Reflections on an AI Tips for Content Webinar

Reflections on an AI Tips for Content Webinar

Last month, I listened in on a fantastic webinar presented by SEMRush, entitled “Unveiling AI Trends in Content Marketing.” You can listen to the whole thing here, and I recommend you do, whether you feel like an expert in AI for content, or you aren’t even using it (yet). 

While the webinar specifically addressed AI content for small businesses, the insights shared by guests, Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media and Melanie Deziel of Creator Kitchen, hold valuable lessons for agencies and big businesses alike. Here's a breakdown of some key takeaways:

AI: A Tool for Elevation, Not Automation

The webinar kicked off with some data from an SEMRush survey. While some of the survey questions made me wonder about the sample, the results delivered a clear message: 68% of surveyed companies reported a higher SEO and content marketing ROI when using AI for content. The emphasis throughout the webinar wasn't on using AI to make content creation easier, but to make it better. That’s our North Star as content creators — where once, our content ideas may have been limited by billable hours and deadlines, AI can help us shave off some of the busy work so we can invest more in quality, which will, in turn, help our content outperform our competitors.

To underline the two ends of the spectrum, the guests made these two points:

  • AI makes lazy people even lazier, and allows people obsessed with quality to reach higher quality.
  • Content creators joke that AI stands for Average Information: Without in-depth prompts and personas, AI simply reads the internet and will give you the average. Even then, it's still an average of that narrowed segment.

The Power of Personas: Training Your AI Intern so You Can Create Higher Quality Content


Part of using AI to help with the “busy work” is training it to be a helper. One way to achieve this is by creating detailed content personas, even before you attempt to create your AI workflow. As Melanie put it, “You need to treat AI like a new intern… you need to train them. Be understanding of their learning curve.”

Personas are crucial for shaping AI's output. In essence, "Chat GPT" refers to the idea that you're having a conversation with the AI tool. The more specific your prompts and personas, the better the AI can understand your needs.

Feeding the Machine: Training AI With Your Brand Voice

That training should involve intentional prompts. If you have a training manual for new writers, you could start there and simplify your manual into key prompts. By creating new chats with an AI chatbot, you can ask it to recall all the prompts you’ve given it as guidelines and apply those to new requests. For instance, my own chatbots have running chats for each of my clients, each with the brand style guide, brand voice, and more specific prompts applied.


The prompts you can use to train your AI “intern” are limited only by your imagination. Here are some suggestions:

  • Train AI on Your Brand Voice: If you’re having trouble describing your brand voice to your AI, try feeding it your original content to help it understand your brand's unique voice and style. 
  • Identify Content Gaps: Use AI to analyze your existing content and identify areas where you can create new pieces. Here at EightOhTwo, we’re constantly updating old content. A quick way to create a roadmap for those updates is to drop the copy into a chatbot and ask, “What’s missing from this article that would make it more helpful to the reader?”
  • Refine Brand Identity: Analyze your content with AI to identify your brand voice, tone, and other stylistic elements. You can then use this information to refine future content prompts. For example, if the AI identifies your brand voice as "outdoorsy but not casual," you can incorporate this phrasing into future prompts to ensure consistency.
  • Defining Negatives: Don't just tell the AI what your brand voice is, tell it what it's not. This helps narrow the focus and prevent the AI from using unwanted words or styles.

Crafting Effective Prompts: Getting the Most Out of AI

The guests also provided some excellent examples of prompts that can be used to get the most out of AI writing tools. Here are a few:

  • Uncover Untapped Topics: Ask prompts like "What topics in this area are not being covered by the big publishers or blogs?" This can help you identify content gaps and opportunities to create unique and valuable content.
  • Content Comparison: Analyze how well two pieces of content align or differ based on a specific persona. This can be helpful for ensuring content consistency and targeting specific audiences.
  • SEO Optimization: Leverage AI to suggest improvements for existing content. Ask, “What keywords are missing from this content?” or, request, “Add these keywords to this content where they will fit best and highlight where you’ve added them.” Asking AI to highlight changes is a great time-saver.

If you want to dive deeper into chatbot prompts, check out this article from our own Deb German: “How To Chatbot: Using Effective AI Prompts To Get What You Want From the Algorithms

AI's Limitations and the Future of Content Marketing

While AI is a powerful tool, the guests emphasized that it's not a replacement for human expertise. Even the best AI-generated drafts require human intervention.

The A+ Factor: AI can create solid drafts, but it lacks the ability to add visuals, curate expert quotes, and inject brand personality. It also struggles with point-of-view and the "Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness" (E-E-A-T) factors that Google considers in search rankings. Human intervention is essential to elevate AI-generated content to the A+ level.

As you may experience yourself, these types of webinars can be hit or miss. Sometimes, they feel like a sales pitch from a slide deck. Or sometimes they’re so high level, you wonder if anyone is taking anything away from it. I want to give kudos to the SEMRush host Margarita Loktionova, and guests Andy Crestodina and Melanie Deziel for making it feel like an honest conversation between work friends, which delivered supporting concepts, great analogies (that’s how my brain operates) and helpful ideas for content creators from all backgrounds.

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