3 Things to know so ChatGPT can improve your content
It's all about authenticity; maintain your brand voice, avoid echoing, and validity
Now the AI dust has settled a bit, let’s take a second look at how we can use ChatGPT to create content by speeding up production processes and improving the quality of your written content.
And let’s still be aware of the pitfalls such as echoing, being off-brand without personality, and reliability and validity of the output. And people now started to recognize AI-written content; the last thing you want is to come across as lazy and as if you don’t really bother.
Making an effort and paying attention shows that you care.
Meanwhile, is upgrading to ChatGPT-4 worth the $24.20 per month?
Why it matters
I hate to be the bearer of bad news for the cutting corners, lazy, and budget-pinching marketers; there’s no such thing as purely AI-generated content. Solely relying on ChatGPT, Bard, or any other AI tool to create your content will not do the job.
Sorry, not sorry.
Here’s the deal. You do the strategic thinking and your homework; AI manages the rest. Well, mostly.
Content creation pitfalls
Here's what you have to keep in mind if you want to nail the role of AI in your writing process.
1. Avoid echoing
2. Maintain brand identity and personality
3. Ensure validity and trustworthiness
1. Avoid echoing; use it for research
If you use AI to write your content, your content will be based on what is already there. Being generative, AI’s output is based on probability and predictability. In other words, AI collects what’s already there and puts that in a natural language as a response.
AI has no genuinely new insights, strategies, or ideas.
The best part of generative AI is that it has no bias, judgments, or view of its own. ChatGPT can help you by giving rational arguments. Together, you can sharpen your thinking and broaden your mind.
Making use of AI for content creation
Use AI as intended. For research, for ideation, for a different point of view. You can use ChatGPT to discover content needs by asking specific questions. The more advanced you’ll get, the more detailed your prompts.
If you are working on help content for a whiskey brand, you can …
- Start with simple prompts such as ‘Can you tell me what are the reasons why younger people don’t drink whiskey?’ or ‘hi, what are the most asked questions about whiskey?
- Then dive further into the rabbit hole by digging into the output and zooming in on specific elements.
- Followed by really narrowed-down prompts such as ‘Write a 500-word beginner's guide on whiskey explaining the difference in tasting profiles’.
This output is your input and starting point. Now, you get to work to create the content magic.
My pro tip for using AI
I always work with a fixed setup for my content pieces; I start with the ‘to know’, which is the key takeaway of my story, followed by a short ‘why it matters’ to give you more background. Together they are the intro. Then I get to the core of the content piece ‘to do’ with the rationale and explanation. Lastly, the summary to wrap up and close the content piece is always minor. Hardly anybody reads to the end, do they?
It’s in this core of the content piece where AI comes in. By having your structure, storyline, and setup ready, it’s very easy to play around and add or delete content where needed.
I start old school on paper and transfer that to digital to do the actual writing, including the AI copy-pasting. The polishing, editing, and finetuning always is in the CMS of my .com: I need to see the copy to edit the copy and make it mobile-first.
I do the work, AI is my wingman.
2. Maintaining brand voice with ChatGPT
The second pitfall is that AI lacks personality. If you use AI to produce or rewrite your content, your customers will notice.
The eight elements to recognize AI content: no real intro, immediate dive into the listicle; listicles or similar structure; the text feels generic; no first-person point of view, no sources or credits; no bias or personality in the copy; too clean copy; no consistency between the multiple posts.
Use ChatGPT to define your brand voice
This one is easier than you think and is a lifesaver. Once you have the desired result, use the prompt ‘Can you rewrite the answer above in this tone of voice: xxx’
- 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 on how to use ChatGPT to define your brand voice.
The role of AI in my writing process
And food for thought: I started and stopped using ChatGPT to write my copy. Even though I had defined my tone of voice, using that to rewrite the copy and make it my own took longer than writing it myself, with ChatGPT as my wingman.
How I use ChatGPT and what works for me is two-fold. First research as described above. Second, ChatGPT is my wingman; we work together.
- This is my most loved feature of ChatGPT. I ask for alternative words, synonyms, translations, or different ways of writing something. As a non-native English writer, I sometimes struggle with the right words or ways of saying things. Use simple prompts like ‘hi, what’s a different way of saying …’ or ‘what’s a synonym for…’
- ChatGPT is also great for inspiration if you’re stuck for words. Bluntly prompt what you want to know, followed by a ‘can you rewrite this in an informal tone of voice’. The output is the input for your writing.
- You can also use ChatGPT to assist you with editing and proofreading. I don’t want to say it’s perfect when AI does the proofreading, yet it really helps to further sharpen the clarity and improves some of my wording. I don’t copy-paste the output, I cherrypick and manually adjust. Takes a lot of time, yet is worth the effort. And please keep in mind, everything you upload to ChatGPT is used and shared by ChatGPT; there's no exclusivity or confidentiality.
Yes, if you can write a decent prompt, using AI for your content production is exceedingly low cost, yet you pay the price in quality. And it’s the quality of your content that resonates with your customers, not the quantity.
My take is that AI really sucks out all human touch and makes your content uniform and replaceable. No matter what prompt you use, if you want content that reflects how you are and claim your leadership based on your expertise and personality, I advise you not to rely on AI to write the content for you.
3. Ensuring validity and trust with AI
We’re aware of the sometimes sketchy output of AI. I can’t repeat it often enough to check the validity of the output. Is it true? Does it make sense?
With the most recent updates and developments in AI and ChatGPT, using the web as its source and revealing the resources helps to improve trustworthiness. Yet it’s still you who is responsible.
Fooling around with ChatGPT-4 on ‘Hi, how to use ChatGPT to create content,’ I couldn’t describe it any better… ‘Remember, while ChatGPT is a powerful tool, it's just that: a tool. The best content often results from a blend of human creativity and AI efficiency. Always review and refine AI-generated content to ensure it meets your standards and resonates with your audience.’
→ ChatGPT-4 is it worth the upgrade?
At this moment, I’m still playing around with the paid subscription. My first take is there is a difference. It’s faster and more to the point. Feels a bit more elevated and personalized.
I asked ChatGPT-4 to proofread this content piece. It made great suggestions to improve clarity, yet the actual re-writing sucked out all my personality and fun. So, that last part was a no-go for me.
If you are using ChatGPT for professional content creation and you’re a shitty writer yourself, ChatGPT-4 is worth the investment. When you’re fooling and playing around and using it for research, my gut feeling is that you will be fine with ChatGPT-3.5.
A little disclaimer: at the moment of writing, I have the paid subscription for a few days and haven’t done any very extensive research, queries, or prompts yet.
Making an effort and paying attention shows that you care. Using AI to create your content is cutting corners, and your customers will notice.
That said, AI and ChatGPT-4 is great for research, ideation, and proofreading. Use AI as your wingman, not as your intern to boss around.
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