A robot using a phone and writing in a notebook with a pen.

If you’ve spent any time on social media or the internet at large lately, you’ve seen AI (artificial intelligence) has become a hot topic. Services like ChatGPT and DALL-E2 and their AI generated content have been featured in countless articles and posts. These conversations aren’t about a malicious AI like Skynet, HAL 9000, the Cylons, or Ultron of science fiction. Instead, these AI are learning programs currently in development that have become capable of generating creative content like images, art, and text. Naturally, this has created a lot of discussion about the capabilities, uses, and ethics of these kinds of programs. Rosewood Marketing is here to help you get caught up with everything you need to know about AI-generated content.

What is AI?

Let’s start with the basic: what is AI? AI in science fiction has typically referred to fully sentient artificial beings, usually computers, androids, or robots. These are not the AI were dealing with in reality… yet. Instead, AI currently refers to programs that use machine learning to more effectively complete tasks. These programs “learn” by running training data through algorithms to learn concepts and associations. They then make decisions or predictions without needing direct programming. These algorithms are now used in numerous places such as search engines, photo editing, web design, recommendation systems, language translation, chatbots, and far more. The technology has proved vital in being able to parse the massive amount of data now available on the internet. 

The Need to Know on AGI (Artificial Generative Intelligence)

Most major tech companies currently have their own AI development projects and divisions, including GoogleMicrosoftAppleMeta, etc. These are for various applications, most of which are primarily still for backend services. Typically, users don’t directly engage with or realize they are using AI programs. 

Generative AI, however, are ones the wider public has more actively interacted with lately and are responsible for the wave of AI generated content. These AIs are designed to generate visual, audio, or textual content based on user inputs. OpenAI is currently one of the recognized industry leaders in developing generative AIs. They’re responsible for both ChatGPT and DALL-E2, whose respective text and image generations have been all over the internet lately. OpenAI’s technology has also been used in partnership by Microsoft, who is currently using it for developing a “new Bing.” Nor is OpenAI alone. Midjourney is another major image generating AI that has become popular.

These programs accept textual prompts or commands and then generate content in response. Overall, the current general interest comes from both programs’ adequate ability to fulfill those requests. The sudden popularity is the result of OpenAI and other services recently making the programs available to the public. ChatGPT is currently free to use for its research and development, while Dall-E2 and Midjourney comes with a set of free uses with more available for purchase. 

Benefits of AI Generated Content

The benefits of AI generated content are immediately clear. With simple prompts users can create full pieces of text, lines of programming code, a sound bite of a person’s voice saying a specific phrase, or custom visual art faster than a human could ever produce and without that effort. The sudden impact of AI generated content is because of its immediately impressive ability to generate content from simple commands. These AI can greatly benefit content creation by speeding up the process and reducing human workload. Imagine being able to just give the prompt “Write a blog telling me everything I need to know about AI generated content” and getting a full article like this in a few seconds.

Drawbacks of AI Generated Content

That, at least, is the ideal. A lot of work needs to be done before AI generated content, replaces human creators, if ever. It is true that the creations of generative AI are already staggeringly impressive. While these AI are quite capable at creating certain kinds of art or texts, they immediately falter at more complex tasks. AI generations of humans have become infamous for their monstrous hands. CNET had recently used AI to write its articles, but after a review found more than half of those articles had serious errors, they paused further use. AI can only generate content as well as they have been trained, and right now AI generation remains at a stage that is an advanced technological parrot. It’s ability to create is impressive, but it does not actually “know” what it’s doing.

Where will AI generated content go?

Currently AI generated content isn’t quite up to par with human creativity and expertise. For simple tasks, however, AI are already producing staggering results. Along with the need for additional development, there are also current ethical concerns and debates about these generative AI. They have been trained on a wide set of creations by artists who did not give explicit permission for this machine training. As a result, AI generated content has raised debates about whether these programs are stealing from other human creators. That has only become more complicated with concerns that these AI will replace human artists and creators

On the other hand, AI generated content can be a powerful creative tool. Artists have been using generative AI in their work for decades, such as Harold Cohen’s AARON. Ultimately, creators and industries will adapt to how AI generated content develops and can be most effectively used. It’s a powerful tool, and just like any new tool, it needs to settle into its appropriate uses. If you’re interested in current AI applications for your business’ website, check out this blog and contact our web design team. You can also discuss with Rosewood’s marketing team about the current uses of AI generated content in marketing.

Deanna busy at her desk.

At Rosewood Marketing, we use the e-commerce platform Shopify to build beautiful and effective online stores. Shopify has a robust toolset that allows it to create stores for businesses of various sizes and types. For small and large businesses, it supports online product sales, brick and mortar locations, service-based businesses, and even subscription models. Shopify also has a wide suite of plugins called apps, that increase your online store’s functionality even further. Most of these apps are free to start and include scaling subscription fees for extended functionality. There are tons to choose from, so to help you find the best, here are our favourite Shopify apps and why you should love them too.

Frequently Bought Together

Upselling is one of the simplest ways to boost sales. We love Frequently Bought Together because it provides immediate and smart product recommendations to those shopping for products on your store. It’s simple in concept yet powerful in practice. It has a wide set of customization tools, comprehensive stat trackers, and you can even create bundled discounts. All of these make this app an easy favourite .

Klaviyo

Klaviyo has swiftly become one of digital marketing bests. It provides an advanced suite for email and SMS marketing that is hooked directly into your Shopify store. Klaviyo provides a wide set of templates that allow for beautiful, branded communications with advanced HTML features. That comes along with a wide set of email and SMS automations that connect directly into your Shopify store. These allow for audience segmentations, abandoned cart reminders, product recommendations, and win-back campaigns that help drive sales.

Privy

Privy is an all-in-one app for your store’s digital marketing. This ecommerce omni-tool provides your online store with on-site popups, email marketing, and SMS messaging. Privy’s email and SMS messaging has similar functionality to Klaviyo, but with limited functionality and support for fewer contacts. It’s better suited to smaller scale communication. It also integrates directly with MailChimp. However, its on-site popup functions are where Privy particularly excels and earns our love. Popups can motivate users to sign up to your newsletter, click on cross-sells, or spin a contest wheel. 

Sales Popup 

Popups help drive conversions by making online shopping more convenient. Sales Popup excels at social proof and creating urgency. It can inform users about a product’s recent sales and amount sold as proof of wider interest. It can also notify a user about limited stock or show a sale to motivate purchases. Just be sure not to overwhelm your shoppers with too many popups. This will make shopping on your online store stressful or agitating, rather than exciting or thrilling.

Zipify Pages

Just like in a physical store, you want to welcome customers when they arrive to your online one. Zipify Pages is perfect for creating elegant landing pages that greet and guide your customers. Along with an easy builder, Zipify allows you to A/B split test different landing pages, create call-to-action sticky buttons, display product carousels, and highlight cross sells. All of these features help a user know they’ve come to the right place.

Smile

Loyalty programs are effective for customer retention. 84% of consumers say they are more likely to stick with a brand or business that offers a loyalty program. We love Smile as the perfect Shopify app for adding a loyalty program to you online store. After an easy setup, Smile can add loyalty points, referral rewards, a VIP program, and more to boost brand loyalty. All of this helps with customer acquisition and retention.

Google Customer Reviews

Customer testimony is important for helping build consumer trust and your brand’s authenticity. 89% of users read online reviews before purchasing a product or service, and 59% of buyers use Google reviewsGoogle Customer Reviews is a Shopify app that adds Google review functionality to your store. It can add a seller rating badge to your website, display product and store ratings on Google shopping listings, and automatically request and collect customer reviews. This specific app doesn’t have a subscription fee. Instead, it only costs a one-time $25 dollar charge to add to your store.

Product Reviews

Shopify also offers their own Product Reviews app. This app adds a review system directly into your store so customers can easily view and leave purchase reviews on items and services in your store. It also includes tools to easily review, publish, or hide reviews. They can even be exported into a spreadsheet. Plus, as a bonus, since this app is developed by Shopify, it’s completely free to add to your Shopify store.

Just the Start

These apps will provide a wide slew of features to your online store that increase its potential to drive sales. You don’t need to start adding all of them now. Consider what features are most essential and beneficial for the moment. Build those up before you find your store loaded with partial features.

There are even more great apps to consider. Shopify’s wide feature set and these powerful apps make it perfect for every kind of business. If you’re Interested in developing a Shopify store, want some help picking your perfect apps, or taking your ecommerce to its highest functionality, contact Rosewood’s web design team. If you need help with Klaviyo or another email service, our marketing team can provide you with stunning email communications. 

An influencer happy in her relationship with a business

You probably have found and started a relationship with an influencer for your business’ social media marketing. Maybe you followed our recent advice about the benefits of micro-influencers for small businesses. Like any relationship, those with influencers require maintenance. You want to manage and maintain that relationship properly because influencer marketing is valuable for your business and expanding your reach on social media. At least 61% of people’s trust in a brand grows because of an influencer’s recommendations. That value only increases over time as your partnership with your influencers and their audience strengthens. The more an influencer trusts you, so will their audience. Here’s Rosewood’s guide to influencer relationships to keep that partnership with your influencers strong and productive into the long term.

Communicate regularly

For any relationship to continue and thrive, you need to maintain open communication. This is no less true for the your business’ influencer relationships. Regularly and openly communicate with any of your influencers, so that you both have essential information. If you are sending them products, are launching a new product or service, or have some advice for reaching your own audience, you will want to update them. Maintaining this open line of communication will also allow you to ask questions and receive key information. Similarly, if they have questions about your business and its products, services, or values, answer them promptly. 

Check on what they need

It might not always be clear what an influencer needs from your business for a certain campaign or to create content. Regularly check if there is anything they need. They might require some more information, product details, brand statements, certain products, content materials, etc. They may expect an affiliate code or link to provide their followers. Rosewood’s sites, such as those built on WordPress and Shopify, have plugins that make affiliate programs easy to manage. Inquire with influencers to see what resources they need to produce content that will engage their audience for your business. Asking will help maintain open and constant communication with an influencer so that your partnership can have lasting results.

Clear objectives and strategies

Your business’ objectives and strategies are essential information for influencers to create effective campaigns for your business. Provide them with them this information as they start a campaign or create content in association with your business. If they are providing content about certain products or services, be sure to provide them with any key details you want them to highlight. If there is certain branding information you want emphasized, make that clear to your influencer. Just like you need this information to strategize advertising, so do influencers to create impactful campaigns that benefit your business. Giving them those essentials will prolong successful influencer relationships.

Feedback

It’s useful for influencers to know how effective their campaign or content has been for your business. Provide them with insights about performance. Statistics like number of conversions and how many times their affiliate code or link has been used after a certain series of posts or campaign are informative metrics. Provide feedback for what worked, what did not, and any clarifications. When articulating this information, focus on the results. Celebrate successes and don’t assign blame for any disappointing outcomes. Again, trust they are knowledgeable about their work. Influencers can use good and bad results to improve future campaigns. They just need that information.

Trust their expertise 

Don’t let your communication with an influencer turn into oversight or micromanagement. Trust their expertise and listen to their input. Remember this is a partnership created on their established platform. They’ve built their substantial and engaged following precisely because they understand how to create impactful content. Influencers understand what their audience likes and how it will resonate with them. Their job relies on understanding the intricate and mutable workings of social media. That knowledge is precisely why an influencer relationship and partnership is valuable to your business. When an influencer provides your business with information or their insights, be sure to listen.

Compensation

Influencers will expect compensation. From the start, communicate openly with them how much and what kind of compensation they expect, and you can provide. Some might expect payment, while others may also want to create an affiliate link from which they derive commission. Remember that this aspect of the partnership will develop over time, especially as you start measuring results from each. Make sure to keep compensation an open discussion.

Influencer Marketing Software

When starting your influencer relationships, we recommend contacting and managing them the old-fashioned way. Eventually, you will likely have multiple influencers providing their services for your company and will want to keep track of all of them. Fortunately, there is software that helps you manage your relationships, discover new ones, and manage content. These programs also track important data like budgets, spending, and provide reports and analytics for performance and ROIs. Some of the best include GRINLTK Connect, and Influence.co.

It’s a Relationship

Influencers are effective because they play a prominent social role. Agreements with influencers are partnerships and reciprocal relationships. Those take time and clear communication to develop. Keep those channels open and properly manage and maintain these relationships with influencers, benefiting your business in the long run. Need more information about managing relationships with influencers or maybe you are looking to start? Speak with Rosewood’s social media marketing team. They can help you find the right influencers and use their own social media expertise to effectively collaborate with your business’ partnerships. If you haven’t gotten to this point already stay tuned for our upcoming blog on hiring your own influencers.