How many of you have deactivated your Twitter account? Almost every day, I see a post by a friend on a different social network saying they tried really hard to keep their account alive, but Twitter, er X, has become so toxic, they have left completely.
Are you of the same mindset? I haven’t left yet, but I only check it once a week and only to make sure I haven’t missed anything. And, in several months of doing this, I have missed exactly…nothing.
It makes me sad because Twitter is, in my mind, where it all started. Back in the day, we had Twitter happy hour parties. Someone would bring the music via a playlist, someone else would send GIFs of apps and drinks, and someone else would create conversation starters. And we would all hang out in this magical place that allowed us to connect with people all around the globe.
It afforded me a new way to do business development, gain speaking engagements, and open our content to new audiences. Those things would never have happened without Twitter, so you can imagine how sad it is to watch it dive into despair.
Elon Musk has certainly done his best to ensure he doesn’t get a return on that investment as advertisers and individuals alike flee for greener pastures.
But it’s not just Twitter, though they are taking the brunt of it. The internet is becoming a place less and less of us want to hang out in—and it’s becoming even more challenging to do any digital marketing.
And now we have my new BFF, ChatGPT, that could very well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Will the Marketers Ruin AI?
The internet and the subsequent social media were created for human interconnectivity. It has enhanced our lives in so many ways that I can’t imagine ever living without it. How would I look up the lyrics to Taylor Swift songs or learn how to pronounce the name of my little one’s latest favorite dinosaur or figure out what to replace grapeseed oil with because I hate the taste of it (extra virgin olive oil works well!)? And how would I stay up with all my friends and family daily versus once a month or twice a year when I saw them in person?
It has made our lives much more productive and efficient and connected us in ways nothing else has done before. I love it. And it has evolved in many ways—good and bad.
I joke that marketers ruined social media, but there is some truth to that. And generative AI is on the cusp of being ruined, as well. Like the early days of organizations doing content marketing and practicing keyword stuffing, which made content gross, we are on the verge of seeing AI-induced content farms and creators taking over the internet world.
It will happen. Many business leaders will say, “We can save some money by using AI for our content versus humans.” And through that practice, they will contribute to an ever-expanding sea of fluff that says nothing. Just like they did back in the day when they hired content farms to scrape copy off competitor’s websites for their own. It will happen. We can’t stop it. But we can educate and inform against it.
AI Certainly Will Change Digital Marketing
Imagine a world where AI writes every piece of content on the internet—and it all says and sounds the same. Gross. But it’s coming! In fact, I just had a friend complain that his Forbes article was turned away because they ran it through an AI checker and found he had used it to formulate some of his thinking. It was 96% original, but that 4%, man. They weren’t having it.
Which is great to hear, but how long will it last? We will soon see individuality replaced by copy and paste; thought leaders turned into thought robots; and storytellers superseded by formulas.
And this won’t happen because of AI. It will happen because we’re human beings and human beings like shortcuts. We want overnight success, literally overnight, so we’ll use the technology to help us try to achieve something that isn’t achievable. We’ll do it because it’ll make the algorithms happy and it’ll be how the game is played, at least in the short term.
Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.
3 Things to Consider
Let’s talk about how we can take better responsibility for what we produce, especially as we learn to use AI more effectively.
There are some things you’ll want to consider:
- What great content looks like no matter the trend or latest technology or algorithm shift
- Why approach content with an editorial mindset
- How to create great content that very well may start with AI—one that has a soul
E-E-A-T Your Content
In the past, we’ve talked about the changes that Google is making to ensure they stay alive as generative AI takes over our lives. Historically, they have emphasized content that showcases expertise, authority, and trust—or EAT. Now they’ve added another “E,” which stands for experience.
If your content has experience via a case study or testimonial, expertise via thought leadership, authority via other sites linking to your content, and trust via people commenting on and sharing, it won’t matter what the algorithms do or how AI evolves. You will always have the best content on the internet for your topic.
And guess what AI cannot do? It cannot provide the E-E-A-T for you. It can absolutely outline a draft for you. It can give you topic ideas. It can provide research. It can give you citations to learn more or to add value. But it cannot provide experience, expertise, authority, and trust.
Only you can do that.
That is what great content looked like yesterday, it’s what it looks like today, and it’s what it will look like tomorrow. If you use AI to create your content without adding in the E-E-A-T, you will look and sound like everyone else. And you will drown in the sea of mediocre content.
But if you focus on creating great content? Nothing will ever beat that.
Approach Content As An Editor
The second thing to consider is why to approach content with an editorial mindset. I will admit that I’m notoriously bad about this for my content, but crazy good about it for clients. Every one of our clients has a sophisticated editorial calendar, but I create content based on what’s happening in the world at the very moment. There are pros and cons to both.
But don’t be me. Have an editorial calendar to create content that follows E-E-A-T and helps you build brand awareness, thought leadership, credibility, authority, and all of the fun things that come along with people knowing of you and respecting you.
Then you want to think about how that calendar is focused on an editorial mindset. This means you’re researching your topic, providing valuable insight, removing bias, telling a story people are curious about, and motivating them to take action.
In other words, think like a journalist, not a salesperson. There is room for content that sells, but as a communicator, your role is to educate and inform.
If it has expertise, experience, authority, and trust, you will almost always have content with an editorial bent.
Content Needs a Soul
Lastly is how to create content that may start with AI but ends with the human. Content that has a soul. If I were to ask AI to write an article about how it could ruin content as we know it, it’d give me something plain. Actually, let’s do a quick test.
Dear ChatGPT, how will generative AI ruin content in the future?
Here is what it told me:
- There are quality and originality concerns;
- There is disinformation and manipulation;
- There will be job displacement; and
- There will be bias and stereotyping.
Interestingly enough, it didn’t speak to the content concern outside of quality and originality.
Digital Marketing Is Evolving
The point is that you’ll get some content you can start with, but it’s the very beginning. It’s not even the middle and definitely not the end. It doesn’t have expertise or experience baked into it. There is no storytelling. It’s not interesting. It lacks a soul.
We’re all accountable for our content and the ripples they create. As you use AI next year, think about how you’ll E-E-A-T your content every time to stand out among the crowd and ensure your corner of the internet has a soul.