I write a lot. I contribute to two publications, write marketing collateral for my company and generate numerous bits and pieces to support customer engagement every week.
I’m not a natural writer nor do I love writing. I find writing difficult and facing a blank page daunting. Nonetheless, it consumes a significant portion of my work week. Thus, the idea of using artificial intelligence (AI) to generate content is very appealing.
Should we be skeptical of AI-generated content?
At the moment, there is a wave of negativity around using AI to generate content. This is not surprising given the newness of the technology and the sense that we are opening Pandora’s Box.
Concerns seem to fall into one of three categories:
- Content overload. A belief that we are making it too easy to drown our prospects and customers with poorly written, meaningless content.
- Authenticity. A fear that we’ll lose authenticity and honesty in our communications and weaken the connection and relationship we have with our customers.
- Search engine impact. A worry about the impact of AI-generated content on search engine rankings. At present, Google considers AI-generated content to be spam and therefore against their webmaster guidelines.
I understand these concerns but to me, they are addressable. Quality, quantity and authenticity will be moderated by the analytics we rely on to refine customer journey maps and show us what makes for engaging content.
Our analytics tools are evolving quickly and many now leverage machine learning to provide us with actionable insights and recommendations. These tools will ultimately ensure that we do not fall into a habit of spamming prospects just because it is easy to do so.
As for Google treating AI-generated content as spam, the search engine can’t easily discern which content is AI-generated unless it looks and feels like spam. In this case, they should hide it.
Good content is good content regardless of how it is generated. And as AI capabilities evolve over time, I’m confident Google will find a way to deal with it appropriately.
4 common use cases for AI writing tools
AI content generation capabilities are still in their infancy. We are not yet in a place where we can rely on an algorithm to write a complete article or blog post without a human editing the output — and I’m not sure we will ever get there.
The AI content generation tools on the market today position themselves for the most part as “writing assistants” and not “writers,” which is a big distinction. Their value propositions center around:
- Productivity and time savings.
- SEO improvement through identifying and using keywords.
- Better quality of writing due to grammar analysis.
Currently, AI-generated content adds value in several situations.
1: Overcoming the blank page fear factor
Recently, I was struggling to get started writing an article about the relationship between martech and the bigger function of marketing.
As an experiment, I signed up for a trial of Jasper.ai and created a title and a one-sentence article overview, added some keywords and selected a tone of voice.
Almost immediately Jasper returned three paragraphs that were reasonably well-written though a little redundant. They served as a great jumping-off point.
In the end, I used one sentence in its entirety and deleted the rest. I did, however, use the thoughts in the AI-generated text to help structure my article. All in all, a really good experience.
2: Refining text
A teammate who was spending a lot of her time writing emails leveraged her trial of Jasper.ai to see if she could improve the content of our emails and was really happy with the results.
She’s a great promotional writer. But for those struggling with promotional writing, having a tool to improve and refine content is extremely valuable. In her case, it gave her some great material for A/B tests.
3: Inspiration and outlines
AI content tools are a good starting place when you know what you want to write about but aren’t sure what you should cover.
They’ll come up with a recommended outline to help you think about your article or e-book structure.
4: Slogans, social posts, bios and more
Many tools go beyond blog posts and cover all types of business communications. They can be extremely helpful when you are writing ad copy or social posts and need multiple variants to test.
Some tools veer into personal communications and offer content for resignation letters, wedding vows, birthday cards, cover letters and more.
A little creepy, perhaps, but potentially useful for those who find these communications challenging.
Dig deeper: The AI content creation space is growing
16 popular AI writing tools today
Exploring tools for generating AI text content took me down a rabbit hole. There are far more options than I would ever have imagined.
Most tools come with a wide variety of templates and have plagiarism and grammar checkers. Some tools focus on a particular specialty (i.e., paraphrasing) or a specific medium (i.e., social or web content).
Additionally, the tools I looked at were very reasonably priced, making them easy to test to find the one that delivers the best content for you.
In no particular order, here’s a list of popular AI writing tools today.
|Company||Free Trial||Starting Price||# Words||# Users|
|Jasper.ai||Yes; cc required||$40 per month||35,000||5|
|Copy.ai||Free version (1 user, 2000 words per month)||$49 per month||40,000||5|
|Contentbot.ai||Pre-paid option of $1 per 1,000 words.||$29 per month||40,000||Unlimited|
|Copysmith||$19 per month||40,000||2|
Social media-focused, also offers assistance with images and video
|Free version||$18 per month||500 posts|
Website builder, AI content generation is a feature
|Free add-on to website product|
|Articleforge||Yes; cc required||$13 per month||25,000|
Focused on paraphrasing
|Free version (125-word limit to paraphrase)||$19 per month||Unlimited|
|Writesonic||Yes||$10 per month||30,000||1|
|kafkai||3-day trial; cc required||$29 per month||100 articles|
|anyword||Yes||$24 per month||20,000||multiple|
|Rytr||Free version||$29 per month||unlimited|
|Frase.io||Yes; cc required||$14.99 per month||20,000 characters|
Chrome extension for editing
|Shakespeare||Yes; cc required||$49 per month||45,000|
You be the judge: Testing the AI content writing tools
As I looked at the tools above, I submitted my opening paragraph to those that offered paraphrasing as a service. Some are better than others, but overall, they are pretty impressive. You can see the results below.
(I resisted the temptation to rewrite my opening paragraph. If I had done so, I would have started with the paragraph from Contentbot.ai.)
My original paragraph
“I write a lot. I contribute to two publications, write marketing collateral for my company and generate numerous bits and pieces to support customer engagement every week. I’m not a natural writer nor do I love writing. I find writing difficult and facing a blank page daunting. Nonetheless, writing consumes a significant portion of my work week. The idea of using AI to generate content is very appealing.”
“Writing is the bane of my existence. I don’t consider myself a writer and yet I write every single day. This is especially challenging when I’m faced with a blank page or trying to rearrange words to make a sentence flow better. Whether I’m writing marketing emails, creating a blog, or contributing to my publications, I spend a considerable amount of time coming up with quality content for our audience. The idea of using AI to generate content is very engaging.”
“I write a lot. Every week, I produce multiple items to enhance customer engagement, write marketing content for my company and contribute to two magazines. I’m not a born writer and I don’t particularly enjoy it. I have trouble writing and the thought of a blank page is intimidating. However, writing takes up a sizable chunk of my work week. The thought of generating content with AI is quite alluring.”
“I contribute to two publications, create marketing materials for my firm and produce a variety of bits and pieces to help customers stay connected every week. I’m not a natural writer nor do I adore writing. I find composing difficult and staring at an empt,y page frightening. Despite this, I spend a considerable amount of time writing. The notion of using AI to create content is very alluring.”
“I write a lot. I contribute to two publications, write marketing collateral for my company and generate numerous bits and pieces every week. I’m not a natural writer and don’t enjoy writing that much. Still, it takes up a significant portion of my work week. The idea of using AI to generate content sounds ideal.”
I did go beyond paraphrasing and had one tool generate a blog post.
My request: Write an article on the use of AI content in marketing in an informal tone.
The result wasn’t something I’d publish, but it did give me some ideas. Here’s what I got back:
The term AI-generated content refers to content created by the use of artificial intelligence systems. These systems can generate text, audio or video based on information that they’ve learned from large amounts of data. The purpose of this technology is to help marketers and other businesses create content that looks natural and authentic while saving time in the process.
AI content is here.
AI content is here to stay. It’s not a fad or trend. AI-generated content is here to stay and will continue to grow in popularity as the technology behind it becomes more sophisticated, accessible and affordable. For example, Google just launched a new product called “Cloud AutoML Vision” which uses machine learning to automatically label images—a task typically reserved for humans!
Because AI generates relevant ideas that you can customize into brand-specific content (or even just use as inspiration), it can save you time and money while simultaneously increasing your brand’s visibility online.
AI also offers marketers an opportunity to reach new audiences by providing them with solutions they didn’t even know they needed until they saw them advertised online through AI-generated content campaigns that target their specific interests/hobbies/passions etc.
Content is key to the marketing strategy of any business. The type of content can vary from blog posts to videos, but it’s important for companies to create consistent quality materials that will engage their audience and help them make buying decisions. AI-generated content is becoming a popular tool for marketers as it helps them automate some of their processes, but also allows them more time to focus on other things like creating original content or managing social media accounts.
Another test was to have Rytr create blog headlines and keywords using the same “the use of AI-generated content in marketing” topic. Again, it produced some good ideas.
- What is AI-generated content and how can it benefit your brand marketing efforts?
- Keywords: content creation software, ai copywriting tool, ai writer, content generator
- The complete guide to AI-generated content marketing
- Keywords: ai writing app, how ai can help with marketing needs, what is an ai assistant for marketing
- AI-generated blogs & texts: A great way to increase SEO and website traffic
- Keywords: blog generator, story generator, auto write emails, auto content generator
- How to use AI-generating tools together with traditional content-creation techniques in the modern world of marketing
- Keyword: ai copywriting tool
I was most excited to try Quillbot’s summarizer tool in the hope that it would be a good resource for creating an abstract for the articles I write. Sadly, that didn’t work as I hoped. This is how it summarized this article:
“There is a wave of negativity around using AI to generate content. Quality, quantity and authenticity will be moderated by the analytics we rely on. Google can’t easily discern which content is AI-generated unless it looks and feels like spam in which case, they should hide it. Exploring tools for generating AI text content took me down a rabbit hole. Most tools come with a wide variety of templates and plagiarism and grammar checkers. Some tools are focused on a particular specialty such as paraphrasing or a specific medium such as social or web content.”
AI-powered writing tools can assist — not replace — people
I’m enthusiastic about the value these tools will bring to creating marketing content. I’m in the camp of looking for an assist rather than using a tool as an alternative to me writing.
After doing a little more digging, I expect to subscribe to 2-3 of these tools. On the flip side, I told my husband about this article, and the look of horror on his face would be hard to replicate.
He is a business school professor and immediately jumped to the potential for disaster if students used these tools to paraphrase each other’s work or as a way to write an essay.
It will take some creative thought to think about the best way to address the use of AI content generation in the academic environment and elsewhere.
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We are heading into new territory with AI-generated content, and there’s still a lot to figure out. What I know for sure is that it will be a disruptive force in the world of content creation. As marketers, we need to figure out how to harness its power without losing the “why” and “for whom” we are writing.
And though this article deals with text generation, I thought I’d see if I could use an AI generator to create an image to go along with the text. I went to Nightcafe and typed in “Robot typing text”, selected “Modern Comic” as the style and asked for four images. I’m very pleased with the results and am happily heading into my next rabbit hole.
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