Automation has been used in marketing for decades, but with generative AI, marketers can now take automation to a whole new level—by creating content from scratch. Generative AI lets you quickly create unique content (copy, images, etc.) that is personalized and tailored to a target audience and can adhere to brand guidelines and tone of voice.
In this article, we'll cover the basics of generative AI and how it's being used by marketers, the importance of the prompt, and 16 different ways to put it to use.
What is generative AI and how can it help marketers?
What better way to learn about generative AI than from the AI itself? I asked Jasper, an AI copywriting tool for marketers, exactly that.
Prompt: "What is generative AI?"
Jasper AI: "Generative AI is a type of Artificial Intelligence technology that enables machines to generate content autonomously. It works by using algorithms and deep learning processes to create content without the need for manual input. Generative AI is an incredibly powerful tool, as it can be used to generate any type of digital content, including text, images, and even audio."
With this simple example, your wheels might already be turning, thinking about how you could use generative AI to improve and expedite your content creation. It could create personalized ad copy, generate blog posts (and images), summarize long-form posts, develop content briefs, comb through unstructured data, and so much more. With these tools, marketers can harness the power of machine learning to create more effective content in less time than ever before.
But don't worry; it's not here to replace you—yet. Humans still need to provide strategic insight, empathy, edits, and a better understanding of the audience in order to produce the desired results. At the very least, we are responsible for the initial prompt.
It's all in the prompt
The effectiveness of generative AI comes down to the quality of the prompt (or inputs) given to the computer. A prompt is a set of instructions or parameters that inform the tool how to generate output based on the information provided. It could be a simple question, or it could include various parameters (like tone of voice, intended audience, etc.) to produce more personalized content.
Admittedly, there's a lot of trial and error involved in writing prompts to produce the desired outcome. Tools like ChatGPT have a single text box that leaves much to the imagination, whereas commercial tools like Jasper AI have specific sections to add variables that slightly augment the output accordingly.
In short, high-quality inputs are essential for producing high-quality outputs. And the more nuance you put in, the more nuance you get out.
16 ways to use generative AI for marketing
Regardless of which tool you choose, of which there are many, here are 16 different ways to use generative AI for your marketing needs. Whatever you do, always remember to diligently proofread and edit—as you should with any piece of content you're reviewing!
1. Come up with content ideas based on a set of keywords or topics
For example, you could ask, "give me 10 ideas for blog posts about marketing attribution in the cookieless future."
2. Generate questions for an interview with a subject matter expert
Interviewing SMEs is a content marketing must. Especially with Google upgrading the search rating guidelines from E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) to E-E-A-T, with an additional ‘E’ for Experience. This effectively prioritizes content that comes from or includes an expert.
3. Summarize a long-form post
Turn an article or guide into a list of key bullet points to be used as a table of contents, conclusion, short-form social post, or even a blurb to share with internal stakeholders.
4. Write social media posts/captions about a certain topic
Human Prompt: "Write a punchy Instagram caption about Generative AI for Marketers"
AI Response (via ChatGPT): "Generative AI has revolutionized the way marketers reach their target customers. With its powerful algorithms, it can generate personalized content that is tailored to niche audiences."
5. Generate a list of keywords (or search terms) to explore for a given topic
To give you a more specific example of how the prompt affects the output, I specifically asked for search terms that start with "how to."
6. Comb through unstructured data to identify categories, themes, rankings, etc.
Have you ever sent a survey with an open-ended question only to dread the part where you have to manually parse through the responses and structure/visualize the data? With a tool like ChatGPT, you could copy and paste the (anonymized) responses and ask it to create topic clusters, themes, and other commonalities.
This is an example specific to product development and user feedback, but the same logic could be applied to market research, onboarding surveys, NPS, or any other zero-party data you're collecting from your audience.
7. Create a content brief for a specific topic
Example Prompt: "write a short brief for a blog post about [insert topic]"
8. Create a list of titles based on a content brief
Example Prompt: "write blog title ideas for [insert short brief]
9. Create an outline based on a title and content brief
Example Prompt: "write an outline for a blog titled [insert title] about [insert short brief]"
[7-9 can be part of a pre-built workflow that Jasper AI calls recipes]
10. Create quick, contextual images for blog posts, social media, and more
I recently wrote an article about how generative AI is transforming marketing, and rather than sift through our stock image library, I asked DALL-E-2 to create an image of "a team of robots typing on laptops."
11. Gather and analyze research/data from various sources to support the content being written
Of course, this would all need to be corroborated.
12. Assist with editing and proofreading to improve grammar, spelling, and style
Generative AI doesn't always have to "generate" the first draft. Use it to proofread and edit existing content so you can make quick improvements and focus your energy on net new content.
Ask it to re-write content in a "professional" or "clever" tone, or some other combination that best fits your or your brands voice.
13. Analyze existing content (including web pages) to suggest keyword variations and topic clusters
You could ask it to analyze a competitor homepage to produce a list of keywords or skip a step and ask it to identify topic clusters that you might consider developing content for.
14. Translate content into different languages
This has been around for ages (think Google Translate), but it can be exponentially more efficient when baked into these AI content generators as part of a repeatable workflow.
15. Create the "B" for your A/B testing
Whether it's an email subject line, CTA, tagline, homepage header, banner image—you name it— marketers want to test it. But creating the alternate version(s) can be time-consuming. Technically speaking, it's double the work, right? So let the AI do it for you.
And keep track of your inputs and other modifiers (like tone of voice, depending on the tool you're using) in order to iterate and keep track of the winning formula.
16. Generate a name for your product (or business)
Attention, product marketers and product managers! Simply describe a product or feature and ask your AI content generator to give you a list of potential names. Here's an example:
In my opinion, none of the tips or examples above even remotely border on misconduct, and ethical and plagiarism concerns aside, generative AI is about to exponentially change the way we as marketers approach content creation.
We can resist it, dismiss it, or embrace it. But it's here to stay.
With tools like ChatGPT, Jasper, and Writesonic—to name a few—marketers can generate ideas for blog posts and titles, organize unstructured data into categories, create content briefs and outlines, summarize long-form articles, write social media captions, gather research from various sources, edit and proofread existing pieces with accuracy and precision all while keeping SEO best practices in mind.
The possibilities are endless and—if used properly—it can make us better marketers. And as I've said before, generative AI will serve us best as an assistant—not a replacement.