How Can Small Local Service Businesses Use AI To Improve Their Digital Marketing?

Here’s how you can improve your small business’s online presence; use AI to produce rich, relevant content, enhance customer experience, and generate more leads.

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By Jeff Riddall

When many of us hear how AI will change the world – particularly digital marketing – our thoughts (and occasionally fears) drift towards how big organizations will use machines to do the work of legions of copywriters, designers, and other content creators.

Large corporations with equally large customer bases and competitively driven content needs are looking to sophisticated AI systems to generate content, and process and analyze data to stay ahead.

But the opportunities presented by AI are not just for the big guys.

In fact, small local businesses with fewer resources and often less time can certainly benefit from some of the innovative time and cost savings AI solutions offer.

One particularly challenging aspect of running a small business these days is keeping up with the often overwhelming demands of digital marketing, which can be a full-time job on its own.

Maintaining a rich, current, relevant digital presence and enabling increasingly savvy customers to engage with your business via multiple channels is expected and required for businesses hoping to grow.

Again, how does a small business owner keep up with increasing demands in an area they may not be comfortable with?


Enter AI as the virtual digital marketing assistant.

How Can AI Support Small Business Marketing?

AI can take many forms, but when it comes to marketing applications, the current popular application is generative AI.

AI engines, like ChatGPT, are called large language models, which are effectively AI algorithms that have been trained on massive sets of data or content to understand, summarize, and generate new content when prompted.

As such, AI can quickly and effectively produce content on virtually any topic covered in the data set it’s been trained on.

Website, Blog, And Social Content

The first natural application of AI writing tools for small businesses is creating educational, informative, or otherwise helpful content your website visitors, social followers, and search engines can consume.


Content is still king in terms of establishing online authority, and one way to stand out from your competition is to create more, better content your audience wants to read, like, and share.

We’ve established AI can generate content on any topic you desire, and for most small local businesses, their customer’s needs are relatively consistent.

The key to obtaining quality, compelling AI-generated content is the quality of the prompt it is provided.

A well-structured request can produce a blog post, how-to article, FAQ section, web page, or social media post, which may only require small changes and personalization to be ready for your audience.

If not, you can re-prompt the AI for a better version, and over time, it will continue to learn and produce better, more appropriate content.

However, to be clear, the step of reviewing and editing the content to ensure it is unique should not be skipped.

AI is known for “hallucinating,” which is a fancy way of saying AI has a habit of being inaccurate on occasion, and so all work must be checked for accuracy.

It’s also vitally important to ensure the end product is humanized, as sometimes the text can sound awkward or formal. You should also make sure the content both reflects your brand, and is your own by adding your unique signature – whether by inserting your anecdotal viewpoint, tone, or links to other relevant content you’ve produced or curated.

Direct Customer Communications

In addition to the content businesses create to share en mass via sites or social, there are direct-to-consumer campaigns designed to promote, educate or inform.

While these may be short, in the form of emails or SMS messages, there is still time required to develop campaign ideas and deliver the resulting content to the target audience. AI can help with both stages of the process.

First, AI can be asked to provide a list of topics or ideas upon which a campaign may be based.

For example, I asked ChatGPT to “Provide me with a list of promotions a small local plumbing company might run to grow revenue…”

To which the AI virtual marketing assistant quickly replied with this abridged list of suggestions:

Read on…article continues HERE on Search Engine Journal website

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