What is Influencer Marketing?

Where did it all start? In a little over a decade, digital media has evolved from a niche resource, to a sizable global industry with more than 40,000 companies that run about two billion social media followers each on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other digital media channels. These companies generate content, sell their products, issue recommendations and help customers make smart purchasing decisions. Media giants like Facebook, Google and YouTube are leading the charge in tracking business trends, however, there are thousands of influencer marketing companies that are jumping on the bandwagon. With marketers making more of their ads available in-stream, the influence of influencers is also going through the roof.

How are brands using influencers? Influencer marketing is not limited to professional celebrities. Brands like OPI, Modcloth, Bath & Body Works, Express, Kit and Ace, Wendy’s and many others are using influencers to get their messages into consumers’ eyes in their unique social media voices.

But what’s social? Influencer marketing isn’t just about getting your message in front of one or two people. It’s about influencers creating conversations on a mass scale—that’s what makes influencer marketing so effective, because it drives consumer advocacy and emotional resonance. Examples of great influencer campaigns this year include:

I have spent the past 24 hours drooling over one of my favourite Instagram influencers’ latest photos of a perfectly organic rainbow smoothie, which in my opinion, represents how my brand is going to live and breathe in 2019. Equally, my friends and I have over 50 followers who are very much behind my healthy lifestyle and my Fairtrade Chai Tea-flavoured Churros (not to mention my good friend Oliver from Whole Foods) endorsing my #marketing activities. If we carry on this trend, then later this year and into 2020, you’ll see My Organic Lemonade becoming a ubiquitous presence on shelves of local and international food stores across the U.S. , as well as my posts being shared on Walmarts and Sprouts (again, my friend Oliver from Whole Foods) giving me thousands of fans.

, as well as my posts being shared on Walmarts and Sprouts (again, my friend Oliver from Whole Foods) giving me thousands of fans. I have been working with an influencer called Maryam Tan, a young, beautiful, Afghan-American born IT analyst in Austin, Texas, for the past three months. I am passionate about inspiring and cultivating amazing women in social media so I took Maryam to the Spotted by Megan costume expo. I loved the way she approached the world of “me” as a teenager in real-time, sharing her first kiss, her college years and ultimately life as a loving wife, and mother. Her unique perspective allowed me to work on her behalf to help her grow her brand. I have watched her evolve, built on trust, support and love—and she loves me for it. The result has been impressive with measurable benefits for me. Her #VisionsForYourBrand campaign has proven one of the top five social media success stories in the past four months with over 3,000 fans across a diverse range of themes. The campaign has led her to work with a tireless number of brands which have been rewarded with growth.

What’s next for the influencer marketing industry? This year’s trends include the online influencer network which will help build audiences and build revenue. Additionally, participants in the upcoming 2018 TMP360 will be learning about the newest platforms for influencer marketing—how they’re transforming the way people connect with content and brands, how they inspire businesses to create brand experiences people want to share, and how the analytics are growing as Instagram does research and likes the results.

The influencer marketing industry is thriving, but it’s equally as important that brands are aware that great influencers have a lot more to offer than they do. Take it from a professional who’s worked with almost 300,000 users and comes from almost $100k worth of sales. I am happy to say that over 95% of my customers find me over social, over 10% find me through my website and 5% find me from my blog. And only 1% actually go to the influencer’s personal site to make a purchase.

Matt Michelone

Managing Director, Agency Partners

Best Social Media Marketing Tips

The purpose of social media is to connect with people from all over the world. As a new brand, you want to know how to make sure that you stay relevant to the people using social media. Follow these simple guidelines and you’ll increase your visibility, engage customers, and make your brand seem cool.

1. Get personal. Be authentic, and don’t be afraid to share the story of how you’re becoming the next big company. A sweet shout-out on your page can go a long way.

2. Think about what people are really talking about. The more people you follow, the better your social media marketing game will be. Find the conversations that matter to people, and you’ll make sure that your brand is relevant.

3. Know your followers’ target audience. What is the demographic your brand is targeting? Figure out what people are talking about and whether they’re connected to you. This will help you develop content you’ll want to share.

4. Do your research. If you really want to make sure that your social media marketing is working, take the time to find out who your fans are and how they follow your brand. It will make a big difference when you share messages that are relevant to the people you’re trying to reach.

5. Keep it simple. Using hashtags is a great way to drive traffic to your page. Sharing content that’s relevant to your audience is a great way to stand out from the competition. You don’t have to be too smart to use the best hashtags, just smart about what you use them for.

6. Make video. Videos are now the primary way companies communicate with consumers. Developing a strong video presence is a great way to communicate with your fans, as well as to provide information that goes beyond the 140 characters on a tweet.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Technology has resulted in an explosion of channels within which companies can reach consumers, yet it has created a muddled process for marketers to determine which medium is most effective, social media specifically. Online companies are known for promoting themselves, and are subjected to a very competitive landscape in which content and competing messages sometimes battle for attention.

What is Social Media Marketing?

For brands, it’s important to define their voice and choose the most appropriate way to maintain that voice across social media platforms. As a result, social media posts should align with the brand or company. While platforms like Twitter and Facebook can be a great opportunity to engage with consumers and promote a brand’s purpose, these channels may take a more creative and sales-focused approach.

For example, recent Twitter controversy between Ivanka Trump and Nordstrom earlier this year spurred more than 100,000 tweets with the hashtag #GrabYourWallet, according to the analytics platform Yesably. Nordstrom’s social manager recently posted: “We make buying decisions based on what we think is best for our customers, for the long-term success of our brand. We appreciate their loyalty and feedback and are always looking for new ways to delight you.”

Consumers on Twitter have mixed reactions, which can be a good signal for brands looking to receive more engagement on social media. According to Sephora, brand conversation on Instagram reached three times greater than on Twitter last year. The beauty giant is also utilizing Instagram Stories to engage consumers and drive awareness and sales.

The right video can serve as a ground-breaking, viral social media campaign. The benefit of Instagram Stories is that brands can keep a core brand or story out there while also staying in front of consumers where they are engaging with brands. By putting a story out there through social channels, you can stay topical and relevant, whereas broadcast television is only relevant to a small subset of viewers.

Brands can also engage consumers on their own channels by creating meaningful conversations that inform followers on their product’s attributes and storytelling that promotes the brand as a brand. Brands can encourage interactions with followers by offering informational contests or giveaways that drive immediate interactions with fans.

Better Than TV?

It was almost a decade ago when marketers began reconsidering TV as a marketing vehicle. But while TV still has its place, as a personal brand a brand has the power to effect meaningful change. Brands can influence a consumer’s moods using social media. Spending money to accomplish this can increase revenues.

In addition to engagement, research has proven that watching video on social media can increase revenues. According to Looker, display ads on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter can be sold to consumers on a brand-led basis and generate an 11 percent higher revenue return than other online ads.

Culture and Gen-Z

Social media marketing is often aimed at millennials. A recent data study from Deloitte, which analyzed web usage in 150 countries, found that Canada ranked as the top country for mobile marketing awareness, followed by China, Russia and the U.S. In Canada, 27 percent of social media users were between the ages of 16 and 29.

Three out of five respondents in the U.S. were younger than 35 years old, making this a target audience for marketers. Millennial and Gen-Z have the social media power to create awareness of products, a marketable advantage that is often a force to be reckoned with. To develop a successful strategy, companies should ensure that their social media channel is consistent with their brand and relevance across the brands’ content. It’s crucial to create content that customers find meaningful and engages them as a user and ultimately a brand.

This social media strategy offers a unique way to engage with customers, telling a story in the process. With the power of social media marketing, a brand or company can tell the story of a moment in time through their voice and be a defining factor in the story. By helping companies appeal to social media users, a social media strategy can help these companies find true influence and a greater ability to drive revenue.

Top 10 Content Marketing Tips

Discover 10 post-media industries’ best practices in storytelling.

How can marketers do the same? Consider experimenting with new forms of storytelling, from in-feed actionable messaging to branded fiction. Here are 10 content marketing trends to watch in 2019:

1. We must create emotionally compelling, engaging content that encourages consumer engagement.

The new business approach is client-first, whether it’s for growth, insight or desire to change. It’s about being their partner, even when the client lives for the brand. At the same time, marketers must be willing to evolve. They must take risks and test concepts. The key is to have a guide to guide that evolution, creating a tangible foundation for the marketing team.

2. Content marketing needs a measurement strategy to survive.

To truly thrive, content marketing needs to thrive in the future of media.

3. Consumers are rapidly embracing social media, which means companies need to keep in close touch with their audience.

You can’t survive without communications. It’s part of an ongoing relationship with your audience. As marketers, we’re just so used to the visual content we churn out. It’s a beautiful and powerful way to connect with your customer. But it’s not enough. Connecting with consumers happens when you strike a tone that resonates and stands out from the noise.

4. Creating desirable content will help you survive.

Liking content counts—and so does liking it in Facebook groups, suggesting it to others and so on. Consistency matters. Also, being remembered is very important.

5. Being digital, data-driven is now the name of the game.

Content has always run with marketing. This new environment requires a shift in thinking. Not just know how to collect and manage data, but to really pay attention to the value of that data, and the effects it has on your company.

6. It’s still about listening to your customers.

Companies have too often relied on traditional, mass media—media that define behavior, such as physical stores or online search. But some brands are recognizing that digital-first is a great place to start. It’s their customers who dictate what they consume, say, and feel. Rather than treat media as monolithic, companies need to listen to their customers and give them what they want, when they want it.

7. There’s a shift from advertising as a pay-for-play proposition.

In the digital age, advertising is an ad-supported transaction. Audiences simply don’t pay. But there’s room for for-profit content, as well. Brands cannot just let consumers pay them, of course. Instead, brands must learn to use data to their advantage to drive better advertising.

8. From emotional appeals to data, customer data is important.

The client is back. The starting point of a content strategy is to know your customers, as well as learn how to understand their pain points and provide unique products and services. Create authentic messaging in the way that works for your industry and consumers.

9. Consumers want to experience and connect with brands, so if you get the right message, the right experiences, they will engage.

Content marketing was originally designed to sell your product and give it the appropriate value to its audience. In a world where consumers want the best of both worlds, you need to anticipate this shift, adjust and plan.

10. With more tools than ever before, marketers are able to answer consumer needs.

Loyalty cards are no longer just about getting discounts. Fathom helps consumers keep track of loyalty and offers, paying attention to what they value most. At the same time, content marketing provides the opportunity to take advantage of all of the new features of connected devices, from your smartphone to the IoT.

How To Do Content Marketing

Web content is the most common form of content marketing online. It consists of text, images, videos, audio and infographics that people view on a daily basis and interact with.

I believe content marketing is the oldest form of advertising on the web. It’s only a few short years since websites and blogs (the first one came along in the early ’90s), but content marketing is already more pervasive than many of us realize.

Just think of your Facebook, Instagram and other social media feeds. In May 2018, the social media-tracking company Pew Research Center announced that content marketing was not only expanding online, but also influencing people’s purchasing decisions. According to Pew, 90 percent of people use Facebook daily, and 64 percent of them have said that seeing posts from friends and family influences their purchasing decisions. Even more interesting, 41 percent of people said the information they’ve found on Facebook was the deciding factor for purchasing a product they liked, according to Pew.

Of course, this all stems from marketers believing that content marketing is better than traditional advertising (even while I do believe there is an actual difference between the two).

Here are the key rules of content marketing:

Start early. It’s simple: Originality is best, but that doesn’t always mean spending a fortune and learning to speak one of the 130 different languages that are projected to exist in 10 years. Don’t make people wait for that information. The goal of content marketing is to bring people content they find valuable, not content that gets lost in the noise.

Choose your targets carefully. If you’re pushing puppies (or posters of cats) on your friends’ homes, the chances that they will actually engage with it are pretty slim. A single paragraph’s worth of information is just as impactful as a section on Facebook in an afternoon news feed. For a more traditional approach, consider topics that people generally want to know more about.

Have the patience. Shifting gears to competitive marketing isn’t always a walk in the park, especially if your desired outcome is to attract prospects and convert them into sales. Content marketing, however, is something that can be figured out and created with minimal training. Creating content on a high-pressure business model can be difficult, so make sure your content writing and branding skills are polished so you’re creating it for real.

Be sure to test and retest your content. Your first post should either be content that everyone agrees you should publish in a given state of content marketing (sales, social media, content marketing page growth and so on), or content that will gain a certain amount of traction in your target market. Then see what works and what doesn’t, so you can get consistent results.

Don’t invest too much. The first step is to choose a target market, but you’ll want to make sure you get your content out there in the first place. Focus on the value and impact of your content. If you make it seem too expensive or you expect results too soon, potential customers may shrug you off or simply ignore you.

Do everything in your power to communicate value and excitement. Create value—positively and in a way that might take even the most stubborn customers by surprise. Share it with your team and your clients. Create content that people want to consume because you’ve made it a priority, not just a one-time endeavor.

Are you content marketing? Are you going to continue that direction and scale up to a job you believe is truly important? I challenge you to answer these questions and more in the second installment of “Teaching Yourself Content Marketing” where we go deeper into how to make content you want to share.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is all about establishing an “authoritative” view of a brand. Companies create content to distribute online to get people to talk about their brands and offers. They typically perform research and develop documents to prove the value of their branded content to consumers. As we define it, the role of content marketing is to “sell, not sell-buy” and inform, inspire and support marketing plans in addition to providing vital infrastructure to drive sales.

Content marketing focuses on three broad areas: The content itself, such as articles, blogs and videos; its delivery, including sponsorships and forums; and its distribution, through digital publishing as well as social and other media channels.

Since a significant amount of content is created by consumers, it offers a potential for new types of marketing campaigns to leverage. An example is how Whole Foods Market created campaigns to engage their consumers on social media platforms to call out small vendors that received unsolicited mentions on their Facebook pages. Through engaged content with consumers they ended up with a recall rate of 99 percent.

A third area involves the process of content creation. Organizations develop marketing programs based on key insights from brand research and the needs of the target demographic. They then conduct creative, data-driven research, develop editorial material that reflects those insights and create execution plans to align that content with strategic marketing plans. They execute these campaigns using a number of different tools and strategies that deliver their content to consumers on the desired channels of distribution.

Now, the big question: What are the different types of content marketing strategies? What kind of content and how does it connect with your target market?

Marketing in the Age of Content

Content marketing does not limit itself to traditional media outlets, such as print magazines and television programming. It is equally as relevant to online publishers. Traditional media tend to have fewer traffic opportunities in an age of online content, while companies that create content more often have the content reach a wider audience on the Internet.

Through a broad range of distribution methods, content marketing can leverage social media, YouTube and Instagram to distribute content.

Consumers are increasingly engaging in conversations about brands through social media, particularly through blogs, Facebook groups and Twitter feeds. This means brands can amplify content without investing in editorial projects and create social conversations that support their sales and marketing efforts. Brand discussions, such as those resulting from Amazon’s sales walk-around, spread by word of mouth and on Twitter, are less costly to create than traditional ad campaigns and, therefore, have greater benefit for business.

In addition, these types of conversations can often carry over into more conventional environments. Quaker Oats created a series of character videos that connected with consumers. These videos featured current and former NFL players who trained to provide tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle and share workouts and recipes. These videos generated over $40 million in direct advertising revenues.

Content marketing tactics are increasingly considered major marketing tools and have provided success for companies of all sizes. Marketers looking to grow revenues and content publishers who rely on digital advertising and building a strong brand are taking advantage of this. These tactics are gaining momentum. Through appropriate strategies in the right content types, organizations will be able to capitalize on opportunities for growth.

Top 10 SEO Tips

Using advertising to increase your content’s search engine ranking is not only more effective for your company than simply attempting to rank, but can also extend your business beyond your present boundaries. The key to SEO is to start with a solid foundation from search ranking and optimize your business for an extended reach. Below are a few tips for your SEO, starting with your content.

To compile these top 10 tips for your SEO, I utilized the Cognitive Business Analytics model that I developed on the early sites. The model allows you to benchmark and determine your ranking, your relevancy to your target audience, your media mix, and new top performing aspects of your business. After I implemented the Cognitive Business Analytics model to my site, the results blew me away.

Below you will find my top 10 SEO tips, which are designed to assist you to achieve your goal of increasing your share of your audience’s revenue stream by improving your ranked content. With all of these tips in place, your SEO, your SEM, and your brand can travel well beyond what you initially imagined.

• Choose content you believe will resonate with your target audience. The audience is your primary consideration when choosing your content and when publishing it.

• Utilize the visual aspect of SEO to the greatest extent possible.

• Use the right keywords and timing, ranging from your content creation and SEO campaigns to the content you place on your website and social media pages.

• Showcase your brand to the maximum extent possible and build more credibility for your brand.

• Consistently update your existing content, optimize and optimize your content by taking measures to combat the negative SEO effects of the previous practices.

• Choose an industry-specific SEO agency that understands the specific situations your business is in. The best approaches are best adapted to each individual’s business.

• Create multiple social media platforms for your audience to engage on and share from.

• Strategically set marketing budgets and see which ones you need to spend, based on the long-term goal of your organization.

• Embrace video to drive conversions, generate leads, and build credibility within your industry.

• Leverage the interactivity of video. Think about how you would like to invite your audience to participate in your editorial strategy.

The final step in optimizing your content is improving your link base. At Brinker Media, our SEO account is managed by Thomas Tarantola, who works diligently to continually improve our site’s rank and content. The key to increasing your rankings is to link back to your site. To greatly increase your SEO, monitor your site and see which links appear to others from the likes of Google, Bing, and Yahoo! These links will provide you with an added level of validation.

With all of these SEO tips in place, you can increase your revenue flow, see returns on your investment, and advance your business to the next level. Simply refine your SEO strategy to target this list of steps. With all of these steps in place, your SEO, your SEM, and your brand can travel well beyond what you initially imagined.

What Factors Matter in SEO?

Getting better at SEO is the goal of any digital marketer; anyone can make the mistake of prioritizing it at the cost of the other disciplines (engineering, content management, design, design). Like any discipline, SEO is undervalued and underused. What is it to have a goal worth being passionate about? Is the goal of driving traffic better for your website to use landing pages as landing pages rather than the mashed-up copy from the Top Bloggers or Less Advanced Search Engine Optimization practices? SEO isn’t the only goal worth having. Achieving SEO “hoax” goals needs to be your top-of-mind goal, but it’s not the only goal worth having. Though we go through our daily SEO journey with no thought of other objectives, in our minds we should be thinking of the goals we want to accomplish in the following areas:

  • Traffic sourcing to your content
  • Metrics, dashboards, analytics, feedback
  • Technology tools
  • Product development
  • Marketing techniques to track and improve

Your best SEO best practices will guide your business toward these goals. These goals are more complex than the number of pages you have or how easy it is to set up an ecommerce store.

How do you set your goal up?

Google is not the right place to start. Start with your website!

For example, your SEO goals may take the form of getting more search engine visibility, increasing your website’s influence, building your best search experience, improving your business’s reputation, attracting better customers, increasing conversion rates, and more. Take the example of hotels.com, which happens to have a set of SEO goals that range from getting more clicks to less CTRs. Ideally, the goal for hotels.com is to achieve one of these things and then the other one will set up with a nice set of metrics (e.g. CTR, Google Analytics, Conversion Tracking, Conversion Goal Optimization) and then another is for the smaller goals that will set up the process for the bigger goals that will automatically happen.

Once you understand your objective, you can then have multiple lines of reference (including website analytics, search engines, Google Analytics, etc.) so that you can set up your SEO best practices. Once you understand your objective, your goal, the metrics, the systems, the technologies, the goals, you are in a good place to optimize as best as you can for the objectives you set out.

Tip: Quality is more important than quantity.

Now you will have your SEO best practices, your policies, your procedures. All the things that came together to help you with your full online experience.

It’s not enough for SEO to optimize keywords. It’s not enough for SEO to optimize pages. What’s more important than any of these? Quality. Quality is more important than quantity. While SEO is good for quantity, or sometimes even for quality, SEO is almost always better for quality, especially in the enterprise space.

Tip: Quality is more important than quantity.

As with so many disciplines, having a clear goal is important.

Have a focused goal. Your SMART goals are:

1. 1 Metric metric targets (2, 3, etc)

2. Other goals (3, 4, etc)

3. Not including this: “new audiences” (new users), “new logos” (brand extensions), “using new digital tools” (digital marketing), “increase new revenue streams” (sales or marketing tools), “achieve revenue targets” (corporate objectives), “increasing site popularity” (editorial content), “develop new sales-related strategies” (product development or sales efforts), “make this process so effortless it’s automatic” (if manual), and so on.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimization (or SEO) is the process by which we provide search engines with relevant content. So every day we get emails offering SEO tips, and pages spring up to market SEO services. At first, I thought: “I’ll sign on to it.” But what exactly do these tips entail?

Search engines have an incredibly difficult task in distinguishing between web pages and content that is directly related to a search query. If a few words are similar to one another, then even if the page itself isn’t related to the query, the search engine may still give it a higher ranking based on a generic search strategy. This is because Google has already looked to its general search algorithm to determine what search terms are relevant to the page—when it finds otherwise, it penalizes the page and dishes out a penalty. For this reason, any SEO trick can be quite effective, as long as it works within the parameters of the general search algorithm.

Proper SEO tips include improving page navigation, creating quality content, and providing links that link back to the site itself. However, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. When it comes to SEO tips, the biggest question is often, “What does SEO really mean?” This varies with the industry and website itself, but the general answer is that it means finding the right ways to tell the user what you have to offer.

Of course, the message that should be included should be subjective. Rather than setting a definitive set of guidelines for a site’s keywords and page structure, SEO focuses on how to create a unique feel that will bring your user into your site. As far as free-form website guidance goes, it’s always tempting to impose rules on what can and cannot be done. Even if the guidelines may not be extensive, they must always be followed. However, the way a website functions and its presentation is often affected by the content—that means the rules shouldn’t just be in place as a marker for what’s required, but should be influenced by the content.

If your goal is to improve SEO, you must think about the “authenticity” of your content in order to resonate with users and create a more engaging overall experience. To do this, you must always think about what your site will look like when a person views it on mobile and should include responsive design strategies. You need to make sure that you have relevant content related to the keyword being searched in the query. That way, when you present yourself on a mobile device, you’re delivering the exact look and feel you want.

Last but not least, I would recommend focusing on content strategies and not the rest of your site itself. Most other efforts will fall on deaf ears if users aren’t engaged. Know that your content has a very strong impact on your website’s results in the overall search engine. This means that you must focus on the right type of content for the type of website you are building. This doesn’t mean you must focus exclusively on high-quality content (the coveted SEO term), but instead on the type of content that links to your main business values and then makes itself easily accessible via the media. From there, people are more likely to find their content more enjoyable to consume and want to stick around.

How AI Will Change Marketing

The proliferation of online platforms that compete for user attention and attention spans are challenging marketers’ ability to get a return on their investment. As we continue to learn more about what behaviors we really care about, marketers are attempting to come up with new ways to engage consumers.

Brands that are thinking differently about ad-buying technology can help themselves cut through the noise and create engaging, rich experiences that deliver meaningful, next-level marketing returns. Our research, conducted with Purple Research, shows that by 2020, AI-enabled technologies will account for a majority of the time spent online, up from 40 percent currently. The result is that marketers need to be thoughtful about how to incorporate their marketing tech into their products, services and processes. The right strategy and training for marketers and brand experts is going to be crucial to navigate a rapidly changing business landscape.

Top five AI-driven activations by brand marketers

Sprinklr is a leading provider of software that optimizes real-time media buys for brands. For Sprinklr, AI-powered insights help determine which consumer insights to incorporate in the digital content experience, whether it’s a new product launch or campaign optimization. As the TV ad-buying tech becomes more intuitive, imagine all of the creative, integrations and video content being tapped to inform performance and activation. For Sprinklr, AI is the key to elevating brand engagement, which is especially important considering digital adoption is exploding. As TV’s relevance goes away, Sprinklr’s AI solutions are being used to help brands create relevant and engaging products and experiences for their audiences.

Crowdcube is a crowdfunding platform which recently rolled out its AI powered Insight platform powered by OpsLab AI. Crowdcube’s free platform is used by campaigns with budgets in the billions of pounds. It can predict which campaign strategy will best to deliver the best return on investment and predict which consumers will actually click, and therefore react, to promoted messages. Companies using Crowdcube and other AI powered platforms are gaining real data insights based on how their work is performed.

Aventurera is an international shopping platform that recently deployed another New York-based company, OpsLab AI, to enhance marketing insights. By translating disparate data, Aventurera’s AI is able to target individual customers based on similar behavior to help customers, increasing the probability that they’ll complete a purchase. Aventurera’s AI systems are fully automated and are conversant in local languages, thus ensuring a mobile-friendly user experience for customers across all of their markets.

Peeku, a New York-based live video-shopping platform, is leveraging AI for three key areas: speech recognition, image recognition and sentiment analysis. It automates more than 500 aspects of fulfillment, including customer ratings, ads, conversions, shipping and returns. Consumers no longer have to click through and manually enter details, not only saving them time, but also enabling an accurate reading of their interactions with the platform. Now their conversation will be graded at a speed much more aligned with their interpretation abilities. On the advertiser side, big brands, agencies and retailers are also adjusting their content to use chatbots and AI trained to answer consumers’ queries, drive traffic and engage consumers.

Massive Marks, a digital merchandising platform for moms and baby, is using Blue Shell, a Seattle-based technology company that uses artificial intelligence to make product recommendations. They are aiming to greatly improve the shopping experience for moms, with a focus on creating a more personal shopping experience. What they have found is that by using machine learning, the group is gaining relevant recommendations that improve the overall shopper experience. They have leveraged Blue Shell’s human-only recommendation engine on millions of products, applying machine learning to help them serve up products that are relevant to their customers and engaging the conversation the same way an in-person shopping advisor might. Their results are quite impressive, as they have seen significant increases in conversion rate and customer satisfaction.