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AI Prompt Writing 101 for Marketers: How to Use ChatGPT
Have you ever had an idea but can’t get it to roll off your tongue? If the answer is yes, artificial intelligence may become your best friend.
Artificial intelligence is disrupting the marketing space, whether we like it or not. It's likely to impact your job in some fashion sooner than later, but that be for the better if you embrace it rather than resist it.
All success starts -- literally with the prompt. ChatGPT and other AI tools need you to craft prompts that give clear thorough instructions for the output.
It's not as scary as you might think. Since the pivotal AI for Content Creators webinar series hosted by MarketingProfs in mid-2023, we've conducted 1,000s of mad-scientist experiments. We'll guide you through AI prompt writing based on what's been a winning formula vs. what's blown up in our faces.
What Is AI Prompt Writing?
AI is any automated tool that uses machine learning make your life easier. In marketing, AI assists thousands of teams every day with content generation, data analytics, and more.
ChatGPT is the most well-known artificial intelligence, but there's an AI for almost anything nowadays. No, really, there is. If you have a task that you would like an AI to complete, TheresAnAIForThat.com offers links to various AI resources.
No matter the platform, AI is still merely an assistant -- it relies on humans to successfully function. That’s where prompts come in.
Prompts give an AI context. It tells the AI what you want it to do. The best part? You have total control of the prompt! When drafting a prompt, the more concise your input, the better the output will be.
Prompts are the starting point for expressing your ideas and creativity. There's work to be done and knowledge to acquire!
Types of AI Prompts
There are five kinds of prompts, each with unique uses:
- Instructional prompts: Express explicit command
Example: List 10 benefits of the keto diet.
- Exploratory prompts: Starting points for imaginative content
Example: What would it be like if pigs could fly?
- Scaffolding prompts: Provide a starting framework
Example: From a child’s perspective, narrate a story about fairies and dragons.
- Interactive prompts: Ease interaction and engagement for inspiration
Example: Help me brainstorm ideas for a fake brand.
Prompt 5: Mega Prompt
A mega prompt sounds intimidating, but is simply one significant prompt. It’s the combination of all prompts into one!
Providing context to the AI bot is more important than ever with this prompt type.
There are seven parts to a mega prompt:
1. Persona: Who are you writing to? What's motivating them to read your content?
- Examples: Demographics, job titles & responsibilities, etc.
2. Task: What is the topic or the message you’re trying to convey?
- Examples: Format of content, target keyword
- Example: Quotes, article outline
- Examples: Tone, word count
- Example: Drive relevant traffic to your website
- Examples: APA style, heavy use of bullet lists
Quick Prompts for Fast Results
Short prompts are one-word statements that an AI can identify. There are four short prompts to use with ChatGPT for AI marketing and content creation applications:
- Continue: Move forward after reaching the character limit (referenced further on).
- Expand: Receive more details from a response. Nice way to generate long-form content.
- Analyze: Break down text.
- Summarize: Explain text in a nutshell.
When you want to use a short prompt in ChatGPT:
- Type your prompt
- Type a colon after it
- Hold Shift and press Enter to send the prompt
Advanced Prompt Crafting
Ready for more? There are advanced AI prompting methods to use with the 4.0, paid version of GPT.1. Prompt chaining: a series of prompts in a step-by-step format
Example: First, write a fairytale. Second, introduce a villain., etc.2, Explicit specification: makes expectations clear (tone, style, and formatting)
Example: Write a heartwarming story showing appreciation for our customers. Use a positive tone and make it personal.3. Contextual prompts: adds contextual information (background information, character traits, and setting)
Example: You are a runner in the depths of a forest determined to finish the race.4. Iterative refinement: facilitate interaction and engagement (brainstorming or seeking inspiration)
Example: Can you suggest a plot twist for a murder mystery story?
AI Limitations and Tips
Artificial intelligence isn’t perfect. No matter the task, humans should intervene to help strengthen an AI’s functions.
Remember: Prompts are pathways, not the destination. Prompts influence an AI’s learning and essentially what is produced.
Limitation: ChatGPT will produce errors.
- Review all responses for errors, as you will most likely need to make changes.
- You can prompt ChatGPT to change portions of the output.
- Example: "Please rewrite the second sentence to be in a more informal style and tone."
- Ask the tool itself if it has suggestions for how to write a more effective prompt. AIs appreciate empathy too!
Limitation: ChatGPT will forget your prompts.
- Remind the AI of your prompt.
- Make a spreadsheet to organize your prompts, and share among the team so all can benefit.
- Check out AI marketing prompt cheat sheet sites -- there are many.
- Max prompt length: 4,096 characters
- Max prompt answer: 2,048 characters, though this varies by application
- Short-term memory: ~64,000 words
- Training cutoff: April 2023 (The GPT-4 paid tier, however, can crawl the web for newer info)
- Use the Continue, etc. commands to expand on a prompt or response.
- Keep a log of your interactions with the AI so you don't lose anything.
How to Ethically Use AI Prompting to Write Content
Artificial intelligence is a new technology that we’re all trying to figure out. Even governments are starting to step in and regulate AI. For example, in June 2023, the European Union approved the EU AI Act, the first regulation for the AI industry.
Even in its infancy, there are ethical concerns we’re starting to wrestle with when it comes to artificial intelligence and marketing, including:
- Plagiarism: Ensure your work is original and cited. Don't make AI prompts for blog posts your entire personality.
- Contextual understanding: An AI may not comprehend context, cultural nuances, or ethical considerations like a human would. Evaluate responses to ensure they make sense.
- Bias and sensitivity: An AI may resent filtering bias, stereotypes, and harmful contexts. Make sure your prompts and responses use inclusive language.
- Misinformation: Do not prompt an AI with misinformation and expect it to be corrected. Verify that all information is accurate when offered a response.
- Safety and harm: Avoid prompts that incorporate mentions of self-harassment, violence, or illegal activities. Use positive language when prompting an AI.
A(I) Prompt Review
AI prompting may seem daunting, but can be useful for the right types of tasks. There are various kinds of prompts to use with ChatGPT, both short and MEGA! Just remember: Review each and every response you get from an AI conversational tool!
To learn more about practical use B2B tools in marketing, grab this free download:
(Editor's note: This article was originally published in July 2023 and was recently updated with fresh insights.)
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