Jun 17, 2024

Content marketing and AI-generated content

This is a guest post by Andreas Jacobsen, Organic Search Consultant at Be frank

As of late 2022, the interest in ChatGPT and other AI-based content has exploded. These tools can quickly (and often for free) produce original text using machine learning. The impact has been huge, and for many, ChatGPT stands as the major symbol of AI that is transforming the world as we speak. We hear about scripts and short stories spun by AI, and entire news reports powered by the same rapidly evolving technology. So, what does this mean for people who write content for a living? Can AI really take over the content we humans create? Or is it just another cool tool in the toolbox of the savvy writer? NB: This article is based on the non-paid version ChatGPT 3.5.

What is ChatGPT, and how does it work?

ChatGPT is a tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to generate conversational texts in response to your questions. The answers can be long or short and cover any topic you’re curious about. Once you’ve received a response from ChatGPT, you can ask it to change, rephrase or even rewrite the information in a different language style. Details in your query lead to more accurate answers.  You can throw almost any question at it and it’s pretty cool to see what it answers. Want to know why a lemon floats but a lime sinks in water? Or why giraffes are 30 times more likely to be struck by lightning? Ask your question to ChatGPT and you’ll get an answer. If you’re wondering whether ChatGPT can take over and write content for your content marketing campaigns, the answer is something like “well, maybe a little.” Let’s take two examples to make things a little clearer.  

ChatGPT: Your blog writer

Imagine you run a bakery business known for its imaginative wedding cakes. You want to reach more brides and grooms, event planners and venues through search engine optimization. Your plan? To put together some content that targets very specific keywords related to wedding cakes. You dive into ChatGPT and type: “Write a long blog article about wedding cake trends.” In just a few seconds, an entire article pops up that you can theoretically just copy and paste onto your website. However, if you use ChatGPT to write an entire blog universe, the texts will require post-processing, as the language style can become very monotonous. ChatGPT has access to a huge pile of knowledge up to April 2023, so it can quickly dig out the gems that would otherwise take you days to find. In this way, ChatGPT can be a shortcut to the knowledge you didn’t even know you needed.  

ChatGPT as a part of your SMS marketing campaigns

Now imagine you run an online fashion store and want to boost your SMS marketing campaigns with some sharp, catchy messages that grab your customers’ attention. You think, “How can I make my SMS messages catchy?” So you decide to use ChatGPT to help with the wording. You ask ChatGPT to craft a series of short, engaging SMS messages announcing a flash sale available only to those who receive the SMS. ChatGPT spits out some creative suggestions, like “Get ready to shine! 🌟 Our exclusive flash sale starts now. Swipe to score up to 50% off today only!” This is how ChatGPT can help create content that not only captures attention, but also motivates recipients to act quickly. Sounds pretty tempting, right? Having an AI write articles for you? Or write content for your campaigns? But keep in mind that ChatGPT is not perfect.

What are the limitations of ChatGPT?

Like any tool, ChatGPT has its limitations. It’s important to mention that AI evolves very quickly, with new updates being released every few weeks. The limitations are therefore likely to change over time.  

Information is limited to 2023

Let’s say you ask it to write about the latest movies of 2024. You might get a response with the right date, but the info might be limited or incorrect as its last update is from April 2023.*  *Version 4.0 of ChatGPT can web scrape through bing, where it would be able to find, for example, the latest movies in 2024 (if it chooses the correct sources).  

ChatGPT is coded to stay neutral

For example, if you ask it to write an article criticizing something, you’ll get facts back, but delivered neutrally or maybe even with a touch of positivity. If you ask it a question about the effect of social media on young people’s self-perception, for example, it will present you with a pile of info and statistics, without ever directly saying whether it’s good or bad.  However, in ChatGPT 4.0 you can adjust some settings to get a more biased answer:

It cannot fact-check itself

ChatGPT was built to assess information in a way that’s very similar to how Google does it – meaning that the more recognized or prolific the source, the more “truth” is assigned to it. This means the tool usually pulls factual information, but even the programmers say it’s not flawless. It’s known to provide factual inaccuracies and even harmful instructions sometimes, so make sure you follow best practice and approach it with a healthy dose of scepsism.  

ChatGPT is not critical of its sources

ChatGPT can pull information from a whole bunch of places, but it doesn’t tell you where it finds it all. Imagine you ask for some specific information about dogs. ChatGPT tells you that dogs can smell up to 40 times better than humans and that some breeds can run up to 45 km/h. But that information could come from anything, maybe even a fun list on Buzzfeed.
While this example is fairly innocent, think about all the misinformation you can come across online. What if you pull incorrect stretching guides from ChatGPT and a fitness freak reads your article? Or what if you’re in an industry where compliance is crucial and you quote a law that isn’t quite what ChatGPT says? Unless you’re ready to go through every sentence with a fine-tooth comb, you’re taking a risk by using info found that way. *In version 4.0 of ChatGPT, you can ask it to specify sources, where it will include web pages at the end of the answer. Remember to review the sources!

What does all this mean for content marketing?

So, will AI completely replace writers and take over the content marketing world? Should you throw in the towel now? As it stands, there are several reasons why ChatGPT and other open AI platforms can’t replace high-quality human-generated content. But it can replace indifferent, average content that looks like thousands of other articles on the internet.  

Imagine AI as a tool that can help make your work better

I believe that we should embrace technology in all forms as it allows us to raise our quality and efficiency. In the same way that we use tools like Grammarly and Textguru, we can also use ChatGPT.  

Here are a few examples of how ChatGPT can make your work easier and better:

Use it to generate topics for your articles
Just write “Build the structure for an article about the different techniques in ceramics”, and you will get a structure that you can use to organize your thoughts.
Build a GPT
OpenAI’s marketplace has a wealth of ready-to-use GPT models. But if you really want something that screams “this is my brand”, a customGPT is the way to go. Imagine having an AI that talks just like you, knows all your inside jokes and can pump out content that feels 100% you. It can even make your landing pages shine in WordPress with minimal effort on your part. Of course, there are some downsides… You still need to keep an eye on it, update it with information about your business and brand, in addition to the updates OpenAI throws at you. If you’re not super tech-savvy, it can all seem a bit like rocket science.  
Use it to correct your code
If you’re deep into cleaning up your URL structure on your website, but the script you put in the backend isn’t working, just throw it into ChatGPT and it will come up with a list of specific coding errors it finds.
Use it to generate short and engaging SMS messages
You can have ChatGPT create short and concise messages that grab the attention of your customers. For example, you can write “Write a short SMS message to announce our new product launch” and ChatGPT will provide text suggestions for you to use in your campaign.

Content marketing and AI-generated content: Final thoughts

When it comes to content marketing in the AI era, remember that ChatGPT is cool and all, but it’s just a tool, and not a complete strategy. It’s your job as a communicator and writer to use it in a way that truly benefits.  No matter what fancy tools or tech are developed, marketing is about principles: it’s about educating your customers and building trust in your industry.
Be frank Be frank is a small, nerdy marketing agency based in Copenhagen with a love of Google, data and close relationships. We are the agency to work with if you want to win your category online, in a collaboration that takes place from ‘the same side of the table’. That means collaborations that are uncomplicated. That are straightforward. There is a dialog that is straightforward and sincere throughout. What our customers have in common is that they have high expectations and trust. We don’t just present green numbers and data that is progressing. With us, the important nuances have an equally important place at the table.