Let’s confront this head-on; ChatGPT has all but broken the internet. It might change by the end of the year, but as we write this (early 2023) anyone and everyone online has been talking, podcasting and tweeting about how AI and ChatGPT are going to change everything; how we work, how schools educate and more importantly to us, as a marketing agency (or me, as a content writer), how obsolete we may soon become!
We wanted to nip concerns (or maybe hopes, from some businesses planning to grow without the help of a marketing agency) like this in the bud.
Yes, AI and ChatGPT in particular, are fantastic tools, but that’s what they are – tools. They’re part of your arsenal, or they should be. They’re not an all-encompassing solution that will be your one-stop shop for building your brand and taking off. Nor are they something to be ignored. Don’t stick your head in the sand and hope content-generating AI will disappear; it’s not going anywhere and nor should it. Let’s embrace it!
Here we’re going to explain how we use AI and tools like ChatGPT in our marketing agency to benefit clients and improve our services. Consider this an ode to AI; how we love it and use it.
Note: When we initially published this post, the latest version of ChatGPT was 3.5, and that’s what we used for the below screenshots and information. Since then, newer versions have been released that our agency has embraced. The pros and cons still remain. We still use AI tools as part of our arsenal and not as a substitute for hard work and experience.
What is ChatGPT / AI?
ChatGPT is, according to their own description:
“…an AI-powered chatbot developed by OpenAI, based on the GPT (Generative Pretrained Transformer) language model. It uses deep learning techniques to generate human-like responses to text inputs in a conversational manner.”
It’s artificial intelligence that can answer questions and hold conversations. It can write you a poem, or even a short story.
You can ask ChatGPT anything, like, “what is digital marketing?” and it will spit out an answer:
Other AI tools are available, but we’ll just focus on ChatGPT for this introduction since that’s shaking up the marketing world the fastest.
Just take a look at its subscriber numbers:
AI content writing tools provide the ability to essentially ask them to produce anything for you, with varying degrees of successful results. The more specific you can be, the more relevant your results.
Here’s an example of us asking ChatGPT to generate a product description for us:
But, it doesn’t stop at content.
Here are some of the results AI or ChatGPT can supply:
- Search result queries (use it as an alternative to Google)
- Customer service responses (chat, social, WhatsApp etc)
- Integrations with email service providers
- Articles and essays
- When connected to plug-ins from external Developers the limitations of its functionality are not yet known – for example below using a plug-in from AIPRM to generate titles and meta descriptions for a selected keyword
How can Marketers use ChatGPT and AI?
We’re proud of the work we do for our clients and strive to provide them with the best strategies, recommendations, support and content available.
Rather than hide from AI tools we started experimenting with them to assess how we could use them as follows:
- Reduce resources and improve client ROI
- Take a new approach to research
- Lateral thinking and brainstorming
- Generating structure, templates and formats
- Minimise waste
- Provide basic to medium code development
As ChatGPT has stolen headlines and attention across the world, our clients have begun to ask about it; can they use it and do we use it? So, we wanted to be transparent as a marketing agency – yes we use it, but only where it improves our clients’ results.
What we don’t use AI and ChatGPT for:
Doing all the work.
Experimenting with ChatGPT (and other AI content writing tools) has been a fantastic process because while this software is incredible and it’s certainly amusing to see what results you can get it to churn out, it has its limitations and we’ll go through those now.
The Current Pros and Cons of ChatGPT:
First, we’ll go through the positives parts – the pros
- A sophisticated understanding of complex requests – can analyse multiple dimensions of a problem – enjoin different aspects of a problem into a single solution.
- Good for small coding tasks and scripts, as well as troubleshooting and researching solutions.
- With access to the internet at large – its language processing combined with the internet’s raw resources and facts make it a powerful tool.
It’s perfect, right? Well, let’s take a minute and explore why actually, it’s not…
- It’s limited to data pre 2021
- Sometimes it’s wrong – because this answer is very wrong:
In a recent interview with The Markup, Princeton professor and computer scientist Arvind Narayanan called ChatGPT a “bullshit generator”, saying specifically:“It is trying to be persuasive, and it has no way to know for sure whether the statements it makes are true or not…”
- Sometimes the content doesn’t make sense or repeats itself like a student with a word count to hit.
- Google (and others) are beginning to develop technology that will be able to check if content has been copied and pasted from an AI tool, so that’s something to be aware of (although we’re unsure how successful they will be at this stage).
In all circumstances where we have used an AI tool to generate content, we have still required a skilled content creator to edit the results.
In some cases, the editing process has been more complex and time-consuming than if the content was generated from scratch. And in these circumstances, we have found that an AI tool hasn’t been necessarily beneficial to the task.
On a side note: want another ChatGPT fail? – why not, they’re fun and help some of us feel a bit more relaxed that our jobs are safe…for now.
One of our developers experimented with a connected ChatGPT functionality for WordPress. He asked the chatbot many questions and tested its answers there vs what ChatGPT provided directly and the answers were so different as to render the chatbot pointless and ineffective. And, we’d go far as to say it would be detrimental to the brand to utilise it.
For example, in the below, ChatGPT suggested the user visit Harley-Davidson’s website. The client was not Harley-Davidson, so this information was unhelpful, incorrect, poor UX and sends a user off to a different website – a tick box list for the world’s worst customer service chatbot!
Asking the same question directly into ChatGPT provided a different, correct answer
Despite these glaring issues aside, ChatGPT and AI do have their merits, so, is it worth using AI at all?
Can your agency use it?
3 Tips to Make AI Effective for Your Agency’s Content Creation
We have found ChatGPT beneficial for some clients. But, if you’re going to use AI for your clients, then here are the 3 tips we’d recommend:
- Be transparent about AI use. Don’t underestimate the importance of being transparent with clients regarding your use of AI. Some of them may be concerned you’re not using it enough, or on the contrary that you’re overdoing it. An honest conversation about this allowing them to voice their concerns goes a long way.
- Human intervention makes it work. Figuring out the best way to use AI is really important to get the best results possible. Take whatever the tool creates and give it a quick edit. To really get the most out of AI, have a human involved in the process providing structure and input throughout.
- Find a partner. The current economy makes the use of AI very valuable. It’s not a time when many people are able or willing to hire an entire writing team for content creation. You can instead find a partner (such as Business Assist) and leverage AI to create a lot more with less.
Is it ethical to use ChatGPT or AI for clients?
Find the balance. As it stands right now, AI tools can produce a lot of words (and a lot of weaknesses):
- Factual accuracy. There’s actually no guarantee the content produced by an AI is correct.
- Sentence structure. A blog post created by AI does not necessarily have a logical structure or make sense at all.
- Weakened SEO. Google knows AI-generated created content versus human-written content
It is tempting for agencies to look at AI as a way to produce content at a much lower cost. However, with these weaknesses, the best alternative is a hybrid approach. Take content created by AI and improve it with human editing.
We shouldn’t view AI as a service or a finished product. It can do great work in saving writers from a blank page. With the right prompt, AI is great at generating ideas and continuing thoughts. As long as the writer is there to review and (probably) make significant edits, it can be really effective.
Clients look at agencies as the experts to tell them if they should be using AI or not. The key is transparency. No one should be using AI to save money and hide it from the client.
Will we lose our clients to ChatGPT?
So, should we be worried that our clients will reallocate their budgets away from marketing now they have an AI to do it all for them?
Absolutely not. In fact, we welcome clients experimenting with it, or asking us how we use it.
Some small businesses might opt to use ChatGPT in place of an agency for content creation.
But the business may lack the specific creative expertise that comes with placing it within an overall strategic marketing strategy. They might not be aware the information they’re relying on is incorrect, outdated or poorly written.
From the examples we have provided above, you can see it would be risky for any business to rely on ChatGPT without careful monitoring of the results.
That is what digital marketing agencies are hired for, and any business keen to see serious, long-term growth won’t solely rely on ChatGPT in 2023.
We expect ChatGPT (and other AIs) will enhance digital marketing strategies in 2023, rather than usurp them. Whilst ChatGPT can create content that works, it will always need to be supervised and checked by a skilled expert before landing in the hands of clients.
So, don’t forget – Not all AI content is equal. How you plan to use it determines how efficient it proves to be for your agency and the results it achieves for your clients.
If you’d like more help understanding digital marketing and how we can help your business grow using AI get in touch.