AI definitely has a place for content creation, but where does it fit in for thought leadership creation? These are two different things. I loved this post, “AI for Thought Leadership: 5 Prompts That Get You Halfway There,” by my good friend, Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder and CMO of Orbit Media. 

I like Andy’s even-handed evaluations of what AI can and should do, and what humans still need to do. He makes a clear case for letting AI create “commodity content” and that meta descriptions, ALT tags, and YouTube video descriptions are a bad use of human time, and to let AI do that for you. 

But what about thought leadership? Most companies want to create content that distinguishes them in the marketplace and attracts the attention of prospective customers / clients. 

We need to start by defining what thought leadership is, and how it differs from commodity content. Crestodina writes:

Not all content marketing is thought leadership. A lot of content marketing (including most of ours) is purely educational. “How-to” content may come from a point-of-view, but mostly, it isn’t based on beliefs. It isn’t making the case for anything, therefore it isn’t thought leadership.

True thought leadership comes from personal experience. It takes a stand. A thought leader takes a position for (and therefore against) something. A thought leadership piece draws a line in the sand.

Crestodina asserts that thought leadership is impossible for AI. 

Maybe a few of you felt some relief reading this? I know I did. 

Thought leadership, and compelling content for that matter, will draw a reader or viewer in. It will catch their attention and elicit an emotion. It will be memorable and break through the noise. It may give them an aha moment, it might inspire them, or it might piss them off. 

Crestodina continues:

We asked 480 marketers what qualifies as thought leadership. Most agreed that “strong opinions” were essential.

Of course, AI has no opinions. It has no life experiences. It has no beliefs or worldview. So it can’t write thought leadership content.

But you and I have LOTS of opinions and beliefs, and we likely have a specific way that we see the world. As a service provider, that is a big part of what you sell and why someone wants to work with you versus someone else. An established brand would have specific messaging points and a worldview of sorts. 

Although AI can’t create thought leadership for you, according to Crestodina, it can help you identify topics you might want to cover and do research for you. It might even be able to write a draft with bullet points that you could then edit and build out. 

Crestodina includes specific prompts you can use in ChatGPT or another AI program. This article was fascinating and I highly recommend reading the whole article here

Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash