While fears over AI taking over the world aren’t new – as a Sci-Fi buff I’ve enjoyed plenty of fantastical stories over the years like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Battlestar Galactica, or The Terminator – there’s certainly renewed fervor this year as the actual implementation of various forms of AI have exploded. Open.ai and tools like ChatGPT have made it easy for people to both use and understand the potential of AI. They’re now seeing that AI can be used to create content that sounds less like a computer-generated encyclopedia entry, and more like something a real human might say.
A year ago, AI tools were mostly for marketing geeks and other techies. You could use Supercharge Lab’s AI, Sigmund, to help you develop marketing strategies based on complex audience persona analysis. Or you could use Conversion.ai’s AI, Jasper, to help you generate copy using a variety of prompts and styles and templates. And for those who knew how to use such tools, the results could be extremely helpful and even natural sounding.
[Sidebar: if we’re so concerned about AI overlords taking over, why do we keep giving them names? Sigmund, Jasper, Siri, Hal, Skynet? Just wondering.]
In fact, nearly every episode of a show I produced called Agency Accelerated over a year ago, while hosted by a human being, used an introductory script that was generated by AI! She simply read the text that was given her and viewers were none the wiser.
The difference today is that tools like ChatGPT have made it easy for anyone to ask a question and get a response that makes sense. So easy, in fact, that the major search engines Bing and Google have integrated or built in their own versions of this technology. At this point, I’m likely telling you what you already know, because this is now mainstream. And that’s my point. AI is mainstream news and is being integrated at some level into the very apps and tools you use daily.
Integrated to the point that in some cases, AI can and will do the work of humans.
It’s no longer a question of if, but a matter of when, for some kinds of skills and jobs. And this is where it can get a little scary and personal for content creators, because most of the mainstream use cases we’re seeing for AI is to create content, right?
Copy, information, images, art, stories, videos… answers.
It’s nice to say that AI can never replace the human touch but the reality is, content as a baseline thing has never been more commoditized. Soon there will be little to no value in taking the time to create basic, informational content. I don’t know what the next step is from “Content Shock” but whatever that is, we’re about to hit it… then experience a radical shift.
Let me explain.
Today, if I want to write an article about how to find new influencers for your brand using a tool like Onalytica, I’d use the tool myself and then share what I did and how I achieved the results that I got. But thanks to the ability of AI to consume every bit and byte of data that’s available to humanity like the Borg, assimilated for your use, we’re creating more and more complex pieces of content using AI tools, without the need to do even the slightest bit of research.
Here’s how ChatGPT accomplished exactly that:
PROMPT: write an article about how to use Onalytica to identify influencers to work with
In today’s age of social media, influencer marketing has become an important aspect of a brand’s digital marketing strategy. Influencers can help brands reach a wider audience, create engaging content and ultimately drive sales. But with so many influencers out there, it can be challenging to find the right ones to work with. This is where Onalytica comes in. Onalytica is a powerful influencer marketing platform that can help you identify the right influencers to work with. In this article, we’ll go through the steps you need to follow to use Onalytica to find influencers to work with.
Step 1: Set up your Onalytica account
The first step is to set up an Onalytica account. Onalytica offers a free trial, so you can sign up and try out the platform before committing to a paid subscription. Once you’ve set up your account, you can start exploring the platform and its features.
Step 2: Define your campaign objectives
Before you start searching for influencers, you need to define your campaign objectives. What do you want to achieve with your influencer marketing campaign? Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive sales or promote a new product? Once you’ve defined your objectives, you can use Onalytica’s search filters to find influencers who match your criteria.
Step 3: Search for influencers
Onalytica offers a variety of search filters that allow you to find influencers who match your campaign objectives. Some of the filters you can use include:
Keywords: Use keywords related to your industry or campaign to find influencers who are relevant to your brand.
Topics: Narrow down your search by selecting specific topics that are relevant to your campaign.
Location: If you’re targeting a specific geographic region, you can use the location filter to find influencers in that region.
Reach: Onalytica lets you filter influencers by reach, so you can find influencers who have a large following.
Step 4: Analyze influencer profiles
Once you’ve found a list of influencers, it’s time to analyze their profiles. Onalytica provides detailed profiles for each influencer, including their reach, engagement rate, and audience demographics. You can use this information to determine if an influencer is a good fit for your brand.
Step 5: Reach out to influencers
Once you’ve identified the influencers you want to work with, you can use Onalytica to reach out to them. Onalytica offers a built-in messaging system that allows you to connect with influencers directly. You can use this messaging system to introduce yourself, explain your campaign objectives, and ask if the influencer is interested in working with your brand.
Step 6: Track your campaign performance
After you’ve launched your campaign, you can use Onalytica to track your campaign performance. Onalytica provides detailed analytics that allow you to monitor engagement rates, reach, and conversions. You can use this information to optimize your campaign and ensure you’re getting the best results possible.
In conclusion, Onalytica is a powerful tool that can help you identify influencers to work with. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can use Onalytica to find influencers who are a good fit for your brand, and launch successful influencer marketing campaigns.
Generated by ChatGPT in 43 seconds, unedited for context.
I am not familiar enough with Onalytica to tell you offhand how accurate that accounting is, but it sounds accurate, doesn’t it? Yes, not only should a human vette this response, it also lacks any of the truly meaningful points that are necessary, such how to actually successfully reach out to those influencers that you’ve identified. But it seems like a pretty decent article, doesn’t it?
So we’re going to see now a veritable flood of new content being published – written and video – that relies nearly 100% on AI to generate it. Some of us are already aware of how this is happening right now. In fact, some content creators like Mark Schaefer have gone so far as to specifically state that their content is 100% Human Content.
For the passionate content creator like you who toils over their work like a medieval craftsman, that may sound like bad news. That may be reminiscent of how small businesses in America were pushed out by big box stores with their inexpensive imported products. That’s a reality that had to be faced, and those business owners had to find ways to lean into or pivot into a uniqueness and value that couldn’t be mass produced.
The next iteration of the AI wave though is imminent – when search engines like Google and Bing make delivering of the complete answer – not links to your answers – commonplace.
That’s been the news this past week, of Microsoft’s integration of ChatGPT into Bing pushing it more toward an Answer Engine than a Search Engine. Google, not to be outdone, is integrating their own solution soon.
Understand then that very soon, folks who are looking for solutions or answers or ideas, will be able to turn to these AI assistants, ask a question, and get an answer, without ever visiting a website or consuming a real person’s content.
Now look. I’m not a fear-monger or naysayer. I’m not sharing this just to scare you – but rather to prepare you for what’s coming. AI really might replace some of our jobs and if your business, side hustle, position or role could be replaced by AI in the future, now is the time to start thinking about that and preparing.
MIT economist David Autor believes the rise of AI does indeed mean millions of jobs are going to change in our lifetimes. And what’s scary is: we’re not sure how. “We are very good at forecasting what we will not be doing and very poor at forecasting what we will be doing,” Autor said.
Which brings me to the crux of the matter. What can’t AI do?
AI cannot build relationships.
Sure, there’ve been stories about people falling in love with artificial avatars and that might make for interesting cinema, but those relationships are as superficial as the informational content being generated by those AI tools. It’s not real, it’s not community, and it’s not influence.
In a recent podcast interview, Schaefer talked with Shelly Palmer about this very issue, and Shelly smartly compared it to the disruption in the music industry 30+ years ago, when digital capability replaced the real human musicians and orchestras who had, prior to that, been required to create and record music.
Mark said, “in Shelly’s example, the “commodity” studio musicians lost their jobs. But the most-respected songwriters, producers, and technicians thrived. So did the elite musicians whose improvisational talent and technical acuity were always in demand.”
That word commodity might be a little foreign to you if you aren’t in the SaaS or startup space, where it’s a common cautionary tale. You never want your business and the solutions you offer to be a commodity – something that ten other brands also offer – and therefore your success boils down to nothing more than price.
A large part of my role at Agorapulse is to fight against that. While our Product team is busy building and improving new features, there’s very little they can do that a competitor can’t replicate in time. However, if we are able to forge a partnership with another brand or influencer that creates something new and unique, that’s something few competitors could match. And since there’s no possibility for AI to forge partnership arrangements between my brand and someone else’s my job is secure against the AI overlords.
What about you?
First, it should be clear that creating informational content is a tactic at high risk and therefore should be avoided or pivoted away from. Instead, content creators should be focused on building community and real relationships with their target audience by sharing thought leadership.
I know some people don’t like the phrase ‘thought leadership’ but when used appropriately, like I am here, there’s nothing wrong with it. That’s the kind of content where you’re sharing your personal ideas, perspectives, insights, opinions, and experiences. That’s the kind of content that AI cannot truly create – it can imitate, but never duplicate. Sharing true thought leadership will give your audience even more reason to follow and listen to you, specifically.
And the truth is people enjoy consuming thought leadership. I believe podcasts are as popular as they are because the vast majority are people sharing what they think, whether solo or in an interview. In fact, there are so many other benefits to hosting a podcast that it’s become one of my most recommended approaches for influencers to build their influence and attractiveness to brands.
So consider how you might adjust what content you’re creating and how you might focus on providing your voice to your audience.
Second, forging relationships with peers and brands in your industry should be your top priority.
You should be spending time every day on LinkedIn, or other social networks, where you and your colleagues and the brands you want to work with, and your target audience, intersect. The AI cannot forge those relationships for you, cannot create meaningful daily interactions and connections, and the AI will not be there when opportunities come up to work together.
This week subscribers received an email invitation from me to consider attending Social Pulse Summit: ROI Edition. It’s a major virtual event we’re putting on at Agorapulse, which I’ve spent all quarter planning and pulling together. I’m excited for you because it’s a free, one-day event where you’re going to get a deep dive into how to drive real, measurable results from social media for your business. But I’m also excited and proud, personally, at the caliber of virtual event I’ve put together. There are going to be live opening and closing keynotes, live workshops and panel discussions, and a series of breakout sessions. These breakout sessions are going to give you the latest strategies and tactics to succeed with each of the seven major social networks, and each session is led by the very top expert for that network! (i.e the author of “Instagram for Dummies” and the “Queen of Facebook”)
I was able to secure those speakers because I have long-standing relationships with them! No AI could have built those relationships or turned to them when needed. And for their part, those speakers are benefiting from the relationship too.
If you, as a content creator (just like those speakers I tapped), are focused on building relationships in your industry, you will be the one to come to mind when a brand wants to run an influencer campaign, or needs a speaker for their event.
Just like George Thomas was top of mind for HubSpot. He’d been creating content about HubSpot for a couple of years and helping brands understand how to build and manage their inbound marketing systems. When HubSpot wanted to create their own certification program, they immediately thought of George and invited him to participate. They also invited him to speak at Inbound, their massive in-person annual event, and he’s been a speaker there every year since.
Those are the kinds of opportunities you can create for yourself if you start today. If you start focusing on the real needs of your audience and giving them the benefit of your thoughts and experience. If you start building strong relationships with the people you can help, and who can help you in return.
If you’re nodding your head and thinking, yeah, that’s me! That’s what I’ve been doing! Fantastic. Keep up the good work!
But if you’re shaking your head and thinking, geez, I haven’t been doing that at all. That’s ok! It’s not too late to start, or improve, or increase.
Open a notebook, and take the next thirty minutes to begin thinking about what you are passionate about, what you love talking about, and who you love to help. Begin writing down ideas and toss aside the informational ones and highlight the opinions and experiences and stories. You can then craft the making of a strategy for your influence.
And if you want help, I’m here.