Can AI help small business with their marketing?

Are you using Artificial Intelligence in your business?

The AI revolution is going to change so much about how we do things, from analysing customer behaviour patterns and creating smart, data-driven marketing, to predicting financial trends within a business and streamlining its day-to-day operations.

Like most business owners, I’m learning about the benefits of this new technology.

What is AI?

Artificial Intelligence is the term used for computer systems that can perform tasks typically carried out using human intelligence. This includes problem solving, learning, reasoning, adapting to new situations, and recognising and using natural language.

The aim is that AI will make informed decisions and that it will improve over time. It can search millions of pages of information on the internet and produce answers to questions in seconds. Its creators see it as something that adds to our human capabilities.

We’ve had versions of AI for a few years, including Siri, Alexa, and Cortana. Many of now use them in our homes, cars, and offices. The most widely used and most powerful AI, ChatGPT, is a natural language processing chatbot that allows users to have conversations like they would with humans. It answers questions and allows users to create text and code. Its rival Google Bard offers a similar service.

ChatGPT and other AI apps are now also generating images and video, and many tools used by small businesses like Canva, Adobe, and MailChimp, have integrated AI functions into their services.

What are its uses in business marketing?

Think of AI as being like the Swiss Army knife of marketing tools. It has many uses to support your marketing including:

  • Generating customer data to help you target campaigns effectively.
  • Answering your customer queries via AI chatbots and helping you map your customer journeys.
  • Designing marketing collateral like flyers, business cards, and posters.
  • Generating ideas for your marketing like ideas for blogs for the website or social media posts.
  • Finding you useful keywords, key phrases, and frequently asked questions to help your content rank well on search engines.
  • Creating generic images or video that could be used in your marketing (although bespoke images are always going to say more about you…)
  • Predicting marketing trends.

What are the potential pitfalls?

There are several issues to think about when using AI. The most potentially problematic is its impact on copyright laws.

AI uses source material like books, songs, photographs, and artwork to teach its computer systems. The copyright owners of some of the source material have begun to take legal steps against the AI companies to either stop their works being used to train AI or to claim financial compensation for it.

In the UK, it’s also unlikely that any work created by AI would itself be copyrighted or patented. So, if a business created a logo in this way, it may be difficult to protect it as the law stands.

For business to business companies, it’s also worth looking at what rules clients have for using AI generated material. Clients may not want the complication of facing legal or ethical challenges because of AI generated text, images, or video.

Then, we’ve all also seen that work produced by some AI doesn’t exactly sound human! The phrasing used can leave us scratching our heads…can’t it?

And, of course, AI works with the information it finds on the internet, and is only as accurate as the information it finds. It isn’t a fact checker and it does have the potential to give you something that’s incorrect.

Is your head spinning? Mine too! There’s so much to take in…

AI is the present and the future, though, so don’t be put off.

I’ve come to an important conclusion, too, and it’s this: AI is a useful marketing tool but it can’t, and won’t, do everything for you. The human touch is still vital in business. People buy from people.

Here’s another universal truth: AI is far more useful in the hands of experienced marketers, designers, and creatives who know the best prompts to use it and how to avoid the potential problems.

Do think things through for your business and I hope this blog is a useful starting point.

Need expert marketing help? Let’s talk! Book a free discovery call on 07931 745 773 or email info@webwisdom.io

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How much does a website cost?

Good question!

And as with many such questions, the answer is “It depends!”

Professionally built websites can start from around £500 for a very simple build but can easily head up towards £2000-£10,000+ for larger or more bespoke projects. 

You need to consider what your website needs to be able to do in order to make it work well for your business.

Do you need a “shop window” that showcases your products or services and helps your clients to build confidence in your skills and quality?

Do you need a specific functionality such as a booking or payment platform?

How soon do you need your site to be ready?

All of these factors will be taken into consideration when your web developer puts together a quote for you. Best advice? Make sure you know what you want and communicate that clearly with your developer.

And if you’re not sure what you need yet, ask! If you can give your developer an overview of your business and what you want to achieve, they should be able to guide you on the kind of site that will best suit you.