If your SEO tactics work well for content discoverability, give yourself a pat on the back, and then start working on a plan for generative AI discoverability because everyone is going to need one.
B2B buyers are using publicly available generative AI tools such as ChatGPT, Dall-E2 or Jasper to find solutions to their problems, just as they have used publicly available search tools for decades. Search is not going away as a discovery tool, but people are finding that gen AI answers are more helpful because it takes less time to find actionable information.
The truth is, you need both an SEO strategy and a gen AI strategy to stay relevant to your buyers.
Publishing on your Website is Key Right Now
Gen AI is evolving faster than any other breakthrough technology we’ve witnessed over the past 30 years, and it’s only a matter of time before we see a bunch of gen AI platforms and channels for specific commercial purposes. Google and Microsoft have already released sector-specific functionality for healthcare workers, and smaller companies like Ai21 Labs are developing even more focused task-specific capabilities. These models are usually trained on privately owned and pre-vetted data, so they aren’t yet open for your messaging. At the same time, Google and Microsoft have been quick to add gen AI copilot chat bots into their workplace apps, but these combinations are geared more toward improving productivity. They will still pick up content on the internet, but ultimately Google and Microsoft control them, so how discriminating they’ll be over time with content has yet to be seen.
That’s why focusing on generally available gen AI systems that work outside of business apps is the best opportunity for discoverability because these apps draw on an ever-growing corpus of knowledge available to anyone via the internet without platform affiliations.
SEO does this too, but gen AI is fundamentally different in that it creates conversations to answer questions rather than a prescribed list of resources that must then be reviewed. This means you need to have a plan to get in on the conversation, and not just land a spot on a list.
Showcase Your Brand with New Knowledge
Meeting a buyer through a gen AI app is a lot like meeting them in person: You need to have something interesting to say to gain and keep their attention, but first you have to show up at the right party. To do this you need more brand-affiliated content in your mix because a response to a prompt likely won’t include a link for more information. But putting out a lot of brand-affiliated content alongside SEO-driven content increases the likelihood your brand will always be part of the answer.
Using one or more of these five content strategies to create buyer-focused content can help not only with SEO, but also with embedding your brand in gen AI answers.
- Offer unique research that answers buyers’ questions directly: If your brand doesn’t have a quarterly or annual research project to generate content topics and validate themes, now’s a great time to start. This strategy pushes new knowledge–specifically geared to your customers and branded with your name–-into the internet information base on a regular basis. A buyer survey of 10 to 15 questions is not difficult to conduct, and with properly tuned questions, the results can feed a steady drip of timely, relevant content for gen AI Q&A.
- Spotlight expert advice and opinions: Attract gen AI crawlers by tapping the highly valuable brains of influencers and SMEs to help you publish new opinions and observations in blogs and podcasts, as well as more formatted Q&As that answer actual questions. None of your competitors have this information because they don’t have your SMEs, so spotlighting your experts sets you apart with unique knowledge.
- Fully optimize content from online and in-person events: I’ve observed that in general, a lot of content opportunities from events go unharvested despite a major investment of time and money. Now with gen AI, maximizing these opportunities is even more important because, like research, events can source an ongoing stream of timely, branded, relevant content. If you do nothing other than publish transcripts from presentations and talks, you’ll be putting yourself at the right party for a buyer conversation, but look at other opportunities: Use the transcripts to create fact sheets, Q&As and other content you can publish online, and invite other people to publish their materials from the event on your website. The best-case scenario if you host or sponsor an event is to have a year-round website hub that augments and aligns with event topics.
- Publish an HTML newsletter: An HTML-based newsletter is a great way to scale and operationalize the publishing of buyer-relevant content. One thing to remember about web-crawling gen AI apps is that every time you publish new information, it’s like updating that app with your new information. Getting on a regular weekly, monthly or quarterly schedule of pushing out new branded information is an ideal state, and newsletters are a great way to do that. Bonus: Include new releases of data from your unique research, and new opinions and observations from your SMEs.
- Enhance your storytelling: Nothing sounds more like human conversation than actual human conversation. Review your brand guidelines for tone, word choices and content composition, which might need to be adjusted to encourage more conversational copy. You could also make an effort to expand language-based storytelling. For example, if you publish an infographic designed for quickly digesting a small number of key stats in a tight storyline, also produce a blog that quotes the same stats but presents them with a conversational tone and in a composition that anticipates questions and provides answers.
Get More Ideas and Answers
These strategies can help your brand be more discoverable by gen AI as soon as you publish the content, but what works today might not work tomorrow. Gen AI is moving that fast!
We’re keeping up with all of the changes and advising our clients based on what they can do today and tomorrow. Let us know how we can help you.