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    How AI Can Help Local Businesses Improve Digital Marketing

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been making the rounds in various blogs thanks to the fairly recent launch of ChatGPT. AI seems to be everywhere, and there’s no doubt it has massive potential to boost your digital marketing game. With some exceptions, AI-powered tools like ChatGPT and Google Bard can help you with SEO, content marketing, lead generation, and more.

    If you’ve always wanted to try using AI to improve your business, keep reading because this article will teach you how it’s done.

    AI is accessible to local, small business owners


    If you’re worried that AI tools, like ChatGPT, are just for big corporations, don’t worry – you can get in on this tech, too.

    In the digital marketing sphere, discussions about AI seem to gravitate toward big corporations using algorithms to scale content creation on a large scale to save time and money. Local business owners fear this might give them even less of a chance to compete in their industry.

    This fear is reasonable. Large corporations have the budgets required to use any tool they need to increase productivity and profits. Using AI to create content costs a fraction of hiring a human, which gives them even more leverage than before.

    Where budgets are concerned, large corporations already have the advantage. If they start using AI, do small business owners even stand a chance?

    The answer is yes. You can leverage AI just like big corporations and see success in your industry. With a strong local SEO campaign, you’ll be competing in a smaller, yet more targeted market where searches are more transactional. This is exactly what you need for success.

    Using AI will make digital marketing less challenging and will reduce the overwhelm of trying to keep up when you scale your efforts.

    5 Ways AI helps small businesses with digital marketing

    There are many different forms of AI, so to keep it simple and clear, the AI referenced in this article is the type used by ChatGPT, which is generative AI.

    Generative AI is a large language model algorithm that can provide unique, humanlike content when given a prompt. For example, you can ask a generative AI engine to write you an article, provide answers to a question, or explain a complex topic. It can even write you a poem or some jokes if you wish. As long as the engine you’re using has been trained with content on a particular topic, it can produce unique content for you.

    1. AI can write content outlines and full pieces

    AI can write content outlines and full pieces

    Content is and always will be king in the digital marketing arena; your goal is to publish content your audience can’t wait to read and share with others. Whether you need full articles or just basic outlines, it can all be done with generative AI.

    The following types of content can be AI-generated:

    • Informational web page content
    • Social media posts
    • Jokes
    • Poems
    • How-to articles
    • FAQ sections
    • Lists
    • Recipes
    • Regular blog articles
    • And more

    The faster you can produce content, the better. Thankfully, with AI, it only takes a few minutes to get what you need. If you don’t have time to run the software yourself, it’s easy to outsource to an employee or a professional marketing company.

    Your best results will come from well-structured prompts. AI tools are capable of writing decent content as long as you provide the right input.

    If you’ve already tried an AI tool and either didn’t know how to use it or you didn’t get the results you were hoping for, learn how to write better prompts. For example, writing like you’re communicating with a human will improve your output.

    When you receive a response that doesn’t work, you can request another version or adjust your prompt. Over time, your AI tool will continue to learn from your interactions and will provide you with better content.

    No matter how good your tool seems, never publish content without reviewing it for accuracy and tone. AI bots tend to generate formal language and some of the phrases can sound a bit awkward. Always smooth these areas out so your text sounds as human as possible and reflects your brand’s voice. And don’t hesitate to insert your unique viewpoints or stories. If you content doesn’t add value to the world or if visitors don’t find it interesting, your efforts will be in vain.

    2. AI can help you scale content production

    Being a small business owner, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. But you probably don’t have a massive digital marketing budget like major brands. Still, you need to create regular high-quality content that appeals to your market and eventually you’ll need to scale your content production.

    Without a big budget, you might feel hesitant to scale. That’s where AI comes in. Scaling your content production using AI will give you an advantage as though you have a big budget. It’s fast, easy, and can produce content that requires only minimal editing on your part.

    There are a handful of decent online tools for creating content, including Jasper, copy.ai, and SurferSEO. By entering some text prompts and making a few selections, you can ask these tools to write you any kind of content you need, from articles and recipes to social media posts and informational pages.

    The output from these AI tools is surprisingly good. It’s natural, it flows, and it reads like it was written by a human. However, you’ll need to review the content and make corrections. Generative AI sometimes provides wrong answers and incorrect information. Even so, using an AI content generation tool will give you a major head start in scaling your content production.

    3. AI can write your social media posts

    Do you ever get bored of writing posts for Facebook, or coming up with punchy one-liners for Twitter? A generative AI tool can do all of that for you, and more.

    Since the algorithms are trained on vast amounts of content, they are capable of creating posts on a wide variety of topics. For example, if you have a casual relationship with your audience, set your AI tone of voice accordingly and prompt your tool to write an update. You can always change the specifics if you get something that isn’t exactly tailored to your business.

    4. Get ideas for digital promotions

    Get ideas for digital promotions

    In addition to writing high-quality content, you can prompt your AI tool to give your ideas for your next digital marketing promotion. For example, a quick prompt through Google Bard generated these ideas for a business that sells widgets:

    • Buy one, get one free: This is a classic sales promotion that is always popular with customers. Offer a free widget with the purchase of a widget or offer a discount on the second widget. This is a great way to clear out inventory or promote a new product.
    • Free shipping
    • Coupons and promo codes
    • Loyalty programs
    • Referral programs
    • Social media contests and giveaways
    • Holiday promotions
    • Limited time offers
    • Refer-a-friend program
    • New customer discount
    • Bundle SEO packages
    • Senior citizen or military discounts
    • Subscription options
    • Partner discounts

    If you get even more specific with your input, you can generate examples of niche-specific ideas that real business owners have run in the past.

    Once you start a promotion, remember to advertise it throughout your whole digital marketing infrastructure. If you need help crafting your promotional messages, AI can help with that, too. Ask your AI bot for ideas, and be sure to include the following factors in your prompt:

    • Perspective. Would you like your messages written in first or third person?
    • Tone. Tell your AI bot if you’d like a message to be informal, conversational, warm, humorous, witty, friendly/familiar, or professional.
    • What words should be used. Some words perform better. Should you call it a deal or a discount? A special or an offer? Whatever you decide, include that in your prompt.
    • What words should be excluded. Tell your AI bot to exclude your competitors’ names, synonyms you don’t prefer, etc.
    • Which services or products are involved. Not all messages are appropriate for everything you might be selling.
    • Your target audience. Make it known if you’re aware of the gender, age, or other details.

    These are just some of the finer details you can add to your prompt. And don’t be afraid to write a long prompt with multiple factors because unlike a human, AI is capable of handling it all at once.

    5. Use AI to improve your SEO rankings

    Did you know that using AI can help boost your rankings?

    Generative AI is useful for performing cursory keyword research, light competitor research, and helping with on-site SEO, like writing meta descriptions, page titles, and more.

    You’re going to be writing a lot of titles and descriptions, so it makes sense to employ a reliable AI tool to get started.

    Remember to use a well-rounded marketing strategy

    Google E E A T

    Even though generative AI can help you get better digital marketing results, it’s not the only tool you need. Like everything in your toolbox, it serves a purpose and isn’t meant to be your only solution.

    AI-generated content won’t replace human-created content anytime soon. The technology is helpful, but it’s not that advanced. Even the best AI can’t match the writing abilities of a human. AI isn’t capable of producing a personal style or voice and can’t convey complex ideas clearly, which are both a big part of what makes content irresistible.

    Although many people fear that AI will indeed replace humans one day, we aren’t there yet. We aren’t anywhere close. You still need professional writers and editors to fact-check AI-written content, smooth it out, make sure it matches your brand voice, and flows like it was written by a human.

    Use AI as a tool, but don’t put all of your eggs in the AI basket, so to speak. To optimize your digital marketing results, you’ll also need to use other tools and strategies. For example, AI isn’t a good tool for writing sales copy. To be effective, your sales pages need to be written by a human with marketing experience and persuasive writing abilities that extend far beyond the capabilities of ChatGPT.

    Last, in case you were wondering, Google is okay with AI-generated content. As long as your content meets the E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) principles, AI-created content is treated normally and has an equal chance at ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

    Will you use AI?

    Choosing to incorporate AI into your local business digital marketing strategy is wise. Most large corporations have already gotten on board with this technology and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes mainstream.

    It pays to stay ahead of the curve and adopt new technologies that promise to deliver big results. Regarding AI, there’s no question that it will fill this role. However, to get the most out of this tech, be sure to incorporate it into your existing strategy rather than use it as a replacement. AI is powerful, but it’s only a supplement.

    Chief Revenue Officer at SEO Company
    Industry veteran Timothy Carter is SEO.co’s Chief Revenue Officer. Tim leads all revenue for the company and oversees all customer-facing teams for SEO (search engine optimization) services - including sales, marketing & customer success. He has spent more than 20 years in the world of SEO & Digital Marketing, assisting in everything from SEO for lawyers to complex technical SEO for Fortune 500 clients like Wiley, Box.com, Qualtrics and HP.

    Tim holds expertise in building and scaling sales operations, helping companies increase revenue efficiency and drive growth from websites and sales teams.

    When he's not working, Tim enjoys playing a few rounds of disc golf, running, and spending time with his wife and family on the beach...preferably in Hawaii.

    Over the years he's written for publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, ReadWrite and other highly respected online publications. Connect with Tim on Linkedin & Twitter.
    Timothy Carter