Anyone who knows me, knows that two of the things I love the most are authentic, human connection – and dogs.
I’m not a lover of things synthetic, false, or fakey-bakey. I love things to be authentic, real and human. So it’s no surprise that when ChatGPT and its band of buddies came out, I eyed it with a little distaste (cue the sniff-and-eyebrow-raise manoeuvre).
Fast forward six months and we’ve got to know each other a little better. I’m certainly no expert on AI, but I do know a thing or two about creating language and content that connects and inspires action. I’ve been exploring the intersection between AI and authentic human experience, and what this means for our clients who struggle on the daily to keep up with the demands of content creation. Here’s what I’ve worked out.
(Bonus points for the reader who can spot the most dog metaphors!)
Hold up! But what about the puppies?
OK. So the puppy metaphor might just be a spot of self-indulgence (did I mention that I love dogs?) but there really are some parallels between leaping into the world of generative AI and bringing home a new pupper: read on!
Imagine you’ve just brought home a new pupper. Instantly, you enter a world of fun and chaos. The puppy bathes your home in a golden glow of cuteness, but at the same time, your shoes become their favourite chew toy. They provide endless entertainment with their adorable antics, but you also find yourself stepping in warm-and-squidgies in the middle of the night. It’s a rollercoaster ride of emotions and responsibilities.
My point is, generative AI tools like ChatGPT are the new puppy in the world of content creation. They bring excitement, possibilities, and a touch of unpredictability. But with a little guidance and understanding, they can become your loyal companion on the quest to create content.
FOUR REASONS TO LOVE GENERATIVE AI AS MUCH AS YOUR NEW PUPPER
- Research: When it comes to content creation, the struggle is real. But fear not, because generative AI loves to fetch ideas for you, dig up relevant information and help you organise your thoughts.
- Content Generation: We’ve all heard about generative AI’s content generation abilities: it can create blog posts, social media captions, email newsletters, the list goes on.
- Market Research: Just throw generative AI specific questions or prompts, and it can dig out trends and insights (up to 2021) and sniff out statistics.
- Content Planning: generative AI can lend a paw by brainstorming content calendars, suggesting topics, and offering fresh perspectives. It’s like having a waggy-tailed strategist who ensures your content game is on point.
- Overcome Writer’s Block: We’ve all experienced the frustration of writer’s block – and for many of our clients this has been a game-changer. Generative AI is a fine fetcher of inspiration, trotting back with outlines and bullet points to jump-start your creativity.
But… just like your pup, it has its limits
For marketers and business owners the need to keep creating content can be time-consuming and draining. It can be RUFF! (geddit?!?)
The two greatest pain points that crop up when we talk with business owners about content marketing are 1) not having enough time to research and create content and 2) not knowing what to say.
Surely an automated solution that automatically creates well-constructed personalised content is an absolute game-changer of a winner, right?
Well, yes and no.
There is no doubt that AI-generated content can save marketers and business owners huge amounts of time. The speed at which it can generate content is mind-blowing. And it really can create content for almost anything you can think of. (We have so much fun asking ChatGPT to tell us what we should wear to dinner this evening, or whether we should be having marmalade or honey on toast. We’ve even been challenging it to create jokes that make us laugh)
But the real questions we need to be asking are:
- Can AI-generated content truly capture the essence of your brand and create meaningful connections with your audience?
- How does Google view AI-generated content, and will it reward or penalise your search rankings?
- Is it possible to leverage AI-generated content while maintaining your brand’s authenticity and integrity?
Here’s what you need to know:
AI doesn’t capture everything
While generative AI has access to massive amounts of data, including computer code, internet text, websites, forum discussions, articles, and books, it is limited by the extent and recency of its training. ChatGPT for instance is not currently able to access the internet and its training stopped in 2021. (Which means it missed historical landmarks such as Karly Blackburn submitting her edible resume to Nike on a cake, Tropicana making a breakfast cereal to pour orange juice over, and Benedict Cumberbatch’s extraordinary “W Magazine” cover. So sad!) This means that AI may miss out on the most recent trends and developments, and you could miss out on the freshness and currency that you’re looking for.
You still have to do the (brand) work
So here’s the thing. If you leap into AI-generated content without being clear on your message, you’re going to end up in a whole world of trouble.
The thing is, your brand message forms the foundation of your communication strategy, which informs every single piece of content you create. Nailing your brand message gives you your brand’s unique value proposition, core values, and key differentiators – and a consistent and coherent brand voice.
If you leap into content creation without locking down your brand message, your audience is going to receive a whole bunch of mixed and confused messaging, and will eventually either pigeon-hole your brand into the wrong box, or just give up trying to understand what you do altogether.
Now imagine churning out tons of confused, jumbled and off-brand content at the lightning speed which AI enables – Disasterville here we come! Truth is, even the smartest AI is no substitute for getting your brand and your messages in order. You’ve got to do that first.
Google has an ‘it’s complicated’ relationship with ai-generated content
Like an eager pupper, AI content generators excel at sniffing out keywords to boost your search engine rankings – allowing your content to climb higher up the search results.
But we know that Google, the alpha dog of search engines, values content created by humans, for humans. Its 2022 “Helpful content guidelines” tells us that their search engine crawlers look for “helpful content written by people, for people” What’s more, Google recently added “experience” to its original E-A-T model for ranking content: Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness: showing us that it’s not moving away from its human-centred approach any time soon.
“E-E-A-T is a template for how we rate an individual site. We do it for every single query and every single result. It’s pervasive throughout everything we do.”
Hyung-Jin Kim, VP of Search at Google
Knowing this, it’s kinda hard to imagine much straight-outta-the-tin AI-generated content meeting E-E-A-T standards.
So, how do you leverage the time-saving benefits of AI, while still maintaining that sense of humanity, lived experience and authenticity that people – and Google – love about your brand?
Here’s the thing:
Generative ai is amazing, but not as much as you are 🙂
When it comes to content generation, it’s important to recognize that AI tools lack a human context, and lived experience. While they can provide valuable insights and generate content at lightning speed, they miss much of the nuances and complexities of real human experience. They just don’t have the personal anecdotes, experience, or real-life perspectives that make content relatable and engaging. In short, nothing beats the power of human creativity.
And because AI-generated tools rely on existing data and are unable to create truly original content, they come second to humans when it comes to conjuring up fresh concepts. So, if you want to create high quality content you’ll need to bring your own ideas to the table and ask AI to help you build on them.
AI is great for research, structure and editing – so let it fetch ideas and save you time – but it’s essential for you to infuse your own lived experiences, unique voice, and understanding into the content. This way you inject the experience and authenticity that sets your brand apart.
Tips to get the most out of chatgpt and other generative ai
1. Provide clear instructions: Give specific instructions to ensure the AI understands your needs. Define the topic, context, and requirements at a minimum.
2. Iterate and refine: Don’t be afraid to iterate and refine your prompts. Tell it what you like and don’t like, and ask it to consider different perspectives, or dive deeper. The more you refine, the closer you get to content gold. Don’t just keep hitting the ‘regenerate’ button 🙂
3. Try different system prompts: System prompts allow you to start conversations with prompts that nudge the AI to provide informative, creative, or nuanced responses. Experiment with different prompts and watch the AI’s tail wag with excitement 😉
4. Incorporate context and examples: Provide background information and examples, outline your target audience, and specify your requirements. Context helps the AI understand your desired tone and purpose, resulting in content that’s closer to what you are looking for.
5. Run it through a Human: Like your new pupper, AI-generated content benefits from a human touch. As well as starting with a human idea, add your personal touch to theAI-generated content: rephrase, restructure, and enhance it with your perspective.
Twelve great system prompts for generating content with generative ai:
System prompts are the questions that you ask of generative AI. They are the keys to creating intelligent, useful, and more human-sounding content.
Here are 30 prompts and examples: generated by ChatGPT 🙂
- “As an expert in [topic], could you please explain…”
- “In a conversational tone, tell me about…”
- “Imagine you’re giving advice to [target audience] on…”
- “Tell a story about…”
- “Consider both the pros and cons of…”
- “Following the tone and style of this copy…”
- “In 2,000 words or less… ”
- “Help me brainstorm creative ideas for my next blog post about [topic].”
- “Suggest a unique angle to approach [topic] that will captivate my audience.”
- “Help me come up with attention-grabbing headlines for my social media posts related to [topic].”
- “What are some effective storytelling techniques I can use to engage my readers in a blog post?”
- “Provide me with statistics or data points that support the importance of [topic] in my industry.”
Experiment with these prompts and more – find out what works for you. Remember to provide context and clear instructions, iterate and refine, and don’t forget that all content needs a human touch: yours.
How is my relationship with generative AI today? Well, there’s no doubt that AI is a fabulous tool that can save time and support content creation. Embrace it like a gorgeous new pupper, but remember that quality in equals quality out. The magic lies in the synergy between AI and human authenticity, experience and connection. Woof!
P.S: This article was written by a human, supported by a dog. System prompts and tips to get the most out of ChatGPT provided by ChatGPT 🙂