It’s the question that marketers have been asked since AI-developed images started creeping up on social media: will AI replace their copywriters, too? As far as we can tell, the short answer is no. But that doesn’t mean that AI can’t still be a helpful tool for your digital marketing. Here are the reasons we think your writers don’t have anything to fear when it comes to being employed, and how AI can still benefit what they do.
AI Lacks Empathy
Today’s AI software may be sophisticated enough to mimic how people write, but it can’t emphasize enough to draft material that affects buyers on an emotional level. “The problem,” says Wired, “is that the majority of emotional AI is based on flawed science.” While their article focuses on facial and tonal expressions, and how those can be misinterpreted by software, the same can be applied to the natural language processing that AI uses compared to how people speak. It may fail to grasp how important certain keywords and industry-specific pain points are for businesses, or won’t be able to relate well enough to what they’re going through for its marketing copy to be noticed.
AI May Plagiarize Without Repercussion
When AI drafts images, it builds on material that it finds online. The same is true for AI content creation. In some cases, that means taking liberties with resembling copyrighted material; in others, it means actually plagiarizing it. As Futurism notes, an AI Substack blog recently did this by repurposing an article from Big Technology, which was then picked up by another news source. There will certainly be learning curves to how AI operates, and this instance may very well have been unintentional, but that doesn’t change the reality of what was done — and, worst of all, that there may not be any legal repercussions from it (at least for the time being).
Your Search Rankings May Drop
The point behind most content marketing is to help your website’s SEO by ranking for specific keywords. This is especially true when it comes to your landing pages, blog content, and lead magnets. But that may not work well if you completely rely on AI to create that content for you. One MarketingProfs contributor points out that a recent Google algorithm update was designed to penalize this kind of behavior. So, while you may not face immediate legal trouble over the material that AI produces, it may not make your ranking any better — and it could make it worse. Google looks for creative content that offers expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (their E-A-T model), which AI may not be able to deliver.
This is especially true when it comes to developing trust. Where established authors can offer credentials to verify the quality of their work, the same can’t be said for AI. It looks for any information it thinks is relevant, and may easily incorporate untrustworthy sources. As disinformation on the Internet continues to be a growing problem, AI could contribute to it by the material that it samples.
So Is AI a Complete Waste of Time?
Not when used appropriately.
AI should be looked at as a tool to generate content in the form of rough drafts or outlines. This saves marketers time fleshing out thoughts and ideas, which they can then further refine through their own writing processes. It can also help marketers when they’re facing writer’s block, says SEJ, or give them a cost-effective means of developing short-form content like social media posts.
Regardless of what you use AI content writing for, it’s still incumbent upon your team to cite sources for that material, fact-check what you want to include, and verify that what is written is not plagiarized by running it through a web checker like Semrush.
Think of AI as a Tool, Not a Replacement
If you use AI, it should be to make your workload easier, not replace it like an outsourced service.
Consider how Canva became popular for making graphic design more accessible to workers without Photoshop experience. It offers templates, features, and filters that make the process more simplistic, and easier to replicate. Does this mean that graphic designers are out of their jobs? Hardly!
While Canva certainly produces a beneficial product, you don’t get the same range and customization from their tool as you would from someone who has the knowledge and expertise of using more robust editing tools like Photoshop.
Canva can still be your go-to service for cranking out lots of quick designs and posts, just as iStock and other image sites offer royalty-free, unlicensed photos you can modify at your leisure. But that doesn’t mean that businesses shouldn’t hire photographers who understand the science behind their craft, graphic designers to edit those images, and content writers to put words to them.
Make sure you still retain skilled artists on your staff. You’ll absolutely need them to continue refining your content, regardless of the tools you use. If you have any questions regarding high-quality content development, graphic design, or other digital marketing efforts, click the link below to get in touch with us.