AI is a hot topic that has the potential to revolutionize the way marketers work. That being said, many digital marketing professionals are a bit hesitant to dive right in. After all, when something seems too good to be true, it probably is – right? If your gut is telling you that there might be a downside to the latest artificial intelligence capabilities, there’s probably a reason. Before relying on AI to ramp up your legal marketing efforts, make sure you understand the potential downsides.
How is AI Used in Marketing?
How are companies actually using AI in their marketing efforts? Obviously, that varies by company, marketing channels, resources, and more, but generally speaking, AI can be helpful for the following:
- Collecting customer data and personalizing content for email marketing
- Optimizing digital ad placements for agencies
- Collecting and curating material for a content strategy
- Brainstorming ideas for blog posts or other campaigns
- Chatbots that can respond to online questions
- Writing simple emails and other content based on prompts
- Keyword research for adding to an SEO strategy
The Downside of Using AI in Marketing
If you read the previous section and thought, “Wow, AI can do a lot of my job for me!” you’re not alone. However, there are some important caveats that come with AI. Make sure you understand the following:
- The legal and ethical concerns – Just like with social media, it takes years for the current laws to catch up with technology. There is a lot we just don’t know yet about the future of AI, and there is very little regulation right now. In a survey conducted by digital expert Neil Patel, almost 15% of the nearly 1,000 marketers surveyed stated legal and ethical concerns as the biggest hurdle to using AI.
- AI content is not optimized for search – This is a huge concern for digital marketers, and rightly so. Search engine optimization is at the forefront of most marketers’ minds, and AI content presents a risk. SEO takes a lot of time and effort to implement correctly, and simply generating content in AI tools is not the same. Proper SEO takes serious expertise to implement, and AI isn’t there yet. To learn more about SEO, check out this complimentary webinar: SEO Basics in an Hour.
- Risk of inaccurate information – You can’t take everything ChatGPT or other AI tools say as fact. When it comes to legal marketing, it’s crucial that the advice you provide is correct and up to date. After all, your expertise is the product you’re selling. AI can only offer information that is as good as its inputs. For example, ChatGPT only draws from data collected up to 2021, which means there will be a gap in the information offered. Such information could exclude important legal precedents or regulations that have changed in the past two years.
- Content that feels inorganic or robotic – AI “speech patterns” have improved significantly over the past few years. You may even be surprised at how natural some of the text can sound when prompted correctly. That being said, it can still feel unnatural to read AI-generated content. You might notice that something feels “off” but not be able to put your finger on why. Use caution and always review AI content and make tweaks as necessary.
- The risk of over-dependence – AI can offer considerable time and cost savings, which is going to make it massively appealing to a wide audience. What could happen when people start using AI regularly and even become dependent on it? With the increased use of AI, we might see less collaboration and less creativity among marketers. The more that people rely on AI, the less competent they’ll be in their craft. AI can be a helpful tool when used to supplement normal marketing activities – not replace them.
- Similar-sounding content – When you first start trying out AI, you might be surprised at the variety and depth of the responses you get. Over time, though, you’ll likely notice that some of the content sounds the same and even feels dry or redundant after a while. That’s because AI tends to reiterate the same content in different ways. Eventually, a lot of content that is AI generated is going to sound unoriginal and similar to all the other content on the topic.
- A lack of personalization – 49% of people say that a personalized online experience will make them more loyal. Personalization techniques are increasingly important in digital marketing, but AI makes that more difficult. That being said, a lot of platforms, such as email providers and paid advertising formats, already use forms of AI to customize content. Other tools are likely to catch up, but for now, we can’t rely on AI to personalize experiences to the degree that clients expect.
The main thing to know about AI is that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. While AI offers robust opportunities to make digital marketing faster and easier, human involvement is still crucial. Be aware of the limitations of AI and make sure to use it to supplement your efforts rather than replace them altogether. If you have considered using AI to develop content, try outsourcing it instead. Our content experts produce original, unique material that is optimized for SEO and tailored to your specific goals.