Lately is an AI-powered social media marketing platform that helps marketers scale their publishing and reach. The company's AI uses your historical social media data to learn what works and what to post next.
As a result, the company claims Lately can dramatically boost productivity, reduce social media costs and content creation time, and increase reach.
We caught up with Kate Bradley Chernis, CEO at Lately, to get the full story.
1. In a single sentence or statement, describe Lately.
Lately is an artificial intelligence powered social media tool that automatically turns blogs, videos, and podcasts into dozens of amazing social posts.
2. How does Lately use artificial intelligence?
Despite the huge potential of artificial intelligence (AI), there is currently no marketing platform focused on leveraging it to make marketers more efficient and effective.
Marketing is a perfect fit for AI, because everything that’s produced eventually results in clear feedback through marketing analytics and KPIs such as social engagement, email opens, website purchases, etc.
Lately’s AI gets an immediate jumpstart because we’re able to able to import a year’s worth of social data when accounts are connected which provides a solid training set of hundreds or thousands of data points. The same goes for past email campaigns, blog posts, and paid online ads.
Additionally, we can identify our customers’ competitors, import the competitor’s data, and use it as further training data for our customers.
All of this happens within minutes of a customer creating an account. When a customer creates an account on Lately and connects their social accounts, Lately’s AI imports the past year’s social content, identifies the customer’s competitors, and uses that as a training set for its dashboard-specific model.
It will then automatically search the web to discover the ideal long-form content for each customer to share, generate posts from that newly discovered content, and adapt them to fit the customer’s voice and brand, then publish them at the ideal time.
The user can provide additional training data and guidance to the AI by providing other long-form content, or by editing the generated posts, or adjusting the scheduled times—Lately’s AI learns from each and every user interaction on the platform.
3. What are the primary use cases of Lately for marketers?
Brand marketing, personal communications, employee advocacy, social selling, and executive thought leadership management.
With Lately, you can:
- Cut social media creation and posting time by 90%.
- Increase productivity by up to 80%.
- Supercharge reach by up to 700x.
- Boost engagement by an average of 50x.
- Get hours of work done in less than 60 seconds.
4. Who are your ideal customers in terms of company sizes and industries?
Lately’s software is critical for every company that needs to plan, create, publish, track, scale and manage content for social media.
Because of our business-freemium and enterprise model, we serve a horizontal market that includes small, mid-sized and large companies all over the world.
Industries include accommodation and food service, admin and support, arts and entertainment and recreation, educational services, finance and insurance, healthcare, information (publishing and broadcasting), professional and technical services, real estate, retail trade and transportation.
5. What makes your company different than competing or traditional solutions?
Lately is the only social media management tool using AI to make marketers better writers and to organize them. The industry that we are in is actually called marketing resource management, where there are only a handful of players, all starting at $20,000-$200,000, requiring weeks of set up and an IT team.
Lately starts at $50 a month and you're up and running in minutes. With Lately, you get the power of a world-class, AI-fueled marketing army at your beck and call.
Plus, one account can own multiple dashboards and toggle between them instantly, with a single login. Businesses can then link together all of their dashboards under a “parent.” In this arrangement, the “parent” dashboard can publish brand-aligned messaging from a central marketing team out to all the “child” dashboards—each individually managed by different brands, employees, executives or franchisees.
So, if you’re a corporation or nonprofit organization with numerous locations or brands underneath the same umbrella, you can control messaging and enforce compliance instantly. You can also compare dashboard-to-dashboard content and analytics—the ultimate in marketing control.
- Replace social media agencies altogether.
- Automatically keep messaging compliant with corporate and editorial guidelines.
- Harness the strength of your most valuable brand ambassadors, by making it easy to collaborate with communications team members—and participate without having to think very much about it.
6. What do you see as the future potential of artificial intelligence in marketing?
Because the bedrock of marketing and sales lies in well-written content, that's where we focus.
Right now, companies waste upwards of $400 billion each year on bad writing and spend $3.1 billion on remedial writing training.
So, the potential of our artificial intelligence is to make marketers better writers.
What's key though is that the robots never replace the humans altogether. Because marketing runs on emotion, which is inherently human. Without the emotion, you have no trust and you have no sale. A human touch in sales and marketing will always be essential and as long as we use artificial intelligence in order to bolster, rather than replace, the future will be blindingly bright.
7. Any other thoughts on AI in marketing, or advice for marketers who are just starting to explore the possibilities of AI?
Marketing must never rely on AI alone, because people buy with their emotions.
Emotion is what causes trust, and trust is the keystone of all sales. You can't separate emotion from marketing and it's not something robots can replicate. AI must partner with humans when it comes to marketing.
Which is why at Lately, our goal is to get you three quarters of the way there. To do the hard work for you, then it's up to you to go and put in your human touch.
It's important to remember, too, that AI marketing is not all about data. Marketers get so caught up in the data that it becomes meaningless. But if you can't write in the first place, no amount of data can fix that. Time to get back to basics. Writing is everything.
Paul Roetzer is founder and CEO of Marketing AI Institute. He is the author of Marketing Artificial Intelligence (Matt Holt Books, 2022) The Marketing Performance Blueprint (Wiley, 2014) and The Marketing Agency Blueprint (Wiley, 2012); and creator of the Marketing AI Conference (MAICON).