4 Ways to Leverage AI Marketing for Your Agribusiness

by | May 8, 2023

Small agribusinesses have often been out-produced and out-marketed by larger businesses in the agricultural space. Though this has been a longstanding threat for smaller agribusinesses, the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has shown promising benefits, especially in terms of marketing and uplifting business opportunities for growth.

There seems to be a false notion that AI is only for huge corporations, but small businesses may find that AI can help in reducing expenses and boosting revenue. In fact, a business survey by McKinsey last 2022 revealed that the overall number of organizations that have adopted AI has doubled since 2017. In terms of a company’s marketing, nearly 62% of marketers surveyed by the Influencer Marketing Hub say they’ve used AI.

A Brief Primer on AI
AI is an expansive tool that operates through algorithms and creates responses by analyzing given information. It demonstrates its usefulness by supporting and improving human efficiency. Companies specifically benefit from using AI because it’s a program that can imitate human intelligence. It is an advanced form of technology that can solve complicated problems independently, much like any employee would.

This is especially useful for smaller businesses with limited staffing and resources since AI can render the work without extra hiring costs. For agribusinesses, AI can be tasked to do the bulk of marketing campaign projects so that other personnel can focus on more sensitive concerns instead.

If you are looking to increase your business reach, here are four ways you can use AI to improve your marketing efforts further:

Automating Tasks
One of AI’s biggest benefits is its ability to automate critical yet tedious tasks. In this digital age, an example of this is maintaining a content calendar. Keeping a consistent content calendar is one of the most integral tasks for business promotion. However, crafting one can take a lot of time and usually requires the time and resources of multiple employees. AI can support these efforts by generating content ideas, writing out status copies, and designing social media assets with minimal human interference.

Designs.ai is one such program that was developed with this in mind. This is an online software that is easy to use, even for those that aren’t familiar with creative digital tools. Apart from keeping a business calendar, it can generate pictures, logos, videos, and announcements that can serve as marketing collateral. It even comes with a design wizard to guide newbies on how to utilize their AI features. This program has a free version online, but businesses can also pay for a subscription with extra services, like access to more design templates.

How to use this AI service:
Designs.ai has a social media marketing calendar loaded with information on national, international, and social media holidays. Their holiday listings include handy details that can be used in creating the post, as well as a selection of design templates and applicable hashtag choices. These are valuable for businesses to capitalize on as they are often considered trendy and have the potential to go viral, which will expand a company’s audience reach.

To create a social media post, the program will prompt some information on what has to be included and how you want it to look. Here, you will input keywords and select the template that best exemplifies your brand. The program will then generate a selection of designs you can choose from, all of which are modifiable with their smart editor feature. Once done, you can also use their copywriter AI to create the accompanying caption. You only have to supply it with the essential points that you want to convey in your post, and it will provide you with an engaging status copy. Both of these outputs can then be scheduled on your chosen social media platform. Repeat the process multiple times with different holidays, and you now have a full content calendar completed in a short amount of time without the need for a big marketing team.

Making Data-driven Decisions
Even with limited manpower, small businesses can now use AI to emulate the strategies of the chief marketing officers (CMOs) of major corporations. The day-to-day duties of CMOs—including undertaking market research, coordinating marketing budgets, and studying consumer patterns—are integral to a company’s decision-making. While having a human CMO to helm these efforts is invaluable, small agribusinesses can still use AI to make somewhat similar, well-educated decisions. By making use of existing datasets, AI can inspect historical data and uncover insights that would facilitate making strategies. Analyzing market demand and understanding relevant customer trends is important for your business to stay competitive, and AI has the capability to provide these insights.

Qlik Sense was made to assist businesses in reading analytics at any skill level. It is a self-service analytics app that can provide visualizations of company data and offer insights behind them. By converting values into models and condensing collected information into straightforward key points, businesses can easily understand their numbers more effectively. Armed with concrete figures, this program allows business owners to create data-driven decisions. The platform has a free trial version, but businesses must pay a subscription fee for long-term use.

How to use this AI service:
Qlik Sense has a platform where business owners can provide the base data, gather insights, and test-run hypothetical business scenarios. The program creates models from the provided information, visualizing the figures and revealing important patterns. It utilizes the machine learning capabilities of AI to generate calculations and uncover hidden insights, which it will then outline to be easily understood.

Qlik Sense has a main hub for users to view their data. To fill this up, you have to upload your business values through a spreadsheet. The app then scans these and recognizes the key elements to create visualizations and models. There is also an Insight Advisor feature that guides users on how to interpret their data. The app allows you to test-run potential business decisions by adjusting calculations and letting you explore different outcomes on its visual dashboard. As emphasized by the developers, the program is not meant to replace the human element of business strategy but instead to empower your decision-making as a business owner.

Enhancing Customer Experience
Great customer experience is key to a successful small business. When customers directly interface with agricultural providers, it’s important to provide a smooth transaction in order to stand out. Studies prove that using AI to track the consumer journey online can help marketing practitioners provide guided experiences that enhance customer satisfaction via efforts like personalized marketing. For instance, by observing a customer’s behavior on an e-commerce platform, AI can recognize when customers are in need of help or guidance. This is why in promoting agricultural businesses online, it is beneficial to have a customer-facing service in the form of a chatbot. These chatbots are AI-powered assistants that act as the initial touchpoint for customer services. Through AI, chatbots can process the nature of a customer’s request and offer quick solutions or easily redirect them to the proper department.

Chatfuel is one of the leading chatbot services today because it doesn’t require coding. It’s meant to interact and reengage with customers automatically to increase business sales. It can answer simple questions sent via direct messages, recommend products, and collect user data. This eliminates the time it takes to interface with customers and address the most common inquiries that businesses get daily. There is a free trial version that will answer up to 50 messages, but businesses have to pay for the pro version to use it regularly.

How to use this AI service:
Chatfuel is mostly used for Facebook and Instagram, but it can also be applied to certain websites. The program will guide you through creating your own tailored chatbot. They also have pre-written answers that many other businesses use, which can save you time in crafting the perfect response. This chatbot can be set up in multiple languages, and it has an analytics dashboard that records the most popular inputs from your audience, giving you insight into what your consumers usually ask for.

To build your chatbot, the site allows you to start from scratch or use a pre-made template. Beginners are recommended to go with templates to save time, as they already have a selection for specific situations. For example, Chatfuel has a ready-made customer service template that can answer questions on delivery details and refund policies. These will be presented as a list of options to your customers, and all they have to do is click on what is applicable, then they’ll be redirected to the answer. This will allow you to respond to your customers quickly at any time without a lot of effort on your part. It’s also easy to update your chatbot to reflect any real-time business developments, like a change in operating schedules or new contact details.

Forecasting Trends
One of AI’s unique features is its predictive analytics. With its sharp pattern-reading capabilities, AI has the capacity for strong forecasting abilities. This empowers marketers by predicting the likely success or risk of different initiatives. By gathering insights on market behavior, AI can paint an accurate picture of upcoming trends, signifying which direction a company should go in for its promotional efforts. Staying relevant has been proven to garner clicks and direct online foot traffic to a company’s online presence, therefore utilizing AI to determine trends can give your company’s marketing efforts a competitive edge.

Speaking of competition, Craiyon is one of the few trend prediction AI services that specifically comes with competitor tracking. It allows businesses to see updates on their competition and the market. The app sifts through news, updates, market patterns, and customer behavior online in real-time to determine upcoming trends that may affect business strategy. This will enable businesses to respond quickly and pivot accordingly.

How to use this AI service:
Craiyon’s AI feature uses natural processing technology to decipher and understand human language. This allows the program to correctly identify and categorize customer feedback and online trend developments to provide businesses with recommendations. By closely following competitor activity throughout various social media channels and websites, it provides insights on how to optimize marketing strategies further. Business owners can request an estimate from the developers to know how much acquiring a program plan would be.

To use the program, Crayon has a dashboard that reflects any new updates. You only have to input your competitors, and it will track their activities across the internet. It will display their social media efforts, such as promos or press releases, and what consumers say about them online. The app will also allow you to see pricing trends in real-time. Additionally, it will also give you an idea of how your audience responds to your presence online. You can gain insight into which efforts produce good results, compared to which ones didn’t do so well. This will guide you to focus on what approach works for your marketing efforts.

In a highly competitive market such as agriculture, AI might just be the biggest upgrade for your small business. Despite apprehensions, AI does not exist to completely replace the human element of businesses but is instead meant to complement it. In employing AI properly, businesses can expect to reap commercial rewards through lower costs and higher operational efficiency.

Written by: Jean Bricket

For: http://www.ruralengagement.org