AI content generation is arguably the hottest topic in the world of marketing right now. I’ve tested almost all the latest tools on the market, and can safely say that I’m truly blown away by what they can produce.
While artificial intelligence has clearly shown its value in the business world for things like data analytics and customer service, the verdict is still out on its impact for content marketing.
I got a great email from Neil Patel Digital the other day and Neil said the following about what he found when testing ChatGPT extensively:
“Outdated content. Factual errors. And no guarantee of good SEO. That’s not great for your digital strategy.“
Despite the recent stories and increase in popularity, just 12% of businesses are using AI for content creation.
This begs the question, should you be using AI to generate content?
The short answer is that while AI can be a valuable tool, it’s still not a replacement for quality, human-generated copy. With that said, there are still plenty of use cases where AI can be useful in the content generation process.
Continue reading to see if AI content generation is right for you. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, this post was NOT written using any AI writing assistance.
What is AI-Generated Content?
AI-generated content is written text that’s been produced by a machine. It can refer to any text that came from an AI writing assistant or content generator.
Examples might include AI-generated blog posts, product descriptions, landing page headlines, email headlines, landing page copy, and more.
Depending on the tool you’re using and your desired output, AI-generated content can be anything from a few words to multiple paragraphs or entire articles.
How Does AI-Generated Content Work?
To produce AI content, you need to start with a tool. Each tool will have a slightly different algorithm, which will ultimately impact the output produced.
Without getting too technical, AI content works with machine learning. The tools are trained based on millions or potentially billions of different parameters on different types of content and how they’re produced. They learn by reading content that’s already published on the web and then aim to produce similar types of content that mimic human-sounding text.
In short, data samples and language processing models are converted into real sentences.
Some AI-generated content is template-based. For example, here’s a look at some of the templates offered by Jasper’s AI content tool:
In this situation, the template has predefined parameters for what the output should look like.
Using the templates above, the machine understands the difference between a residential real estate listing and an Amazon product description.
There’s still a human element to AI copywriting. Even if you’re using a template, a real person still needs to provide the inputs to produce the desired output. Once that happens, the AI will spit out different versions of what you asked for.
There are also conversational AI writing tools. These are the most impressive that I’ve seen.
With these tools, you’re not bound by any predefined templates or rules. You simply enter what you’re looking for into a chat box, and the AI produces a response. The cool part about this is that the tool remembers earlier parts of your “conversation.” So you can refer back to one of your inputs or one of the outputs later on.
Here’s an example of this using OpenAI ChatGPT:
I asked for three landing page headlines and the AI produced options within the chat. Then I asked for a paragraph that could be used on the same landing page, and the AI produced more text.
But here’s what really makes the conversational aspect really cool. If you’re unhappy with the output, you don’t have to start over or anything like that.
For a landing page, the paragraph that the AI produced is way too long. I can simply tell the tool to shorten it, and the output will occur immediately:
Pretty cool, right?
In less than 60-seconds I generated a landing page headline and paragraph for the same page.
Benefits of Using AI Content Generation
Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of AI content. This can help you determine whether AI content is right for your business.
AI outputs simply write faster than humans. When it comes to writing high-quality business copy, producing 500 words could take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes if it’s being done by a human. You’ll also have to account for proofreading and editing. But AI tools can spit out 500 words in seconds.
Some businesses might be able to cut costs associated with copywriting. Rather than employing a team of writers, you may just need one or two people to be in charge of managing AI tools. If you’re writing content on your own, you’ll also have more time to spend on other parts of your business—helping to save money across different initiatives or departments.
Prevents Writer’s Block
Sometimes the hardest about producing content is getting your first words on the page. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat for 20 minutes or more in front of a blank screen, just typing a few words and immediately deleting them. But AI doesn’t get writer’s block. You can get words on the page right away and take it from there.
Increase Scale and Capacity
AI makes it possible to produce more content. Regardless of your internal processes, you can potentially double or triple what you’re currently producing without spending any more money.
Drawbacks of AI Content Generation
AI content generation isn’t perfect. So before you start using these tools for marketing purposes, it’s important that you truly understand the downsides.
While AI copy is impressive, there are still lots of quality issues. If you’re producing long-form content, you’ll quickly see that many tools are super repetitive. They simply take a basic format and then replace words throughout the structure to make it seem like new ideas. But it’s really just lots of fluff without adding any real value.
Another major problem with AI tools is the accuracy. They’ll produce outputs with confidence, even if the information is incorrect. So you’ll still need to fact-check everything on your own before you publish. Even the software companies behind the AI tools understand the problems with accuracy. This is taken directly from the OpenAI ChatGPT website:
Lack of Creativity
AI content isn’t very insightful. You’re going to have a tough time producing thought-provoking text that contains personal opinions or industry expertise. This is fine for companies who don’t care about adding value to readers. But if you or your brand wants to establish or maintain any sense of authority in your space, AI content won’t be the answer.
Lots of AI content still produces plagiarism. Years ago, I remember testing a brand new AI tool and was blown away by what I was reading. But then I ran it through a plagiarism checker and saw that nearly 80% of it was word-for-word copied from another source. These tools have improved in recent years, but there are still many instances of direct plagiarism.
Need For Human Inputs and Editing
There’s a common misconception that AI content generation will eliminate the need to hire writers or outsource copy. But that’s far from the truth. All AI tools still require human inputs and editing. It’s rare to see AI outputs that can be published without any human touches. It’s also worth noting that these tools typically require humans with industry knowledge or writing expertise to truly get the most out of what’s being produced.
Possible SEO Penalties
It’s still unclear whether or not Google will be penalizing sites that use AI content generation. They’ve gone back and forth on their stance in the last year alone. But one thing that’s abundantly clear is this—Google is prioritizing high-value copy that provides a good user experience. If you can achieve this using AI, then you should be ok. If not, there’s a good chance your AI content won’t rank well on Google.
How to Effectively Use Artificial Intelligence For Content
Despite the drawbacks mentioned above, there can still be a place for AI content within your overall content marketing strategy. Here are some ways to use AI content to your advantage:
- Use AI as a tool to enhance your content or processes, not as a replacement.
- AI works well for blog post outlines and idea generation.
- AI helps non-writers produce copy they wouldn’t have otherwise outsourced to a writer.
- AI can help writers eliminate writer’s block.
- You can use AI to translate text and language.
- AI tools, like Grammarly, are great for AI-assisted editing and enhancement suggestions.
When NOT to Use Artificial Intelligence For Content Generation
There are also plenty of scenarios where I would avoid AI content generation. Those include:
- Long-form blog content.
- Research-heavy content.
- Any academic or educational writing.
- As a replacement for high-quality writing.
- For “push button” SEO content.
- For creativity or insightful copy.
- For anything that requires accuracy or emotion.
In short, AI can be used as a tool to help writers and non-writers alike with content marketing. But it won’t replace human writers for the foreseeable future.
You can use AI to help improve your writing process with idea generation or an outline. But just be aware that AI outputs might not be accurate, and they could be plagiarized. There are also quality concerns with AI content.
If you’re a solopreneur that’s running an ecommerce site on your own, you could potentially use AI to write your product descriptions. If you were never planning to outsource that task to a writer and you struggled to do so on your own, this could be a reasonable use case.
But if you’re a high-authority brand that needs your content to be high-quality and valuable, “push button” AI just won’t get the job done—at least not yet.