Take a glance at some of the recent news headlines and you might think that the impact of using ChatGPT for marketing copywriting is going to do something similar to what iPods did to cassette players.
In the past few weeks, “Will ChatGPT Replace Human Marketers?” and “Top 10 Jobs Most At Risk From OpenAI” are just two examples of titles that may have screamed at you over your morning coffee.
As clickbaity as they sound, these headlines aren’t completely without reason. ChatGPT is alarmingly good at what it does.
A pioneering AI-based language model (read: chatbot), ChatGPT has the power to transform the internet as we know it. Type in almost any request and it scours 50 billion online sources to give you humanlike real-time answers.
It answers follow-up questions. It rejects inappropriate queries. It even comes up with witty Tinder messages.
With rival Google Bard coming along to keep ChatGPT on its toes, we’re surely only seeing the start of the wider use of supreme artificial intelligence chatbots that have finally become available to the public.
In particular, the heads of marketing teams and tech startups now familiar with this technology are wondering just how it’s going to affect the way they market their products and services to their target audience.
If you’re one of them, you might be mulling over the following:
- How to use OpenAI to stay ahead of your competitors
- How using ChatGPT for marketing will affect your human workforce
- Which areas of your content creation would be better served by humans or AI.
Despite valid concerns, we have to recognize that AI and machine learning tech is set to influence how we conduct marketing from now on. Researchers at Smart Insights have outlined just how frequently it could pop up along the customer journey from first outreach to full conversion.
Yet, rather than fear it, it’s crucial that we learn how to embrace AI to enhance our own digital marketing efforts.
In particular, at Mint Position, we have already tested and seen great value provided by using ChatGPT for copywriting ideation in various marketing roles. But ideation is where it often starts and ends because a human brain is still needed throughout the process.
Indeed, in this way we do not see AI replacing humans; rather, it will replace humans that do not know how to use AI.
Like with any disruptive new technology, it’s important that we do our homework first. And what better way to do that than by giving the machine itself a test drive?
After an enjoyable few days plugging our thoughts into the chatbot dominating the front pages right now, here’s our take on how to best integrate ChatGPT into a competitive content marketing strategy.
Looking for content marketing that embraces AI tech to keep your company ahead of competitors? Book a no-cost consultation with our expert team who are trained to use the latest tools to maximize visibility, engagement, and conversions.
But first: ChatGPT’s limitations
Let’s be clear: ChatGPT never claims that it’s perfect. As soon as you arrive at its chat page, you’ll see this disclaimer:
So, we might get fake news. We could receive dangerous info. And a pre-2022 database means that ChatGPT doesn’t know anything about ‘that’ Will Smith slap or the tragic demise of Microsoft Internet Explorer.
But maybe we can live with these faults. How about the limitations specific to copywriting and content marketing?
Well, a few issues jumped out at us while we were using the software. Here’s a summary of them.
ChatGPT content probably won’t rank highly on Google
Over the years, content marketing specialists like Mint Position have honed digital marketing techniques in line with the evolution of Google’s algorithms.
These determine where content ranks on its Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), affecting the organic traffic and conversions that marketing departments work for.
So, naturally, we wanted to know if AI-generated content would affect our hard-fought first-page rankings.
We got a typically informative ChatGPT response:
While Google may not banish generative AI content to its SERP backwaters, ChatGPT does admit that its content may not reach the search engine’s strict quality guidelines, especially if it’s “generic or lacks coherence”.
Content also has to be “original” and “provide value for users,” both of which can only come from understanding the unique mission that a company has been brought into existence to tackle, as well as the unique customer experience that you’ll create to meet the search intent of users.
This ties in with what leading SEO agency First Page Sage states are the most important ranking factors, namely unique high-quality content and niche expertise provided through interviews and quotes from subject matter experts (be they from your company or external experts).
By putting original ideas out into the world, we are thus more likely to rank – as well as to solve the unique human problems that your company has been created to handle.
If everyone simply used ChatGPT for writing product descriptions and marketing content on their websites, then all we’d get is text with unoriginal ideas and a lack of market-specific expertise across the board: and there’s nothing that Google hates more than unoriginal content.
It requires the eye of a human editor
From elephants laying eggs to extremely poor poetry, ChatGPT has also made the headlines for the wrong reasons.
Inaccuracies and errors, of course, are no-go areas in content marketing. In a world where brand authority is imperative in building customer trust and loyalty, we simply can’t afford to produce shoddy content.
Also, a brand’s voice must sound human if it’s to connect with its human audience. While ChatGPT makes a good attempt at this, its slightly mechanical output still lacks some of the idiosyncrasies of natural language.
This is why there are already powerful tools that exist to filter out AI content: companies don’t want it.
Both inaccurate and mechanical output means AI tools still require human editors to screen and edit it for human audiences.
And this is without mentioning the crucial role that editors play in curating research.
ChatGPT is unable to distinguish between a Bloomberg article or Buzzfeed clickbait; it can’t verify the accuracy of a survey, academic report or statistical graphs; and it certainly can’t exclusively interview experts for their thoughts on a specific trending topic. All factors that make high-quality journalism so valuable.
It lacks marketing nuance
At the heart of content marketing lies an understanding of each company’s specific positioning and USPs. Content creators without this empathy will fail to capture the tone that their clients are looking for, as well as the unique position they occupy in their industry.
Today, successful content marketing demands detailed customer and market research tailored to each client, as well as unique branding guidelines that create a stand-out brand identity.
ChatGPT doesn’t provide this, and how can it? It simply regurgitates what already exists into a snappy response, which is nice, but doesn’t replace the mind of an expert content writer that is working to solve specific problems with a unique product/service meant for a defined set of demographics.
While a later version of GPT-3 may remedy this issue, the nuance and understanding needed for each specific company means that it’s more likely to arrive with version GPT-54 than GPT-4.
As writer Walter Lippman once said: “You cannot endow even the best machine with initiative.”
6 ways to use ChatGPT to augment content marketing and social media copywriting
Reading the last section, you may get the idea that we’re ChatGPT technophobes, but Mint Position has long been a fan of disruptive technologies.
Or, more specifically, how we can use them to get the best results for the companies we work with.
So knowing how to use ChatGPT for marketing copywriting is something that’s been occupying our thoughts since the software was released.
Below, we have highlighted six use cases that we believe can already start to augment human content marketing efforts across many industries.
1. Writing emotive and engaging headlines
It’s hard to overstate the power of an engaging headline, but it doesn’t have to be short and snappy contrary to popular belief.
According to leading SEO tool Semrush, 10- to 13-word headlines drive twice as much traffic and 1.5x more shares than those under seven words. Lists, guides, and ‘How to’ or ‘Where to’ headings garner the best results, particularly those that speak directly to the reader.
We asked ChatGPT to come up with creative headlines for a topic we’ve written about recently: how young UAE investors can invest in cryptocurrency. We ended using a variation of the final headline that was suggested.
Not bad, right?
Some of these are within a word of the 10- to 13-word sweet spot but, just as important, they’re creative and engaging. The chatbot instinctively knows what makes a good title.
To test it further, we put the bot to work on creative B2B headlines about how companies can hire and play employees in Mexico:
Again, they’re dynamic suggestions that provoke curiosity and would likely make readers want to take a second look.
Looking beyond fintechs, it’s not just within the business and finance spheres that ChatGPT has its uses. Here’s a prompt that shows the power of AI for coming up with for a generic entertainment topic:
And, yes, we admit – we used ChatGPT to generate ideas to help create a headline for the article you are now reading:
ChatGPT can clearly do the job for a wide range of topics and audiences.
While these headlines need work to turn them into relevant marketing messages that must be rewritten specifically for their brand and audience, they still provide a solid basis for content marketers to work with.
With a bit of human TLC, there is some creative wording in there that could lead to sparkling headlines.
2. Generating a detailed template for an email marketing campaign
When it comes to guiding customers along a content funnel, a well-constructed email marketing campaign is an ideal channel for directing readers to the right awareness stage.
Smart Insights’ excellent research expands on how ChatGPT can help marketers do this. According to them, the key is to be as specific as possible to get the best-suggested topics and subject lines, instead of the vague requests we tend to put into search engines, like “Best email topics for cleaning products.” (Indeed, how we write prompts into the chatbot is so important that AI has effectively created an entirely new job title, a chatbot prompt engineer.)
Here are some examples of specific ChatGPT prompts for generating these ideas:
- “Write a persuasive email to increase attendance at our upcoming event”
- “Create a follow-up email to send to potential clients after a meeting”
- “Generate a thank-you email to send to customers after a purchase”
- “Write a promotional email to introduce our new product or service”
- “Regenerate subject lines to get them to switch to our service”
The researchers found that the tool gave them precise instructions as to how to create the email, as well as a template, and even a fully formed email chain.
While copying them verbatim is not recommended if you want to capture your brand’s voice, these detailed suggestions are a different world to the generic Google results we’ve received in the past.
What ChatGPT offers here, as with other examples on this list, is a new channel for creative ideation when it comes to marketing copywriting.
3. Producing engaging social media marketing posts
One of the best examples of how ChatGPT will augment a marketer’s work is in the domain of social media.
Social networks are where 84% of B2B buyers go to make a buying decision, according to research by Gitnux. It’s why eight out of 10 marketing specialists rate them as their most effective marketing channel, with half of them saying they would spend more money on it if they could.
Platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok are also excellent vehicles for B2C marketing, giving brands the chance to engage directly with their customers and build loyalty.
In this area, experts have been quick to see the merit of AI-powered tools. Ash Ahmad, a digital and social media marketer, is one of them. Through his work with Fortune 500 and B2B brands, he’s come to view ChatGPT as an ultra-efficient virtual assistant; a launchpad for ideas that he will then shape and hone using his editorial discretion.
“ChatGPT is an excellent sounding board for marketers”, says Ash. “Cherry-picking key information from blogs is one example. I can input blog content into ChatGPT and it will generate five to 10 ideas for social media posts. These can be adapted to each network, too; LinkedIn being more B2B-focused than a channel like TikTok”.
Content marketers who wish to use a major brand’s style as a template can even request the tool to rewrite posts in the voice of a famous company, such as the informal style of Mailchimp, according to Ash, and even with the relevant emojis, as shown here:
The results provide valuable suggestions for marketers like Ash.
And this takes us to the crux of the matter. Far from replacing social media experts, Ash believes that the difference maker will be how we use the technology. Those who can best use it to their advantage will win out over rivals – like with any other disruptive business tool.
This echoes our earlier sentiment: Mint Position does not see AI replacing humans, but rather replacing humans that do not know how to use AI.
4. Creating compelling ad copy
A big reason why ChatGPT has dominated the news is its uncanny ability to actually sound persuasive and engaging: two attributes that, when aligned with specific messaging and SEO strategies, can make for extremely potent ad copy.
Calls-to-actions (CTAs) are a core component of clever ad copy: when well written with good positioning they can inspire their target reader to take a desired action, such as sharing contact details, subscribing to a service, or buying a product.
This naturally means that CTAs are a crucial part of writing Google Ads and blog article copy, and often come with the use of specific high-buyer intent keywords. For example, at Mint Position, we aim to identify keywords used in CTAs by analyzing pay-per-click (PPC/CPC) metrics as a gauge for their commercial value and intent.
CTAs must also neatly summarize the brand’s core message, using strong command verbs that provoke emotion or enthusiasm to hammer the point home.
ChatGPT appeared to do this well when we asked it to come up with five engaging CTAs for a Dubai-based mobile payments platform targeting blue-collar workers.
Going a step further, we specified a particular feature that we want our service to have (3% interest) and aimed at a different customer segment for good measure.
In both cases, ChatGPT’s five CTAs, while not perfect, cover the basics extremely well. They combine a sense of urgency with an example of a possible competitive advantage typical of these platforms.
CTAs are just one example of advertising copywriting, of course, but they’re one of the best at highlighting how useful ChatGPT can be for generating promotional ideas which marketers can build upon.
It may also provide useful help with ad or email testing. When we need ideas for A/B testing – the method where we assess two different types of message – ChatGPT can brainstorm for us and perhaps conjure up examples that don’t immediately spring to mind.
5. Helping form ideas for a content strategy
AI-powered tools are nothing new when it comes to generating content ideas and even grading articles and landing pages.
Tools like Clearscope, which uses Google’s and IBM’s AIs to delve into search intent and optimize copy, have been a key asset that has helped Mint Position propel our company’s webpages to the top SERPs and become product leaders in their field.
Yet, content strategy is much more than that. For a strategy to work well, it needs to put product USPs, customer research and each brand’s unique market positioning into its heart.
We asked ChatGPT for marketing help with a content strategy for a fintech startup, without specifications at first.
In this case, the AI proved to be an aid, rather than a solution. It provided generic points that we could apply to any business, not the very specific demands of a fintech brand.
So we decided to be more specific: maybe that would provide us with a more detailed outline. Interestingly, it did.
Once again, ChatGPT proves itself as a valuable tool when we use it correctly. By being more specific, we were able to get a tailored strategy for a fintech BNPL app aimed at travelers.
That said, every fintech BNPL startup aimed at travelers would be different. ChatGPT is good, but it can’t adapt the strategy to each business’s individual needs, unique product specs and goals.
Even at the ideation stage, forming a top marketing strategy requires lots of human-verified research, such as identifying customer pain points, unique product positioning, market differentiation factors and more.
Strategies without this, that don’t identify a unique business offering, are doomed to fail.
6. Writing outlines for blogs
We don’t need to emphasize just how important well-written and researched articles are to modern content marketing strategies.
Mint Position knew the importance of providing quality journalistic content (backed up by subject expert quotes) before ChatGPT was a twinkle in Silicon Valley’s eye.
Still, it doesn’t hurt to use OpenAI as a backup, especially for a potentially complex subject like buying commercial property.
We wanted subject matter ideas for the benefits of buying office space with an LLC, targeting commercial property developers. Here’s what we got.
The response was far from the finished product. Google wouldn’t appreciate the lack of backlinking and quoted sources, for a start.
The language feels stodgy and mechanical, almost like it was written by a bored college student rather than a skilled copywriter: no wonder the opening paragraph only generated a 4% score on Writer, an AI detection tool. (Additionally, there are many other tools out there, such as SEO.ai, which offers highly accurate AI detection that uses four different models to check for tell-tale signs that someone is overusing ChatGPT.)
Companies looking to stand out from their rivals wouldn’t get very far by pasting this into their blog sections.
But it does cover the basics of this topic. Asset protection, tax benefits, flexibility and continuity are key reasons why investors buy commercial property in this way. The ChatGPT language model provides a nice summary of each, too.
For writers, ChatGPT outlines are most useful as a content structure checklist, helping them to include all the relevant points. From there, they can go on to create the original, data-backed content that companies at the top of their game need to publish in order to rank above competitors.
And what is it that brands need to win out?
Well, we like to call it the Mint Position: that sweet spot where journalistic-quality research, AI-graded SEO writing, and results-based marketing meet to produce optimized content that ranks highly on Google.
During our research, ChatGPT has shown itself to be an ultra-competent sidekick for ideation, planning and even writing engaging copy.
But when it comes to understanding the unique demands that each client has and getting that message-market fit just right, skilled, empathetic (and human) content marketers still very much have the upper hand.
Ready to launch a unique digital marketing plan fit for 2023? Get in touch with us and we’ll show you how we use the latest content marketing strategies to increase organic traffic, boost conversations, and keep you ahead of the competition.