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Advertise with AI

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Explain how AI can help your advertising efforts.
  • Confirm your campaign goals align with your ad content and placement.

Before You Begin

Before you start this module, be sure to take the Optimize Data, Audiences, and Digital Advertising trail. The work you do here builds on the concepts and work you do in those badges. We also assume you have access to Audience Studio, Advertising Studio, and Datorama. If not, feel free to follow along and then follow up with your account executive for more information about these features. Finally, don’t try to follow these steps in your Trailhead Playground. Marketing Cloud isn’t available in the Trailhead Playground.

Artificial Intelligence Is Here to Help

Since there is never enough time in the day, whether you are a B2B (business to business) or a B2C (business to consumer) advertiser, it’s time to embrace artificial intelligence. Why? AI takes the guesswork out of your job and helps churn through data (think: Impressions, bid levels, demographics, and so on). This module is here to help you use AI to find new audiences, track your progress, and evolve your strategy. 

Make Advertising Personal

As customer expectations and technology evolve, companies must change as well. Advertising and marketing departments, previously independent (and often siloed), are merging together to keep up with the times. Whether you call it account-based marketing (ABM) or personalized marketing, marketers and advertisers have the same goal: Reach out to an individual, not the entire population. This isn’t easy. But it can be easier if you focus on three aspects of digital marketing: content (what), channel (where), and audience (who). In this unit we talk about content and channel, and in the second unit, we cover audience.

Tailor Ads to the Customer Experience

Your ad content and channel work together to meet customers where they are, with the right information. And if you have a limited ad budget, it’s even more important to be strategic about your content and where it’s placed. According to a recent Salesforce study, 56% of ads go unseen. Why? They could be great ads with great content, but are placed in the wrong channel. Don’t let your ads get overlooked. Reframe your strategy to align your goals with the customer’s experience. So, if your goal is to gather new leads through a survey, try advertising in a channel that lends itself to the best experience—like a desktop-friendly approach if your survey isn’t responsive. Or better yet, offer a mobile survey that’s fully responsive and easy to fill out (with safeguards in place to avoid mobile errors and typos). And surveys are just one way to use ads. Let’s break down some more content types and best practices for each. 

Ad Content
Goal
Best Practices
Gated content (like downloads)
Gated content refers to resources that can only be accessed after submitting a form (often with name, email address, company, and so on). The goal of this content is usually lead generation, but can also be used simply to spread brand awareness.
  • Only ask for necessary data.
  • Keep the form simple and mobile friendly.
  • Track performance on various channels to see what works for this type of content. (For example, a professional social media platform like LinkedIn or a business website can perform better than a more social platform such as Facebook.)
Event registration
Event registration is a great opportunity for B2B marketers to gather new leads and get more information about existing customers.
  • Optimize your registration form and only ask for critical information for registration.
  • Utilize channels that support a desktop experience for registrations that need to be lengthy.
Survey
Surveys are used to engage with your customers or to solicit feedback about a specific product or event.
  • Similar to registration, shorter is better. Only ask for information you truly need.
  • Consider how your ad can help customers answer “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM). Test a coupon or incentive to improve completion.
Coupons and incentives
Coupons are primarily used in the retail industry, but other incentives can also be used.
  • Review the customer experience and make it as easy as possible. (For example, if they click your ad, add the promo code automatically to the cart).
Contests
Contests offer a great opportunity to gain new leads and to get information about current customers.
  • Test various platforms and creative content to see what performs best.
  • Though focused on email, you can use the Einstein Send Time Optimization dashboard to test the best times to promote your ads.
Video content
Video provides an engaging way to share more information about your brand.
  • Maintain brand identity and follow style guidelines.
  • Keep your video short and informative.
  • Use closed captions and follow accessibility guidelines.

As you focus on content and advertising channels, consider how your customers are interacting with your ad and other communications, such as email and mobile. This helps you coordinate your campaign across multiple channels and ensures you have the right people viewing your ad in the right place. The last thing you want to do is repeatedly send customers the same message in an ad, an email, on your mobile app, and so on.

Plan for the Future

We have a lot of smart gadgets in our lives: Virtual reality, wearable devices, smart TVs, voice activated assistants, smart refrigerators, and the list goes on. Imagine this scenario: A customer’s smart fridge sends an SMS message to let them know they’re out of milk. Then, while out grocery shopping, the customer gets an ad on their wearable device with a milk coupon. Happy customer, happy advertiser. What other customer moments have the potential for your ads? Technology provides advertisers with exciting opportunities to reach audiences in new and personalized ways. The catch is to make sure the experience is relevant for the customer, and not invasive. It’s a good idea to prep now for these potential journeys and be ready for the future. 

Now that we’ve discussed content and channel, let’s shift our focus to the who of advertising and how smart data can help you find new audiences using AI.

Rights of ALBERT EINSTEIN are used with permission of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Represented exclusively by Greenlight.

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