ChatGPT has been in the news a lot lately. The glut news has kicked off a fresh round of hand wringing by content professionals. How do ChatGPT and content play together? Of course, we all worry about the potential ramifications, but I’m not sure the news is all bad. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last week or so playing with the tool. I’ll detail some of my explorations in another post. I’ve also had many conversations about it with other professionals. I’ve gathered my thoughts here and drawn some preliminary conclusions.
We all like to bring our best work for our clients. However, I’ve learned over the years that not all clients appreciate that effort. Creating content that meets what our criteria for successful content requires effort:
- Content that is frequently updated
- Content that embodies the brand voice
- Content that clearly differentiates them from their competitors
- Content that has a clear purpose and next step
Too many clients will content themselves with content that merely checks the first box. Call it quantity versus quality. When they only see the bottom line, ChatGPT will always be a consideration for them.
Short term, this will have them seeing only the savings now. Yes, they can cut expensive content professionals from their budget. But at what long-term cost? Cutting content expenses will inevitable affect how their potential customers perceive their brand. Saving money now could only lead to greater crisis expenses in the longer term. As a friend said on LinkedIn, ChatGPT “might feed ‘penny-wise, pound-foolish’ thinking,” and I agree wholeheartedly.
My own experience will the tool bears this out. I’ve able to churn out a lot quality, crap content. Of course, this will meet content creation quotas and ave a lot money for companies that don’t mind sacrificing quality for quantity.
That’s not to say that we can dismiss ChatGPT out of hand. For clients that do care about quality, it could provide a rough first draft of content. This could take some of the initial legwork a content creator usually requires. They could then take the content, edit it, infuse it with the appropriate voice and tone, and embellish it to meet the content’s purpose. So, even on the quality side, it may save some time and money up front. By automating one step, it could still enable more quanity, slightly lower costs without sacrificing quality.
This could play out in a couple of ways:
- We can use the rough first draft and build on it as a human?
- Or we can make more refined queries of the AI to train it with more data?
As my friend said in our conversation, “A wise man once told me, ‘As good as you are, you can’t compete with free.'”
To which I replied, “another wise man also said ‘there ain’t no free lunch.'”
As content professionals, we should look at ChatGPT not as our replacement, but as a tool to add to our toolbox. (Much as tools like Screaming Frog and Site Bulb replaced manual inventories.)
Image credit: By Cryteria – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11651154
Cross-posted at flannelenigma.com.