Generative AI Has Come Quick: What’s Out, What’s Coming, and What to Consider.

A table of Generative AI tool options.

ChatGPT was released to the public six months ago and quickly became the fastest application to reach 100 million users. OpenAI reached this milestone in just two months compared to TikTok’s 9 months and Instagram’s 2 ½ years.

The result of this enormous attention is that the world has quickly become aware of the advanced capabilities of generative AI. As of March 2023, 87% of consumers had heard of AI and 61% somewhat understood what generative AI is and how it works.

ChatGPT generates text from text prompts through a chatbot, but that’s not all generative AI can do. The popularity of ChatGPT also brought attention to OpenAI’s image generation tool. DALL-E 2 generates images from text prompts through a chatbot.

A table listing and describing generative AI integration in major software platforms.
Which generative AI tools will you use for digital and social media marketing?

Despite the mass attention, AI tools have been around for years.

I first wrote about AI in a 2019 post “Artificial Intelligence And Social Media. How AI Can Improve Your Job Not Steal It.” In it, I talked about how AI was being used in algorithms, automation, machine learning, natural language processing, and image recognition.

That post also talked about how AI was used in chatbots to simulate human conversion, in predictive and prescriptive analytics, and in content generation. Examples included Patern89 which has been using AI to analyze content combinations and placement for optimization since 2016. Another example was Clinch which has used AI for content automation and personalized dynamic ad content across channels for years.

Since ChatGPTs release, there’s been a race to integrate generative AI.

The race began with ChatGPT being added to Microsoft’s Bing search engine. Then Google announced plans to integrate its generative AI Bard into Google search. Other platforms quickly announced integrations with OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard such as Salesforce, Hootsuite, HubSpot, and Adobe. Microsoft and Google are even integrating ChaptGPT and Bard into Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace office software for writing, spreadsheets, and slides.

Yet they’re not the only options. Other generative AI tools include Jasper.ai and Copy.ai, for writing, and Midjourney and Stable Diffusion for image generation. Tools like Synthsia generates videos with human avatars and professional voiceovers from text prompts. Other examples of generative AI are summarized below.

  AI content generation tool uses:

  • Content research/Data collection
  • Brainstorming/Idea generation
  • Copywriting/Copyediting
  • Summarizing/Note taking
  • Image (photo/illustration) generation
  • Video clip/Podcast clip generation
  • Transcript generation/Automated post prep
  • Ad/Post variation generation
  • Video generation
  • Podcast/Voice over generation
  • Presentation generation

Generative AI tools come with new skills and considerations.

A new skill with these next gen tools is prompt writing. Prompts are the natural language used to ask a generative AI tool to produce something. More descriptive specific prompts produce better results like prompts that describe the tone of writing or style of an image. Yet be mindful potential of copyright issues with prompts to create text or an image in the style of a famous person without their permission.

A new consideration is the data set from which you train AI. Generative AI tools like ChatGPT are trained on data from the open internet. This is what makes it so powerful, but this is also what can lead to copyright issues and sometimes create bias or incorrect results.

Other AI tools like Jasper.ai allow you to train on a specific dataset. For example, a brand could upload all its previous materials to establish a brand voice to write new copy. Adobe’s Firefly draws from Adobe’s stock library and tracks creator images used to ensure copyright compliance.

With the explosion of AI comes limitations and cautions.

Despite the mass adoption, this technology is in its early stages. There hasn’t been a lot of testing. Regulations, laws, and professional standards have yet to be developed. HubSpot suggests the following limitations, cautions, and warnings in using generative AI tools.

  Cautions when using generative AI:

  • AI can’t conduct original research or analysis.
  • AI can get things wrong so you must fact check.
  • AI doesn’t have lived experience and human insight.
  • AI doesn’t ensure quality, strategy, and nuance.
  • AI can contain biases that are not caught by filters.
  • AI can have plagiarism and copyright issues.

Despite these cautions, alarm over societal harm, and escalating calls for regulation, the AI race is on. Even while companies, government, and scientists raise concerns, companies continue to integrate AI into mainstream products and services. Below is a sample of what’s been released or announced thus far.

Examples of Early AI Content Generation and Automation Tools in Major Platforms.

Platform Tool Function
Hootsuite OwlyWriter AI Generates social media captions from URLs in different tone or voice, content ideas from prompts, auto recreation of top posts, and calendar events copy.
HubSpot Content Assistant Generate copy for blog posts, landing pages, emails and other content from idea to outline and copy generation.
ChatSpot Conversational bot that automates CRM tasks including status updates, managing leads, finding prospects, generating reports, forecasts, and follow-up drafts.
Salesforce Einstein GPT Auto-generates sales, service, and marketing tasks, content, targeting, messaging, reporting and personalization across channels.
Adobe Firefly Generate images, fill, text effects, and recolor from text prompts plus create content, and templates and edit video with simple text prompts – some inside Creative Suite.
Sensei GenAI Automates tasks, optimizes and generates content and content variations across channels in Adobe’s Experience Cloud marketing platform.
Canva Magic Write Generates copy, outlines, lists, captions, ideas, and drafts from text prompts.
AI Image Generator Generates images from text prompts and various styles and aspect ratios.
Meta AI Sandbox Tools that generate multiple versions of text and backgrounds, plus autocropping creative assets for various ad formats on Facebook and Instagram.
Grammarly GrammarlyGo
Generates writing and revisions relevant to tone, clarity, length, and task via text prompts in documents, emails, messages, and social media.
Microsoft Microsoft 365 Copilot Generates tasks, content, documents, presentations, spreadsheets, emails, reports, summaries, updates across Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams via text prompts and Business Chat.
Google Google Workspace Bard Generate drafts, replies, summaries in Gmail, drafts, summaries, proofs in Docs, images, audio and video in Slides, auto analysis in Sheets, and notes in Meet.

Do Consumers (Your Customers/Target Audience) Want AI?

Another consideration with artificial intelligence is the value consumers may put on human generated content and transparency in the use of AI. I began this article by saying that 87% of consumers are now aware of AI. In fact, 4 in 5 of them are convinced that it is the future.

Yet knowing something is the future and wanting that future are different things. The same consumer survey reveals that 3 in 5 (60%) are concerned or undecided about that future. What people are most concerned about is that AI will change what it means to be human.

As marketing communications professionals we need to stay up to date with all these technology advancements. We should use the latest tools to improve our profession and results for our business or clients. But we should also ensure that new technology is used responsibly and transparently.

Over 77% of consumers say brands should ensure biases and systems of inequality are not propagated by AI-based applications. Over 70% believe brands should disclose when they use AI to develop products, services, experiences, and content.

You Decide How To Best Use AI.

At its best, AI can help with the mundane, repetitive tasks of social media and digital marketing management. At its best, AI will enable you to focus on higher level strategic thinking. At its best, AI will not replace humans, but enable us to be more human.

It’s been 6 months since generative AI was brought to mainstream awareness. Companies are rushing to integrate this technology into everything they do. While we wait for regulations, laws, and professional standards to catch up, let’s use our own judgment in deciding when, where, and how best to use it.

This Was Human Created Content!

Voice Search Is Exploding: How This Changes Your Digital, Content And Social Media Marketing Strategies.

Voice Search Digital Content Social Media Marketing Strategy Quesenberry

Apple’s launch of the iPhone 4s in 2011 introduced the world to Siri. Since then we’ve had Google Voice, Microsoft Cortana, and Amazon Echo Alexis, but now voice search is poised for rapid growth. 55% of teens and 41% of adults use voice search more than once a day. Click To Tweet ComScore predicts that by 2020, half of all searches will be voice searches. Businesses can benefit from understanding how this shift will disrupt current search (SEO), content marketing and social media marketing strategies.

Voice Search Digital Content Social Media Marketing Strategy Quesenberry

Keyword searching is decreasing so sites optimized to keywords will see a decrease in traffic and engagement. Voice search sifts behavior from typing in key words or phrases to finding something by asking questions. This goes beyond long tail search strategies where marketers have combined multiple search terms to narrow results on smaller niche audiences. Long tail was in response to people using longer search phrases looking for more specific products and services. In voice search people use their voices to ask questions in full sentences.

Consumers are now asking questions of the Internet the way they would a person. With the growth of voice search, which uses natural language, there is increase in questions as part of the search phrasing. In fact, Search Engine Watch reports the use of search queries starting with “who,” “what,” “where” and “how” has increased by 61% year over year. This makes sense because many people now can use their voice and ask their phones.

Marketers must adjust so their content appears as a good answer. How? Think less keyword stuffing and meta tags and more full sentences and conversational copy. Respond to more natural language questions with more natural language answers – the way you would answer someone in person. Voice search results emphasize quality so you should think less like a marketer with heavy sales messages and more like a publisher or journalist – answering the “W” questions is the basis of writing a good news story. Also, all words become important Purna Virji of Moz gives the example that if the search phrase is “What is the cost for gas in my location?”, the words “is,” “the,” “for”, “in” and “my” are filler words. The filler words have nothing to do with a specific product or service, but they increase the words that match a voice query and can improve search placement.

Google Voice search has doubled over the last year. Click To TweetHow can you take advantage of this trend? Follow the four steps below.

  1. Research the most common questions asked by your target audience. Search industry, interest and product forums. Search comments on ratings and industry appropriate review sites such as Yelp, Trip Advisor or even Amazon. Search questions and answer sites like Quora and your own Q&A page. Survey front line employees and sales people about most common questions and analyze your own social media accounts for common questions. If you don’t have a Q&A section on your website consider adding one.
  2. Search these common questions using voice search and see how the current answers are written. Use Siri, Google Voice, Cortana, Alexis to see what is currently appearing as the top results. This will help you identify current competition and provide a guideline for how to structure your own answers. Are there answers that are not being given? Concentrate there first, then work your way to trying to overtake competitor’s positions.
  3. Create website and social media content that directly answers those questions in simple clear sentences. Here remember the “who,” “what,” “where” and “how.” Provide clear and direct answers but fill out the information around the direct answers. Once you get the consumer on your site for the direct answer you can expand the topic. Also don’t forget to create content based on variations of the same questions such as how to fix, “how do I fix ____?,” “how do I stop ___?”, or who can fix ____?, “what do I do if ___?” Don’t forget all content that can be searched including blogs and press releases.
  4. Consider local voice search. If you are a business with a physical address you should consider a new element to potential customer questions. Here people may be asking questions based on geo-location such as “where is the nearest BBQ place?,” “where can I get an iPhone charger?”, Who has the closest free wi-fi?” Make sure your business is listed with physical locations in Google+ Local and other geo-location social media sites like Yelp, Foursquare and Facebook. Reviews on sites like Yelp and TripAdviser can also impact these search results.

Voice search for product research is increasing. Nearly 50% of people are now using voice search when researching products. If marketers want their products to be found they should start to consider new strategies that emphasize natural language over keywords.

Digital and content marketing benefits to voice search optimization: Optimizing your website, blog and press/media pages with new information in the right structure can help get your content noticed over competitors to drive more traffic from highly qualified leads.

Social media marketing benefits to voice search optimization: Voice search optimized content will draw more engagement because you will be providing answers addressing your target audience’s most common questions. A focus on discovering and answering your target’s questions leads to more valuable and relevant social content that will drive awareness views and shares.

Business benefits to voice search optimization: Adjusting to natural language search helps you think more like a consumer and less like a marketer. This improved understanding of what your customers are currently seeking can lead to new product and service ideas to improve your business offering.

Over time the better you get at answering natural language questions the better your results. Bill Slawski from Go Fish Digital says that sites frequently selected and ranked highly can be deemed more authoritative and thus appear in more top results and drive more traffic.

We are still early in this trend. If you start adjusting strategies now you could benefit from a competitive advantage over your slower competitors. Have you considered how voice search will change your digital strategies?

For more insights into the big picture in social media strategy consider Social Media Strategy: Marketing and Advertising in the Consumer Revolution.

To consider the bigger picture in measurement see Why You Need A Social Media Measurement Plan And How To Create One. To consider the bigger picture in social media marketing Ask These Questions To Ensure You Have The Right Strategy.