How to keep your content authentic in the age of AI
The 3 elements of authenticity and how ChatGPT can help you
Content is about human connection; also, in 2024. And for human connection, you need a personality that shines through in your brand voice, tone of voice, point of view, and knowledge.
One of the ways to recognize AI-generated content is the lack of personality, bias, consistency, and first-person point of view. In other words, AI-generated content isn't authentic and has no human connection.
If you’re aware of this, you can fix it while you keep using AI and ChatGPT for your content.
In this blog, you'll learn how you can stay authentic while using AI to create your content and how to create the prompts for better AI output.
Why authenticity matters
Being authentic and showcasing your personality in content is key as it builds trust and creates a genuine connection with your audience. It also sets you apart and makes you distinct and memorable. You being you is what makes your content so much more interesting and engaging — showing your personality, including flaws and quirkiness.
Always stick to what makes you weird, odd, strange, different. That’s your source of power. (via Ross Edgley)
Find your authenticity
First of all, authenticity is something you are, not something you invent or can have the marketing department develop for you. Authenticity is equally important for brands as for your personal content.
- Dare to be bold and stand out; don't be beige or vanilla
- Dare to be different; everybody else is already taken
- Show your knowledge with a strong point of view (POV)
- All brought to life in your brand persona and brand voice
And remember, innovation comes from uniqueness. ‘Think different’ by Steve Jobs. And the genius weirdness of Elon Musk.
Showing your unique and outspoken self enhances diversity. Diversity in thoughts, experience, and perspective.
Being authentic also creates a legacy. When you’re authentic, you’re much more memorable; your distinctiveness sets you apart and makes you stand out.
Pillars of authenticity
Below is the list of what you need to have in place to show your authentic self in your content.
1. Brand persona
What is a brand persona? If you imagine your brand was a person, it’s easier to put yourself in your brand's shoes and produce content accordingly. That personification of your brand is your brand persona.
The brand persona is the counterpart of the buyer persona. And we marketers all know what a buyer persona is. Turn that around and develop the equivalent for your brand.
Read more about brand persona and best-in-class example of the ‘funky, young grandma’ by Ironclad Pan.
Explained by example, Ironclad Pan's brand persona is a funky, young grandmother
What if Ironclad Pan were a person…? ‘that would be a funky young grandmother who loves to cook and is environmentally aware. She loves organic, seasonal food that is either experimental or entrenched in memory and family rituals. She cooks healthy and delicious food that feeds the soul and the wider family. She recycles and composts. She buys quality goods. She’s ahead of the latest trends, always up with what is happening in the world. She is warm, chatty, nurturing, outgoing and strong.’
Reading about Ironclad Pan's funky, young grandma immediately gives the brand a personality you can connect to.
2. Brand voice
It's the brand voice that creates the vibe in the communications; the smaller brands and startups nail it by being free of the corporate buzz and more down to earth. Above all, they created their brand voice with content and social in mind.
The brand voice is the unique personality, tone, and style a brand uses to express itself and connect to its customers, written and visually. We're aware that a strong brand voice is essential for brand building and communicating the brand's values and identity, and it helps to differentiate the brand from its competitors and become recognizable to its audience.
Here’s how you can find your brand voice
Explained by example, Ironclad Pan's brand voice is optimistic and genuinely excited
In line with the funky, young grandma personality, the brand voice of Ironclad Pan is ‘We are a premium, aspirational, high-quality brand. We come from a wealth of knowledge and research, from not just our own experience but also from working with fellow enthusiasts and craftspeople.'
'We strive constantly to learn more in order to look after our planet. We are optimistic - glass half-full types, genuinely excited about sharing our discovery of how much better locally sourced cast iron is to cook with than modern non-stick cookware.’
By only reading their brand voice, I can already connect to them by hearing how they speak and share their story and passion with me.
3. Point of view
This is where you show your knowledge about what you’re doing and display your mission, vision, and underlying values—captured in your point of view on what’s going on in your industry and the world.
Being outspoken and clear in what you stand for, how you see the world, and what you envision. Having a clear, no-nonsense, in human language written POV helps you to understand who you are and be consistent with your content and tone.
Having a clear POV helps you to prevent becoming stuck-in-the-middle beige AI-generated content.
Read more on the power of a POV and tangible examples by Dove and Ironclad Pan.
Explained by example, Ironclad Pan's POV is about value and sharing
Again, the example of Ironclad Pan. Their POV is best described as ‘Value good food and share the love in preparing it.’
With that in mind, you can see all of Ironclad’s content breaths joy and passion for food while being sustainable and embracing health. No matter if it’s their .com content, socials, or a LinkedIn post by Joe, one of their founders.
Of course, ChatGPT is your wingman and can help to improve your content. These are the steps to find your brand voice and using AI to review and refine.
4. Use ChatGPT to describe your brand voice to use in prompts
This one is so easy and improves the ChatGPT output enormously. When I use this brand voice description in my prompts, the content is already 80% there, and I only need to tune in the details to make the content really sound like me.
- First: collect. Find two or three written content pieces that reflect your brand voice. Leading by example, I copied two of my latest articles on my newsroom thinklikeapublisher.com.
- Second: prompt. Go to ChatGPT and use the prompt ‘Can you define a tone of voice based on the text below? + copy-paste the text of the first content piece, and hit enter. Read the result.
- Then: refine. Use the prompt ‘Can you refine with the copy below? + copy-paste the text of the second content piece, and hit enter. Read the result.
- Get the final description. Use the prompt ‘Can you combine both descriptions of the tone of voice?’ If it doesn't reflect who you are, add a third or even a fourth example. If the result reflects who you are, copy-paste the text to Word or text editor. Clean up, edit where needed, and save it.
Read more about how to find your brand voice with ChatGPT
Explained by example, my brand voice, defined by ChatGPT
I used this blog to let ChatGPT define my brand voice. My overall tone is ‘inspirational and informative, with a casual, friendly undertone.’
With the key attributes:
- Approachability: The content employs a conversational tone. Phrases like "you do you, me do me" and "And for human connection" evoke a friendly atmosphere.
- Inspiration and Empowerment: The use of phrases such as "Dare to be bold and stand out," "Your source of power," and "Dare to be different; everybody else is already taken" inspire the reader to embrace their unique characteristics.
- Authority and Expertise: The content is well-researched, and the author shares deep insights into the topic of authenticity in content creation. Using phrases like "In this blog, you'll learn" and providing structured lists impart a sense of expertise.
- Casual References: Names like "Steve Jobs" and "Elon Musk" are casually dropped, evoking a blend of popular culture and industry knowledge.
- Emphasis on Human Connection: Constant use of phrases emphasizing the human element, e.g., "content is about human connection" and "AI-generated content isn't authentic and has no human connection."
- Descriptive Storytelling: The content often uses detailed examples, especially with "Ironclad Pan", to provide a concrete understanding of abstract concepts.
- Varied Sentence Lengths: Rhythmic variation through a mix of short, punchy sentences and longer, more descriptive ones. For example, "Being authentic also creates a legacy. When you’re authentic, you’re much more memorable; your distinctiveness sets you apart and makes you stand out."
From all of the above, you can create an ultra-detailed brief for a copywriter or ChatGPT.
5. Use ChatGPT for proofreading
Once you’ve got all of the above in place, including the description of your brand voice, you can ask ChatGPT to proofread your content.
For proofreading, I strongly recommend getting the paid ChatGPT-4, as that version is more accurate and has better output than ChatGPT-3.5.
You can use a prompt like ‘Can you proofread without rewriting? Please give suggestions on the structure, subheaders, and a new header. Please use this tone of voice: inspirational and informative, with a casual, friendly undertone.’
The reason why I ask ChatGPT not to rewrite but to give suggestions is that I like to stay in control of my own content. I notice the result is much better and faster if ChatGPT gives me suggestions and alternatives instead of rewriting the entire piece. No matter how well my brand voice is described, the copy I write myself is always much more me.
Final words and checklist for authentic content creation
As stated in the intro, content is about human connection; also, in 2024. Dare to stand out and always stick to what makes you weird, odd, strange, different. That’s your source of power.
What you need to show your authentic self in your content
- Brand persona
- Brand voice
- Point of view
- Use ChatGPT to describe your brand voice
- Use ChatGPT for proofreading
And let’s not forget, you do you, me do me. Dare to be different and be yourself; everybody else is already taken.