As a small business, content creation is important for strengthening brand identity, communicating business values, and establishing strong relationships with customers. Whether you're a start-up that's short on staffing, time and money, or a more established SME that wants to delve into using the latest AI technology, AI generators are a great way to produce relevant content for your business quickly and easily.
This article explores the transformative potential of AI for text generation, delving into cutting-edge technologies, such as the best AI article generators and how you can use AI to create text and image content. Using generative AI, you can craft compelling written content, create imagery or videos to enhance your SME's online presence and effectively engage with your audience.
The productivity, efficiency and competitiveness of your business can all be improved by introducing AI tools into the workflow. There are several cutting-edge, generative AI tools out there that are focused on what SMEs require, and that can assist with different aspects of your business.
Small businesses can use AI-equipped Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms to help process customer data and automate communication. Tools like HubSpot or Salesforce use machine learning to streamline interactions with customers in the form of virtual assistants or chatbots, which can then help boost sales and client relationships. Using these chatbots offers on-page customer support that can reply to enquiries in real-time, so that customers feel their queries are being resolved in a quick and timely manner.
Accounting software, like QuickBooks or Xero, use AI automation to produce financial reports, process invoices and track expenses, reducing the risk of human error in financial management.
SMEs can also quickly create targeted marketing campaigns using AI-assisted tools, such as Mailchimp or Rapidely, which allow advertising and other content to be personalised by analysing customer behaviour.
In terms of cybersecurity, machine learning can protect sensitive data by detecting and responding to threats to security. Tools like Darktrace and Cylance use AI to help with safeguarding SMEs.
ChatGPT, the poster child for free AI generators, can be used to create a variety of content, including social media content, blog posts and marketing materials. In-house, it can also be used to help with documentation, research for a particular topic, summarising notes from meetings, and drafting emails or reports, all while helping to maintain a consistent and creative tone in your SME's communication.
For small businesses, AI generators can offer a significant amount of heavy lifting when it comes to content creation across a variety of areas. This can help to save time while maintaining both a high level of quality and impact across the produced content.
With the right instruction, AI text generators can create accurate and engaging blog articles that are also optimised for SEO. You can give 'prompts' to an AI, which are a series of questions or commands instructing it on the kinds of content you want it to produce, and the specific questions you'd like answered. Using prompts, you can tailor the output of the AI so that it delivers a specific response.
Social media posts
Compelling and consistent captions and posts can be created for businesses' social media presence. This allows small businesses to build their brand online across multiple platforms without getting overwhelmed or stretched for time as they grow their online presence.
Graphics and artwork
Businesses with limited design resources can benefit from using a tool like Adobe's Sensei, which can help to create professional-looking graphics and designs for promotion and advertising.
Language models can be used by AI for text generation to create personalised email marketing campaigns, which can help raise customer engagement and increase conversion. Salesforce's Einstein AI, for instance, assesses customer behaviour, preferences and data to automate tailored email campaigns. It enhances engagement by delivering tailored messages that resonate with each recipient, boosting conversion rates and customer satisfaction.
There's a right way to use AI so that it's ethical and doesn't have negative consequences for your business. Depending on the context in which you are using AI, there are a few best practice guidelines you should follow.
Have a clear understanding of the AI tools you're using
It's good practice to always read the instructions before using a new piece of equipment – and this concept applies to AI tools, too. When you've chosen an AI tool, make sure you understand its limitations, the types of output it delivers, and its capabilities. This will help you understand whether or not it aligns with your business goals.
Make sure that prompts are clear
To generate an output, an AI requires a prompt, and the way you construct this prompt is important, as it can affect the content generated. A common mistake many people make is treating an AI like a search engine. When we use a search engine, we often use keywords and keep our searches as short as possible. AI is different, in that the longer and more detailed the prompt that you give it is, the better the response. When crafting a prompt for an AI, think about what your main goal is. Ask open-ended questions that can't be replied to with a straight 'yes' or 'no'. Give the AI as much detail as possible – including how it should behave, who the audience is, context, etc. For instance, if you use an AI to write sales copy, you can tell it to behave like an expert salesperson.
Use AI to brainstorm
Although AI can prove helpful in creating content for your business, it still needs a human touch, and for that, you need to remember not to rely on it entirely. Use it as a starting point, and a way of getting initial thoughts together. From here, you can put your own take on things. When you use an AI to create text, copy or videos, make sure you are adding your own twist.
Be cautious of copyright and don't plagiarise
When you try to pass off someone else's work as your own, this is called plagiarism, and is not good practice – whether you use an AI to create it or not. Remember that AI tools are trained on data, which could include copyrighted material. It is not advisable to copy and paste text from a tool like ChatGPT and attempt to state that it's your own writing. With imagery, you should also think about copyrighted material, and always add your own elements. These issues of copyright and plagiarism are still ongoing and are one of the main arguments some people use against AI tools.
If you're thinking of tweaking your existing content strategy by including AI-generated content, the following tips should help you in your planning and execution.
Identify any content gaps and repetitive tasks
Take a look at your current content strategy and point out any content gaps that could be filled by using AI tools. These gaps could be social media updates, blog posts, drafting email templates, or mundane or routine tasks that can be automated by using an AI to save time and money.
Keep your brand's tone of voice
When giving an AI a prompt to create text for you, make sure it's aware of your brand's tone of voice, so that content it generates is in line with your messaging and style across all of your marketing channels.
Carefully review AI-produced content
AI can create easy and simple content by itself fairly quickly, but this content should always be audited by a human. Make sure you have a review process in place to assess the quality of content produced by AI, and to ensure it meets the goals of your business. Add your own dimension and human element to all content produced.
Routinely test and use analytics
Do A/B testing to compare the performance of other content against that created using AI. An A/B test compares two different versions of the same piece of content, such as a webpage or email, to review which performs best. Using analytics tools, gather data to determine how AI-generated content aligns with your business goals and your intended audience, verses content you have created yourself.
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