Are Algorithms Becoming Essential for Digital Marketing Campaigns?
Today, Algorithms can provide new marketing insights and create new and improved ways of doing things.
Traditional marketing campaigns have always worked by identifying and targeting the people most likely to want a specific product or service.
Pre-internet, this targeting was broad with advertising based on aspects like TV shows, newspaper section, or magazine-type specific demographics enjoy. However, the internet and the advent of portable devices has changed the industry.
Thanks to the internet, marketers nowadays can learn about and target consumers much more accurately. However, as the amount of data rises, so does the complexity of analyzing it. In 2018, around 3.9 billion people were internet users. According to Statista, that will grow to 5.3 billion by 2023.
That’s too much information for humans to process – and that's why algorithms are increasingly essential.
Algorithms can process vast amounts of data and provide more accurate targeting
Google defines an algorithm as “a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer”.
This sounds simple enough, but modern algorithms have proved so useful they have grown dramatically in complexity and everyday use. Their adoption isn’t particularly new either – in 2013, the Guardian ran an article titled ‘How algorithms rule the world'.
Driven by sectors like social media and digital marketing, algorithms can now analyze more data than ever before and better assess user preferences.
The industries are often connected. For instance, a recent report found 90% of businesses surveyed had increased visibility through social media, with 75% seeing a rise in traffic.
Algorithms are powerful tools that can sift through vast amounts of data. Target and predict consumer interests more accurately than any traditional method.
As a result, they provide new marketing insights and create new and improved ways of doing things.
Advances in digital marketing and improved algorithms
Increased data means marketers can more accurately assess individual traits. Techniques like attribution modeling can even link a consumer purchase with earlier actions.
The algorithms can look at the path an individual takes leading up to a click on an ad or company website. Sometimes marketers incorrectly identify what aspect of a campaign made the consumer click on a link.
Improved engagement data can fix that and result in a better assessment of what methods are working.
Another way to see what works best is to use algorithms that automatically analyze content and engagement.
A great example of this is Vidliz, a data-driven online marketing company that has created algorithms that continuously assess a campaign’s strengths and weaknesses and automatically optimize content.
Vidliz co-founder Ohad Ben Artzi explains, “Traditional digital marketing agencies create campaigns for Facebook or YouTube, for example, and then leave it, or at best, optimize manually. This is inefficient and results in less traffic. As algorithms are designed to automate processes, my co-founder Johnathan Brin and I thought we could leverage their power to help automate analysis and optimization.”
The approach is the result of the co-founder’s differing backgrounds. Ben Artzi’s experience is in creative marketing, specifically content and video design, whereas Brin was an expert in data science.
“Combining marketing and big data is a great combination,” Ben Artzi says. “It allowed us to develop the Vidliz algorithm, which sifts through vast amounts of accumulated data and analyzes which aspects of a marketing strategy are working and which aren’t. It then fixes the issues, adapting content and design accordingly.”
Algorithms benefit digital marketing strategies across sectors
“Our clients tend to be in the technology and finance industries, but this software works for any business that has an online presence. For example, we work with a lot of startups who are constantly needing to raise funding. To successfully do that, they need to gain traction, make sales, and have provable engagement. This approach is measurable and quantifiable, which benefits all stakeholders involved” - Ben Artzi says.
“The flexibility of using algorithms also means we can tailor specific aspects of a content strategy to client needs. As we are known for data analysis, we are particularly popular with information-hungry sectors, such as fintech companies and investment services. But we work with a broad spectrum of sectors that need content creation and performance marketing.”
There are practical benefits for the marketer as well. Ben Artzi says, “Another big advantage of using algorithms from a business perspective is that half our staff are programmers. By automatically optimizing our services, we need about a quarter of the staff required by more traditional marketing methods that rely on human analysis.”
Ben Artzi is pleased with how the algorithms have been working and is optimistic about the future. “We are developing Vidliz 2.0, which will see further improvements, but demand has already been huge. In 2018, we ran campaigns with budgets of around $3 million. In 2021, that had shot up to over $25 million. We expect it will double next year.”
The use of algorithms is increasingly ubiquitous. Social media and data-driven digital marketing professionals have been embracing their possibilities and advantages for years.
For digital marketers, an algorithm’s ability to assess vast amounts of data and effectively target individual needs has already made them an incredibly valuable tool.
But as they continue to evolve and improve their capabilities, such as detecting behavioral patterns or automatically analyzing campaign effectiveness, they are increasingly essential for the success of any digital marketing campaign.