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ChatGPT. Not just a random collection of letters, although you might be forgiven for thinking so if it’s not hit your social media feed. Even if you have heard of it, you may have no real idea of what it is or why it might be relevant to you.

But if you produce content – and let’s face it, who doesn’t? – forewarned is forearmed.

Is it the answer to all your content creation problems and the end of the copywriter, or is it the beginning of the end for humanity and creativity in particular? Something in between? Let’s find out.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence writing tool that has been developed by the American company OpenAI. It has taken the internet by storm since the beta (test) site was launched at the end of 2022. The site was quickly overwhelmed by the volume of users, and at busy times it is impossible to get on to.

A bit like the hottest member of a newly discovered boyband opening their front door and finding the world’s paparazzi poised and ready, it’s not necessarily fully prepared for the onslaught.

It is known as a large language model and companies like Google and Meta are also developing their own.

But so we all know what we’re talking about, we should just ask it what it is:

So, there we go: no need for any time or effort googling to research it or worrying about how to explain it or plagiarising someone else’s work. You can literally just cut and paste.

Ask it the same question multiple times and you’ll get a slightly different response every time. Albeit with certain stock elements.

How does ChatGPT work for content creation?

ChatGPT is trained on a huge dataset of conversational text, making it ideal for chatbots. As Forbes explains, ‘the bot is capable of explaining, remembering what was said earlier in the conversation, elaborating on ideas when asked, and even apologizing when it gets things wrong’.

Which makes it ideal for online customer service interactions, for example.

But it can also be used to generate content. Think blogs, social media posts, email marketing campaigns, newsletters, etc.

And content is what everyone – from multinational companies and world-famous influencers to ‘solopreneurs’ and family-run small businesses – needs.

‘Content’ helps you get seen and understood by the people you want to get in front of. It can give them reasons to choose you over your competition.

You set the parameters and ChatGPT will generate text on the subject. Whether you are looking for ideas for social media posts, tips and advice for your audience, or an entire blog post about something. In just a few minutes.

What are the benefits of using ChatGPT?

Instead of thinking of ChatGPT as a finished product that can wave a magic wand over your content requirements, think of it as a great starting point. It’s good if:

  • You’re stuck for ideas
  • You’re looking for ‘low stakes’ content where you’re short on time and something is better than nothing (we’re not going to get into the rights or wrongs of this attitude!).
  • You want a summary of a long article to inform your content
  • You need inspiration
  • You’re not sure where to begin and just need a prompt to get you going

What are the limitations of using ChatGPT to generate your content?

  • It is not a finished product: it is currently still in test mode
  • It has only been trained on information that was available up to 2021 and it can’t be used like a search engine
  • If there is bias in the information it has been trained on this will inform the text generated
  • The content generated may not be accurate or even make proper sense
  • Search engines can detect AI-generated content
  • It may well require a subscription in future

Technology is useful servant but a dangerous master

Christian Lous Lange, 1921 Nobel Peace Prize winner

Content for content’s sake?

The whole point of producing content is to add value and be found by your potential customers and the search engines. Generating content for content’s sake is not helpful to current or potential customers.

Businesses are already expected to produce interesting, valuable content: ChatGPT will just change the base level of expectations. After all, if a blog post really can be generated in no time at all, why wouldn’t you have a blog?

Not all content is equal

Customers don’t see the time and effort that goes into producing useful content, they just know if they find it interesting and helpful, and whether or not it resonates with them.

If you are producing content that has been generated by an AI tool so you can tick that box, it will be bland, possibly inaccurate, and sound exactly the same as everyone else’s computer-generated content.

So where is the added value?

And who is going to have the time to read it? If we are going to be bombarded with ever greater amounts of information, we are going to have to be more selective about what we spend our time on.

Too much to choose from?

Making your content work for you

Your content needs to work for you, your audience, and keep the search engines happy. It is worthless if it is disregarded by the search engines. They can use models to detect content that has been generated by AI and rank it accordingly – even the ones using algorithms to avoid detection.

Cryptographic watermarking will also identify AI-generated text to help prevent it being used for nefarious purposes.

Your content needs to reflect your brand. Your tone of voice. Your take on things. Your input.

It needs to be relevant. And it needs to be accurate!

As the Search Engine Journal sums it up:

The biggest limitation is that ChatGPT is unreliable for generating accurate information. The reason it’s inaccurate is because the model is only predicting what words should come after the previous word in a sentence in a paragraph on a given topic. It’s not concerned with accuracy.

A helpful tool, not an alternative

If you’re not already writing blog posts – and there are plenty of reasons you should be writing them – ChatGPT has upped the game. Now is the time to start! Just don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.

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