This blog was co-authored by fellow SmartBug Rebekah Goode.
Marketing leaders who use AI can achieve real results. But let’s be honest, you get out of AI what you put in. You’ve got to create the right ChatGPT prompts to get to the good stuff.
That’s easier said than done. Prompt engineering takes skill.
Take it from two of SmartBug’s professional writers—we’re here to help. Wondering how to write awesome ChatGPT prompts for marketing? Need to know how to use AI to position yourself and your brand well? Read on.
ChatGPT in Marketing: It's How You Wield It
Making the most of AI starts with the right perspective. Here are a few quick reality checks that should inform your use of ChatGPT.
Setting Realistic Expectations
You’ll hear a wide range of opinions about AI’s role in marketing. The truth lies somewhere between absolute magic and absolute dud. AI shows some real potential to shake things up in a positive way (and many marketers are already in the process of realizing that potential), but it also comes with limitations. The main thing to understand is that AI is simply a tool, not a complete solution. As with any tool, its usefulness depends on your level of skill in using it.
The Input-Output Relationship
You may have heard the term “garbage in, garbage out”; poor-quality input leads to poor-quality output. This premise certainly applies to ChatGPT. A half-baked prompt with vague wording isn’t likely to deliver something useful. A well-crafted prompt, in contrast, can move you closer to hitting on something really helpful. If you want to set yourself up for ChatGPT success, you need to lead the way by first knowing precisely what you want and then communicating that clearly.
Keeping Yourself in the Driver’s Seat
Remember, you’re the marketing expert—not ChatGPT. You’ve seen what sort of messaging drives engagement on LinkedIn. You already have an idea of what a perfectly punchy hook for a sales email should look like. You know your ideal customer profile and brand voice better than anyone. So pad your prompt with this information, and then draw on it as you iterate with ChatGPT and edit the output you receive.
Having the right mindset can go a long way toward helping you leverage AI like a pro. Just remember that ChatGPT isn’t here to replace your expertise; it’s simply a tool. Now let’s look at some practical tips to help you wield this tool like a pro.
Best Practices: How to Write Awesome ChatGPT Prompts for Marketing
You’ve created an account. You’ve familiarized yourself with the layout. You’ve fired off a few quick prompts about Star Wars haikus.
Now, it’s time to get to business. Here’s how to get the best out of ChatGPT for marketing:
1. Make specificity your superpower.
Stack your ChatGPT prompts with detailed context, examples, and granular instructions. Remember, you’re the marketing leader; AI is the assistant. For it to know where to go, you need to give it as much information as you can.
Scenario: You're crafting a multi-step email campaign.
Strategy: Dissect your campaign into specific, manageable prompts—one prompt per email.
Example: "Write a 100-word email for 'Tech-Savvy Tim' that kicks off with a witty reference to the latest smartphone trend. I want to see a bullet list with emojis as the bullets. Include a CTA to call our team, two options for subject lines, and links to related blog posts. Here's a successful past email for inspiration."
(Bonus pro tip: Include language like “What other information do you need from me to complete this task successfully?” This will tee up the AI to assess your prompt and respond with clarifying questions that can increase the quality of your output!)
2. Get ready to iterate.
The first prompt is just the beginning. Likely, you’ll need to go back and forth with ChatGPT a few times with helpful feedback to get something you can use.
Scenario: The initial output is solid but lacks a certain je ne sais quoi.
Strategy: Refine with specific feedback.
Example: "The tone is too stiff; let's make it conversational, shorten it by 50 percent, and add more H2s and H3s for easy reading."
3. Turn winning prompts into ultra-useful templates.
Get an output that feels pretty close to the mark? You may have hit upon a winning formula. Copy the prompt, save it, and build a treasure trove of prompt templates for future use.
Scenario: Routine tasks are sapping your creativity.
Strategy: Write and test out a good prompt for a routine task. Then, use it.
Example: Find yourself stalling on pulling together social media posts after writing a blog post? Here’s a template prompt to get you started: “Using the text of the blog post, please write (number, platform) social media posts. I want them to be engaging, witty, and professional. Make sure each post has unique, practical value and elements to engage with the reader. Optimize each post for maximum engagement on its platform.”
4. Polish the output.
No matter how good at prompting you get, AI drafts are raw clay. You’re the sculptor. After ChatGPT finishes generating, refine the output until it’s unmistakably yours.
Scenario: The AI's draft technically covers the bases, but it feels uncanny, boring, or bland.
Strategy: Roll up your sleeves, take a deep breath, and edit away.
Example: This isn’t a promptable activity—it’s all you! Remove repetition, add experiential language, crack a joke, and make sure the end result matches your brand’s style.
5. Proactively prevent common issues.
As you review ChatGPT drafts, keep an eye out for patterns that don't really work for you.
Instruct ChatGPT to avoid these pitfalls.
Scenario: Your AI-assisted content is falling into a predictable rut.
Strategy: Identify and eliminate repetitive elements.
Example: "Your intros are becoming formulaic. Let's kick off the next one with a thought-provoking question. Also, let’s avoid telling the reader to unleash, unlock, ignite, or dive in to any of our content this time, shall we?"
By following these best practices, you'll see better ChatGPT prompting results, save time and stress, and free up some of your headspace for higher-level marketing strategy.
But that’s not where the value of knowing your way around ChatGPT ends.
Lightning Round! Quick Wins with ChatGPT Prompts for Marketing
Sometimes you just need a quick answer, new angle, or aha! moment. See if one of these prompts gets you moving in the right direction!
Want ChatGPT to help you with ...
... a blog brief?
"Outline a 1,000-word blog post that educates young entrepreneurs about the importance of SEO in digital marketing, including key points on recent algorithm updates and actionable tips."
... a Slack update for your team?
"Compose a lighthearted Slack message summarizing our weekly wins and the next big goal, with a shout out to the team for their hard work and a teaser for Friday's surprise event."
... a budget request?
"Generate a concise, persuasive budget proposal for increasing our Q3 ad spend by 20 percent, highlighting past ROI and projecting the potential lead growth."
... strategy for an upcoming campaign?
"Develop a bullet-point strategy for our 'summer hydration' campaign, focusing on cross-channel integration, key messaging for 'Health-Conscious Haley,' and a timeline for rollout."
... a LinkedIn post to build your network?
"Write a LinkedIn post that shares insights on the future of content marketing, inviting comments from industry peers and positioning me as a thought leader in the space."
... cross-functional thinking?
"Devise a campaign that doubles as a sales enablement tool."
... a starting point for competitor analysis?
"Break down our competitor's recent social campaigns for actionable insights."
You and your team will need to flesh out and realize a high-quality email campaign, of course. The best person to perform that competitor analysis, at the end of the day, is you—and it’s up to you to earn engagement on LinkedIn or inspire your team on Slack.
However, having these ChatGPT prompts ready to go can help you breeze through blank page syndrome and up your efficiency when confronted with routine tasks. By knowing how to write awesome ChatGPT prompts for marketing, you’ll be equipped to concentrate less on your to-do list and more on creating connections and fueling big-picture strategy.
Now that you're equipped with the knowledge to optimize your use of ChatGPT for marketing, why stop there? Check out our guide Creating a Content Marketing Strategy in HubSpot to take the perfect next step for your brand.
About the author
Rebecca Corgan Rebecca Corgan is a scientist-turned-storyteller. After grad studies in pediatric developmental biology and a few years of analyzing data for the pharmaceutical industry, Rebecca decided to apply her skills of simplifying complex concepts and telling great stories to support marketing initiatives nationwide. In her free time, Rebecca enjoys playing retro video games, painting murals, forgetting common English words, and making up her own in their stead. She currently lives with two gigantic puppies, one tiny toddler, and one regular-sized husband in Cincinnati, OH. Read more articles by Rebecca Corgan.
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