The use of artificial intelligence, or AI, has exploded in popularity in recent months, especially with the emergence of ChatGPT, Bing Chat and Google’s Bard, to name a few. In January, ChatGPT passed 100 million active users, making it the fastest-growing consumer application in history.

Although AI use can be a controversial topic, if used correctly, these tools can be effective to supplement existing work and make processes more efficient — music to busy marketers’ ears. Benefits of AI tools in marketing include automating repetitive tasks, predicting conversion rates, optimizing posting cadence for owned content, and analyzing large quantities of data that could take your team hours or days to complete, to name just a few potential uses.

Wondering how to use AI in marketing?

If you’re not currently using AI technology as a tool to improve your work, we get it. There are still some unknowns. While incorporating AI technology into your marketing plan can certainly improve lengthy processes, it shouldn’t replace the tried-and-true marketing strategies your workers already employ. Instead, AI marketing automation can assist them along the way.

Let’s explore how this plays out for communications professionals creating owned content.

For example, AI content marketing tools can be applied to develop the framework of a news release, company announcement or blog; integrate SEO keywords into content; and generate lists of media outlets and journalists to target. To help those with visual impairments, AI can generate audio versions of news releases or web content and add text-to-speech features.

While these could be techniques you’re already using AI for, there are a few practices that may be entirely new. For instance, the news conglomerate BBC is using AI to deliver content to users based on their environments. Based on cell phone location, AI tools are optimizing news articles pushed out to smartphones to allow the publisher to send different text, video or audio to reach different audiences. This also is useful if you want to reach different age demographics, with older users wanting to read content and younger audiences consuming more video or audio.

Use AI insights to improve your understanding of your customers. This tactic helps anticipate user needs by learning from their behavior, and it can also determine the odds of a particular piece of content going viral by suggesting what they want to see.

What potential problems come with using AI in marketing? 

As this technology continues to evolve at high speed, it’s leaving worries and questions in its wake. Concerns marketers may have include quality control, the ability to gather accurate information, copyright infringement and intellectual property misconduct. Marketers also are concerned about AI’s inability to service one of the most necessary aspects of their jobs: connecting with real people and creating a sense of community. Conversely, consumers may have data and privacy concerns. 

For AI to work effectively, it needs access to large quantities of data in order to recognize patterns and predict potential behavior. To responsibly leverage AI tools, marketers should set parameters to comply with current privacy and data protection legislation.

Copyright infringement claims are possible with the use of AI. Since AI algorithms are trained through huge amounts of existing content, they could pull information word for word from the original creators. Fact-checking all quotes, unique creative and visuals, and information pulled from AI-generated content is key to help mitigate copyright concerns. And be sure to confirm that all hyperlinks provided as a reference by AI tools link back to actual content and aren’t made up by the tool.

For example, some users have experienced AI hallucinations, when AI programs perceive and reference information that is not part of reality, which can happen when they crawl ambiguous or incorrect information to create answers.

Myth or fact: Google doesn’t like AI content? 

Yes to both myth and fact. Your AI-generated content must be created with consumers in mind first and foremost, not search engines. Google understands that people want to interact with real content instead of robotic messaging. The key factor is the intent behind your content creation, not the method you used to produce it. 

Google’s E-E-A-T (experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness) guidelines are used to evaluate the quality of content on websites. E-E-A-T requires expert knowledge and human judgement when creating website content. Fact-checking and editing AI content thoroughly is important to ensure your rankings won’t be affected on Google.

And lastly, never publish unedited, untouched AI content with the hopes of Google not recognizing it wasn’t reviewed. Unedited content is easy for Google to detect. AI-generated content often uses specific words or phrases like “according to research” or “data suggests,” so a human review can adjust common phrases that Google knows to look for.

So what is the takeaway on using AI for marketing? 

Even experts don’t know the exact future of AI in marketing, but it’s clear in the short-term that AI can enhance existing efforts. AI tools allow marketers to work more efficiently and effectively. There is still a long way to go before AI content generators can be trusted to deliver accurate and factual content, so people will need to monitor and fact-check what is being produced. More and more companies, including ours, are using AI to reach and engage customers, so do your research on how you can effectively use AI to your benefit