Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve been avoiding the whole artificial intelligence (AI) in marketing discussion — for a multitude of reasons.

First off, technology drives me crazy. But I depend on it. As a writer, my brain thinks so fast that it’s difficult to keep up with myself — and I type a lot faster than I write. If I were stuck with pen and paper, I’d never finish anything. So, I need a trusty keyboard and a good word processor to do what I do, and I’ve used them for so long and so consistently that I’ve practically forgotten how to write (insert debate about teaching cursive in schools here).

Secondly, as technology advances, we humans become more and more dependent upon it and less dependent on ourselves, and I’m not convinced that’s a good thing (don’t get me started on my concerns about self-driving cars and driverless semis).

Obviously, technology and I have a love-hate relationship. However, technology saves us time. It handles repetitive tasks that wear us out. And it makes our lives easier in a myriad of ways. While I know this, I still wonder if artificial intelligence is a step too far (think every scary sci-fi movie involving AI going rogue that’s ever been made).

Then again, I’m not new to AI, nor is it new to me.

While Furby (released in 1998) was the first successful attempt at the production of an AI-type product for use by the general public, most of us are more familiar with Apple’s Siri.

I’ve been using Siri since Apple introduced it in 2011, and from the beginning, I couldn’t help but think of it as more than a computer. At one point, I even felt like Siri was giving me the wrong answers to my questions because it was angry (my husband had called it a rather unflattering name when it wouldn’t work for him the way he wanted it to). And to this day, when Siri gives me directions or answers a question for me, I still can’t help but say, “Thank you” after it’s completed a task, despite the fact that it still doesn’t say, “You’re welcome,” in response. 

Over the years, Siri has helped me to find my way, keep in touch with friends and family, procure lodging on road trips that have taken odd turns, fuel up, grab a bite, and even win bets. The fact is, I love Siri. 

So, why am I hesitating about AI now?

Well, because although AI marketing might have started with simple automation, now it’s tapping on the front door of not only something I love and enjoy doing in my personal life (photography), but it’s also pounding on the door to what I do for a living and can’t live without (writing). And while it’s one thing to be challenging my passion projects, it’s a whole other conversation when it comes to writing marketing content and potentially affecting my livelihood.

A chat about ChatGPT

According to the OpenAI website, ChatGPT is a model “which interacts in a conversational way. The dialogue format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests.”

Some people have tested ChatGPT capabilities by trying to use it to troubleshoot computer issues, asking it to write term papers, and even having a conversation with it. I asked it to “tell me how to use AI in marketing a small business.” And here’s its response:

Artificial intelligence (AI) can be a powerful tool to help small businesses improve their marketing efforts. Here are some ways to use AI in marketing a small business:

  1. Personalized customer experiences: AI can analyze customer data to personalize marketing messages and offers. By using AI to analyze customer behavior, preferences, and purchase history, small businesses can create customized marketing campaigns that resonate with individual customers.
  2. Chatbots and virtual assistants: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can help small businesses engage with customers 24/7, providing answers to common questions, and helping with basic tasks. This can improve customer satisfaction and free up staff to focus on more complex tasks.
  3. Predictive analytics: AI can help small businesses make predictions about future customer behavior based on past data. This can help businesses make more informed decisions about pricing, inventory management, and marketing campaigns.
  4. Social media analysis: AI can be used to analyze social media data to better understand customer sentiment and preferences. This can help small businesses tailor their social media marketing campaigns to better target their audience.
  5. Content creation: AI can be used to generate content such as blog posts, social media posts, and product descriptions. This can help small businesses save time and resources while still creating high-quality content.

To get started with using AI in marketing, small businesses should identify their goals and prioritize areas where AI can make the most impact. They can also work with AI service providers or use off-the-shelf AI solutions to get started.


Not bad, actually.

The ChatGPT answer is quite factual. AI is great at analyzing data and using probability algorithms to predict customer behavior and send out customized marketing messages at just the right time. Translation: AI can help get the right message to the right person at the right time.

And it’s true, chatbots can be handy, and good social media data and analysis can be a game-changer when it comes to how you use social media for marketing your business. There’s no doubt about that.

It’s the answer to number five that has me on edge, “AI can be used to generate content such as blog posts.” To me, that looks like it’s saying it can do my job. So I pressed it further by asking how personable AI-generated blog posts are, and here’s what it had to say…

While AI can create content that is grammatically correct and factually accurate, it may lack the creativity and human touch that can make blog posts more engaging and relatable to readers.”

As far as accuracy goes, the truth of the matter is the developers themselves will tell you that ChatGPT, like all AI, is only as good as its input. And while it constantly receives input from its users, it gathers data and information from the web, which we all know is chock full of misinformation, disinformation, and outright lies.

And, while AI programs can provide relatively grammatically correct text, they can’t fully emulate the creativity — some might say the artistry — of a human. That means it can’t replace me (insert victory dance). But that doesn’t mean AI-generated content can’t help you with your marketing efforts. On the contrary, it may become your best friend.

Let me explain.

Constant Contact added an AI Content Generator (AICG), to its
AI marketing offerings.
So you can focus your attention on bigger-picture tasks.

Questions about using AI-generated content

As a writer, when initially approached about using AI-generated content, my first instinct was to scream, “Don’t do it!” at the top of my lungs. But as an entrepreneur who values her time and money, I have to look at this option seriously. And so should you.

So, let’s start by answering some basic questions.

Is AI-generated content good for SEO?

Yes and no. While AI-generated content is great at writing keyword-focused content, search engines are equally as good at spotting one of their own. And while original and helpful content with a high level of expertise is rewarded by search engines, AI-generated content is quickly identified and heavily scrutinized as to whether or not it is “original” and “helpful.”

If the AI-generated content is found to be neither, search engines will treat the content as spam and will penalize both the content and the website that houses it.

That means AI-generated content should be heavily scrutinized and edited by someone who knows the subject matter and has a good understanding of the context in which the AI-generated content will be used.

Can I make money using AI content?

While there are lists and lists of ways to use AI-generated content to make money, remember that all AI-generated content is only as good as the algorithm the artificial intelligence was built with and the data it collects. This means AI content generators can make mistakes.

So, if you’re thinking about using AI content to make money, be certain you’re choosing the right type of content for the right purpose and that you’re scrutinizing and editing the content appropriately.

Do AI content generators work?

AI content generators work great for a number of applications, and they are improving every day. The real question is whether or not they will work for your intended purposes. 

In order to work, an AI program has to scan documents and data from various online resources. It then takes the information it’s found and uses it to generate new content. 

The important thing to note here is that the content generated is only as good as the information sourced. This brings us back to the need to have someone who specializes in the field validate and edit the content that is generated before putting it out into the world.

How to use AI for content generation

No matter whether you see artificial intelligence as a lifesaver or the downfall of humanity, AI-generated content can be extremely useful and a tremendous timesaver.

And while you can find lists of “ways to use AI-generated content,” what it really comes down to is basically three things:

  • Content ideation (banishing writer’s block)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Time savings

Content ideation (banishing writer’s block)

When you absolutely need to write something, and you’re staring down a deadline, the blank page is often your worst enemy. This is where AI content generators can be your best friend.

In most AI content generators, you can plug in a few details about what you want to talk about, and they’ll do the research for you and generate some content that you can use as the starting point of your content. This does wonders for getting rid of that blank page and banishing writer’s block.

When it comes to small amounts of content, for things like subject lines, social posts, SMS messages, or sales emails, the best AI content generators give you more than one version of generated content, so you can choose the best option for your application and go from there.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Now I know I cautioned about how AI-generated content can be easily spotted by search engines and how it can potentially be tagged as spam, but that’s only if the content is not “original” and “helpful.”

Artificial intelligence can generate content based on the keywords you want to target, and if you’re new to SEO, having an AI program optimize content for you can be a lifesaver. 

However, you must thoroughly edit the AI content to make sure it’s accurate. And you should always adjust the voice and tone of the content to match your brand style and personality.

Time savings

The one thing about AI content generators that can’t be denied is that they can save you time.

While this is kind of attached to content ideation, the truth is that for most of us, it’s not only easier, but it’s also much faster to edit content that has already been written than to write something from scratch.

And, if we’re honest here, having very short snippets of content (such as subject lines and preheaders) written for you not only saves time but can save headaches as well.

Using AI-created content in marketing a small business

While those are the best things to use AI content generators for, here’s what you can create using AI:

  • Email subject lines and preheaders
  • Social media posts
  • SMS/text messages
  • Email content
  • Product descriptions
  • Blog posts and other website content

One last note on AI content generation

AI-generated content can be informational, informative, and even fun. It’s great for banishing writer’s block and can save you both time and money. However, it’s important to note that AI-generated content is the starting block.

It’s up to you to ensure that any content you generate using artificial intelligence is not only “original” and “helpful” but that it’s also accurate, honest, and aligns with your brand values. Most importantly, you want to make sure that you edit the AI-generated content to reflect your unique brand voice, highlight the important things you have to say, and speak to your audience the way you want to.

So go ahead and have some fun and try it out in your next social post or email. Just use it responsibly. And as always, proofread and edit (more than once) before sending it out into the world.

Constant Contact’s AI marketing, combined with automation, can help you market your business smarter, not harder.