How Will A.I. Impact Search Engine Marketing?

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A.I. has become a buzzword in the digital marketing and advertising industry. Despite this, marketers are uncertain about how it even works—a study found that 34% of marketers feel unprepared for A.I. The dilemma marketers face is having an exorbitant amount of data to work with, but not enough manpower to manage that data. This is why A.I. has such a large appeal—it can expedite large tasks quickly and efficiently. Along with powerful data processors and decreasing cost of computing, A.I. tools are especially lucrative today with the normalization of mCommerce and IoT. We are already seeing A.I. tools like Albert come out of the woodworks—but will tools like this edge out agencies altogether? At Katana, we are always keeping our eyes peeled on disrupting technologies. We understand A.I. isn’t merely a trend, but a new generation of technologies set to change the marketing landscape. We’re here to investigate what AI means for marketers and how to stay ahead of the curve. To start, there are 3 specific aspects of paid media that will be impacted by A.I.:  

  • Bidding

Adwords is already starting to introduce new tools like smart bidding. Smart bidding is a machine learning algorithm within Adwords that can use your data to make predictions about how different bid amounts will impact campaign performance.  This is done after setting key performance targets. A.I. can help paid specialists by predicting the ROI of certain bids. It can also guide them on what ad impressions give the most value for their client’s business. This maximizes ad budget by skipping the publishers that give a low ROI. With A.I., marketers receive suggestions on which impression bundle to go with based on how targeted and cost-efficient it is, as well as the quality of the publisher.

  • Creative imagery and Content Marketing

Ad creative will become more interactive and personalized to different users. Things that are relevant to ads like tags and ad copy is generated through AI by using audience data. Also, “predictive content” will become more prevalent. Predictive content is the use of machine learning and predictive analytics to deliver relevant content to your target audience. Delivering timely content keeps the customer loyal and nurtures them throughout the buying cycle. Native users don’t gravitate towards overtly sales-y messaging, so predictive content is a great option to keep customers engaged with your brand. In fact, messages that included predictive content averaged 3 times higher engagement rate than the typical product-heavy messages. Adwords is already creating its own automated extensions and offers dynamic search ads. It can also predict whether adding a phone, message or site link extension will increase conversions, and automatically add them to your ads.

With Dynamic search ads, Adwords uses different parts of your website to target ads to users searching for specific items. For example, if you own a women’s shoe company that primarily sells boots, but also sells some sandals, someone searching for “women’s sandals” could encounter an ad that links to the part of your site that has sandals—though that is not your most sold product. This feature saves marketers valuable time by automating updates to your ads, cutting out the hours needed for keyword mapping, bids or creating separate ads for each product. It also gives you increased control of your campaigns and messaging resulting in increased traffic to your site.


  • Analytics and Insights

Simply put, consumers aren’t robots— they display a wide variety of behaviors online. This ultimately makes it harder to predict their actions, or whether they have any interest in your brand. If A.I. is to win marketers over, it will need to offer high-level data analysis, as well as behavior predictions. Deep-learning algorithms will be able to analyze each individual user and make quick conclusions about their purchasing and patterns so that marketers can target them with an ad finely tailored to their needs.  No more broad audience segments; granular targeting will be taken to a whole other level with A.I. With AI algorithms providing a detailed analysis of who your prospects are, trends like SEO will be rendered obsolete.

Agencies must understand how A.I., deep learning, machine learning, and artificial neural networks work if they want to stay in the competition that is the digital marketing industry. Avoid being snuffed out by learning how these tools can be acquired and utilized. Unsure about where to start with implementing A.I. into your company’s technological framework? We’re sitting down with two experts from Analytics Ventures next week on the next installment of our Twitter Live series, #KatanaTalks. Mark your calendars for February 21st at 11:30 am PST to learn how digital marketers should best prepare for the A.I. revolution. To stay updated on this live stream, follow us at @katana_media.

Also published on Medium.