How ChatGPT’s Most Recent Update Affects Content Marketing for Law Firms

The release of ChatGPT’s latest update, GPT-4o, caused quite a stir when people realized that users could ask this AI tool to generate any combination of text, image, or audio. Here’s how these new capabilities may impact digital marketing for law firms.

Ever since OpenAI launched its content generation tool in 2022, nearly every industry has scrutinized the potential impact that such generative capabilities could have on their sector. Initially, content marketing strategists cautioned against the rapid adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) content generation tools without investigating and exploring the potential advantages and limitations of these technologies. The public soon recognized that although ChatGPT was a useful tool for providing quick summaries of various topics or generating amusing content based on seemingly random instructions (i.e., presenting the State of the Union speech as Shakespeare), limitations became obvious fairly quickly. For instance, ChatGPT did not always present accurate or factual information in its responses, and it often failed to cite its sources (raising concerns about plagiarism, copyright infringement, and other significant considerations). Moreover, many law firms that saw AI-powered content generation tools as a faster and cheaper way to create marketing content found the results lackluster at best, as content written by ChatGPT and similar tools frequently comes across as overly generic, vague, and stilted. OpenAI recently announced its latest model, GPT-4o, which the company describes as “our new flagship model that can reason across audio, vision, and text in real time.” So, how might these updated capabilities affect the digital marketing industry, especially for smaller to mid-sized law firms? Let’s take a look.

Understanding GPT-4o’s Enhanced Capabilities

According to OpenAI, the “o” in GPT-4o stands for “omni.” Essentially, the company views this latest AI technology as “a step towards much more natural human-computer interaction—it accepts as input any combination of text, audio, image, and video and generates any combination of text, audio, and image outputs.” Earlier models of ChatGPT relied on three separate models to capture, interpret, and generate voice and audio requests and responses. With GPT-4o, there is only one model that interprets and processes all inputs and outputs using a singular neural network. The public was somewhat surprised to learn that OpenAI is making GPT-4o available to users in the free tier, meaning that anyone may access these capabilities. However, it’s important to note that one of GPT-4o’s most anticipated features, the use of audio input and output, has not yet been made available to the public (although the company projects that this feature will be ready shortly).

Should Law Firms Use AI Technology For Content Marketing?

With the increasing availability of AI-powered content generation tools, many companies and businesses are wondering whether to entrust these technologies with content marketing tasks. The reasoning is pretty simple—why spend valuable time and money on writing web content, blog posts, and social media posts when a product like ChatGPT can deliver results much more quickly (and for free)? While this idea seems tempting, it’s essential to understand the limitations of relying too heavily on generative AI for law firms. Let’s take a look at some of the most common issues and limitations of AI-powered content generation technologies like ChatGPT when it comes to writing content to market your law firm.

Inaccurate or False Information

As an attorney, you pride yourself on the accuracy and reliability of all content you display on your law firm’s website. Unfortunately, generative AI tools have been known to “hallucinate” and present inaccurate (or even downright false) information in the responses they provide. Many of these AI-powered content generation tools seem to struggle with prioritizing high-quality sources when pulling information from the web to create responses. If you rely on these tools to generate content for your law firm’s website, be sure to review it carefully for inconsistencies, inaccuracies, or falsehoods before you make it available to the public.

Misleading Statements and False Promises

When you market your legal services, you want to play up your expertise in the fields of law you practice. However, you do not want to make false promises to potential clients, such as guaranteeing certain outcomes or claiming that you will win them compensation. AI-powered content generation tools tend to write content that contains misleading information or that tells potential clients that working with your law firm guarantees that they will obtain their desired results. It’s best to avoid making such grandiose statements so your clients don’t walk away disappointed or even upset that you failed to deliver them the results they were promised by the claims on your website.

Plagiarism and Copyright Issues

You want the content on your law firm’s website to be original and unique to your specific legal services. Many companies soon discovered the limitations of ChatGPT in this area, as the content this tool provided drew heavily from other sources or even outright plagiarized other sources without giving citations or crediting the original authors in any way. A recent article summarized this phenomenon accurately and memorably: “Because large language models generate text probabilistically based on the universe of existing content, mediocrity is built into the package.” In other words, these tools are designed to scour millions of websites as quickly as possible and patch together a coherent summary or approximation, and the results can be bland, vague, or even nonsensical. For now, the most effective law firm digital marketing strategy still relies on human creativity and individuality to compose high-quality content that engages and resonates with potential clients.

Learn More About Digital Marketing For Law Firms

Before you assume that AI-powered content generation tools have no place in your law practice or your content marketing strategy, it’s helpful to recognize that these tools can be useful in specific contexts. For instance, your law firm can use ChatGPT to generate a list of relevant topics for future blogs or social media posts. You can also use these tools to overcome writer’s block or to generate a list (such as a list of common medical malpractice injuries). If you have questions about content marketing for law firms or you are hoping to maximize your law firm’s digital marketing efforts to grow your practice and attract more clients, reach out to a trusted and skilled digital marketing strategist to discuss your goals.

If you are looking for ways to maximize your law firm’s content marketing efforts, reach out to the dedicated and friendly team at LegalRev today by calling (800) 893-2590 to discuss your goals with one of our knowledgeable digital marketing strategists.

June 3, 2024