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AI has been featured a number of times on this show, with the common theme that it will one day play a significant role in online marketing. That time seems to have arrived. And James has invited TeachTraffic’s Ilana Wechsler to talk about how to use AI in marketing.
Our experts will discuss AI content marketing and artificial intelligence as a content idea generator.
They’ll speculate on the possible jobs that will be replaced by AI.
And Ilana will give a demo of what an AI copywriting tool like ChatGPT can do.
Table of contents
1. The growing news that is AI
2. Does AI have a role in our marketing?
3. The long way the tech has come
4. A couple of caveats for using AI
5. In a hypothetical scenario…
6. ChatGPT plays marketer
7. How does AI perform as a copywriter?
8. Can AI replace agencies?
9. Where AI fits in marketing strategy
10. The checkout analogy
The growing news that is AI
Previous guests have said AI is coming, that it can help do presentations, and platforms like Google are using it.
It’s been everywhere already in small ways, auto-filling in Gmail, or prompting LinkedIn replies. And now marketers have gotten hold, and turned it into something big.
The tool ChatGPT in particular is making waves as students and job applicants as well as marketers use it to create impressive pieces of written content in record time.
Does AI have a role in our marketing?
Today’s episode asks, where does AI currently fit into our marketing matrix?
As a traffic expert, Ilana has been looking at the implications of content-related traffic in her agency, TeachTraffic.com. James wants to know, what is she seeing in terms of the way AI is changing the behaviors of people running ads?
It feels like a game changer, says Ilana, insomuch as it is now accessible to everyday people. And one area in which it can play a significant role is in research.
Research of customer avatars, research of the product, how does it differentiate to its competitors? What are the features, what are the benefits? – all this can be time-consuming. And ChatGPT speeds it up, says Ilana, in a profound way.
Ilana herself uses the tool to distill information, not as a source of output she can copy and paste verbatim. It’s a starting point that saves her a lot of research time.
And it can do things that people would typically pay agencies good money for – not just research, but turning that research into sales copy and ads.
With ChatGPT, you can even dictate what person you want it to write in, and what tone or voice – mind-blowing, really.
The long way the tech has come
It’s been in the background, says James, being used by companies for things like predictive analysis. And it’s just been made accessible to the public.
James recalls the MicroBee computers of his school days. Now we carry around in our pocket technology more powerful than that which took man to the moon.
James has a link to ChatGPT on his phone, and has been getting a lot of use out of it. It’s a powerful tool that can design a floor plan or come up with a business proposal.
As a research tool, it can play a dietician, a doctor, or a poet. You can ask it to write a speech and include three stories and a joke.
So where once you might have paid for someone’s service, you can use such a tool in house and augment the output by yourself or with your team and accomplish a lot.
A couple of caveats for using AI
Ilana wants to stress, though, that for best results one must resist the temptation to simply copy and paste. She really sees ChatGPT as a means for copywriters to not stare at a blank screen.
James agrees – he’s always said, he’d rather have someone dig out a diamond for him to polish, than to have to go and dig it out. And he’s told his team, No one in our team is being replaced by AI.
He’s also cautioned them to not buy any AI tools on annual, because they will probably be dead a year from now. There will be so many new tools coming to the market.
One tool they do like has changed their short video output from one per day to three. But the tool just augments what they were doing manually – they still hand finish the last part of the process.
So point one, AI tools are now in your hands as a consumer. Point two, they probably won’t replace something fully – you need to still have a human finish.
A lot of that comes down to writing good inputs, says Ilana – you have a bad input, you get a bad output. So how does one get really good inputs in order to receive some really good output?
James reckons they find a former data analyst with some knowhow on this, and put her on the spot with a case study scenario.
Was Ilana, by any chance, ever a data analyst?
In a hypothetical scenario…
In a past life, admits Ilana.
So James asks her – suppose he were a small player in the vegan market, with a cookbook he’d like to run campaigns for. He hasn’t an agency, nor a budget of thousands to hire someone.
And he doesn’t have the luxury of time to learn the basics. What sort of prompts could he use to get marketing happening for his cookbook?
Ilana has played around with this a lot. And what she’s found is, in order to generate really good output down the track, we need to make sure the AI system really understands what the product is.
So it will take some teasing of information initially. And Ilana will demo using ChatGPT.
Ilana types, I would like to write some content for a product I’m trying to sell. The product is a vegan cookbook. Do you understand?
The reply comes back: Yes, I understand. I’d be happy to help you write some compelling content for your vegan cookbook. What type of content would you like me to write? The overview of the book, product description, or something else?
Now Ilana wants to make sure the system understands the benefits and the features.
She says, What are the benefits of eating vegan?
Ilana gets back, There are a number of benefits to eating vegan. Some of the most significant include improved health, weight management, better digestion, better environment, animal welfare.
These are all potential bullet points on your sales page or your Facebook ad, says Ilana. From there, you could ask for more, even specify a number.
These benefits have a potential application in many other forms of your marketing. You could write a content piece on each, or obviously get ChatGPT to write your content.
Ilana then asks, What problems does eating vegan solve? The output is, Eating a vegan diet can help solve or mitigate several problems, including health issues, environmental problems, animal welfare, food sustainability. By choosing a vegan diet, you can help address some of the most pressing problems facing our planet and inhabitants.
ChatGPT plays marketer
So Ilana says, Consider yourself a marketer. Create a customer avatar for someone who is likely to purchase a vegan cookbook.
The reply: Sarah is a 35-year-old marketing manager who lives in San Francisco. She is health conscious and has an interest in plant-based for several years, she follows several vegan influencers on social media, she’s an active person, and likes trying cooking.
Pretty bang on, says Ilana. She then gets ChatGPT to write a sales letter for her.
Dear Sarah, are you looking for delicious, healthy and easy-to-follow vegan recipes? Do you want to learn more about the benefits? Look no further, our vegan cookbook has everything you need to start the journey toward a healthier and… so on.
It goes through bullet points: With our cookbook, you’ll learn how to incorporate more plant-based options in your diet, choose the right ingredients….
It’s an amazing starting point, says Ilana, and it’s instant. She then asks the software to rewrite the sales page in first person, adding a joke and the benefits of eating vegan, as well as a money back guarantee.
James needs to hear the joke.
Ilana obliges: I mean, what’s the point of cooking if you can’t have a little laugh, right? And the best part, I offer 100% money back guarantee.
Certainly light and fun, says James.
You can then say, says Ilana, Now turn this sales letter into a YouTube ad. Write a one-and-a-half-minute ad script, which would work on YouTube. Use the principles of direct response advertising using the problem, agitate and solution framework.
ChatGPT responds with a voiceover: Hi, Sarah, are you tired of feeling stuck in a cooking rut? Do you want to make healthy delicious food that’s also good for the planet? Look no further, I’ve got the solution you’ve been searching for. And then it’s got, visuals of Sarah cooking in the kitchen, looking frustrated.
It’s a great brief you could send someone, says Ilana.
How does AI perform as a copywriter?
To continue the experiment, Ilana writes, Now write a Facebook ad for this product.
So it says, Image of a vegan cookbook with mouthwatering dishes on the cover. The headline, Say goodbye to boring meals and hello to delicious and healthy vegan cooking. Body copy: Are you tired of the same…?
Whatever, says Ilana, but the output is a really good first attempt.
Then she says, Write 10 possible clickbait headlines for this Facebook ad.
1. Discover the secret to healthy and delicious meals with our vegan cookbook.
2. Transform your meal routine with these mouthwatering vegan recipes.
3. Say goodbye to boring meals forever with our must-have vegan cookbook.
4. Get your taste buds ready for a healthy and delicious adventure.
5. Unleash your inner chef with these vegan cooking tips and tricks.
6. Make mealtime fun again with our delicious vegan cookbook.
7. The only cookbook you’ll ever need for healthy and tasty vegan meals.
8. Discover how easy and fun healthy cooking can be with our vegan cookbook.
9. Don’t settle for boring meals anymore. Get your copy of our vegan cookbook today.
10. Evaluate your cooking skills and make healthy eating a breeze with our vegan cookbook.
Once again, a really good starting point.
The possibilities are endless. You could ask for an article, or further customer avatar research; an email series; possible other products someone might buy based on their customer avatar.
Ilana has even asked, Write 10 Google responsive search ads with a headline and description that talk about the above features and benefits. Really, she says, all you need these days to run traffic is a button pusher to build campaigns the right way.
Can AI replace agencies?
So James asks the question, can AI replace TeachTraffic.com?
Ilana doesn’t believe it could. She believes it could replace a number of traffic agencies. (Not completely, a business owner would need an implementer, but in terms of what somebody would be hiring for locally, be it English first language and marketing intel and copywriting, potentially.)
So basically, says James, the lower and middle layers of a company hierarchy are more under threat, in a white collar industry.
Ilana agrees – a low level kind of content writer, perhaps.
So as a strategic facilitator, someone with the macro overview, the conductor of the orchestra, if you will, someone like Ilana would be quite safe.
And what ChatGPT does not do, says Ilana, is it doesn’t really help people interpret data, though that may be coming.
Where AI fits in marketing strategy
James thinks it can get you a long way down the track for research. It builds you the foundations, but you still need someone to render it and make it strategic.
And when you’ve run the campaigns, are you checking the right buttons and ticking the right boxes? Are you overspending, or underspending? Is this about right, what you’re spending? If you get success here, could you pollinate it over there?
That’s where James thinks TeachTraffic.com is really useful for members, because it’s got human brains, making sure it all works.
And where someone like James or Ilana would be irreplaceable is the experience. Ilana has run her traffic agency for 10 years – she’s tested every possible funnel and offer and niche under the sun.
Say a vegan cookbook type person joins Teach Traffic, Ilana can say, I’ve done something similar. Here’s what we did before, here’s what tanked. Here’s what did terribly, don’t even bother doing that. Let’s do this instead.
So James thinks the bottom line is, use these tools to augment in-house and some of your supply. But definitely make revisions; if you’re paying for other companies to do exactly what you can be doing in-house, then that might be an unnecessary expense.
Exactly, says Ilana. She thinks of it as, rather than getting an agency do 100% of the work, right you might get an agency or yourself to do the first 30%, AI does 40%, and then you do the remaining 30%.
The checkout analogy
James loves that. It’s like the supermarket where you check out your own items, and there’s one person standing there to unjam the machine in case you mess it up – it’s a combination of technology with humans.
And there’s a couple of checkout people, but the bulk of stuff is self-checked out. It depends on how many items you’ve got, and how tolerant you are of technology.
If you listen back to James’s episodes, he’s not been a hypester, but he’s definitely seen people get behind AI. They see it, they see what’s happening; it’s a fundamental change.
James is seeing it now, hence this episode. And he may do a similar-themed episode on SEO as well, because the marketplace is changing.
Last year, James did an episode about, can AI replace copywriting, with Will Wang. They decided then that it couldn’t yet, but a lot of things are happening now with the tools, and it’s a space to watch.
If you’d like help with paid traffic, the best place to go is TeachTraffic.com. Ilana will teach you how to train your robots nicely and get all your traffic firing, says James.
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