You’ll have heard about the artificial intelligence (AI)-powered chatbot, ChatGPT, I presume?
Everyone has been talking about it recently (certainly in the marketing space anyway), and it’s clear why everyone is getting so excited.
What is ChatGPT?
ChatGPT, created by a company called OpenAI, is a free online language-based generator. It offers a revolutionary way of accessing information and creating content. It launched its latest version, ChatGPT3, in December 2022. Anyone with access to the internet can create a free account and use it to ask questions and request information.
Based on chatbot technology, it’s a tool that’s been designed to work in a conversational style. You can literally have a ‘chat’ with it; a dialogue, back and forth.
Within seconds of submitting your request for information, the chatbot comes back to you with a response, pooled from data on the internet. Ask it anything and it will respond accordingly. Smart, hey?!
Is AI-generated content the future of photography marketing?
Will AI-generated content be the future of photography marketing? Perhaps. I couldn’t say for sure, but there certainly seems to be huge potential for using this technology in your photography business, particularly in regard to photography marketing content creation.
So, if marketing is something you’ve always struggled with then perhaps 2023 is the year that you may start to like it a little more!
How photographers could use AI to create marketing content
If you treat ChatGPT (or other similar AI tools) as your new online marketing assistant, there are lots of ways that photographers like you could potentially use it.
In regards to marketing content creation, for example, you could use AI to outline or write:
- copy for your photography website – your Home, About and Services pages
- blog posts,
- social media post captions,
- press releases,
- advertising copy,
- product or service info/listings,
- copy for your email marketing campaigns,
- ideas for your blog or social media channels (so you can avoid those “what should I post?” moments),
- and so much more!
AI tools such as ChatGPT can also be used to rewrite content that you have written. For example, perhaps you know what you want to say but, in the copy you’ve written yourself, you haven’t been able to articulate it quite how you’d like to. ChatGPT could rewrite that copy for you.
You can direct the AI tool to write in a particular style (chatty, authoritative, with humour etc.). You could also ask an AI tool to expand on or, conversely, to summarise existing paragraphs of copy you’ve written into something more succinct.
How to access ChatGPT
If you haven’t already, I recommend that you create a ChatGPT account, take a look at the tool and play with it to see what it can do. Simply go to https://chat.openai.com/ to register.
N.B. What you may find is that now that word has spread, the tool is regularly attracting high volumes of traffic and is often over-capacity, so you may struggle to get access.
Paid subscriptions have since been introduced for priority access to the tool and other benefits. The premium subscription, ChatGPT Plus, is just $20 per month though, which seems pretty reasonable.
The benefits of AI-generated content for photographers
I can absolutely see the potential of AI-generated content in helping those of you who struggle to come up with content ideas or write compelling marketing copy yourself.
The benefits of using ChatGPT to create AI-generated content for photographers are many:
- I have found it super-easy to use (on those occasions when I have been able to access it)
- I have asked it a range of questions – responses are seemingly good
- The speed at which it responds is impressive, to say the least too! (We’re talking seconds!) No doubt, it’s a time-saver!
- It will ‘regenerate’ responses if needed (so if you’re not happy with its initial response you can ask it to try again)
- The tool is also currently free to use which is a massive bonus as well (although access is more limited as usage increases, and it may eventually become a paid tool).
Limitations of AI content generators
While I’m excited about the potential of AI though, I would still certainly advise caution. Don’t think that the arrival of ChatGPT and similar AI content creation tools mark the end of your marketing woes.
AI presents the opportunity to create content, but should you entrust a chatbot to create your marketing content for you? Should you use AI for copywriting in lieu of writing it yourself? That’s another question!
1. AI-generated content: Is it original? Will it rank?
From what I know of SEO copywriting and how Google’s search engine operates, they prioritise ranking original, helpful content (particularly since the Helpful Content update of August 2022).
Yet, one of the potential limitations of AI content creation tools is that the outputs are far from original! How can AI-generated content be original when its results are based on what already exists on the internet?
If nothing it generates is truly unique is that going to help or rather hinder you when it comes to boosting your website rankings? Time will tell, but this is certainly something to consider before you start copying and pasting AI-generated responses to your heart’s content on your website if your aim is to rank well on Google!
Related reading: Google Search’s guidance about AI-generated content
2. AI-generated content: Is it even accurate?
There’s also a potential issue around the accuracy of the information AI generates that you should be aware of. It can get things wrong and so you should never assume that the responses are factually correct.
ChatGPT is in its 3rd iteration currently (as I write this in February 2023), with a 4th version reportedly launching in the Spring. The new version (and future versions) will apparently work based on an ever-larger data set, meaning that responses generated by the chatbot will be based on a greater amount of online information. This should improve the accuracy of the responses and offer enhanced functionality.
It’ll be exciting to see how this and other AI tools evolve. One thing is certain though if you do choose to use these tools yourself, do always do your own checks to verify the information. Don’t assume that what it generates for you is completely accurate. It doesn’t know everything or get everything right! (You have been warned!)
3. AI-generated content: Is the quality good enough?
There are other limitations to using AI-generated content as well…
While the technology is impressive, is the output high quality? On the surface, the content it generates may look good, but is it really good enough?
You may well find, as I have, that you will need to spend some time on ChatGPT giving it feedback on its responses. It may take considerable time to get from it a response that you are happy with or are able to use.
In fact, it takes skill to work with AI tools such as ChatGPT effectively and to get the best outputs. A whole new industry, known as “chatbot prompt engineering” is already emerging. This is the art of creating and refining the prompts you give to an AI tool to get the best possible answers.
No doubt those who manage the master this will be set to make a lot of money in the near future!
4. Will AI-generated content help you stand out or, rather, just blend in?!
For all its advantages, AI-generated content has further limitations too…
It remains the case that it’s only humans who can create content that is nuanced and that features stories and anecdotes based on real, lived experiences. These things, no chatbot can currently do. It can’t. It isn’t a living, breathing human being so it cannot create content as if it were.
- Content that you can create, based on your genuine photography expertise and experience, will naturally have a depth and level of complexity that chatbots cannot (currently at least) replicate to the same standard.
- You also will not be able to get a chatbot to write content for you that talks about your unique photography services – only you will have the knowledge about those.
- Similarly, no chatbot will be able to write about the experience your clients have of working with you or to create content based on any aspect of your photography business that is unique to you.
Related reading: AI is here – It’s time to be more human
Also, if more and more photographers decide to use ChatGPT or other AI-content generators in the immediate and long-term future, won’t you all just be churning out similar content? Surely, this won’t help you to stand out (as I presume you want to)? Won’t it more likely be that you’ll all start to sound the same?!
AI and photography: A threat to the creative industries?
I’ll admit – when I first heard about ChatGPT, I naturally wondered whether the arrival of this latest version of the tool would herald the end of my copywriting for photographers’ service.
Will AI replace copywriters? Would photographers no longer need my help with copywriting? Could high-quality marketing content for photographers really be created in a matter of seconds and for free? And if so, where would that leave me as a content writer?!
Perhaps you’ve had a similar worry when AI image-generating technology burst onto the scene.
Will AI take over art?! Will these AI tools eradicate the need for professional photographers and image-makers?! Will photographers still be needed in an era where bots can create realistic images (and even win photography awards)?!
Certainly, AI for photographers in regard to image creation is a topic that’s been dividing opinions in recent months!
Related reading: Will AI replace photographers?
AI for photographers: Something to fear or embrace?
Whatever you might think of the technology though, undeniably these are exciting times! I guess we’ll just have to see where it takes us…
Me, I’ve since realised that as great as these emerging AI tools are for a variety of tasks including content creation, the quality of output is reliant on the skill of the human directing it with instructions. There is truly an art to writing prompts for AI chatbots (whether your goal is to create images or copy), and the outputs are hugely variable depending on the quality of the instructions you give.
Those who get the best results from any AI tool will be those who master the process of writing great prompts and instructions. It’s certainly not as simple as saying “write me a blog post about….” or “create me an image of…”.
Also, no matter how fast these tools are, or how great the output appears to be, it will need editing and potentially quite significantly! So, while AI can potentially be used by photographers as a copywriting or content creation tool, your personal writing style, your original ideas, and your lived experiences and stories remain important and these cannot be replicated by a bot. And it’s these things that truly set your content apart from that of others.
For now, at least, I feel that there will still be demand for traditional ways of creating content – written, visual or otherwise.
If I were churning out high-volume, low-quality copy for clients, then I may be more worried about the threat of AI tools like ChatGPT. Realistically, though, that’s never been my business model. I write bespoke SEO-optimised copy for a handful of photography clients based on my almost 20 years of copywriting experience, and in-depth knowledge of the photography industry and of the individual client’s business.
Even if the tools are developed and significantly improved over time (and they will be), and if many others are launched in the future (and they will be too), we aren’t redundant quite yet!
Yes, this emerging technology will potentially indeed change many aspects of our lives and work. But, remember, the technology is not brand new (we’ve been using AI tools in other guises for years), and, as I’ve already said, there are numerous limitations.
AI copywriting for photographers
As an AI tool for content creation, undoubtedly, ChatGPT is well worth a look. It’s perhaps the best AI content-creation tool out there currently (it’s certainly the most hyped at the moment!). Watch out for more similar tools to launch in the coming weeks and months.
Be aware though, that there’s the risk that bots will churn out generic, unoriginal content which may also include errors and inaccurate information.
I think the ideal scenario is to use AI tools to help with initial ideas and to outline content such as social media captions and blog posts, perhaps, but to edit them fairly significantly to better reflect your own voice, style and brand.
So, the main benefit I foresee is the fact that you could use AI to quickly brainstorm content ideas, perhaps outline a piece of content, and even receive a draft piece of copy such as a blog post. AI tools can help speed up content creation by providing all this.
But, I would advise against publishing that content without considerable editing and enhancement based on your own expertise and stories. Also, don’t forget to tweak any AI-generated content you plan to use so that the copy matches your unique writing style and tone of voice.
Photography marketing with AI
I know that many of you don’t enjoy content creation and will be delighted to potentially now have access to a tool that can help with this. For that reason, I’ll plan to write more on this topic of AI-powered content creation. I know you’ll want to learn more (as I do).
For now, though, I hope that this has been a useful introduction to AI for photographers from a marketing content creation perspective, and to some of the potential benefits and pitfalls of using AI for content marketing.
Let me know in the comments if you have tried ChatGPT or other AI content generation tools, and what your experience with them has been.
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