How to use ChatGPT in your digital marketing strategy.

I’ve spoken before on the difference between something trending and a trend in the digital marketing industry, and how sometimes it’s worth a business owner’s time to just sit back and watch before jumping right in. Think Clubhouse, Threads and TikTok as examples of this …

We don’t have to take on every new thing that hits the market and more-often-than-not giving something a bit of time to sink or settle is a good idea when it comes to your digital marketing strategy.  

ChatGPT falls into the “industry trend” category for me and I’d like to share more about how I am using this technology in clients’ digital marketing strategies. 

AI and your marketing. 

I’ve had plenty of conversations on this over the last year and I want to start off by saying that this blog isn’t an AI vs humans and industry jobs piece. Automation and chatbots in marketing are not new to 2023; and I’m not talking about a one or the other model either, but more how to take the existing technology – like ChatGPT or Canva Magic or any other tool like this – and use it to your advantage as a small business owner. Particularly when it comes to your digital marketing – think blogs, newsletters, social media captions etc.

I remember the 1999 new year’s eve, where the rumours about Y2K (the year 2000) and what that would bring to the world were rife and unsettling. I still lived in my birth town of Cape Town, South Africa then, my first mobile phone was shaped like a brick and had an aerial, and the internet at home had a dial tone. The internet also couldn’t be used at the same time as the telephone … fast forward to 2023 and some parts of technology are just everyday life now. My teenage daughter doesn’t know a world without it and 18 year old me from 1999 had no idea what role technology would bring to our lives, and how we would adapt and evolve constantly as the world advances. 

What is ChatGPT?

The textbook definition is that ChatGPT (Generative Pretrained Transformer) is a large language model that uses machine learning techniques to generate human-like text, images or video in answer to prompts and questions from users (like you and me). It doesn’t understand text but rather learns and predicts patterns and data based on a perceived “good” response. 

Like most technology advancements (or even technology in general for some), ChatGPT comes with its own dose of panic, obsession, dislike, rumours and general WTFness. I am guilty of all of the above when it comes to technology and my work (P.S working in a digital industry doesn’t make you immune to panic around technology changes and upgrades)! 

The technical definition probably doesn’t help the panic and fear around using it, so as a small business owner think of ChatGPT as a super smart assistant or having a big marketing department that works alongside you. Only this assistant / department is a computer program that can generate text, images and video from the whole of the internet, helping you brainstorm ideas, assist with research or content creation. 

How can ChatGPT help with my digital marketing strategy?

The kind of things that come up regularly with business owners when talking about their digital marketing strategy and social media for business are:

  • lack of time to create content
  • not knowing where to start with repurposing content
  • not knowing where to start with ideas or writing a blog or social media caption

Budget constraints can sometimes prevent outsourcing some of these tasks and this is the kind of hole that ChatGPT can help fill. Please note I said “help fill”, not completely do it all for you. No marketing tool or piece of technology will ever really do everything you need it to do, and in my opinion, nor should it. 

Some of the things that you can* use ChatGPT for in your digital marketing strategy include:

  • coming up with ideas to kickstart your creative process 
  • research and summarising content from the internet
  • repurposing content 
  • content creation
  • sharpening up a piece of content or call-to-action
  • writing and editing
  • planning 
  • translation

*These are some of the things that ChatGPT can be used for in the digital marketing industry, not what you have to use ChatGPT for. Of course the actual “how to use ChatGPT” with prompts and layering questions is a different conversation altogether. 

And yes, other technology absolutely exists for things like grammar, translation, research etc so just pick your favourite my friend. The idea is to encourage you to give it a try.

What are the pitfalls when using ChatGPT?

Sounds too good to be true?! I mean yes, nothing is foolproof or perfect and there are a few things you need to know and take on board when using ChatGPT in your digital marketing strategy. 

  • accuracy – the responses are restricted by what’s available on the internet (which is a lot but not exhaustive)
  • it’s a built machine, so expect human errors reflected in the output 
  • the responses are a snapshot in time
  • fact checking can be time consuming (vital but still time consuming)
  • ChatGPT doesn’t understand context, human emotions or how to “read the room”
  • data driven bias is a thing 
  • ChatGPT provides digital content, it doesn’t attribute to sources or creators work – hence why just using a copy and paste job from a ChatGPT response is a terrible (really terrible) idea

How I use ChatGPT in a digital marketing strategy. 

Since I’m the one writing this blog, you’d be forgiven for thinking that I just wildly use ChatGPT everyday. The fact is, I don’t. But I have found myself saying things like “you should put that line through ChatGPT and ask the bot to give you some ideas on word order and tone” or “put that through ChatGPT and ask for help on editing it down to 150 words” over the last few months and that realisation was the motivation for this blog. 

So here are some ways I have used ChatGPT in my client work over the last few months:

  • Asking Chat GPT to give me 4 blog titles for a blog [insert blog topic here] for a UK corporate audience
  • Asking Chat GPT to give me 3 caption ideas for an Instagram post for a UK audience advertising a family-friendly event
  • Asking ChatGPT for 4 sentence ideas explaining what a social media strategist does for a small business in the UK
  • Asking ChatGPT for 2 suggestions to sharpen up a call-to-action on an email 
  • Suggesting a small business owner ask ChatGPT to shorten their award application opening paragraph down to a 150 word countdown using a series of keywords
  • Suggest a small business owner ask ChatGPT to help them write a series of social media captions for a 2 week campaign

I use ChatGPT for those creative moments when I am staring out the window looking for inspiration. I need a kickstart, I need to quickly sieve through my brain and find the strand that will start my flow and that’s where I am getting my most ChatGPT-value from.

I haven’t used a single piece of output in its entirety (and I don’t recommend you do) but it has served to kickstart many good pieces of work that I have produced for a client. 

Come and find me on Instagram and LinkedIn with any questions and comments!

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