Whether you’re firmly in the “Humans have, and will always outwit the robots” camp, or are eagerly counting down the days until we’re all uploaded into the cloud, there’s no getting around the fact that AI will impact businesses of all shapes and sizes – including yours. And while AI and its exponential abilities are infiltrating all corners of the digital world, marketing, in particular, has glammed up BIG time – seemingly overnight.
Far from the intimidating, Matrix-y situation many imagine them to be (ok, the many is me) the majority of AI tools applicable to your business are easy – or relatively easy – to use, (and as far as I can tell have no overtly evil intentions).
From copy that converts to video generators that rival IMAX, these are some of the AI tools that are rewriting the game for small businesses the world over.
Best for: Fast, effective email copy generation
Cost: Free trial, then $23/mo.
Despite the fact that our inboxes are overflowing with spam, email is still the most effective marketing platform. In fact, it’s 40 times more effective than Meta (Facebook). But in order to reap the benefits, your emails need to be worth opening in the first place. Hoppy Coppy enables you to create a high-converting email campaign from subject line to signup. There are more than 50 email copy templates – for business pain points like abandoned carts, successful lead nurturing, event promotions, and more.
Best for: short marketing copy
Cost: Free and paid tools
Facts are facts: if you’re not a wordsmith, or not a native English speaker, coming up with engaging copy for marketing material like social media and blog posts is an intimidating task best left to the pros (Call me!). At best, you’ll spend hours painstakingly tweaking your copy until you land on something that’s good enough – but far from great. Or, you’ll squint one eye and dash off a paragraph and hope that the gods of customer engagement are on your side. Thanks to AI – you can cross “come up with creative copy for x” off your to-do list – permanently. Copy.ai boasts a bunch of free AI-generated writing generators – for everything from social media captions to product descriptions. (An arrow to my heart, that sentence was.)
Best for: Generating branded imagery
Cost: Generate 30 images for free, $10/month (+- R200) thereafter.
In the age of digital everything, breathtaking/drool-worthy/oh-so-cool (take your pick) product shots are a crucial part of any small business’s marketing efforts. They’re also painfully expensive (not to mention time-consuming) to ideate, set up, photograph, re-touch, blah blah – you know the story – unless you enlist the help of AI. Flair AI replaces every single one of those steps (and countless more), enabling you to quickly and easily generate slick, creative, professional images that showcase your products – without you having to eat into your savings or dedicate days – in order to achieve.
Best for: Creating short-form videos
Cost: Create 3 videos for mahala; plans start at $19/month (+- R400)
As TikTok continues to enthral billions of users of all ages, consumer demand for bite-size videos continues to skyrocket. But what’s a small business to do when resources are stretched and budgets are tight? Turn to the robots of course! Thanks to this nifty tool, you don’t have to have the artistic vision of Steven Spielberg or the deep, deep pockets of a name brand to create quality short-form videos. Enter Pictory – an AI video generator that turns blog posts or articles into shareable, clickable video gold. And, it’s easy to use and can be mastered in an hour or two, no technical know-how needed.
Best for: All visual brand collateral
Cost:30 day free trial, then R899/year
I’m going to bet my last Rolo that you’re already familiar with the AI equivalent of your own ad agency, Canva. But on the off chance you aren’t, run to your laptop and behold the most useful design tools business owners have ever been blessed with. Recent AI additions include image generation, ‘’magic’ re-touching and – this is so flipping cool – something called Beat Sync, which, as the name suggests, syncs any video footage perfectly to a soundtrack – no editing needed. I meeeeeean.
Remember to take this week one day at a time. 💙— Yoco (@Yoco_ZA) May 22, 2023
Best for: Generating uncannily realistic voices
Cost: Free trial, then $19/month (+-R400)
Used by brands including Forbes, BBC Radio, LG, and more, this incredible (albeit creepily accurate) AI voice generator may have you questioning whether we’re actually in an episode of Black Mirror. Its text-to-speech feature is simple to use: enter your text, choose your preferred “voice” and AI’s your uncle – you’ve just created a bonafide voiceover.
Welcome to the future 🤖.
Please note: Yoco is in no way affiliated with any of the tools or companies mentioned in this article. All of the tools listed above are either free to use, or offer a free trial period.