AI content writing is not a new thing. Up until now, I admit that I have not given it much thought. The AI content marketing tools I had seen before now did not really intrigue – or worry – me. I had zero fears of my livelihood being replaced by a nameless, faceless automaton that cranked out copy at a customer’s behest. Most AI-powered content marketing tools were inferior to the quality copy a human trained in wordsmithing could produce. I would go so far as to say most of it was laughable nonsense. Anyone who would pay for it was wasting their money, in my humble opinion.
Flash-forward to now and using AI for content marketing is becoming a hot topic among my fellow copywriting professionals. Some, like me, debate the value of using them. Others fear they are just one AI-generated piece of content away from losing their jobs. I think the truth of AI content marketing tools lies somewhere in between.
What is AI-generated content marketing?
Since Alan Turing first posed the question, “Can machines think?” in the 1950s, man has been obsessed with artificial intelligence. AI has advanced the medical and industrial fields, to name just two of its profound impacts. Digital marketers started leveraging AI-powered content marketing tools as far back as 2017. According to the 2020 Salesforce State of Marketing Report, 84 percent of marketers admit to using AI. This is a 186 percent increase from the number of marketers using AI in 2018. Most of the AI tools marketers use focus on data collection and analysis. There were no specific data available for the number of copywriters who use AI content marketing tools to assist with their writing tasks.
AI tools for content marketing
AI copywriting tools use natural language processing (NLP) to spit out copy. If you are wondering what the heck NLP is, no worries. Let me explain. NLP is nothing more than the automatic manipulation of our natural language patterns for both speech and text. When NLP works as intended, it bridges the communications gap between humans and computers. The goal is to help computers understand – mimic, even – the speech and language patterns of humans.
Most AI tools for content marketing work like this:
Real copywriters dish on AI content generators
What do real copywriters think about AI content generators? Some leverage their power to increase their output and the number of clients they can serve. Others refuse to use them, citing a lack of quality and mediocrity in the content produced.
Yker Valerio of Bon Vivant Caffe uses Conversion.ai to improve content quality and boost his writing process. “It’s like having a writing partner. A weird writing partner, but productive nonetheless.” He said he has tried a few other AI content generators but prefers Conversion.ai.
Kyle Vine, the marketing director at CKLU Radio in Ontario, Canada, said he had the privilege of meeting the person who runs the IBM Watson program for AI a few years ago at a conference. “I discovered that (AI) can be good for proofreading, but the main way it can be good is with speak.ai or other apps that transcribe speeches to use for SEO applied to your copy. Otherwise, I’ve found there aren’t many options to use AI in copywriting because it’s 75 percent experience and word flowability. AI comes in with the last 25 percent for tiny things just to suggest better SEO/conversion words in my experience.”
Archana Karthikeyan from The Marketing Vogue has used AI copywriting tools for about four months. The benefit is that it sometimes helps her with a new direction for her writing if she is experiencing the dreaded writer’s block. Another advantage is it can help save her time during the writing process. The biggest drawback is it is written by AI, not a human. She and her team have discovered facts need to be rechecked any time the AI program she uses creates content to ensure accuracy.
My personal experience with AI content marketing tools is mixed. Like Valerio, I have found Conversion.ai to work well for generating titles and content ideas. I am not as impressed with its other content. Depending on the topic, it can be clunky and needing a human touch to make it more readable.
I also am beta testing a new AI writing tool now that is not very impressive. In a recent topic I gave the generator for a sales description I was writing about stand mixers, it generated this gem: “The item is circular, about six inches across. It has a lid.” Factually, the tool is correct. Stand mixers are circular and have lids. Does knowing that make me want to buy one? Nope. This was an epic failure. Another time, I asked the tool to generate a direct and adventurous headline for an article about first-time surfers in Australia. Here is what it gave me: “Surfing is a fun and easy sport to learn.” Once again, I do not consider this a success. While the statement is true, there is nothing adventurous about it. The tool still is in the early stages of development, so these results are expected. I will not mention it by name in this blog, but I will provide a more detailed review of it once the beta testing phase is over.
How copywriters can leverage AI tools
While I respect their opinion, I do not understand copywriters who fear AI-powered content marketing tools. I personally do not think AI will ever get to the point that it will totally replace humans for writing. Humans must teach AI software how to be more, well, human. Computers only know what we teach them. The success or failure of AI content generators rests on the capable shoulders of copywriters like myself willing to serve as teachers to AI. Computers do not understand – nor can they convincingly mimic – brand voice or persona. Humans are very much still needed to finesse any copy an AI produces to improve engagement and tone. My fellow copywriters can breathe a sigh of relief and embrace AI as a teammate rather than fearing it as a competitor.
Need help humanizing your content? Reach out to The Write Reflection today to schedule your hassle-free consultation to discuss your needs.
Shari L. Berg is the owner/operator of The Write Reflection, and a writing professional for 25 years.