Getting Started with AI for Creative & Digital Marketing
With new and seemingly endless possibilities to harness the power of AI, it can be daunting to know where to even start. So, we’ve done the hard thinking for you, to help you run wild and free into the new and expansive universe of artificial intelligence.
Most importantly, we want to share a few practical ways we can use and experiment with these new tools to create more value, impact our work, and help move the needle for our clients. And yes, we used AI to help write this blog post. But only a little. We’re not ready to just hand over the reins — at least not yet.
With its ability to analyze vast amounts of data, AI can help creative teams and companies accelerate the creative process, personalize marketing efforts, optimize campaigns, and improve customer service.
There are a lot of suggestions floating around about how to use AI across the creative production and marketing workflow. But to start, we see a few key areas where teams and companies can use AI right now to enhance digital and creative marketing. Here’s an easy guide to help you get started experimenting with AI in the marketing and creative process.
Supercharge Creative Problem Solving
There’s an understandable tension of how these new tools will fit into and impact our work, especially for creatives and producers who are deep in the marketing trenches — and companies who are curious about using them to enhance products and efficiency.
So, what can we expect? The commentary so far says to tread carefully if not confidently. “AI Should Augment Human Intelligence, Not Replace It” according to a long-standing take from the even-handed experts at Harvard Business Review.
And we agree. Rather than play into the fear that AI is on the brink of a global takeover, (or wide-eyed hype that it can solve everything) — we believe we can use it to simply provide more value. It can help us get to better solutions faster, make our work even more impactful, and free us up to do the types of creative problem solving we do best.
Honestly, it’s not even that new.
By now, we’ve all heard of ChatGPT, the AI chat platform that’s exploded into mainstream popularity. You may have even played around with AI profile photos in Lensa and FaceTune that became all the rage in late 2022.
It may feel like AI has only recently burst onto the scene, but let’s not forget that IBM Watson, Alexa and Siri have already been around for a while. What is new, however, is the scale of and accessibility of new AI tools and models.
It’s been over a decade since IBM’s Watson famously won Jeopardy against two all-time super champs. More recently, a great example of AI used in a national marketing campaign was when “Heinz asked AI to ‘draw ketchup’ (and it went remarkably well).”
Today, VR is still too hard to use, and the metaverse doesn’t really seem to be panning out — but text and image generation is the one new crazy thing we all seem to have agreed we can do from the comfort of our own computers.
Moving the Needle of Creative Impact
With so much conversation around the implications and applications of AI, what we’re most interested in is what’s useful and relevant to our own projects, clients, and mission to create impactful work that gets results.
As we see it, AI can be a valuable tool to clear a path in the creative process, reduce overhead and drudgery, and supplement our work so that we can use our time and skills to develop even better creative solutions. The possibilities may feel endless, but we see a few main ways to experiment with AI for marketing and creative purposes.
We’ve reviewed and recommended a few of the best tools, but you can also explore on your own to find the right tools for your specific needs. Really, there are three main areas that stand out to consider:
1. Text & Copy Writing
Content creation: AI can be used to write a first draft of custom content, such as product descriptions, website content, social media posts, and ad copy that is optimized for search and engagement. Don’t expect to get finalized text, but even a start to iterate on can be very helpful, and speed up the writing process significantly.
A few AI copywriting tools to explore include:
- ChatGPT by OpenAI — Artificial intelligence chatbot.
- Jasper — AI tool for writing marketing copy and blog content.
- Copy.ai — Writing for website, social media, ad copy and more.
- Peppertype — Ideate, create, distribute, and measure content.
- Rytr — AI writer, content generator & writing assistant.
2. Imagery & Visuals
Image and video generation: AI can be used to generate images and videos that are tailored to a brand’s aesthetic, for use on the web, in social media and creative campaigns. This can help save on production costs, time, and help create unique, compelling content.
It may only be a jumpstart to the process, but showing a variety of concepts and aesthetics can help accelerate the creative and design workflow. Even playing around with these tools to experiment and ideate on concepts can be super fun, effective and valuable.
A few AI image generation platforms to try include:
- Midjourney — A Discord-based AI art tool.
- Stable Diffusion — Text-to-image model for photo-realistic images.
- Dall-E 2 by OpenAI — Create realistic images from text descriptions.
- Shutterstock AI — An AI image generator to instantly create visuals.
- Fotor — An online image generator to turn words into designs.
3. Ideation & Optimization
Rapid idea generation: We can use AI tools to quickly create ideas and concepts, and keep our mental bandwidth free to critique and refine. In the creative process, it can be easy to get stuck, and leveraging automated tools can help move our workflow forward lets us focus more effort on true creative problem solving.
Campaign optimization: AI can be used to optimize marketing campaigns, such as by adjusting ad targeting or messaging based on performance data. By using AI to monitor and adjust campaigns, you can ensure that you’re getting the best results possible. Already, algorithms on platforms like Google and Facebook have long-used AI to automatically optimize digital ad campaigns.
Predictive analytics: AI can be used to analyze customer data and predict future habits and patterns, which can help inform marketing strategies. By understanding what people are likely to be interested in, companies can create more effective campaigns, and see better results.
A few ideation and optimization AI tools to explore are:
- Optimo — AI tool for marketing related tasks.
- Copilot — AI assistant to improve writing, research, and problem-solving.
- Relevance — A tool for data analysis and visualization.
- Keyword Insights — A tool suite for keyword research.
- Superus — A tool for visualizing mind maps.
A New Horizon of Creative Possibility
As with any new tool or technology, there’s so much to consider, and the landscape will continue to evolve. For us, AI is a tool for inspiration that helps us make more room for creative and strategic problem solving.
Experimenting with AI now gives us practice and fluency to continue to harness the value of these tools as they continue to grow. As with new tech innovations that have come before, the AI horizon is vast, and we’re ready to move forward and embrace the new possibilities to help us move the needle for our work and our clients.
And the opportunities will only get bigger. So, if it feels daunting to start — that’s why we’re here. If you want to join in the fun of experimenting with AI in your creative, digital, and marketing — reach out to us! We’d love to chat.