A human hand is joined above a keyboard by a white robot hand, indicating the marriage of AI and humans in creating content together.

AI for Content Marketing

By: Jen Keefe

September 19, 2023

How Using ChatGPT and Other AI Tools Benefits Content Strategy 

Using AI for content marketing – specifically ChatGPT, which has soared in popularity across industries as a go-to for everything from writing prompts to search optimization to flat-out content production – can be a significant benefit to content strategy with one important caveat. 

Humans still need to be involved. 

The prevailing concern about integrating AI into the writing process (not surprisingly) is that content will no longer be truly authentic. If human writers are simply plugging a topic into ChatGPT and letting the AI produce an entire blog post, short story, or high school essay, the implications are somewhat far-reaching. 

Even the Cliffs Notes many of us turned to in a pinch before that exam on the novel we didn’t read required some level of human thought and activity to digest the information and apply it intelligently. 

Using AI for work that should be performed by a human, like writing and developing content strategy, understandably carries concerns about the quality of work and potential impact on overall business. 

One of our clients, for example, would probably not be thrilled to find out that our writing team was churning out content using ChatGPT rather than personally engaging in the research, writing, and strategy behind it. NOTE: We aren’t – and this blog post was written by an actual human as well. 

All that being said, however, AI for content marketing is a tool, just like any other tool. And when used properly, and used in conjunction with the human element, it can help marketing agencies like Fishnet produce more strategic work for our clients with insights that otherwise wouldn’t have been as easy to identify. 

Just Another AI for Marketing

The internet has its opinions about the role of AI in content marketing, but let’s consider some of the other AI tools we have been relying on for different aspects of marketing over the years. 

    • Chatbots: This common digital tool appears on most websites and engages with different audiences to help guide them to a specific outcome based on their responses. Chatbots help deliver more informed, actionable prospect details to sales and marketing teams to help create better customer experiences, and they help customers engage with a business at all hours of the day rather than being hampered by working hours. 

    • Search Optimization Tools: SEO tools like Semrush use AI to provide instant, powerful insights into search trends to help writers generate ideas and optimize content. These tools pull from an enormous amount of search data to inform the right keywords and key phrases to catapult a piece of writing from obscurity to the first SERP. 

    • Social Posters: AI has long played a role in automating social posting and social notifications. Tools like Hootsuite integrate with social profiles and simply require an input of social copy to work. They provide suggested days and times to post based on usage data, and automate your social calendar so you can “set it and forget it” (for the most part). 

    • Workflow Automation: Using AI to scale business success is a no-brainer these days to prevent leads from falling through the cracks. Tools like Zapier are able to connect hundreds of apps and streamline workflows throughout a company, ensuring the right people are notified at the right time – with the right information – when a new prospect is generated. 

    • Spelling and Grammar: While using built-in spell check tools in Word and Google are still  great ways to double-check your work, AI-enabled spelling and grammar tools like Grammarly are right there with you as you type, and are integrated into multiple apps like email and inter-office chat. These tools pull from a broader and more sophisticated database of grammar rules to give you real-time writing assistance and feedback, going beyond just misspelled words by making suggestions for improved sentence structure and flow. 

It was only a matter of time before an AI like ChatGPT or [insert one of many AI writing tools here] came onto the scene. And, as mentioned above, there can certainly be drawbacks to a tool that can create complete writing assignments in seconds after receiving nothing more than a basic topic as a prompt. 

But when used responsibly, like most things in life, AI is a benefit to content strategists everywhere as another tool that provides valuable insights, prompts, and guidance for what are often complicated research projects, helping us to understand the best writing approach for a specific audience. 

AI for Content Marketing Can Improve Strategy

Most of the struggle for businesses when it comes to content marketing is knowing what to produce to target the right audiences, and how to execute a content production plan with often limited resources. 

Outsourcing to a marketing agency like Fishnet, equipped with a content team who’s job is exclusively focused on generating actionable, optimized, effective content for your business, is a great option for companies and takes a lot of the burden off of staff resources. 

In my role as Director of Content Strategy, I spend a lot of time doing research and recording audience and search data to inform content strategies for different clients. When mapping out specific types of content, inclusive of topic, target audience, and where it falls in the buyer journey, it’s helpful to draw on AI tools that can identify trends.

Here are three important ways AI is helping inform content strategy:

    1. Topic Research: Tools like ChatGPT are able to quickly generate topic ideas based on words and phrases inputted into the tool. For example, if I’m developing a content strategy for a B2B client that sells appliances to big box stores, I could enter keywords like “appliances” and uncover data showing that end customers want appliances that are energy-efficient, equipped with smart home capabilities, and are easy to repair themselves. I also now know that the most popularly-searched appliances are for home kitchen and commercial use. 

This information arms me with critical audience insights we can use to resonate effectively with the big box stores, demonstrating that our client has what they need to make successful appliance sales.

    1. Search Engine Optimization: Similar to topic research, AI tools can help optimize content. If I let the tool know the topic on which I’m writing, it will spit out a wealth of keywords with associated data like monthly volume and search difficulty to help me determine the best keyword(s) that will elevate the performance of my content. 

The best part about using AI for keyword research is that it can be used at any point in the writing process. While it’s certainly easier to research your SEO ahead of time to guide your writing at the start, you can apply optimizations to existing content or after the fact by making adjustments in line with the AI data. 

    1. Buyer Persona Intel: Behind every good content strategy is robust buyer persona information. At Fishnet, we create what we call a “Buyer Persona Matrix” for clients, which details each type of audience persona, their demographics, pain points, and motivators when it comes to making a purchase. We then  map those details to different “value props” offered by our client’s product or service offering. These matrices are useful for both B2B and B2C clients and help make important distinctions between, for example,  the decision-making process of a CEO versus that of a project manager. AI tools like ChatGPT have built-in persona generators, which provide informed buyer personas based on the type of business you’re in, what you sell, and who you sell to. 

These personas include helpful data points relative to demographics, psychographics, and buying behaviors, as well as a general synopsis of the persona to develop them into a real-life end user. Shaping buyer personas using real search data and user behavior data improves the quality of our content strategy for our clients and reflects a deeper layer of research and information. 

The Powerful Combo of the Tool and The Human

Too often we view new technology as scary or intimidating if it doesn’t fit nicely into something we’re already familiar with, like a new version of the iPhone. When smartphones initially launched, there was (and still is) some healthy skepticism about the impact of putting so much of ourselves into a tiny – but very connected – box. 

AI has been around for enough time that each new development shouldn’t come as a surprise; rather, a reminder that technology is moving faster than most of us can reasonably comprehend, and the best we can do (if we want to participate in the technology landscape at large) is use it smartly. 

Ignoring or shirking new tech won’t help your business, since there will always be someone else in your industry who is moving full steam ahead and making the most out of what each new technology has to offer. Technology is designed to make things easier, and when used correctly, that’s exactly what it does.

AI for content writing is not a robot meant to replace humans. Serious content writers who enjoy what they do and value playing a role in the creation and output of content should recognize this and view AI writing technology as another tool in their toolbelt that works best in conjunction with the human element. Build your content strategy with Fishnet, and get the benefit of an agency that stays on top of the best technology and tools to enhance the work we do. Contact us today.

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Jen Keefe

I've been at Fishnet for more than six years. I oversee the content production portion of client projects, which includes everything from website copy to digital and print collateral, as well as direct the strategy behind it – that critical part where we define the brand messaging and ensure it's used consistently across all audience touchpoints. And because messaging is only part of the user experience, I also work closely with our design team to connect your brand message with your identity. Prior to Fishnet, I was a journalist, which translates really nicely to marketing content strategy because I love talking to people, gathering information, and making complex ideas easier to understand.

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