All of the above process and generate natural language text by perusing vast amounts of information, providing each with the ability to answer questions in whatever prose or language that we prefer.
What has happened in the last six months has been a gamechanger for digital marketing in general, particularly how marketers deliver content. And it’s not going to stop – the next six months could be just as exciting.
How it works
Although there plenty of AI tools now available, for the purposes of providing a demonstration, we’ll showcase ChatGPT which currently is the most popular.
If you haven’t yet used ChatGPT, it is well worth visiting the ChatGPT website and having some fun with it (and there is a free subscription option).
It works the same as Google does in that you can ask it a question. However the results are markedly different – instead of getting hundreds of pages of different answers from different sources, ChatGPT and its competitors process incredible amounts of data to deliver a more general response.
For example, if I was to ask “What is SEO?” this is the response I would get.
But that’s not all (let’s now have some fun with it!). Let’s ask ChatGPT to turn the above answer into Shakespearean prose.
And within a few seconds you have enough fresh copy to make any Elizabethan Era wannabe blush. Personally, I could have sat on my laptop all day and not delivered anything nearly as good.
Now let’s get back to a more practical purpose. Knowing that, the optimum length for a LinkedIn post is roughly 25 words, let’s see if it can summarise what it has given me into am engaging post.
Sure, there is plenty of more engaging topics, but not bad right? And I love the fact that it understands social media enough to even look after my #hashtags.
Our experience in using ChatGPT is that the better the question, the better the answer you will receive. By this I mean, if you zero in and get really specific on what you want, the outcomes are much better.
If I use the above example, it’s important that I identify the social media channel (LinkedIn) and the optimum post length, rather than the topic of the post only. And if I wasn’t happy with the response, I can challenge ChatGPT by pointing out my areas of frustration or asking it to include certain points, then revisiting the response.
So what is the downside?
Let’s be clear, AI is here to stay, there is no doubting that. But there are downsides to this technology that we at least need to be aware of before we go all in.
Firstly, it is important to note that AI tools can be a great starting point, but any copy from AI requires human intervention. If we look at the above example, all three posts spelt “optimize” incorrectly (with American spelling). There are also plenty of reports of poor grammar and text that simply lacks a ‘human touch’.
The above statement basically means you have to be incredibly careful when using AI on your website. There is a lot of chatter within the SEO industry as to whether copy that is generated from AI Sources, are being penalised by Google (or at least will be) and bumped down the search rankings.
Our opinion is that even if it cannot identify AI content right now, Google is too clever and the algorithm will eventually catch up. It is for this reason that we strongly recommend to clients that they do not cut and paste content from AI onto their website.
As it stands, AI generated content still generally falls into the poor-quality basket. Poor content on any website has limited SEO value.
Thirdly, in the case of ChatGPT, its data only goes back to September 2021. Any SEO trends since this date (and there have been a few!), would be missed.
If I was to reword the above example slightly to ask: What should I focus on doing for my SEO campaign in 2023? I will receive some general background, but it also highlights early on:
Finally, beyond being outdated AI may also offer up incorrect information. AI draws from an existing dataset, that is based on information that is correct, incorrect and somewhere in between. It’s up to AI users to take the information provided and verify what is factual and not factual.
Knowing all this, how can I practically use it to market/sell my business?
Now we have gotten the downsides of our chest, there are countless ways you can use AI in your business (other than via swooning clients with Shakesperean poetry).
From a marketing point of view, it can be fantastic time saver when writing posts for social media. And as per above example, you can specify the post length to suit your channel.
For businesses that email their clients regularly, AI can be a fantastic form of inspiration. It will help eliminate the dreaded writer’s block when preparing your next monthly newsletter.
For those who use Google Ads, it can also be incredibly helpful. Here’s an ad that popped up in my Facebook feed recently, talking about Google’s Bard and how it can improve campaign performance.
And for blogs, as long as you don’t cut and paste from AI word-for-word, it can be a great help in building your content library. We are experimenting using ChatGPT as a framework for our blogs. We go there for inspiration and then we add our own style, examples and experience. This saves us some time with content, however it is a long way from eliminating the human touch.
We also have to be realistic in terms of providing content that doesn’t feel as though it is dated (pre-September 2021). For clients that have a product or service in a fast-moving industry, AI is not going to be overly helpful.
Down the track, we are also expecting that AI will have a huge impact on marketing analysis and data. There is also a lot of chatter about how it will better integrate marketing tools, making it much easier for the end user. But these examples might be best demonstrated in another blog.
In the meantime, we’d encourage you to embrace AI and its countless uses for digital marketing, including using it as a framework for your content… but always remember: