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Updated Apr 26, 2024

Write Like a Pro: How AI Can Turbocharge Your Small Business Marketing

In this walk-through, we show how small businesses can use ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini to generate engaging content.

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Anthony Bratti, Senior Advisor on Business Ownership
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Artificial intelligence tools are revolutionizing the way that businesses approach marketing. Powerful AI software can predict future trends, optimize ROI through targeting and analyze competition. Generative AI is also taking over the creative side of marketing, which includes copywriting, advertising and content creation.

This guide dives into generating written AI content for your business. We compare results from ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini – two of the most popular free tools on the market.

Using AI for different types of marketing content

Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT and Gemini are revolutionizing the way that small business owners generate written content, including copywriting, blog and social media posts, advertising and more. It can also assist in turning your marketing campaign ideas into reality by cutting down on labor-intensive brainstorming, content creation and editing.

Marketing work that previously took days or weeks can now be done in seconds – if you know the right prompts. Creating the right prompt is vital in getting a finished product you are happy with. The prompt process is not a one-and-done task. You need to write a prompt, review the results and then keep tweaking the prompt. In general, the prompt needs to be as detailed as possible.

Advertising copy

With AI tools such as ChatGPT and Gemini, you get a whole advertising team at your fingertips. Brainstorming catchy taglines and other ad copy is as simple as entering the right prompt.

For the example below, we decided to create ad copy for a hair salon. We asked both ChatGPT and Gemini to help by using the following request:

Prompt 1: Create compelling ad copy for my hair salon. 

ChatGPT

ChatGPT salon ad copy

Our analysis: ChatGPT’s response, at 224 words, did include a few useful nuggets. The emojis and hashtags would work well for a social media post. However, we found some of ChatGPT’s wording to be a bit awkward and unspecific. Phrases such as “experience luxury” and “customized creations” could be used to describe a wide variety of products and services.

Gemini

Gemini salon ad copy

Our analysis: Gemini’s response clocked in at 241 words and included headlines, ad copy and calls to action. We liked that the upbeat descriptions (“healthy, vibrant, and manageable”) are a bit more specific to hair. The AI tool also added a “bonus” section that anticipated follow-up actions, including offering a discount, posting pictures and further targeting.

But with AI, it often helps to get more specific, especially about your target audience. In the second version of our request, we again asked AI to create ad copy for a hair salon, but for one that serves mostly women. Note that you can change “hair salon” to your type of business, and “women” to your particular target audience.

Prompt 2: Create compelling ad copy for my hair salon targeting women.

ChatGPT

ChatGPT salon ad copy

Our analysis: ChatGPT’s response, at around 100 words this time, offered a few sound bites that were more women-specific. However, most of the ad still read a bit too mechanical, in our view.

Gemini

Gemini salon ad copy

Our analysis: On the other hand, Gemini’s response doubled the length at 200 words, and again included headlines, ad copy and calls to action. We were impressed by Gemini’s wordplay (“unleash your inner goddess” and “help you love your hair again”).

We decided to take the prompt one step further by adding language about prom day.

Prompt 3: Create compelling ad copy for my hair salon targeting women during high school prom season.

ChatGPT

ChatGPT salon ad copy

Our analysis: This time, at 262 words, ChatGPT provided a slightly longer response than Gemini. It also seemed to possess a better understanding of what prom entails, with specific copy about styles to “match your prom dress” and an upsell for makeup.

Gemini

Gemini prom-specific salon ad copy

Our analysis: Gemini’s copy fell a bit short of being prom-specific. Phrases like “shine brighter than a disco ball” seemed a bit odd. However, the AI did helpfully suggest partnering with local dress shops and makeup artists for a prom package deal.

For our final prompt iteration, we gathered the best aspects of the previous drafts to craft a much more specific request:

Prompt 4:  Create compelling ad copy for my hair salon targeting 16-18-year-old women during high school prom season. Use a positive, upbeat tone and include appropriate social media hashtags. Emphasize that our stylists have experience with all hair types and follow the latest trends in fashion. At the end, mention that we offer package deals for makeup as well. 

ChatGPT

ChatGPT final salon ad copy

Gemini

Gemini salon ad copy

Our analysis: WIth this added detail, both AI chatbots came back with more concise copy. ChatGPT’s 188-word reply to this prompt was its best yet, in our opinion. However, Gemini’s 156-word response was its shortest, and perhaps a little less punchy than its previous attempts. In this case, getting more specific with the prompt dramatically improved ChatGPT’s output, while Gemini’s seemed to regress.

Verdict

Overall, we preferred Gemini for writing advertising copy. Google’s AI program generated a more compelling ad with less direction, while ChatGPT needed much more detailed input before providing a satisfactory result.

Product descriptions

Next, we challenged AI to write a compelling product description. In this case, we decided to market protein powder targeted primarily toward male bodybuilders (again, you can tailor this prompt to your own business).

For the first iteration, we used this simple query:

Prompt 1: Using SEO best practices, generate a product description for protein powder targeted toward male bodybuilders.

ChatGPT

ChatGPT product description

Our analysis: Again, ChatGPT’s 280-word response is well-formatted for social media, although we found its reply to be overly generalized. It also seemed that ChatGPT misunderstood our query, writing that our protein powder was “engineered with SEO best practices” and that “our product description ensures that you … get top-notch information”). Clearly, this underscores the need to review AI’s output.

Gemini

Gemini product description

Our analysis: Google’s Gemini had a much easier time answering our prompt. Although the description itself only comes in at 158 words, note that the AI incorporated keywords in a more natural-sounding manner. We liked that Gemini got specific with its description, writing that the product contained 25 grams of protein per serving, and was free from artificial flavors, sweeteners, and fillers.

In our second iteration, we tried a significantly longer prompt, asking for more specific details on the product. We also rephrased the section on SEO to avoid the errors of the first prompt.

Prompt 2: Generate a product description for protein powder targeted to male bodybuilders in the 18-40 age range. Use strong, powerful language. Create bullet points based on the technical aspects of the product, including that it has 25 grams of whey protein per serving and is free from artificial flavors, sweeteners, and fillers. Add other appropriate details that buyers may want to know about. Be sure to follow SEO best practices when writing the description to maximize discoverability on platforms such as Amazon.

ChatGPT

ChatGPT product description

Our analysis: In some respects, ChatGPT went a bit overboard with our instruction for “strong, powerful language” for “male bodybuilders in the 18-40 age range.” We would have preferred a description that didn’t explicitly mention our target demographic. ChatGPT’s answer also lacked some of the technical language incorporated by Gemini.

Gemini

Gemini product description

Our analysis: Like ChatGPT, we didn’t think it was necessary for Gemini to outright state the target audience in its description. However, we did appreciate that Gemini included more of the product’s technical aspects, and also provided suggestions for other elements to include in the description.

Instead of rewriting the whole prompt, we simply asked the chatbots to remove the bits that we found undesirable and substitute them with something else. In this case, we wanted a product that could appeal to a wider audience, while retaining much of the language intended for our target demographic.

Prompt 3: Write the same article again, but remove the reference to male bodybuilders aged 18-40 and substitute it with more general language.

ChatGPT

ChatGPT product description

Gemini

Gemini product description

Our analysis: For both ChatGPT and Gemini, we found this final iteration to be much stronger than our initial prompt. The descriptions contained both compelling ad copy and a strong description of the product’s technical aspects.

Verdict

Like our previous exercise in writing advertising copy, Gemini provided better initial results using a much shorter prompt. We also liked that Gemini gave us suggestions for improvement that we hadn’t yet thought about. However, once we provided a more detailed prompt, we found that both ChatGPT and Gemini produced similar results.

Social media posts

Many small businesses, especially those in food or retail, are highly visual in nature. In the age of Instagram, eye-catching photography can make or break a new restaurant or e-commerce business.

To ensure that your social media posts reach the right audience, it is equally important to write an attention-grabbing description and use appropriate hashtags.

In this example, we asked ChatGPT and Gemini to think up a description for a social media post that encourages people to drop by our coffee shop on a Wednesday.

Prompt 1:  Write a description for a social media post encouraging people to come to my coffee shop on Wednesday. Include 30 relevant hashtags.

ChatGPT

ChatGPT social media post

Gemini

Gemini social media post

Our analysis: Here, we think both tools offered some interesting content. ChatGPT’s answer felt more like a modern Instagram post, complete with appropriate emojis and a call to tag friends. We liked that the AI reminded you to include both your business’s address and operating hours in the post. Gemini’s output was noticeably shorter but could work well if you needed a more basic description.

For our second iteration of the coffee shop prompt, we added more detail about location, amenities and food/beverage offerings.

Prompt 2: Write an uplifting description for a social media post encouraging people to come to my coffee shop near Boston University on Wednesday. My shop offers free Wi-Fi, pastries, sandwiches, and a variety of specialty coffees. The target audience includes remote workers, students, and workers from nearby office buildings. Include 30 relevant hashtags and appropriate emojis.

ChatGPT

ChatGPT Instagram post with emojis

Gemini

Gemini social media post

Our analysis: Again, we preferred the response from ChatGPT, which generated a more exciting description and made better use of emojis than Gemini.

Verdict

For generating social media post descriptions, we would give the edge to ChatGPT. This was the case with both long and short prompts. Meanwhile, Gemini’s output was less detailed and didn’t incorporate emojis as well as ChatGPT’s response.

Blog

Search engine optimization (SEO) remains one of the top avenues for small businesses to bring in customers. SEO refers to the best practices for getting your product or service to rank higher in search results. This can help drive organic traffic to your site or listing at no cost.

Today’s AI tools take the pain out of writing SEO content. We asked ChatGPT and Gemini to write an SEO-optimized blog post for a local car mechanic on the importance of oil changes.

Prompt 1:  Using SEO best practices, write a 500-word blog post for an auto mechanic business that talks about the importance of regular oil changes.

ChatGPT

ChatGPT blog post

Gemini

Gemini blog post

Our analysis: ChatGPT’s article isn’t necessarily wrong, but we found it less readable and organized than Gemini’s post. Gemini’s article featured a modern blog layout designed for readability. We liked that the blog post clearly explained the purpose and benefits of regular oil changes, as well as the consequences of skipping them. The article also included a clear call to action.

Expanding on the first prompt, we asked the chatbots to emphasize the importance of oil changes in a wintry city (in this case, Detroit). We also wanted to ensure that potential customers could get value from the blog post by using non-technical language.

Prompt 2: Write a 500-word blog post for an auto mechanic business that talks about the importance of regular oil changes. Make sure that the content is relevant to customers in Detroit, which experiences a harsh winter. Use language that is easy for non-mechanics to understand. Explain the purpose and benefits of regular oil changes, and why you shouldn’t skip them. Include a clear call to action.

ChatGPT

ChatGPT optimized blog post

Our analysis: With this longer prompt, ChatGPT did a better job optimizing the post for readability and covering the most important aspects of oil changes. However, we still found the description to be a bit vague.

Gemini

Gemini blog post

Our analysis: Not only did Gemini replicate the thorough article of the previous prompt, but it also excelled in incorporating the importance of doing oil changes for the winter. Gemini directly addressed the technical aspects of why oil changes help a car run better during winter.

Verdict

We were especially impressed by Gemini’s blog post attempt, which clearly explained the benefits of keeping up with oil changes (and the negative consequences of failing to do so). Gemini also did a good job of addressing our request to emphasize weather-related benefits, while ChatGPT only vaguely referenced winter in Detroit.

How to get the most out of AI

Based on our experience using AI to write marketing content, we came away with a few actionable insights for small business owners.

Use multiple chatbots

Not all chatbots are built the same. We found that Gemini performed better with little direction, and generally produced more compelling and organized pieces compared with ChatGPT. However, ChatGPT clearly outperformed Gemini when it came to crafting social media posts.

Proofread everything

It should go without saying that business owners should closely examine any output from generative AI programs. We found that the way we posed certain questions confused the chatbot. AI’s phrasing also remained somewhat awkward in many instances. Human reviewers are still needed to check for errors and odd wording.

Write longer prompts

Oftentimes, generative AI programs perform better when they are provided with more detail. We started with basic prompts and continued iterating until we found a set of instructions that produced the most accurate results.

Provide feedback for the chatbot

Another helpful technique is to “talk” with the chatbot about its output. Tell ChatGPT or Gemini what you liked or didn’t like, and ask for a new response based on your feedback.

Mike Berner contributed to the writing and research of this article.

Anthony Bratti headshot
Anthony Bratti, Senior Advisor on Business Ownership
Anthony Bratti serves as Centerfield's President of Business & E-commerce Services, where he drives innovation and leverages data-driven strategies to achieve transformative results for the organization and its esteemed clientele. Prior to joining Centerfield, Anthony founded and served as the managing partner of the boutique commercial advisory firm Bratti + Company (B+Co), catalyzing growth for some of the most prominent brands in the private equity and venture capital communities. Prior to B+Co, he oversaw the transformation and development of the reseller channel, nationwide digital sales platform (LocalIQ), and nationwide direct-to-consumer emerging markets as Western Group President at Gannett. His background also includes 20 years as an executive at AT&T. During his tenure, Anthony consulted business for the company's global division, integrated digital operations of legacy Yellow Pages investments, and built broadband infrastructure for cable operators in the United States.
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