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Writing Good Prompts for AI

Updated: 21/03/2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, staying ahead of the curve is not just a competitive advantage; it’s a necessity. The tools and technologies at our disposal are constantly expanding, and one of the most exciting developments in recent years is Generative AI.

If you’re new to Generative AI, don’t worry; you’re not alone. The world of AI-driven content generation can seem like a complex labyrinth of algorithms and neural networks. However, the potential it holds for revolutionizing your digital marketing efforts is simply too significant to ignore.

How to use AI effectively

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the talk of AI at the moment.. Don’t panic! We’re going to show you how to harness its power effectively. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer looking to incorporate AI into your toolkit or a newcomer curious about this cutting-edge technology, we can provide you with the foundational knowledge you need to get started.

Need to start from the beginning? Read our Beginners guide to ChatGPT to get you up to speed.

We’ll delve into the art of crafting prompts that yield remarkable results from Generative AI models like ChatGPT. By the end of this journey, you’ll have the skills to communicate with AI in a way that brings your marketing ideas to life, produces engaging content, and enhances your overall strategy.

So, let’s embark on this exciting exploration of Generative AI, where creativity meets technology, and together, we’ll unlock the limitless possibilities it offers to digital marketers like you.

What is a prompt?

A prompt is a specific instruction or input given to an AI model or a computer program to generate a desired response or output. In the context of AI language models like ChatGPT, prompts are typically text-based requests that users provide to instruct the AI on what kind of information or content they want it to produce.

For example, if you’re using ChatGPT to generate a blog post introduction, your prompt could be: “Please write a blog post introduction on the topic of climate change.”

The quality and clarity of a prompt are crucial because they guide the AI model in understanding the user’s intent and generating a relevant response. Well-crafted prompts result in more accurate and valuable outputs from the AI. When working with AI, it’s important to be clear, specific, and contextually relevant in your prompts to get the desired results.

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How to structure a good prompt

Describing the context to prompt.

Start by describing the situation where the content generated will exist, in sufficient detail for the AI to create meaningful content.

For example: You are an experienced marketing creative for a large UK membership organisation, with a high level of industry knowledge.

Provide relevant instructions or constraints.

This involves giving specific guidance or limitations to the AI to ensure that the generated response aligns with your requirements and expectations. Instructions and constraints can include details like tone, style, format, or any other specific guidance that helps the AI produce the desired output. These instructions help shape the AI’s response in a way that meets your objectives.

For example: In this campaign, we want to target our existing members and encourage them to renew their memberships for the upcoming year. Please craft a persuasive and personalized email message that highlights the benefits of membership, showcases our recent achievements, and includes a call-to-action for them to renew. Keep the tone friendly and professional, and ensure that the email doesn’t exceed 300 words.

In this example, Step 2 provides clear instructions and constraints for the AI to follow when generating the email message. It specifies the campaign goal, target audience, content elements (benefits, achievements, call-to-action), tone (friendly and professional), and length (not exceeding 300 words). These instructions help guide the AI in creating a response that aligns with the marketing objectives for the membership organization.

Generation Task.

Now describe what you want the AI to generate. Woah, slow down! you may want to break down your task into smaller chunks so you can refine the process as you go along. Having an outline plan for your generated content can be really useful here:

For example: What should the opening paragraph of the email say to grab the reader’s attention and introduce the benefits of membership renewal?

Refining your AI content.

The next step is to review and refine the generated content to ensure it effectively fulfills the brief. Refining the generation of AI-generated content is vital because it ensures the quality, relevance, and alignment of the output. It enables you to control the tone, style, and messaging to meet specific objectives and resonate with your target audience. This process helps maintain consistency across materials, correct errors, enhance creativity, and adhere to ethical and legal standards, ensuring that the content is both effective and trustworthy.

For example: capturing the reader’s attention, highlighting membership benefits, showcasing recent achievements, and includes a compelling call-to-action. Make any necessary adjustments to maintain a friendly and professional tone while ensuring the email stays within the 300-word limit.

13 tips top writing good prompts

Using ChatGPT effectively as a digital marketer can be a valuable asset for content generation, customer interactions, and more. To improve your prompts and get better results, consider these tips:

  1. Be Clear and Specific:
    • Start your prompts with a clear and specific instruction. State what you want from ChatGPT explicitly. For example, “Generate a blog post introduction about digital marketing trends in 2023.”
  2. Provide Context:
    • Add relevant context to your prompts. Describe the audience, tone, or style you’re aiming for. For example, “Write a casual email response to a customer inquiry about our new product.”
  3. Ask Open-Ended Questions:
    • Instead of asking yes/no questions, frame prompts as open-ended questions. For instance, “What are some creative ways to promote our new app on social media?”
  4. Use Multiple Sentences:
    • Break down complex requests into multiple sentences. This helps ChatGPT better understand your instructions. For example, “I need a 500-word blog post about the benefits of SEO for small businesses. Start with an introduction and then cover key points like increased visibility, organic traffic, and long-term results.”
  5. Experiment and Iterate:
    • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different prompts and iterations to refine your results. If you’re not satisfied with the initial response, rephrase your request or provide more details.
  6. Set the Tone:
    • Specify the tone or style you want the content to have. You can say, “Write a formal product description” or “Create a friendly and engaging social media post.”
  7. Ask for Variations:
    • If you need options to choose from, you can request multiple responses. For example, “Provide three different headlines for a blog post about email marketing.”
  8. Use Predefined Structures:
    • If you have a specific format in mind, outline it in your prompt. For instance, “Create a step-by-step guide on setting up Google Ads, including an introduction, main steps, and conclusion.”
  9. Clarify Ambiguities:
    • If ChatGPT gives a response that doesn’t align with your intent, you can ask for clarifications or ask it to elaborate on a specific point.
  10. Review and Edit:
    • AI-generated content may not always be perfect, so make sure to review and edit the responses for accuracy, clarity, and coherence before using them in your marketing materials.
  11. Train the Model:
    • If you frequently use specific terminology or industry jargon, you can “teach” the model by providing definitions or context in your prompts.
  12. Stay Updated:
    • Keep yourself updated with the latest developments in generative AI. Improvements may occur over time, so be aware of any updates or new features.
  13. Be Polite:
    • Let’s start our relationship with artificial intelligence on a positive note, treating it as we would wish to be treated. Who knows when it might be “them” in charge of us, so let’s impart the lesson that politeness entails no cost and that human values include compassion.

Remember that practice and experimentation are key to mastering generative AI. Over time, you’ll become more proficient at crafting prompts that yield the results you desire.

Digital Project Manager
Digital project manager for Lighthouse and a Lecturer at Harper Adams University . He can be contacted through LinkedIn or the Lighthouse contact page

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