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ChatGPT and the Use of AI in Marketing

Over the last few months, there’s been a lot written about ChatGPT and the use of AI in marketing (such as using AI for content creation, A/B testing or other applications). But with all the discussion has come a lot of noise and consternation.

Will AI eliminate the need for skilled creative work? Will companies be able to output high-quality, optimized content with little to no effort and outrank organic competitors in search? How will Google respond to AI-generated content? Will this technology upend organic search as we know it today? What are the ethical concerns about using these kinds of tools?

The good news is that there’s no need to panic.

New tools and technologies are always going to arise — the most successful companies tend to be the ones that are willing to adapt to them. It might look different based on the industry or specific circumstances, but companies that are willing to adapt with new technologies will analyze the potential offered by these new tools and leverage their benefits to improve their business or develop new offerings.

Here’s are some examples you’re likely familiar with: Blackberry and iPhone; Blockbuster and Netflix; Barnes & Noble/Borders and Amazon.

But another example which you might not know about showcases how a willingness to embrace new technologies can help a brand supersize its results.

Technology in Action: McDonald’s & Dynamic Yield

In Q1 of 2019, McDonald’s spent $300 million to acquire Dynamic Yield, a data analytics startup, and use its decision logic tools to improve performance and customer experience in its restaurants. Initially, the firm’s technology has been used in kiosks to help display recommended menu items based on factors like product popularity, time of day and the current traffic level at the restaurant.

McDonald’s has since sold the majority of Dynamic Yield to MasterCard, but they will continue working with both firms into the future, leaving room to speculate about potential future integrations.

Here’s are some possible use cases for this type of technology, explored through the lens of McDonald’s but with applications that could extend to many businesses:

Imagine you pull into the drive through to order dinner. A camera captures your license plate number and also sees that you have three kids in the car. As you pull up to the digital menu board, what’s displayed changes from what the previous customer saw.

You can, of course, order what you want. But the menu now highlights a deal tailored to you. Maybe you’ve been to a McDonald’s in the past month, and the system connects your license plate with your customer profile, including your most frequent order — a Big Mac and a Caesar McWrap. Guess which two entrees the menu board suggests for you today? And since the system sees your kids in the car, an option to order three Happy Meals comes up as well (plus a small coffee or an iced Frappé to give you the boost you need to finish out your day).

Maybe instead you go inside to order. The McDonald’s app on your phone uses location tracking to pair with geofencing capabilities built into the restaurant’s digital self-serve kiosks. Before you walk through the door, an algorithm calculates what your order might be and what to upsell you, and by the time you step up to order, your recommendations are prepopulated on the screen.

Beyond personalization, McDonald’s may leverage its data analytics capabilities for inventory management and order expediting.

  • Is there fish in the freezer that’s been a slow seller? The menu boards might take that information and offer a two-for-one deal on Filet-o-Fish sandwiches.
  • Does historical data for specific locations and overall markets reflect a correlation between weather conditions and what (and how much) people order in an area? Managers can take that into account when ordering stock.
  • During a rush period, perhaps the system can prompt customers with recommended menu options that are faster to prepare, aiming to decrease customer wait times and efficiently manage the drive-through line.

These are all hypothetical scenarios, but they show how brands can offer increased value for consumers and also benefit their bottom line by being willing to embrace new technologies to better market their products and services.

ChatGPT and SEO

Let’s look back at ChatGPT, specifically the use of this AI in content marketing.

The bottom line? The introduction of ChatGPT isn’t going to kill SEO.

On the contrary, like many new technologies, it will make content creation more efficient and effective. Here are just a few ways we can see tools like ChatGPT becoming a positive addition to savvy marketers’ toolbelts.

  • Content ideation
  • Conducting keyword research
  • Building a recommended outline
  • Assisting with optimization features
  • Identifying semantically relevant keywords

Here are some examples of how content marketers can leverage AI in content marketing.

Content Ideation

If you’ve ever written anything, you are familiar with the challenge a blank page (or screen) can present.

Coming up with ideas for blogs can take hours and involve looking for alignment between keywords with high search volume, checking what your competitors are talking about, researching the latest trends and more.

ChatGPT can speed that process up significantly. Nobody knows your business — or your customers’ needs — better than you do. Knowing what general topics are worth writing about, you can use that as the framework for a prompt to generate “10 blog ideas for [topic],” and then refresh the results until you get content ideas that align with your brand and your target audiences.

Here’s are a few topic examples, generated in response to a request for blog ideas about electric vehicle manufacturing:

The history of electric vehicle manufacturing, exploring the evolution of EVs from early prototypes to modern vehicles and highlighting major milestones impacting the EV industry.

The manufacturing process, including the steps involved from chassis design to battery and motor assembly.

How EV manufacturing differs from ICE vehicle manufacturing, comparing and contrasting the process for both vehicle types and highlighting key differences and challenges posed by each.

It’s up to the content writer to select a relevant topic that aligns with both your brand and your audience, but using ChatGPT or another AI in content marketing can help get you past the struggle of a blank page.

Keyword Research

There are many valuable tools already on the market for keyword research. They range from free versions all the way up to enterprise platforms, but they all have the same purpose — to help you identify organic search keywords with the right balance of search volume and competitive difficulty in order to compete in organic results.

They also have something else in common: They take a lot of time to use well.

Here’s where a tool like ChatGPT comes in. It can speed up the process by generating a list of long-tail keywords that provide a better starting point for keyword research. From there, the research process can be streamlined, vetting the list of potential keywords from ChatGPT against important metrics like estimated search volume and competitive difficulty, as well as search trends and relevance to your brand and chosen topic.

Build Your Content Outline

Once you’ve chosen your desired topic to focus on and you’ve finished researching relevant and valuable keywords to optimize your content around, you can ask ChatGPT for help in creating a content outline.

Here’s an example of an AI-generated content outline on the topic of sustainability in EV manufacturing.

  • Introduction
    • Introduce the topic of sustainability in EV manufacturing
    • Highlight the increasing demand for EVs and the need for sustainable manufacturing practices
  • Environmental impact of EV manufacturing
    • The impacts of EV manufacturing, such as emissions, energy use and resource depletion
    • Examples of how EV manufacturing can impact the environment such as battery disposal
  • Sustainable manufacturing practices for EVs
    • The different ways companies can reduce their carbon footprint and promote sustainable manufacturing practices
    • Examples of companies leading in EV manufacturing sustainability
    • Potential benefits of sustainable EV manufacturing, for the environment and for manufacturers
  • Conclusion
    • Summary of the article’s main points
    • Encouragement to readers to learn more about sustainable EV manufacturing and support companies that prioritize sustainability in their operations

While this can serve as a helpful starting point, it’s clear that the outline does not position the potential blog in a way that emphasizes the marketing impact of the content. Someone with the knowledge and ability to blend SEO and quality writing with a brand’s target audience, voice and style, and more, is needed to create impactful content.

How To Navigate the Use of AI in Content Marketing

ChatGPT, and other AI tools like it, will offer an increased level of efficiency to content marketers who understand how to use it correctly.

What won’t a content-generating AI, like ChatGPT, do?

It won’t replace skilled writers — as you can tell for yourself if you spend any time playing around with it. Sometimes it may churn out surprisingly quality work, but as of now it’s not suited to know the ins and outs of your brand, your voice, your customers, your strategy.

Additionally, while ChatGPT and similar platforms will continue to evolve and become increasingly sophisticated, here’s what Google has to say about content generated through AI tools:

“As said before when asked about AI, content created primarily for search engine rankings, however it is done, is against our guidance. If content is helpful & created for people first, that’s not an issue.”

“Our spam policies also address spammy automatically-generated content, where we will take action if content is “generated through automated processes without regard for quality or user experience”

Anyone who uses an AI tool to generate content for the sake of content will likely find their website will ultimately get penalized by Google, especially after its helpful content update. Quality content is still king when it comes to organic search performance, and creating it requires skilled brand strategists who can leverage research and insights to help a brand’s content intersect with its target audience.

Still, it’s clear that technology is advancing in ways that can provide an incredible benefit to brands willing to integrate them into their marketing practices.

And now, we’ll leave you with this poem:

Looking to stay on the front lines of the integration of marketing and technology — such as the use of AI in marketing? Connect with our brand strategists now to learn how to best apply and amplify the impact of new and emerging technologies for your advertising needs!