Mia Fileman 0:05
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I have been burying my head in the sand, hoping that the whole AI ChatGPT thing will just go away.
I want to state for the record that I have absolutely no problem with change. In fact, I embrace it. I am on TikTok. I am loving it. My issue with artificial intelligence in marketing runs a lot deeper than that, and it is quite layered. It speaks to capitalism, hustle culture, corporate greed, and complicating things that are already really complicated.
My thoughts on this topic cannot be distilled into a social media post, so I have invited Remi Audette onto the show to have this conversation through with me. She holds different views to mine, so I think it is going to make for a really interesting discussion.
Welcome to the podcast, Remi!
Remi Audette 1:29
Thank you so much for having me!
Mia Fileman 1:31
Why don’t you kick us off by doing a little bit of an intro? Who you are, what you do, what you are here.
Remi Audette 1:40
I am the founder of Sunday Best Digital. We are a one-year-old boutique SEO agency in Melbourne helping SMEs grow their visibility online through brand building SEO.
I come from a corporate SEO background. I used to work at Officeworks in Kmart. I started Sunday Best because I saw that there was a big gap for really ethical brand building SEO services that I wanted to fill.
Mia Fileman 2:10
There is a huge gap. There is a gaping void of that!
Congratulations on being 12 months in your agency! From the outside looking in, you have really come leaps and bounds in the last 12 months. I feel like your success has really been fast tracked. It has been a joy to watch you blossom into this agency owner within 12 months.
Remi Audette 2:37
Mia Fileman 2:40
What is AI? How does it apply to marketing SEO? Let’s start there.
Remi Audette 2:47
AI stands for artificial intelligence. It is basically referring to the ability of machines to perform tasks that generally require human intelligence.
A really great example that you mentioned is ChatGPT which is the latest AI that is taking over the world, but there are lots of different subfields of AI, including machine learning, natural language processing, robotics, and there are lots of different uses. They can be used for virtual assistance and chatbots. Even self-driving cars are technically AI.
It encompasses a whole range of new technologies.
Mia Fileman 3:31
Why do we need this? What problem is this solving for humanity?
Remi Audette 3:36
I think that people are leaning so heavily into AI because it is there. I think humans naturally want to find the easiest way to do things. What is easier than getting a machine to do it for you, especially when it comes to business?
You don’t need to pay artificial intelligence. They don’t need breaks like us mere mortals do. I think that a major contributor to their success is that they are cheap and basically built to be better than humans.
Mia Fileman 4:11
What do you mean by cheap? I know that ChatGPT has a free version, but I would imagine – like all SaaS software products – it has a paid version. The same with all chatbots on your internet messenger.
What do you mean by free?
Remi Audette 4:30
ChatGPT is free. There are lots of free AI tools. There are also lots of paid AI software that you can use, but the cost of that software is a lot cheaper than a human.
If we’re comparing ChatGPT to a content writer, a content writer’s salary could be anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000 a year whereas ChatGPT is free. You just need one person to manage it. When I say it’s cheap, it still sometimes costs money, but compared to how much you’d have to pay a human, it is a lot less.
Mia Fileman 5:05
Isn’t that really bad news for content writers and humans?
Remi Audette 5:10
It’s bad for average humans.
I think a lot of the menial tasks will get taken up by AI, but I think what it’s going to do is it’s going to push people to become specialists and to gain new skills in the content writing industry.
You’re going to see a lot less of those content writing farms – where you pay someone a dollar a word to write for you – because why would you pay that when you have got a machine that can do it for free?
Content writers especially are going to have to level up. They are going to have to learn brand strategy, become more specialized with SEO, and that’s going to be a way that they are going to be able to compete, but if you are trying to write really boring generic copy, I think that’s where you’ll be in trouble.
Mia Fileman 6:00
That’s a really good point. I think that’s a positive way to reframe it. This is not necessarily about stealing all the jobs and replacing all the jobs. It’s that the Upworks and the Fiverrs of the world that were pumping out very same-same copy, in fact, ChatGPT is probably going to do a better version.
Remi Audette 6:23
Mia Fileman 6:24
My issue with it – and this is big, so brace yourself – is that we keep talking about how this technology is coming and it is going to be great for humans because they are going to be able to work less. It’s like, “It’s fantastic! Now I’ve got ChatGPT and I’ve got chatbots. I can work less.”
Am I? No, I am working more!
It’s not like they’re creating this technology and they’re making it completely free – like, open source. Sure, ChatGPT is free now, but there is a corporate entity behind it. It is not a government-run program that’s funded by taxpayers. It is a corporation who at the moment has had it free, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets monetized.
What is really essentially happening is that this is another thing that gets added to the plate of marketers and business owners. It’s more complexity when we already have so much complexity.
Now, I have to go and upskill in this, and I have to learn this, and I have to integrate this in with the rest of my stack. I have to wrap my head around something new which is definitely not going to save me any time in the short term. Then, I might end up having to pay for it.
It’s another thing that I have to pay for. Otherwise, I’m at a competitive disadvantage because, if everybody else is using ChatGPT and I’m the holdout, then I’m the one that’s going to have to suffer. Here we go. Another subscription that I need to add to my ever-growing list of subscriptions.
Remi Audette 8:08
I groaned when the news first started coming out about ChatGPT at the end of last year because, like you said, it is one more thing that small businesses and marketers are going to have to master to be able to keep up with everyone else. It’s going to level the playing field.
However, I think that, if you can get your head around it, you can use it to your advantage, and you invest time into learning it, it could save you time, it could give you an advantage over everyone else, but only if you know how to use it properly.
With ChatGPT, you could use it, not touch the content you’re given, stick it on the internet, but it’s the business owners that use it as an assistant – they don’t rely fully on it, they edit the work that’s coming off it, they make sure they include their brand personality, they integrate their brand’s tone of voice into it – they’re going to be the ones that are going to do the best out of this.
Emerging marketers and junior marketers are going to have to start learning it, unfortunately – just like I’m sure 20 years ago, when Facebook came out, everyone thought, “Ugh! This is another marketing tool that I’m going to have to use.” But we all adapted.
I think that innovation can be great in marketing, but it’s still a case of “How do I use it?” “Can it be useful to me?” and “Is it even worth using in my business?”
Mia Fileman 9:50
Your points around how we all had to learn Facebook and we all had to learn Instagram are true, but we still all have to do those things and we need to learn TikTok, and now LinkedIn, and Pinterest, and YouTube is having a resurgence, and email marketing and SEO.
The pile is growing, but nothing is coming off.
Remi Audette 10:13
Mia Fileman 10:14
I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts where the message that pro-AI evangelists have shared with the world – because there are so many risks involved because we’re venturing into unknown territory, who knows?
No one anticipated the unintended, very negative consequences of Facebook and Instagram where suicide rates amongst teenage girls have essentially doubled since the introduction of Meta platforms.
We don’t know what we’re walking into, but the evangelists of AI have all said that the biggest selling point for it is the fact that things are going to be easier. Things are going to be cheaper. We’re going to work less. We’re going to have to do less.
That really remains to be flipping seen.
Remi Audette 11:03
Yes, and I think those people tend to be the ones who are making money from AI – definitely not the people who have to get used to using it.
Mia Fileman 11:13
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Let’s talk about how we can incorporate specifically ChatGPT into our marketing and into our SEO strategy. I would love for you to share with us some examples of how this is being done well and maybe how this is not being done so well.
Remi Audette 12:15
I want to preface this by saying I am definitely AI neutral.
I understand both sides. I myself take a long time to adopt new technology. I understand how frustrating it is to have to learn something else. I want to make that clear because I am going to embrace AI – definitely with my work – but I think on overreliance on it is a negative thing.
I think the way that it is going to change is it is going to act like an assistant. If you use it as an assistant, it is going to help you. If you rely on it like a full-time employee, you are going to run into issues.
As an example, using it to come up with blog topic ideas, using it to quickly grab information where you don’t want to spend a lot of time Googling, that is where it is going to help. Getting it to write an entire blog post and not carefully combing through it? I don’t think that’s going to be a great way to use it – not just for SEO but all types of marketing.
I have seen people use it for email marketing, social media, and it is really good as an idea generator tool as a starting point, but I don’t think it is ever going to completely take the place of really experienced, knowledgeable, and creative marketers.
Mia Fileman 13:48
Good to hear! Very happy to hear that!
I feel like we have thrown our hands up in the air and we have said, “Humans are just not good enough, so we now need machines. Let’s give up. Let’s give up on humans. Let’s give up on our brains. Let’s give up on our ability to create, ideate, iterate, and let’s get some machines to do it for us because humans are fundamentally flawed.”
I really take issue with that because it’s like we’ve given up on our brains which I think is a little bit of a sad state of reality.
You mentioned it’s great for blog topics which is super handy. It’s great for research which is also super handy. It’s great for people who are not natural writers to be able to give you a starting off point because, as you will know, as a content writer, the hardest part is the beginning. It’s the blank page – the blank Google Doc staring back at you, going, “How do I even start to break the back of this?” I think that’s definitely worth considerations.
How does ChatGPT impact SEO specifically?
Remi Audette 15:00
With Google specifically, they used to have guidelines before ChatGPT that pretty much stated content created by AI could be considered spammy and you could get penalized for it.
Now that AI is becoming so much more widely used, with the introduction of ChatGPT, they have actually changed that to put more of a focus on what the content itself says rather than who’s writing it.
You can use AI content on your site. However, it needs to be helpful. It cannot be spammy. You still have to put the effort in of making sure it’s free from errors, it’s got trustworthy information, and ideally you would also weave your brand’s personality in it because there is so much content on the internet.
Now that ChatGPT has come out, there’s going to be even more, and you really need to find a way to stand out because the insane amount of content that’s going to be getting generated by businesses is going to completely change the SEO content world, blogging, and all of that type of content creation on the internet.
Mia Fileman 16:14
What are some of the limitations of ChatGPT?
Remi Audette 16:16
ChatGPT has a couple of limitations – some that I have read about, some that I have experienced myself.
I think the biggest one is creativity. It’s a machine. You can’t manufacture creativity. GPT spits out the most generic, boring blogs that sound like it’s been written by a robot. It’s what you’re taught at school with really basic grammar and no storytelling ability. I think you’ll never be able to replace human creativity. That’s probably the biggest one.
Secondly, there is a big potential for bias because it’s trained on lots of tech starter. Because it’s trained with data that humans are inputting into it, it may pick up biases and stereotypes that could be present in that data. That’s another thing to watch out for.
Also, it’s not up to date. There are some apps you can use to allow ChatGPT to get access to the internet, but ChatGPT itself isn’t connected to the internet. If something happened today, you would not be able to ask ChatGPT about it.
Today, I was looking up Google’s EAT guidelines and how a chiropractor might use them. Recently, Google added another E – expert experience – to that EAT guidelines, ChatGPT didn’t know about it, and it didn’t mention it.
I think we really need to be aware of whether the facts that are coming out of ChatGPT are actually true because it also can’t necessarily tell you where it’s found the information, so you can’t trust that it’s correct.
Mia Fileman 18:04
Wow! That’s really helpful detail. Thanks for outlining that!
It is wonderful to hear that creativity is probably the biggest limitation, especially as a creative marketer who trains people to come up with creative ideas.
Am I right in saying that now marketers and entrepreneurs who are driving their own marketing need to change where they are investing their efforts in light of AI – focusing more on creativity rather than basic copywriting?
Remi Audette 18:43
You’re not going to win the marketing game with boring, washed-up ideas. You really need to think big. I think social media has let everyone believe that there is a certain way of being creative and we all need to think a certain way.
I think that this is going to force creative people to actually come up with some really big ideas that are going to not be stereotypical. They are going to be completely fresh. They might be too big for some people, but it’s going to really help put some more diversity into the landscape rather than the same campaigns that we see over and over again – the same types of social media posts, the same emails.
I think that’s really exciting.
Mia Fileman 19:37
Yes, absolutely. That’s a very good point.
Asking for a friend; if I was to want to get started with this because I have had the head buried in the sand and I have done absolutely nothing, what would you recommend?
Remi Audette 19:53
I would recommend playing around with it and learning how to brief it. Like a copywriter, what ChatGPT spits out is only as good as the brief you give it. You can make tweaks to briefs so that you get really great with sponsors. There are some that come back not so great.
It’s about playing around with what you are asking it to do. Maybe lengthening the brief – rather than saying, “Give me a list of ten blog topics related to SEO,” you can ask it to do that and then ask it to remove the word “SEO” from the title and make sure that it is in a thought leadership form.
You can get really specific, and I think that’s going to give you the best results, but playing around with it is going to be the best thing because then you’ll find what works for you, what you tell it to do, and what information you get from it is going to be the biggest help.
Mia Fileman 20:55
Excuse my ignorance here, but can I train it?
Can I use ChatGPT as a chatbot on my website to answer frequently asked questions from my potential customers and then help it by answering some of those questions myself?
Will it learn in a way that I’m answering the questions? Like, “Yes, Mia has answered this question five times like this, so that’s how I need to answer this question.” Is that how it works?
Remi Audette 21:24
You can definitely use it as a chatbot. It’s continuously learning and updating itself. It’s great because it can sound like a human, so if you’re in different time zone and you are getting inquiries in the middle of the night, it can respond pretty much like a human would.
However, it’s not possible for you to train ChatGPT directly. It involves a lot of data, a lot of resources that are done by its own researchers and engineers in a controlled environment. It’s not like you can go rogue and tell it to give specific answers to questions. You pretty much have to rely on the data that it’s already been fed.
Mia Fileman 22:11
Right. I think that that’s a really important point because, if it’s going to play that role in your business where it’s creating content for you and answering questions, I personally want it to be able to very specific to my business and to answer very specific questions relating to my business. That’s definitely something that people should take into the consideration of whether they should use this.
Last question, Remi. How can we or should we use ChatGPT in the context of campaigns – which is, of course, my zone of genius?
Remi Audette 22:48
Definitely as a jumping off point.
If you are struggling to think of ideas, you can get ChatGPT to generate some for you and start from there. I think that it’s going to be really helpful with cross-channel promotions. If you create something for a specific channel, it can easily replicate it but in a different way for another channel.
You’ll be able to get a really consistent message across all of your marketing channels which is going to help relay messaging, repeat the same information, and let it steep in people’s minds. I think that’s one of the biggest ways it’s going to help.
Another great way to use it is to come up with customer personas then put your ideas into chatbot and also let it know who you are trying to target. I think that’s going to help really narrow down your messaging. If you want to focus on a specific type of customer, it’s going to help make sure that your messaging really speaks to them. Also, specifically with blog posts, social media posts, email newsletters, it’s going to help you write copy that is really tailored to them.
Now, you’re still going to have to do a lot of editing because it can only replicate a tone of voice so far. If you say you want it to be in a friendly tone of voice, then it can do that, but if you have a very unique brand tone of voice, you are going to have to do that yourself.
I think that having it help you as a little marketing assistant with your campaigns is definitely going to make you more efficient and it’s going to make your campaigns more targeted and probably more successful.
Mia Fileman 24:46
You can give it an existing social media post about your campaign and ask it to rephrase that. Is that right?
Remi Audette 24:56
Mia Fileman 24:56
That’s super handy.
With campaigns, we have so many different moving parts, and there is a lot of content that is required for each campaign. Someone to help you repurpose and recreate content as opposed to regurgitate is actually worthwhile.
Remi Audette 25:17
Yes, and repurposing content now doesn’t require a lot of creativity.
If you have already written amazing copy and you have amazing ideas, getting ChatGPT to reimagine them and rework them is going to save you a lot of time. It’s basically taking the job that you would have to sit and spend hours trying to find a different way to write something that you originally wrote whereas ChatGPT can do it in seconds.
Mia Fileman 25:46
Good to know. Fantastic!
Well, I have definitely learnt something, and I am a little bit more willing to go and explore this after our chat. Thank you very much, Remi!
You offer done-for-you SEO services to your customers, but you’ve recently launched Sunday Sessions. Can you briefly tell us about that?
Remi Audette 26:09
Yes! Sunday Sessions are SEO workshops to help small business owners with specific parts of SEO that they need help with. There are a lot of SEO courses out there that focus on everything. It can be quite overwhelming when you are in a 6-week or 12-week program. You are moving on to things so quickly.
Sunday Sessions really let you drill down into the specific things you want to know. We have workshops for keyword research. We have workshops for content strategy and growing with SEO and e-commerce specifics.
Small business owners can really hone in on the skills that they need. If they don’t need to learn as much about something in SEO because they’ve already done a course or they already know it, they don’t have to.
Mia Fileman 26:59
Amazing. That sounds so great.
Are the sessions on Sunday?
Remi Audette 27:02
No, unfortunately. I enjoy my Sundays. It’s not a Sunday, but we do have multiple times. You can book either in the first sessions or the second sessions because they are repeated every half year.
Mia Fileman 27:18
Thank you so much, Remi! Thanks for coming on the show and for sharing your wisdom with us!
Remi Audette 27:23
No worries! Thanks for having me!
Mia Fileman 27:26
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