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In the crowded world of content marketing, staying ahead of the curve is essential. As professionals in learning technology and training companies know, your content is not only your calling card but also your expertise on display. This is where generative AI steps in to assist.

AI can be your secret weapon, helping you achieve two quick wins, but remember, AI’s magic requires your guidance and finesse in the form of prompts, editing and fact checking.

Note: The suggestions below will work on most, if not all generative AI tools, including ChatGPT.

Learning how to ask the right questions of AI

To get good answers from AI, you need to ask the right questions. Let’s take a closer look at the art of crafting effective prompts for AI. The quality of AI-generated content hinges on the precision and clarity of your prompts. Here’s a breakdown of the key attributes that make prompts effective:

  1. Write in Plain English: To communicate effectively with AI, use plain, straightforward language. The more the better. Think of it as a conversation with a colleague who needs clear instructions to complete a task.
  2. Direct Like a Director: Imagine you are a film director guiding your cast. Provide a clear narrative of the story, define the roles, and explain your expectations from AI. Detail is key, so be as specific as possible. It doesn’t matter how well you write the prompt. Most important is that you communicate what you want.
  3. Occupational Perspective: Context matters. Ask AI to respond as if it were a professional in the relevant occupation or role. This helps tailor the content to fit the desired context.
  4. Take an Iterative Approach: Recognize that working with AI is often a back-and-forth process. You should refine your prompts and provide feedback to gradually improve the output.

Beware of the Hallucination Effect

While AI can be incredibly powerful, it’s not without its quirks. One notable pitfall to avoid is the “hallucination” effect, where AI generates inaccurate or fictional information. As content marketing professionals, it’s crucial to maintain control and vigilance throughout the AI-assisted content creation process.

AI as Your Research Assistant

Let’s start with a quick win—AI as your research assistant. Initially, I had reservations about using AI for background research. This phase has always been a cerebral exercise, a chance to immerse myself in the ideas and insights of smart people. But AI surprised me.

Instead of sifting through pages of notes after hours of reading, AI can distill the essence into a concise and coherent synopsis in seconds. Depending on the tool and subscription you choose, you should be able to specify your information sources, streamlining your research process further.

With your expertise guiding it, AI can even take on the role of an assistant researcher, generating a solid first draft of your content.

I must admit, I was also skeptical about AI’s ability to produce readable and clear content that effectively conveys ideas. (I’m equally skeptical of human ability to do this, based on experience.) However, after working with AI and refining my approach, I discovered that it can indeed generate a commendable first draft.

Approximately 40% to 60% of AI-generated content often makes it into the final, submitted draft. Here’s how we achieved this:

  1. Role-Based Prompt: We asked AI to act as a learning technology professional and write in a clear, straightforward style. No convoluted words or sentences, just short paragraphs.
  2. Specific Task: We asked AI to produce a 500-word document that not only answers a marketing question (X) but also reaches a predetermined conclusion (Y).
  3. Thorough Research: AI was directed to research the most recently published works by a specified list of experts and provide full attribution for unique ideas and quotations.

Admittedly, it took several iterations to fine-tune the process.

The downside? AI didn’t always deliver everything we asked for, and the prose sometimes felt a bit sterile.

The upside? No hallucinations from AI, and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality it achieved in such a short time.

AI’s Potential is Yours to Unleash

AI can be a game-changer for content marketing professionals in the training or learning technology field. By mastering the art of crafting effective prompts and understanding the iterative nature of the process, you can harness the full potential of AI to streamline your research, generate compelling first drafts, smooth out your writing, and even gain a competitive edge in your content marketing efforts.

Embrace this technology as your research assistant and streamline your content marketing development and effectiveness. Remember, the key to success is your ability to communicate effectively with AI, to turn the output into branded content, and to maintain a vigilant eye to ensure accuracy and relevance in your content.

With AI as your ally, your content marketing journey becomes not only more efficient but also more impactful.

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About the author:

International author, lecturer and consultant, Scott Hornstein has worked with clients in all phases of marketing strategy, research, and implementation. He has worked with companies large and small to build profitability, by improving marketing performance, and reengineering the customer experience to boost satisfaction, referrals, and customer lifetime value. 

Scott Hornstein