As a lifelong writer and decade-long content marketer, I’ve always believed in creating soulful and original content. I never thought I’d live to see the day when soulless and unoriginal content would be so frighteningly easy to create and share.
But here we are.
I know (and you know) that ChatGPT can’t beat human content marketing. Which is why it’s frustrating to see some people using and abusing ChatGPT for end-to-end content creation. They’re damn giddy about it too, because they think they’ve finally unlocked some secret shortcut to content and creativity.
The thing is, you can’t cut corners if your goal is to produce high-quality content.
No matter how long you’ve been at it, you take your time every time and challenge yourself to be better than before. You do what it takes to produce content that means something to others, that makes someone feel something and even feel compelled to take action.
As you can probably tell, my relationship with AI has been rocky.
But, I’ve learned to accept AI for who they really are, flaws and all. I’ve realized that AI tools like ChatGPT aren’t the scum of the earth. They can be extremely useful in helping marketers create better content with greater efficiency.
While on my quest for AI acceptance, I recently called upon several expert content marketers to find out how they’re using AI for good instead of evil—to increase content quality (not decrease it).
To kick things off, we’ll start with Andy Crestodina’s method for building AI marketing personas.
I can personally vouch for this ChatGPT trick because I’ve used the crap out of it while creating our own thought leadership content here at Superneat. I’m not ashamed to admit that I love being able to chat with my buyer personas at all hours of the day. I definitely feel that this particular AI use case is helping me hyper-personalize my content.
I’m excited to try out some of the other ChatGPT tricks below, and I hope you’ll find them just as intriguing as I did.
Create AI Marketing Personas
Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder
The best, most empathetic marketing research comes from one-on-one interviews with your target audience. But, stakeholder interviews are hard to schedule and take a lot of time.
That’s what an AI marketing persona is for. Simply use ChatGPT to create a synthetic version of your ideal visitor/prospect and ask them anything you want anytime, day or night.
First, give the AI a nice overview of your persona, including:
- Job title
- Business category and mission
- Company size and geography
- Business objectives
- Goals and pain points
- Criteria for deciding whether or not to buy your services!
Then ask ChatGPT to create a basic persona, including the roles, goals, information needs, and decision criteria for selecting a company like yours. It won’t be perfect. Tell ChatGPT how to make adjustments and corrections. The process takes maybe two minutes.
From there, you’re ready to get insights and ideas. Try these prompts:
- What words does [persona name] use to describe their challenges and solutions?
- Where does [persona name] get their information?
- What kinds of things might happen that make [persona name] realize that they need help from a [business category]?
- What information about the possible [business category] would [persona name] need before contacting that [business category] about a potential solution?
- What does [persona name] dislike about buying these solutions from a [business category]?
Take the insights and then start copying them into your webpage copy. Have ChatGPT do a gap analysis on your content or create outlines for new hyper-focused pages.
Always always check the outputs. Do not just trust everything the AI says. Add your own perspective and creativity.
Brainstorm Ideas and Check the Tone
Senior Digital Marketing Strategist – SEO
When ChatGPT first came onto the scene earlier, the response at my company was a mixed bag. On one side, people were eager to start seeing what this new shiny tool was capable of. And on the other, people were taking the “launch this thing into the sun and never look back” approach.
I find myself somewhere in the middle, albeit closer to the side that wants to launch AI programs into the sun.
And so perhaps it was my middle-of-the-road approach combined with my calls for caution that saw me tasked with creating our AI company guidelines. In order to create the guidelines, I first had to get familiar with ChatGPT and find some use cases that would be helpful for content creation.
Here are some of the things we’ll be exploring with ChatGPT, along with prompts you can try as well:
Prompts: “What can you tell me about x topic?” or “Give me 10 possible blog topics for a small electrical company that specializes in x, y, and z.”
The caveats here with brainstorming are always to verify your research and run some keywords for the blog topics to ensure there’s search volume. But it can be quite handy when creating a content calendar or fleshing out a blog strategy.
Prompt: “Rewrite this for me in a more formal tone.”
Rather than waiting for one or two team members to have time to proofread an email, you can ask ChatGPT to rewrite it for you in the desired tone. It can also be used for sentiment analysis, so you can learn what tone you tend to write in and adjust as needed.
With everything ChatGPT, I cannot stress enough the importance of double-checking the information it provides. While AI tools are excellent for generating ideas or improving efficiencies, they’re still fallible and will require a human eye to do the fact-checking and editing.
Overcome Blank Page Paralysis
Senior Marketing Copywriter
In my current role, I write websites, blog posts, paid and organic social, and paid search for various clients. I primarily use ChatGPT for ideation and writing, particularly when I have to work on long-form copy—mostly SEO-focused blogs.
It’s too easy to get paralyzed by the blank page, so getting some starter copy from ChatGPT gets the ball rolling for me.
My prompts are pretty general, either using a command or a question. Some of my most common prompts are:
- Write a blog post on/about…
- Blog outline on…
- What is…?
- Why should I…?
- Why does…?
- Rewrite this copy: [pasted copy]
I then consider what the AI chooses to focus on and use that direction to help inform my research. I paste the copy from ChatGPT into my doc to rewrite and rework it. My final product will not resemble what I got from my prompt, but using ChatGPT speeds up my process in the early stages.
Less often, I use ChatGPT to rewrite existing copy to see if it comes up with fresher ways to say something. This also helps me to vary my word choice when I’m working on a bigger project.
There’s one major thing I look out for, since thorough citations are a big part of my writing. Any stats or claims that come back from either a command or a question prompt need to be thoroughly vetted. I’ve found enough errors over time to know not to rely on ChatGPT for proper citations.
Launch SEO Keyword Research
Hannah Michelle Lambert
Content Strategist and Writer
ChatGPT gives you a major leg up for kicking off your keyword research.
I’m a massive fan of Semrush and happily shell out the $200+ every month because of the level of insight that it gives me into SEO keywords. But it can be a bit intimidating when you’re staring at a blank screen, not knowing where to start—or running a keyword gap analysis with your four biggest competitors, and suddenly there’s a list of 15,000 keywords you need to sift through.
This was something that I just had to swallow and push through before. But now I have an alternate starting point with ChatGPT.
You can use AI for any type of keyword research, whether it’s more foundational to your overall keyword strategy or if you’re just looking for the best keywords for a specific blog post.
Simply put in your parameters, whether that’s the blog topic or your company’s niche, being as specific as possible. Then ask for it to spit out as many keywords as you’d like (I’d recommend starting with about 50 for foundational and 10 for a specific asset).
For example, here’s a prompt I may put in:
“Give me a list of 50 keywords that I should go after for a content marketing agency’s blog. This agency targets marketing teams in small businesses and startups in retail, beauty, and fitness. I want to create blog posts that talk about some of the latest trends, biggest pain points, and top priorities for those small marketing teams, as well as in those industries as a whole.”
And now you have a really solid list to start researching. Notice I said, “Start researching.”
One thing I’ve noticed about ChatGPT is that it’s not terrific at considering the competitiveness of a keyword. So once you get this list, plug that into your keyword research tool of choice to identify the best opportunities for your team.
Repurpose and Rethink Content
I’ve gone down so many rabbit holes with ChatGPT. Outside of brainstorming, I’ve found ChatGPT most useful for repurposing my original content and playing with new content structures.
For instance, you can transform a long-form article into a set of themed slides with catchy titles, bullet points, suggested visuals, and voiceover tracks for a webinar presentation. Or, if you have recorded a series of interviews, you can ask ChatGPT to pull out salient soundbites from your transcripts, group them based on themes, and paraphrase summaries.
Here are some specific use cases and prompts:
- To get more consistent results with structure, be specific (example): “For each themed section, include: 1) catchy title 2) suggested visual 3) [#] sentence summary of theme 4) [#] unique bullet points that are action items.”
- To avoid ChatGPT fabrications when repurposing content: “Only use facts and concepts from the source.”
- To uphold journalistic ethics: “When quoting someone, use their exact words and do not add or alter any.”
- To save concise versions of prompts you’re testing: “Simplify this prompt: [prompt]”
I have one caveat: Don’t let OpenAI steal your intellectual property!
To prevent ChatGPT from using your content for training, make sure you disable “Chat History and Training” under “Data Controls” in your account settings before starting a chat session.
Make Content Marketing More Efficient
In my experience, AI will never “nail it” in content creation. A human editor’s eye will always be needed. But as a boon for efficiency, I love it.
I write a lot of marketing emails in my current role, and AI saves me about 1-2 hours a week that I would otherwise spend drumming up subject lines. It works. I usually get a few that are worthy of showing to the boss (although I always have to tweak a word or two since AI doesn’t understand nuances a lot of the time).
I don’t usually ask AI to start from scratch with anything. I always give it some sort of starter copy and ask it to improve upon it.
For email, I usually start all my prompts with, “Act as an email marketer in the financial services industry. The audience consists of financial advisors. Rewrite this email to…”, and then I tell it what to do or where to focus.
And of course, sometimes I’m just looking to see if I can come up with anything better than what I wrote. And then I swipe it.
When I need to write a piece of content and my muses are otherwise occupied, I’ll ask AI to create an outline for me on such-and-such topic (the more detail you give in your prompt, the better the output).
Even if the outline isn’t much of what I’m looking for, just reviewing it and tossing out some ideas and keeping others jump-starts my brain and adds momentum.
Brand Style Guides
For anyone using AI, be sure to take advantage of the “brand voice” features. You can create the equivalent of a style guide for each company, client, or project, and then just apply that brand voice to whatever your query is. The output will be in the voice and tone that you assigned it.
The Missing 5%
And you know how sometimes when you’re writing, you have a sentence or a paragraph that’s 95% of the way there—but you know it’s not 100%, and you don’t know how to get it there, and it’s pretty much driving you crazy?
I’ll throw the copy into AI and ask it to rewrite it in 5 or 10 different ways. Chances are excellent that the missing 5% is in one of the outputs.
Clearly, AI tools like ChatGPT will never be a substitute for human experience and expertise. But, AI can—and should—be used by AI content marketing experts to increase content quality and deliver more value to their audiences.
I know many of us (myself included) are kinda tired of talking about AI because it’s been everywhere we’ve turned. However, I also think the prominence of this technology has given all of us content marketers a good kick in the rear.
I know I’ve been stepping up my game, and since you’re here, I bet you have too.