May 19, 2023

How a Banana Bread Recipe Foreshadows the Death of Content Marketing

The other day we had some overripe bananas so I looked up a banana bread recipe. As is my recent habit, I tried it both on old-school Google Search and also on ChatGPT and Bard. On Google Search, I was presented with a bunch of links, I picked one, and then had to annoyingly scroll down past filler copy, and the oversaturation of ads that filler copy enables, to finally reach the recipe. On ChatGPT and Bard, it just gave me a recipe; no filler copy, no ads.

That’s not to say AI search will always be ad-free. No doubt Google and Microsoft will eventually find an efficient way to bring search ads into the AI search experience. So SEM has a future for marketers.

But SEO is a different story. For the past 15-20 years, a standard of marketing has been to create a massive amount of informational content to try to get ranked on Google and drive traffic to your site, where you could then set up a machine to convert or monetize that traffic. It even got its own name, “Content Marketing”.

Those days are over, and it won’t take long. Information is going to live within the search experience, because AI search like ChatGPT, Bing, and Google Bard summarize what’s already online, rather than send traffic out. Google already announced on May 10 how it will incorporate generative AI into its primary search experience, so mass adoption of this new style of search is imminent.

How do marketers respond? The key is to focus on what AI doesn’t do well, which I already described in my last post, namely anything new and original. Marketers need to change their mindset away from cadence and quantity, toward originality and quality. The way to stay differentiated and continue to attract attention is to have the most compelling, original, innovative, insightful commentary and analysis.

How can you do this?
– Primary research, such as via surveys, to quantify the perspectives, priorities, and actions of the buyer universe, or if you’re a B2B marketer, your buyers’ buyer universe.
– Original data analytics, especially of proprietary data such as user data, to uncover and quantify industry trends and show how tech works.
– New and compelling ideas for how things are changing, and how to prepare. My hope is this article is an example.
– Deep points of view that are differentiated, smart, and insightful.

AI is bad at all of these things, and that’s unlikely to change soon. In fact, if you do this well, perhaps the work you and your team produce will become the standard that AI search uses to populate responses to future queries.

If you want to chat through how generative AI changes the game for marketers, and how to win in the new world, set up a free introductory session with Persuasion Art here.

P.S. – This image is my first custom image I created with Midjourney that I’ve used for a post. How did I do??