I wanted to talk about spiders and what amazing creatures they are? I know many ladies out there may be apprehensive to read on. But not is all what it seems. When I think if spiders I think of marketing and its intricate network of complexities, How do they get it all to fit together. After a somewhat brief meeting with a thought leader in Stockholm Sweden last summer. I have been doing a lot of exercises reading and making tests using different types of tools. I needed to get a better understanding of what marketing is and how to get involved. Getting a better understanding of the technologies involved and the hype around artificial intelligence. Now I am not the book worm type and did consider reading, The Principles of marketing by Kotler and Armstrong. I started reading and thought b…. what’s all this about, principles. My first thoughts were, where do principles fit in with Artificial Intelligence and what is happening in contextual marketing today. I am not saying it is wrong but sometimes a hands-on approach to learn something new is better than just reading a book. The internet is awash with tools like my old garden shed. You think it’s a good idea at the time to buy something new as it will make your work in the garden more fruitful. Does it? I have downloaded and used many social media tools for posting. They all have their quirkiness and only a few stick out amongst the crowd. Yes, you can read countless blogs, ask friends and it mainly comes down to personal relationships and recommendations from other thought leaders.

Social Media Tools

My first trial was Hootsuite and to be honest it needs a bypass operation. Buffer is only for posting but super easy to use and affordable. There are a few others I don’t have time to mention. My favourites Sprout Social and Agora Pulse and an honourable mention to Active Demand. Active demand is something different but does have social media scheduling posting and a lot more to create complex campaigns. Agora Pulse has outstanding customer service and I even managed to get 30 minutes with the product manager to discuss some future projects and ideas. Wonderful people and amazing reporting, makes the others look outdated. Sprout Social is a very good tool and does the job well with a great user interface like Agora Pulse. I was looking at Active Demand for another reason as it offers a more complex solution, with landing pages, email marketing, you know the full Monty. Also, amazing customer support.

Here is something new to try for you that love Instagram, I have personally not tired it. Posting direct from your PC and setting it up for viral content. Who to follow and analytics on your desktop. https://special.instamate.com/ at a very affordable price. Yes on your desktop at last something real for the marketing team to work with.

After working weekends and many evenings it struck me the problem I had was really contextual content, “content first” strategy. Its great having a tool to post to social media but without great content you’re going to feel very insignificant. I needed to find something that I can write blog posts on and collect insights from others and post the ones that I think are relevant to my context.

Artificial Intelligence

After this journey I decided to put more effort in working with AI and content. How to get content to fit inside your page from others posts. A bit like retweeting someone else’s, news, or ideas. I found Haaartland. A place where you can use tags to find content. Collect the content in a private page. Read check and post to your public page and fill out with your own content to top it off. Content that is relevant and with the right context. This saved me so much time looking around to find new content that is relevant to post. Artificial Intelligence will change marketing and sales in many ways. As marketers get pushed for more relevant news and updates. They need find more effective ways to get ahead. Building their own communities with content should be the number one priority for 2017.

The Problem

Here is a problem. Who in your business is going to fix it? Is the IT department is going to fix this? Your IT partner? Webmaster? No one will, take my word for it. Why? They only sell what they know and that means marketing loses out by not accessing new technologies at an early stage. Ask them if they have time for a new landing page when can you do it. If you got this far reading I could have launched five pages by now and started to build my community without the need to find the webmaster. Yes, Artificial Intelligence brings new challenges to all of us, but it also brings amazing opportunities in marketing automation and audience building for B2B or B2C. Engaging your clients with your content in your community that you own.

Let’s face it there is no one tool that does everything, one size does not fit all, so they say. I often ask why many businesses post so many pictures on Instagram of their products. Do people just buy these products because aunty Kim is flashing her booty. No there is a link to a landing page a web shop or content to read about. Instagram is a shop window and owned by Facebook, this is their garden and owned by them. A walled garden, they own the users, they own their Artificial Intelligence.

Audience Building

This is one major obstacle. Build your audience through your thought leader page and contextual content. Own your own clients. Get a conversation going get them hooked and build an audience that you own. As Facebook and Instagram evolve it evolves with their profit in mind and not yours, so your business has to constantly make changes.

As Facebook and Instagram become more integrated and mimic their competitors to keep market share clients shift form one platform to another to get traction. The early adopters. A time will come when you can’t get a ride with someone else and you must do it from scratch, get your own car fill it with petrol and start your journey. On Instagram, many companies use influencers, give them a product for free and they will post a picture and tag it like you asked. But do you own them? Trends change influencers come and go. With both Facebook and Instagram constantly changing their Artificial Intelligence and business models, to benefit them. My advice is to build your own community. Own your own community, bild your own garden the way you like it.

Free tools are free for a reason. To get you addicted like any drug dealer giving away free samples. Get hooked and you will pay for it, if you make the wrong decision. Don’t get addicted to a free tool. Take your time. Try many. Think about it before committing yourself. For marketers wanting to get started with AI and how it can have an impact on marketing it could not get better. Start building you audience now. My advice is the following, before you go and buy a new tool to post on social media consider getting your content strategy right first. The spiders web is out there waiting for you to get stuck. What we know, we know, and what we don’t know, we don’t know. Right. Artificial Intelligence is going to make a huge impact on marketing and sales lead generation in 2017. Using AI to build your audience for your community with Haaartland is an affordable solution for any team size. Happy HuntingLeslie