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How to write a good AI prompt for better results—and less frustration

Deliver creative work more efficiently when you learn how to write a good AI prompt.

Design by Ashger Zamana

Profile picture of Ido Lechner

5.30.2024

7 min read

Agencies that integrate AI into their workflows can hit turbo on their output. The trick is knowing how to write a good AI prompt to make the most of your effort.


To that end, you'll want to hear how other agency leaders use AI to understand what's possible, and do some experimenting—like with these Wix Studio AI tools—yourself.


Innovate with built-in AI tools


But first, what is AI prompt engineering?


Prompt engineering is the process of crafting, testing and fine-tuning inputs to guide generative AI systems towards precise, high-quality results. It’s what you naturally do when you regularly use and experiment with AI tools like ChatGPT, Gemini, Midjourney or Jasper, refining each input to elevate your prompt’s output as you work with the AI.


For example, your prompt might read: “Analyze company X’s tone, voice and style, then rewrite the section of the blog that reads [‘copy/paste blog post’] to reflect an insight [founder name] made in a presentation they gave on YouTube. Here’s the link: [insert link].” Naturally, the more context you provide, the better your results will be.


To be clear, AI is by no means a creative replacement. But the brands seeing the most results with the technology know AI isn’t merely a tool, either, it’s their partner in the creative process. 


And as in all partnerships, what you give is what you get. In other words, your inputs equal your outputs. That’s essentially what prompt engineering is: the assertion that when it comes to AI, smarter prompts yield better outcomes. 



Why is prompt engineering important?


For agencies, harnessing generative AI for web design is a budget-friendly way to produce branded assets, copy marketing materials and code (of course, you’ll still need a human to oversee and edit these outputs). Prompt engineering helps your agency:


  • Boost creativity by encouraging diverse ideas and design variations through iterating both the inputs and outputs.

  • Create prompting guidelines to ensure safety and brand consistency.

  • Reduce the time spent on repetitive tasks, accelerate workflows and focus on strategic and creative work instead.




How to write good AI prompts with 5 best practices




01. Know the prompt conventions of the tool you’re using


Each AI tool has its own set of prompt conventions and best practices. Familiarize yourself with each tool’s guidelines to optimize your prompts. 


For instance, some AI tools may respond better to questions, while others might excel with direct commands. You’ll also want to know things like how many tokens/credits you have (the amount of prompts you get to enter per month), the length of content it can handle outputting before quality tapers off and how the AI handles context.


It takes a combination of experience and research to understand where AI thrives and where it’s limited. Many AI tools have documentation that outlines best practices for prompt construction, which can provide valuable guidance. Look for user guides, tutorials and community forums (like the Wix Studio Community) to gather insights from other users’ experiences. For instance, you can check out Midjourney’s explore tab to see what others have created (and what prompt they used to arrive at that output). Also be sure to check out Wix Studio on Discord.


Experimenting with different types of prompts will help you identify what works best. You might find that one tool generates better responses to detailed, structured prompts for instance, while another might be more effective with open-ended questions. Adjusting the specificity and complexity of your prompts based on the tool’s strengths can significantly enhance the quality of the outputs.


By tailoring your approach to each tool’s unique characteristics, you can leverage their strengths to achieve the best possible results. This not only improves the quality of the content but also enhances your overall productivity and effectiveness in using AI for your projects.



02. Enter multi-modal prompts where possible


Multi-modal prompts, which incorporate various types of input data such as text, images and audio, can enhance the richness and relevance of AI-generated content. These prompts can provide more context and lead to more nuanced outputs.


Combining an image with a text description, for example, can help an AI generate more accurate and detailed responses. Of course, you’ll have to defer to the capabilities of the platform you’re using, as not all tools support this functionality. 


Export a spreadsheet of your content calendar and ask ChatGPT to fill it out (assuming you have your company’s go-ahead to share the info with the AI). Give midjourney a reference image to work off of by typing /imagine as you normally would before prompting it, then drag your image directly into your prompt bar.



03. Prime the AI with a background of its own


Providing the AI with a background or context can significantly enhance the quality and relevance of its outputs. This process, known as priming, involves giving the AI essential information about the topic or scenario before it generates content. By doing so, you help the AI understand the broader context and nuances of the task at hand.


Kevin Indig, a growth advisor at HIMS, Dropbox and Reddit, highlights the importance of this practice. “Priming the AI with relevant background information sets the stage for more accurate and tailored responses,” he says. This preparatory step ensures the AI can produce outputs that are more aligned with your expectations and the specific needs of your project.


To prime the AI effectively, start by providing a brief overview or background related to the task. This could include details about the topic, the intended audience or any specific aspects that are crucial for the AI to consider. For example, if you are asking the AI to write a product description, you might include information about the product’s features, benefits and target market, plus any unique selling points.


In addition to the background information, consider including examples of similar content to guide the AI. These examples serve as a reference, helping the AI understand the style, tone and format you are looking for. So, if you need a formal business report, providing a sample report can help the AI match the desired professionalism and structure.


Priming the AI is especially useful in complex tasks where context plays a critical role. It helps the AI generate more coherent and contextually appropriate outputs, reducing the likelihood of irrelevant or off-topic content. This approach not only improves the accuracy of the results but also saves time on revisions and edits.


Let’s say you’re working on a marketing campaign for a new product. You might prime the AI with info about the product’s development process, market research findings and key messaging points. This background enables the AI to generate content that resonates with the target audience and aligns with the overall campaign strategy.


By taking the time to prime the AI with a background of its own, you set a strong foundation for high-quality content generation. This preparatory step ensures that the AI is well-equipped to deliver outputs that meet your specific requirements and enhance the effectiveness of your projects.



04. Break your vision down into chunks


“The biggest mistake people make with AI content is they expect a single prompt to be responsible for a whole article," says Indig. "Instead, think about different sections of the piece, and prompt for each one."


So, break down your blog posts: “Write an introduction about the benefits of digital marketing,” followed by “Explain three key strategies for effective digital marketing.” By segmenting the task, you can guide the AI through each part of the content creation process, ensuring more coherent and targeted outputs.


Breaking down complex projects into smaller, manageable parts has several advantages:


  • Enhanced clarity. Each prompt can be tailored to address specific sections or topics, reducing the risk of vague or unfocused content.


  • Improved accuracy. Focused prompts allow the AI to generate more precise and relevant information for each section.


  • Easier editing. Smaller sections are easier to review and refine, making the overall editing process more efficient.


  • Creative flexibility. You can experiment with different styles or approaches for each section, enhancing the overall quality and creativity of the final output.


For example, when working on a whitepaper about AI in marketing, you might choose to enter these five sections into your prompt to help the AI define your outputs: 


  1. Introduction. “Draft an introduction discussing the rise of AI in marketing over the past decade.”

  2. Benefits. “Describe three major benefits of using AI in marketing, including examples.”

  3. Challenges. “Outline the key challenges marketers face when integrating AI into their strategies.”

  4. Future trends. “Predict future trends in AI marketing for the next five years.”

  5. Conclusion. “Summarize the main points and provide a call to action for marketers to adopt AI tools.”


This approach not only streamlines the content creation process but also leverages the AI’s strengths in generating detailed and contextually rich outputs. By treating your AI as a collaborative partner and giving it clear, segmented tasks, you can achieve higher-quality results and make your content creation more efficient and effective.



05. Set goals and parameters in your prompts


When working with AI, it's crucial to set clear goals and parameters to guide the AI towards generating the content you need. By defining the scope, tone, style and specific requirements, you can ensure that the AI produces outputs that align with your expectations.


“Setting specific goals and parameters helps the AI understand what you’re aiming to achieve," Indig says. "This reduces ambiguity and increases the chances of getting high-quality, relevant content.”


Effectively setting goals and parameters in your prompts involves several key steps. Start by clearly articulating the purpose of the content. Is it to inform, persuade, entertain or instruct? This helps the AI tailor its output to meet your objectives.


Next, indicate the desired tone and style to match the context and audience of the content. For instance, whether the content should be formal, casual, professional or conversational. Then, provide details on the length and format of the output, such as word count, number of sections or specific structural elements.


Outlining the main points or topics that the AI should address ensures comprehensive coverage of the subject matter. Including examples of the desired output can also help the AI understand what you’re looking for and produce similar content.


Remember: The ultimate goal is to produce more accurate and relevant content. This approach—along with the other tips here—ensures that the outputs are aligned with your needs and expectations, saving you time on revisions, improving overall quality and taking your work to the next level.


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