Likely you’ve already heard of and maybe even played around with ChatGPT, the powerful new player in the AI field. And, you’ve probably seen some of the hand wringing from marketers, copywriters, and artists–among others–who are worried about job security, the ethics of using AI to do their marketing work, questions around transparency, and a whole lot more.
Maybe you share some of the same concerns, or you’re wondering how you can leverage AI in your own workflow.
I’ve been playing around with ChatGPT and other AI-powered tools for a while now, and I believe that marketers and marketing teams can benefit from understanding and using today’s AI tools, and the tools that are coming tomorrow.
How are Marketers Using AI Today?
Marketers–from Directors of Marketing all the way to Social Media Interns–are using AI-powered tools in a number of different ways to make their job easier and to develop more effective marketing material in less time.
They use AI for strategy, research, copywriting, image creation, promotion, analysis, and more. While ChatGPT has focused a lot of media attention on AI, many of the tools we’re using today have been around for years, and chances are you’ve been using them whether you know it or not.
Is it Ethical to Use AI Tools in Marketing?
The ethics of using AI in marketing is something that will continue to be debated and discussed. Here at flyte, the marketing team has had many discussions about how to use AI ethically, and likely our conversations will evolve as the tools do.
For example, some of the things we’ve debated include:
How can we ethically use AI to market ourselves and our clients?
One thing we decided is we would never just post AI-generated content to a website. That “raw” content hasn’t been vetted for accuracy, doesn’t use the client’s “voice,” and may run afoul of Google’s anti-spam algorithms.
Should we tell clients we’re using AI to generate content?
We ultimately decided that we would be transparent about our use of AI tools when asked or as appropriate, but just as we generally don’t mention every tool we use to do our jobs more efficiently (i.e., Ahrefs, Agorapulse, Google Docs), we’d treat ChatGPT and other AI tools the same way.
Do we need to have a credit or disclaimer on work where AI was used?
This is going to be on a case-by-case basis. Since we would never publish raw AI-content, likely we won’t need to mention that we used ChatGPT, Jasper.ai, or MarketMuse in the creation of a piece of content. However, if we used an image we created in Midjourney or Dall-E, two AI image creation tools, we likely would. That’s because the final product of those tools is created by AI. Even if we overlaid some text on AI-generated imagery, we’d probably state the original image was created by AI. Still, sometimes space limitations on a social media post might limit what we could disclose.
One place where we were very transparent in using AI in our marketing is a recent episode of my Agents of Change podcast where I “interviewed” ChatGPT on its thoughts on AI and marketing!
Is Using AI in Marketing Legal and Safe?
I’d argue that using AI in your marketing is for the most part “safe.” After all, you’re not operating heavy machinery under the influence, nor are there any caustic chemicals, power lines, or dizzying heights involved!
However, ChatGPT and Google’s competitor, Bard, have both shown a talent for playing fast and loose with the truth on occasion, making up facts to support their claims or just getting things wrong. Relying solely on AI to create content for you could be dangerous if you don’t double-check it.
In my opinion, AI currently is a lot like Wikipedia: it’s a great place to start your research but I wouldn’t hit publish without finding some additional sources.
Whether using AI is legal may depend on where in the world you are and how you are using it. I’m not aware of any country that has banned the use of AI, but as the tools improve and become more ubiquitous, that could change. In addition, certain industries may determine that particular uses of AI are not permitted.
Will ChatGPT and Other AI Tools Take My Job?
This is a legitimate question; after all, throughout history jobs have been lost to advances in technology. When was the last time you saw an elevator operator? Or waited for a pin boy to reset your pins in a bowling alley? Or hired a travel agent to book a vacation?
While travel agents still exist, they tend to specialize in certain niches, as most of us are comfortable using Expedia, Hotels.com, and AirBnB.
However, as certain jobs shrank or disappeared entirely, other jobs sprang up: programmers, quality assurance techs, repair people, and so on.
At this stage, AI tools are probably not coming for your marketing or copywriting job. As sophisticated as they may be, they still require humans to prompt them, check their work, and polish the final product.
Table saws didn’t make home builders disappear, they just made their work more precise, repeatable, and faster. However, if you were a home builder that refused to learn how to use a table saw or other power tools, then it is likely that your job would be in jeopardy.
Yes, there are undoubtedly artisan home builders out there that eschew power tools, but that is likely a very niche industry supported by extremely wealthy technophobes. Your path lies elsewhere.
The best way to future-proof your job is to learn to leverage the power of AI tools to save you time, money, and reduce some of the monotony that’s part of every job. AI tools can free you up to put your focus on creativity in your work.
I wouldn’t say that AI is going to eliminate jobs. Instead, it will change jobs drastically. It will allow you to spend more time on things that matter and automate the repetitive tasks. New jobs will be created that don’t exist now that will allow businesses to stay ahead.
How to Start Using AI in Your Marketing Job
If you’re wondering how you can start using AI, well, you likely already are! AI is built into a lot of tools digital marketers already use, like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and more.
So, congrats! You’re already an AI marketer!
But you’re probably looking for some more hands-on AI work. For some of today’s most popular AI tools for marketing, see the AI Marketing Tools section down below.
Instead of a magic act, focus on using AI to build actionable strategies for prediction using data that can be leveraged when requesting budget and setting performance expectations internally or with clients.
That's how you grow your position as an AI leader within your organization.
Can I use AI in Social Media Marketing?
Absolutely. There are a number of ways that you can be leveraging the power of AI in your social media marketing. Here are a few:
- Chatbots: There are many AI-powered chatbots already on the market that you can use on different social media channels, especially Facebook. I also expect that many new tools will leverage OpenAI’s ChatGPT tool, if they aren’t already.
- Content Creation: AI tools can quickly generate posts for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, you name it! If you’re promoting a recent blog post or podcast, it can also generate summaries that you can use on social media.
- Graphics: Don’t have a good, eye-catching image to go with your post? AI tools like Midjourney can generate images that represent the ideas you’re trying to get across and get people to stop the scroll.
Can I use AI to Improve My SEO?
Yes, with some of the caveats that we’ve already covered. Even as Google rushes to launch Bard, the competitor to ChatGPT, it will likely demote unedited, AI-generated content, in the rankings. This is because it’s up for debate if AI is actually creating new content or just reshuffling existing content in new ways.
With that being said, there are plenty of ways that AI can help streamline and improve your SEO efforts:
- Keyword Research: Many AI-powered tools are already improving keyword research, analyzing top-performing pages, competition, and search frequency, to help marketers create content that matches the needs of searchers.
- Content Creation: Other tools can help map out pages, identify themes, and even improve the quality of your writing.
- Link Building: AI can identify high-quality backlink opportunities, which can lead to improvements in your site’s authority.
SEO is a fantastic use case for AI. My recommendation is to consistently create truly original and authentic content around your brand, unique selling proposition, and differentiators to ensure you are rewarded by search engines like Google.
What Are Some Popular AI Tools for Marketing?
The list of AI-powered tools that marketers are using is exploding, and there’s no way to create an authoritative list…and even if there was, it would be out of date by the time I hit publish!
Here’s a sampling of some of the popular AI-powered marketing tools you can start with:
- ChatGPT: This revolutionary tool, that jump started the recent frenzy around AI, is a Swiss Army Knife for content creation. Best of all, it’s free. (Although they have recently introduced a paid tier for $20/month.) It can write blog posts, scripts, headlines, click-bait, opening paragraphs, closing paragraphs, email subject lines, you name it.
- MarketMuse: This tool will help you create and/or optimize existing content that performs well at the search engines.
- Jasper: This flexible tool will help you create social media content, write better ads, generate email subject lines, sales pages, and more.
- Midjourney: There are many art-generating tools out there now, but for my money, Midjourney does the best job of creating eye-catching visuals. However, this technology is now being built into a number of different platforms, including Canva, a tool that’s already in many marketers’ toolbox.
- ManyChat: This chatbot platform works on Facebook, Instagram, and through SMS, to improve communications with your customers.
- WellSaid: Need a voiceover? WellSaid turns text into human-sounding speech in a variety of different voices. (I used this for a couple recent episodes of The Agents of Change podcast and people thought I had hired a professional actor!)
- Optimizely: This is a tool marketers can use to personalize website content based on a visitor’s behavior, interests, and preferences.
- Google Ads: Google Ads use AI to improve targeting, optimize ad headlines, and handle bidding.
- Facebook Ads: Similarly, Facebook Ads Manager uses AI to optimize and deliver your ads to the right audience.
- Google Analytics / GA4: These reporting tools use AI to spot and predict trends and provide valuable insights to marketers.
This is obviously just a small sample of what’s currently available. Do you have a favorite tool? Let us know in the comments below!
If you’re looking for other ways that ChatGPT and AI are impacting the workplace, education, and your life, check out this interview I did on 207, the evening news program on the NBC affiliates here in Maine.
What Comes Next?
There’s no putting the genie back in the bottle. AI will continue to evolve and companies will leverage it, either through fear of being left behind or because of the promise of faster, more efficient, more effective workflows.
The best thing that you can do for your company and your career is to take these tools out for a test drive. Get comfortable using AI to generate ideas, frameworks, social media posts, and more.
Just be aware that AI-generated content rarely comes out as a finished product. Treat AI as the power tool that it is, but remember that fine woodworking still requires lots of sanding and a steady hand at the controls.
Let that hand–and that creativity–be yours.
Rich Brooks is founder and president of flyte new media, a digital agency in Portland, Maine, that’s been in business for 25 years. He is a nationally recognized speaker on entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and social media.
He founded The Agents of Change, an annual conference and weekly podcast that focuses on search, social & mobile marketing. He recently co-founded Fast Forward Maine, a podcast and workshop series for growing Maine businesses.
Rich is the author of The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing, a popular and well-received book that helps entrepreneurs and marketers reach more of their ideal customers online.