What Can ChatGPT Do? How to Use It + Examples

Sydney Go

Oct 20, 202312 min read
A person using a laptop with ChatGPT on the screen


ChatGPT can be a powerful marketing and business assistant.

But while you’ve probably heard of it, you may be unsure of how to use it effectively.

Which is why we created this guide. In this article, you’ll learn the following:

  • What ChatGPT is and how it works
  • How you can access ChatGPT
  • Seven ways businesses can use ChatGPT to save time and increase productivity
  • The advantages and limitations of ChatGPT

Let’s dive in.

What Is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot created by OpenAI. It was designed to understand and produce responsive text conversationally.

In business, ChatGPT is usually used for:

  • Generating textual content and content ideas
  • Proofreading existing articles
  • Coding and editing code
  • Creating art and writing prompts

In other words, you can ask ChatGPT questions or give it commands, and it'll respond in a conversational tone.

For example, here's how ChatGPT responded to the prompt, "Why isn’t Pluto a planet anymore?"

ChatGPT's response to "Why isn’t Pluto a planet anymore?" prompt

But how does the technology behind ChatGPT work?

GPT stands for generative pre-trained transformer. It's a language model that can understand and generate human-like text.

This language model, known as a large language model (LLM), uses data it’s trained on to generate text. When you enter a question or a prompt, it returns text it predicts to be the best response based on what it “knows.”

ChatGPT runs on GPT-3.5, a GPT model created by OpenAI. OpenAI has also created an even more powerful—but paid—model called GPT-4.

So, what exactly can this AI system do for you?

Let’s look at some of the capabilities and limitations of ChatGPT.

How Do You Access ChatGPT?

To access ChatGPT, you need to create an account through OpenAI’s signup page.

Go to the landing page, click “Sign up,” and follow the prompts to create your account.

OpenAI’s signup page

After setting up your account, you’ll land on OpenAI’s apps page:

OpenAI’s apps page with "ChatGPT" selected

Click on the first option, ChatGPT, to start interacting with the AI chatbot.

Here’s what the interface looks like:

ChatGPT interface

You’re now ready to discover some of the coolest uses of ChatGPT.

But here’s the catch.

ChatGPT’s free version runs on GPT-3.5, which only has data until 2021. In addition to that, free users lose access to the site when there is “exceptionally high demand.”

An example of “exceptionally high demand” message for free users

When that happens, you’ll have to wait for a slowdown in demand to start or continue a conversation.

Pro tip: Bypass the wait and get more accurate generated text with other AI-powered tools. Like ContentShake AI.

Simply enter your topic or target keyword into the space provided and click “Start for free.”

"how to grow seasonal plants" entered into ContentShake AI search bar

Then tell the tool a little more about your business.

"Let's write from here" screen in ContentShake AI

The tool will generate content ideas about your topic. Choose one of the ideas or select “My own idea” to enter your own topic.

ContentShake AI's "Ideas" page

Click on the “Start writing” button beside your chosen topic to generate a first draft of your SEO-optimized text. Take note that the AI can take a few minutes to generate text.

“Start writing” button highlighted next to the "fall leaves" idea

Here’s what that draft will look like:

An example of a draft on fall leaves generated by ContentShake AI

You’ll also get the following content elements:

  • Titles. AI-generated title options for you to choose from and a list of your competitors’ titles for you to compare with
  • Introductions. AI-generated introduction options for you to choose from and a list of your competitors’ introductions to compare with
  • Structure. An AI-generated structure based on the top-ranking pieces
  • Images. Suggested images from Unsplash and a list of images your competitors use
  • Facts and data. To help with your research
ContentShake AI editor bar highlighted on the right side of the draft

Try out ContentShake AI for free to elevate and speed up your SEO content creation process.

7 ChatGPT Uses for Business Owners and Marketers

ChatGPT has many uses. For example, businesses can use ChatGPT to build industry knowledge, summarize huge amounts of data, and get creative with content creation.

Here are seven of the best business use cases for ChatGPT:

1. Generate Ideas 

If you create content, AI can help you brainstorm ideas for topics, drafts, and outlines.

Try out the following prompts to get some ideas based on your business goals:

  • I'm writing an article about [topic] with the goal of [goal]. Can you give me [#] content ideas for articles that will achieve those goals?
  • I need 10 social media posts about [topic] that will [goal]. Can you get me started with [#] ideas?
  • I want to start a [business type]. Can you give me ideas of [# content type ideas] I can get started with to grow my business on [platform]?

For example, here’s what ChatGPT responded to the prompt, “I'm writing an article about the top five hotels in Bali with the goal of getting hotel bookings through my affiliate link. Can you give me 10 content ideas for articles that will achieve those goals?”

ChatGPT's response to “I'm writing an article about the top five hotels in Bali with the goal of getting hotel bookings through my affiliate link. Can you give me 10 content ideas for articles that will achieve those goals?” prompt

After ChatGPT generates the ideas, run them through the Topic Research tool to verify that the idea is up-to-date. And get SEO recommendations.

First, enter your topic into the tool, select your location. And click “Get content ideas.” We used “Bali luxury escapes” as our topic.

"bali luxury escapes” entered into Topic Research search bar

Then, toggle on the “Trending subtopics first” switch to see increasingly popular topics first. The cards with the fire symbol in their top right corners are trending topics.

Topic Research "Content Ideas" report with “Trending subtopics first” switch highlighted

When you find a topic that you like, click on its card to unfurl ideas and keyword information.

"Headlines" and "Questions" sections for the "beach resort" topic

And now you have even more content ideas. That are guaranteed to be up-to-date.

ChatGPT can also help you brainstorm around concepts that aren’t text-based. For example, you could type “Give me decorating tips for making an office more relaxed.”

Here are some of the suggestions it came up with for that prompt:

ChatGPT's response to “Give me decorating tips for making an office more relaxed” prompt

If you added a follow-up prompt with the industry you’re in and the location of your office, it would generate tips specific to that info.

There are no limits to subjects regarding what to ask ChatGPT about. You can even ask the tool, “What can I do with ChatGPT?” for more suggestions.

Pro tip: Generate SEO content for your ChatGPT ideas with ContentShake AI. Simply plug your idea into the tool, and it’ll do the work for you.

ContentShake AI's draft on "fall leaves" topic

2. Compose Marketing Emails and Social Media Posts

ChatGPT can help you write all sorts of marketing copy and content. From cold emails that convert prospective customers to more engaging social media posts and messages.

Here’s a snippet of ChatGPT’s script suggestion for a promotional Facebook video:

ChatGPT's response to “Write a script for a 30-second promotional Facebook video that advertises our new organic surface spray" prompt

On top of placeholders, ChatGPT can add calls to action and even optimize messages for specific intent.

Here’s a small section of the software’s response to the prompt “Create a cold email template asking for signups to our email newsletter and optimize it for conversions”:

ChatGPT's response to “Create a cold email template asking for signups to our email newsletter and optimize it for conversions” prompt

While the template is very generic (as the prompt lacked detail about the company and type of newsletter), it provides a base that you can start customizing.

By including detailed information in your prompt (what you’re trying to sell and how it works), you can get even more specific answers to cut down your editing time.

Here are some more ideas for ChatGPT prompts to help you write marketing copy:

  • “Create a thank-you email template to send to customers after making their first purchase”
  • “Give me 10 ideas for TikTok videos to promote [insert product or offer]”
  • “Write a multiple-choice quiz about [insert topic] that I can share on Twitter”

Go one step further and use AI to generate your whole social post—including the image or video—with the AI Social Content Generator.

And the best news is that you can try it for free!

Open the app. And tell the app specifically what you want your post to be about. For example, we entered “3 tips on how to grow seasonal plants.”

Then, choose your input and output language. We chose English.

Selecting a topic idea and language in AI Social Content Generator

Next, upload your brand logo and select your brand colors and font. Then, hit “Generate Posts.”

"Customize your posts in your brand language." screen in AI Social Content Generator

The tool will generate several posts for you based on your ideas. Including an image or video and a caption.

AI Social Content Generator's results for “3 tips on how to grow seasonal plants”

Click on the generated post that you like best to open the editor and customize each post to fit your brand better.

AI Social Content Generator editor

3. Rephrase Text to Get Over Writer’s Block

Tell ChatGPT to rewrite or rephrase content to get over writer’s block. More specifically, you can ask ChatGPT to:

  • Rewrite sentences. ChatGPT can rephrase a sentence to change words around while still retaining the original meaning. This can be useful for avoiding duplicate content.
  • Simplify complex copy. ChatGPT can rephrase a complex sentence to use simpler language while keeping the original meaning.
  • Expand or summarize text. If you need to expand on a brief idea or condense a longer passage, ChatGPT can help you generate additional content around a brief idea. Or condense a longer passage by summarizing it.
  • Change your style or tone. Specify the style or tone you want (e.g., formal, casual, academic, persuasive), and ChatGPT can rephrase the text accordingly.

For example, you can tell ChatGPT to rewrite an introduction for you. Based on your tone and text length.

This is how ChatGPT responded to the prompt, “Please rephrase this intro to make it more playful while still keeping the text within 250 words.”

ChatGPT's response to “Please rephrase this intro to make it more playful while still keeping the text within 250 words” prompt

Here are other prompts that you can use with ChatGPT:

  • “Update the copy below to make it resonate better with a younger audience: [content]”
  • “Make this Instagram caption more lighthearted and funny: [Instagram copy]”

For more AI-powered help with your writing, consider Semrush’s Paraphrasing Tool.

Enter your paragraph (up to 200 words) in the space provided. And click “Paraphrase.” The rephraser tool will check your content for readability, tone of voice, and length.

An example of a paragraph about ChatGPT entered into Semrush’s Paraphrasing Tool

The tool will then give you three ideas. With different tones of voice—neutral, casual, and formal.

Paraphrasing Tool's results for an entered text provides three ideas to paraphrase it

Choose the idea that you’re happy with. And hit “Copy.” Paste the rephrased text into your content, and you’re good to go.

4. Edit and Proofread Your Content

ChatGPT is a great assistant editor. Because you can ask the tool to look over your content for any grammatical errors.

For example, here’s what ChatGPT came up with for the prompt, “Please edit this about me blurb to make sure that there are no punctuation and grammatical errors. Also remove any uses of the passive voice.”

ChatGPT's response to “Please edit this about me blurb to make sure that there are no punctuation and grammatical errors. Also remove any uses of the passive voice” prompt

Apart from ChatGPT, we also recommend running your content through specialized proofreading and editing apps. Like Grammarly and Hemmingway Editor.

Pro tip: Plug your content into the SEO Writing Assistant to edit full articles for readability, tone of voice, and originality. And get suggestions for SEO to increase your chance of ranking higher.

SEO Writing Assistant editor page

5. Write Code and Solve Math Problems

ChatGPT isn’t just helpful with words. It’s also great with numbers. It can answer complex math problems, write and edit code, and break down the work to show you how it got there.

For example, you could use it to calculate your company’s current conversion rate:

A prompt asking ChatGPT to calculate company’s conversion rate

If ChatGPT doesn’t give you a detailed breakdown, you can generate one by asking for it in a follow-up prompt.

You can also use ChatGPT to create, review, and debug code to save programmers time.

If you’re trying to build or customize your own simple website, this can also save a considerable amount of money:

ChatGPT's response to “Write me a line of code to maximize the width of YouTube videos on my website” prompt

While ChatGPT will never replace the work of a creative coder, it can help with basic, repetitive tasks.

Here are some of the things you could ask to try it out:

  • “Teach me the basics of coding in Python”
  • “Solve this [math problem] for me and break it down step by step”
  • “Write a line of code that changes the font on my site from [insert font] to [insert font]”

If you’re confused by the answer, you can ask the software to clarify instructions or explain them in more detail.

6. Summarize Data and Explain Complex Topics

ChatGPT can summarize the main points of huge amounts of data in seconds. Use this feature to simplify data and boost understanding quickly.

For example, you could ask the tool to summarize pages of notes from your meetings into bullet points. (Just make sure you’re not sharing anything confidential.)

Getting quick and easy explanations of complex topics is another of the coolest things to do with ChatGPT. 

The popular summary prompt “Explain [insert topic] to me like I am five years old” helps you understand difficult concepts with simple language and analogies:

ChatGPT's response to “Explain deep learning to me like I am 5 years old” prompt

Simplified explanations can make it easier to write about these topics in your own words.

The AI tool can also summarize long or complex content for you. You can ask for information to be broken down into different formats to easily skim the main point. For example, have it create a bullet list of the main points. Or generate a table based on data in the content.

Get ChatGPT to summarize information with prompts like:

  • “Generate a one-page summary of our company’s mission and values”
  • “Create a report from the below data that highlights where we’ve made a profit”
  • “Create a list of frequently asked questions from this list of customer queries”
  • “Summarize all the statistics from this article into a bullet list.”

Implementing this strategy to distill data and information is one of the best things to use ChatGPT for in content creation.

7. Translate and Write in Any Language

Another of the cool things ChatGPT can do is translate text into other languages. You can use it to overcome language barriers and ensure your audience understands your message. 

Here’s a simple prompt to give you a glimpse of its capabilities:

ChatGPT's response to “Translate this phrase into multiple languages: Send us a message to find out more!” prompt

This powerful functionality can help bridge language barriers. However, remember that ChatGPT can’t account for all the nuances of language. 

If you don’t have a human expert on hand to check your work, run translations through another tool (like Google Translate) to improve your chances of accuracy.

Here are some sample translation prompts you can use with ChatGPT:

  • “Translate this email into [language] but keep it formal”
  • “What are some common mistakes when translating [language] to [language]?”
  • “Can you translate this legal document from [language] to [language]?”

What ChatGPT Can Do: Advantages and Limitations

ChatGPT has a lot to offer, but it also has some downsides. If you want to use it effectively, you need to be aware of both.

Here are the main advantages and limitations of the software:

ChatGPT Advantages

ChatGPT Limitations

Widely available

Only trained with data up until 2021

Free to use

Can pose a security risk

Intuitive, user-friendly interface

Can produce incorrect information

Remembers past conversations

Instructions can be harmful or biased

Cuts down on time-consuming tasks (e.g., research and summarizing)

Has difficulty understanding certain expressions, slang, and idioms

Learns from follow-ups and corrections

The free version can be too busy to access

The biggest advantage of using ChatGPT is that it can speed up certain tasks. Here are some examples:

  • Generating ideas
  • Getting over writer’s block and editing existing text
  • Extracting and understanding complex data
  • Coding or editing code

On top of that, the AI chatbot is easy to use. Simply chat with it and give as much or as little detail as you like within your prompts.

However, there are some drawbacks.

One of the biggest drawbacks of the free version of ChatGPT is that it’s only trained with data until 2021. And it can’t surf the web. Which means it has outdated data.

Which is why it can be highly inaccurate at times. Double-check anything factual before you publish or act on any information it returns.

Another downside is the security risk ChatGPT poses. People don’t realize that ChatGPT turns input into “memories.”

So if you use the technology to summarize patient records, the tool will now have access to all your patient records. And potentially share that data with other users.

One recent study from Cyberhaven found that 11% of data employees type into ChatGPT is confidential. 

The average company also leaks sensitive data to the software hundreds of times every week:

A line graph showing how much sensitive data goes to ChatGPT

In response to growing security concerns, OpenAI recently added a feature that lets you turn off chat history within the app. When it’s disabled, anything you type into that chat won’t train the software. 

However, even with best practices in place, it’s still wise to err on the side of caution regarding sensitive data and ChatGPT.

Learn What to Do With ChatGPT by Trying It Out

Use ChatGPT to make your business processes more efficient. AI can be a significant part of building and growing your business—from creating content to brainstorming strategies.

If you’d like to try other AI options for improving your content, check out Semrush’s full suite of AI-powered tools:

Use AI smartly—as an assistant that can help your business grow faster and more efficiently.

Author Photo
Sydney has been in the content creation space for over 9 years. She has experience working with companies across different niches. At Semrush, she edits blog posts to make sure that they are accurate, optimized, and genuinely helpful.
More on this