Generative AI inspires a lot of mixed feelings for content marketers. When you’re doom scrolling on LinkedIn, it sounds like our natural foe. But there’s also no denying the benefits of increased efficiency, especially with a shaky economy forcing everyone to do more with less.
The good news?
AI doesn’t have the technical capacity to replace you. It can, however, function like your trusty content assistant and boost your productivity. All it needs is the right prompts.
Using AI in content marketing the right way
Content marketers spend a lot of time on content creation:
- B2B content marketers spend an average of 33 hours (around 82% of their work hours) on content production.
- The average B2B blog post is 1,460 words and takes 4 hours and 38 minutes to write
- The average B2C blog post is 1,300 words and takes just under 4 hours to write
This doesn’t even account for the additional time you’ve put in across your entire content creation process, including:
- Brainstorming ideas
- Conducting keyword research
- Writing great content briefs and outlines
- Editing content
- Publishing content
- And all of the repurposing that comes after you hit publish
Not to mention all of the time you’ve spent forming a deep, nuanced understanding of your audience—their pain points, what they’re trying to accomplish, what happens if they fail, their challenges, and a million other insights that ensure your content provides real value in a way that actually resonates.
That’s where a lot of people go wrong with AI.
Can it generate a marketing strategy or bang out a blog post in seconds? Yes. Will that post effectively prompt readers to take a particular action? Doubtful. At least not without you.
AI algorithms can process vast quantities of data, but still lack the capacity to understand a lot of context, nuance, and subtlety surrounding human language. Before you incorporate AI into your content workflow, it’s important to recognize this limitation.
While AI can’t understand your customers on a deeper level, it can enable you to create effective content by:
- Automating repetitive tasks that eat into your high-value work time
- Getting the ball rolling with different aspects of content production, so you don’t have to start from scratch every time
Pro tip: Stashing your go-to prompts in a single doc will help improve your process even further. It’s also handy to create a cheat sheet with brand guidelines, positioning documents, value proposition, and other information you’ll frequently reference when prompt writing. You can do this directly in Copy AI’s Infobase, which lets you create re-usable “blocks” of information and insert them directly in the chat tool. You also use Brand Voice to upload content examples that represent your brand voice—which AI can then analyze and use as a reference when generating new outputs.
Using AI for content topic research
If you’ve ever spent hours fishing for the right stat, you’ll know that content topic research is usually far more intensive than a simple Google search. Asking your AI content assistant to generate a list of stats is low-hanging fruit—especially since you can tailor your prompts to request highly specific topics and scenarios.
Before including any stat in your content, make sure you check for:
- Accuracy: AI can make mistakes, just like the rest of us. And just like you would with a human writer, check their sources.
- Source usability: AI can scrape the entire Internet, including inactive or archived web pages that are no longer accessible.
- Opportunities to expand: You may find additional research or supplementary stats that add more context to the original stat shared.
Pro tip: You can also expedite your fact checking and reduce obsolete information by asking for the date of every stat.
✍️ PROMPT: Compile a minimum of 10 recent and relevant statistics related to [topic], including the source and date of each statistic
Pro tip: Keep track of the stats in a spreadsheet, including whether or not they’ve been fact checked or require modification. This will also be helpful for future research, since AI may repeat stats from previous outputs, depending on the topic. It will also expedite your content creation process with future pieces!
Using AI for case studies
Another aspect of content creation that takes forever? Collecting real-world examples and case studies to beef up your arguments or demonstrate authority on a particular topic.
This is especially true with B2B content. According to a recent study, 54% of decision makers spend more than one hour per week reading thought leadership content, but 71% say less than half of that content contains valuable insights. Subject authority is also important in SEO, both in terms of appeasing Google’s algorithm and encouraging backlinks from other sources.
Although AI can’t stand in for subject matter experts, it can generate case studies for you to reference.
Pro tip: Even if you’re only planning to sprinkle in a couple examples, prompt the AI to write a paragraph or an entire blog post surrounding each use case—the additional context will make it easier to determine which examples you’ll want to incorporate.
Using AI for ideation and brainstorming
No bad ideas is basically considered Brainstorming 101—for good reason. Even the most outlandish or uninspired suggestion can inspire someone to think of a brilliant alternative. When it comes to content ideation and brainstorming, consider AI like a newbie on your team who may not understand the topic as much as you, but is still eager to participate.
✍️ PROMPT: Create a list of 10 potential topics for an eBook on generative AI in content marketing
Using AI for content writing and editing
There’s no denying the backlash against AI content writing—just look at the Hollywood writers strike and human-written content verification tools like ZeroGPT. However, there’s a big difference between flooding the Internet with lifeless, generic content, and thoughtfully incorporating AI in your content workflow to improve efficiency, so you can add your magic touch.
The key is achieving the right balance. A hybrid approach is always best—using generative AI where it makes sense and following best practices to get the most mileage possible, but not solely relying on it. There’s no shortage of ways to involve your AI assistant in the content writing and editing process:
Generating content outlines with AI
AI builds the bones of content—typically a content outline—but you’re the one who actually writes it. One advantage with this approach is that AI’s involvement is restricted to organizational tasks on the “backend”. No one will actually see the output but you.
This gives you the ability to flesh out the structure way faster than creating an outline from scratch, but you also don’t need to worry about combing through an AI-written blog post or landing page afterwards to make it sound more human.
✍️ PROMPT: Generate an outline for a blog post about caffeine consumption among content marketers, highlighting why coffee is important
Generating the first draft with AI
An alternative method is prompting AI to generate an entire blog post or landing page, which you then whip into shape through edits, fact checks, and sectional rewrites. The biggest time saver here is bypassing the Blank Screen Syndrome. You’ll technically have a complete piece of content, but it will be a rough, primitive, and generic draft that sends readers running in the opposite direction if published as-is.
If you go this route, it’s important to keep an eye out for inconsistencies in tone, voice, and flow. Specifying tone in the prompt can certainly help cut down on your editing time, but if you rewrite one section and don’t touch another, the end result can be choppy and jarring.
You may find a sufficient edit actually takes longer than writing the entire thing yourself. But it could also drastically speed up your process—it all depends on how you work!
Building individual content components with AI
There’s no rule that your trusty assistant has to create a completed asset. You can also prompt it to generate specific components, like:
- Standalone paragraphs
This approach is especially useful if you get stuck or have one section that’s tripping you up.
Pro tip: Copy and paste the generated output directly in your working document (I.e. Google Docs) and “mark it” by italicizing or changing the text color. This way, you don’t have to stop in the middle of writing to fact check or edit the AI-written content, but still have a way of remembering to go back and refine it afterwards.
Generating landing pages with AI
It’s easy for content marketers to develop tunnel vision and disproportionately focus on blog posts, but it’s good to develop a process that incorporates other types of content too.
Gen AI can also be an incredible assistant when it comes to building landing pages. I mean, who hasn’t spent hours toiling over the perfect headline?
If you’re using Copy.ai, you can scale landing page production by combining effective prompts with reusable snippets of brand information (another great use case for Infobase!)
✍️ PROMPT: Create a list of 5 persuasive headlines for [Product], each of which should highlight the platform’s benefit in a clear and concise manner. Follow these guidelines:
1. Use a friendly and professional tone that resonates with the target audience.
2. Keep the headlines within 20 words to ensure maximum impact.
3. Focus on the benefits that [Product] offers, such [Selling Point 1], [Selling Point 2], and [Selling Point 3].
4. Use power words and emotional triggers to make the headlines more compelling.
5. Use language that is easy to understand, avoiding jargon and technical terms.
Once you have created the list, select the most impactful headlines and refine them to ensure they accurately represent Copy.ai’s value proposition and unique selling points.
Editing your work with AI
AI can’t fully comprehend human language like you can—but it’s still surprisingly capable as a second set of eyeballs. That’s right. You can also use your AI content assistant to edit your own work. As Michael Scott from The Office would say, how the turntables.
We’re not just talking about spelling and grammar either. AI can review for tone, readability, SEO, even plagiarism. Some editing prompts to add to your list:
- Analyze my content for readability and suggest improvements.
- Suggest ways to simplify complex sentences in my content.
- Suggest ways to improve the transition between paragraphs in my content.
- Identify and suggest improvements for inconsistent tone and voice in my content.
- Analyze my content for keyword density and suggest improvements.
- Suggest ways to optimize my content for featured snippets.”
- Identify and suggest improvements for meta descriptions and title tags in my content.
- Suggest ways to simplify technical jargon in my content.
- Identify and suggest improvements for unclear or confusing statements in my content.
- Identify and suggest improvements for content that may be flagged as plagiarized.
Just don’t forget to include the actual content in your prompt—and have a human edit afterwards.
Pro tip: If you ever get stuck writing prompts, ask your AI content assistant for ideas. Generative AI is capable of creating prompts for itself (see list above ☝️). You can also take advantage of Copy.ai’s Prompt Improve tool, which makes automated suggestions to help improve your prompts right there in the chat.
AI for Content Distribution and Promotion
According to Mckinsey, 50% of work activities can be automated. For content marketers, distribution and promotion probably falls into this category more than anything else. If you’re promoting a piece of content that already exists, AI has more to work with—a more thorough input always yields better results.
Pro tip: Check out Prompt School to learn more about prompt writing best practices, and how much information to include.
Generating answers for Quora questions
With over 300 million users, Quora is an incredible way to drive traffic to your website by showcasing your authority and expertise. Sifting through questions and answers, however, can definitely be a time consuming activity. Don’t just limit your AI assistant to crafting responses—you can also use it for research, brainstorming, and editing. A few more prompts to test:
- Suggest answers to the most common questions related to [TOPIC]
- Generate ideas for Quora topics relevant to [PRODUCT]
- Analyze my Quora answer for readability and suggest improvements. [ANSWER]