Artificial IntelligenceContent MarketingSearch MarketingSocial Media & Influencer Marketing

Why AI Is Never Going to Replace Subject Matter Experts and How to Choose the Right SMEs

If you haven’t heard of OpenAI’s ChatGPT tool, you might be living under a rock. Here’s a little explainer: GPT stands for Generative Pre-Trained Transformer, and it’s a kind of language model that generates a prediction based on previous text, finding the next word in a sequence based on the words that have come before.

Even if you haven’t spent any time thinking about AI-generated content, if you’re part of a content-creation process, you should probably get up to speed on this technology if you’re going to stay competitive.

That doesn’t mean you need to fear for your job, though. The interesting thing about this trend is that the greatest benefits of ChatGPT happen in conjunction with human minds. Real, live content marketers are using ChatGPT for many reasons and use cases, from idea generation to preliminary script drafting.

What Are The Benefits Of Using AI To Create Content?

This is an exciting time to be a content marketer. It almost feels like when I first got a Texas Instruments calculator in high school — all of a sudden there was a new tool that, while not managing to complete my math homework by itself, sure made it more enjoyable and actually helped me learn at the same time.

Similarly, there are some scenarios where using AI’s help absolutely makes sense:

  • Brainstorming – You might think that conceiving an idea would be the last thing ChatGPT should be helping you with, but when we think about how to become a thought leader, we need access to many topic ideas and angles within our wheelhouse. AI can help you uncover ideas you might not have thought of on your own. Then, from AI’s list, you can refine those ideas further to make them truly unique and aligned with your expertise and experience.
chatgpt trends in content marketing
Source: ChatGPT
  • Creating email drafts – A time-consuming task (but a really important one), creating email templates can revolutionize the way your team communicates. AI can help you write simple, readable first drafts that answer common objections from your prospective clients. Then, you can refine it from there.
Email Draft Request for ChatGPT
Source: ChatGPT
ChatGPT Draft Email Production
Source: ChatGPT
  • Coming up with headline ideas – If you’ve worked in content marketing for a while, you might agree that coming up with attention-grabbing headlines is sometimes the most draining part of the job. You can only write about sales and marketing alignment in so many ways, right? AI could potentially help you come up with a new angle on an old problem.
chatgpt headline ideas
Source: ChatGPT

AI-generated content can help content marketers in many ways, including ways we probably haven’t even thought of yet. But that doesn’t mean we can totally rely on it. We still need subject matter experts (SMEs) to lead the way.

What Are The Benefits Of Subject Matter Experts?

When trained on a large enough dataset, ChatGPT manages to simulate real conversation pretty well — not robotic, not void of context. It can even sound pretty funny. But you can’t replace the personal experience, unique insights, and expertise that come with having a true subject matter expert at the helm.

For anyone excited by the prospects of AI content-creation tools, it’s important to realize that any content strategy will need a balance of human expertise and AI-generated content. We shouldn’t rely on the latter to be the bread and butter of our marketing.

For a start, there are still issues with using AI for content generation. The way content is published and circulated online — and the way its credibility is judged and ranked — means that we need AI and SEO to work together. Right now, they don’t. In fact, Google executive John Mueller has stated that AI-generated content goes against its webmaster guidelines and Google considers it to be spammy.

While Google feels this way, it’s going to set out to detect AI-generated content. Until the landscape evolves and until we know for sure how SEO responds, a cautious relationship with AI content creation is wise.

There are also limits to what an AI content writer can produce. The best content marketing is thought leadership, content published by true experts in the field that shares something unique from personal experience and knowledge. While the potential is there for a tool like ChatGPT to add to or highlight subject matter expertise, there’s no way an AI content writer can replicate the personal human experience.

Say I was going to write an article about our experience of switching from founder-led sales to a comprehensive content marketing strategy. Instead of asking ChatGPT to tell me about my specific company’s evolution, I could ask about changes in the industry as a whole, which might give me a good starting point from which to create a well-rounded article that includes my personal experience and expertise.

How Can SMEs And AI Fit Into A Holistic Content Strategy?

The first priority for an SME-led content strategy is to select the best SMEs for your goals. Who in your organization has deep industry expertise? Who is able to share super unique or controversial opinions about goings-on in your industry? Is anyone in your company known as the contrarian who is always taking the opposite line of thinking? These wave-makers tend to have compelling insights that can be leveraged into highly readable blog posts and articles.

Think, too, about who is talking to your clients all day long. Who knows their needs inside and out? And who is actually willing and able to spend some of their valuable time crafting content? Often, the best SMEs are also the busiest people in the company, so figure out how much time you’ll need from each SME on a monthly or quarterly basis so they can devote a reasonable amount of time moving forward.

From here, AI can join in as a helpful sidekick, able to take up tasks like idea generation or even spotting an angle for your next article that you hadn’t considered.

Ready to learn about how you can build your thought leadership through high-quality, expert content? Download Influence & Co.’s Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing for Thought Leadership.

Download The Guide

Kelsey Raymond

Kelsey Raymond is the co-founder and CEO of Influence & Co., a full-service content marketing firm that specializes in helping companies strategize, create, publish, and distribute content that accomplishes their goals. Influence & Co.’s clients range from venture-backed startups to Fortune 500 brands.

Related Articles

Back to top button