Artificial Intelligence In Marketing

This is my take on the Artificial Intelligence (AI) boom of 2023. Where are we now and where will the surge in AI usage mean for content writers in the future?

Chat GPT is only popular because regular marketers can feel clean about using it, as if they’re not spammers. AI/Machine learning/ automated content generation has been around for years. I remember there was an incredibly simple chat bot you could go to and talk to it about anything. I can’t remember its name, it was similar to something like SmarterChild.

The AI chat bot I’m thinking of used previous conversations it had with people to help it interact with your questions, making a conversation. But if you used it a lot, I remember the conversations getting a little stale and predictable. It seems ChatGPT is just a much better version of that bot.

Spammers First

Those who use the new generation of AI well will succeed. The ‘spammers’ are always on top of new trends before anyone has even heard about them and can prove the ability of technology early doors. Already, there are people who have seen a lot of success abusing this generation of AI technology, ranking websites overnight.

Many copywriters look at AI as a spammers tool. They’re mostly right because spammers have already used it to its maximum. This all started with article spinners to create a shed load of content in a short period of time from keywords you plugged in. It continues today with ‘AI’ that only scrapes content and presents it to you without actually creating anything new.

Of course search engines have struck fear into content creators, proclaiming that AI is against webmaster guidelines. This has for sure reduced the number of non-spammer people who will use it. It also helped build the case of a lot of copywiters speaking out against AI and I’d say mostly out of self-interest.

Clean AI Image

2023’s explosion of Chat GPT brought AI writing tools to the masses and now everyone can and is using it. I also count myself in those users because I’m a marketer and it’s my responsibility to understand as much technology as possible to help my clients.

All throughout this year 2023, I’ve seen so much on LinkedIn mostly, but also Twitter (ugh, I can’t be moved to write just ‘X’ right now), of people saying how great Chat GPT is. These are ‘mainstream’ voices, regular people and news outlets. It’s as though spam has been dumped into a washing machine and come out clean.

Use AI Intelligently

We absolutely must use AI intelligently and not be swept away with the hype. Just because it has a clean image, that doesn’t mean you should use it blindly. I say again, spammers have used it to death, so however you use it, you need to be smart.

AI For Writing

People who are excited because simply because they have a new toy the mainstream says is great are going to struggle hard. Those who know how to put in the effort and use the tool well are going to succeed. Chat GPT isn’t our saviour, it’s going to sort the really creative and hard working people from the less creative but probably equally hard working people.

The best way to use AI is not to think of it as intelligent, because it’s not (yet), but instead think of it as something that can assist. Maybe Assistive Intelligence is a better name. But in life and especially in marketing, everyone is looking for that silver bullet rather than long-term planning in the form of a strategy.

AI will currently bring together information it has read and present it in a useful form we can understand. Instead of needing to wade through books in the library, or a bunch of links on a search engine and take notes, AI takes the notes and drops a neat summary in your lap.

AI For Images

I’m focusing a lot on text here, but AI is also a game changer for image creation. AI images are looking more and more realistic all the time, though they haven’t quite figured out fingers and toes. Hopefully they never do.

In the past, we needed graphic designers, photographers and hours of cumulative editing time to produce large numbers of images. For teachers, bloggers and even medium sized businesses, this is a game changer. We can now give ‘prompts’ to an AI image generator and hey presto, come out with usable and largely unique images.

One downfall is that the AI isn’t really intelligent and it can only really make a ‘new’ image from existing images it has scanned and understood. It can create caricatures such as one I saw where someone asked AI to create images of what Europeans think men from every US state look like.

European view of Texan man according to AI

I must say the image of a Texan man is pretty accurate to what I’d stereotype. A gun and a hamburger. What could be more Texan (or even American) than that?

What Next?

AI is here to stay, but it should be here to assist us, not replace us. I’ve seen people express their unease at the idea that AI can come along and do creative tasks like writing books and painting masterpieces while humans are still out here doing menial tasks. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? I think so.

I feel that now the dust is settling, copywriters are going to feel a lot more comfortable using AI to assist their research. Even Google who have been using AI for years have jumped into offering AI tools within its products to help users. SEOs will be familiar with Google re-writing page titles or meta descriptions. Now they’re offering this power to the people you might say.

AI will help copywirters overcome writers block if they plug in their content ideas and get some inspiration. This democratises content creation, since even average writers can write some of their thoughts down, then get supporting information to flesh things out. If they’re not so good at research, AI writing models can do it for you and present the findings in an article style format.

Copywriting in an AI world screws things up for average copywiters, but others will still make hay. The worst, or cheapest will succeed creating below average yet 100% human generated content. The best writers will always command the highest rate whether their content is 100% human or AI assisted. Eventually, AI copywriting will be accepted and everyone in-between will use it for everything both online and offline.

Several clients have expressed an interest in what AI can do for them and their marketing teams in terms of copywriting blog posts, so that’s something I’m looking into for them. On a personal level, writing social media descriptions for blog posts is something I’d like to use it for. It’s much easier to edit a pre-written description than create one from scratch. AI for me should be  a time saver and an inspiration, not a replacement for human creativity.

The laundering of AI’s image this year means we’re all more aware of its existence and comfortable using it. More and more content will be created using AI and search results can be presented in a more ‘human’ way thanks to AI and its ability to summarise complex queries.