Great content is not about content (or AI), it's about strategic thinking
The 3 key elements you as a marketing manager need to know
You want to scale your content and use AI for that. Great, yet before you take off, first realize your content needs to stand out on quality, not quantity. And AI can be a huge help for the first and the last. When your competitors use AI to automate and scale, you can use it to improve your strategic thinking, structurize, and get your message across even better.
Let’s get real: Content that creates impact rises above the clutter, generates leads, and contributes to your leadership – it all starts with thinking, not prompting. This is a relatively new way of producing content as you now can spend more time on the thinking while AI does the writing.
AI enables you to think (more)
The thing about AI that excites me the most is that it gives us a unique opportunity to do better instead of doing more. Nice side effect is that your better, well-prepared, thought-through content not only resonates with your customer, it also feeds AI to feed your customer.
Below, you’ll learn the 3 key elements of great content in this new era.
1. Emphasize insights and problem-solving in your content
You want your content to bring something new to your reader. Something they didn’t know or realize. And especially something that hasn’t been done a million times before. And that’s exactly the issue I have with AI automation to generate the content for you.
AI works based on predictability and probability and echoes of what’s already there. No new insights, no new strategies or solutions.
If you feed AI with your insight and steer AI in the right direction with your prompts, that’s where the magic happens. Yet, you do have to have an idea of the desired output.
Side effect: Google AI search loves this focus
SGE is Google's new AI search tool and places generated AI content above your SEO content. As a result, your SEO traffic will be wiped off the table. Bluntly said, the search results shift from keyword matching to user intent, and you'll have to adapt your content accordingly.
Example 1. Insights based content
From November till the beginning of January, it’s very tempting to produce a trend prediction for the upcoming year. Great, ask AI to produce a blog. And you know, everyone is doing that with the same AI; you’re not special.
If you put your mind to work, what is it that you don’t see others writing about but what matters to your industry? Can you combine all those predictions and discover the overarching common denominator?
This is something you can only know by deep understanding and experience.
Example 2. Problem-oriented content
A bit more B2B focused, yet this also goes for B2C. Most brands focus on how their product has the newest x,y, and z features, how great it is, how easy it is to use, how valuable it is, and how unique and different it is from its competitors.
There are just a few who dare to put the problem of their customer central. All brands say they are customer-centric, in reality their content is mostly about them and not their customer.
So, if you want to stand out, change the point of view and create content based on your customer’s problem and your second solution. Very tangible: how they can solve their problem with your product and what will be the benefit to them.
That brings me to the second part.
Psst here is all you need to know about the 5 common content strategy mistakes
Your content strategy is the basis of all the above. Do you want to know more about the most made mistakes in content strategy, how to prevent them, and how to embrace AI for your content? Click here.
2. Structure your content: problem, solution, and benefit
AI is great at producing ‘naked’ copy. Based on a prompt, it spits out copy in your desired length and in your brand voice. But that’s all it is; it’s copy with a plain intro, body, and end. If you ask AI friendly, it can include some bullet lists and or tables.
However, if you want your content to resonate and get your message across, you need a clear and well-defined recognizable structure to your copy. And that’s where your thinking comes in (again).
Please keep in mind the structure of your content is not, per se, the order of your content. It’s not a template; it’s a way of thinking and preparing what you want AI to write for you.
Example 3. My favorite way of using AI for content creation
I always use the structure problem – solution – benefit for my blogs. First, I think, then I write together with AI.
Start with shifting my point of view to yours and putting you, as a reader, first. Clearly defining the issue you face from your point of view, why should you care?
Followed by how you can solve your problem with the actionable steps to take and tangible examples.
Lastly, I think about the benefit; if your problem is fixed with my solution or knowledge, how will you benefit from that?
After manually writing out the structure, I go to Word, smack everything on digital paper, and write a very ugly first draft.
Next step is ChatGPT, and I start prompting to refine, get more, expand, and dense the copy. Together with AI, I write my almost-final draft.
Lastly, I ask ChatGPT to proofread to improve the structure and clarity once more. The final details are done by me again.
By the way, once you know this trick, you can use it for a script for a video or an animation as well.
3. My case against outsourcing AI prompting to agencies
Where in 2023, all brands were eagerly getting the AI agencies in to produce the AI content; now it’s time to learn it yourself.
My take on why not hire an agency for this
- Your team doesn’t hands-on learn how to work with AI.
- Your team is not stimulated to improve their content game with strategic thinking and will stick to current ways of working and producing content. You need this exact same ‘thinking’ to avoid content producers from becoming overreliant on AI for production, and you’ll get more of the same of what’s already there.
- You as a manager need to manage your team differently, from output and KPI-based to strategic thinking, embracing and applying innovation and an open, curious mindset in this fast-paced, changing AI era.
First, get the right save and secure AI tools in. If that’s not feasible, define some easy-to-follow rules on what to put into ChatGPT or CoPilot and what not. Take away the ignorance and tell your team what they can do instead of what they can’t do.
Second, ask the agency to train the team and the board. Senior management needs to understand how AI works as well. Don’t be bamboozled by all the cowboys; AI isn’t difficult and is actually quite fun once you get the hang of it.
Wrapping it up: embrace AI for better content
The thing about AI that excites me the most is that it gives us a unique opportunity to do better instead of doing more. Most organizations will first focus on more content, adding to the clutter. That gives you the advantage to rise above that clutter with better, well-prepared, thought-through content that resonates with your customer and feeds AI to feed your customer.
As for everything goes, if you give it a little love and attention, it will grow. Don’t fall for the hype and easy scaling. Grab this chance to do better, not more.
- Emphasizing insight and problem-solving in content
- Structure your content: problem, solution, and benefit
- My case against outsourcing AI prompting to agencies
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