As the adoption of generative AI tools continues to grow, our clients have begun to ask our smarty-pants experts about best practices, do’s and don’ts, and whether or not AI is a fit for their unique marketing strategies.
Our team discussed the most common questions we’ve recently received in a recent episode of the Look Left at Marketing podcast. During the discussion, we addressed questions about how to use AI effectively, whether AI will make marketers obsolete and how to mitigate legal risks.
Will AI make marketers obsolete?
Our perspective is that it won’t be the actual technology that takes jobs. Rather, job security will favor those who embrace and learn how to use GAI effectively in the evolving marketing landscape. Human marketers offer a unique value through their deep knowledge of the brands they represent, including messaging, goals, objectives and a nuanced understanding of the market. AI, for the foreseeable future, can’t comprehend all these intricacies.
Instead, we might see a redistribution of responsibilities within marketing organizations. Human marketers can shift their focus from time-consuming, repetitive tasks to building robust strategies and executing them at scale.
One essential skill for individuals is learning how to prompt AI effectively. Being specific and using existing content to inspire and train the AI are crucial steps. Splitting prompts into smaller steps is also essential to getting the desired output.
AI represents a golden opportunity to work more strategically and creatively, and to achieve better results by focusing on the tasks that truly matter.
Does AI save time?
AI has the potential to save time, but it also introduces new challenges. Over time, technology advancements have consistently brought about the hidden surprises of additional costs and time investments. For example, when mainframes were replaced with desktop computers, they were more affordable, but tech support expenses skyrocketed because of the increased complexity and the need for individuals to troubleshoot problems.
Similarly, using AI to produce content necessitates additional time on the editing side. Editing AI-generated content requires a unique skill set, like refining and enhancing the outputs to meet quality and creativity standards, as AI-generated content can often lack originality.
AI can be particularly helpful for brainstorming and grammar-related tasks. However, it tends to produce simple and sometimes uninspiring content, likely unsuitable for more technical B2B topics. The industry and audience you serve play crucial roles in determining the effectiveness of AI in saving time.
The key to maximizing the benefits of AI while saving time is to balance its usage with human creativity and expertise. AI can provide efficiency, but the unique human perspective and creative thinking add value and distinctiveness to content.
Can AI crack the SEO code?
The use of AI in SEO generates mixed opinions. While AI has its place in assisting with certain aspects of SEO, it's important to understand its limitations and potential implications. The bottom line is that search engines like Google prioritize user experience and value over everything else. AI-generated content, as of now, often falls short of meeting the quality criteria demanded by search engines.
Google's official stance on the role of AI emphasizes the importance of high-quality content that doesn’t manipulate search engines. According to Google, quality content should demonstrate authority, expertise and a unique perspective. AI-generated content, especially from self-trained models, can struggle to consistently meet these criteria, making it challenging for that content to effectively support SEO outcomes.
Another critical factor to consider is the risk of manipulation. SEO has a history of "get rich quick" schemes, and companies that over-leverage AI for content production may risk falling into a similar pattern of shortcuts that eventually lead to penalties from search engines. Achieving SEO success requires a holistic approach that combines AI assistance with the knowledge and insights of subject-matter experts.
What risks does AI bring, and how can we mitigate them?
AI introduces two significant risks: copyright issues and data privacy concerns. The U.S. Patent Office's stance on AI-generated content is that it can't be copyrighted or protected. However, the extent of human effort involved in the creation is a major gray area, leading to legal uncertainties. This ambiguity in the legal landscape poses challenges for AI-generated content.
The second risk is associated with data privacy. When users input data into AI models like ChatGPT, questions arise about the handling of this information. For instance, confidential data could inadvertently be incorporated into AI-generated content. This raises concerns about where the information is going, and how it's being used. Data privacy regulations and practices have evolved over the years and are not yet fully implemented in AI models like ChatGPT.
To mitigate these risks, organizations should establish clear AI policies that outline the rules and best practices for AI usage across various aspects of the businesses. Such policies should cover issues like plagiarism, sourcing and copyright. AI policies should be reviewed by legal counsel to address copyright and plagiarism concerns. Regular updates and employee training are essential to ensuring compliance with the evolving legal landscape. Basic rules such as conducting plagiarism checks, citing sources and providing proper attribution when using AI-generated content can help organizations navigate these challenges and ensure ethical and compliant AI usage.
The state of AI is fluid, and new questions pop up daily. However, what we believe will remain true — at least, for the foreseeable future — is that the expertise marketers bring to the table is still critical to success. AI can only do what we tell it to do, and those instructions must be based on perspective and insight to deliver tangible results.
Want to learn more about how to use AI to your advantage? Download Look Left’s e-book, Leveraging AI in Modern Content Marketing.