AI Gets Social: Marketing Teams Say It's Improving Their Results

Marketers (and reporters) are being deluged with announcements about new AI-driven tools. But there has been scant information on how they work. 

Sprout Social has attempted to answer that question, at least for social media marketers, in a study it conducted with Cint. Of the practitioners surveyed, 71% have started to integrate AI and MAL tools (i.e., ChatGPT, DALL·E 2, etc.) into their workflow. 

Of that group, 82% have already seen positive results, with 14% saying it is too early to know. 

Specifically, those marketers have seen improved productivity (61%), higher accuracy in content targeting (49%) and a faster content curation process(47%).

That doesn’t mean it’s easy. The challenges include identifying and responding to emerging trends (49%), changing algorithms (48%) and generating engaging content (37%).

Worse, 20% of social marketers seek to change their careers within the next 12 months due to lack of career advancement and growth (17%), pay and compensation (13%), workload and burnout (10%), family and work-life balance (10%) and personal interests and creative freedom (6%).



But those in the saddle are looking to the future. Their future applications include ad targeting (69%), content curation (56%) and scheduling (47%), performance analysis (53%) and audience growth (46%). 

Some are spending more on technology — 43% have increased their investment and 33% have stayed the same.

Why the change? They cite changing business strategies (38%), labor challenges (27%) and economic uncertainty (25%). 

The next steps? The survey found that 60% of marketers are research current use cases for AI/ML, and 49% are performing AI/ML training on certain tools. And 55% that have not used AI/ML tools foresee testing them within six months. 

Here's the fun part — creative. Static image use has increased by 59% and 5-15 second video by 51% in 2023 YoY.

Of the marketers polled, 25% are turning to short-form video content to better align with their current platform algorithms. Another 22% are simply copying trends, and 22% cite shifting social goals.

As for social platforms, 28% of marketers anticipate an increased use of YouTube, while 28% anticipate more use of TikTok and 23% plan to increase use of LinkedIn. 

And they are focusing on vertical videos across TikTok (60%), Instagram (53%) and YouTube shorts (52%).

Also, the study states that marketers are “combatting paid advertising efforts” through influencer marketing(27%), co-marketing (24%) and employee advocacy campaigns (17%). 

Internally, the respondents share social metrics (47%) and best practices for creating social media content (41%) with their sales/success (61%) teams. 

What kind of staffing would marketers like to see if money was no object? They would add a social media manager (48%), influencer manager (37%), creative director (29%) and internal content creator (27%).

Sprout Social and Cint surveyed 255 social marketers between March 15-21, 2023. 

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