July 31, 2023
If you're like me, using ChatGPT and other generative AI tools feels like drinking a cocktail of mild and vague ideas. It's a little eerie, somewhat fascinating, gives me the sense that I'm "cheating," and makes me annoyed when it doesn't understand what I want. I'm jealous of AI's speed, scared of its potential, and, oddly, I feel gratified when it does something well in response to one of my lovely, detailed prompts.
Even with these feelings, the strangest part is that most of the time, working with generative AI doesn't feel remarkable at all. Make no mistake: I understand that the invention is unparalleled and will change the world in a big way – but as a spoiled child of the 90s, I expect these types of innovations from our big-tech world. Incidentally, I've been wondering what would have happened if I'd asked SmarterChild to do my homework all those years ago.
Joking aside, I joined Prose on the ground floor to help bring story-driven content to businesses everywhere through quality writing – our original core service and mission, which is still very much at the center of what we do. Part of this mission involves sharing meaningful opportunities with creative people who are looking for ways to earn good money for practicing their craft. So of course, there's an element to this technology that feels, well, bad. To put it simply, it goes against the grain.
I'm sure a lot of people feel the same way, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't use generative AI. We might have ideological stances against it and concerns that it will spread misinformation and take jobs away, and it probably will do those things. But ignoring it or refusing to work with it will only make those possibilities more real.
I feel that taking a measured, cautious approach to adopting AI into our specific world of content marketing is not only wise (and maybe fun), but a business imperative. Frankly, for content purposes, it's mostly about the augmented speed: If people who use AI can get a rough first draft within seconds, spend some time editing it, and then send it for review and quick iteration, that's really good. And it makes anyone who doesn't use the technology exponentially less efficient. Prose would love to have the money to stand on ceremony and refuse to use AI out of principle, but we don't.
Of course, these tools are not perfect. As we publish this guide, I've so far used ChatGPT to help me write a couple posts. It lays down solid fundamentals, but by no means produces work that's ready to "turn in," especially for organizations that value strong editorial voices and genuine cognitive synthesis. Nevertheless, like I just said, it helped me work extremely fast, and did some rote work that I was happy to skip over.
My team searched literally hundreds of sites, Twitter posts, Medium articles, blogs, and every other form of content for the best ways to use AI in modern content marketing – and we've compiled the best tips for you here. This came from a simple idea: Wow, there's a lot of potential here, and lots of good ideas, but I can't keep track of it all. We’ve also organized these tips in a way that will help you genuinely understand why they work, and trimmed them with examples that you can use as models.
I hope you find our work helpful. Together, we'll continue to discover the best ways to use this technology responsibly and effectively.
COO & Creative Director, Prose
It’s impossible to know exactly how artificial intelligence (AI) will affect the way we live, work, and play over time, but one thing’s for sure: people want to figure out how it can make their own lives easier – right now.
This intense and urgent curiosity is driving an unprecedented number of people to quickly find new ways to use AI in their everyday lives, whether they’re a cutting-edge researcher, a reporter, a lawyer, or a parent helping their child with homework. It’s the reason ChatGPT is the fastest-growing Internet app in history, attracting 100 million active users only two months after its launch, and why Google ordered an internal “code red” – pulling employees off other tasks to focus on developing AI prototypes – to bring its own AI chatbot, Bard, to market. Jasper AI, another chatbot that is available for a subscription, says it is already used by over 100,000 teams globally at large firms, including Google, Intel, IBM, Zoom, and Airbnb.
This digital gold rush is creating an incredible body of knowledge, but the best tips are spread all over the web, and it’s hard to know which ones are actually effective or relevant to you.
That's exactly why we've created this guide. We've done the legwork to bring you the best expert advice on AI and content creation, so you can work faster and smarter without 68 browser tabs open at once. These tips will show you how AI can improve each step of your brand’s content journey:
If you're asking yourself whether you should use AI for something or do it yourself, you're asking the wrong question. That's like wondering whether you should use the internet or just rely on your own memory – and let’s face it, Google would beat all of us in a pub quiz. By weaving AI into your content marketing, you’re tapping into the machine-learning power of the internet to streamline tasks, craft captivating content, and connect with your audience like never before.
A solid content plan is the backbone of any successful content marketing campaign. Here are some prompts to get your ideas rolling.
If you’re in a creative rut or in need of a burst of inspiration, AI assistants can help you generate fresh content ideas that resonate with your audience.
It helps to be as specific as possible with your prompts; AI may be all-knowing, but sometimes that’s a bad thing, resulting in a glut of general information instead of a sharply focused response to your prompt. By providing keywords, insights about your target audience, or a well-defined theme, you'll generate content ideas tailored to your audience and business.
📌 Example prompt
"Provide me with the top 5 industry trends, common challenges, frequently asked questions, and opportunities related to home automation for blog posts that would attract and engage tech-savvy homeowners in the 25-45 age range who prioritize convenience, energy efficiency, and security."
Why it works
❗ Heads up: Be mindful that you’re not sharing confidential insights and information with AI assistants. Some tools do come with privacy features, though, like turning off chat history so that conversations won't be used to train their models.
Source: Perficient, Inc
Before starting, explain your product to your AI assistant to help it identify your top competitors. After all, you wouldn’t throw an intern at this kind of project without first giving them some context. That’s what your boss would do, but not you.
📌 Example prompt
“[Describe your product in a few sentences, including its value prop, features, and target market] + can you make a list of competitors to [your product]?
List the name of the company, the location, size of company, target audience, and whether it’s a direct or indirect competitor. Please compile results in a table format.”
🔔 AI whispering: Try telling your AI helper to format its response in a way that’s easier for you to read, such as “please compile results in a table format.”
Once you’ve got a list of your biggest competitors, you can see what you can (politely) borrow from them – or come up with something they’re missing so you can stand out from the crowd.
Ask your AI assistant to analyze your competitors’ target audience, content themes, channels, and tactics, and suggest ways to differentiate your content and amp up engagement.
📌 Example prompt
"Please analyze the content marketing strategies of three leading competitors in the travel industry: [brand A here], [brand B here], and [brand C here]. Provide insights on their target audience, content themes, channels, and tactics. Based on this analysis, suggest ways I can differentiate my content and improve engagement."
Why it works
Your AI helper can give you the scoop on potential issues in your work, ways to make your ideas better, and how to ensure your content strikes a chord with your audience –and it won’t hold anything against you in your next performance review.
📌 Example prompt
"I have a list of 10 content ideas related to home fitness. Can you help me evaluate which ones have the most potential? Please provide feedback on how unique, informative, and engaging each idea is, and suggest any improvements you think could be made. [paste content ideas here]"
Why it works:
AI assistants can streamline the process of building a content calendar. By providing specific topics, themes, and publishing cadence, you can quickly generate a well-organized content schedule that ensures consistent output and caters to the interests of your audience.
📌 Example prompt
"Please create a content calendar for May in a table format, focusing on sustainable living tips, eco-friendly product reviews, and green living interviews.
(All below are formatted like this “Content Type: Cadence”)
Include these content types and cadences:
TikTok: 2 times per week
Instagram Story: 3 times per week
Email Newsletter: 2 times per month
Blog post: 2 times per month
Ebook: 1 time per quarter
Organize the table with columns for Content Type, Title, Brief Description of Content, CTA, and Segment.
Also, when delivering your response, consider ways I might reuse content, since marketing resources are limited for my business."
🔔 AI whispering: You can list examples to help your AI along; just make sure to mention how the examples are formatted, like “all below are formatted like this …”).
Why it works:
Source: The Clever
Want to make sure your content is reaching as many of the right people as possible? Bring in your AI assistant to help you figure out the most relevant performance metrics to gauge your content's success and impact.
By sharing your content's goals and target audience with your helper, you’ll find and add meaningful metrics to your KPI dashboard. You’ll become a legend among analysts before you know it.
📌 Example prompt
"Please suggest the top 5 key performance metrics for my blog focused on mental health and wellness, with the goals of increasing audience engagement, driving website traffic, and generating leads for my online courses on stress management and mindfulness."
Why it works
Inspiration: Anil Tilbe (see #9)
With AI, it’s never been easier to take your ideas from outlining to drafting to proofreading.
For a more effective content outline, give your AI assistant context by sharing relevant information, specific points you want to cover, and hyperlinking to related blogs you've already written.
📌 Example prompt
"I'm writing a blog post about budget-friendly home office setups for freelancers, building upon my previous post [hyperlink here]. The purpose is to provide practical tips and recommendations, focusing on workspace organization, affordable furniture, and cost-effective tech equipment. The target audience is freelancers working from home. The tone should be conversational and informative. Can you create an outline with three main headings and three subheadings, along with a brief summary of the main points for each heading?"
Why it works
Unlock the full potential of your new writing copilot by asking it to fill in your outline, adapt the text to a certain audience, and even imitate a specific style, all while finding and citing relevant articles to bolster your story. Just don’t forget to thank AI in your upcoming acceptance speech (after it writes one for you, of course).
📌 Example prompt
"Using the following points from my outline on urban gardening, draft an article in the style of Better Homes & Gardens magazine. Please adapt the text to be suitable for a beginner audience, and cite three reputable sources discussing the benefits and innovative methods of urban gardening: [list of headings/subheadings/points from the outline]."
🔔 AI whispering: Your copilot should remember what’s already been discussed. So once you've shared an outline with your AI copilot, you can divide the writing process into distinct sections by prompting, "Write subheading 1 of heading 1 from my outline." You can establish style and reader personas at the start, too.
🔔 AI whispering: When you're making a request to write a section at a time, you can add in different “flags” to get exactly what you want, such as “Write section 1 with bullets” or “Write heading 1 with a table.”
Why it works:
❗ Heads up: it's crucial to double-check any claims and sources your AI assistant provides in case of "hallucination," or when AI generates information that might sound plausible but is inaccurate or false.
Suffering from a case of writer’s block? Got a word (or paragraph) that’s just on the tip of your tongue? Not enough gas in the tank to write that brilliant conclusion? Even the best writers need a little help sometimes, and your AI assistant is always at hand to give you a nudge in the right direction.
📌 Example prompt for finding the right word
“I’m trying to find a word to describe an invention that’s really innovative. What are some synonyms and antonyms for the word 'innovative’?”
Why it works: Provides context and desired outcome.
📌 Example prompt for overcoming creative block
"I want to convey the importance of recycling but I'm struggling with phrasing. Can you help me rewrite this sentence: 'Recycling is important because it saves resources and reduces waste'?"
Why it works: Presents the issue (struggling with phrasing) and the idea to be rephrased.
📌 Example prompt for intros and conclusions
"Can you write an engaging introduction/conclusion for an article about maintaining a healthy work-life balance?"
Why it works: Provides the article topic (work-life balance).
🔔AI whispering: Use "Limit Prose" in your prompt to get more concise and decisive answers. (source: Jackson Greathouse Fall)
📌 Example prompt for titles/headlines
"I'm writing an article about the benefits of remote work. Can you suggest five catchy headlines?"
Why it works: States article topic and asks for a number of headline suggestions to pick from.
📌 Example prompt for streamlining text
"Please help me improve this sentence for better clarity: 'Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables can provide the necessary vitamins and minerals to maintain overall health.'"
Why it works: Shares the sentence to be revised.
From discovering high-performing keywords and optimizing meta tags to suggesting image alt text and link-building strategies, AI can transform your SEO game. Gone are the days of shoehorning in content to match keywords you hope your audience is searching for; now an AI assistant can streamline all of that time-consuming work for you, and provide better fits, to boot. And the best part is: It never complains.
📌 Example prompt for keyword research & optimization
"Generate a list of popular keywords and phrases that are relevant for websites in the pet nutrition niche. Rank them by search volume and competitiveness. Please compile the results in a table that includes search volume, competitiveness, and any data or tools used to determine popularity and competitiveness."
Why it works: Targets the specific niche of "pet nutrition" and considers search volume and competitiveness in ranking the keywords.
📌 Example prompt for keyword/topic clustering
"Create a hub and spoke model from a list of these keywords, taking their search intent into consideration to group them: vegan recipes, easy vegan recipes, vegan meal planning, vegan nutrition, vegan protein sources, vegan snacks, plant-based diets, vegan substitutes, vegan grocery shopping tips, vegan restaurants, vegan meal prep, and vegan cooking tips.
The characteristics to take into account are the following: The hub and spoke model should be listed in bullet points, in English, along with the search intent of each keyword.
The target audience consists of individuals interested in adopting a vegan lifestyle. This model will be used to structure a vegan lifestyle blog's resources section, with the goal of attracting and fulfilling the needs of those looking to transition to a vegan diet.”
Why it works: Provides a clear list of keywords to work with and specifies the desired output format (hub and spoke model in bullet points).
📌 Example prompt for meta descriptions
"Create meta descriptions for the following blog posts on exotic travel destinations: [insert individual post URLs here]. Make the meta descriptions enticing like ad copy and under Google's acceptable character limit. The target audience consists of adventurous travelers seeking unique experiences. The goal is to engage the audience and improve search engine rankings."
Why it works: Provides the individual URLs for each blog post, sets requirements (enticing like ad copy and within Google's acceptable character limit).
📌 Example prompt for internal and external linking
"Analyze my blog post on 'The Top 10 Must-Visit National Parks in the United States' at [insert blog post URL here], and suggest 3 relevant internal links from my website and 3 external links from authoritative sources that would be beneficial for SEO. The target audience consists of outdoor enthusiasts and adventure travelers. The goal is to improve website authority, user experience, and search engine rankings."
Why it works: Provides the blog post topic and URL and sets the number of suggested links (three internal and three external).
📌 Example prompt for image alt text
"Generate descriptive alt text for the following images on my website related to 3D printing. Please make sure the alt text is concise, informative, and follows SEO best practices.
Image URL: [Image_URL_1]
Image URL: [Image_URL_2]
Image URL: [Image_URL_3]
Image URL: [Image_URL_4]
Image URL: [Image_URL_5]
The target audience for these images are 3D printing hobbyists. The goal is to improve accessibility and search engine optimization for our website."
Why it works: Provides links to the images, especially if the AI can’t accept images as inputs (yet).
Just when you thought you were your own worst critic … a neat trick for proofreading with AI is to request a critical review of the very text that it generated, and then to rewrite the text based on that review. It’s the Möbius strip of writing.
"Write a critical review of [text here] and then rewrite the story in light of the review."
Or, if you can’t bear to part with that red pen, then put AI to work on the changes you want.
"Correct this paragraph to sound more coherent, fixing any grammar, phrasing, and tonal mistakes. Also expand on the premise of the paragraph, adding an example or anecdote to make it more thought-provoking. [paragraph here]"
Why it works:
Now that you’ve got great content to share, make sure your audience actually gets the memo.
Create a targeted content marketing plan that takes advantage of the platforms where your audience hangs out (hint: it’s not a water cooler).
What are the top content platforms and channels where my target audience (aspiring content creators, content planners, and marketers) are likely to learn and engage with content related to AI-powered content creation? Please consider factors such as popularity, demographic preferences, and platform features.
Why it works:
Whether you want to reach your audience with emails, blog posts, videos, social media, or ads, AI has got you covered. The only thing it won’t do is pay the bills.
Example prompt for email marketing
Write engaging marketing copy for an email campaign to promote my ebook on AI-powered content creation tips and tricks. The target audience consists of content planners, creators, and marketers. Please provide subject lines and email body text for a 3-email sequence.
Why it works: Requests for subject lines and copy in the framework of an email sequence to ensure coherent messaging strategy for the campaign.
Example prompt for social media marketing
Craft a two-week social media campaign calendar for LinkedIn and Twitter to promote my ebook on AI-powered content creation tips and tricks, with the goal of driving ebook downloads. Please include ideas for posts and relevant hashtags.
Why it works: Specifies the platforms (LinkedIn and Twitter), the goal (driving ebook downloads), and requests ideas for posts and relevant hashtags.
Example prompt for video/podcast marketing
Write a script for a 3-minute promotional video or podcast showcasing the key takeaways and benefits of my ebook on AI-powered content creation tips and tricks. The target audience consists of content planners, creators, and marketers. Please ensure the script is engaging and highlights the unique value of the ebook.
Why it works: Defines the format (three-minute promotional video or podcast).
Example prompt for performance advertising
Write 10 [Platform here: Google/Facebook] Ads headlines and descriptions for promoting my ebook on AI-powered content creation tips and tricks. The target audience consists of content planners, creators, and marketers. Please ensure the headlines and descriptions are engaging, concise, and highlight the unique value of the ebook.
Why it works: Specifies the advertising platform (Google/Facebook Ads) and assets (headlines and descriptions).
Example prompt for blog posts/articles
Create a list of 5 engaging blog post ideas and outlines related to my ebook on AI-powered content creation tips and tricks, aimed at content planners, creators, and marketers. Please ensure the topics complement the ebook's content and can be used as part of a promotional content series: [paste outline of ebook here]
Why it works: Specifies the desired output (five blog post ideas and outlines) and shares the ebook’s content (outline) so that the blog posts complement the content.
Highlight campaign details and define your data’s formatting to ensure insightful analysis and recommendations. Who says number crunching is just for spreadsheets?
Analyze the performance data of my ebook promotion on [channel: email] using the dataset below.
(All below are formatted like this “Subject Line: Open rate”)
30+ Tips for AI-Powered Content Marketing: 5%
30+ Game-Changing AI Prompts for Content Marketing: 6%
The AI-Powered Content Playbook of 2023: 15%
Use this data to establish benchmarks for future [email] campaigns, and suggest ways to optimize the [asset: subject lines].
Why it works:
We hope you're feeling energized and excited about the possibilities that AI-powered content creation can bring. From strategy and planning to generating and promoting your content, any doubt that AI is here to stay for content creation can be put to rest.
And while you may feel tempted to start closing out some of those 68 browser tabs you’ve got open for your next project, we’re far from done! As AI technology continues to advance, we’re bound to discover more tips and tricks for AI-based content creation and marketing.
So go forth, prompt, create, and prompt again - we can't wait to see what you and your AI copilots come up with!