I, Robot. The Terminator. Blade Runner. Ex Machina. All great yet terrifying movies about robots and artificial intelligence taking over the world. But before you watch (or rewatch) one of these sci-fi flicks to kick off spooky season, let’s talk about artificial intelligence in real life.
Was ChatGPT’s debut and rising popularity the beginning of the end for us poor humans? Or was it revealed to be something less sinister and actually more…helpful? We checked back in with ChatGPT and content marketing six months after our initial blog post. Here’s what we discovered.
A quick recap on what ChatGPT is
In case you’ve been under a rock or living off the grid, an early demo of ChatGPT was released at the end of 2022 by Open AI. People played around with the chatbot’s capabilities and the results went viral. A robot creating art? Writing essays? Fixing code? And all within seconds? You betcha.
ChatGPT can do all of these things and more based on what it has previously processed via the internet. Thanks to this vast, deep well of knowledge, ChatGPT does a pretty damn good job of predicting what we want when we ask it a question.
And of course, when we saw what ChatGPT could do, many of us panicked. Especially business owners and creators in the content marketing industry.
But…should we still be panicking? How have things changed since ChatGPT went public?
ChatGPT users are on the decline for the first time
For the first time since its launch in November 2022, the number of ChatGPT site visitors and users fell in June 2023 by almost 10 percent. So, while it went viral with an estimated 100 million monthly users in its first two months, ChatGPT’s popularity has begun to wane, even when the latest GPT-4 iteration was applauded back in March of this year.
Why? A number of reasons — not just because that’s how internet virality goes.
For one thing, ChatGPT still makes up false answers to simple questions. (Researchers have called it “hallucinating” which is not at all creepy and dystopian-sounding.) Like everything you read on the internet, the information ChatGPT spits out shouldn’t be trusted without fact checking first.
Some companies have banned ChatGPT from their workplace because of privacy concerns, too. Can you put sensitive data into a bot and trust that that information stays safe and confidential forever? Nope.
What’s this mean for you? ChatGPT is not perfect. It’s still an evolving tool that we’re learning to wield. You can use it in a positive way for your business — more on that in just a second — but you should still be aware of its possible pitfalls.
How AI has impacted content marketing and small business
Bill Gates called ChatGPT the “most important advance in technology since the graphical user interface” in a blog post earlier this year, predicting that it would impact education, work, healthcare, travel, and more. Well…he was right.
Schools across the English-speaking world initially banned ChatGPT, fearing that students would use it to cheat. But now, lots of educators think ChatGPT can help generate lesson plans, teach media literacy, save teachers time, and more.
Hollywood has already been using AI; that was a big part of the Writers Guild of America strike this past summer. AI can be used to create storylines and scripts, but it can also use performers’ likeness without having to gain consent (or pay them). Yikes.
So there’s “good” and “bad” when it comes to ChatGPT. Can you still use it for your content marketing efforts and small business tasks? Yes, you can.
Get over writer’s block
Our very own Lead Copywriter, Ashton, uses ChatGPT more than she expected to. She sometimes uses it for fun entertainment experiments — “Taylor-fying a Lana song” was one of her examples — but also to get past writer’s block if needed.
When you’ve been creating content for a long time, it’s easy to feel like you’ve said and done everything you can. Cue the imposter syndrome and creative burnout. ChatGPT can get you started by coming up with an idea or helping you explore an idea further. Simply plug a topic or keyword into ChatGPT and see what it comes up with.
Research a content topic
Once you’ve pushed past that writer’s block and have an outline for your new content piece, what’s next? Research. ChatGPT can save you time on this step by:
- Sharing what’s already been said about this topic, so you can bring a fresh perspective or put a unique spin on it
- Pointing out any gaps in your outline or existing research
- Provide sources for your content
- Telling you basic information or common questions that you might want to include in your content
Think of ChatGPT as a helpful content marketing assistant working by your side (instead of an evil villain lurking in the shadows, waiting to overthrow your company). It should always support and supplement the content you create…not replace it.
Provide better customer service
If you’re running your business on your own, ChatGPT can help you provide better customer service than other chat software options. Responses sound more natural, and common questions can be answered more quickly.
ChatGPT can also call on purchase history and chat history to provide more personalized support. And if you serve customers in different locations and cultures, you can use ChatGPT to offer multilingual support.
Highlighted the need for human skills
One of the biggest ways ChatGPT has impacted content marketing and the online business space in the past six months? It’s shown us how important brand voice and strategy are for success.
This is what Latasha realized since ChatGPT made its debut: “AI can’t sell. It can give you ideas to help you sell, but alone, it’s not going to convert anybody.”
Business owners who use ChatGPT verbatim as their brand voice: we can spot those from a mile away. While AI can assist you with idea generation, research, and customer service, it still cannot replace what a human content marketer and strategist can do. A human can help you pinpoint why you’re doing something and how it will help you achieve a business goal.
Our consensus on ChatGPT and content marketing
The bottom line? ChatGPT is still a valuable, time-saving content marketing tool.
It can automate some of your tasks, speed up some of your processes, and take care of simple or common questions from your customers. It can help you brainstorm and pursue content ideas. It can improve your content with better research and a stronger perspective on your topic.
But ChatGPT won’t do any good for your business without human planning, purpose, and strategy.
We knew this six months ago, and it still holds true today. You need someone with a human brain to perfect your brand voice and make sure your content strategy is aligned with your overall goals. Someone to ensure that you’re saying the right things to the right audience for the right reasons.
You can use ChatGPT to help you out, but keep counting on fellow humans (like us!) to get your content marketing done right.