Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or have had your head firmly in the sand) you’ll likely have heard of the latest AI product to hit the market known as ChatGPT.
AI copywriting software isn’t a new creation. But it wasn’t until ChatGPT emerged that a tool looked as though it could start to compete with human writers.
After the craze of DALL·E 2 and the huge variety of AI-generated artwork that appeared in marketing campaigns and personal projects, content writing is the next area that AI appears to be ‘taking over’. Responses to this product have been split, but no matter their stance, many SEOs and marketers have had a lot to say about the potential applications and drawbacks of ChatGPT.
Whilst there’s plenty that can be discussed about this latest trend and the huge range of ways that AI content writing can be used, the hype around ChatGPT and its copywriting potential means that plenty of other extraordinary AI tools are going unnoticed that could be real assets for those in the marketing industry.
Not only that, but the resounding complaint that ‘AI can’t replace human writers’ is drowning out some of the key ways that content writers can use this tool to their advantage, without relying on it to actually write their content for them.
In this post, we share our thoughts on ChatGPT and its wide range of applications for travel marketing, as well as some of the other applications of AI software that are available to marketers at the moment.
What is ChatGPT?
First things first – what actually is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT is an AI language processing tool that was created by an artificial intelligence company called OpenAI. It’s essentially a very complex chatbot that is able to write long-form responses to search queries, instructions or prompts using AI technology called GPT-3.
GPT-3 was developed as a machine learning model that generates text which sounds like it was written or spoken by a human. This tech was also developed by OpenAI and has been used in a wide range of different applications, ranging from feedback systems to website builders.
ChatGPT is described as a large language model (LLM), which is a kind of AI model that uses machine learning to predict the correct next word in a sentence. The huge amount of internet data that ChatGPT was trained with has allowed it to create nuanced and accurate responses to all kinds of prompts, making it one of the best language processing AIs and one of the best AI writing tools out there at the moment.
It’s also free and open for anyone to use, which has certainly contributed to how much attention the product has been getting since it launched in November 2022.
In terms of what ChatGPT can actually do, the applications are very varied. Perhaps the most straightforward use has been getting the product to write content for things like blog posts, landing pages and even social media posts, which we’ll explore in more detail later in this article. Some users have got ChatGPt to write songs, plays and poems, whilst others have been using it as a more intuitive search engine.
The vast variety of uses for ChatGPT has been generating a significant buzz, and with Microsoft recently launching a new, AI-powered version of the Bing search engine and Edge web browser to improve user experience, it looks like this kind of technology is firmly here to stay.
There have also recently been a flurry of alternative AI content creation tools growing in popularity as marketers realise the potential of this kind of technology, such as WriteSonic, CopyAI and Jasper.
So what might the future of marketing look like with AI content generation tools so easily accessible?
What Impact Could ChatGPT Have on Marketing?
We’re already seeing a lot of different ways that marketers are using ChatGPT and testing its capabilities. Here are just some of the things that ChatGPT could be used to do:
- Generate content ideas
- Write more intuitive chatbot responses
- Come up with titles and headlines
- Suggest blog post structures
- Do basic keyword research
- Create product or service descriptions
- Produce longform content
- Write emails
- Write captions for social posts
- Translate content into different languages
- Write recaps or summaries of longform content
With all of these possibilities, the marketing industry could be impacted quite significantly, as tasks become automated and previously time-consuming ideation is drastically sped up with the help of AI content ideas.
Our Sales and Marketing Director Ben recommends that you get an account with Open AI so that you can use all their tools and start to play around with some of the applications of tools like ChatGPT to try out some of these applications for yourself.
The use of AI in marketing isn’t new, but technology that matches human capabilities is. A lot of the extreme reactions to this kind of technology are fears that roles like content writers and journalists will be replaced by AI language processing tools.
This definitely isn’t true, but there is the potential for a lot of websites to suddenly start using ChatGPT to mass-produce content or cut corners when it comes to populating landing pages and communicating with customers.
We have two responses to the talk around all of these potential consequences.
Firstly, ChatGPT isn’t the only AI tool that stands to change the way that we do things in the marketing industry. As we’ll explore later on, there are other products and wider applications of AI copywriting that can be used in a marketing strategy, so we advise keeping a very open mind when it comes to considering what this technology might be able to do.
Secondly, just because ChatGPT can do a range of content creation tasks, and do them faster than a human, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it does them better.
AI Content Creation Won’t Solve All Your Problems
As plenty of copywriters and journalists are already protesting, an AI content writer isn’t going to solve all your problems because it just isn’t capable of writing the same level of quality content.
Sure, there are cases when carefully crafted prompts and editing have produced some reasonably good work.
But can an advanced chatbot compete with the emotional, nuanced and opinionated writing of an actual human being?
It might become a possibility in the future, but for the moment, ChatGPT cannot write the thoughtful, imaginative and unique content required for a truly engaging, branded copy. If you have a strong brand tone you’re trying to capture, or want to write travel content that is going to catch your audience’s attention and stick in their memory, AI content is not the way to go.
At the very least, any content that you use a tool like ChatGPT to produce will require dedicated editing and proofreading before it’s ready to be published.
You’ll also need to fact-check the information, as ChatGPT can’t provide the most up-to-date insight.
If you’re trying to use ChatGPT to write something opinion-based for your travel company, you’ll need to be wary of how the content it produces may be biased, based on the information it based the response on.
And finally, if you want a piece of content that is going to be specific and target your intention precisely, you’ll need to fiddle around tweaking and refining the best possible prompt to get the response you’re looking for.
Alright, I hear you reply. I need to put in a bit of work if I want to use ChatGPR to write my content for me. But it’s less work than actually writing the content myself! And the impact will be the same, right?
Risks to Be Aware Of
One of the most seemingly straightforward ways to use ChatGPT in your travel marketing strategy is to get it to produce all the landing page copy and blog content you need to properly popular your website and boost your SEO ranking.
It’s a great idea in theory, but in practice, there are several risks to be aware of.
Firstly, from an SEO perspective, you should be wary of filling your travel website with content that is automatically generated. Google has always said that it will penalise website content that is classed as ‘spammy’ and if you’re using totally unedited text produced by ChatGPT, there’s a real chance that your ranking will start to suffer.
The most recent announcement from Google on the rise in AI-generated content is that the search engine will continue to reward “high-quality content, however it is produced”. The company recognises that some automatically generated content can be valuable, and has advised users to “produce original, high-quality, people-first content” whether they’re writing this themselves or using a tool like ChatGPT to help.
AI-detection software is already out there, and Google has always been very quick to penalise ‘spammy’ or plagiarised content by stopping it from ranking well. So using ChatGPT to mass-produce website content and uploading it straight away will likely come back to bite you, even if it seems like a quick fix at the moment.
AI-generated content isn’t a bad thing in Google’s eyes but it does need to be created carefully so that it still fits the search engine’s definition of ‘high-quality’. So if your whole travel website is built on unedited AI copy, you’re really going to suffer. You don’t want to be the victim of a Panda-esque update when websites’ traffic disappeared overnight as Google punished low quality content.
Content Accuracy and Value
One of the key limitations of ChatGPT that gets highlighted at the moment is that it was trained on outdated data.
The most recent training data for the program was from September 2021, which means that the data it’s basing its responses on is over a year out of date. If you’re trying to use ChatGPT to write about current affairs or even just want to include a few facts in your content, you may find that this information is incorrect.
There’s also the question of value with AI content.
ChatGPT bases its responses on the same set of data every time, which means that, if lots of travel marketers are using it to create similar content, all of this content is going to focus on the same things.
There will be subtle differences due to tweaks and edits, but even if totally different tones and approaches are used, you might end up with multiple blog posts about the same destination all recommending the same things. From a customer perspective, your travel brand won’t provide any real value or useful information if this is the case.
Thorough editing is the key to working around both of these risks, but they’re still important to bear in mind.
The final risk to be aware of before diving into using ChatGPT for your marketing is that it’s still a pretty new product in its initial stages of development. There’s a lot of hype around it right now, but who’s to say whether this hype is going to last?
The last thing you want is to invest a lot of time and resources into using AI content creation in your marketing efforts, only for this technology to become obsolete and outdated in the next couple of months.
This might not be the case of course. ChatGPT might be the first in a long line of impressive products that will help to change our entire approach to travel marketing.
But the future of ChatGPT is still unknown, so going in all guns blazing should be avoided for the moment.
When AI image creation was having its moment a month or so ago, it also brought to light the potential legal ramifications of using AI to create ‘unique’ content.
ChatGPT learnt how to craft its responses by reading other people’s writing, which makes the ethics of this kind of technology a little murky. With tools like DALL·E 2, some artists sought to take action against users for using their original pieces as a prompt for the software, or complained about traces of their unique style appearing in the images that were created.
It would be much harder to take this line of argument against an AI language model, but it is a potential scenario to consider.
AI technology is only going to continue to advance, which means that there are likely to be plenty more ground-breaking tools released in the future that will shake the marketing industry like ChatGPT did.
It’s no good trying to fight these developments, or shun them completely. The best way to respond is to get clued up on what these tools do, identify how they can help make your job easier, and then utilise them to develop more efficient and accurate ways of working.
You should also be sure to figure out what you can do that these tools can’t so you can keep reminding everyone (and yourself) why marketing isn’t a job that can be taken over by AI completely.
If you’re looking for where to get started with using AI tools like ChatGPT, take a look at our article on Travel Marketing and AI Tools for nine different approaches to using this technology to optimise your marketing efforts.
AI tools can be a massive help in optimising an existing marketing strategy, but there are still some things that humans just do better. At SEO Travel, we offer a range of marketing services that consistently deliver results for travel brands wanting to grow their companies and get found by the right customers. Get in touch to find out more about what our team can do for you.
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