As they say “garbage in, garbage out” and that also holds true when working with artificial intelligence tools to level up your marketing. To make AI useful, we have to be writing AI prompts that are clear, detailed and know what we want to get from AI.
That means wishy-washy instructions – like some humans give – don’t cut it. Writing AI prompts to prompt useful results from AI requires us to give context, background and ask a good question so the AI even knows what we are after and what we expect from its output.
In this post, I’ll break down how to leverage AI to help with your content strategy. Well-crafted prompts help produce better content and maybe even faster in some circumstances. Let’s dive in to learn how prolific prompts can supercharge your content production.
In this article, I discuss the following:
- What does it mean to be writing AI prompts?
- Crafting effective prompts
- Software with integrated prompts
- Use cases
The Basics: What does it mean to be writing AI prompts?
AI writing prompts are text cues that guide artificial intelligence tools to generate relevant responses. They provide context and direction for the AI to compose coherent output that hopefully can help us create more strategic content.
It’s basically the direction humans give the AI on what they want it to do or help with. AI prompts can also be a conversation and build on each other in the same thread.
Here’s an example of me asking Perplexity AI questions about myself. The same concept of making it an ongoing conversation can be applied to any interaction with AI.
Crafting Effective Prompts
The key to leveraging AI for really anything – but especially to be useful in content strategy – is engineering effective prompts. Here are my top tips:
Give the AI clear direction by explaining exactly what you want it to write about. Avoid vague or generic prompts.
Give the AI some background on the topic and goals to shape the response.
Not all tools give you different options for output, but if you want a bulleted list, just say that.
If you have something comparable already, share that as an example.
Iterate and Optimize
Treat prompts as a work in progress, tweaking and refining them over time.
Provide source content
Give the AI as much information as possible. For example, if I want it to analyze my Search traffic, I could just upload my Google Search Console data to give the AI more background.
Use software that has integrated prompts
Consider using AI tools that have specific functions (aka they have built-in prompts). On the content creation side that includes:
- Copylime has automatic prompts for headlines, outlines, etc.
- Opus Clips automatically creates short videos from longer-form videos
In Opus Clips, you can give some pre-determined prompts like how long a clip should be, the framing, etc. But you can’t say: Find me clips that talk about x.
What’s important to keep in mind here is that as new tools enter the market, writing prompts is less important in some tools than others. If a tool exists with an automatic prompt and it gets the job done, that might be a good alternative.
How to write good AI prompts
Good prompts include precise instructions and context to steer the AI. Here’s how that might look. Let’s say I want to find out what are some overarching themes in five somewhat related episodes from my podcast.
So I upload the podcast episodes into Otter to get them transcribed.
From there I’ll export the txt file of the transcripts, upload them into Claude and ask:
- These are five different podcast episodes. Could you identify the two most common themes that they all discuss, please.
- <AI responds>
- Great. Thanks. Now please tell me what each podcast guest (or speaker) said about each of those themes.
From there you can decide what to do with that information, which could include:
- Creating quote graphics for social media
- Including the content in an article discusses the themes
The trick so to speak to writing good AI prompts is to know what you are after. To get good results, you need to be specific, detailed and clear. More is often better.
Read next: 8 Tips For Using AI to Write a Book
Use Cases and Benefits of Good AI Prompts
Using AI for some tasks can help us be better content strategists and marketers, but don’t lose that personal touch. Like, I’ve used AI for some ideation and even initial drafting for this article. But by the time it’s all set and done, I’ve updated, deleted and added my own thoughts. Regardless, AI is great for ideation and shortcutting some traditionally longer processes.
AI can give us ideas for article outlines, questions to ask on podcasts and more.
It can help us ensure tone consistency.
Teach the AI how your brand is supposed to sound. Journalist and ghostwriter Bruce Shutan said on “The Business Storytelling Show” that he uses Otter.ai to transcribe his interviews with brands and then uses that tool to ensure the brand’s voice comes through as he writes content for them.
You can also have an ongoing string in tools like Claude AI and ask it to compare a new piece of content against the existing pieces of content from a brand to check tone and style consistency.
Read next: Camera on: What are AI camera benefits?
AI can help us be more creative. It’s easy to brainstorm for headlines, subject lines and more using AI tools. In some you can even have a conversation:
- Please give me 10 headline ideas for this topic
- OK. Add emojis
- Please make them more witty
- I like this one, can you do xyz
Using proper prompts can help us repurpose content. For example, the prompt sequence to repurpose a blog post could be:
- Please write me 10 LinkedIn posts from this article
- I want to use this blog post as a foundation to an email sent to xyz. Could you spin up a draft please.
From there, follow-ups can make the content better as well and as always ensure to edit the output thoroughly.
Writing targeted, well-structured prompts enables brands to tap into the vast potential of AI for content creation and marketing.
Prompts provide the context, instructions and examples help AI tools to give us better answers which then help us.