How to Humanize AI-Generated Marketing Content

How to Humanize AI-Generated Marketing Content

While future writers likely aren’t robots, artificial intelligence (AI) has enabled robot-human hybrid systems to create and edit content.

However, there’s no need to worry about your job as a blogger or writer.

AI-generated marketing content still lacks the human touch.

We’ll still need writers and marketers to edit and revise content to fit our desired context and avoid misunderstandings in the online world. Instead, using AI can speed up the writing process and enable marketers to churn out more content for the sales funnel.

How do you humanize AI content? Here’s what you need to know.

What is AI-Generated Content?

True to its name, AI-generated content simply means content written by AI.

Most AI technologies can perform activities that usually require human reasoning, intelligence, learning, or decision-making.

In terms of the content marketing process, AI is capable of creating a written narrative through “natural language generation (NLG).” This capability enables it to write business reports, predict consumer behavior, schedule content, and offer personalized product recommendations.

We bet you’ve been using AI-powered marketing tools without even realizing it.

Not only that, but you’ve also probably read content written with the help of AI.

The UK Press Association has utilized AI to write around 30,000 local news stories per month. Tech company OpenAI (co-founded by Elon Musk) launched the AI tool “GPT-3,” which can write like a human. Researchers have allegedly used it to write stories, share philosophical knowledge, and answer medical inquiries.

Interestingly, Econsultancy reports 18 percent of North America-based marketers use AI for content creation. Meanwhile, 23 percent use it for creative and design work.

These statistics show AI-generated content has a place in the marketing realm.

AI Subsets Used for Content

AI can create content through its subset called “content intelligence.”

Content intelligence leverages AI capabilities to help marketers create compelling posts and get research-backed advice on their marketing strategies.

This is made possible with a simple three-step process:

  1. Data collection: AI gathers data from CRM, surveys, social media results, website visitor behavior, and other relevant sources of information.
  2. Analysis: At this stage, AI analyzes and interprets the data to find trends and patterns.
  3. Insights and recommendations: AI can develop insights to modify your content and make it more effective and valuable to your target audience. It may also predict trends so you can boost your content ROI in the long term.

To sum it up, content intelligence lets marketers interpret the data to make research-backed decisions and boost their content marketing results.

Why Is it Important to Humanize AI-Generated Content?

In recent years, we’ve seen AI automate a lot of processes, but it still can’t act unsupervised. Even if AI can write thousands of words, the message must still be humanized to make a lasting impact on its readers.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of AI you should consider.

1. Humanize Content to Boost Personalization

People don’t want marketing messages that seem robotic and repetitive.

We see tons of marketing messages each day, so AI-generated content alone won’t let you stand out in the online world.

An interesting study by Adobe found 67 percent of people surveyed believe it’s crucial for businesses to modify their content based on context. When it’s not done right, 42 percent get annoyed because the content is not personalized.

While AI can automate the writing process, humanizing its output is still necessary so you can communicate with your audience in an authentic and sincere way.

2. AI Is Still Not Perfect

AI can follow the basic grammatical structure, but its outputs aren’t always perfect.

For instance, The Guardian commissioned the GPT-3 AI tool to write their content.

Here’s a paragraph of the results:

humanize AI-generated marketing content - example guardian

Some of the outputs were concise and cleverly written. However, AI technologies may ramble, make nonsense paragraphs, and go way beyond the specified word count.

Though AI has impressive writing capabilities, its dense articles mimic what you would find in Wikipedia. Spam text could find its way in the draft, or it could include out-of-context words or disparaging remarks.

Even if it can string paragraphs, editors would still need to pick out the information that ends up in the final draft.

The bottom line? Marketers still need to humanize the draft and edit the content for human consumption.

3. Humanize Content to Maximize Data

Sure, AI can quickly analyze the data and figure out what works and what doesn’t.

However, it still doesn’t have the capability to truly understand and empathize with readers.

It can’t work alone to create compelling scripts for your advertisements or video campaigns. You’ll still need to edit its outputs to fit your brand voice, framing and narrative.

Even if you have the necessary data, it requires human input to ensure the content resonates with your audience.

Rather than making AI go it alone, add a human touch to get the best of both worlds.

7 Tips to Humanize AI-Generated Content

AI can bring a lot of benefits to your content marketing funnel. Now, how can you humanize the output to create effective marketing content? Here’s how to do it.

1. Humanize Your Strategy

AI tools can conduct keyword research, suggest on-trend topics, and suggest blog post ideas based on your competitors’ top-performing content.

Despite the long list of article ideas, you still need to humanize your content strategy.

Let’s say you’re planning to assign an article on “X Tips for YouTube Marketing” based on the suggestion of your AI.

For the best results, discuss with your team to pick out little-known advanced tips. After all, your AI tool may pick out generic strategies that everybody knows.

Some articles may be a sensitive topic, so it requires delicate framing and prior discussion. In other cases, you may need the input of your client-facing employees (such as salespeople) to humanize the output so it feels relatable to your target audience.

2. Consider AI-Generated Content As a First Draft

A big challenge for many writers is starting from scratch.

It can be difficult to get the ample motivation you need to write a 1000-word article when you’re at point zero.

The good news is AI-generated content can act as an “ugly first draft.”

The Washington Post has published 850 articles with the help of a homegrown AI robot named Heliograf that can write short reports and posts. The initial draft helps writers overcome their slump and get in the groove by simply modifying AI-generated content.

Tools like Articoolo can also write AI-generated content. Writers just need to insert the topic and choose their preference.

Let’s say you’re writing a brief article about a “content marketing plan.”

Here’s an example of how this might look:

humanize AI-generated marketing content - example articoolo

Safe to say, it’s not perfect. However, a bit of editing could help you add a few introductory paragraphs or map out an outline.

As you write the article, you could use AI to generate drafts for more specific sections by placing more specific keywords like “content marketing benefits” or “how to create a content marketing plan.”

3. Stick to Your Brand’s Voice

Brand voice refers to the emotions and personality your brand wants to incite in your audience.

Are you supposed to be funny or approachable? If you want to seem more friendly and relatable, consider using a casual tone or a bit of slang. Likewise, if you want to exude a luxurious feeling, stick to a formal tone.

Here’s a brand voice chart that can help you pick out the characteristics of your brand:

humanize your AI-generated content by following this brand voice chart

How does a brand voice fit into AI-generated marketing content? AI-generated content may be grammatically perfect but seem robotic.

By keeping your brand voice in mind, you can make AI output seem more personal and genuine.

4. Consider Context

One of AI’s limitations is that it can’t consider context just yet.

It can create generic text for a general audience but not for a specific target consumer.

This is why remembering buyer personas are important. Before writing or editing AI-generated text, answer the following questions:

  • Who are my target readers?
  • Why is my content relevant to them?
  • How do I want to communicate with them?

If you collaborate with a variety of writers or editors, you may want to create article outlines. Ideally, this should have notes for each section of the content or details about your target audience.

This way, when an editor revises the AI-generated content, they will ensure it aligns with the desired context.

5. Make It Concise

As shown in the previous example, AI-generated marketing content could look like a long paragraph with hundreds of words.

Of course, readers don’t like to read long lines of text.

To humanize your content, consider breaking up a paragraph into two to three lines of text (60 to 90 characters). Make it conversational by asking questions now and then to mimic human conversation. You can occasionally keep sentences short or in a single line to make a point.

6. Personalize Content at Every Stage of the Sales Process

Eighty percent of shoppers are more likely to buy from brands that deliver personalized experiences.

Humanizing your sales and marketing funnel entails building personalized experiences. While this may take time and effort, AI technologies can speed up and automate the process.

With data-based personalization, marketers can enable consumers to view information that is directly relevant to them based on their behavior and interests.

Here are a few ways AI can humanize your sales funnel:

  • Deliver automated emails with personalized product recommendations or abandoned shopping cart reminders.
  • Utilize chatbots to answer customer inquiries or direct customers to the appropriate FAQ section so they can resolve the issue without waiting for customer support.
  • Show pop-ups based or send downloadable resources from previously viewed content.

Again, AI can identify data and automate the process, but you’ll need human input to connect the dots. Maybe your sales teams will have to occasionally modify the chatbot scripts based on previous customer interactions in order to boost engagement.

For email marketers, you may want to look at the design and content of the top-performing emails. Conduct A/B tests to find out the most compelling CTAs, ideal text, or image placement.

With this process, you can humanize AI-generated content and make it relevant to your consumers.

7. Use a Mix of Tools

Just like humans, AI tools have specializations too.

Some are good at writing, while others are built specifically for editing or conducting plagiarism checks. Humanizing AI content involves finding the right tool for each step of the process.

Let’s say you want to write a blog post. Here’s a brief outline of how the process might look:

  1. Brainstorm blog topics (30 minutes)
  2. Research (2 hours and 30 minutes)
  3. Write (5 hours)
  4. Edit (1 hour)
  5. Publish (10 minutes)

To streamline the writing process, try to find tools that can help you at each stage. Here are a few to get you started:

  • Atomic Reach: to analyze current content to identify the topics that will resonate with your audience
  • Articoolo: to generate first drafts of an article instantly
  • Grammarly: for vocabulary enhancement, spell checks, plagiarism checks, and eliminating grammatical errors
  • Hemingway: to make your writing more conversational by highlighting hard-to-read sentences and suggesting simpler alternative phrases
  • Frase: for revealing the questions searchers are asking to create SEO-optimized content that dominates the SERPs

Conclusion

AI can power up your content creation process, but it still requires human input.

To ensure AI-generated content is correct and accurate, get it checked by a writer or editor. Make it concise and ensure it aligns with the intended context.

Keep your brand voice in mind to humanize the content and add a bit of personality.

There are a variety of AI digital assistants that can optimize for SEO, write a draft, or edit the content. Once you become familiar with these next-generation content writing tools, you can speed up and automate the writing process.

How will you humanize AI-generated marketing content?

How to Use Data as a Service (DaaS) Tools in Your Marketing Analysis

How to Use Data as a Service (DaaS) Tools in Your Marketing Analysis

Data as a service (DaaS) is becoming increasingly popular. New advancements in cloud computing technology have made remote, cloud-based data storage and management easier to use and more accessible.

Businesses using DaaS platforms can see improvements in data collection, usage, and management. Additionally, offloading data management to DaaS companies means more internal capacity for business development.

Interested in getting started with a DaaS platform? Below, we’ll outline the benefits, solutions, and tools you can use to improve your data management strategies.

What Is Data as a Service (DaaS)?

Data as a service uses a cloud computing strategy to make business data readily available to stakeholders and third parties.

DaaS functions similarly to software as a service (SaaS), which removes the need for managing and downloading software locally. Unlike SaaS, which has been popular for the last decade, DaaS has only recently seen widespread adoption, primarily due to advancements in cloud computing technology.

Now, with low-cost cloud storage and bandwidth and cloud-based platforms explicitly designed for DaaS available, more businesses are moving their data storage out of local servers and into the cloud.

With DaaS services, businesses are no longer tied to local servers and storage systems, allowing them to securely store and access data remotely, collaborate with global partners, and find important business insights to drive new growth.

To put it simply, by using DaaS, you can access critical business data from anywhere at any time.

On the Gartner Hype Cycle, data and analytics services have already reached the Plateau of Productivity, showing their staying power in the market.

data as a service gartner hype cycle graph

What Are the Benefits of Using Data as a Service Tools?

Businesses of all shapes and sizes can benefit from using data as a service tools.

Here are a few ways data as a service tools can improve your current data management processes:

  • Remote collaboration: DaaS allows partners in different locations to collaborate because employees can easily access the data from their devices regardless of location.
  • Seamless data access: Cloud storage also means team members don’t need to go into the office to download a file or check their analytics, saving individual employees valuable time and energy.
  • Simple setup: Businesses that adopt these platforms can begin storing and processing their data immediately, with very little setup time.
  • Crash protection: Cloud infrastructure is less likely to crash than traditional storage methods. This makes working on a DaaS server more secure and less prone to complications.
  • Improved financial reporting: Data as a service also improves financial reporting as businesses can convert IT costs from capital expenditures into operational expenditures.
  • Cost-effective: DaaS solutions are more cost-effective, allowing businesses to direct money where it’s most needed. Automated maintenance further alleviates internal management needs.
  • Insights and improvements: With features like data marketplaces, businesses can buy, sell, and trade data to drive new business growth. Each platform offers different insight and optimization methods to improve overall data management.

Who Benefits Most from DaaS Tools?

Data as a service is beneficial to any business model informed by data.

Whether you’re a marketing company focused on improving consumer insights or a product-based company with a global distribution process, there are many ways to leverage these exciting cloud-based services.

For example, if a company regularly tracks, mines, stores, and implements data insights, they can benefit from DaaS.

Or, if the business’s success is dependent on being aligned with customer needs and product offerings, data services can give important insights into improving this alignment.

Companies with remote teams can benefit from DaaS tools because they allow easy access to data from anywhere in the world.

DaaS also minimizes the need for in-house data management, which is a good strategy for companies looking to divert resources to other departments.

Additionally, companies that want access to data-backed analytics to improve internal processes or enhance customer relations can also benefit from this service.

Data collected by RocketSource has shown one of the greatest benefits of DaaS is improved customer experiences. This is due to the ability of these platforms to simplify data management both internally and externally.

For businesses, DaaS tools make it easy to understand and optimize decisions and campaigns. For customers, it can result in more tailored experiences overall.

benefits of data as a service chart

Using DaaS Tools in Your Marketing Analysis

Data as a service tools give businesses the ability to segment unique data sets generated from Big Data. This information can be collected from six specific categories:

  1. web mining: data compiled by mining the open internet
  2. search information: data compiled from browser activity and intent behavior
  3. social media: data compiled from shares, comments, check-ins, and other actions taken on social media
  4. crowdsourcing: data collected from the public through surveys, polls, forums, and so on
  5. transactional: data created from financial, logistical, and other such business practices, including withdrawals, deposits, insurance claims, flight reservations, and more
  6. mobile: data compiled from apps and services working in the background of mobile phones

The ability to collect, analyze, and store all of this user-specific data is a huge advantage to marketers, allowing for more cohesive and clear market research.

Here are a few ways you can use this data to improve your marketing tactics:

Benchmarking Reports

DaaS makes comparing your performance against competitors easy. With simple, global access to organizational data, marketers can create benchmarking reports to gather data on financials, turnover, and leadership efforts and back everything up with percentile breakdowns. Workday is one data as a service provider offering exceptional benchmarking tools.

Business Intelligence Sharing

Data as a Service tools make data standardization easy by bringing together data sources and analytics with unique data visualizations. Companies can then offer this data to internal users to help facilitate business intelligence processes.

Access to Data Marketplaces

DaaS tools can give businesses access to data marketplaces where users can buy and sell different data sets from multiple sources. This data can then be repurposed and monetized for future business growth.

Consumer Research

Many data as a service platforms offer consumer insights and research options. These insights can alleviate internal research for marketing teams and give more refined solutions to improving consumer relationships.

How to Pick the Right DaaS Tool for You

Getting set up with data as a service is relatively simple, as most setup and preparation work is done through the service rather than on-site.

Most DaaS providers offer technical support solutions that alleviate this management from the business side.

How to Pick a DaaS Tool

Consider your business needs. Depending on your size, growth goals, and team, you may need different features in a data as a service tool.

Points to consider when choosing a data as a service tool are:

  • price
  • scalability
  • reliability
  • flexibility
  • infrastructure integrations
  • team access requirements
  • existing workflows and needs

Once you have these points laid out, it’s time to choose a data as a service tool and get your business signed up.

7 Great Data as a Service Tools

1. Snowflake

Snowflake offers data engineering, data lakes, data applications, data warehouses, and data sharing. Some of their biggest value propositions include unlimited scale, seamless access across clouds, and near-zero maintenance. Snowflake is a good choice for large, international businesses needing scalability and high-security features.

snowflake data as a service tool

2. SAP HANA Cloud

SAP HANA Cloud is the cloud-based data foundation for SAP Business Technology Platform. It integrates data from across its enterprise system, creating live data solutions. This DaaS platform offers a low total cost of ownership and high processing performance through hybrid multimodal transactions. Real-time analytic processing allows for quick, data-backed decisions. SAP HANA is best for businesses already working in the AP Business Technology Platform.

sap hana data as a service program on computer screen

3. Oracle

Oracle is the world’s leading converged, multi-model database management system. It offers NoSQL and MySQL databases, simplifies recreational database access, and reduces internal management workloads. Oracle boasts high-level performance, scalability, and availability for its clients. This DaaS tool is optimal for businesses looking for a hands-off approach to data management.

oracle database data as a service

4. Kantar Marketplace

Kantar Marketplace is a data as a service platform designed to deliver market research insights to marketers and agencies. Their platform includes insights into ad testing and development, consumer and retail trends, product development, media planning and effectiveness, and provides custom survey options.

kantar data as a service platform

5. D&B M-DaaS

The dun & bradstreet M-DaaS: Master Data as a Service platform allows companies to integrate master data into native workflows seamlessly. Pre-mastered commercial content is delivered through a consistent and dependable platform, allowing brands to improve their master data management programs. This tool is a good choice for large or legacy companies with complex, large data sets to manage.

d&b data cloud data as a service

6. Refinitiv

Refinitiv is a data as a service platform providing risk intelligence data for financial institutions. They offer a centralized view of the legal entity of a company, supplier, or issuer so entity relationships and risks can be easily identified and managed. Regulatory compliance and requirements are the backbones of this service. Refinitiv is an excellent choice for businesses with high compliance requirements and diverse entity partnerships.

refinitiv logo data as a service

7. Dynata

Dynata is the world’s largest first-party data and insights platform, reaching over 62 million consumers and business professionals worldwide. Their service offers real-time feedback loops so marketers can understand what’s working and what’s not. Dynata is driven to maximize ROI at every stage of a campaign for continuous optimization.

How to Use DaaS Tools in Your Marketing Analysis

  1. In Your Competitor Benchmarking Reports:

    You can use DaaS tools to gather benchmarking data based on competitors.

  2. In Your Business Intelligence Sharing:

    You can use DaaS tools to get images of your brand’s performance across data points.

  3. In Data Marketplaces:

    DaaS tools buy and sell audience data from multiple marketplaces.

  4. In Consumer Research:

    DaaS tools can offer consumer insights.

Conclusion

Data as a service platforms allow for cohesive and accurate data management that can be accessed anywhere, anytime.

DaaS can also alleviate some internal management and IT needs, allowing businesses to move budgets towards more profitable markets and employees to focus on big picture issues.

Internal platform insights from DaaS platforms can be beneficial to marketers looking to improve consumer research and optimize existing data sets.

With improved data visualization, storage, access, and consumer data insights, data as a service offers growth and ease to partners and affiliates alike.

Once you have a DaaS system in place, you can start levering the data and investing in your marketing strategy. Let us know if we can help you reach your audience!

What excites you about data as a service?

How to Optimize Microsoft AdCenter for More Effective Paid Campaigns

How to Optimize Microsoft AdCenter for More Effective Paid Campaigns

Gaining paid search footholds can be challenging, and once you’ve built a successful Google Ads campaign and watched it perform, it can be disheartening to reach the end of that campaign’s lifespan.

However, it doesn’t have to end there.

An excellent strategy for expanding the success of your PPC campaigns is to look beyond Google Ads to other platforms like Microsoft AdCenter, which allows you to advertise on Bing, Yahoo!, and other affiliate platforms.

It’s simple to translate your Google Ads campaign to the Microsoft platform because they have similar functionality. Using the same fundamental best practices, you can create more leads through PPC on an entirely new platform.

What Is Microsoft AdCenter?

Microsoft AdCenter is the centralized hub where advertisers go to buy sponsored ads on Bing or Yahoo!

Previously Bing Ads, the platform underwent a rebrand after combining forces with Yahoo!

While it’s safe to say that the majority of internet search traffic comes through Google, that doesn’t mean digital marketers should be sleeping on Microsoft AdCenter.

In fact, with a combined 30 percent market share of the internet’s search function, you’re going to want to add a visit to Microsoft AdCenter to your digital marketing itinerary.

Benefits of Optimizing Microsoft AdCenter for Your Ad Campaigns

Whenever you’re running a PPC campaign, you want to be constantly optimizing.

Why?

When you recalibrate through optimization, you increase your chances of reaching your target audience. This practice will not only increase your overall revenue but will also decrease your ad spend.

Microsoft AdCenter is no different. You want to continuously optimize your campaigns for success. While there’s much work to be done before launching a campaign, it’s arguable that the most valuable work is done post-launch.

With 1.03 billion unique users each month, Bing offers advertisers extensive reach.

However, without optimizing your campaigns, how can you ensure you’re reaching the right audience members?

Short answer: You can’t, which is why understanding how to optimize in Microsoft AdCenter is vitally important to your success on the platform.

Difference Between Microsoft AdCenter and Google Ads

As mentioned above, Microsoft AdCenter has similar functionality to Google Ads. However, the two PPC platforms differ greatly in five key areas: campaign-level control, closed variants, engagement rates, search partner targeting options, and ad scheduling.

Campaign-Level Control

Google Ads requires users to set the language, ad rotation, network, ad scheduling, and location settings at the campaign level. Groups are then restricted to these settings.

On the other hand, Microsoft AdCenter opens these options at the ad group level, permitting users to easily make change settings at any time, rather than having to build an entirely new campaign.

Closed Variants

After eliminating exact and phrase match keywords by enforcing a “close variant” target within Google Ads, the reach of exact and phrase keywords extended by 7 percent, including misspellings, pluralized terms, and grammatical iterations.

While Microsoft AdCenter does have an option to use the close variant query, it is just that: optional.

Increased Engagement and Conversion Rates

Users who engage with Microsoft AdCenter PPC ads have increased engagement with the selected sites and landing pages.

In fact, studies found that automotive search users who interacted with Microsoft AdCenter content had conversation rates 10-56 percent higher than Google Ads.

While this is clearly a particular audience subset, it is still indicative of increased interaction overall.

In addition to these factors, another difference emerges between Google Ads and Microsoft AdCenter.

As we discussed above, it’s simple to import your Google Ads campaign into Microsoft AdCenter. Despite this ease, there are considerable differences to keep in mind as you optimize your campaigns on each respective platform, including:

  • search partner targeting options
  • ad scheduling

While both Google Ads and Microsoft Ads have search partner networks (external sites that permit advertisers to expand reach on their platforms), the networks are notably different.

Search Partner Targeting Options

Unsurprisingly, Google boasts hundreds of sites in their search partner network. If you’re not seeing big returns on including this extended network in your targeted campaign, you can remove the function. Unfortunately, that removal is all or nothing—you can’t cherry-pick which partners you’d like to reach.

With Microsoft Ads, however, you can select which partners to reach, a key difference as you optimize your campaigns.

Ad Scheduling

While ad scheduling is a key component of any PPC campaign, different parameters for setting ad schedules apply when transitioning your Google Ads strategy to Microsoft.

With Google Ads, dashboard time is automatically set to the time selected upon account creation, so users need to update scheduled times depending on the time zone they’re trying to reach.

Microsoft Ads, however, allows users to set schedules based on the location of the target, making scheduling infinitely easier.

While these differences may not seem huge, they’re important to note as you begin your Microsoft AdCenter campaign.

Tips for Optimizing Microsoft AdCenter

We’ve already highlighted the importance of optimization; now it’s time to break down exactly how to optimize your Microsoft AdCenter campaigns.

1. Perform Keyword Research

If you don’t have a solid grasp on your keywords, now’s the time to start. By researching what terms apply to your purpose and audience, you can incorporate that language into your campaigns to ensure you’re reaching your desired audience.

2. Use Negative Keywords

When you include negative keywords in your campaign, you can exclude confusing or irrelevant terms from your strategy. This allows more accurate audience reach as well as reduced ad spend due to more precise matching.

3. Segment Your Campaigns

For data-driven PPC advertisers, segmenting campaigns into ad groups will allow you to make more intelligent optimization decisions. Segmentation lets marketers focus their message on different groups, which enables the collection of targeted metrics. Through a more segmented audience, you can tailor the message and receiver.

4. Use Ad Extensions

With ad extensions, you can add additional pieces of information about your business, including phone number, address, or a particular link. These free-to-add options can increase the visibility and utility of your ads.

5. Follow Ad Writing Best Practices

Strong, relevant copy is vital to the success of any PPC campaign. As you optimize your Microsoft AdCenter content, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Underscore the audience’s primary pain point: By speaking toward your audience’s primary pain point, you not only establish how you can solve their pain; you also establish that you understand their pain. This builds trust and connection between the advertiser and consumer.
  • Incorporate numbers or statistics: Historically, numbers work to grab reader attention. This was true long before the internet and will continue to be true as the internet evolves.
  • Utilize emotional triggers: It’s no secret that people react to emotional triggers. When you harness the power of emotion in your ads, you can almost guarantee a reaction from your audience. Check out how this law firm used emotion to advertise its services:
microsoft adcenter emotional ppc ad

6. Adjust Audience Type

Microsoft Ads provides users with several different types of audiences to use to ensure your ads reach the right group. You can adjust the type of audience to optimize your campaign and improve your reach.

7. Experiment With Dynamic Search Ads

These ads will automatically target relevant search queries formed from your website content. The ads are then dynamically created to react to those custom queries, reducing workload and increasing audience reach.

8. Use the Microsoft Audience Network

This audience marketing solution draws on Microsoft’s artificial intelligence (AI) to better target your ideal audience. Be sure to take advantage of this Microsoft-exclusive offering, as it can drastically boost ad performance.

9. Use Universal Event Tracking (UET)

Yet another Microsoft-exclusive solution, you can use UET to view customer behavior after they interact with your ad. By placing a UET tag across your website, Microsoft gathers data that tracks goals and audiences with remarketing lists.

10. Set up Conversion Tracking

By setting up conversion tracking in Microsoft AdCenter, the platform matches you with relevant searchers across the Microsoft network. Conversion tracking also provides tools to optimize your campaigns for success.

Measuring the Success of Your Microsoft AdCenter Campaign

You’ve optimized your campaign throughout its lifespan, and now you want to know if it should be deemed a success or a failure.

Below, we break down three key metrics that will highlight your campaign’s overall performance.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

This metric is key to understanding whether your ads are relevant to your customers. CTR is determined by dividing the number of clicks your ad receives by the number of times your ad is shown.

Conversion Rate

Strong conversion rates indicate that what you spend on clicks is returning to you in profits. This metric is calculated by dividing the number of conversions by the number of total ad interactions tracked to a conversion in a given time period.

Cost Per Conversion

If you’re overpaying for conversions, it’s time to go back to the drawing board. This metric is determined by dividing the total cost for clicks by the number of conversions.

These three metrics provide a strong, foundational assessment of your campaign’s performance. While you can get lost in the intricacies of data, these figures always provide a clear result.

Examples of Great Microsoft AdCenter Campaigns

Although Microsoft AdCenter is filled with examples of great PPC advertising, here are three excellent PPC ads that used a unique feature of the platform for a successful campaign.

Maybelline

Maybelline uses a detailed breakdown in their paid listing to allow searchers to find exactly what they need. By segmenting by eyes, lips, mascara, and face makeup, the beauty company increases the likelihood that the searcher with clear intent will readily find what they need.

microsoft ad center - maybelline search

From You Flowers

These product ads rely on visuals to interest the searcher. By placing product images, pricing, and information along the side of the page, searchers have all the information they need instantly.

microsoft adcenter - from you flowers grid ad

Papa John’s

Ad extensions can go a long way for PPC ads. Pizza vendor Papa John’s made their listing as informative as possible, while also touting their success and visibility by sharing the number of monthly site visitors. This strategy not only provides helpful information like deals and pizza type options, but it also increases consumer trust through the sheer number of social visitors.

microsoft adcenter - papa john's visitor extension

While all three of these ads use extensions in very different ways, they bring more texture to the search engine results page (SERP), engaging the audience through images, increasing the immediacy of search success, and building consumer trust.

Conclusion

While both Google Ads and Microsoft AdCenter offer similar functionality, the options to optimize in Microsoft AdCenter are completely different.

Be sure to take advantage of Microsoft’s unique offerings and optimize your content and strategy through the Microsoft lens, ensuring that you get the most bang out of your advertising buck.

As you become more familiar with Microsoft AdCenter’s features, you could see your success rate rise as you optimize for target audience reach.

If you’re ready to find an agency partner to help you kickstart your paid campaign on Microsoft’s ad platform, let us know!

What’s the best Microsoft AdCenter campaign you’ve ever seen?

19 Strategies That’ll Help You Become an Influencer

19 Strategies That'll Help You Become an Influencer

Interest in influencer marketing has skyrocketed 90x since 2013. And I hesitate to pat myself on the back, but I’m recognized as an influencer in the digital marketing space.

But how? Why? In this article, we’ll go over how I became one and how to become an influencer in your own field.

1. Start by Becoming an Influencer in a Niche Field

The reason you need a niche is to start out as a micro influencer in your particular niche.

Micro influencers create powerful word of mouth to small groups. They don’t have the followings of a Kardashian, but they’re much cheaper and can still reach enough people to make a difference in product sales.

What’s more: research shows they generate double the sales of paid ads and with a 37% higher customer retention rate.

how to become an influencer - success stats for influencer marketing

It’s not enough to just pick the field you want to influence.

Take my case for example. Digital marketing is a broad topic, and I didn’t get to the top by focusing solely on a broad keyword.

I started in the trenches of SEO before learning content marketing, conversion rate optimization, influencer marketing, social media marketing, and more. I worked hard. to get to nearly 300k Twitter followers.

One day you might get to 300k followers too; but to become an influencer, you have to start with one.

how to become an influencer - neil twitter

Start as the expert among your friends and peers.

Work toward being the expert in your city and state.

Then become an influencer from there.

2. Create a Content Strategy

Once you have a niche, it’s time to build your content strategy. Content strrategy can be a vague concept, but for the purposes of this post, we mean things like publishing cadence, tone and voice of the author, and content elements (text, graphs, etc.).

Even the Content Marketing Institute concedes there is no template for this, because every person and brand’s needs and goals are different.

how to become an influencer - developing a content strategy

The Usability.gov website has a handy chart to get started.

how to become an influencer - usability.gov chart for content strategy

For my content strategy, I have strict goals I set for myself to create a set amount of social posts on each network while maintaining blog quality and working on side projects. I also made sure I use the same conversational tone and voice in my content (can you tell?)

Not terribly hard right?

Once you’re armed with this information, you can select your channels.

3. Select Your Channels

There’s no wrong answer for which social channels to be on and avoid.

Facebook is the most popular, with 94% of marketers using Facebook worldwide as of January 2020, followed by LinkedIn with 76%.

Facebook is by far the most popular, with 61% market share in 2016. But that dropped from 65% in 2015, and other social channels still have validity.

While I enjoy my time on certain channels more than others, I don’t play favorites when engaging with my audiences.

I do my best to show up everywhere.

Besides Twitter, I’m on Facebook.

My page gets a ton of traffic and has a great conversion rate.

I’m also active on LinkedIn and Pinterest, which I think is even more visually appealing than Instagram. I also think it has more marketing potential than Instagram.

And, last but not least, I have nearly one million followers on my YouTube channel.

Each channel has a different audience (and audience size) expecting different content.

These are just my social channels. I’m not including my blogging and guest blogging efforts.

You don’t have to stay this active on so many channels, but pick one or two to start building out your influence.

Think of each social channel as another platform for you to reach your customers (and the general public).

4. Network Within the Industry

In order to become an influencer, you need to make real connections.

Everyone wants to sit at home on their couch and connect with influencers on social media.

That’s simply not an option. Popular tech influencer iJustine, for example, has 1.2 million Twitter followers.

She’s very active with her followers, but can’t possibly engage individually with all 1.2 million in any meaningful way.

Where you can network with Justine Ezarik is at technology trade shows like CES, the Webby Awards, the Streamys, and several other events. You can follow her social accounts to see which events she attends.

Event marketing is a big trend and being able to boast influencer attendance is huge.

Why not make it a priority for marketing yourself?

Get off the couch, get out the house, and get to major events related to your niche. Or, even easier, attend online events, which are becoming more popular in the post-Covid world.

You can start your search at the Trade Show News Network for listings of trade shows around the world in every industry.

5. Participate in Off-site Forums

Becoming popular on one social network does have its advantages. For example, in 2020, the most popular YouTubers earn more than a billion dollars a year from advertisements and sponsorships.

Not all of us can be that lucky. The rest of us have to venture outside social media and participate in forums, comment wells, and other online discussions so we can boost our following.

Every discussion you can be a part of online enhances your reputation, influence, and connections.

6. Create a Website or Blog

Conversations don’t end on social media.

You’ll always have more to say than can fit in a tweet or Instagram post.

With a website or blog, you have a place to direct your social followers as you gain them.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of blogging.

One of the best content management systems for creating either a website or blog is WordPress.

Don’t be an influencer without a cause.

Be prepared to lead your followers into your well-designed conversion funnel, starting by including a link to your blog in your social media posts. A link to your website or blog can actually increase your audience engagement on social media.

And it goes without saying the longer blog content needs to provide even more value than a social post to get clicks.

7. Provide Value to the Conversation

If you’re not providing value to the conversation, you’ll never reach the ears of anyone influential.

To become an influencer, you need to be the person people are talking to each other about.

Word of mouth is the most influential element driving purchase decisions today.

how to become an influencer - word of mouth

If you can impress people enough with your knowledge and conversational value, they’ll sell everybody else on you.

Then they’ll tell two friends, and so on…until you become an influencer!

8. Stay Ahead of Current Events

There are two types of content, evergreen and topical.

Evergreen content stays forever relevant, such as an article about a historical event.

Topical content is hot right now, but will soon be forgotten. Basically, everything happening today.

When writing a blog post, I’d stay as evergreen as possible since you don’t want to have to update your content constantly. But on social media, staying informed about current events is the key to being shared.

The Lafayette Company’s Ellen Carmichael’s biggest tweet of 2017, for example, combined the 2016 presidential election with the 2017 Super Bowl.

how to become an influencer - hillary clinton tweet

Using these timely images created a brand win for Carmichael by appealing to Super Bowl fans who remember the election.

Staying topical is how you go viral on social media.

You can use tools to stay on top of social media trends. You can also set a Google News alert to monitor the entire Internet for specific keywords and phrases.

Do what you have to do to stay current.

9. Understand All Channels

Even if you don’t use a particular social media channel, if you want to become an influencer it’s still important to understand who does.

I’m not a big user of SnapChat, for example, but I understand its 250 million+ (mostly younger) users can’t be ignored.

Because the demographics of who uses each channel are so varied, each social network requires a different strategy.

For example, here is a chart showing best practices for posts you can share on each channel during the Holiday season:

Holiday Content Ideas2

While minor, these differences make a world of difference in determining whether you’re a hero or a zero in your industry.

This type of chart helps you prepare posts to schedule in advance.

10. Stay Authentic and On-Brand

Going back to the Super Bowl, it’s an interesting event. Why? Because brands have made the commercials as anticipated as the actual game. Many come through with epic TV spots that tell their brand story.

The takeaway: it’s important to be authentic and stick to your brand voice to become an influencer.

Digital ad spend grew 18% in February 2021 compared to a year prior. TV ad spend declined nearly 27% over the same period.

This means an authentic voice on social media is more critical than an expensive Super Bowl commercial.

It’s free to do, and it’ll help you rise through the ranks from nobody to micro-influencer to major influencer.

11. Respond to Comments

If you’ve ever visited my blog or social media profiles, you know I actively respond to comments.

Here’s an example from a recent blog post I promoted on Facebook several years ago.

how to become an influencer - respond to comments

My followers love to ask me questions and comment on things, and I love to respond.

This is how I built a social community that participates and engages with my content.

When responding, be sure to stay consistent and friendly.

Don’t respond to trolls and other haters, unless you have a great zinger that will help your brand image.

12. Engage with the Community

It’s not enough to simply respond.

To become an influencer, you need to start conversations.

When Procter and Gamble’s Mr. Clean Super Bowl ad was on its way, the company went on a social media blitz.

Within a minute of the commercial airing, Mr. Clean Super Bowl had 11,700 mentions across social media.

Mrclean.jpgmtime1491293416

This type of engagement is what social media was designed for.

And people remain engaged on these platforms.

Here’s a handy chart showing social engagement divided by platform and industry.

how to become an influencer - social engagement by industry and platform

The more you engage with the community outside of your feed, the further you spread your influence.

Don’t just respond to comments on your Facebook page.

Post in groups, post on friend’s pages, and tag other influencers to engage the community.

Don’t be afraid to start a Facebook group of your own to draw in even more followers.

13. Consistently Publish Fresh Content

I’ve been publishing at least one blog a day on this site for a long time now.

how to become an influencer - neil patel blog

It’s not easy, but I do it. Why? I want to keep fresh content online for my readers.

I also have a content-driven online marketing strategy that’s fueled by my blog.

It’s the heart of my Facebook page content and my Twitter content.

how to become an influencer - facebook post with link to blog

It’s the heart of my Twitter content as well.

I can also broadcast my blog to my other social channels.

Focusing on my blog gives me a wealth of content to share across all my other channels.

It’s the center of my long-term digital marketing strategy.

My blog is foundation of how I got where I am today!

14. Listen to Criticism

Being a creator of any kind or in the public eye for any reason involves handling a lot of criticism.

Even the President of the United States or the richest man in the world can’t avoid criticism.

No amount of money or power can!

Yet so few of us can handle it.

Here’s a Venn diagram of people who need and can handle constructive criticism.

how to become an influencer - criticism venn diagram

If you become a person who can actually handle constructive criticism, critics will mold you into a more polished influencer.

Being an influencer isn’t about dictating what people do. It’s about creating a movement, and constructive criticism is essential to that.

Nobody wants to be surrounded by yes men.

Which reminds me…

15. Remain Approachable

Phil DeFranco is one of the most influential YouTube users with his SXEPhil account.

The reason is somewhat because of production values and length of service.

More importantly, however, Phil remains approachable, despite his success.

Tackling topics as diverse as politics, social media, pop culture, and nuances of the YouTube platform itself, Phil maintains an every man approach.

Never let yourself get so caught up in social media fame that you become a prima donna, disconnected from reality in your ivory tower. If you do, there could be consequences.

The more approachable you are, the more influential you’ll be.

16. Research New Topics Daily

I can’t stress enough how important it is to constantly generate new topic ideas.

It’s harder than it sounds over the long term. That’s why I use Google Alerts

I can set alerts to deliver to my email anytime my name is mentioned on any frequency I like.

There are a ton of other customization features.

In addition to setting up Google News alerts, pick a handful of publications to stay informed on.

I check blogs like Moz, Entrepreneur, and Hubspot daily to keep ideas for fresh topics in my head.

The more knowledgeable and well-rounded you are, the easier it’ll be to gain influence.

17. Automate Posts

Automation is the latest marketing trend, and it’s easy to see why.

You gain efficiency and speed, along with valuable data.

how to become an influencer - automate posts

There are plenty of free tools to automate social media posts and let you schedule your content in advance using content calendars.

This is how professional publishing and social agencies work.

For example, PowerPost can create a powerful content calendar across social, blogging CMS platforms, and more.

Whatever you use, be sure to automate posts so you have a steady stream of content.

Also, keep in mind blog posts can automatically be set up through the blog CMS to promote on social media channels.

Whatever you use, be sure to automate posts, so you have a steady stream of content.

Also, keep in mind blog posts can automatically be set up through the blog CMS to promote on social media channels.

18. Follow Influencers and Give Shout Outs

To be an influencer, you need to know other influencers.

Who you’re following is almost as important as who follows you.

To expand your influence, you need to show people they’re influencing you as well.

On Twitter, there’s a hashtag group called #Teamfollowback that believes in reciprocating every follow.

I don’t go that far, but I do try to follow other influencers to engage their audiences along with mine.

Many influencers also love giving shout outs to followers, fans, and subscribers.

Shout outs make people feel like they’re personally contributing to the community. They incentivize participation.

And last, but certainly not least, is the data we’ll need to quantify all this work.

19. Quantify Your Efforts With Data

Each social media site will show your impressions and audience engagement numbers.

It’s usually on the front page.

This only shows half the picture of your real influence, however.

With a website and Google Analytics, you can see the rest.

We can tell which social channels are getting clickthroughs to our site and how many people are converting from there.

Once you understand how many posts it takes to generate a conversion, you’ll be able to calculate an ROI for your social media efforts.

This isn’t the only benefit of being an influencer.

Like I said at the beginning, you can influence other influencers and drive the conversation.

Just be sure to use your power for good.

How to Become an Influencer

19 Strategies That’ll Help You Become an Influencer

  1. Become an Influencer in a Niche Field

    Start small; pick a niche topic and become an expert in that. Over time you can expand your influence.

  2. Create a Content Strategy

    Decide how often you will post, what your tone will be (casual versus professional, for example), and what elements you’ll use in the content you publish.

  3. Select Your Channels

    Decide which social media channels to focus on.

  4. Network Within the Industry

    Get to know other experts in your industry by connecting with them on social media and attending industry events.

  5. Participate in Off-site Forums

    Expand your reach by participating in forums, comment discussions, and other online discussions.

  6. Create a Website or Blog

    Create a blog to give followers a place to get to know you better and to show off your industry expertise. A blog can also give you more engagement data to show marketers who want to pay you for ads and endorsements.

  7. Provide Value to the Conversation

    It’s not enough to just put out content. You need to provide value to your followers by providing content that is new or offers a unique perspective.

  8. Stay Ahead of Current Events

    Stay abreast of what’s going on in your field and share about it on your social channels. If people can look to you for breaking news in your industry, it will go a long way towards helping you become an influencer.

  9. Understand all Social Media Channels

    Figure out what channels are most relevant to your industry and focus your efforts there.

  10. Stay Authentic and On-Brand

    Tell your brand story often to engage and grow your followers.

  11. Respond to Comments

    When people comment on your social media or blog posts, take the time to respond. People will be more likely to follow and interact with you if they feel like they know you.

  12. Engage With the Community

    Maintain a presence outside of just your own channels. Start conversations, tag other influencers, participate in Facebook groups, etc.

  13. Consistently Publish Fresh Content

    Publishing fresh content keeps and grows your follower list and pleases the algorithm Gods.

  14. Listen to Criticism

    By listening to and incorporating criticism, you can become a better influencer.

  15. Remain Approachable

    No matter how big you get, stay humble. Arrogance is a turnoff and could cost you followers and sponsorships.

  16. Research New Topics Daily

    The best way to stay on top of industry trends is to set Google alerts. You should also spend time reading industry blogs. If you subscribe to any industry newsletters, spend some time reading those as well.

  17. Automate Posts

    Make your life easier by creating your posts in advance and schedule them to be posted automatically using tools like PowerPost.

  18. Follow Influencers and Give Shout Outs

    Get noticed by other influencers by following them and tagging them in your posts. If you can gain their trust, they may be willing to reciprocate. This could make some of their followers follow you in turn.

  19. Quantify Your Efforts With Data

    Use the analytics tool most social media channels provide to track your followers, engagement, and other data. These figures can help you gain sponsorships since they help prove your influencer status.

Conclusion

Influencer marketing is the latest trend in digital marketing because social media influencers are now able to quantify their audiences.

What started as a hobby for many has become a big business, and influencers like PewDiePie often outearn celebrities, politicians, and other prominent professions.

I’m an influencer today, but I wasn’t always.

Everyone starts at square one with no followers and nobody knowing who they are.

It’s the steps you take to build a following that ultimately determines how influential you are.

If you’re interested in growing your brand and want help doing so, reach out. I have a team of experts who can help you reach your influencer goals!

Who are the most influential people in your niche?