Black Friday is a monster. The last Friday of November, i.e. the day after Thanksgiving, is one of the most important retail and shopping events of the year. According to the National Retail Federation, an estimated 186.4-million Americans shopped in stores or online during the five-day period from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday in 2020, with 100 million shopping online for the first time with an average $311.75 budget. Black Friday was the epicenter of all that spending, with $9 billion alone being spent online on that day.
For marketers, Black Friday can be unnerving. A lot of money is spent on ad campaigns, but knowing whether they work often feels like a lottery. Any boost to Black Friday ad campaigns is no doubt welcome. The solution? Think artificial intelligence (AI). Here then is much-needed insight for those digital marketers who want inspiration and guidance in preparation for their Black Friday advertising.
AI as Advertising Ally
This article will prove how AI can boost your ad campaigns for Black Friday. For that, one needs to remember the fundamentals of AI: it is comprised of algorithms that are constantly building on prior knowledge, i.e. it is teaching itself about what it thinks is needed. Therefore, what you get is predictive intelligence that is ‘organic’ and always evolving; it is effectively getting smarter. That is exactly how AI software can be used to perfect your online video or image-based campaigns, for example – it builds and improves on existing inputs, whether those inputs are customer profiles or prior campaigns.
AI: Boosting Engagement
There are different ways in which AI can be harnessed to boost your digital advertising campaigns. AI software is available that can instantaneously predict the viability of image-based ads, as calculated on aggregated factors such as their click-through rate (CTR) and engagement. This split-second scoring can occur across an entire library of tagged posts, as well as thousands of stock images and photo shoots used by the AI software to source ads for your campaign.
CTR is an important as it informs you which ads are being clicked and which are not being clicked by your all-important target audience. A low CTR can be indicative of the wrong audience being targeted or that your messaging or visuals are not on point. Importantly, CTR tells some of the story, but not all of it. What you need is to also know what the potential appeal of a proposed advert is. Ad Appeal is one such AI-based scoring measure which predicts the CTR of Facebook ads based on factors such as historical global ad clicks, as well as visual pixel dynamics and so forth. As its name denotes, Ad Appeal provides a holistic insight into the actual appeal of a given ad or message.
Three Steps to Boost Your Black Friday Advertising
So, how exactly can you test the ads that you’ve been working on for this Black Friday? How can you truly boost your ad campaign? These next three steps should be invaluable in allowing you to know just that:
- Use Content Scoring: Learn which ads are ready for your Black Friday campaign by leveraging your Ad Appeal score and CTR score, both of which have been explained above. Using AI for that purpose is as objective as it gets – and will give you peace of mind too about what ads to choose.
- Gauge Video Quality: if a picture does indeed paint a thousand words, then a video should paint a million words, right! However, not all video is created equally, and that is especially true of video ads. That is why you need to understand the quality of your video ads – preferably before you even load them as part of your Black Friday campaign. Once again, a software application like Ad Appeal should do the job. It will ascribe a score to your selected video based on a suite of historic and prevailing inputs from previous and existing video ad campaigns. That is invaluable because it means that your video is being benchmarked against some of the best videos used before – and, importantly, to be objectively assessed on whether it will work or not for its intended target audience and purpose.
- Get AI To Help: AI doesn’t only need to be used to score and prove the viability of video ads. It can even generate videos for you, if needed. You can achieve this by uploading your raw material to get the best suited variation of your ad videos with the assistance of AI-powered video generation software. Your raw video content can be handed over to an AI-powered video generation engine to see if its machine learning (ML) can generate ad content that is more visually arresting, on message and effective. There is a strong chance that it can, so go for it if you need.
So, can AI boost your Black Friday digital campaigns? Absolutely. Is that 100% assured? No. Obviously, the outcomes of your AI-enhanced campaigns are in direct correlation to the quality of inputs provided by your ad team. AI can undoubtedly give your ads an edge – and that should make all the difference on Black Friday.