CHAT GPT — ITS CAPABILITIES AND LIMITATIONS
Anyone that is even remotely online, has by now heard of ChatGPT. Saying this tool has taken the world by storm will be an understatement.
College students, marketers, therapists, engineers, musicians, and everyone in between has tried ChatGPT. Some love it, others hate it, and yet others are undecided. Both, the technology itself and the humans using it are still learning how to coexist.
What is it about ChatGPT that even after two months of its release (two months is a long time in the ever-shifting world of technology), we can’t stop talking about it? A lot! Let’s dive in.
WHAT IS CHATGPT?
ChatGPT is a chatbot. A pretty smart chatbot.
Built by OpenAI, the chatbot has been trained with supervised and reinforcement learning techniques. Data from the internet combined with human assistance have enabled ChatGPT to answer questions by users in a conversational, straightforward manner.
In the past two months, people have used ChatGPT to write articles, blog posts, school papers, songs, poetry, code, and more. They have even used it to get relationship advice, consulted it on side hustles, and even trusted it to give them weight loss guidance.
If ChatGPT is so powerful, shouldn’t professionals and businesses be worried about it replacing them? Is Google’s stronghold over search about to get much weaker?
The jury is still out on this, however, the technology is still nascent and both, ChatGPT and humans are learning how to best use its potential.
In the meanwhile, here are a few things we know about ChatGPT:
ChatGPT Can Write: Through the countless iterations people have tried, ChatGPT has mostly produced good text. When it receives a prompt like, “Please write 500 words on something you enjoyed today,” the chatbot’s response is accurate. Not only does it write 500 words and stick to the topic, but it also follows basic writing principles such as building a logical structure and transitioning from paragraph to paragraph. Importantly, it does this within a few seconds.
However, the content that it produces is uninspiring. It isn’t something that will move someone to act. In fact, most of what we’ve seen didn’t even move us to read. The absence of personality is striking.
ChatGPT Can Proofread: Any writer worth their salt will tell you stories about embarrassing typos! When you may be writing hundreds and thousands of words daily, there is no getting around it. ChatGPT is a good tool to deploy as your proofreader. The chatbot can quickly fix grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and also make suggestions to simplify your writing.
Limit your reliance on it though. ChatGPT is prone to producing incorrect information, quite confidently, so you shouldn’t rely on it to fact-check your copy.
ChatGPT Can Create Outlines and Headlines: Often, writers may struggle to come up with catchy headlines or create a strong outline for their articles and posts. ChatGPT, when given clear, descriptive prompts, does a good job of coming up with headlines and outlines. Not only can this help writers speed up their work, but it also helps them develop new ideas or build on existing ones.
ChatGPT can be used as a brainstorming tool: Another common writer’s struggle is ideation. Work long enough as an eCommerce copywriter or marketer, and you’re bound to run into creative blocks that have you spinning your wheels, grasping for uncharted ideas for content. ChatGPT can be a brainstorming buddy, helping you generate, explore, and fine-tune ideas. This is a smart way to come up with fresh concepts and save time.
For instance, ChatGPT can mine your current content for new angles on old ideas. Here’s an example of a prompt we like to use for this: “This is a blog post I wrote on garden lighting. After scanning it, think like a marketer and generate a customer profile of the target audience’s pain points, what they care about, and ideas for an engaging intro paragraph most likely to appeal to the customer and target reader.”
Once the AI tool analyzes your content, it can help you discover new audience concerns to build content around and strategies to win readers over. We also love how it generates ideas to help us smash through the dreaded intro paragraph writer’s block.
It’s Powerful But Not Ready to Take on High-Quality Writing Yet: Some of the biggest critiques of ChatGPT have been around quality, redundancy, and incorrect information. In its own words, ChatGPT says some of its responses may not be accurate.
While at first glance ChatGPT’s content may seem “good enough”, delving deeper into a piece will reveal its flaws. For example, if you enter a prompt asking it to differentiate between two technologies or two products, you’ll see that the content from ChatGPT is superficial. It may list one or two differences but most of what it writes will be repetitive and incorrect.
This isn’t to say that the chatbot doesn’t have the potential to create better quality content pieces. It just isn’t there yet. While anything is possible in the future, we don’t see ChatGPT replacing skilled writers any time soon.
ChatGPT Lacks an Important Brand Asset, Tone of Voice: The tone of voice is one of those things that we only miss when it’s absent. The tone of voice gives brands an identity. Some may be friendly, others may be funny, and others may be scholarly.
At this time, ChatGPT sounds, well, robotic! This isn’t surprising since it scraps data from the internet to come up with answers. Sure, if you ask it to tell you a fact in a funny way, it may do so, but it’s going to be unconvincing and will need human assistance to become something that is memorable for the audience.
All online content has been sounding similar for a while. Something that brands and marketers are trying to change. This is especially not great when it comes to eCommerce businesses. With competition heating up and distinction or novelty cooling down, it’s important for businesses to identify and build their own tone. Content from ChatGPT will only add to the noise online for now.
ChatGPT Lacks a Unique Point of View: While building and sharing a unique point of view has always been important, it has taken on a larger significance as more and more content floods online spaces. Going forward, this unique point of view will continue to grow in importance and will become one of the biggest assets your brand has to differentiate itself from competitors.
ChatGPT cannot, at this time, define and articulate its unique point of view. For one, the chatbot has been trained on data available till 2021. It cannot access information on the Internet in real-time. This limits its sources and the consequent ability to build a point of view. In addition, the tool is prone to bias because it’s been trained on existing content that can also often have biases. Lastly, having a unique point of view requires fluidity of the mind and an ability to connect seemingly disparate dots. Both things, ChatGPT cannot do at this time.
There is a Method to Prompting ChatGPT That Requires a Lot of Test and Trials: Just like a content brief streamlines the creation process and improves collaboration, plugging examples and chained prompts into ChatGPT helps generate your desired results. However, this is far from simple. You need to enter precise, informative prompts for the chatbot to give you the information you are looking for.
You will not just want to ask ChatGPT to simply write a post. You will also need to tell it how the post should sound. For instance, if you want the tool to use a sophisticated, persuasive tone while creating content, use a prompt like: “Write a 700-word backlink article on the best spring hikes in Colorado using a sophisticated, persuasive tone in the style of F. Scott Fitzgerald.” Fitzgerald’s writing often exudes elegance and keen attention to detail, making him a perfect example for this prompt.
It’s easy for ChatGPT to become overwhelmed by complex tasks and give you precisely what you don’t want. To help the AI generate more concise, precise content, break up larger tasks into several small steps. Here’s an example:
“What are the signs it’s time to replace an HVAC filter?”
“I want to write a blog post about the signs it’s time to replace your HVAC filter and include troubleshooting tips so the reader knows whether they need a new filter. Help me generate a post outline and some title ideas.”
“This blog will be for a client who sells HVAC filters. What’s a way to mention their products in the post so it sounds natural?”
Rather than risk ChatGPT going down a rabbit hole and missing the mark, chained prompts become “gutter guards” to better ensure you get the content you want the way you want it.
HOW CAN YOUR ECOMMERCE BUSINESS USE CHATGPT?
ChatGPT is continuing to evolve rapidly. So are its competitors. How you use the chatbot will also change in the future. However, knowing what we do about it, we recommend eCommerce businesses use ChatGPT to:
Write Short Social Media Copy: It’s important to keep in mind that social media behaves like a living creature. A seemingly harmless move from a brand can create an uproar, so we recommend that while you can use this tool to create simple social media copy, it is important you have someone on your team that is well-versed in online culture and in touch with current happenings review the copy.
Brainstorm and Write Headlines: When given refined prompts, ChatGPT can produce attractive headlines that have the potential to engage readers and satisfy search engines. These headlines can also help your writers brainstorm content ideas.
Write Product Descriptions: Product descriptions are extremely important to eCommerce businesses and often work like a salesperson. Consider using ChatGPT to write the first draft of your product descriptions. The shorter length of product descriptions reduces the chances of redundancy, which is a shortcoming of ChatGPT. However, we also recommend you have a writer on your team who refine the product description so it’s unique to your brand.
Help With Market Research: Thorough market research requires careful planning, data gathering, and analysis. All that can take a lot of time! ChatGPT can reduce your workload by generating lists of audience demographics, writing FAQs, and creating ad campaigns with key messages and slogans, to name a few.
Although ChatGPT’s results should be fact-checked and taken with a grain of salt, its output can at least become a marketing strategy foundation or help you spark ideas for a marketing campaign.
Simplify Message Variation: Sometimes, finding new ways to write a familiar message is like navigating a maze. Let’s face it, after working several years in the same domain, your well of innovative ideas for ads and content can feel like it’s dried up faster than a puddle in the desert.
However, ChatGPT can generate variations of copy you’ve written, giving you fresh ideas and new perspectives. Here’s an example of a prompt you can use to simplify message variation: “Think like a social media copywriter and generate three variations of this social media post.”
CHATGPT SHOULD BE USED AS AN ASSISTANT AND NOT A REPLACEMENT TO GOOD WRITERS
Smart marketers and business owners shouldn’t downplay the value of artificial intelligence. However, they should also not overestimate its capabilities. At this time, ChatGPT and other AI tools are in the early stages and grappling with several functional and ethical questions. It is best to use these tools to aid your marketing and business efforts, but not rely solely on them. As goes the popular saying, “a tool is only as good as the hands that wield it.”
At Boxwood Digital, we help medium-sized eCommerce businesses with identifying their unique selling propositions, crafting an SEO and content strategy that is unique to your brand and product, and delivering results that impact your bottom line. Take a look at what we’ve helped our clients achieve and schedule a consultation with us today.