Will Scott at Pubcon 2023: How to Use AI for Content Marketing

October 20th, 2023 by Collin Guedon

Key Insights

  • It’s not hyperbole to say AI has the potential to change everything about how marketers produce content.
  • SEO is not dead, and neither is ChatGPT.
  • The AI sandwich is a content creation workflow that utilizes AI-powered tools and human creativity to create high-quality content that is helpful to readers.
  • The people who work with AI owe it to their fellow humans to use it responsibly.

On September 21st, 2023, Search Influence Co-founder and CEO Will Scott presented at the Pubcon Pro Annual conference in Austin, Texas.

This is the second time Will presented on AI Content at Pubcon in 2023, the first being in February 2023.

Will presented “Robots, Revolution, and the Death of ChatGPT” under Pubcon’s session title “ChatGPT and AI Use Cases for Marketers.” President of Content at Scale, Julia McCoy showed off her own interesting findings in her presentation “Future of SEO Content is AI” during the same session.

During their respective presentations, the two content creation experts discussed how marketers can utilize artificial intelligence to create content more efficiently — without sacrificing the quality of their writing.

In this blog post, we’ll break down the key takeaways of Will’s thoughts on content marketing AI and how this new tech could produce a win-win situation for content marketers and their audiences.

What Is Pubcon?

The Pubcon Pro Annual 2023 conference was held on September 19-21, 2023, at the AT&T Conference Center in Austin, Texas. In its 22nd year, Pubcon boasts well-known speakers sharing both cutting-edge and tried-and-true digital marketing strategies focusing on search engine optimization and content creation.

The conference helps attendees learn about new industry trends and generate ideas for their marketing efforts. At this conference, and at Pubcon earlier in the year, there has been much discussion about AI for content marketing and artificial intelligence in general.

Session at a Glance: ChatGPT and AI Use Cases for Marketers

As someone who has worked in the SEO and content marketing world for over 20 years, Will Scott has seen trends come and go. But he believes it’s not hyperbole to say AI has the potential to change everything about how marketers produce content.

Since becoming (admittedly) obsessed with OpenAI ChatGPT and countless other AI content tools in the late winter months of 2022, Will brainstormed ways marketers can use AI to make digital marketing work leaner.

In his presentation, “Robots, Revolution, and the Death of ChatGPT,” he shared his findings with the masses.

Will’s session took an in-depth look at how big and small companies alike boost content creation productivity by tapping into the power of AI writing.

All who attended learned effective strategies for harnessing AI to replace 7+ hours of work per piece while maintaining a genuine connection with their human audience and preserving their unique brand story and style.

Will presented case studies and offered practical advice and inspiration for marketers based on months of hands-on work.

Julia McCoy and Content at Scale

Julia McCoy is a trailblazing entrepreneur and online content strategy thought leader who has spent her career helping marketers scale their content creation process for maximum revenue.

In her role as President at Content at Scale, Julia helps human writers and marketers create high-quality AI-generated content.

Content creators across the globe have implemented Julia’s ideas, and she is a trusted voice in the AI content creation space.

Robots, Revolution, and the Death of ChatGPT

Will’s presentation, “Robots, Revolution, and the Death of ChatGPT,” is the second installment in his “AI Sandwich” series. It’s an update from his previous Pubcon presentation, “Chatbots, AI, and the Marketer’s Conundrum,” when generative AI first broke ground in late 2022 and early 2023.

In his first presentation, he discussed the AI buzz and listed some popular AI content creation tools (Midjourney, Jasper, Originality.ai, etc.).

This experienced SEO and content marketer expanded upon these ideas in his second presentation, with updates that include:

  • Data points
  • Real-world case studies
  • Tips to help marketers improve content creation and edit AI-created content

What is the AI Sandwich technique?

AI sandwich

This isn’t your average turkey sub or pastrami on rye.

The AI sandwich is a content creation workflow that utilizes AI-powered tools and human creativity to create high-quality content (social media posts, blog posts, long-form content, short-form content, ad copy, etc.) that is helpful to readers.

The process goes like this: A human writer creates the prompts, AI handles the content generation, and then the human edits the AI-generated content.

This process helps to create content that satisfies Google’s Search Quality Raters, who review content for signals such as Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-E-A-T).

In essence, readers come to Google hungry for knowledge.

They want content with nutritional value — not empty calories.

Content created solely by AI is comparable to eating ramen noodles and chips in your college dorm room.

The AI Sandwich is the meal your Mom makes you when you come home for the weekend — hearty and sure to satisfy.

Will Scott on AI in Content Marketing 2.0

Hundreds (probably thousands) of blog articles have been written about AI content and content creation tools in the last year or so — a lot of it written by artificial intelligence.

In his Pubcon presentation, Will gave a human voice to the subject.

Below is a brief review of some of the topics covered.

Addressing the misconceptions

SEO is not dead

SEO is not dead, and AI tools will not take your job.

Rather, it’s more likely that an expert using AI-powered tools will replace you. It’s a little harsh, but you still have plenty of time to become an AI tools expert.

In fact, the AI Sandwich technique and Julia’s AIO method prove that AI tools still need human input to create content that converts.

ChatGPT is not dead

Despite what clickbait headlines might say, ChatGPT is also alive and well.

As seen in the screenshot below depicting 12 months of Google Trends Data, people far and wide are still interested in the AI-powered creation tool.

ChatGPT Google Trends

Remember all the “Paul is dead” rumors after the Beatles star appeared on the Abbey Road cover in bare feet?

It turned out the legendary musician was more than alive and was, in fact, gearing up for another slew of hit albums.

Friends, ChatGPT is not only alive but might also be about to release its Band on the Run.

Talking about tools

Tools, tools, tools, and more tools!

As with anything new that hits the market, there always seems to be an overflow before the tide settles.

At Search Influence, we’ve tested several AI-powered tools for everything from social media captions to marketing strategy and idea generation. While we’re still feeling things out, we do have a few tools we plan to keep in the rotation.

AI-generated content tools the SI team is using/testing

  • Content at Scale
  • Machined.ai
  • Surfer SEO AI Writer
  • ZimmWriter

Image and visual content tools the SI team is using/testing

  • Dall-E 2
  • Midjourney
  • Stable Diffusion

SEO and keyword research tools the SI team is using/testing

  • PageOptimizer Pro
  • Surfer
  • Frase

Video tool the SI team is using/testing

  • Wave.video

Opportunities, concerns, and next steps

These natural language generation tools offer countless opportunities for marketers when used correctly. Tools like the ones above are great if you need to generate content ideas, research relevant keywords, develop lists of facts and FAQs, or program code.

But don’t forget — these tools aren’t perfect. In fact, sometimes they can be wrong.

Think of using AI tools like grading an eager middle school student’s paper. You recognize how marvelous their work is and how much progress they’ve made while still understanding they’re young, so there are bound to be typos, necessary edits, and fact-checking.

The concern is that lazy SEOs and spammers will rely solely on AI content marketing tools to create their content. This practice is especially dangerous when working on YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) pages. Content marketers and SEOs that only use AI and don’t keep Google’s E-E-A-T requirements in mind will soon see their rankings drop.

Don’t be a lazy SEO — test it, but don’t spam it.

AI content creation + human editing + fact-checking = quality writing at an efficient rate.

For example, Will used but didn’t abuse ChatGPT to create blog content on the Skyscraper Method and ChatGPT data mining. It’s an interesting, informative read assisted by AI but led by a human brain.

If you can use AI for content tools while still being thoughtful about your work and using good sense methods like the AI sandwich, these little robots could be your new work bestie.

AI in Content Creation and Marketing: Far From Over

Will and the Search Influence team love being early adopters of generative AI. While we enjoy using it for everything from writing email subject lines to competitive research, we still exercise caution against leaning on it too heavily.

We look forward to implementing more natural language processing tools in our content strategy as the industry develops. But as game-changing as we think these tools are, we use them while keeping a few key ideas in mind:

  • AI writing tools will lead to an overflow of information, some good, some not so good.
  • It is the responsibility of marketers, journalists, and creatives not to generate blog posts full of useless fluff and flood social media channels with unchecked facts and misinformation.
  • Those at the frontline of this new industry owe it to our fellow humans not to abuse it.

With that being said, we think these content generation tools have an opportunity to positively impact the human experience in a similar way as the printing press and the Internet.

Ready to make your impact?

Contact us to learn more about generative AI in content marketing strategy and SEO.

This blog was written entirely by a human between coffee breaks and a little too much early Halloween candy.


Image Sources:

  1. Photo is from SI: https://www.searchinfluence.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Image-of-an-AI-Sandwich-as-imagined-by-Midjourney.png
  2. Photo is from SI: https://imgur.com/bgQhPoD