Artificial Intelligence (AI) is like a new shiny penny in a world where we expect technology will make our lives easier. I would say that some things are definitely better with the speed of tech. However, when it comes to implementing AI in content planning, I am concerned. I think it is a good idea for businesses to be wary of AI, because AI could threaten their ability to stand out in a crowded marketplace.
To explain my rationale, I’m going to start with some of the steps we take to create a content plan. First we start with business goals and marketing objectives. Usually business goals are to 1) earn revenue, 2) profit, and 3) grow. Marketing objectives are determined by your goals and they usually revolve around customers and converting them into sales. It is a lot easier to set a revenue goal than to achieve it. The huge number of businesses competing on the Internet of Things creates many challenges.
What Makes Your Product or Service Special?
Every marketing class or book will tell you to figure out what makes your service or product unique. Doing that will make it easier to stand out on the internet. In marketing we call what makes you special, your differentiator.
Your differentiator is composed of what you provide, why and how you do it and the customers in your target market. You may think that you have the coolest and best product or service in the world. However, if your customers don’t see it or need it, then nothing else matters.
You need to know who your customers are and that process digs deep. It involves research, understanding what their pain points are, and what you can do to solve their problems. Once you know what makes your business the best one for them, you start your digital marketing plan. Everything that happens next is reliant on how well your content communicates your value to your audience, and how successfully it reaches them.
Enter AI for Content Marketing
Content marketing is a primary part of any digital marketing campaign. Newsletters, emails, websites, landing pages, blogs, posts, videos, podcasts, books, whitepapers, and ebooks are all content. Any of these components can be sliced, diced, and formatted for the appropriate online platforms. The issue that most business owners (especially small businesses) have is a lack of staff and time to do what needs to be done. Enter AI for creating content and your time and budget constraints are solved, right?
A Fortune article on February 17th, 2023, explains that Elon Musk, the founder of OpenAI (the parent company of ChatGPT), publicly walked away from his creation. Musk indicated that “(OpenAI) no longer resembled anything like what he had once co-founded in December 2015. According to Musk, it was designed to be an open-source nonprofit, which was the very reason why it was dubbed OpenAI.”
The article states that Musk’s concerns arose out of the launch of ChatGPT. He says it has turned the concept he intended into a blockbuster moneymaking endeavor for Microsoft.
I’m sure everyone knows about ChatGPT by now. The software has been in the news and online thanks to the marketing muscle behind Microsoft. However, the claims it makes of creating original content, based on your prompts, reside in a gray area.
The Origins of AI Content
ZDNet provides a simplified explanation of what ChatGPT is. They say that, “ChatGPT runs on a language model architecture created by OpenAI called the Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT), specifically GPT-3. Generative AI models of this type are trained on vast amounts of information from the internet including websites, books, news articles and more.”
The content your are getting “customized” for you, is an aggregate, pulled from a variety of existing sources. These sources are available to everyone including your competitors. They also are a part of the language of the internet. See how AI could reduce your effectiveness?
AI Could Threaten Your Unique Differentiator
So we know that using AI to create your content means accessing the same keywords, phrases, and overall language that anyone else using the software is also doing. How long will your content maintain any orginality? Furthermore, does AI understand your customers and their pain points? Can it relate to human emotions?
Here is an example of my experience with AI that stems from the inability of Google to answer my questions. Have you tried searching for something on Google lately? The SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) that come up have tons of ads that are more and more unrelated to my question. The organic results are often not really what I am looking for either. I tend to abandon at least 75% of my search attempts as a result. Guess what? Google runs on an algorithm that is based on language. If we create generic language or encourage it, how does that affect our differentiators? Can you be unique in a world where technology delivers sameness?
We are at the beginning of the AI marketing story. Like any new toy, everyone wants to play with it. Here’s a thought: If a metaphor for the internet of things is a haystack and an entity selling something is a needle that needs to amplify its differences to get attention. What happens when the haystack becomes a needlestack?