A Balancing Act: Knowing When to Use AI for Content Creation and When to Avoid It
Just a few short years ago, generative AI was something reserved for the plot line of some futuristic action flick. Today, however, AI-powered tools are everywhere churning out audio, images, text, and video content faster than the average person could type out this paragraph.
A whopping 60% of marketers report using generative AI in some professional capacity whether it is condensing lengthy texts, composing social media content, or brainstorming ideas. However, with great power comes great responsibility. In this context, it is crucial to balance generative AI’s incredible possibilities with its potential risks to your brand and consider whether employing generative AI may be doing more harm than good.
What is Generative AI?
By now, most people are at least vaguely familiar with generative AI tools such as ChatGTP or Bard, but if not, here is a quick recap.
In 2022, ChatGTP burst onto the scene surprising most people outside the tech world with its human-like chat capabilities. Generative AI marks a significant departure from previous AI tools. Rather than relying on fixed rules or data models, generative AI leverages sophisticated machine learning models to create new content based on existing data and delivers it in such a way that it is almost indistinguishable from a person. They don’t simply regurgitate existing data or patterns but instead generate outputs that haven’t been explicitly programmed or seen before based on the information they can access.
However, generative AI models are far from perfect. Issues such as misguided SEO research, factual accuracy, plagiarism, and the absence of human expertise and reasoning are increasingly being flagged and present substantial challenges for brands using technology. And that is where this blog comes into play.
Coming up, we will explore ways generative AI can be used to enhance and optimize your content creation process while avoiding the pitfalls of an overreliance on AI tools.
How to Use Generative AI in Your Content Creation
Despite some highly vocal opposition, the truth is generative AI cannot and will not replace human creativity; rather, its role in content creation is more of a support position- a super helper if you will. Generative AI is excellent in helping marketers speed up their workflows, curing writer’s block with awesome ideas for content, and getting that first draught rolling. The key is maintaining the right balance of AI assistance and human finesse. Get it right and generative AI is like having a turbocharger for your content creation engine, but get it wrong, and AI-generated content could create major speed bumps on your road to online dominance.
Here are a few ways marketers and content creators are leveraging AI to enhance their workflows without sacrificing the quality and human nuance of their work.
Summarising Mountains of Words
Writers spend a lot of time researching the topics they write about for an article (not unlike this one), which could mean hours of pouring over the material, taking notes, and verifying facts, all before even starting the writing process. This is one of the key areas where content creators can benefit from AI. Generative AI can summarize mammoth amounts of text into bite-sized, digestible chunks in minutes, leaving writers to do what they do best – produce engaging, informative, and well-researched blogs and articles for readers to enjoy.
Crafting Landing Page Copy
Landing pages are what draw visitors to your website and you want them to scream “Come in, we have what you need!” Attention-grabbing website copy and meta descriptions are like SEO 101. They are crucial to driving website traffic and upping your conversion stats. AI can lend a hand here by analyzing your core content and then weaving attention-grabbing titles, meta descriptions, and landing page copy that hook the readers and improve your SEO game.
Rapid-Fire Social Media Posts
Social networks are that high-energy party where you have to shine bright and fast! AI steps up to create engaging social media posts that cater to your specific audience. It’s like pulling out the most exciting bits from your long content and reshaping them into zippy captions and tweets that draw the crowd to your more detailed (person-produced) content.
Experimenting with Copy and Headlines
Experimenting with different versions of content is a fundamental strategy used by marketers to evaluate the effectiveness of various content, website copy, or ad campaigns to determine which content lands better with readers. Generative AI can help simplify A/B testing by quickly producing multiple variations of your content- kind of like that quick-thinking friend who always knows just the right thing to say to grab everyone’s attention. It is not doing the work but streamlining it and making marketing strategies even sharper.
Need help pitching your top-notch performance racing mufflers to buyers online? Product descriptions are an essential selling feature for e-commerce retailers and they need to land. However, getting them right can take time and a lot of effort. You can systematically go through the various features each unit offers or you can plug the details into an AI content generator and it will produce a short, medium, or long description tailored to your parameters.
However, it is important to note that while AI writing tools offer a new dimension in quick and easy content generation, they still require a human touch in areas such as understanding the target audience, brand voice, and SEO relevancy for optimal conversions.
Risks Associated with AI-Generated Content
Despite all that is good about generative AI, the overreliance on these tools for content creation presents significant risks and challenges that users must be aware of and address.
Fact-Checking and Quality Control
AI doesn’t possess actual knowledge as it acquires it from large datasets processed during training. These datasets draw from various sources, including text, images, audio, and other information available on the internet or from curated databases. The information is embedded in the model through machine learning, where the AI algorithm analyzes patterns, relationships, and structures within the data to understand language and context and, ultimately, generate content.
AI cannot fact-check and verify information thereby posing a serious risk of spreading misinformation that could harm your brand’s reputation and credibility. AI-generated content needs human writers and editors to thoroughly review, refine, and verify facts to ensure that every piece of content meets your expected quality standards.
A Bad Case of the Blahs
Although AI is a great tool to help create outlines and even initial draughts it just cannot capture human nuances, tone, and context effectively because as smart as it is. AI lacks the emotional intelligence to excel in writing engaging copy and often produces bland, shallow content that reads like a robot wrote it. Human writers and editors hold a crucial role in refining content, ensuring it is coherent, appealing to readers, and resonates with the brand’s distinctive voice. Their involvement is and will continue to be, vital to the content creation process.
SEO and Rankings
While AI can assist in creating content optimized for search engines, relying solely on AI-generated content without human input can lead to generic, inaccurate, or misleading content, ultimately affecting your ranking. Content needs three things to perform better in search results: relevance, quality, and authority. Relevance signifies how well the content matches the user’s search intent. Quality is a measure of well-crafted, informative, and engaging material, and authority refers to the credibility and trustworthiness of the content, often assessed by the backlinks and references it accumulates from reputable sources.
Although generative AI models may be able to produce relevant content, they lack the perspective, nuance, and depth to truly engage them, particularly in cases of current events beyond the model’s knowledge base, and cannot replicate authority.
Overusing AI content in SEO may impact your website’s performance, especially as search engines become more apt at recognizing AI-generated content.
The use of AI in content creation also raises ethical concerns, particularly with regard to transparency. It is safe to assume that when readers engage with your brand, they expect person-to-person interaction rather than AI-generated content. Learning AI was used without disclosure could cause your consumers to lose trust in your brand and impact your brand’s reputation.
A Downward Spiral
The newest concern about AI-generated content? Cannibalism! The surge in popularity of generative AI is saturating the Internet with AI-generated content creating a situation where this content, including its errors, misinformation, stereotypes, and misperceived data, will be used to train future AI models. Experts worry that feeding models AI-generated data even in small amounts could cause long-term issues, leading to what they term “model collapse,” where errors accumulate, rendering the models ineffective. Researchers have already observed this trend in various AI models, resulting in gibberish outputs or devolved images after successive generations. If this situation plays out as some experts believe it will, the need for human intervention in AI-generated content will become more important, not less, in the coming years.
Undoubtedly, AI-generated content offers numerous advantages to content creators and marketers, particularly in streamlining writing processes, aiding in ideation, and enhancing productivity. However, along with all the good comes a slew of potential negatives, highlighting the need for cautious use of AI-generated content.
A balanced approach that integrates AI efficiency with human expertise is key to unlocking the full potential of AI-generated content while ensuring that accuracy, authenticity, and ethical standards are upheld in content creation processes. As AI continues to become more mainstream, it is up to content creators, marketers, and businesses to stay on top of evolving tools and technologies to employ these tools in a way that helps and not hinders their success.