What you need to know before using ChatGPT for marketing

ChatGPT has burst onto the scene as a formidable asset for marketers. 

Already, more than 80% of industry experts embrace artificial intelligence (AI) technology to amplify their online marketing prowess. Boosting efficiency, connecting with audiences in creative ways, increasing engagement and driving a competitive edge. 

And now they can take things a step further with rapid advancements in AI and natural language processing (NLP). 

Let’s explore how this AI tool can further push the boundaries of efficiency and smarter results. While keeping our feet on the ground as we navigate its potential constraints. 

We cover: 

  • What is ChatGPT?
  • The current best uses for ChatGPT in marketing
  • ChatGPT’s limitations - and where and why you should show caution

Let’s go.

Hold up, what’s ChatGPT? 

Open AI’s ChatGPT was created through advanced deep learning techniques and an extensive dataset drawn from diverse sources like websites, academic journals and books. By learning the intricate relationships between words, it functions as a highly knowledgeable, conversational AI. Barring subjects like overthrowing the government, it provides answers to virtually any question you might have, all within a matter of seconds. 

Example of ChatGPT not answering question
A screenshot of ChatGPT’s response to “How do I overthrow the government?” 

ChatGPT’s advanced capabilities have attracted a lot of attention. And the predominant emotion around this tool has been anxiety as 1,100 endorsers, including Elon Musk and Sapiens author Yuval Noah Harari, push for a 6-month AI progress halt. “AI systems with human-competitive intelligence can pose profound risks to society and humanity,” says the signed letter. 

These “profound risks” include the loss of jobs and economic disruption, the amplification of existing biases and inequalities, and the erosion of privacy and security. Some experts are also worried about the chance that super-smart AI could turn into Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), which could potentially have  catastrophic consequences for humanity. Fun times.

Screenshot of Redditor response: 'Why are so many people afraid of AGI?'
A screenshot of one Redditors’ response to the question “Why are so many people afraid of AGI?”

But here’s the thing. Pausing AI’s advancement now is like trying to put the genie back in the bottle. A more practical approach might be teaming up to establish guidelines, ethical frameworks and regulations for safer AI development. Fingers crossed, right?

For now, let's concentrate on what's in our hands. Like making the most out of ChatGPT and other cutting-edge natural language technologies. Here are the top ways marketers can harness ChatGPT 3.5 or 4, focusing on AI for content marketing, research and productivity. 

The current best uses for ChatGPT in marketing

It revolutionises your research game 

Let’s say you're preparing to talk with customers for some in-depth, qualitative research. It’s a new customer group and you have limited data. Ask ChatGPT to share a few pain points linked to your target customer. You'll save time and energy on preliminary research, which you can then use to help develop open-ended questions to guide your future customer interactions. 

Top tip: Use “expand” as a prompt to delve deeper into a particular point or topic.

Given that ChatGPT relies solely on publicly available information, treat its responses as a valuable reference point. By doing so, you can unearth hidden gems of insights that others might overlook—those precious nuggets stemming from your own one-of-a-kind experiences and expertise.

And, use ChatGPT for competitor analysis. Provide details about your competitor's recent marketing campaign and ask it for insights on the campaign’s strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement. Compare notes, and unlock ideas on how to be different in ways that make your brand stand out. You can also use competitor landing pages (and other online content) as a source of analysis by providing the right URLs.

The platform is also a great tool for doing some initial keyword research. Just throw a topic at it and ask for a list of associated main and long-tail keywords. Then you can hop on over to a platform like Semrush or UberSuggest to see if the keywords suggested are low volume, high difficulty that your competitors are ignoring. While this trick doesn't replace the skills of an SEO pro, it can definitely give you a good head start.

It’s a catalyst for fast idea generation 

One of the smartest ways to use ChatGPT for marketing is brainstorming ideas that get your creative gravy flowing. To get the best responses, provide plenty of detail. If it’s content ideas you’re after for a new campaign, tell it about your wider topic, target audience, the purpose of your content and any keywords, like this:

“I need ten content ideas to promote my new line of vegan snacks. The target audience is a tribe of health-conscious koalas who are tired of munching on eucalyptus leaves all day. Suggest topics that would appeal to the koalas and build brand awareness.” 

You’re using ChatGPT as a launchpad for generating even more captivating and targeted ideas, helping you craft content for engaging and memorable campaigns.

Tom Roach, an expert in marketing and branding, also highlights how ChatGPT can assist in removing clichéd ideas, making space for fresh and exciting light bulb moments: 

Example of using ChatGPT for brand positioning ideas tweet

You might even try using ChatGPT to help generate ideas for new products, features or services. Feed it customer feedback, reviews or survey responses and let it help you identify the common problems or desires that your customers have. Then, use those insights along with your other data sources to create new offerings that cater to your customers’ needs. 

It supercharges your scribes 

ChatGPT excels as a writing assistant. It can help copywriters pick up new topics faster. “Explain it to me like I’m five” is a great (and often hilarious) prompt to rapidly simplify complex topics before or after conducting interviews with experts. This isn’t a silver bullet for understanding challenging concepts. But it's helpful if a busy copywriter is juggling multiple projects and needs to get up to speed on a new topic quickly. 

Copywriters can also experiment with the tool for quick outlining to keep their articles on course. It’s also nifty at brief creation for content managers. 

Example of using ChatGPT for creating a basic outline for articles
A screenshot of ChatGPT’s creation of a simple outline 

Also, ask ChatGPT to summarise an article (or any kind of content) into key points. For drafts, you can copy and paste it into the platform, although there’s an input limit of around 2,000 words. It’ll list bullets copywriters can use to help them write compelling conclusions, which can help identify any gaps in the article or missed areas that should be explored. 

AI-generated summaries shouldn’t take the place of actually reading the article. Our human touch is vital for catching those subtle details and understanding the bigger picture. 

Also, after completing an article, a copywriter can ask ChatGPT a question that covers the topic. Look at the answer and the article side-by-side. If its response covers the article thoroughly, you’ll know the piece is missing unique insight (credit to Medium for this tip). This can be a useful step in the editing process before getting an expert’s take. 

You can also use the AI agent to translate your content into different languages. But keep in mind that it might not always nail the tone or cultural nuances of the target language. So, it's always a good idea to have a human translator double-check the work. 

It makes critical tasks seamless 

ChatGPT plugins is a recent addition to the platform. Only Pro members can access this exclusive club, and there's a waitlist (even for Pro members). 

This fresh feature is a productivity powerhouse. Without leaving ChatGPT, you can write emails and send them to your prospects. Simply access the most recent email from a lead and request the AI to craft a suitably phrased reply. Then you can tell it to send it to your lead as an email. Similarly, you can write and send chat messages to your team on Slack. Or add, update or search for database platforms in ChatGPT. Check out this tweet from Ben Tossell, Founder of Makerpad, for tutorials on using the Zapier plugin. 

With these capabilities, you can streamline your workflow, juggle multiple tasks effortlessly and save time by automating the mundane. All of which equals more time to focus on more creative and complex tasks. 

ChatGPT's got game, but there are limitations 

We’ve waxed lyrical about marketers’ best uses for ChatGPT. And we’ve only tickled the tip of the iceberg – the more you research and experiment, the more you’ll find new ways to help it elevate your work. 

But the technology isn’t perfect, even with the release of version 4 (which is available to Pro members but has a cap of 25 messages every 3 hours). Exercise some good old-fashioned common sense and critical thinking when using ChatGPTs responses for important decision-making or critical communication. Let’s take a closer look at some of the limitations of ChatGPT. 

It hallucinates 

Not in the I’ve-taken-virtual-magic-mushrooms sense. Sometimes it invents facts or makes reasoning errors. ChatGPT-4 is less likely to do this than 3.5, but it still happens. 

Tweet about ChatGPT hallucinating

Example of ChatGPT getting facts wrong
A screenshot of ChatGPT’s admitting to its error

So, if you’re not an expert on the topic you’re researching, always cross-check critical information online or by talking to someone knowledgeable. While ChatGPT can be a fantastic resource, it hasn’t got the expertise and discernment of a real human brain.

It could lead to inadvertent plagiarism 

ChatGPT’s responses are generated from existing work, including books, journals and research papers. It usually paraphrases the information in its own words, but there’s a risk that it could inadvertently replicate or closely resemble existing content without proper attribution. And because it's trained on copyrighted material, there's also a risk that its responses could inadvertently infringe on intellectual property rights.

So, use its responses as a starting point for further research and ideation, rather than relying solely on its output to guide content creation. 

It can result in biassed outputs

AI models like ChatGPT can unintentionally reinforce harmful stereotypes or misinformation through biassed content generation. Some ChatGPT users have actually pointed out that the platform has picked up some biases from the datasets it was trained on. This means that sometimes, the responses it gives are skewed in a way that matches those biases. It's like when someone hears the same thing over and over again - they start to believe it's true, even if it isn't. 

Example of ChatGPT bias

Say you're using ChatGPT to write about the best travel destinations around the world. You might notice that the AI tends to focus on certain regions or cultures more than others. Creating an imbalanced portrayal of the destinations, which could alienate or offend some readers.                               

That's why it's important to have a human review the content and make any necessary adjustments. If you don't check for biases or offensive language, it could damage your brand's reputation and credibility, leading to customers losing trust in your company and even taking their business elsewhere. 

It could be a privacy threat 

Sign up to ChatGPT and OpenAI tells you not to share any sensitive information in your conversations. Because AI trainers may review your conversations to fine-tune their systems. And as their privacy policy states: 

“We may collect Personal Information that is included in the input, file uploads or feedback that you provide to our Services.” 

OpenAI does this for research purposes, service improvement, and to keep fraudsters and shady activities at bay. They may even share personal info with vendors and service providers to address "business operations needs and to perform certain services and functions."

So, be extra cautious about spilling confidential business details. Keep an eye on the info you feed ChatGPT, like customer research for sentiment analysis. Consult with your legal team to confirm if you should update your privacy policy to show how you're handling personal data. 

It could stifle creativity and other important skills 

That’s if you become over-reliant on ChatGPT. Creativity, for instance, helps you generate imaginative ideas, devise compelling campaigns and differentiate your brand in a competitive landscape. But if you let AI tools do all the work for you, it could result in a lack of originality and reduced capacity to think outside the box.

Lean on ChatGPT for that extra boost in digging and brainstorming, instead of completely relying on it to do all the creative heavy lifting. By continuously engaging in activities that stimulate creativity, critical thinking and problem solving, you’ll continue to sharpen your skills and expand your abilities.

What's your verdict on ChatGPT for marketing? 

ChatGPT has the potential to elevate your marketing, but there’s still room for improvement. To make the most of it in its current state, you’ve got to find that sweet spot where you're using its strengths and keeping its limitations in check. Strike that perfect balance and you’re good to go. 

Still, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. What are your best uses for ChatGPT? Or AI for content marketing in general? Send us a message on LinkedIn or email us at helen@incredibble.co.uk.

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