Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the better part of a year, you’ve heard that AI is either a boon or a destroyer of everything we are and, maybe even, lead to our physical destruction when the machines rise up like some bad science fiction movie. Today, we’ll discuss how to use ChatGPT for content marketing and other AI tools as well as some things to avoid if you don’t want to sink your content marketing.
Full disclosure, this content used ChatGPT as a starting point, the way I recommend, which reduces your time and effort without damaging your brand or SEO (search engine optimization). I began with two prompts. The first asked how to use ChatGPT for content marketing. The second asked about the dangers of using ChatGPT for content marketing. Below are the edited results.
The buying process
Underpinning this image is the well-established notion that consumers go through a multi-stage process before making a purchase; something Smart Insights calls
Moving consumers through this process efficiently leads to higher revenue in both the short and long term. It also generates an engaged base to spread your brand messages to reach new potential buyers, hence the feedback loops at the bottom. Their model mirrors the one developed by Avinash Kaushik called the thinks, see, do model. Of course, none of these models exist in a vacuum and were more palatable revisions of the classic marketing model with a few more elements made explicit. This model is shown below.
Using ChatGPT for content marketing is a valuable strategy to create engaging and informative content that resonates with your target market. However, you must understand the buying process as well as your target market to ask the right questions.
How to use ChatGPT
Despite the large number of companies trying to sell you ChatGPT prompts, it really isn’t that hard to use the platform. The interface is rather simple and intuitive. Simply enter a prompt and the AI generates a response by scouring its database of content from the internet. Building the platform is another topic filled with technical issues but the simple version is that some very smart people coded a chatbot and then trained it with all the content available on the internet. At its most basic level, ChatGPT is a natural language processor that “reads” large amounts of information, such as books, articles, and online content, and then uses that data to formulate human-sounding responses to your query by understanding not only the content but the syntax, grammar, and vocabulary it “learned” during training. One great advantage of AI is that it’s continually learning so it gets better over time instead of representing a static system. [source]
You can use ChatGPT and related AI apps to do much of the heavy lifting for you. The platforms can create anything from blog posts, such as this, to social media content, to email messages, to ads, to images you can use to enhance text content. For instance, I used one element of ChatGPT (Dall-E) to create a new logo for the website (this is a paid feature). Here’s the result.
I started with some info including my brand and market niche. The software produced a number of options and offered the option to regenerate more options. After a few iterations, I ended up with a precursor to this image. Then, Photoshop allowed me to change the name from the nonsense name of the original and change the color palette to match my brand colors. Easy peasy. What do you think of the result?
Example of how to use ChatGPT for content marketing
ChatGPT has a free version, which I used. It took me a little time to get access as they limited the number of users initially. They also have a paid version but I didn’t see much use for it to satisfy my needs. I also own the paid version of Grammarly that also offers some AI options, which I sometimes use to come up with ideas for new posts. You can find AI in many other platforms, such as Hootsuite to create social media content. Today, I’ll focus on my example of how to use ChatGPT for content marketing.
As I said earlier, this content began as two prompts on the platform. Here are the seriously EDITED results after enhancing the content (originally only a little over 900 words), researching to add citations, and adding my own voice. Much of the content in this section is a direct response to my prompt because I wanted you to see what the results looked like. I did change the capitalization to fit the rest of my website and added a few sentences to flesh out the content a little more. Normally, I would take the original answer and greatly expand on each bullet point to give a more complete answer, including links to other content to give it more punch (and help my SEO). I only did this to show you what content looks like when you use the platform to create your content.
Here are several steps to help you use ChatGPT effectively for your content marketing efforts:
- Identify your content goals: Determine the specific goals you want to achieve with your content marketing, such as increasing brand awareness, generating leads, or educating your audience. Knowing your objectives helps you create content that aligns with your goals.
- Understand your target market: Define your target market, their needs, pain points, and interests. Knowing your market enables you to create content that speaks directly to them.
- Generate content ideas: ChatGPT can assist you in brainstorming content ideas. You can provide it with a brief description of your topic or ask for suggestions related to your industry. For example, you can ask, “What are some trending topics in [your industry]?” Because the software scans the internet, you likely end up with a good selection of ideas.
- Create high-quality content: Use ChatGPT to generate initial content drafts or outlines, see my disclaimers in the next section. While ChatGPT is a useful tool for content creation, it’s important to review and edit the content to ensure it’s accurate, well-structured, and aligns with your brand’s voice.
- Optimize for SEO: Ensure your content is optimized for search engines. Incorporate relevant keywords and phrases that your audience is likely to search for. ChatGPT can help you come up with keyword ideas and suggest content optimizations. For instance, when initially constructed by the software, this post was NOT optimized for SEO.
- Diversify content formats: Experiment with different content formats such as blog posts, videos, infographics, and podcasts. ChatGPT can provide ideas for content formats and help you create scripts or outlines.
- Engage your audience: Encourage audience engagement by asking questions, seeking feedback, and promoting discussions within your content. ChatGPT can help you generate engaging questions or conversation starters.
- Content distribution: Plan how and where you will distribute your content. Social media, email marketing, and guest posting are effective channels. ChatGPT can suggest distribution strategies and even help you write social media posts or email subject lines.
- Monitor and analyze performance: Use analytics tools to track the performance of your content. Measure metrics like website traffic, conversion rates, and social media engagement. Adjust your content strategy based on the data to improve results.
- Stay updated: ChatGPT can help you stay informed about industry trends and news. You can ask it to provide updates on the latest developments in your field, which can be useful for creating timely and relevant content.
- Ethical considerations: Be mindful of ethical considerations when using AI-generated content. Ensure that the content aligns with your brand values and adheres to ethical guidelines. Review and verify the information for accuracy.
- Continuously improve: Content marketing is an ongoing process. Continuously gather feedback from your audience, learn from your successes and failures, and refine your content strategy accordingly.
Some more on how to use AI
Obviously, the prompts you use are critically important in the results you get from the software. Here are some insights on using prompts:
- Be specific – the more specific you can be in creating a prompt the better your results.
- Focus on your topic using as few words as possible to avoid confusing the software
- Frame your questions the way you would with a human.
- Give your prompts a character to enhance the voice. If you’ve never seen results from “write like a pirate” it’s really fun.
- Include context and keywords as part of your prompt.
- Use your knowledge of your target market to make your content more specific and fit that market.
- Try asking strategy questions to provide guidance rather than create content for distribution.
- Re-asking the question may provide more in-depth responses, especially if you reframe the question when you ask it again.
How does ChatGPT impact the SEO of your content?
ChatGPT can be a disaster, so you must NEVER publish the content it generates without careful research and editing. In this section of the post, I rewrote the content delivered by AI very heavily in contrast to the earlier section where I wanted to show you what results might look like. Note the major differences.
How AI can help with your content needs
The platform can help you identify topics for your content creation and trending keywords, assuming you ask it the right questions. You can use the platform to research a topic in your niche before creating content that might attract more visitors to your site and it’s much easier to use than traditional options such as Google Trends and its Keyword Planner tool.
You can even use the platform to help expand the word count of a piece of content you wrote (since word count is an important element of ranking well and the expectations for word count continue to go up). I like to use ChatGPT as a first draft to help focus ideas around my topic and then write content to expand on the areas the software identified. From this perspective, using the platform allows you to create more content with the same effort, and, since creating valuable content on a consistent basis is the most important factor in SEO, using the platform is a good thing.
That said, using the content produced by the platform without any editing or effort is a truly BAD idea. Here are just a few ways that tactic can sink your digital marketing efforts.
If you use ChatGPT to generate content without significant editing or customization, you risk publishing duplicate or low-quality content. Google tends to downgrade your rank if more than 30% of the content on a page is duplicated somewhere else on the web and, since ChatGPT gets all of its content from that source, it’s bound to contain mostly duplicate content.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Just because a piece of content is duplicate doesn’t negate the value of that content in Google’s algorithm. But, I still recommend seriously editing the content before publishing.
Lack of human touch
Content generated solely by AI may lack the human touch and creativity that makes content engaging and relatable to readers. This is especially true on social platforms where users expect to hear from you in humorous and entertaining ways. Your blog is more about information, so the human touch may not matter so much (BTW, I never use AI to produce social media posts for any of my websites). However, you still want to imbue all your content with your voice, so re-writing the content is valuable. I find AI results a little dry for my tastes.
Making your content scannable aids in meeting reader’s needs. Headings and subheadings, images, and bullet points are all elements that make it easy for readers to scan through your content to find the answers to their questions. AI just doesn’t do that and overuses bullet points so they’re less useful. Images aren’t part of the AI results as it’s mainly text based.
One of the biggest problems with using AI to generate content is that it might not be true. That’s because there’s a lot of misinformation out there and the software is more like a parrot, sending you what it finds without making a judgment regarding its veracity.
AI delivers results without any notion of where the information came from. It might come from a legitimate source, such as a news or journal article, or from a conspiracy website. You have no idea so you don’t know if the information you get is reliable and valid or the musings of some lunatic. Also, sprinkling your long-form content with links to high DA (domain authority) websites shows you did your research and improves your rank so you show up higher in a search, which generates more clicks to your website and more opportunities to convert.
We see a lot of bias in the information returned by AI platforms. According to Bloomberg, generative AI like ChatGPT makes bias in hiring even worse than when humans make hiring decisions and reinforces negative (and positive) stereotypes that don’t represent reality. For instance, over the weekend I heard about an incident where a company used AI as a test (it was never used in practice) to use its current productive staff to guide which candidates to interview resulting in selecting candidates that looked like their current staff, which reinforced hiring biases already part of the company.
I’ve heard incidents where using AI resulted in the overuse of keywords, which SEO experts don’t recommend. Yoast, for instance, recommends using each keyword only once across your website (of course, you use long-tailed keywords to stay on topic without overusing a keyword).
I find the exact opposite in that results either overuse the keyword in the answer (which is another detractor from SEO) or doesn’t use the keyword enough. Good SEO recommends using a keyword once every 200 words at most. I found this content overused my keyword, even when I made the keyword longer. So, I had to remove some of them. In other cases, I found the keyword nearly absent in the results and had to add some.
AI is a great tool to aid in content creation and, if you follow this advice, it’s very valuable in reducing your effort and increasing your content.
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