Putting AI to Work in Digital Marketing
Artificial intelligence is having a bit of a moment. With all the noise in the news, it can be hard to know whether these tools are friend or foe when it comes to digital marketing. The answer to that question lies in how you use it. At Vital, our approach to using artificial intelligence for digital marketing is shaped by a few simple but under-reported truths:
- AI in digital marketing is nothing new. ChatGPT and other newcomers are getting a lot of attention right now, but we’ve been using AI (and specifically AI writing tools) for years…but maybe not in the way that some people imagine.
- AI is great for increasing efficiency and overcoming “blank page” syndrome. If you know how to use them wisely, AI tools can help strategists and writers generate content ideas, scale up variations for A/B testing PPC campaigns and other conversion copy, kick-start research, and more.
- AI is not going to replace professional copywriters or subject-matter experts anytime soon. AI language models are kind of like predictive text on steroids. They sort through crazy amounts of writing to identify and mimic human language patterns. That’s why AI-generated text can seem so convincing.It also means that AI-generated text gets the facts wrong — a lot. (And if you’re up for a laugh, ask ChatGPT to produce a source you can actually use.) The writing it produces is usually bland, repetitive, and derivative — in other words, unlikely to be all that interesting or valuable to your audience. For the time being, humans have an enormous edge on AI when it comes to empathy, originality, accuracy, and insight — all of which are needed to satisfy Google’s standards for experience, expertise, authority, and trust (E-E-A-T).
Keep an eye on the Vital blog for more content about AI in digital marketing in the weeks and months ahead. For now, check out this article from Stanford University’s Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence project on how AI language models work.
Which Vitalian will be running the Boston Marathon on April 17, 2023?
(Scroll to the bottom to see the answer!)
So fresh, they still have that “new website” smell.
Semester at Sea
For college students and adventurous learners at all stages of life, Semester at Sea offers a study abroad experience like no other — living and learning aboard a ship that travels to 10+ destinations around the world. The appeal of their program is obvious, but their previous website was outdated, difficult to navigate, and technically limited. We helped with a full range of services from copywriting and design to animations, user experience and information architecture upgrades. We also unlocked new functionality within WordPress to make it easier for their teams to keep content fresh and up-to-date.
Long-time client and insurance technology leader Duck Creek needed to upgrade their website to the WordPress Block Editor — and Vital was up for the challenge of converting over 300 pages in a variety of languages. We put together a team of designers and digital marketing coordinators to build and QA the pages in the Block Editor; and backed them up with a core group of expert WordPress developers who tackled every challenge head-on to make sure the converted site works as great as it looks. With the new site, Duck Creek is empowered to easily launch new marketing pages to support their ongoing growth, with an intuitive backend that makes updates a breeze.
If you think sourcing cell culture and reagents for scientific research sounds a bit uninspiring, you haven’t met the amazing team of women behind Captivate Bio. Their passion for advancing science shines through everything they say and do — but it wasn’t reflected on their website, and their Magento CMS platform was holding them back. Our developers transitioned them to a hybrid Magento/WordPress site that gives them the best of both worlds, and our copywriting and design teams worked together to make sure the new site expresses what makes this company so special.
Surviving “Mud Season,” the Vital Way
Ah, spring. The beauty of the first crocus, the sound of songbirds searching for love…and all that snow melting into mud. Lots and lots of mud. Here are a few of our favorite ways to make the most of it — or at least make it through to beach weather.
Here’s the latest news from the Vital offices!
Welcome aboard to these new hires!
Jenna Cole, PPC Specialist
Laura Barber, Copywriter
Leah Bonner, Account Manager
A round of applause for these promotions!
Marissa Comeau, Manager of Copywriting
Max DesMarais, Director of Strategy
Anahit Gasparyan, Manager of Account Managers
We celebrated some BIG milestones over the last three months:
Max Desmarais, Director of Strategy, 6 years
Margaret Leahy, Content Marketing Specialist, 2 years
Shawn McCarthy, PPC Lead Strategist/Manager, 3 years
Doug Ridley, Director of Consulting/Strategist. 11 years
Brook Soucy, Digital Marketing Coordinator, 1 year
Ty Cooper, Senior Graphic Designer, 2 years
Megan Murphy, Account Manager, 2 years
Jackie Tornatzky, Account Manager, 2 years
Josh Duffy, Studio Manager, 6 years
Sarah Mareck, Senior Coordinator, 2 years
Sarah Tyrrell, Account Manager, 2 years
Matt Chase, Director of Front-End Development, 7 years
Kate Gunts, Sales & Marketing Manager, 2 years
Marissa Comeau, Manager of Copywriting, 5 years
Brad Wilbur, PPC Specialist, 1 year
Garrett Day, Graphic Designer, 2 years
Melissa Lore, Director of Brand Strategy, 2 years
Adam Walter, Director of Web Services & Technology, 10 years
Lauren Reilly, Director of Accounts, 9 years
Keith Cormier, Senior Content Strategist, 2 years
Keeping it fun, Vital, style:
Ice Skating Extravaganza
Picture this: gliding around on an outdoor ice skating rink in Portsmouth’s historic Strawbery Banke on a wintry January evening, surrounded by colleagues and their families. Add in a hot cocoa bar, pizza, and s’mores, and you’re living the Vital dream. After a few years’ hiatus due to Covid, we were delighted to bring this annual event back to life.
We’re hiring! Check out these featured job openings. Apply, send to a friend, or share on social to help spread the word.
Do you have LinkedIn beef with marketers who claim organic traffic is the only way to go? Perfect. You could be our next pay-per-click specialist. No beef? No worries. Just bring us your unbelievable attention to detail, your keen business sense, and your ability to communicate with clients, and let’s get this PPC party started.
When we say “plan the work, work the plan,” we’re looking at you. (Yeah, we say that.) As our next digital marketing coordinator, you’ll have your hands in everything from planning to execution to reporting on the projects that drive client success.
Boost Site Traffic with Featured Snippets
What could be better than ranking #1 on Google for keywords that matter for your business? Nabbing “position zero” with a featured snippet! Featured snippets have been around for years, but as with all things Google, the technical nuances are always changing. We asked one of our resident SEO gurus, Dave Currier, to break it down for us, and he delivered with the most up-to-date scoop on:
- What the different kinds of featured snippets are;
- Why featured snippets are good for your business; and
- How to win featured snippets that will drive traffic to your site
…Plus, three real-world examples of how Vital clients have improved their click-through-rates with featured snippets.
Recording Remote Video with Riverside.fm
If you want to produce more video content for your brand, but you hate having to choose between quality and scalability, we’ve got news you can use: online recording studio Riverside.fm makes it easier than ever to create super high-quality remote video and audio recordings. At Vital, we love how the platform empowers our clients (and our internal subject-matter experts) to record their own content and turn it over to our video wizards to work their post-production magic — so you can go from idea to execution in a snap.
A lot of ingredients go into Riverside’s special sauce, but here are the biggies you should know about:
- Local recordings: Riverside captures local recordings from each participant’s device in real-time, so you don’t have to worry about interruptions and other quality issues due to unstable internet connections.
- Split audio and video tracks: Record crystal-clear, uncompressed audio and video as separate files from each source, so our post-production team can edit away any slip-ups or moments of chaos, especially when you have multiple participants who might talk over each other.
- Features you won’t find anywhere else: Record up to eight participants at once (one host and seven guests) at up to 4K quality.
What can you make with Riverside? Think podcasts, interviews, panel discussions, webinars, keynote speakers, internal communications, and more. Bring us your ideas, and we’ll help you bring them to life!
Surviving “Mud Season,” the Vital Way — Continued
Want to chat about how any of the tips and insights in this newsletter can work for you?
Which Vitalian will be running the Boston Marathon on April 17, 2023?
Account Manager Katelyn Thompson will be going the distance in Boston, raising money on behalf of Mass Eye and Ear. This will be Kate’s third marathon — she’s run Chicago twice, and she has her sights set on the remaining four World Major Marathons (New York, Berlin, London, and Tokyo).
A resident of Portsmouth, NH, Kate’s favorite training route is the popular loop around Newcastle Island, with a jaunt down Route 1A along the Rye beaches added in to make it a breezy 18-22 miles. Says Kate: “When I’m in the pain cave during these runs, it really helps to look around and appreciate how lucky I am to live where I do.”
As a member of the Mass Eye and Ear fundraising team, Kate has already raised over $10,000. We wish her the best of luck and a big PR in April!