October 15, 2019

How AI-enabled marketing can lower website bounce rates and improve accessibility

Marketers always strive hard to boost website traffic. A significant metric which quantifies the performance of websites is the bounce rate, indicating the percentage of users who leave without delving any further than the initial page.

In this context, it is important to understand web accessibility. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law in 1990. It prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and provides equal opportunities for accessing the web to all users.
Disabled users find it inconvenient to access disabled-unfriendly websites and their sessions naturally tend to bounce. A 2016 study from Click-Away Pound, a surveyor focusing on the online shopping experiences of people with disabilities, found that 71% of disabled customers with access needs usually clicked away from a website when they found it difficult to use.
These customers who click away have an estimated spending power of £11.75 billion in the UK, which figures to approximately 10% of the total UK online spend in 2016. The survey also found 82% of customers with access needs will spend more if websites were more accessible.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) elaborates on making the web accessible to disabled users. Adhering to the WCAG standards not only helps site owners improve the reach of websites, but also steers them away from unwanted legal repercussions.

What is AI marketing and how can it help reduce bounce rates?

AI marketing is empowered by the building blocks of artificial intelligence, helping develop creative services to simplify website accessibility. It leverages customer data with the help of machine learning to automate processes like extraction of data and prediction of customer behaviour that improves customer experiences.
Here are a few ways AI marketing contributes towards engaging disabled users and reducing bounce rates on websites:

Improving web accessibility

Website accessibility ensures equal access to users with visual, hearing, motor, or cognitive impairments without any barriers. Empowered by technologies like natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning, AI marketing helps marketers deliver personalised and contextualised experiences.
For example, Facebook has incorporated the automatic alternative text tool backed by object recognition technology to help the visually impaired. This tool uses screen readers on iOS devices to generate detailed descriptions of the elements in photos as the user swipes past them.
Private website owners should consider accessiBe, an AI-powered, pioneering web accessibility tool that simplifies the way business owners deliver accessible content to disabled users. This automated tool creates accurate alt text descriptions for images on websites, improving accessibility for visually impaired users. The application also ensures the website is compliant with WCAG 2.1.
Among the features that accessiBe offers to apply website accessibility are:
  • Optimisation of websites for keyboard navigation to accommodate users with motor impairments
  • A built-in dictionary which explains expressions, slang, and phrases for users with cognitive disorders
  • Granular adjustments in colours, fonts, and typography to make content more accessible for users with visual disabilities

Boosting customer engagement

Customer engagement is naturally a defining metric to reduce bounce rates. With a diverse online community, identifying customer types and engaging them based on their requirements is a challenge for marketers.
AI marketing helps marketers deal with this challenge by categorising disabled users and self-optimising websites to improve conversions. For example, users with hearing difficulties may find it difficult to access video or audio content. It also helps users with hearing difficulties by offering textual scripts. Adding this script not only helps augment the customer base, but also boosts search engine ranking.
Previously, such scripts were entered manually. With the advent of AI-powered technologies, however, these scripts can be generated automatically. YouTube uses this speech recognition technology to create captions for videos.

Offering recommendations based on buying personas and search history

AI marketing offers product recommendations based on the individual needs of customers. These recommendations are derived from the user’s purchase history and preferences from browsing behaviour, which makes them highly relevant. With AI, marketers can obtain intuitive insights from scanning volumes of data on customer behaviour.
The AI algorithm leverages data such as account information, customer preferences, purchase history, and contextual information about the customer. Product recommendations are based on this data. This technology ultimately helps improve user convenience and helps with online purchases.
According to the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), web usability for the disabled is defined as the extent to which users can use a product to obtain specified goals. This guideline throws light on the need to include simplified and understandable instructions on websites to help people with cognitive and learning disabilities.
Providing AI-enabled product recommendations eases the complications of searching the web for products and information for disabled users. The website automatically offers recommendations based on the history of the customer which narrows down the search results. These recommendations prevent customers with cognitive or learning disabilities from getting lost in the deluge of online information. The recommendations aim to direct them with sufficient information to accomplish the intent of their online visit.

Helping derive customer information to enhance the quality of service

It’s no secret that personalised services result in exceptional customer experiences. Using traditional analytics for this purpose will be time-consuming and tedious. The result will also be confined to pre-defined metrics. AI marketing, however, enables marketers to deliver quick and seamless customer services that are backed by insights obtained from numerous customer journeys.
AI-powered marketing uncovers numerous relationships from data to predict customer behaviours with the utmost accuracy. It also finds the drivers and inhibitors of delivering seamless customer services. Unlike conventional methods of collecting customer data, such as feedback forms and sign-ups, AI-enabled marketing initiates the right questions to derive insightful customer data.
In the context of users with disabilities, AI marketing helps websites optimise their usability based on intent.


AI marketing opens up new avenues to accelerate website performances. The above-mentioned factors of AI marketing will help marketers extend their customer base, understand and explore a different segment of the audience, and reduce bounce rates while driving potential traffic.
Written By: Manish Dudharejia - Marketing Tech

January 23, 2019

8 Reasons to Hire a Virtual Marketing Agency

Running business operations requires much effort and time. It could leave you exhausted and at times, you end up with little or no enthusiasm. To avoid burning out just when you badly need results, you need to outsource some of the critical functions. Presently, everyone has embraced digital technology, and if your entity is not in line, you may end up lagging behind in your line of business. However, computer-driven media does not necessarily mean ditching the old platforms such as print media. Nonetheless, marketing can take many forms, but it is the digital ones that have a high potential for results.

As the name suggests, virtual marketing agencies do not operate from a brick and mortar office. Every professional hired by the entity works remotely, but they are all interconnected online. If one has got internet linked via back office software, the workflow does not get interrupted. However, from time to time, the team needs to, and they do indeed meet up to map out their clients’ strategies. Their meeting place can be anywhere from your boardroom to a coffee break at an eatery.
Remain relevant
Whether you have any marketing background or not, you don’t need to be told that you must carry out intensive industry research. Launching a campaign of any magnitude without studying consumer behavior can have a severe backlash. You must understand the industry. Take for instance the print magazine that people used to love. Most of them have now stopped publishing hard copies and have moved their publications online. If you are in this sector, it would be detrimental to continue churning out volumes of papers and taking them to newsstands. Few people will buy them, but there are millions of readers online. Marketing agencies know about these developments and can guide you on the right strategies to adopt.
Does this leave you feeling scared of losing out in the competition? If so, there are compelling reasons for you to hire a virtual marketing agency.

You tap into the endless creativity
Virtual marketers can be a weird lot. If you have never met them, you should walk into their offices one day. They are the type of guys that come to work dressed in rugged jeans and t-shirts. You hardly see creatives adorning in suits and ties. However, you should not mistake this for a fun club since these are some of the most talented people you could ever meet. Their diversity regarding education and work experience makes them the go-to persons. Furthermore, their technological know-how and innovation in solving problems are second to none. Their teams come fully equipped with:
  • Creative directors
  • Skilled graphic designers
  • Copywriters
  • Media buyers
  • Media planners
  • Office assistants

Competitor evaluation
Virtual marketing agencies have an in-depth knowledge of the market where businesses operate. They know the approaches that work as well as those that do not. Following an intensive interaction with different clients, they can quickly adopt strategies that can easily turn around your fortunes. Take for instance campaigns that target millennials. Placing print ads for such a group might result in their getting ignored. However, buying media on online social platforms will get the attention of these youngsters. Only an outsourced agency can evaluate and know this. The marketers will:
  • Help identify where your target audience hangs out
  • Determine the most appealing content
  • Streamline your campaigns on social media
  • They research on keywords, analytics and search management

No staffing headaches
To succeed in your marketing efforts, you must be consistent. An employee who suddenly falls ill when you are running a crucial campaign can ruin everything. That person who takes leave of absence for unavoidable circumstances could be the best that you have. For example, he or she might be the only one who understands how to curate content and optimize blogs. Besides, the timing of their leave could coincide with an important festive season when you had hoped to cash in on consumer spending. With a marketing agency, such worries do not exist.
  • No need to carry out recruitment, the agency hires its team
  • Agencies have their way of dealing with staffing issues
  • If one of their employees falls sick or goes on leave, that becomes none of your concerns
  • With a virtual agency by your side, none of the matters affecting employees can bring your campaigns to a halt. You expect them to deliver come rain or shine

Data analysis, monitoring and research
Following the emergence of internet platforms, there is a high potential for gathering data and analyzing it to your advantage. An in-house team may not be of much help here. However, digital marketing agencies go out of their way to study and gather market information. They finance or procure data on consumer behavior. Out of the results, they identify trends that help in understanding why people opt for product B as compared to C or the other way around. With such feedback, virtual marketing agencies, can restructure your web content and ensure that prospective clients visit and engage your company by buying your product or service.
  • All you need is develop key performance indicators and share them with the marketers
  • They then figure out performance against your measures
  • Agencies identify metrics that they can monitor in different channels
  • They provide you with reports on a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly basis

No training needed
Agencies come fully equipped with a team of content writers, web developers, marketers, media monitors, graphic designers, SEO professionals, you name it. If you were to hire all these yourself, it could end up being a huge gamble or counterproductive. Moreover, such people may take time to fit into your organization’s culture. This is not the case with an outsourced marketing agency. They come fully loaded with a skilled team that is passionate about what they do. You do not need to take them for seminars or hire people to train them. On the contrary, they are always ready and raring to go; all you need is to give them a little shove by way of a briefing.
  • You save money that could have gone to staff training
  • The company saves time that could have gone towards arranging for seminars
  • There is no need to invest in software

The aspect of an outside perspective
Employees working inside an organization may not have a wide knowledge of what goes on outside. On the other hand, someone could be having brilliant ideas but holds them for fear of making his or her bosses look bad. Marketing agencies consist of people who brainstorm consistently and come up with solutions on how best to achieve results. They approach your problems from the outside view; a consumer’s eye. It might be difficult for you to ‘step out’ of your organization for a while and look at it from the other side. Virtual marketers are your best bet.
  • You eliminate bias and promote out-of-the-box thinking
  • People no longer remain frozen in the notion that they can keep doing things the same way as before
  • An outsider sees things differently since they do not know you or any of your employees

Helps you focus your energy where needed
Running successful online marketing campaigns requires hiring an experienced and deeply motivated team. Plus, you need to re-focus your attention towards ensuring that the new hires understand what you do on a day-to-day basis. All this takes time and you could spend much money on in-house training. Your efforts could result in strained resources and reduced profits. Why not let a virtual agency take the burden? The resources you could have spent can go a long way towards growing other aspects of your business. With an outsourced marketer, you only must appraise them on your needs, objectives and timelines. You need not train or manage anyone.
  • Running a business requires your commitment, time, and energy
  • Agencies have all the time to run marketing aspects on your behalf since that is their area of specialization.
  • They take time to understand your business and deploy measures for the right marketing tactics

Reduces costs significantly
When faced with the prospect of outsourcing or grooming an in-house team, many organizations make comparisons and opt for the latter. However, you eventually realize that a virtual agency is less costly. Do you know why? Part of the reason is that these agencies do not have physical offices. Their employees work from home most of the time. They can even meet at a coffee house and develop a strategy in no time. As a result, they charge you a retainer or commission that is much lower than what you would have paid your internal team. Another cost aspect is that you need not subscribe to marketing tools available online. Most agencies already have them.
  • Virtual agents do not have to work from an office
  • They pay no rent for use of premises
  • No need for them to buy furniture or office equipment
  • Every team member works from the comfort of their home or wherever they feel most productive
  • Part of their cost comes from internet subscriptions or online coordination tools
  • They pass these benefits over to their clients through reduced fees

In a nutshell
Many companies prefer to hire in-house marketers, and with good reasons. Part of this stems from the fact that insiders know the brand better than others. Besides, they live, breath and eat the organization’s culture which makes it hard for outsiders to match these aspects. However, having an external point of view helps expand your vision. The level of expertise found in virtual marketers is unmatchable. These are people drawn from the best pool of professionals in the industry. They bring with them unrestricted passion and the desire for results.
At the same time, outsourced agencies are more in touch with reality. They view your business from an outsider’s point of view and with no bias. Ordinarily, your in-house team may feel constrained by the fear of making you feel disappointed. Also, every so often, an employee will fall sick or take leave, and you cannot deny them this. It will be a massive setback if the person who goes away is the one you highly depend on to drive the advertising strategy.
Agencies have their unique way of procuring data from their peers or carrying out their research. They use an array of tools that would be expensive if you were doing it alone. Fortunately, they can leverage this by offering you up to date statistics that are measured and found to work. Hiring your team also means that you must take them through training and induction. Virtual marketers need none of this as they come fully equipped and only need a briefing on your expectations.
Running a business requires focus with no room for distraction. In-house marketers can divert your attention, and by the time you come around, you will have lost much ground to competitors. Agencies take and bear the burden for you. Someone else receives the beating and fights to get you ahead. In the meantime, you are more than happy to concentrate on your area of specialization. You only begin to see results trickling in as if by magic.
Every organization worries about cost minimization versus revenue maximization. Here, a virtual marketing agency is your best bet. Outsourcing your marketing work can significantly reduce your running costs. Since these professionals save money by way of not having a physical office, they pass these benefits to your company.
Lastly, by their position in the market, virtual agencies are more in touch with reality than you. They keep up with the current trends and are also on the lookout for emerging ones. Reputable agencies will tell you what strategies can work well in the present. They bring new perspectives into things you were doing before but yielding little or no results. They can determine where to find your audience and target it correctly. In the end, your brand remains relevant.

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