Since the launch of ChatGPT on 30 November 2022, the internet has been abuzz with how it may be the end of human-led content. We know this won’t be the case for marketers who value quality content, executives who understand the importance of strategic messaging and savvy business owners who embrace technology yet value human expertise.
Our latest blog discusses AI’s potential impacts on content marketing and how you can prepare for the future with emerging technology.
What is ChatGPT?
Not heard of ChatGPT and other AI language models? You’re in a shrinking minority. You only need to scroll through LinkedIn to see endless waves of people discussing this technology, from doomsayers to people prophesising the most significant technical innovation since the internet.
Developed by OpenAI, ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) generative pre-trained transformer (GPT). In layperson’s terms, it is a predictive text model that generates natural language responses to prompts or questions. In other words, you ask a question and ChatGPT will try to answer back conversationally as a human would.
The company trained its AI to mimic human language through vast text data. It uses this and the power of the internet to deliver responses.
Why are businesses concerned about using ChatGPT-generated content?
While AI-generated content may seem like a quick fix to get that content backlog sorted fast – think again. There are many concerns about the content provided by AI and why you should rethink before hitting publish.
- Moral, ethical and legal issues – ChatGPT’s content is based on information found throughout the internet and may include copyrighted, inappropriate or sensitive information. Companies could be held liable for legal or ethical issues using AI-generated content.
- Brand identity and tone of voice – Your tone of voice is the personality of your business. AI-generated content won’t understand the nuances of how you speak with your customers or website visitors. This misalignment could potentially harm your reputation or impact customer trust.
- Quality, accuracy and reliability – Every business has a quality standard for their content. AI-generated content may not meet those requirements – especially if you don’t take the time to edit and review the text generated by the chatbot. This could lead to misinformation and inaccuracies, potentially harming what people think of your brand.In addition, if you work in a niche sector, technology companies behind the AI may not have trained chatbots to accommodate your query. This could lead to further inaccuracies and low-quality content. It simply isn’t worth the risk.
- SEO and search engine guidelines – There are many concerns about this – including:
- Flooding results with AI-generated content (that could be considered disinformation or spam)
- Being penalised by Google for violating their guidelines
- Dips in market reach and share of voice if found in violation of Google’s guidelines
Concerns aren’t unwarranted. In fact, several governments are restricting or banning its use, citing data breaches and harm against humanity, including:
- Italy banned ChatGPT in March 2023, citing concerns about potential data breaches
- Le Monde, France’s data protection authority, says Chat GPT violates EU GDPR rules
- US Congress voted to ban ChatGPT due to ‘profound dangers to humanity’; this follows school districts in Seattle and New York State banning the software
- The International Conference on Machine Learning banned ChatGPT and other AI-based language tools from being used to write academic papers
We simply don’t know enough about this technology to enact widespread use without oversight. Several complaints have been made to watchdog groups citing plagiarism since ChatGPT’s public launch, and you should carefully consider its use before implementation.
Is AI-generated content against Google’s guidelines?
Google has gone back and forth on its acceptance of AI-generated content. In early 2022, it advised that using AI-generated content was against its guidelines. Recently, it went back on that ruling to say it will allow AI-generated content only where appropriate.
It goes on to say that website content should be high-quality, people-first and follow its E-E-A-T guidelines. These guidelines, first known as E-A-T, appeared in the last couple of years. If you’re in the digital marketing industry, you should be well acquainted with these acronyms.
What is E-E-A-T?
E-E-A-T is an upgrade of the initial E-A-T. It came in as part of the two algorithm changes in late-2022, known as the ‘Helpful Content’ update.
E-A-T stands for:
E-E-A-T adds the additional element of Personal Experience. Ticking all these boxes in your content will produce better ranking results – because it’s human-facing and people-driven.
What does E-E-A-T look like in terms of content?
The topics you write about should no longer have bland third-person views. Google’s algorithm can now detect personal experience and rank you higher. Having examples of your experience with your product and services or the subject matter you’re discussing makes your brand relatable, and Google recognises that.
Google will deem your content as having expertise if it:
- Directly speaks to your target audience in a human way
- Shows competency in the subject matter
- Solves problems, educates, entertains or informs
- Author bios add extra weight to content pieces – especially if they contain merits that display their expertise in the subject matter, including:
Authority comes from a clean well-respected backlink profile. The days of packing your website’s URL into every forum out there are considered ‘black hat’ practices, and Google will downrank you for it.
To establish authority, you must show Google that other (high-ranking) websites trust your content and backlink to it. To build a reputable level of authority, you should:
- Write guest blogs on other websites that backlink to yours
- Appear on podcasts or YouTube videos that link back to your website
- Regularly update content so that Google doesn’t consider it disinformation or out of date
- Replace broken links
Establishing your website as trustworthy is as crucial as your brand itself. It is the heaviest weight for E-E-A-T, and for good reason. Google doesn’t want to show links to untrustworthy websites. Building website trust can be done in a few ways:
- Avoid thin or low content pages – Google recommends pages have at least 1,000 words not to be considered ‘thin’.
- No clickbait titles. It may work for celeb mags, but it isn’t going to work if you want to show up in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Don’t lie in the title. Be truthful and honest about your subject matter.
- Ensure your business contact information is always in the footer of your website, along with the contact page. This isn’t an either/or scenario – it must be in both places.
- Have a comprehensive ‘About us’ page. You should include things that add to your credibility, including:
- Memberships to reputable or prestigious organisations
How should marketing and content agencies move forward?
You can’t turn a blind eye to AI. The realisation is that innovation is a constant, and we must adapt. Bamboo Managing Director Marco Fiori comments:
“We intend to tread very cautiously and with complete transparency to our clients. The risks, ethics, plagiarism, accuracy, abuse and disinformation are very real.
“Still, there are certainly upsides to the technology, too, from streamlining human-checked research to automated notetaking or easing creative brainstorming.
“Any new AI technology Bamboo explores will see our knowledge shared with our clients. It will enable them to approach this interesting space and keep pace with how business and marketing can evolve into the future together.”
Harnessing the benefits of AI
There are many benefits to using AI-based language models, like ChatGPT. Marco mentioned a few in this overview. Here are a few others for consideration:
- Helping with keyword research in SEO and PPC (pay per click)
- Brainstorming creative ideas for blog and social media posts
- Helping summarise long-form notes
- Rewriting ad copy to different variations
- AI can help strengthen your team, but it isn’t its replacement. Nothing can replace humanity’s touch of nuance, market perceptions and creativity.
Bamboo is a tech content, digital marketing and PR powerhouse. Contact us to discuss how our team can help revolutionise your business’s marketing strategy, especially if you work within AI. We have plenty of past clients in the space.