There’s been a debate about how much generative Artificial Intelligence impacts content marketing. Some experts including Neil Patel argues that “generative AI only takes content from the internet and gives it back based on the prompt it receives.” Whereas, for many global business leaders, AI is the game changer for future business growth as this survey shows.
My aim in this article is to add my thoughts to the debate. I also invite you to share your opinion with me at the end of the article.
Will you do that for me?
I’m sure you will.
Now, let’s explore how we can use AI for content marketing.
Exploring Content Strategy in the Era of Generative AI
There was a time when People once dismissed the fanciful notion that computers could ever surpass human creativity. They believed that nothing could replace the human touch, from the eloquence of Shakespearean sonnets to the charm of engaging blog posts. However, the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) has brought about a seismic shift, challenging this belief. If you’ve been keeping an eye on the latest tech trends, you may have heard of Generative AI. In this article, we will explore the symbiotic relationship between content strategy and generative AI.
What is Generative AI?
Generative AI earns its name from its ability to ‘generate’ new data – like text, images, videos, numbers, and so on – by learning patterns from the training data. Content marketers find this ability especially useful because these systems can create text that appears as if a human wrote it. Generative AI doesn’t just create written text, but interpret sounds and other types of content that don’t fit neatly into tables. They achieve this through foundation models, a type of artificial brain network, trained via deep learning. Deep learning involves identifying patterns and relationships in large volumes of unstructured data, enabling these models to create content and answer a wide range of questions, sometimes even outperforming humans.
This groundbreaking technology is revolutionizing industries, changing how we create and consume content, and even altering how we interact with digital platforms. Generative AI isn’t just copying human creativity, it’s enhancing it, providing transformative solutions for content marketing. So, the question becomes, how can we use AI in content marketing?
How can AI be used in content marketing?
To understand how we can use AI in content marketing, let’s examine how companies are integrating AI into their businesses. According to this interview, brands are first of all, integrating AI into their systems to understand what Artificial Intelligence can do better than humans, so they can use AI more efficiently. AI has also impressed many global business leaders, who view it as a driver of future business growth, because of its ability to analyze data and make informed recommendations. In the realm of content marketing and strategy, search engines like google, Facebook, Bing, Tik Tok and so on, all use AI to deliver content and ads to the right audience through recommendation and targeting.
We can use AI in many ways to enhance efficiency and results in content marketing. From generating written, video, image and audio content for marketing to content distribution through recommendation and targeting, AI is buzzing the system up. Let’s quickly look at some use cases of common applications of generative AI:
By using natural language processing algorithms and large language models, generative AI models can automate content creation. That is, generate texts, videos, without the need for human intervention. But, recently, humans are now training these systems through the process of reinforcement learning from human feedback (RLHF).
Reinforcement learning from human feedback (RLHF) is a process used to train generative AI to produce perfect and unique content. It involves training an agent or AI model to make decisions and take action in an environment while receiving feedback from human experts, or designated people. I once worked on projects where we annotated texts, images, videos, speeches, addresses, human bio-data and so many data to different AI projects. What we did basically is to confirm that the output from AI is correct or wrong. It’s like we were telling AI what is right and wrong. What is correct or false. That’s part of the reasons I sometimes argue that the intelligence of an AI is not “artificial.” It’s still human’s intelligence that the model uses.
The leverage a Generative AI has over an individual is that it was trained by a lot of people and with a lot of resources more than any individual can process at once.
They learn the patterns and styles of engaging content from existing examples and generate unique ideas. We can use this AI-produced content to serve various needs, such as creating marketing content for emails, social media posts or blogs, writing scripts for videos and ads, and crafting engaging product descriptions that are clear and concise. When it comes to image and video creation, generative AI, with the help of deep learning algorithms and generative adversarial networks (GANs), can automate the process. Marketers can use this to create realistic images of products for online stores, social media channels, and other marketing materials, produce visual branding materials like logos, and design ads that are engaging and visually appealing.
Generating Images and Videos
Generative AI, using deep learning algorithms and generative adversarial networks (GANs), can take charge of image production. Marketers can harness this technology to craft realistic images of products for e-commerce websites, social media platforms, and other marketing content. It can also assist in designing visually striking logos and ads. Furthermore, generative AI video tools can contribute to the production of high-quality marketing and product demo videos, potentially boosting brand visibility and conversion rates.
Automating Marketing and SEO
One of my favorite functions of the Generative AI is its brainstorming function. It has the capacity to process large volumes of data and detect patterns in consumer behavior, assisting businesses in identifying SEO-friendly, relevant keywords and phrases for their digital marketing campaigns. It can contribute to keyword research, the discovery of content topics, the identification of relevant content titles, and the organization of search intent and content structure. Leveraging the brainstorming functions of a generative AI is still the best if not the only way to use AI without falling short of any ethical concerns.
This is what I recommend for any brand who wants to maintain the uniqueness of their content in the era of Generative AI where everyone seems to be wearing the same red and white striped colored shirts as the fictional character Waldo, in the “Where is Waldo’s” animation series. In marketing, the “Where’s Waldo” problem explores how people can quickly learn to scan ads or platforms to spot, focus on, recognize, and view a specific target goods and services that they value.
In my opinion, the best bet for any brand is to stick to their colors. You can enhance the background of the image, but don’t change the color of your brand’s shirts. This is what we advise all the small businesses we’ve worked with.
Enhancing Customer Service
Conversational AI models have the ability to swiftly understand customer inquiries and respond quicker than humans, making them key to customer service automation. Currently, applications of generative AI include chatbots and messaging apps that offer 24/7 customer service, email automation that promptly responds to common customer inquiries, self-service portals that provide personalized recommendations and solutions, and multilingual support and localization to cater to a broad audience.
Adapting to a Future without Cookies
As third-party cookies phase out on platforms like Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Apple, cookieless marketing is becoming standard. Generative AI can facilitate this transition by automating code generation based on natural language input, freeing up programmers and software developers from tedious tasks like code optimization, bug detection, and code completion.
In summary, the unique feature of generative AI which allows it to personalize content for individual users, optimize content for search engines, and measure content effectiveness can enhance content and customer experience.
However, while AI is transforming the marketing industry, we must remember its potential drawbacks and limitations. AI-generated content might lack the emotional intelligence intrinsic to human creativity, which could result in a loss of brand voice and negatively impact customer loyalty and engagement.
If I am to recommend, I will strongly advise against the trend of using robots to advertise products. Personally, I will never buy any product a robots pitches to me. It doesn’t matter whether you used your voice or not. If the products or service is going to serve a human being, let a human being market it. AI is not a human and should not replace a human.
Also, while generative AI can rapidly produce highly targeted content, it might not always deliver the best or most accurate results due to its reliance on incomplete or inaccurate data from the internet. And no matter how powerful AI might be, it can never replace humans. Despite automating some campaign aspects, generative AI cannot replace the emotional connections and creativity required in creating compelling campaigns.
Generative AI and Content Plagiarism
The AI debate also centers around the controversy of whether a generative AI model, like ChatGPT, might copy or plagiarize other people’s work. However, this might not be the case. While it’s true that generative AI could increase human reliance on artificial intelligence, it’s important to note that AI also depends on human input to spark its creativity. Generative AI, like any other computer program, operates on the principle of “garbage in, garbage out.” It processes a list of instructions or prompts. Besides its training data, the quality of the prompts it receives influences the generation of desirable results.
Here’s an analogy to better understand generative AI models. Imagine an art studio where a skilled painter, an apprentice, and a photographer work. The generative AI model acts like the apprentice, observing, learning, and eventually creating their own masterpiece, adding their unique perspective. Unlike the photographer, who passively captures an image of the painter’s work, the AI actively engages in creation. However, the user’s creative skill in crafting the prompt dictates the AI’s ability to bring its unique perspective to any subject. This ability to generate various types of content positions it as a game-changer for content marketing strategy.
Does Generative AI like ChatGPT plagiarize other people’s work?
No, as explained earlier, Generative AI models like ChatGPT, Dall E, Bing create and even Bing design all have the capacity to generate texts to a user’s input in real-time. They don’t have the ability to independently create content or persistently replicate content that exists on the internet or elsewhere. The true power of generative AI lies in its ability to collaborate with human creativity. That’s why what the result you get depends on the prompt or instruction you provided. It’s the perfect symphony between technology and human ingenuity, each enhancing the other, resulting in content that resonates with audiences like never before. As businesses, AI enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, web designers, and UX designers, you are faced with the exciting opportunity to harness AI tools to create unique, engaging experiences for your audience.
How to use AI without plagiarizing
AI maybe inaccurate but it was trained not to plagiarize content. It won’t copy content verbatim. The plagiarism concerns of AI is the idea and intellectual property plagiarism. The problem is that most people and plagiarism checker including Turnitin are built to check for word usage and most times not idea or intellectual property plagiarism. To experiment my claim that Generative AI models don’t copy especially written content verbatim, I prompted GPT-4 to write me an essay with different prompts on the same topic about ten times. Do you know that all the ten articles, none was similar? They were all unique.
Then, I asked it to write me a story about a dog who chased it’s owner, and it wrote George Orwell’s Animal Farm story for me. I immediately recognized the story because I had read the Animal Farm. Imagine that I hadn’t read the original story and I went ahead to publish the story because the plagiarism checker didn’t find anyone who matched the same words?
Plagiarism Cases with ChatGPT
However, If you are using a model of AI that’s connected to the internet, like those of us running the ChatGPT-4 beta program, Yes, ChatGPT can copy texts from the internet. Though, the highest percentage I ever notice was 9%. There is also a tendency for ChatGPT to produce similar answers when asked the same questions over and over again. It isn’t surprising if people are getting plagiarized texts from ChatGPT after all, they are all buying the same prompts and asking ChatGPT the same questions over an over again.
No Need to Buy ChatGPT Prompts
One thing people don’t know is that especially OpenAI and Google Bard have no ability to pass data from one person to another. If you are using ChatGPT-4 which I use, you would have noticed that if your primary device for accessing the program is a PC, you will never be able to login to your account with your phone. It’s also the reason you can not use a VPN to run the program. The honest truth is that there is no straight forward way of detecting word matching plagiarism on an AI generated content. I do laugh each time I see people advertise their AI plagiarism checkers. Of course, you know I have tried them as an experiment. I once wrote something with ChatGPT-4 and got one of the most popular plagiarism checkers to scan it. It came out with “your text is 100% written by a human reply.”
If a generative AI model gives you a plagiarized text generated response, it’s because you are buying or copying prompts from all over the place.
In my book, the smart ways to prompt generative AI models, I gave practical and tested ways to get your AI model to generate perfect outputs to your prompts. I explained how to become smarter working with AI instead of becoming lazy by relying on AI to do your work for you. I use AI tools a lot, so I know what I am talking about.
Why is Generative AI a Game-Changer for Content Strategy?
In the rapidly growing world of online marketing, it’s well-known that content is vital. Often, the success of a marketing campaign depends on how good its content is. But, things are changing with the introduction of AI-powered content creation. This new technology is giving businesses the ability to quickly create high-quality content. By using generative AI, companies can carefully analyze data, figure out customer behavior patterns, and create personalized content that strongly connects with their target audience. This isn’t just a step forward in technology, it’s a game changer, allowing businesses to engage with their audience in ways we couldn’t imagine before.
More and more, brands are realizing how important a strong content strategy is for interacting with their audiences and promoting growth. But as the need for content grows, so does the pressure on content creators to keep making new, engaging material. That’s why generative AI is a game changer for content strategy. It can create high-quality, custom content at a scale and speed that wouldn’t be possible for just human creators. Let’s explore how generative AI is reshaping the world of content strategy.
Speed and Volume
Generative AI can generate content rapidly and at scale, making it a vital tool for businesses that need a consistent stream of fresh content. Whether the task is creating engaging social media posts, writing product descriptions, or generating email marketing copy, Generative AI can produce a high volume of content in a fraction of the time.
Content Personalization at Scale
One of the primary challenges in contemporary marketing is personalization. Customers increasingly expect content tailored to their unique interests and needs. With Generative AI, it’s feasible to create personalized content at scale. For instance, AI can generate custom email content based on a user’s browsing history or purchasing behavior, significantly enhancing the customer experience and potentially boosting conversion rates.
Generative AI doesn’t merely create content—it can also optimize it. By scrutinizing data on user engagement and behavior, AI can make informed decisions about what kind of content performs best. This could involve altering the tone or style of writing, selecting different topics, or experimenting with various content formats.
Generating Content Ideas
One of the most exhilarating uses of Generative AI is its capacity to generate new ideas. By examining existing content and data, AI can suggest fresh topics, themes, or angles that a content team might not have considered. This can be especially beneficial during the brainstorming phase of content creation, helping to ensure a steady stream of innovative, engaging content.
Reducing the Burden on Content Teams
By automating certain aspects of content creation, Generative AI can alleviate the burden on content teams, freeing them to focus on more strategic, high-value tasks. While AI is unlikely to entirely replace human content creators, it can certainly augment their skills and streamline their workflow.
Enhanced SEO Optimization
Generative AI algorithms can be trained to understand SEO best practices, ensuring that the content they produce is optimized for search engines. This can significantly boost your website’s visibility and increase organic traffic.
How to Integrate Generative AI into Your Content Strategy
Each time I talk about Integrating generative AI into content strategy, most people’s interest is to find away to downsize their content team. Replacing a human with AI is unethical. The truth is that beyond the hype, AI is only a work tool . It’s a tool just like your car, computer, phone, pen, hoe, rakes, lawn mower and so on. It may seem more expensive to employ people who would use the AI tool to complete your task when you would have just done it, but the benefits far outweigh the cost. Here are three practical ways to get started if you want to integrate Generative AI into your content strategy:
Augment Your Content Team
Using generative AI should not result to you replacing your content team. It’s about enhancing your content management team. AI can handle repetitive tasks, such as writing product descriptions or generating SEO-friendly metadata, freeing your team to focus on more strategic and creative tasks, including editing the AI generated content to suit human consumption.
Replacing your content management team with AI is risky.
Replacing your content management team with AI is risky, you know why? With everyone switching to AI for content creation, content alone will no long be king or the key. In this generative AI era, both the person who created the content, how the content was created, then the content are all kings. This is because, everyone is using the same tools, and sometimes the same prompts to create the same content. Very soon, we’ll be facing the challenge of uniqueness.
My advise to especially small businesses and brands is to not lose their values and uniqueness to the crowd. Define your purpose, create a value, get a voice and stay with them. Use AI to enhance them. Don’t ever lose them to AI.
The tip is to do something that’s unique and stands you out, if not, your brand will be lost in the crowd.
Personalize Your Customer Interactions
Use generative AI to deliver personalized content to your customers. Whether it’s product recommendations based on browsing history or custom email campaigns, AI can help you establish a deeper connection with your audience.
Optimize Your Content for SEO
Implement generative AI tools that can analyze your content and provide recommendations for SEO improvement. This can help you ascend the SERPs and reach a broader audience. You can get my book for more tips.
As with any technological advancement, generative AI brings its own set of concerns. Some may argue that content generated by AI lacks the human touch, personal experiences, and emotional connection that human writers bring to their work.
However, it’s crucial to remember that generative AI is not a replacement for human creativity. Instead, it’s an amazing tool that can augment human capabilities, allowing us to deliver personalized, high-quality content at scale.
Generative AI, when used responsibly, maintains the authenticity of the content. It’s about striking the perfect balance—using AI to handle the heavy lifting of content generation and optimization, while humans focus on adding the finishing touches that make the content truly resonate with the audience.
Final Notes: The Future is Here
As we embark on this new era of digital marketing, our ability to merge AI capabilities with human creativity will determine the successful incorporation of generative AI into our content strategy. Ada Lovelace, who’s often considered the world’s first programmer, once said, “The Analytical Engine has no pretensions whatever to originate anything. It can do whatever we know how to order it to perform.” Her words remind us that as we integrate generative AI into our content strategies, we must guide it, shape it, and ultimately, utilize it to tell our stories in the most engaging and compelling ways possible.
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As promised, tell me what you think about content strategy in the era of generative AI.