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AI-marketing-for-small-businesses

If you run a small business today, chances are you often feel overworked and understaffed. How many hats do you wear on any given day? Shop manager, bookkeeper, social media manager – the list goes on. And while you handle so many responsibilities yourself, you also know essentials like marketing could fuel your business’s growth if only you had more time for it…

Well, there’s good news! Artificial intelligence (AI) is making this a reality across industries. Savvy businesses are increasingly incorporating AI tools into areas like social media, email marketing, and customer engagement. And they’re yielding impressive results– more leads generated, higher click-throughs, greater repeat purchases.

The rise of AI may spark images of robots stealing our jobs. But in reality, applied ethically, AI enhances opportunities for business growth AND more work-life balance for entrepreneurs and marketers alike. Rather than replacing your own creativity and strategy, AI handles the repetitive tasks bogging you down, freeing you up for higher-level priorities only humans can develop and evaluate.

While the thought of an AI marketing assistant might sound too good to be true, the truth is that more and more small businesses are catching on to stay competitive in 2023 and beyond. The time to prepare is NOW before AI marketing becomes standard across industries large and small.

Throughout this blog, we break down exactly how you can get started with AI across your own marketing initiatives step-by-step. Read on to learn…

Why Should Small Businesses Care About AI Marketing?

As a small business, you’re likely stretched thin between managing daily operations, acquiring new customers, and retaining existing ones. Your budget and staff capacity have hard limits. So why dedicate precious time and money to experimenting with AI marketing?

In short – because AI can provide unmatched efficiency, personalisation, and insights even for modest budgets. While large corporations take a high-tech approach, even simple AI tools can level the playing field for small businesses in significant ways.

Efficiency 

Platforms like chatbots allow you to engage customers 24/7 without dedicating more of your own hours. AI content creators develop SEO-optimised, on-brand posts in seconds freeing you up for bigger priorities.

Personalisation

Customer data helps AI segment contacts, customise messaging, provide tailored product recommendations and more. People engage more with personalised content – by 6x according to studies!

Insights

Analysis of past campaigns, customer journeys, regional engagement etc means AI can surface the best opportunities for you. The data doesn’t lie.

Rather than fully replacing your creative input and media planning, AI amplifies human strategy. It handles the repetitive, analytical tasks so you can focus on big-picture vision. And it scales your reach exponentially despite limited resources.

In today’s digital-first business landscape, AI is quickly transitioning from a “nice-to-have” to a must-have. By starting to test AI capabilities now in areas like social media content, email nurturing and chat, small businesses can drive results while also setting themselves up for future growth.

RELATED CONTENT: The Power of AI in Marketing

AI for Social Media Marketing

Social media is prime for automation. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn have highly engaged audiences, but posting quality content daily along with community management can be hugely time-consuming. This is where AI use can play a massive advantage!

Content Creation

AI-powered content creation tools can help to develop posts for you including text, images and even design. After a brief learning phase to understand your brand voice, they can generate unlimited on-strategy content. Tools like Jasper integrate directly with scheduling platforms like Hootsuite or Buffer for streamlined management.

Post Optimisation

AI also optimises what you post for maximum reach and engagement. Analysing factors like best times/days to post, hashtag recommendations, competitor content etc, they provide data-backed suggestions tailored to each network and audience. This helps you stand out in busy feeds.

Community Management

From monitoring comments and messages to answering common questions, AI assists with the heavy lifting of community management across social channels. Platforms like Sprout Social and Hootsuite leverage machine learning to scale conversations as your following grows over time.

In this context, AI can lend a hand in the bulk creation of posts, serve up impactful recommendations for optimising them, and help to manage the customer communities you establish on social platforms. This allows you as a business owner to focus less on repetitive posting tasks and more on developing social strategies that ultimately drive sales.

AI for Email Marketing

Email marketing remains one of the highest ROI channels in existence. But crafting customised campaigns and nurture paths takes significant effort. This is where AI can help – by automating the repetitive work for more effective set-and-forget email success.

Copy Personalisation

Leverage data like customer names, purchase history and location so AI can insert personalised details into email copy. This boosts open and click-through rates as recipients feel understood. Tools like Mailchimp and Customer.io make personalisation easy.

Send-Time Optimisation

What day and time should you hit “send” for the best results? AI evaluates past performance and then suggests ideal send times for future campaigns. No more guessing when subscribers are most engaged.

Auto-Segmentation

Group contacts automatically based on behaviours like emails opened, links clicked, and products purchased so far. Then set tailored nurture paths for each segment sending relevant content over time to turn new leads into loyal customers.

In a nutshell, AI takes your audience data and optimises WHO should receive WHAT communication and exactly WHEN for email success. Allows business owners to spend less time copywriting and list building, and more time crafting customer journeys that drive sales.

AI Chatbots

Imagine if your business could engage website visitors in real-time, answer common questions 24/7, and even qualify leads while you sleep… An expensive task in the traditional sense, but a much easier, simplified task with an AI chatbot – your new tireless digital team member.

Messenger Bots

Integrate a bot with platforms many customers already use daily – Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, SMS and more. Drive awareness through conversations and offer frictionless support.

Lead Gen Surveys

Collect visitor contact info or run qualifying surveys to filter promising leads. Chatbots make it conversationally natural vs formal web forms.

FAQ Answering

Power a knowledge base behind the scenes so your chatbot can address common questions around the clock. That means fewer inquiries end up in your overflowing inbox.

Appointment Scheduling

Allow website visitors to easily book calls, demos, and consultations through the chatbot. This provides a quick turnaround while capturing key lead details.

Put simply, chatbots act as your first line of human-like engagement no matter the hour. They scale conversations and streamline lead follow-up so you can focus on nurturing promising opportunities vs fielding repetitive outreach.

Get Started with AI Marketing Today

Artificial Intelligence is no longer just a buzzword but a viable way for small businesses to drive marketing results more efficiently. AI empowers you to create more content, optimise delivery, automate tasks, and provide 24/7 customer support. And the capabilities grow by the day.

Want to learn more about applying AI across your marketing to increase leads and sales? Download our free guide: How to Increase Leads and Sales with AI

By starting to implement AI tools across channels like social media, email, and chat right now, you ease workloads while gathering data to refine over time. Rather than a one-and-done tactic, view AI as an integral contributor to your marketing team. One who works tirelessly behind the scenes to free you up for bigger thinking and strategy.

Not sure where to start on your AI marketing journey? Here are three quick-win first steps:

  • Identify your biggest marketing bottleneck (content creation? Email delivery? FAQs?) and seek AI tools purpose-built to address that pain point.
  • Do your research and select one AI platform to test for 30-90 days. Document key metrics before and ongoing results.
  • Educate customers that AI handles repetitive tasks while you remain hands-on with personal requests. Set proper expectations.

Let our guide show you how AI can work for your business specifically. And if you need any tailored guidance, reach out. As pioneers in AI marketing ourselves, we’re happy to discuss how you can work smarter in 2024. The future looks bright and automated for those who prepare now!

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