Is AI Coming for the Content Writers Next?10 min read

by | May 5, 2022 | Marketing, Tech

Potential purveyors of AI-generated content

​For better or worse, artificial intelligence (AI) already runs our search engines, controls what we see on our social media feeds, makes Netflix recommendations, and chats with us while we’re waiting for the next available human customer service rep. Is AI coming for our content next?

AI-generated content has actually been around for a while and has come a long way since the “article spinners” of the early 2000s. Media companies like Bloomberg News, The Associated Press, and The Washington Post have used AI to summarize news and help reporters with rough drafts.

Will AI eventually put content writers out of a job? I don’t think so. Here are two reasons why.

Reason #1: Google Says Use AI-Generated Content with Care​

In a recent Search Central blog, Google wrote AI has the power to “transform the ability to deliver helpful information.” It also recognizes that while not all content produced with AI and automation is spam, it will continue to maintain a high standard for the content it serves up in search results.

The bottom line—AI content is no longer against Google’s guidelines, as long as it is not used to “primarily to manipulate search rankings” (which is against Google’s spam policies).

Kevin Indig (who writes a weekly SEO-focused newsletter) investigated how well AI content performs in SEO. He found it performs well if the content is reviewed/edited, if the domain is reputable, and if it targets questions with straightforward answers. Here’s a link to his article if you’d like to go deeper down the rabbit hole.

Reason #2: Content Needs a Human Touch

Even if Google has a hard time telling the difference between AI-written and human-written content, your audience will know what’s genuine and what feels like a robot.

That doesn’t mean we should dismiss AI altogether.

Similar to how marketing automation helps your team become more efficient, there’s potential for AI to help writers get more done. But, your content still needs a human touch.

Miranda Miller, Senior Managing Editor over at Search Engine Journal says using AI is all about “intelligent application.” Whether generating ideas or helping you catch spelling mistakes, AI can help humans improve the quality (and quantity) of their content.

AI Can Generate Ideas

The internet hosts thousands of idea generators ready to help you find the perfect wizard name (Izilore Brightwanderer) or Regency-era heroine (Gwendolyn Harington).

More practical tools like Hire Peggy or Jasper can give you ideas for ad headlines, product descriptions, and other short-form content. These tools (especially the free ones) come with limitations. Always review (or rework) the AI’s suggestions to make sure things are technically correct and on-brand. After all, you know your brand and your audience better than an AI.

For example, I tried out Hire Peggy while researching this blog. Peggy came up with three headline ideas for a DVS Facebook ad

  • DVS is Your Ad Agency
  • Turn Ideas into Forces
  • The Business of Business

Granted, this was a free trial, so I didn’t have high expectations. But these had me a bit confused. I would need to play around with the software to see if I could fine-tune it to capture the DVS voice more accurately.

AI Can Help Improve Your Process

AI could be your new writing buddy. I use Grammarly extensively and found it gives better suggestions than the built-in spelling and grammar checkers from Google Docs or Microsoft Word. The AI “writing assistant” is great at catching accidental homonyms and passive voice, but I don’t blindly apply every suggestion.

Other tools can help with content strategy by identifying potential keywords or topics for your blog. HubSpot’s Content Strategy Tool and Semrush’s Content Marketing toolset use machine learning to offer suggestions on which topic clusters to focus on and which ideas are likely to perform well. Not every suggestion is a winner, but it’s worth a try if you need help with your content strategy.

Your Audience Still Needs You to Be a Human

AI-generated content has gotten more sophisticated, but your audience still wants to connect with a human. Especially in B2B marketing, where longer sales cycles and higher costs per sale are common. Try out a few AI tools to help you become more efficient, but never forget that your audience is human, and they’d rather connect with you—and not a computer program.

Need help with your content marketing? Drop us a line, we’d be happy to help! (No robots here, we promise!)