Like it or not, generative AI algorithms like ChatGPT are here to stay. But that doesn’t mean marketers like us have to fear them. Instead, with a few strategies, you can get ChatGPT to work for you—rather than the other way around.
Many marketers are already using generative AI to develop content for drip campaigns, video scripts, email subject lines, and more. But while tools like ChatGPT are powerful, they’re not a replacement for human input…yet. (Yes, we’re pandering to our new robot overlords here.) Instead, we’ve found that much of the success of these algorithms’ output depends on the information that you, the human, feed them. So perhaps one way to keep our skills fresh and relevant in this changing landscape is to learn how to manipulate the new technologies.
Generative AI tools may look and act like a standard search engine, but they require more hand-holding than Google or Bing, and their results change dramatically depending on the inputs you provide. Fortunately, generative AI allows you to keep tweaking these inputs, so if you don’t like the results, you can coach the tool to improve.
Four Elements to Include in Your AI Prompt
When prompting a tool like ChatGPT to write for you, we recommend including these four elements:
Ask the AI to play a specific role when responding, like “marketing copywriter,” for example. Or better yet, train it to write in your style by providing examples of your writing. (More on that next.)
Provide specific URLs or documents to help define the style of writing that you want the AI to adopt. For example, one of my colleagues told the algorithm, “Use the following articles to describe the writing style of the author,” then included a few links to her past work. The tool generated a description of her style that she now uses to prompt the AI when she asks it to write for her.
For example, one of my colleagues told the algorithm, “Use the following articles to describe the writing style of the author,” then included a few links to her past work. The tool generated a description of her style that she now uses to prompt the AI when she asks it to write for her.
Tell the AI what you will use the result for and how long it should be. If it’s website copy, make sure the tool knows the content should be consumable in a few seconds. Statements like, “Write a 300-word blog post about…” will help the AI generate results better suited for what you need.
What to Avoid
The AI will do a broad search on the topic you give it, so define the parameters of the search by telling it what to avoid, such as irrelevant content, competitor content, or information you know to be false.
Let’s Start with an Example
In future posts, we’ll apply AI to specific marketing use cases, but for now, we thought it would be fun to practice on a silly, non-marketing example. So, we fed ChatGPT the following prompt:
“You are an old-fashioned Southerner attending a wedding, and you see someone whom you feel is dressed inappropriately. Using a United States Southern accent and slang that you can find at this website: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/384776361914309060/, tell this person that they are dressed inappropriately for a wedding.”
Let’s break down the elements of this prompt:
Style: “Using a United States Southern accent…”
Role: “You are an old-fashioned Southerner…”
Context: “…attending a wedding, and you see someone whom you feel is dressed inappropriately.”
Examples: “…slang that you can find at this website: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/384776361914309060/”
Here was the result:
“Well, bless your heart, darlin’! I reckon I gotta say somethin’ here. Now, sugar, I hate to be a bear with a sore head, but y’all might wanna reconsider your outfit choice for this here wedding. I mean, I do declare, you’re lookin’ a tad outta place, like a chicken wearin’ overalls!
Now, don’t y’all get me wrong, honey. I ain’t tryin’ to be rude or nothin’. It’s just that a Southern wedding calls for a certain level of charm and elegance. And what you got on right now, well, it’s more suited for a hoedown or a backyard barbecue.
I’d suggest somethin’ a little more refined, like a dainty dress or a snazzy suit. We’re talkin’ about a celebration of love and commitment here, where folks are aimin’ to look their Sunday best. And you, sweetheart, are stickin’ out like a sore thumb in that get-up.
So, how ’bout you take a gander at the vibe of this shindig and mosey on over to that fancy store in town? They’ll fix you right up, I reckon. Trust me, you’ll blend in like biscuits and gravy at a Southern breakfast table. And you’ll make the bride and groom mighty happy too, ’cause nothin’ spoils a wedding faster than a sore sight for sore eyes.
So, darlin’, do yourself a favor and wrangle up some appropriate attire. You’ll fit in like a junebug on a sweet tea glass. Now, go on and make us proud, ya hear?”
Not bad, right? You can see that by providing the AI with certain elements in your prompt, you can generate some very solid content. We’ve already begun to incorporate generative AI into our own marketing processes and have saved weeks of effort. The trick for getting these tools to work for you is to be as specific as possible in how you interact with them. If you keep practicing, you can use AI to speed your time to market and increase your productivity across multiple phases of your marketing.
We hope you’ll keep reading as we explore this new frontier of marketing and AI together. Stay tuned for more tips and strategies to come.