What It Can and Can’t Do

Unless you’ve been living totally off the grid since mid-2022, you’ve probably heard a lot about ChatGPT. It’s been all over the Internet ever since its release, and there’s plenty of chatter about what it can do. Further down on this page, we’ll be looking at some ChatGPT examples.

As an AI content tool, ChatGPT can generate written content in response to human-given prompts — and not just any written content, but content that sounds (mostly) as though it was written by a human. Given that incredible technological leap, it’s no surprise that there’s a lot of chatter about how ChatGPT can be used for marketing.

But as a marketer, how can (and should) you actually use ChatGPT? There are several things ChatGPT can do well, but there are others that it’s not so good at. The question is, what are those things? That’s what we’re here to answer.

In this blog post, we’ll go over eight ChatGPT examples — that is, eight examples of ChatGPT in action. First, we’ll look at four examples of things ChatGPT can do well. Then we’ll shift to four things it can’t do very well.

Keep reading to find out more. You can also check out this video on AI marketing tools:

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What It Can and Can’t Do

4 positive examples of ChatGPT

Let’s start by covering the things ChatGPT is good at. Here are four ChatGPT examples that show how it can benefit your marketing efforts:

  1. Assisting with blog post outlines
  2. Enhancing headline generation
  3. Providing basic info on select topics
  4. Replicating certain tones and voices

Read on for an overview of each one!

1. Assisting with blog post outlines

One of the first things ChatGPT can do for you is help you write outlines for your blog posts and articles.

In this example, I asked ChatGPT to generate an outline of a blog post about the benefits of partnering with a financial consultant. I also specified how long I wanted the outline to be and how many sections I wanted it to have.

As you can see, ChatGPT did a relatively good job at following my instructions. This outline works as a good starting point for a blog post — it sets up a basic structure for the page and lists a few different benefits of partnering with a financial consultant, including the expertise and long-term support that a consultant would provide.

Of course, I wouldn’t want to just copy and paste this outline. It’s a good start, but it needs work. Still, with some human editing, this could be a good outline. At the very least, it could provide some ideas for potential headers.

You can use ChatGPT in the same way when you approach your own blog posts. Make sure you’re still relying primarily on human writers, but consider using AI to help assist those writers and generate suggestions for them.

2. Enhancing headline generation

Another way ChatGPT can benefit your writing is by assisting with headline generation. These headlines might be email headers, blog post title tags, or ad headlines.

In this example, I asked ChatGPT to come up with a headline for a manufacturing marketing email. I deliberately avoided being too specific about the email’s topic because I wanted to see what the AI would come up with when it didn’t have a ton of context.

You can see from this screenshot that even without a lot of context, ChatGPT did a pretty good job. It approached the headline from an ‘innovative’ angle, using words like “revolutionary” and “cutting-edge” — which I think was a good choice.

Overall, this example shows that ChatGPT can be great for headline generation. I might not use the exact headline it gave me — it could probably use a couple of human tweaks — but just like with the last example, it’s a great start that can really speed up your process.

3. Providing basic info on select topics

Sometimes, you might find yourself writing about a topic you’re unfamiliar with, at which point you may want to use ChatGPT to help you research that topic.

In this example, that’s exactly what I did. I asked ChatGPT to give me a definition of professional services companies and what they do.

ChatGPT neatly summarized the purpose of professional services companies and even provided some examples of the industries they specialize in. Overall, if I hadn’t known anything about that type of business, this would have been a helpful and informative introduction.

Using ChatGPT for research does have its limitations — as we’ll see later, it doesn’t fare as well when it comes to niche topics. But if you’re just looking for general, introductory info on a new topic, it can be a useful tool.

4. Replicating certain tones and voices

ChatGPT isn’t just helpful for generating information — you can also use it to help you nail down the right tone.

In this example, I asked ChatGPT to come up with a social media post that advertises a new line of clothing. I specified that I wanted it to use a voice that sounded informal while still remaining professional.

First off, let’s address the obvious — ChatGPT didn’t do a great job at generating a social media post. It’s way too long, it makes a couple of odd emoji choices, and it would need to be edited to be more specific to the actual type of clothing being advertised.

But that’s okay! I didn’t plan on using the post itself. Instead, my goal in generating this text was to get a feel for that “professional, but informal, voice.” And as far as voice goes, ChatGPT definitely delivered. I then tried it again with a much more formal voice, and it did an equally good job.

Again, this wouldn’t work as an actual post. But both of the above examples can help me get a feel for what those two different tones should sound like when I write my own social media posts. You can use it in the same way for your own marketing, be it social media or email.

4 negative examples of ChatGPT

Now that we’ve covered how using ChatGPT for marketing can work for you, let’s talk about areas where it doesn’t work. Because, as advanced as ChatGPT is, it’s still riddled with issues — some of which are fundamentally baked into the way the tool works.

Here are four examples of ChatGPT tasks that the program simply isn’t able to perform well:

  1. Providing up-to-date information
  2. Giving accurate info about niche subjects
  3. Citing legitimate and reputable sources
  4. Generating new and original ideas

Keep reading to find out more about each one.

1. Providing up-to-date information

As you’re likely aware, a successful marketing strategy has to stay up to date and account for any current trends in the industry. If your marketing is years behind your competitors, you won’t have a shot at beating them.

So, I decided to ask ChatGPT for some help identifying the latest trends. For this example, I asked specifically about what changes happened in 2023 for the business-to-business (B2B) industry.

Right out of the gate, ChatGPT’s response essentially says, “Sorry, can’t help you.” That’s because, as it points out, it doesn’t have any awareness of anything past 2021. And while ChatGPT will probably get updated with newer information in the years to come, it will always be at least a year or two behind the present day.

That means it’s just not a helpful resource for learning or writing about anything current. Not only can it not account for recent news or changes in your industry, but it also has no ability to talk about industry trends or predict what might happen in the future.

2. Giving accurate info about niche subjects

One of the biggest concerns with ChatGPT is accuracy. As we’ve already seen, ChatGPT is perfectly capable of returning accurate information — at least, if you’re only looking for general information on a broad topic.

But what happens if you start getting into very niche topics? Is ChatGPT’s info still as accurate?

To answer that question, I decided to test ChatGPT on the topic I know the most niche information about — the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. I picked two of Tolkien’s lesser-known characters and gave ChatGPT a prompt about them.

Wow! What a well-written, seemingly thoughtful response. Oh, except there is one small issue — the scene I described in that prompt never actually happened. Those characters weren’t even alive at the same time as each other.

ChatGPT, however, was successfully tricked into thinking that they encountered one another. Not only that, but it provided an entire, in-depth response about something that never happened.

Now, I’m a giant Tolkien nerd, so I knew that information was false when I typed it out. But that might not be the case for you if you ever find yourself researching a niche subject on ChatGPT. And you won’t be looking up Tolkien info — you’ll be researching important industry information.

Imagine if you were to ask ChatGPT a question about some niche industry concept, but the question itself contained a misconception. Rather than correcting it, ChatGPT might confirm — and even exacerbate — your misconception. The next thing you know, you’re publishing wildly inaccurate information on your blog without realizing it.

It seems as though the less niche a topic is, the less likely this is to happen. For instance, when I fed ChatGPT a similar prompt using two much more well-known Tolkien characters, it was at least able to recognize that I had made it up (though, oddly, it still answered the question as though it were real):

And then when I went all-in and invented a totally absurd scene from The Lord of the Rings, ChatGPT was finally able to tell me straight-up that no such scene existed.

So, the good news is that broader, more well-known topics are (somewhat) safer in this department. But when you’re dealing with niche subjects, inaccuracy is a big danger — so, it might be best to avoid using ChatGPT for those subjects.

3. Citing legitimate and reputable sources

Just as ChatGPT will sometimes provide false information, there’s also the danger of it providing false sources.

Whenever you use any kind of quotes, statistics, or data in your marketing, you want to make sure you cite your sources. The question is, if you use ChatGPT to help you generate data, can it tell you where that data came from?

In this example, that’s exactly what I decided to test. I asked ChatGPT about construction industry trends and told it to provide me with 10 sources.

Looks good, right? Well, it does at first — until you start clicking on the links.

Out of 10 “sources,” only one link (the first one) led to an actual page. All of the others brought up 404 errors. Now, is it possible that 9/10 of those pages have simply been taken down since 2021? Sure — technically. But is it likely? No. Far likelier is the possibility that ChatGPT simply made up all but one of the “sources” it gave me.

Imagine if you were to put up a quote or statistic on your site, and it turned out that ChatGPT just made it up, along with its supposed “source.” At best, you’d have unhappy customers. At worst, you could get sued.

So, if you decide to use ChatGPT to help you find any kind of citation-worthy data, tread with caution!

4. Generating new and original ideas

For our final example of ChatGPT weak points, let’s give it a shot at being creative. After all, creativity is the root of all good content!

To test ChatGPT’s creative spirit, I gave it an easy challenge: Come up with a new idea for getting people to subscribe to a pest control email list. I didn’t even specify that the idea had to be good, just that it had to be original.

As you can see, ChatGPT listed some great ideas! Only problem is… they’ve already been done before. By countless companies, in fact. Downloadable guides? Special deals? These are not new email marketing tactics. In fact, they’re about as old as email marketing itself.

This demonstrates yet another of ChatGPT’s limits: It can’t create. In fact, the entire way the program works is by copying what actual humans have written on the Internet. Unlike people, it can’t come up with truly new ideas. At best, it can occasionally get lucky enough to string words together in a new way.

So, if you’re trying to come up with some creative ideas or revolutionary new tactics, please don’t turn to ChatGPT. Instead, look to your human writers and their amazing brains.

How should you use ChatGPT for marketing?

So, now that we’ve looked at some examples of all the ways using ChatGPT can (and can’t) be helpful, the question we’re left with is this: Should you use ChatGPT for your digital marketing? And if so, how?

How does ChatGPT work?

First of all, it’s important to understand how ChatGPT works. The program generates content by calculating which words are the most likely to follow which other words, and it determines that by looking at what actual humans have written.

For that reason, ChatGPT is great at doing things like summarizing basic information, mimicking specific writing styles, and developing particular phrasings. However, for the same reason, it’s also completely incapable of understanding the meaning of the words it uses.

ChatGPT doesn’t know what words mean — it just knows what patterns they tend to appear in. It can’t create new ideas, and it doesn’t have a concept of truth or honesty. That’s not even to mention the fact that it will always be a couple of years out of step with the most current information.

Why does this matter?

So, why bring up these shortcomings? Because those are the very things that matter the most in marketing. Marketing has to be fresh and creative to persuade people to make a purchase. It has to be truthful (or you might find yourself facing a false advertising lawsuit). It has to be up to date and current to keep ahead of the competition.

But ChatGPT can’t be any of those things. So when it comes to using ChatGPT in your marketing, it’s important to be honest with yourself about its limits. Don’t get caught up in the cultural fad of using AI for everything. Don’t hand ChatGPT the reins to your content marketing.

Instead, focus on using it where it’s actually proven to be helpful. Use it to help you generate starting points for article outlines and headlines. Use it to help you get a feel for a particular voice. Use it to conduct surface-level research about broad topics.

In summary, use the examples in this blog post to help you figure out where ChatGPT can genuinely help you — and where it can’t. A lot of companies are failing to take advantage of AI, but others are relying on it too much, using it for things that it just isn’t equipped to do.

If you’re able to find the balance, you’ll succeed where all of those companies will fail, and you’ll have an edge going into the coming years.

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However you choose to use ChatGPT, you’re still going to need the proficiency of experienced marketers at your side. If you don’t have an in-house marketing team, you might be wondering how you get that expertise. The answer is to partner with a digital marketing agency like WebFX.

WebFX has over 25 years of experience in the digital marketing industry, and in that time, we’ve generated over $3 billion in revenue for our clients. When you partner with us, you can get access to those same stellar services and see your income go up.

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