Do you sometimes feel as if the world is changing, faster than a Formula One racing car or a cheetah at dinner time? So do we. And as marketers, we can’t stop it or ignore it, and that leaves us with only one option: embrace it!
Forget the fear; instead of having to always lean on ‘experts’, AI is putting advanced tools in our hands to expand our capabilities and go further than we’ve gone before.
Will AI change the course of humanity? Who knows? What I do know is that we can take advantage of current AI tools for some pretty huge benefits, right now:
- Save time on rote and recurring tasks
- Try out new approaches that we may not have thought of before
- Be more productive in our day-to-day, so we can focus on other things
- Run those tests we always wanted but never had the chance because we were overloaded or had to rely on other people’s skill set
- Grab onto new trends or activities that seemed too time consuming or not doable due to technology barriers.
There’s another way AI can help us marketers, and that’s the customer funnel.
Ah, the good old marketing funnel. Can’t live with it, can’t live without it!
The marketing funnel is a tried-and-true method for nurturing the target audience and driving new leads. On the downside, it’s complicated, always changing, and everyone in your team has a different idea of how to improve it.
That’s where some non-human help can come in handy. So I’m going to recommend 5 AI tools that you can use at different stages of the marketing funnel, to help make each part more organized, efficient and effective. And, most are free of charge, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
So let’s start at the TOFU.
1. Top-of-Funnel Marketing: The Awareness Stage
During the awareness-building stage, most brands try to implement more high-level marketing tactics that will attract users and encourage them to engage for the first time. If you have an active social media account on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin or even TikTok, you can leverage engagement with funny videos, memes and other eye-catching tactics. Quizzes are one of the best ways to engage the audience, because they’re interactive, exciting and keep the user hooked till the end.
Piggy, the easy-does-it AI Quiz Maker, is one of the latest tools on the market and it’s just what you need. Enter any topic and Piggy will instantly generate an awesome quiz all about it.
Many brands have had success with quizzes, and sometimes quizzes go super-viral as users tend to share results with their networks. So make sure to try quizzes and create some buzz around your brand in the awareness phase.
2. Mid-Funnel Marketing: The Consideration Stage
You already know the cold hard facts: most of your website visitors are not qualified leads, and they have very low intent. They are mostly just browsing around, hoping to find a solution to their problem. The good news is that they are on your website right now, a golden opportunity to capture their attention. But you don’t have a lot of time. Before they leave, you need to find out what their pain point is, and inform them about how your product or service can help. In short, you need a chatbot.
Conversational bots are one of the best tools out there to get a dialog going with website visitors, 24/7, whenever they land. With the rise of AI, chatbots are becoming more logical, and it is easier than ever to create realistic conversation flows for different scenarios. We recommend Drift for conversational AI; it might be just the tool to personalize chat messages, serve up the right answers at the right time, and push mid-funnel audiences towards conversion.
3. Bottom-of-Funnel Marketing: The Conversion Stage
Conversions are every marketer’s dream, but it takes time, money and bull-headed perseverance to get them. Also, it takes a paid acquisition strategy.
Paid campaigns are pretty much a must for businesses that want to scale. To get good results, marketers must understand the target audience, analyze the campaign data, and optimize in a creative way while juggling multiple campaigns across several platforms. It sounds messy, and it is, but it all comes with a big advantage: masses of data are generated, with the potential to provide powerful insights about your campaigns.
At this point, you don’t just need AI. You need Alison. Alison is a creative analysis and ideation tool that can help you analyze dozens of creative metrics at once, and identify the key elements impacting the success of your ads. Bottom line, an AI tool like Alison helps you solve your biggest challenge in paid acquisition: getting better ROI from your campaigns, so you can grow your business cost efficiently.
4. End-Funnel Marketing: The Loyalty Stage
So you’re getting conversions, users are signing up…but are they happy with your offer? Happy enough to continue to pay and to stay loyal and active?
The funnel doesn’t end here; if you want to retain customers, you need to build loyalty by satisfying them, constantly. And that means paying attention to what customers are saying about your business. To do that, you must keep an eye on all the places where customers are spilling the beans about how they really feel: comments on social media, review websites, community forums, and feedback forms on your website.
Whether it’s a customer support query, compliment or complaint, you need to be proactive about collecting and managing this vital data. There are several AI-based softwares that are already doing this, and doing it well. One of them is Idiomatic, a customer intelligence platform that can help you identify issues and make sure you handle them in the best way to keep your customers (and retention rate) happy.
5. Post-Funnel Marketing: The Advocacy Stage
Now we arrive at the ultimate stage of the customer funnel, the sweet spot that every marketer hopes for: advocacy.
Advocacy is when your current customers are so loyal to your brand, they talk about it a lot and recommend it to others. This is such an amazing source of marketing fuel – imagine if you could harness that positive energy, whether its testimonials, reviews, or social mentions, and use it in an advocacy marketing strategy.
Basically you want to encourage your happiest and most engaged users to become brand ambassadors. But how?
To be fair, it’s not easy. It takes a lot of legwork, from listening to customer chatter, to identifying potential ambassadors, approaching them and supporting them to advocate for your brand on social media and elsewhere. To make this happen, your marketing team has to be active in the advocacy space. Guess what? There’s an AI for that.
Base is a leading AI-based platform to drive advocacy and reviews, cultivate active community members and help businesses boost referral rates. So what are you waiting for?
Don’t worry, AI won’t replace you
You’re an experienced, savvy marketer and you get things done. No machine or technology can come close. But AI can go a long way to helping you reach your goals.
While it’s up to you to adopt AI technologies and put them to use, they are not a magic pill (well, not yet, anyway). Be aware of the limitations of AI tools, and set your expectations accordingly.
And remember this: behind every great AI tool is a real marketer. The power of even the most advanced tools can only be realized if they are used properly. Us humans are here to stay, but let’s be sure to leverage AI to serve our customers’ needs in the best possible way, and to maximize our full potential as the marketers we are.
Ehud Basis is the Head of Growth at Piggy.
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