How to Use Generative AI for Content Creation: Practical Do’s and Don’ts for B2B Marketers
These days, it seems like you can’t get through a meeting—much less a cocktail party—without someone bringing up ChatGPT.
ChatGPT is a generative AI tool that’s caused a lot of buzz in the marketing industry with its ability to streamline content creation and research tasks. Generative AI uses natural language processing to pull information from around the web to answer search queries and fulfill copy requests. This allows it to generate new content based on inputs or prompts and provides an answer by using neural networks to identify patterns and structures within existing data.
The most significant benefit of generative AI is that it considers context, syntax, and word associations, allowing it to produce responses that mimic human speech and writing. This makes it a valuable resource for B2B marketers looking to integrate it into their workflows to streamline time-intensive content creation tasks, like content ideation, competitor research, and campaign execution plans at a record rate.
And yet, like all things that are too good to be true, we must still be vigilant with this technology. It’s critical that teams view generative AI as just a tool and not as an extension of themselves. The only way that companies can stand out among the competition is with content and messaging unique to their brand and the specific needs of their target audience. You still need access to quality data to apply the ideas and personalization necessary to reach buyers effectively. ChatGPT and other generative AI tools alone can’t do that.
The following are some do’s and don’ts to follow when leveraging this technology for content development and creation.
Do use generative AI for idea generation and to overcome writer’s block
Generative AI is most effective in the beginning stages of the content creation process when working to determine topics and generate ideas. The hardest part of writing is often just putting pen to paper. Because the technology aggregates responses based on information available on the internet, there’s a better chance the response is something your audience is actively researching and will engage with more. Generative AI can help with:
- Narrowing down topics that buyers care about
- Uncovering unmet content needs
- Giving marketers a starting point with a generated introduction or paragraph on a topic prompt
- Constructing a basic outline of a chosen topic
For example, ask ChatGPT the top three problems construction managers face. The AI will crawl through the internet and identify keywords that indicate construction manager challenges, such as safety hazards and accidents, project delays and cost overruns, and managing subcontractors and suppliers. You and your team can then leverage these three main challenges an audience will care about to fuel a blog post, an infographic, or a social media post.
Don’t use generative AI as your sole source of audience research
While generative AI can streamline buyer research efforts by quickly providing top-level audience insights, you still need your first-party and third-party intent data to determine what content and messaging will resonate most with your target accounts. Why? Because ChatGPT and other generative AI aggregate responses from sources all over the internet. Not knowing the source of the data makes it harder to trust it. Forrester points out that one of the biggest issues with AI is its “hallucinations and coherent nonsense.” Multiple reports describe how generative AI systems will make up answers if they don’t have a defined response or enough data to generate a real response.
You should rely on intent data to fully identify opportunities, personalize content, and determine holistic ideas for marketing campaigns that align with set business goals. While generative AI is a good place to start when thinking about buyer needs, it is not a reliable source for choosing content and advertising that uniquely meets buying committees with the information needed to drive engagement.
Do use generative AI to help overcome typical writing challenges
Generative AI has helpful writing and language rules hard coded into it. Content writers that spend countless hours editing their work can turn to generative AI to help common grammatical, spelling, and other writing challenges to streamline the editing process. Using the right prompts, a writer can ask ChatGPT to check content for:
- Comma splices
- Passive vs. active voice
- Spelling issues
- Sentence structures
- Punctuation inconsistencies
- Jargon and other problems with clarity in writing
Don’t use AI-generated content without reviewing for authenticity, credibility, personalization and brand voice
AI is unlikely to produce high-quality, final-product content on its own. While it still has the potential to save time and resources, the copy it creates still requires significant human review to ensure the final product includes the brand tone, buyer insights, and intricate details of your solution or services needed to provide a truly personalized customer experience.
The need for authenticity and brand voice is especially critical for thought leadership content that demonstrates expertise and credibility by showing how a solution can solve a problem. Because of its power, thought leadership pieces need to be ironclad and unique, with well-researched topics and a distinct audience understanding. With unique as the keyword, it’s important to recognize that AI has limitations, and not use it to author these pieces exclusively.
Do improve information and content with follow-up questions
Remember that generated content will sound bland and generic out of the gate. Asking the system to give you alternative information or elaborate on what it’s already provided will give you richer content ideas for your target audience.
Let’s look at the earlier example of the top three problems construction managers face. Once you’ve verified these problems are accurate with your own data, you ask ChatGPT to draft a white paper outline on the topic. The system provides a well-laid-out framework for you to work off of that includes an intro, three main sections, and a conclusion. Instead of asking a new question, you can simply ask it to, “elaborate on number 2” and it will give you additional detail about what to include in that section.
Because ChatGPT and other generative AI have been trained to interact with users in a conversational way, asking it follow-up questions and prompts will provide a richer experience that generates more detail and specifics on a topic that you can use to build better content.
Don’t use generative AI for content that needs to be unique or confidential
Generative AI is not a tool that keeps secrets. A good rule of thumb: do not tell it any private personal or company information you wouldn’t want to appear on the internet. There is still a lot of ambiguity around how ChatGPT uses and shares data.
Several recent European regulatory investigations have questioned how ChatGPT uses and shares data, prompting larger conversations around the need for a common policy on setting privacy rules on AI. That said, there’s no way of knowing what happens to data when put into generate AI, so it’s a good practice to not input your data into it in the first place.
Do learn as you go
In conclusion, ChatGPT and other generative AI tools have revolutionized the marketing industry by providing efficient solutions for content creation and research tasks. Its ability to consider context, syntax, and word associations allows it to generate responses that closely resemble human speech and writing, making it a valuable resource for marketers.
Have fun with it, but also remember its limitations. There’s no replacement for human creativity and personalization.
It is still essential for marketers to apply their expertise and access quality data to create content and messaging that is unique to their brand and resonates with their target audience. By following best practices and maintaining a balance between leveraging generative AI and incorporating human insights, marketers can effectively stand out among the competition and achieve success in their content development and creation endeavors.