Is there a helpful role for an AI-based technology like ChatGPT for content marketing? This post will explore useful ways you might utilize this exciting new tool as part of your content marketing strategy – and some important cautions and caveats you should be aware of.
What is Chat GPT?
ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI. It uses advanced machine learning techniques to generate human-like text in response to prompts, allowing it to have conversations and answer questions.
The previous paragraph, in fact, was written by ChatGPT based on a prompt that I provided.
It’s a perfectly good paragraph – accurate, descriptive, and concise. From a content marketing perspective, though – I wondered if it just grabbed this text from a different website. I wouldn’t want to use content from a tool that was just copy-and-pasting from a source. So I Googled the paragraph that it wrote to see if it appeared on any other websites. It didn’t.
Additionally, I ran the text through Grammarly’s Plagiarism Checker and it was clean – though it did identify some writing issues that needed improvement.
Refining your ChatGPT result
ChatGPT sessions will remember things that you’ve already asked it. You can build on previous answers to refine them further. For example, in the last example, I asked for a definition of ChatGPT for a general audience. What if my audience were more technical and wanted more detail? Simply ask ChatGPT to revise its previous answer.
I tried to get ChatGPT to write a description of itself that “sounded stupid and was riddled with misspellings” but got the polite response that:
“I’m sorry, but I cannot provide a response that is intentionally written with misspellings or written in a manner that is disrespectful or offensive. As an AI language model developed by OpenAI, my purpose is to assist and provide helpful and accurate information in a professional and respectful manner.”
You can, however, do some funny things with ChatGPT – like ask it to describe something from the perspective of a particular person, character, or ideology:
So Can You Use ChatGPT for Content Marketing?
Let’s try something more detailed. Could we use ChatGPT to write an entire post? Let’s say I was writing a post about installing Google Analytics 4 on your WordPress site. I already did that, but let’s say I hadn’t started writing it yet.
Could ChatGPT competently write such content? More importantly, could it optimize that content for a particulate keyphrase for SEO purposes?
Here is the ChatGPT-generated text that I got from the prompt: Write a blog post about how to install Google Analytics 4 onto a WordPress website optimized for the keyphrase “install google analytics 4”
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the latest version of the popular analytics platform and provides a more advanced tracking system for website owners. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to install GA4 on your WordPress website.
- Create a Google Analytics Account: If you don’t have a Google Analytics account, go to analytics.google.com and create one.
- Get the Tracking Code: Once you have created an account, navigate to the GA4 property and click on the “Setup” button. You will then see a tracking code that you need to copy.
- Install the Google Site Kit Plugin: The Google Site Kit plugin makes it easy to install GA4 on your WordPress website. Go to your WordPress dashboard, click on “Plugins,” and search for “Google Site Kit.” Install and activate the plugin.
- Connect Google Analytics to WordPress: Open the Google Site Kit plugin and connect your GA account to your WordPress website.
- Add the Tracking Code to WordPress: Go to the GA4 property in the Google Site Kit and paste the tracking code you copied earlier into the “Tracking Code” field. Save the changes.
- Verify Installation: To verify that GA4 is properly installed, go to your WordPress dashboard and check the Google Analytics report. You should see data in the report within 24 hours.
In conclusion, GA4 provides more advanced tracking and analysis features compared to its previous versions. Installing it on your WordPress website is straightforward and can be done in a few steps. If you encounter any issues, consult the Google Analytics support page or reach out to the Google Site Kit support team.
How did ChatGPT do?
I’d say the article is decent – but it is pretty short and definitely needs improvement and more detail. However, when I ran the post through the Yoast SEO plugin for analysis, it was not impressed. There were many things to improve. ChatGPT had not even used the focus keyphrase “Install Google Analytics 4” anywhere in the article. The readability was not strong, either – sentences were a bit long, passive voice used a little too often, and more transition words were needed.
Lastly, there is a lot of specific details missing that would be important to a user following along. And of course, a content marketer would want to add visual content (screenshots, for example) as well. As of yet, ChatGPT does not do image content.
Overall, as a final piece of optimized content, I’d say it’s a clear fail. That said, having this content as a starting point or first draft to develop this article further would probably be very helpful and would save time.
One Good Use of ChatGPT for Content Marketing
Based on my initial toying around with ChatGPT, I’d say it is useful as a writing assist for first drafts of content.
It is a lot easier to write if you have an organized structure – and some of the legwork done for you. ChatGPT’s first draft of a post could be seen as a starting point from which you could build on. Frankly, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by its efficacy. It’s just good enough that it serves a purpose by saving a little time and effort, but still needs some human finessing to add detail, give it some personality, and most importantly, fact-check for accuracy.
As a writing assist, here are a few other ways I’ve found it handy:
- For writing concise descriptions of things (e.g. “Write one paragraph that answers the question ‘What is ChatGPT?'”)
- For finding better word choices or phrasing options (“Re-write ‘[insert sentence]’ to be more descriptive with more detail.”)
- Getting feedback on sentences or paragraphs. (“Analyze this sentence for spelling, grammar, and accuracy: ‘[insert sentence]'”)
At this point, seasoned copywriters are likely rolling their eyes and groaning – Is this really easier and faster than just having a smart human being write content? I’ll leave that question unanswered until a John Henry-inspired writing competition between ChatGPT and a human word czar can settle this matter once and for all.
However, content marketers should exercise caution about incorporating AI content generation into their workflow, as there are some pretty serious limitations.
What are the Limitations of ChatGPT for Content Marketing?
ChatGPT can sometimes generate incorrect information. For example, I’ve seen it make factual errors that are easily shown false. It may be the case that for certain usages of ChatGPT, you may save time writing the post only to spend an equal (or greater) amount of time fact-checking the information.
ChatGPT can sometimes produce biased content. Since it is being trained on content humans generate, which may contain cognitive or cultural biases, it is no surprise that some AI-generated content may suffer from the same bias.
ChatGPT does not have uniquely personal opinions or feelings – so content that requires persuasive language about a particular viewpoint may be hampered. You can somewhat get around this by asking questions like “From the viewpoint of x, argue in favor of y”.
The Dealbreaker: SEO
The biggest reason to exercise caution using ChatGPT for content marketing is that search engines (like Google) have issued public statements that they consider AI-generated content to be against their guidelines and (worse) outright “spam”.
The goal of content marketers is to rank highly in natural search results. Suffering penalties for using AI-generated content – or potentially getting a site delisted entirely – is not an acceptable outcome.
A number of tools exist for predicting whether content was generated by AI – and search engines are potentially using these tools as a factor when determining page rank.
Many AI-detection tools are based on word predictability patterns. AI-generated content generally write sentences in predictable ways (think Google’s auto-complete feature). While human writers generally are less predictable and repetitive with their word choices. AI-generated content can be “humanized” by making changes in word choices – as well as making SEO-focused changes based on the target keyphrase for a page.
While most predict that AI-generated text will eventually become nearly impossible to detect, for now it is safest to not use raw AI-generated content. This is why I find it useful primarily as an assist during initial draft writing rather than a one-step means to effortlessly create finished content.
The goal of content marketing should be to create high-quality relevant content that is useful to your audience. Where ChatGPT and AI can help achieve that goal – it seems to me that there is a place for it as a tool for content marketers who take the necessary steps to fact-check, humanize, and further improve the content.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments. 🤓