Content marketing is constantly changing and new trends are always emerging. Most recently making its way onto the scene of content marketing is artificial intelligence (AI).
Although having existed for a while now, AI has caused quite the buzz in the marketing world this year, particularly with the latest release of ChatGPT – a chatbot launched by OpenAI that can deliver complex answers to almost any question.
Marketers across the world are testing this new AI technology to the limits to see exactly what it can do to make their jobs easier, with some even questioning the tool’s ability to replace our jobs altogether.
We’re firm believers that there’s nothing better than content written by humans for humans, not just for SEO purposes but for offering the best user experience possible. So, we’re here to weigh up the pros and cons of AI for content marketing, and hopefully a) put your worries of losing your job at ease, and b) help you leverage this new technology to its full potential and actually make your job easier.
What’s in this article?
Put simply, an AI content generator is a piece of technology that uses natural language generation to produce content that is almost indistinguishable from human-written content. It uses machine learning and a wide range of sources to formulate its content, such as existing articles, Reddit posts and news stories – and of course, the user query. As such, AI content generators can produce text covering a variety of topics at some depth in a human-like manner.
Before you can begin using AI content generators, you must first understand the limitations of using AI for content creation. Understanding what AI can and can’t do will help you to avoid jeopardising your hard work, and actually make the most of these emerging technologies. So, before we delve into the benefits and reveal how to use AI content generators effectively, here are the key limitations of AI for content marketing:
Working as a content marketer, you will usually find yourself writing in-depth articles that require detailed research and, as a result, extensive referencing throughout. Unfortunately, ChatGPT does not provide sources for the information it provides and can even produce non-existent references. Providing incorrect information or a lack of citation does not meet Google’s E-A-T guidelines, and would impact your efforts at demonstrating expertise within your content -which also recently added an extra ‘E’ for experience, further highlighting its importance.
Similarly, AI content generators, ChatGPT in particular, may serve outdated content, which could result in a misinformed article. ChatGPT currently has a dated knowledge of current events, since it is not aware of anything published after 2021. This presents many limitations, especially when writing topical articles on new trends, or topics that are constantly changing.
And when it comes to performing in search, Google is always looking to serve users with the most useful and fresh content, so outdated articles created using AI will not make the cut. This could directly impact your ability to rank in the SERPs.
As with all AI technologies, AI content generators can often produce biased responses.
Yes, there are some requests that ChatGPT will refuse to answer, if they are deemed inappropriate, which is completely understandable. However, it still poses the possibility of producing text that is not entirely impartial. This could also be based on how the initial query was worded.
However, this is also built-in to the algorithm, as it is designed to provide a truthful and neutral answer to a question. In itself, this is a bias, as you may not want your article to be neutral. In this instance, it may need some more guidance to formulate an answer with the desired skew.
When looking to create branded content for your website, ad copy or social posts, for example, brand is everything. You need a strong and consistent tone of voice to access all your channels to help build rapport with your audiences and convey your brand message. AI-generated content may not produce content that is aligned with your individual brand tone of voice, which would hinder your ability to build these relationships, convey a strong message, and set your brand apart from the competition.
One of the most important rules in content marketing is to always create content with purpose. There’s no point publishing content that is simply a replica of what’s already out there. You should always strive to add value, be that additional expert commentary, new data points or innovative content formats. AI-generated content lacks this added value and originality, since it only produces text using existing content.
So, yes, it is original in the sense that it is unique content (so you don’t need to worry about plagiarism), but it is not going to be unique to your brand and will not include those extra nuggets of value that a (human) expert can offer. This means AI-generated content is certainly not a candidate for thought-leadership!
AI-generated content relies on human instruction in order to actually produce content. So, the more detailed you want your content to be, the more detailed instruction you need to provide. It can be time-consuming to formulate clear instructions that will provide you with the outcome you want.
Unlike a highly skilled team of content writers and editors, an AI content generator does not have thorough quality control measurements. If you’re part of the marketing community, you’ve probably already seen many examples on Twitter where AI chatbots have produced content with errors or false information. Spreading false information not only impacts your search performance as it goes against E-E-A-T guidelines, but can lead to a loss in consumer trust.
And, as mentioned previously, content generated by AI does not provide the same creative flair and personality that high-quality content written by humans does. Although sentences may be grammatically correct, and even factually correct, they may read unnaturally, which is an indicator of low quality content.
Does AI-generated content go against Google’s guidelines? And can you still rank in Google’s search results using AI-generated content? Two burning questions I’m sure are on every marketer’s mind. Ewan’s blog on AI and SEO content writing answers these questions in detail. Yet, the short of it is that AI chatbots produce automatically generated content, which goes against webmaster guidelines, and can be considered spam.
Google continues to emphasise the importance, which we can evidently see with the latest Google Helpful Content Update for example. We’ve said it a million times before, but we’ll say it again – there’s nothing better than content written by humans for humans!
Although there are some significant limitations to AI when it comes to content marketing, there are also some benefits, such as:
Struggling to come up with a creative headline or stuck for ideas on your next campaign? With the right instruction, AI chatbots can generate a wealth of suggestions to help you with your ideation processes. So, next time writer’s block strikes or you’re all out of ideas, why not give AI a go?
There’s no denying that content creation can be a time-consuming process, from ideation and planning, to writing and proofing. AI may not be able to take the whole process off our hands, but it can sure help towards the beginning. By taking the legwork from the ideation and drafting stages of content creation, AI can help improve team efficiency and support content scalability.
AI chatbots, like ChatGPT, provide an almost instant answer to your questions. This rapid response time can save marketers hours in the long-run, taking the time out of researching, ideation and drafting.
Similar to Google, or other search engines, an AI chatbot is a great platform to ask queries for summaries of information. This can make it a great starting point for research when writing an article or whitepaper. Although, it’s important to note that information provided by AI can be out of date, therefore incorrect in some instances. So, take it with a pinch of salt and always fact check!
As you can see, there are both benefits and drawbacks of using AI technology for content creation. So, it’s all about how you use this tech to your advantage, rather than leaving it to do all the work for you.
First of all, we recommend that you do not try to use AI for all your content. Instead, use your initiative. It’s important to understand when it’s appropriate to use this type of content generator, and where it’s a no-go. You shouldn’t rely on it solely for your content needs, but, as you can see, it can have its place.
And, where you do use it, make sure you are taking the right quality control precautions. Proof-read absolutely everything and, use a plagiarism checker tool just in case, since it is produced from existing sources. You’ll also need to double check your facts, and provide citations or sources where necessary.
So, what does this mean for content marketers? Are we out of a job? Absolutely not. AI can work in tandem with human content marketers (and any role for that matter) to increase efficiency and make our jobs easier. Similar to any other tool we use on a daily basis, to identify trends or check a plagiarism score, AI chatbots and content generators can help us improve our content processes and production.
Is AI in content marketing just a fad or here for the long haul? We’ll have to wait and see to find out. One thing we do know is that AI is here now, and if you’re not using it to maximise your content efforts, then you may be missing out and making work harder for yourself. AI is not something to be feared, but when used hand-in-hand with the human touch, can deliver great results. So, why not give it a go and see what AI can do for you?
9 Steps to Building an Irresistible Business Case for Content MarketingSophie Mizrachi ● March 10, 2023