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ChatGPT Isn’t a Panacea for Local Marketing Content, But Here’s How It Can Help

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Local marketers need to create content to connect with customers, stand out online, and signal their trustworthiness not only to prospects but also to the middlemen like Google who help those prospects discover them. For multi-location marketers wondering how to create content at scale, the arrival of generative AI text solutions like ChatGPT may seem a godsend.

ChatGPT and similar technologies cannot, unassisted, create the differentiated and captivating content that builds brands and helps organizations stand out online. But AI can help create content at scale, and it can give marketers ideas that help them write competent blog posts even if they are unfamiliar with a vertical.

ChatGPT helps out a dentist

Consider a dentist who wants to write content to explain why locals should come in for an annual checkup. The prompt I gave ChatGPT was this: “Write a blog post explaining why dental patients should get an annual checkup.” This was its reply.

As a dental patient, it’s important to visit the dentist on a regular basis to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. One of the most important appointments you can make is an annual checkup, which is a comprehensive exam that helps to detect any potential problems early on. Here are just a few reasons why it’s important to get an annual checkup:

  1. Early detection: One of the main benefits of an annual checkup is that it allows your dentist to identify any issues with your teeth and gums early on. For example, if you have a small cavity, your dentist may be able to catch it during an annual checkup and treat it before it becomes a larger, more expensive problem.
  2. Prevention: In addition to detecting problems early on, an annual checkup can also help to prevent future issues from developing. Your dentist will clean your teeth and remove any plaque or tartar, which can help to prevent cavities and gum disease.
  3. Overall health: Your oral health is closely tied to your overall health, and certain dental problems can actually be indicators of other health issues. For example, gum disease has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. An annual checkup can help your dentist identify any potential health problems and refer you to a specialist if necessary.
  4. Comfort: Finally, visiting the dentist on a regular basis can help you feel more comfortable and at ease during your appointments. If you only visit the dentist when you have a problem, you may be more anxious about your visits. By getting an annual checkup, you can get to know your dentist and feel more at ease during your appointments.

Overall, an annual checkup is an important part of maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. By visiting the dentist on a regular basis, you can catch any problems early on, prevent future issues from developing, and maintain your overall health.

How ChatGPT Can Help Local Marketing Writers

ChatGPT’s blog post on why you should get an annual dental checkup is perfectly competent. It provides four compelling reasons to get a checkup. The structure of the post is logical and intuitive. The grammar is perfect.

What many marketing writers may not want to admit — and I can say this as someone who’s edited thousands of marketing bylines for Street Fight and written many myself as a marketing consultant — is that many writers cannot meet the same bar. Marketing writing often contains grammatical inaccuracies. It isn’t logically or intuitively organized. Its thesis is unclear.

This is especially likely to be true of local marketing content, for which cheap freelance writers or employees who are not professional writers are often expected to craft compelling articles. ChatGPT is going to create more competent writing than the average non-professional writer. So, if I were a business owner who needed to create content for my business and couldn’t afford a professional writer, I would strongly consider using ChatGPT to create first drafts.

But ChatGPT’s uninspiring competence doesn’t mean business owners or marketers should trust it do the job alone.

Where ChatGPT Needs Help from Marketing Writers

You can’t build a brand with commoditized content. The post above does a competent job at explaining why someone should get an annual dental checkup. But it tells the reader nothing about why a patient should visit a particular dentist, how that dentist’s services differ from those of other dentists, what ties the dentist has to the community, what their approach to customer service is, or why their customers appreciate them.

Even beyond the marketing logic of brand building, from a merely algorithmic point of view, imagine three dentists in a neighborhood all use automated tools to create their blog content. How is Google supposed to determine which is the most compelling? How is a reader who comes across three blogs supposed to decide which is the most authoritative and worthy of their business?

Google recently added an “e” for experience to its E-A-T content assessment framework (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness). This means Google is prioritizing content that speaks to the creator’s first-hand experiences with the subject matter. It’s a sign that Google is pushing back against automated, undifferentiated, impersonal content. And that should be enough to convince local marketers and business owners that rote content at scale is not enough. You need to put a personal spin on automated writing.

On the whole, then, ChatGPT is not a panacea that will completely take over local marketing content in the foreseeable future. Human input will still be highly valuable. But smart marketing writers and business operators will use it to help human writers create content at scale and do so more accurately — even if they’re not experts in a vertical. And that’s a big win for local marketing programs.

Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]