10 AI Tools That Can Help Higher-Ed Marketing Teams Work More Efficiently

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By Gary Hudoff — Dec 7, 2023 11:00 AM

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If you've spent time on the conference circuit or read some leading higher-ed publications recently, you know that artificial intelligence is a hot topic in higher-ed marketing.

While traditional productivity and marketing programs have been available for decades, a new class of AI-powered tools has recently flooded the market.  

However, finding the right tools to help your team work efficiently and effectively can be challenging.

That's why we've narrowed it down to 10 AI-powered tools to help your higher-ed marketing teams work more efficiently. Take a look at our suggestions, along with some great alternatives, below.

Large Language Models/Text Generation

Best Overall Pick: ChatGPT

Since its launch in November 2022, ChatGPT has seemingly dominated the conversation around AI and large language models (LLMs). The text-based generative AI tool from OpenAI can explain complex topics, check the reading levels of text, analyze the tone of written passages, summarize analytics results, write code, and even solve math equations. While competitor Google Bard has better access to up-to-date data, ChatGPT has a distinct edge in creating high-quality written content and summarizing provided text.   

Pricing: Free access to GPT-3.5; Plus plan with access to GPT-4 starts at $20/month

Best Alternative: Google Bard

Bard, Google’s foray into the generative AI space, launched in March 2023. Bard is capable of many of the same tasks as ChatGPT but has better access to up-to-date information, is directly connected to Google’s search engine, and can integrate with other Google services through optional extensions.  

Pricing: Free

Image Generation

Best Overall Pick: DALL-E 3 or Bing Image Creator (Powered by DALL-E)

If you’re looking for an AI image generator, it’s hard to beat OpenAIs DALL-E 3 and the Bing Image Creator. 

Launched in January 2021, DALL-E is a text-to-image model that can generate digital images from text prompts. Initially available only as a developer preview, DALL-E 3 is now available to ChatGPT Plus subscribers and can generate high-quality images in many artistic styles.

Bing Image Generator, which uses underpinnings from DALL-E, can be accessed in the Edge browser using Microsoft’s new Copilot AI assistant.  

Pricing: $20/month with ChatGPT Plus account; Free in the Edge browser

Best Alternative: Canva Image Generator

Canva Image Generator is an easy-to-use text-to-image app integrated into the Canva design suite. While Canva’s AI image generator holds its own and can create interesting images, free users are capped at 50 image generations. Canva Pro subscribers receive up to 500 images per month.

Pricing: Free basic access with Canva Free account; $14.99/month for pro

Video Generation

Best Overall Pick: Runway

While text-to-image generators have been in development for some time, text-to-video generators have only recently begun to gain popularity. While the technology is still new, a few services offer simple text-to-video output. 

Runway, an AI-based text-to-video generator, allows users to translate text prompts into basic video files. Runway’s Gen-2 model can generate video files, upscale them to a higher resolution, and save them in the Runway cloud. While the sample files shown on Runway’s website look promising, the technology comes at a price. Each video generated with Runway’s Gen-2 model costs $0.05 per second.

Pricing: Free for Basic plan access; Standard plan starts at $12/month  

Best Alternative: Pictory  

While competitor Runway mainly focuses on generating video with a cinematic style, Pictory specializes in AI-generated video content for social media. Pictory’s text-to-video platform allows users to create promotional videos for social media that feature realistic AI avatars. Pictory’s AI-powered platform can also transform text-based content like blog posts into short-form videos.  

Pricing: Free trial (with 3 video projects); Starter plan starts at $19/month

AI Chatbots 

Best Overall Pick: Dante AI

AI-powered chatbots have experienced a surge in popularity. Dozens of companies have sprung up and now offer AI-powered intelligent chatbots, most driven by OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 large language model. Dante AI allows customers to design, train, and deploy custom AI chatbots on their websites without writing any code. Dante AI’s easy-to-use system lets users train their GPT-powered chatbots by uploading files and links to the company’s servers. Dante AI says that most users can deploy their chatbots in minutes.

Pricing: Free basic account; Entry plan starts at $10/month 

Best Alternative: ChatSimple

Like Dante AI, ChatSimple allows users to quickly and easily set up AI-powered chatbots with minimal effort and no coding. ChatSimple’s chatbots is powered by OpenAI’s GPT-3.5 large language model and can be trained with user-supplied information like files and links.

Pricing: Free trial (with 25 free messages per month); Starter account starts at $29/month

Social Media Automation

Best Overall Pick: Sprout Social

Sprout Social, a social media management tool geared toward multi-account management, now offers several AI-powered features in its suite of tools, including social caption recommendations, message filtering and prioritization, and advanced analytics and reporting. Sprout Social allows users to manage up to 5 social profiles at once, features an all-in-one social inbox, and offers suggestions with its “AI Assistant.”   

Pricing: Free trial (with 30 days of access); Basic plan starts at $249/month

Best Alternative: SocialBee

While SocialBee lacks some of the more advanced features that Sprout Social boasts, its suite of AI-powered tools is impressive, especially considering the price point. With its “Social Media Copilot,” SocialBee serves platform-specific suggestions and allows users to build custom content strategies and schedules. 

Pricing: Free trial (with 14 days of access); Bootstrap plan starts at $24/month

Conclusion

While navigating the rapidly changing landscape of AI-powered marketing resources can be daunting, we hope this curated list of top-performing tools like ChatGPT, DALL-E 3, Runway, Dante AI, and Sprout Social will help you make better-informed decisions.

At Hannon Hill, we understand that managing a higher-education marketing team, meeting deadlines, and hitting targets can be challenging. That’s why Cascade CMS is built specifically for higher-education marketers.

With best-in-class features like simple content entry wizards, collaboration tools, and proactive quality controls, Cascade CMS has everything you need to manage your institution’s websites and deliver fresh, impactful content to your audience.

If you're interested in learning more about the benefits of Cascade CMS or Clive, fill out the contact form below, and a member of our team will be in touch.

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Gary Hudoff
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