As the second decade of the millennium edges to a close, consumers find themselves bombarded by targeted advertisements that feel personal yet accidental. The old way of reaching a potential customer has evolved and, now, there is no need for spray and pray tactics that may or may not connect with a target audience. We’ve entered the brave new world of social media marketing led by artificial intelligence (AI).
Machine learning uses specific algorithms to gather and interpret a potential customer’s online behavior. Each click of the mouse is an opportunity to collect metadata that can be used to gain a better understanding of a potential customer’s intent to buy. The traits someone displays online (through social media and key word searches) show the telltale signs of what they intend to buy and even when they intend to make the purchase. Where someone spends time online, what products they are browsing and how they use social media to locate those things are all examples that can be collected and analyzed so that you can send relevant messages to hook them into buying.
Traditionally, mines were formed to extract valuable assets from a unique source. Data mining is much the same. Consumer data is a goldmine of information that will, beyond a shadow of a doubt, increase your sales effectiveness. Think of it this way, the California gold rush happened in the 1800s because, literally, gold was lying in open fields. That’s exactly what is happening now with consumer data. Consumers are leaving their data scattered throughout the social media landscape and all you have to know is where to pick it up and how to analyze it.
Data mining’s sibling, text mining is a marketing tool that essentially scans text, pulling out useful information by disambiguating the text’s meaning. In other words, it mimics a human’s ability to derive meaning from a group of words. Text mining helps analyze key phrases to create a well-rounded picture of a person and what their intentions are. Are they searching for a specific product? What key words are they using while searching for the product? Do those key words carry a positive or negative connotation? Text mining will give you a deeper look into whether a person wants to continue to use a certain product or if they are looking for a newer, better replacement. This information is vital to creating an effective marketing strategy.
Using trackable links, otherwise known as URL tracking, is essential when you are directing traffic to a landing page from somewhere other than your own site or a call-to-action therein. URL tracking is the process of adding unique identifiers (i.e., “tokens”) to URLs so that AI can follow the rabbit trail a consumer creates during their search. If you aren’t tagging your URLs for tracking, you are missing out on a key opportunity to acquire important information.
Let’s go back to the gold rush analogy. What if you could predict where the next gold rush is going to happen? That insight would give you the competitive edge to be onsite first and to pick out the best location to mine. You could reap the rewards of the current trend and then be on your way to the next trend before others even arrive. That’s what predictive analytics does for you. Perhaps this is the most exciting use of AI because it incorporates machine learning along with data and text mining. Predictive analytics has followed your customer through trackable links and then brings back an analysis of where you should go to meet your customer today.
As with any job, a data-backed social media strategy can be overwhelming and even seem impossible without the right tool. However, AI has streamlined a way to pinpoint every customer’s wants and desires. Once you embrace AI, you will be able to provide the customer with a positive and informed experience that will surely build trust and create a relationship. In turn, you will have a lifelong customer.
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