Marketers and Advertisers Need To Adopt AI in Their Strategies ASAP

Zack Rosenberg, CEO at CatapultX, explores…

AI is evolving from a nice-to-have capability, to an everyday staple, especially in advertising. Forms of AI handle your bidding, targeting, optimizations and sometimes even your creative output. AI is taking center stage as it becomes the baseline for advertising innovation.

It’s fun to think about the future as flying cars and sentient robots, but in some ways the “future” is here. AI is becoming sophisticated with the ability to write and speak for us. Through natural language processing (NLP), AI has already entered into the content marketing and advertising space to make content more accessible and conversion friendly. More and more, we are going to see NLP used in marketing including personalized content, AI-written content, and our favorite, contextual advertising.

AI Integration

There are new uses for AI being developed every day. It has already been integrated into our daily content and advertising strategies. AI can serve ads programmatically, by looking at signals like page placement, advertiser goals, user interaction, and for contextual ads, content-based signals.

Specifically, this is accomplished through machine learning. Machine learning automatically detects patterns within large datasets and uses these patterns to make predictions. With cookies going away, AI generated placements have shown a 25% increase in performance through contextual targeting. AI will be used less for interpreting, analyzing, and building third-party audiences, and more to determine intent and content nuances to serve high-quality, relevant ads.

Have you ever been on a website and been served up an article that was completely irrelevant to what you were trying to find? Or have you visited a site with content so generic it didn’t seem personalized at all?

Marketers are using AI more often because of its ability to process information quickly without human intervention. This is going to dramatically increase next year. There is a greater recognition of the importance of AI and its ability to collect data from various sources and create relevant articles based on user trends and interests. For example, if someone visits a travel site, they might be shown an article about their upcoming trip or one from another person who has been there before them. This type of personalization is important because people are more likely to engage with content that is tailored to them according to their interests.

This provides a seamless use of personalized advertising, like Amazon frequently suggesting similar products to sell to a customer or Buzzfeed suggesting an article that fits what someone is already reading.

Contextual Advertising

The world of advertising is constantly evolving. It’s now not enough to just place an ad in front of a consumer and hope they notice it. Marketers need to understand the content they’re placing their ads around, as well as what those users are looking for at that particular time so that the right message can be sent out to the right people. These are called “contextual” ads because the ad placement takes into account both the content on the page as well as keywords related to what you searched for.

But contextual advertising is not new. However, since Google’s announcement that third-party cookies are going away, contextual advertising has been making a resurgence – and it makes sense. Behavioral advertising takes into account what a user has been reading and consuming, not what they’re interested in at the moment.

Contextual advertising has existed on the internet for a long time – it was the original format for digital advertising. Then, it morphed into native ads, which were contextual ads placed to integrate into the web content.

What’s next is taking it a step further – contextual video advertising that integrates with video content. Advanced AI offers advertisers the ability to analyze not just the website or copy around the embedded video, but also what is happening in the video itself moment-by-moment. So, if a garden-store advertiser wants to increase purchases, they can serve ads during moments in video that showcase gardens, salads being eaten or general greenery. All of this, and the ads are cookieless, non-interruptive and preferred by audiences.

What Does it Mean

So, what does all of this mean? The answer is twofold. On one hand, it means that machine learning will soon be used to create all sorts of valuable content – from blog posts and videos to advertising copy and social media messages. But on the other hand, human interaction will become valuable as well. Marketers should concentrate on business intelligence and consumer behavior and create a marketing mix that balances AI and human interaction. It will be important for marketers to analyze where their users are and make a concentrated effort to be there.

For example, it is estimated that this year, 82% of internet traffic will be to watch online video. That makes it imperative for video marketing and advertising strategies to get ready now for the future and be smart about adopting AI.

But don’t worry, AI will still be handling your budget optimizations, ad size, and placement decisions.