AI marketing tools vetted for Small and Micro Businesses
AI marketing tools
There are boundless AI marketing tools on the market, but some come with huge price tags outside the reach of a small business that DIY their own marketing. For a small business, the right AI marketing tools should deliver great value and be low cost, allowing you to do more marketing with better results.
The following is a rundown of the current AI marketing tools vetted specifically for small businesses that DIY their marketing. That means price tags are not over $50 per month. They must deliver value either by allowing you to do more or do something you've been unable to do to date or improve results, saving or earning you more money.
AI Marketing Tools for Creating and Managing Content.
Understanding the Range of AI Marketing Tools
AI is everywhere. Whether it's Netflix suggesting videos you might like to watch, facial recognition when you're out and about for security reasons, or Google when you search when you go somewhere and pull up Google Maps, you will receive the quickest alternative routes to avoid traffic. Siri and Alexa are also examples of AI, as is social media and how it uses algorithms to determine what content each user will see.
But what are examples of AI Marketing Tools suitable for a small business? Likely, you are already using some AI marketing tools.
The algorithm that drives social media and search is AI, as is the algorithm in Google and Facebook ads. Another example is using a social media scheduling tool that suggests the best time to post.
But what are the tools that you can start to incorporate for:
- Creating or managing content
- Customer engagement
- Task efficiencies.
Following is a list of AI marketing tools vetted and tested for small business DIY marketers.
AI Marketing Tools for Creating and Managing Content.
Several AI tools are available to help write content more quickly, short-circuiting the research process. They really can save you a lot of time and even improve your writing. However, before we jump into the review of the key AI Marketing Tools for content writing that are a good fit for DIY marketers, there are a few things you must be aware of when using them.
Things to watch out for using ALL AI Marketing tools for content generation
There are some challenges in using AI marketing tools for creating content.
1. Accurate and in-context output
It will likely always generate off-context or irrelevant content, especially when the prompts are ambiguous or complex. This is because AI, despite being sophisticated, lacks human intuition and understanding. It will be up to you to bring insight and depth, but originality, with your point of view to your content.
2. Potential for plagiarism.
All AI tools, including ChatGPT, pull from a vast repository of existing content, and while they're designed to create original copy, the risk of generating content that closely matches existing text still exists.
3. Tone and style mismatch.
AI tools can mimic a certain writing style but will not be as consistent nor as nuanced as human writing. While they are powerful tools, AI tools for content writing should be used judiciously, and their output should be reviewed critically.
4. All AI marketing tools have a limit on how many characters they can output at once. The free versions of ChatGPT and Bing are limited to around 3-4000 characters, meaning you will need to break your prompts into smaller tasks if you have a long writing task. The memory for these tools is also not persistent yet (ChatGPT have a memory feature in beta at the moment, which should address this issue), so you will need to always tell the tools which you are, your audience etc., except Jasper.ai, which has solved these issues.
ChatGPT is an AI Marketing tool that can bring you efficiencies through AI-generated content. It can respond to any number of prompts to create social posts, content outlines for blogs, write full articles, emails, press releases, and so on. The key to good output will always be how clear and concise a prompt you provide. Read more here about creating the perfect ChatGPT prompt for content writing. The better your prompt, the better the output.
It's also important to understand that the free version of ChatGPT is not drawing on fresh information. The data that it was trained on is over two years old. So, this must be a consideration for you. You will need to edit, review and fact-check to ensure the content is fit for purpose before putting it out into the world.
Cost: ChatGPT 3.5 Free ChatGPT US$20 per month for guaranteed access during peak usage times and a much more robust larger data model that it draws data from.
Assessment: Free version, great for creating content and ideas quickly, but more time will be spent on editing and fact-checking.
Bing Chat is similar to ChatGPT, with the ability to provide a prompt and output of any content you want. The key difference is that it is connected to the internet, drawing up-to-date information from the internet instead of the dated data available on the free version of ChatGPT. It also will cite the sources it has drawn on, so you can assess whether the content can be trusted.
Another aspect of Bing Chat is that you can 'speak' your command.
The AI chatbot will help you craft a good prompt by asking for audience, topic, and tone, helping you to provide a clear prompt.
Having said all this, you will still need to put the time in for editing for style, tone, and fact-checking.
Assessment: Similar to ChatGPT, watch for quality - it is dependent on how good your prompt is, and you will need to spend time editing.
Ryter.me is another AI writing tool designed to cater to the needs of small business owners at a friendly price, with a free plan to get you started.
It provides several templates to get you started with built-in tones to get your brand voice right. It has a built-in grammar and plagiarism checker and a tool to generate images.
What it can't currently do is allow you to provide a URL and generate content drawing from a live internet page. The number of use cases is less numerous than Jasper.ai (see review below), but it's a great value tool for the price.
Alas, it also draws on OpenAI's GPT-3 data, which was last refreshed in October 2019, so it carries the same danger as ChatGPT, where the information may need to be updated or corrected.
Cost: Free for 10,000 characters/ US$9 per month for the next-level plan.
Assessment: A great cost-effective all-in-one tool as an alternative to Jasper.ai, but the weakness is its dated data.
Jasper is an all-in-one content-writing tool. It is pricey compared to its competitors but has many benefits that you won't find in the free or lower-cost AI marketing tools for content writing. You can get the same results using various other tools that combine all its features. However, if you're after an all-in-one tool, then this is worth considering.
It has several templates to help you get started. It incorporates grammar and plagiarism checking tools and a 'rephrase' tool. This rephrasing tool can be a real boon to your writing, as it offers the ability to 'improve writing', change the tone, shorten or lengthen copy, and repurpose content, for example, from an article to a social post, email, or meta description. It also has a handy feature that allows you to rewrite it into an SEO-enhanced version. It will also allow you to generate a set of keywords from the content you've highlighted.
It will also allow you to set the brand voice by simply entering your website URL, and it will provide an assessment. I used it for The Online Fix and was surprised at its accuracy for my tone, and when writing, it clearly started to pick up on the style and structure I was using. None of the other tools were this advanced from a copywriting perspective.
Cost: Starts at US$49 per month
Assessment: All-in-one tool for writing with AI assistance, editing in-built and easy repurposing while drawing on fresh data (compared to dated information in ChatGPT and Ryter.me). It also allows you to save prompts and your brand voice which is also a time saver.
Tools that help you check for writing clarity, tone of voice and that literally save you from your grammar mistakes are essential to help you maintain or lift the quality of your content. Given that your content reflects you and your business, it is a no-brainer to ensure that your copy reads well and is without spelling or grammatical errors.
The Hemingway App is a great AI marketing tool for small business owners who aim to communicate effectively and professionally. It will help you edit your work by focusing on the following:
- Simplicity and Clarity: Hemingway makes your writing more straightforward. It highlights complex sentences and common errors, helping avoid jargon and making your content more accessible to a broader audience.
- Readability Grade: The app provides a readability grade for your content. This feature ensures your content is easily understandable to your target audience, improving engagement rates.
- Active Voice Detector: Hemingway highlights passive voice usage encouraging more powerful and direct communication, essential for compelling business writing.
- Adverb Reduction: It helps reduce unnecessary adverbs, making your writing concise and focused.
Cost: Free, or US$19 for the desktop app.
Assessment: If you want to apply a higher level of editing to your writing, this tool will help you achieve much-improved copy output. It's all about quality.
Grammarly is an AI marketing tool that will help with grammar, spelling and writing clearer copy. It offers the following:
- Advanced Grammar Checker: Grammarly scrutinises your text for a wide range of grammatical errors, helping you maintain high professionalism in your communications. It goes beyond basic spell-check features by identifying and correcting advanced grammar and punctuation mistakes, particularly for passive tone, helping you to write in a more active style that is generally more engaging for your readers.
- Tone Detector: Includes a unique tone detection feature that allows you to ensure your message aligns with your intent. It gives real-time insights into how your messages might be perceived, which is essential for effective business communication.
- Plagiarism Detector: The tool's plagiarism detection feature helps maintain the originality of your content, which is crucial for your business's reputation. It checks your text against millions of web pages to ensure uniqueness. This feature alone is worthwhile if you use other AI marketing tools for content generation.
- Clarity Suggestions: It offers real-time suggestions to make your writing clearer and concise, allowing you to communicate your message effectively and efficiently.
Cost: Free version is available, with premium plans starting at US$11.66/month.
Assessment: Grammarly is a robust tool that will improve your writing output. Its multitude of features caters to the diverse needs of small business owners, making it a good investment in ensuring you have clear communications and copy.
AI Marketing Tools for Images.
Another set of useful AI Marketing tools is the AI image generators. They can be used to:
- Take your photos and edit and stylise
- Create new images in a consistent style.
- Get ideas with text-to-image capabilities.
Fotor - AI Art Generator
Fotor is ideal for small businesses looking to create engaging artistic graphics by turning words into images using AI. It uses AI to transform regular images into artistic masterpieces, perfect for social media posts, advertisements or website graphics.
TikTok's AI Art feature allows you to animate photos into dynamic, eye-catching content. This is a great tool for creating compelling visuals for social media marketing. It can be used to hack your brand using photos you take and then stylise them to align with your brand.
Jasper empowers small businesses to convert text descriptions into images. This tool is perfect for businesses looking to quickly generate visuals for product descriptions, blog posts, or social media content.
Cost: Starts at US$49 per month
DALL-E 2 creates images from text inputs. Use this tool to generate unique visuals based on specific text descriptions for their marketing or product development needs. While free, it limits the number of images you can create monthly.
Canva's AI tool transforms text into images. This tool is useful for creating various images, infographics, posters, or social media posts with minimal effort.
Cost: Available in the Free and premium versions
Deep AI is an image Colorizer that automatically adds colour to black-and-white photos. This is a smart feature that might fit into some business brands.
Remini - AI Photo Enhancer
Remini upscales and enhances photos, making them clear and high-quality. This tool is invaluable for small businesses with a high volume of images they need to improve, such as product shots.
AI Marketing Tools for Video Creation
Video creation is one area in which AI marketing tools make a real difference in the cost and time to produce videos. Auto-generating video tools will take text and turn it into a video. Some even come with AI avatars that will host or present your video.
Pictory.ai is an AI marketing tool that empowers DIY marketers with the ability to convert long-form content into engaging short videos. A key feature of Pictory.ai is its text-to-video function, which automates the creation of videos from blogs, articles, or scripts.
It provides a selection of video templates and themes, allowing users to customise the appearance of their videos and align them with their brand look and feel. With its automatic voice-over feature, you can choose from multi-lingual and natural-sounding voices to narrate your content.
Additionally, it allows users to repurpose one video into various formats suitable for different social media platforms, making content distribution more efficient. Lastly, its user-friendly interface makes it an ideal choice, even for those with little to no technical skills in video editing.
Cost: Free version is available; premium plans start at US$39 monthly.
Assessment: A real time saver for those who want to include video as part of their marketing output and have content available to turn into a video, such as articles.
Oxolo is an AI marketing tool that provides several unique features. Its primary feature is AI-driven video creation, allowing users to generate high-quality, professional-looking videos from a simple script instantly. Oxolo's platform allows various customisation options, enabling marketers to fine-tune videos to match their brand's look and feel.
One of the standout features is the use of AI avatars that can serve as the presenter or host of the video, bringing a human touch without the need for a physical presence. Additionally, Oxolo supports various video formats, making it easy to repurpose content across multiple social media platforms.
It also allows you to input a product URL and then create a product demo video with the click of a few buttons. This is a real boon for those e-commerce businesses that have many products.
Cost: Free based on a credit basis, with the entry-level plan at US$25 per month
Assessment: A great tool that would suit e-commerce businesses that want to create video product demonstrations for their website and socials.
Synthesia is another AI marketing tool for video creation that is tailor-made for DIY marketers. With Synthesia, you can easily convert text scripts into realistic AI-generated videos using either stock videos and images or your own.
One of its key attributes is using AI anchors or an avatar to avoid putting your own face into the video. While the finessing of the AI voice and mannerisms can take time, it is a viable option for putting a face to your brand without it being you! To add an extra layer of customisation, Synthesia supports multiple languages and accents, broadening the scope of target audiences for a global reach.
Cost: Free trial available, with entry-level plans starting at US$30 per month
Assessment: An optimal choice for DIY marketers seeking a cost-effective and efficient way to create talking head videos.
AI Marketing Tools for Content Planning
A range of AI marketing tools can help with content planning.
Bing Chat can be used for content planning as a brainstorming tool, simply providing it with a keyword phrase, as it can draw in trending topics and audience preferences to suggest the most relevant content plans. You can also use it to create a list of blog topics based on keywords and then progress to creating content outlines for each blog.
Of course, an alternative to Bing is ChatGPT (but be careful if you want content that is up to date – or subscribe to the paid version.
Assessment: Output quality will depend on how well you have crafted your prompt.
Additional ideas: Some social media management tools (see below for reviews) also include a purposing feature based on your best-performing content. These should be referenced as part of your content planning process.
Ideas generation AI marketing tools
An extension of content planning is the need to populate your plan with content ideas; sometimes, you just need a few extra ideas to make it happen sooner! The following tools are great at helping you explore additional ideas, as well as helping you to finesse the 'headline'.
CoSchedule's Headline Analyzer
CoSchedule's Headline Analyzer is a standout AI tool for idea generation. This tool excels in helping you create captivating, SEO-friendly headlines for your content. It generates a score for your headline based on factors such as word type, length, and sentiment. This gives you an indication of how engaging your headline might be to readers.
Assessment: Highly recommended for crafting compelling headlines for your content, but you will get more help from a paid plan.
Hubspot's Blog Topic Generator
Another invaluable tool is Hubspot's Blog Topic Generator. You input up to five different nouns, and it generates a week's worth of blog topic ideas for you. This tool is particularly useful when you know the subject matter but need help with a unique angle or specific topic.
Assessment: An effective tool for immediate and diverse blog topic ideas.
Answer The Public
Answer The Public outputs suggested searches from Bing and Google. It helps you understand your audience's questions and queries about a particular subject, informing your content planning.
Cost: Freemium (Free version available with limited searches)
Assessment: An excellent tool for understanding your audience's queries and tailoring content to answer them.
You may also find our 30 ideas in 30 minutes helpful with tools and a process to help you generate lots of ideas quickly.
AI marketing tools for Keyword research and clustering
Keyword research is a useful activity, not only to help you identify what articles and content you should include on your website to help drive organic traffic as a starting point. The activity is also helpful in generating ideas that you can incorporate into your socials and email programs.
While you can use this list of handy SEO tools for the DIY marketer (link), ChatGPT and Bing Chat are great tools to help with the activity. Of course, what the tools won't be able to do is give the metrics around volumes and competition. If you are using ChatGPT, consider using the paid version for better results, as the free version is limited by the last data update from October 2019.
Instead of brainstorming a list of phrases relevant to your niche or topic for keyword research, you can use ChatGPT or Bing Chat to do the work for you. The following is the process to follow:
- Start by asking for the most popular topics on your theme. You can help refine this by asking for a list without detail and also asking for the top most asked questions on a topic.
- Ask for these to be categorised into relevant topic clusters and presented as a table
- Ask for a list of subtopics for each main topic it has identified and add these to the table.
- You should then assess the ideas for volumes and competition to understand which terms will be a good fit.
There is one AI marketing tool dedicated as an all-in-one tool https://surferseo.com, but it is over the $50 per month mark. However, I include it anyway as the only tool of its kind currently on the market.
SEOSurfer has the primary advantage of being an all-in-one tool to help simplify the SEO process by consolidating all SEO-related tasks in one place.
One of its features is its detailed keyword research and analysis function, enabling marketers to effectively identify relevant keywords and subtopics within their niche – with all-important metrics available to help vet your terms.
SEOSurfer's ability to categorise these keywords into relevant topic clusters further aids in content generation and website organisation. Additionally, the tool comprehensively analyses top-ranking sites, a valuable feature for competitive benchmarking and strategising.
Cost: Starts from US$89 per month with add-ons.
Assessment: One of the few tools that do use AI to apply SEO keyword density to your copy.
Social media AI marketing tools
Social media has great opportunities to bring efficiencies to your business in both the area of time-saving and also in creativity and quality. The AI marketing tools in this area can provide help with AI-powered:
- performance predictions help you tune your posts for maximum engagement.
- content recycling
- conditional posting
- scheduling times
- captions and hashtags
- Art generation.
The following all incorporate AI into their capabilities and have different strengths and weaknesses.
Feedhive is a robust social media scheduling tool that leverages AI capabilities to maximise the effectiveness of your posts. It provides AI-driven scheduling times, suggesting optimal times for posting based on your audience's activity. Its AI-powered performance predictions and content recycling features can be particularly valuable for small businesses trying to maximise engagement while minimising time spent on social media.
Cost: $29 per month for AI tools
Assessment: Promises content repurposing and performance improvement on your content.
Ocoya is similar to the above but has a unique feature for e-commerce businesses. It can integrate with your Shopify or Woocommerce store catalogue to automate post-generation for your products. It also offers AI-powered scheduling times and performance predictions, ensuring your posts effectively reach your audience.
Assessment: Integrates with Woocommerce and Shopify and uses AI to autogenerate posts
Buffer is a social media management tool starting to introduce AI features that allow for intelligent scheduling times and performance predictions. One of the key AI aspects of this tool is the performance-based 'recycling' of content and taking one post and making it into many! Buffer also offers analytics and reports to review your social media performance.
Cost: Free version, but you will need to be on a paid version to benefit from AI features which start from US$15 per month.
Assessment: AI captions and recycling of content based on performance, one post into many.
AI Marketing Tools for Customer Engagement
Chatbots are starting to emerge as a powerful set of AI Marketing tools. Depending on how well they have been set up (or, in AI words, 'trained'), you can use Chatbots to scale customer engagements, particularly as a small business.
The Chatbots use the AI language model to interpret the requirement from the input from the customer and then provide automated and instant responses. Most chatbots will require either "training" with input from your company or for you to provide all the information you want it to draw on.
They can be good for scaling customer exchanges through instant FAQ and query responses, providing an escalation path where a real human is connected at the right point, and driving leads down a funnel by offering discount codes or other lead magnets.
Chatfuel makes it easy to launch without coding knowledge. Still, the key feature is its easy integration with Facebook Messenger for expansive reach. It offers dynamic content responses tailored to the user's input, improving engagement rates.
It also allows you to proactively broadcast to those subscribed to your chat, enabling marketers to update their audience with new information or products regularly. It also has a lead qualification feature to help businesses identify potential leads and move them down the sales funnel more efficiently.
Cost: Integrates with ChatGPT for responses starting from US$11.99 per month.
Assessment: As an official partner of choice with Meta, it is one of the cheaper entry point tools if you want to get started with an AI / automated bot.
Chatbot.com offers a simple, code-free setup and allows for easy training and information input, enabling businesses to provide comprehensive, automated responses to customer queries.
It aids lead generation by offering potential incentives like discount codes that drive customers down the conversion funnel. It also features pro-active broadcasting and lead qualification capability. It is a standout with its ability to draw on your website information directly.
Cost: US$52 per month
Assessment: Its user-friendly interface and robust features make it easy to use, and being able to draw on your website to learn and respond is super helpful.
Email Outreach automation
Email outreach automation tools are another group of tools incorporating AI into their capabilities. They are designed to streamline and simplify the process of reaching out to many potential clients, customers, or contacts via email. Unlike email broadcast tools like Mailchimp, these tools enable small businesses to automate nuture sequences while personalising the experience of their email marketing campaigns, such as sending personalised emails, scheduling follow-ups, tracking responses, and managing contact lists. By automating these tasks, businesses can save time and effort, maintain consistent communication, and nurture leads more effectively.
Reply.io is a service that provides automation for email outreach. Its key features are time-saving and idea generation with suggested nurture sequences for email, eg. When and what to be sent. Additionally, Reply.io uses AI to segregate responses, helping you quickly identify potential leads from the pool of respondents. Importantly, it integrates well with various CRM platforms, ensuring customer data is easily accessible and organised.
Cost: Starting at $55 per month.
Assessment: Reply.io is particularly useful for DIY marketers focused on email marketing. Its automation and tracking features simplify the process of lead generation.
AI Marketing Tools for Efficiencies
Chatbot AI Marketing Tools
Another category of AI Marketing tools is those that are designed to save you time in some way through automation.
Zapier is a tool that connects different systems and joins them together, triggering and performing various tasks. It's great at eliminating the need for manual data entry between systems. For example, a marketer can set up a Zap to automatically add new Gmail contacts to a MailChimp list.
Furthermore, Zapier supports over 2,000 applications, including the most common CRM platforms, social media accounts, and email marketing software, making it highly versatile and adaptable to various marketing tasks.
Cost: Starts at $20 per month.
IFTTT (If This Then That) is another powerful tool that automates interactions between your favourite apps and devices and is an alternative to Zapier.
Cost: Free for basic plan, with premium plans available.
Fathom is a video call recorder that integrates with your calendar, starts automatically when you start an online call, records the session via video, provides an instant translation of the conversation in a searchable format, summarises the conversation and highlights as a list of all the questions asked during the session. It really is a time saver if you are meeting and having to generate notes, follow-ups or summaries of sessions.
Cost: Currently free
BrowseAI is an automated web scraping tool that is incredibly beneficial for DIY marketers. Its key features allow users to extract data from any website, automate browsing tasks, and monitor websites for changes.
This can be invaluable for market research, competitor analysis, and lead generation, saving you much desktop research time. Additionally, the monitoring feature can keep marketers up-to-date with competitor movements, allowing them to respond effectively and stay ahead in their industry.
Cost: Plans start at US$19 per month.
AI Marketing tools can provide a huge benefit to small business/ DIY marketers, with time savings and the ability to more of the right kind of stuff to grow your business.
This list is just starting to scratch the surface and more tools pop up every day so be sure to check back, or join my regular updates to receive an email with what you need to know summarised. We only send every 2-4 weeks, no spam guaranteed.