptops for gaming” page could encourage people to spend more, or to buy online when they might otherwise have bought in a store. Pages like this can be simple feature comparisons, or semi-editorial, but it’s important that they don’t feel like a sales or up-sell function (even though that’s what the “expert” in the store would be!).

This is even more pertinent the more potentially research intensive the purchase is. For example, Crucial have done amazingly for years with their “system scanner,” linked to prominently on their homepage, which identifies potential upgrades and gives less savvy users confidence in their purchase.

Guaranteed compatible!

If this seems like too much effort, the outdoor retailer Snow and Rock don’t have the best website in the world, but they have taken a simpler approach in linking to buying guides from certain product pages — for example, this guide on how to pick a pair of walking boots.

Can you spot scenarios where users abandon in your funnels because of fear or complexity, or where they shift their spend to offline competitors? If you can make them feel safe and supported, you might be able to change their buying behavior.

3. Whip up some fervor

At the opposite end of the spectrum, you have enthusiasts who know your vertical like the back of their hand, but could be incited to treat themselves a little more. I’ve been really impressed recently by a couple of American automotive listings sites doing this really well.

The first is Autotrader.com, who have hired well-known automotive columnist Doug Demuro from Jalopnik.com to produce videos and articles for their enthusiast news section. These articles and videos talk about the nerdy quirks of some of the most obscure and interesting used cars that have been listed on the site, and it’s not uncommon for videos on Doug’s YouTube channel — which mention Autotrader.com and feature cars you could buy on Autotrader.com — to get well into 7-figure viewing counts.

These are essentially adverts for Autotrader.com’s products, but I and hundreds of thousands of others watch them religiously. What’s more, the resulting videos and articles stand to rank for the types of queries that curious enthusiasts may search for, turning informational queries into buying intent, as well as building brand awareness. I actually think Autotrader.com could do even better at this with a little SEO 101 (editorial titles don’t need to be your actual title tag, guys), but it’s already a great tactic.

Another similar site doing this really well is Bringatrailer.com. Their approach is really simple — whenever they get a particularly rare or interesting car listed, they post it on Facebook.

These are super low-effort posts about used cars, but if you take a step back, Bring a Trailer are doing something outrageous. They’re posting links to their product pages on Facebook a dozen or more times a day, and getting 3-figure reaction counts. Some of the lesson here is “have great product pages,” or “exist in an enthusiast-rich vertical,” and I realize that this tactic isn’t strictly SEO. But it is doing a lot of things that we as SEOs try to do (build awareness, search volume, links…), and it’s doing so by successfully matching informational or entertainment intents with transactional pages.

When consumers engage with a brand emotionally or even socially, then you’re more likely to be top-of-mind when they’re ready to purchase — but they’re also more likely to purchase if they’re seeing and thinking about your products, services, and sector in their feed.

4. Tell people your vertical exists

I won’t cover this one in too much detail, because there’s already an excellent Whiteboard Friday on the subject. The key point, however, is that sometimes it’s not just that customers are intimidated by your product. They may never have heard of it. In these cases, you need to appear where they’re looking using demographic targeting, carefully researched editorial sections, or branded content.

What about you, though?

How do you go about drumming up demand in your vertical? Tell me all about it in the comments below.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


How to Effectively Use Infographics in Your Blog

How to Effectively Use Infographics in Your Blog

With millions of articles being published each day, bloggers need to be extra creative when it comes to their marketing strategy. A modest budget will help you to launch display ad or video marketing campaigns. But for cash-strapped marketers, investing in visual content like infographics can be the best step forward.

Not only are infographics affordable, they are also incredibly effective in capturing the attention of your target audience. They can also help get your point across by visually presenting data-driven information.

However, merely adding infographics into your content mix will not magically carry your brand all the way to the top. It doesn’t matter if you publish top-notch infographics on a consistent basis. To maximize your success with them, here are the top 5 strategies you need to consider:

1.  Make Social Sharing Easier

Statistics show that infographics are 3x more shareable than any other form of content in social media.


How to Integrate Facebook Messenger Bots With Facebook Live

Want more leads and conversions from your Facebook Live videos? Did you know using a chatbot can boost your results? Integrating Messenger bots with your Facebook Live broadcasts makes it easy for viewers to sign up for and receive your offers. In this article, you’ll discover how to create a Facebook Messenger bot that generates

This post How to Integrate Facebook Messenger Bots With Facebook Live first appeared on .
– Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle


Google (Almost Certainly) Has an Organic Quality Score (Or Something a Lot Like It) that SEOs Need to Optimize For – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

Entertain the idea, for a moment, that Google assigned a quality score to organic search results. Say it was based off of click data and engagement metrics, and that it would function in a similar way to the Google AdWords quality score. How exactly might such a score work, what would it be based off of, and how could you optimize for it?

While there’s no hard proof it exists, the organic quality score is a concept that’s been pondered by many SEOs over the years. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand examines this theory inside and out, then offers some advice on how one might boost such a score.


Google's Organic Quality Score

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to chat about organic quality score.

So this is a concept. This is not a real thing that we know Google definitely has. But there’s this concept that SEOs have been feeling for a long time, that similar to what Google has in their AdWords program with a paid quality score, where a page has a certain score assigned to it, that on the organic side Google almost definitely has something similar. I’ll give you an example of how that might work.

So, for example, if on my site.com I have these three — this is a very simplistic website — but I have these three subfolders: Products, Blog, and About. I might have a page in my products, 14axq.html, and it has certain metrics that Google associates with it through activity that they’ve seen from browser data, from clickstream data, from search data, and from visit data from the searches and bounces back to the search results, and all these kinds of things, all the engagement and click data that we’ve been talking about a lot this year on Whiteboard Friday.

So they may have these metrics, pogo stick rate and bounce rate and a deep click rate (the rate with which someone clicks to the site and then goes further in from that page), the time that they spend on the site on average, the direct navigations that people make to it each month through their browsers, the search impressions and search clicks, perhaps a bunch of other statistics, like whether people search directly for this URL, whether they perform branded searches. What rate do unique devices in one area versus another area do this with? Is there a bias based on geography or device type or personalization or all these kinds of things?

But regardless of that, you get this idea that Google has this sort of sense of how the page performs in their search results. That might be very different across different pages and obviously very different across different sites. So maybe this blog post over here on /blog is doing much, much better in all these metrics and has a much higher quality score as a result.

Current SEO theories about organic quality scoring:

Now, when we talk to SEOs, and I spend a lot of time talking to my fellow SEOs about theories around this, a few things emerge. I think most folks are generally of the opinion that if there is something like an organic quality score…

1. It is probably based on this type of data — queries, clicks, engagements, visit data of some kind.

We don’t doubt for a minute that Google has much more sophistication than the super-simplified stuff that I’m showing you here. I think Google publicly denies a lot of single types of metric like, “No, we don’t use time on site. Time on site could be very variable, and sometimes low time on site is actually a good thing.” Fine. But there’s something in there, right? They use some more sophisticated format of that.

2. We also are pretty sure that this is applying on three different levels:

This is an observation from experimentation as well as from Google statements which is…

  • Domain-wide, so that would be across one domain, if there are many pages with high quality scores, Google might view that domain differently from a domain with a variety of quality scores on it or one with generally low ones.
  • Same thing for a subdomain. So it could be that a subdomain is looked at differently than the main domain, or that two different subdomains may be viewed differently. If content appears to have high quality scores on this one, but not on this one, Google might generally not pass all the ranking signals or give the same weight to the quality scores over here or to the subdomain over here.
  • Same thing is true with subfolders, although to a lesser extent. In fact, this is kind of in descending order. So you can generally surmise that Google will pass these more across subfolders than they will across subdomains and more across subdomains than across root domains.

3. A higher density of good scores to bad ones can mean a bunch of good things:

  • More rankings in visibility even without other signals. So even if a page is sort of lacking in these other quality signals, if it is in this blog section, this blog section tends to have high quality scores for all the pages, Google might give that page an opportunity to rank well that it wouldn’t ordinarily for a page with those ranking signals in another subfolder or on another subdomain or on another website entirely.
  • Some sort of what we might call “benefit of the doubt”-type of boost, even for new pages. So a new page is produced. It doesn’t yet have any quality signals associated with it, but it does particularly well.

    As an example, within a few minutes of this Whiteboard Friday being published on Moz’s website, which is usually late Thursday night or very early Friday morning, at least Pacific time, I will bet that you can search for “Google organic quality score” or even just “organic quality score” in Google’s engine, and this Whiteboard Friday will perform very well. One of the reasons that probably is, is because many other Whiteboard Friday videos, which are in this same subfolder, Google has seen them perform very well in the search results. They have whatever you want to call it — great metrics, a high organic quality score — and because of that, this Whiteboard Friday that you’re watching right now, the URL that you see in the bar up above is almost definitely going to be ranking well, possibly in that number one position, even though it’s brand new. It hasn’t yet earned the quality signals, but Google assumes, it gives it the benefit of the doubt because of where it is.

  • We surmise that there’s also more value that gets passed from links, both internal and external, from pages with high quality scores. That is right now a guess, but something we hope to validate more, because we’ve seen some signs and some testing that that’s the case.

3 ways to boost your organic quality score
If this is true — and it’s up to you whether you want to believe that it is or not — even if you don’t believe it, you’ve almost certainly seen signs that something like it’s going on. I would urge you to do these three things to boost your organic quality score or whatever you believe is causing these same elements.

1. You could add more high-performing pages. So if you know that pages perform well and you know what those look like versus ones that perform poorly, you can make more good ones.

2. You can improve the quality score of existing pages. So if this one is kind of low, you’re seeing that these engagement and use metrics, the SERP click-through rate metrics, the bounce rate metrics from organic search visits, all of these don’t look so good in comparison to your other stuff, you can boost it, improve the content, improve the navigation, improve the usability and the user experience of the page, the load time, the visuals, whatever you’ve got there to hold searchers’ attention longer, to keep them engaged, and to make sure that you’re solving their problem. When you do that, you will get higher quality scores.

3. Remove low-performing pages through a variety of means. You could take a low-performing page and you might say, “Hey, I’m going to redirect that to this other page, which does a better job answering the query anyway.” Or, “Hey, I’m going to 404 that page. I don’t need it anymore. In fact, no one needs it anymore.” Or, “I’m going to no index it. Some people may need it, maybe the ones who are visitors to my website, who need it for some particular direct navigation purpose or internal purpose. But Google doesn’t need to see it. Searchers don’t need it. I’m going to use the no index, either in the meta robots tag or in the robots.txt file.”

One thing that’s really interesting to note is we’ve seen a bunch of case studies, especially since MozCon, when Britney Muller, Moz’s Head of SEO, shared the fact that she had done some great testing around removing tens of thousands of low-quality, really low-quality performing pages from Moz’s own website and seen our rankings and our traffic for the remainder of our content go up quite significantly, even controlling for seasonality and other things.

That was pretty exciting. When we shared that, we got a bunch of other people from the audience and on Twitter saying, “I did the same thing. When I removed low-performing pages, the rest of my site performed better,” which really strongly suggests that there’s something like a system in this fashion that works in this way.

So I’d urge you to go look at your metrics, go find pages that are not performing well, see what you can do about improving them or removing them, see what you can do about adding new ones that are high organic quality score, and let me know your thoughts on this in the comments.

We’ll look forward to seeing you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!


How to Double Your Content Marketing Results—Without Spending a Dime [Webinar of the Week]

How to Double Your Content Marketing Results

If you talk to most content marketers about their work, they’ll talk about it like they’re living in a scene from Field of Dreams. But I’m here to tell you: if you build it, they won’t (necessarily) come. That’s a myth of modern content marketing.

Even so, I believe in content marketing. I wrote a whole book about it, produce a podcast about it, and speak about it all over the world.

That’s why I want content marketing to work for you. More than that, I want it to work for you better than it ever has in the past.

And to do that, you have to understand the truth of content marketing: You can’t just build it. You need to research it, find an audience for it, build it, then promote it. Then, they’ll come. They’ll read. They’ll click.

How to Double Your Content Marketing Results

Join me on Tuesday, August 15, at 11:00 am PT / 2:00 pm ET, to learn how to double your content marketing results without breaking the bank by using my R5 Content Marketing Method. It’s based on my work with the world’s largest brands, and my team and I took these lessons and  modified them for small and medium sized businesses.

Click here to join me:

Plus, if you’re one of the first people to sign up for the webinar, I’ll also send you a copy of my brand-new, not-yet-released ebook: Four Ways to Fix Your Broken Content Marketing: the Thoughtful Marketers’ Manual. What are you waiting for? It’s all free (and free stuff rules!).

Most Content Marketers Are Frustrated

According to a research report from Buzzsumo and Moz, in a randomly selected sample of 100,000 posts, over 50 percent had two or fewer Facebook interactions, and over 75 percent had zero external links.

No wonder content marketers want to pull their hair out—for the vast majority, nobody is interacting with their stuff. Whether it’s because the content is poorly put together or because it’s simply poorly amplified, too much of marketers’ hard work is just sitting on the internet collecting dust.

The Common Culprit of Marketing Failures

Effective content marketing is about the wants, needs, and interests of the person reading it. So, how can your content be relevant to them if you can’t provide answers to those needs?

One of the problems (if not the biggest problem) most content marketers face is they don’t know their audience intimately. Sure, you might have an idea, the same way I have an idea that Daenerys Targaryen is the savior of Westeros, but you need data to back up your anecdotal evidence.

First, Gather the Data

You have more resources at your fingertips than you realize for collecting data about your audience. Start by talking to your team: What has sales learned about their prospects? What do they think your audience’s biggest pain points are based on the conversations they’ve had? Who do they close deals with the most frequently? Their CRM data can help quantify their opinions. The same goes for your customer service team. They’ll have keen insights on who your happiest (and unhappiest) customers are and why.

Then, go online to dig deeper. Your website, email, and social media analytics are goldmines for information about your target audiences, their demographics, geography, visitor behavior, and more. You can even purchase audience research from companies like Gartner and Forrester.

Then, Distill the Data

You’ll soon find that you know too much about your audience (what a good problem to have, am I right?). Take everything you’ve collected and hone in on which pieces and parts are actually useful to you. Pay attention to large sweeping trends and also make notes of anomalies that could be caused by seasonal changes in your business, political events, or something else entirely.

It can be helpful to have multiple team members complete this exercise together. Not only will other people be able to pick out key information you might accidentally overlook, they’ll also help combat your data bias. (I mean, I WANT Dany to be the savior of Westeros, but is she really? I don’t know. There’s an argument to be made that she’s the true villain of the series.)

Finally, Build Out Your Personas and Create Content for Them

With your data collected and narrowed down into useful snapshots of your customers, you can make educated assumptions about your different audiences. Then, and only then, you can bring your audience to life through marketing personas.

As we’ll learn from the webinar, once you understand exactly who your audience is and what they want, you can pick the right content topics that they’ll find irresistible, put them in places where they’ll actually be found, and measure your results.

Register for How to Double Your Content Marketing Results right now to give your content strategy a much-needed makeover and become one of the rare content marketers that describes their efforts as extremely successful (only three percent do, FYI!).