There comes a time when every trend either finds a way to become commonplace or disappears as a footnote in history. With the rise of OpenAI’s ChatGPT tool at the end of 2022 and its use in pop culture (along with Microsoft’s recent $10 billion investment in OpenAI), we believe it’s the former, not the latter, when it comes to the future of generative AI.
You may be tempted to hop on the latest AI trends and use any of the growing number of options with your existing content marketing tools—but hold up! First, let’s take a moment to consider the pros and cons of this new technology and in which scenarios it may suit you best.
What is Generative AI?
As a branch of artificial intelligence, generative AI is having its day in the sun after the launch of several tools like the aforementioned ChatGPT for text, as well as Dream Studio for websites and DALL·E 2 for graphics.
These tools employ what’s called machine learning to create, or “generate”, impressive works from a simple input. Behind the scenes, there’s a lot of data, algorithms, and statistical models that go into it, but essentially what we have now are tools that understand and continue to improve themselves through reinforcement learning.
As word of these new tools got out at the start of the year, you may have noticed the eyebrows of marketing directors or managers raise at the idea of using generative content for artificial intelligence blog writing. On the contrary, many content creators and freelancers tensed up at the idea of an AI writer taking their job. Even Google, a disruptor in its own right, has shown concern for their future search engine usage.
There are many ways generative AI can help companies and marketers add to their content marketing tools in 2023; however, there are also reasons why it’s important to tug on the reins a bit. Below are some of our pros and cons of using AI-generated content.
What are some ways I can use AI-generated content for my marketing? (The Pros)
Generative AI is on its way to becoming more mainstream—of that, there’s no dispute. As a result, it’s important for marketing teams to get their arms around a few of the latest AI trends now rather than being caught on their heels.
The advantages of AI-generated content are numerous, ranging from helping creative people with disabilities to improving the chances of low-skilled workers to find jobs. Essentially, as Fast Company writes, it “has the potential to democratize entire industries.”
Here are some ways you can start using generative AI for your marketing right now:
Pro #1: High-quality chats with your customers
If you’ve used a chatbot in the past, you’re maybe skeptical about this point. However, the growth of generative AI and the hardware that supports it has led to more sophisticated models for chatting with your customers online. Soon, many AI-powered tools will be able to handle routine requests, understand your customers’ needs, and respond to them in a more conversational way.
Additionally, while many marketers use chatbots as a tool used for generating leads, the results have been mixed. Going forward, we expect those same leads to be more willing to share their information when they feel like their needs have been met in a more personalized way.
Pro #2: Improved conversion rates and average order values
Sales methods like upselling or cross-selling come with a lot of nuance, strategy, and optimization; as a result, they require a lot of your time. If you’re struggling with conversion rates, or if you just want to improve average order values or customer retention, generative AI tools may be the way to go.
Over the next year, watch for more sales tools to emerge that help with full-funnel customer service, personalized recommendations, and unique offers for customers that push them to convert. Theoretically, the time you’ve spent on manually A/B testing offers and campaigns in the past could be handled by AI-generated content.
Pro #3: Save time with ad writing prompts
We’re going to ride the razor’s edge here and say that generative AI content does have a useful application when it comes to copywriting. As any writer will attest, staring at a blank page can sometimes be daunting; asking an AI writer to lay some groundwork first can bring about more efficiencies and even help your writers develop and hone their own skills. It also helps with the more tactical and tedious elements of content marketing, such as building an outline (or coming up with a list of the pros and cons of generative AI writing…).
When it comes to any copy that an AI writer gives you, you’ll want to bring in your content marketing team to fact check any errors and add more nuance and variety. Think of the generative AI tool as your autopilot system, with your content marketing team there to fine-tune the controls (and keep your company’s reputation safe).
What are some reasons why I should avoid AI-generated content?
In less than three months after its late November launch, ChatGPT had already become the ire of everyone from college professors to the top brass at Google. As a result, certain new barriers were put in place (including oppositional software that identifies when generative AI content is present)—and we expect even more regulations to come.
Here are some more reasons why you may want to sit on the technology for a bit.
Con #1: Errors found in AI-generated content
Where many content departments toyed with the idea of using generative AI to begin 2023, consumer tech publisher CNET wasted no time in publishing stories written with the help of AI-driven software. Yet, almost as quickly as it had made its pivot, the company needed to backtrack after the staff’s editors missed numerous factual errors that the software generated.
Today, artificial intelligence still requires human-guided training and reinforcement learning, which limits its knowledge—especially when it comes to recent events or products. Don’t be fooled by the responses you get, no matter how confident the software sounds; it may be talking about a similar product release from two years before.
Con #2: The Google crackdown effect
Around the same time as generative AI began taking over mainstream news, Google Search announced updates to its latest helpful content system, including some that directly combat the use of AI-generated content.
Just as there’s software designed to catch students plagiarizing term papers, Google’s helpful content systems “automatically identify content that seems to have little value, low-added value or is otherwise not particularly helpful to those doing searches”. That’s Google’s dog whistle for saying they may be penalizing your site if it’s using too much generative AI and SEO together.
For those who’ve worked in SEO and content marketing for a while, this isn’t breaking news; Google has long rewarded websites that utilize human-first content. Now, however, it’s more important than ever to avoid the temptation to use AI-generated content for help with ranking your site, as the risks for upsetting Google and other search engines have only increased.
Con #3: More regulations are coming
These are the “wild west” days of generative AI content, so to speak. However, businesses and governments are already asking legitimate questions about the ethical usage of AI content. One case is even making its way to the Supreme Court. Current concerns about generative AI include:
- The safety and liability around AI recommendations
- Copyrights and patents for AI-generated content
- Distribution of misinformation
- IP theft or invasion of privacy
It may be tempting to utilize current tools to their full potential before the inevitable regulations come; however, it’s also important to remember that while something may be possible, it’s not always ethical. A large part of your marketing comes with reputation management, and you wouldn’t want to rely on AI to write an apologetic press release for you.
Brandography knows content marketing
As with any new & disruptive technology, it can feel equally exciting and nerve-wracking to be a digital marketer. It’s also overwhelming. Our subject matter experts at Brandography aspire to stay on the cutting edge of AI trends and other new technologies, and we’re ready to help you navigate all the new possibilities that generative AI brings to your business.
Right now, our content marketing team is on hand to create blogs and write PPC ads that not only meet Google’s “helpful content” guidelines for your website, but also match your brand’s voice and tone to the letter. Additionally, our teams will continue to use only the most sound SEO fundamentals and fact checking practices for any content you bring to us.
We’re also happy to discuss our capabilities for getting you started with some of the newest tools available for lead generation or improved sales and customer retention. Reach out today if you’re interested in learning more.