Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
In the competitive world of startups, big and small players are constantly looking for ways to innovate by working smarter and faster. With ChatGPT’s recent launch and many other AI-based software solutions, startups now have access to increasingly intelligent tools for a myriad of content, public relations and marketing use cases. However, when building a reputable brand that their audience can trust, understand and relate to, many startups are missing the mark.
In this article, we will explore three ways in which AI can be used to not merely push out content but curate a branding strategy that deeply resonates with your potential customers, investors and overall audience.
1. Automating customer and audience feedback
One of the most important key indicators of business success, and frankly, the only metric that truly matters, is the feedback received directly from your target audience. Many startups have this approach backward and build their branding strategy based on what they think their market wants rather than listening to their market first. A key strategy to ensure success in 2023 and beyond is to automate ways to gather feedback and key insights from your target audience.
There are many tools to do this, but the most important key is deciding which questions you need to ask before choosing a tool. To do this, come up with just 3-5 crucial questions that relate to the following foundational business fundamentals: the main problem your audience is facing, why they believe they are facing this problem, and the main solution or desired result they want to achieve.
From here, you can then use an email or text automation tool to send these questions via a form to gather as much feedback as possible from your audience. This will allow you to uncover data and key insights that you will likely find crucial to use in your marketing campaigns, content creation and various PR efforts.
2. Deploying data-driven copywriting
This step relates and relies heavily on step one above because copywriting is only effective if the messaging resonates highly with your target audience. By automating your audience feedback in step one, you now have the insights to base your copywriting on. It is important to know that although this will allow your copywriting to be effective, it is not the end of the process. You must consistently track all the metrics from your content and copywriting efforts to receive further feedback on which stories, topics, and even headlines perform the best.
Iteration is the name of the game here, and the best startups know this. By tracking which type of content performs the best, you can double down on what’s working and cull out what isn’t. This will put you leagues ahead of your competition, who doesn’t know what resonates with the market.
Finding a message that resonates is fundamental in any successful marketing, content or public relations strategy and is the only predictor of new customers. Leverage this knowledge to iterate and improve your message until it sounds like music to your audience’s ears. Ignore this step; all your marketing efforts will invoke static noise, fall short and even annoy your audience.
3. Honing in on customer personalization
One of the biggest trends in startup branding today is personalization. AI enables startups to personalize their brand experiences for each customer, making building strong, long-lasting relationships with their target market easier. For example, AI can analyze customer data to determine their preferences and offer personalized recommendations. This not only enhances the customer experience but also helps to build a stronger brand relationship.
The key with this technique and the others is to keep your focus on your customers, not your competitors or external distractions. The best quote relating to this principle is from Jeff Bezos, who stated that “The most important single thing is to focus obsessively on the customer. Our goal is to be earth’s most customer-centric company.”
If you focus obsessively on the customer and leverage AI to personalize their experience to a degree that they are absolutely delighted, you will easily dominate your competitors. The last thing you want to achieve is to come across as everybody else, boring your customer base and forcing their business elsewhere.
AI is changing the branding game for startups in a big way that will only accelerate exponentially as we continue into 2023. By leveraging audience feedback automation, data-driven copywriting and customer personalization, startups can build a stronger brand, stand out in a crowded market, and solidify their roles as leaders.
Lastly, it is vital to remember that using these techniques without an obsessive focus on the customer will defeat most, if not all, of the innovation AI provides. It is the startup that will use AI in combination with the fundamental principle of customer focus that will prevail.