Type “marketing API” into an online search and the results can be overwhelming. One directory of types of APIs for marketing nets 944 different entries! With so many types of application programming interface (API) available, deciding on the right ones for your marketing strategy is challenging. This basic guide will help you make the most of this technology in 2020.
What is an API?
API stands for application programming interface. Great. But what exactly is an API? Webopedia tells us an API “is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications”. So much better, right?
Let’s turn to the metaphors. You’ll hear an API described as a plug, a door or a window, or a messenger. Basically, it’s the tool that allows different applications to communicate with one another. Without the API at the access point between, say, the Internet and your smartphone, that device wouldn’t be so smart after all. It wouldn’t be able to access the data you wanted and send it back to you as the information you were searching for. Still confused? Keep reading.
So, how do APIs work?
Whether you’re aware of it or not, you’re using APIs every day. We all do at this point. Say you read an article online and decide to share it with friends on Facebook or Twitter; when you click on that ‘share’ button, a window pops up letting you access your account, with the link populated and ready to share. The API is doing the work to save you from having to access several applications to accomplish the same task.
APIs are programmed to do a range of tasks as the messenger between applications. Each API will have a pre-established list of actions it can accomplish. So, one API can’t do everything you want in one place, but APIs can help streamline different aspects of a digital marketer’s job.
Understanding APIs in Digital Marketing
APIs are the backbone of digital marketing. Having the programming interface do the heavy lifting simplifies cross-channel integration, reduces the time spent on routine tasks, and provides ready access to essential customer data.
Personalization is key in marketing today. A Deloitte study found that 1 in 5 consumers were willing to pay 20% more for personalized products or services. APIs can offer granular level data that you need to effectively personalize. At the same time, APIs make it easier for a marketer to reach the right audience with efficient data analysis and greater flexibility to target people across networks.
The next section identifies top types of APIs for digital marketers to use in 2020.
8 Marketing API Types for Your Needs
Whether you’re looking to promote a product, connect with customers, analyze data, enable online payment, expand reach, or make a more memorable impression with great visuals, these many types of APIs can help you meet your goals.
- Stripe. Accept payments online with Stripe. This API offers functionality for processing payments, sending invoices, and subscription billing and account information management. Stripe’s tools support e-commerce stores, subscription services, and on-demand marketplaces.
- LinkedIn Marketing Developer. LinkedIn is a prime application for connecting with “active, influential professionals”. Yet, connecting on an individual-by-individual basis would be exhausting. The Marketing Developer API lets you generate leads, raise brand awareness and build relationships using targeted Sponsored Content, Sponsored InMail, and Text Ads.
- Google Adwords. This API enables apps to interact with the Google Ads platform. With Google Ads owning 92.95% of the search market as of November 2019, this API helps you efficiently manage large scale paid search and display ad campaigns. You’ll also enjoy custom reporting, ad management based on inventory, data-driven bid management, and automated account management.
- Amazon Product Advertising. E-commerce storefronts can use the Product Advertising API to build a web store to sell their own products or Amazon items. Developers also gain access to Amazon data including sales, customer reviews, seller reviews as well as functionality such as finding items, displaying customer reviews, and product promotions.
- FullContact. Improve customer experience with greater audience insights from FullContact. This cloud-based contact management tool helps marketers “resolve identities across first and third-party data sets” and “enrich the resolved profiles to better understand and engage” the ideal customer”. FullContact’s patented identity graphs help marketers find insights, segment audiences, develop deeper customer profiles, and power better experiences.
- Clearbit. Another option for driving a better understanding of customers, Clearbit also helps you identify prospects and personalize marketing and sales interactions. Their API stack includes tools for data enrichment, contact discovery, contact prospecting, and more.
- Sendgrid. Since your marketing content only works when it’s seen, Sendgrid helps keep emails out of the spam folder. Their APIs improve email deliverability and allow customers to access data about “bounces, spam reports, unsubscribes, and more”.
- Shotzr. Shotzr’s Image API is the only public API where you can integrate over 72 million royalty-free stock photos, on-demand photography, and private ‘single client’ content from your brand or company. Fuel every marketing moment with great imagery using this data-driven image API. Connecting with customers is becoming an increasingly visual experience, making Shotzr ideal for websites, apps, email campaigns, ad campaigns, and more.
What will you do with APIs?
The right APIs can free up time for digital marketers to do more value-added work. With the APIs facilitating communication between marketing tools, workflow can be streamlined. You can spend your time creating new content, getting to better know your buyers, and making a stellar strategy.
Enjoy the efficiency gained from APIs while also accessing the excellent visuals you need to make a memorable impact with your audience.
Shotzr leverages deep learning to deliver creative imagery based on location and audience targeting data, customer history, and contextual relevance. Learn more about how Shotzr saves you time and empowers your digital marketing success.