AI content creation tools like ChatGPT, Claude, and Google Bard took the spotlight in 2023. Content creators oohed and aahed about the benefits of using them to streamline your content marketing process.
Since most entrepreneurs and small business owners value tools that save them time and resources, they quickly began harnessing the power of AI to generate content quickly and affordably.
However, like any powerful tool, AI content creation requires careful consideration and commitment to following best practices for its use.
The problem is the technology exploded before industry professionals could weigh in on and establish accepted approaches for its use.
It’s impossible to put the genie back in the bottle. If you plan to use AI content creation as part of your marketing strategy, consider the following guidelines to maximize the benefits.
1 – Become a prompt engineer
The quality of the content AI produces is only as good as the prompt you give it. Generic prompts deliver subpar results.
Don’t just say, “Write a blog post about market trends.” You’ll end up with copy that isn’t what you had in mind when you asked AI for assistance.
A well-crafted prompt explains the topic, purpose, target audience, tone, and any key points you want covered. AI language learning models like ChatGPT and Claude are trained to follow your instructions closely. The more information you provide, the better the output.
Going back to the example about a blog on market trends, a better prompt would be:
Act like a financial analyst with expertise in market trends. Write a detailed, 800-word blog post discussing current market trends and economic conditions in the U.S. as of January 2024. Cover topics such as GDP growth, unemployment rates, inflation, consumer spending, business investment, manufacturing activity, housing starts, stock market performance, interest rates set by the Federal Reserve, and other key economic indicators that provide insight into the overall health of the economy. Provide context by comparing current trends to historical norms over the past decade. Analyze the data to identify areas of strength, weakness, or uncertainty in the economy. Discuss what factors may be driving observed trends, such as government policy, consumer behavior, or global market conditions. Include perspectives from economists and industry experts on the outlook for the rest of 2024 and implications for businesses or investors. Make sure to cite any statistics, quotes, or findings from reputable published sources. The tone should be professional and analytical, written for an audience of business leaders and market analysts interested in understanding the current landscape to inform strategy and investment decisions.
2 – Review and edit output
There’s no argument over whether AI can generate content efficiently. When prompted well, most AI tools can produce hundreds of articles in a few hours.
However, the speed of AI content creation isn’t a substitute for quality. Raw AI output should never appear on your digital or print assets without the skilled eye of a human reviewing it first.
You’ll want to tweak the copy to align with your brand voice. Verify the accuracy of any data the AI included in its content. One of the most concerning issues with AI-generated content is that it’s not always true.
These factual errors and misleading results happen so frequently that industry leaders have given the phenomenon a name: AI hallucination.
While it sounds cute, the problem can tarnish your professional reputation. Just ask Manhattan attorney Steven Schwartz, aka “the ChatGPT lawyer.” With 30 years of experience in practicing law, he was caught using case law generated by ChatGPT that didn’t exist.
A New York federal judge sanctioned him in June 2023 for the faux pas. Schwartz claimed he had no idea that ChatGPT made up facts before he used it in lieu of human paralegals and then failed to check for accuracy.
Don’t end up like Schwartz.
Establish a thorough editing and review process to guarantee the final output meets the highest standards for your brand.
3 – Customize content to avoid plagiarism
Reviewing and editing any AI output involves customizing the content to avoid plagiarism. While AI tools like ChatGPT are supposed to write original text, that’s not always the case. Some output has failed to pass plagiarism checker tools because it contained significant chunks of exact wording from the original source.
One of the most effective techniques you can use to combat this issue is to put your original spin on what AI spits out. Add new paragraphs that include your insights on the topic to demonstrate your subject matter expertise. Expand on thoughts the AI suggested to make the content meatier and more engaging for your ideal customer.
If you use any statistics or quotes the AI generated, check for accuracy, and cite your sources to lend credibility.
4 – Steer clear of copyright infringement
Information is readily available in today’s digital age. With just a few strokes of your keyboard, you can find search results that match your queries. AI is no different.
Some AI language learning tools, including ChatGPT4 and Google Bard, can access the internet to scan for documents and other materials they deem relevant to your prompt.
Sounds great, right?
Here’s the rub.
AI tools may inadvertently generate content that includes copyrighted materials. If you’re really unlucky, it might replicate those sources word-for-word.
To avoid getting into legal hot water, educate yourself (and any team members) on the basics of copyright and implement best practices that help you steer clear of infringement.
Check usage rights for any external sources cited in the AI-generated copy before publishing them and offer attribution to any sources directly quoted.
5 – Offer transparency
AI content creation raises some ethical concerns around transparency. While not mandatory, it’s recommended to disclose when content is generated by artificial intelligence. Doing so builds trust with your target audience.
Consider including a brief disclaimer on your website or within the content that states AI tools were used to enhance creativity and efficiency.
Here’s an example of how that might look:
At Pipefitter’s Dream, we value transparency as part of our commitment to customer service excellence. We want our valued visitors to know we use AI tools to create all or portions of the content they engage with and enjoy on our site.
Embracing the future of AI content creation
AI content creation tools aren’t going anywhere, so we may as well learn how to use them responsibly to streamline our workloads.
You can learn to harness the full potential of AI while maintaining your integrity by following the suggested AI content creation best practices in this article.
Still have questions about the best approach for implementing AI tools into your content creation process?
Entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to learn how to create best practices for AI content creation can schedule a 1:1 training session with a member of our team. Contact us today to schedule your lesson.
About the Author - Shari Berg