Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a groundbreaking tool to reduce operational, labor and cost demands for a wide range of industries across myriad applications, including marketing.
Several AI-based tools can be extremely powerful and effective in helping marketers gain a more comprehensive understanding of their target audiences, drive conversions, steer media-buying decisions and ease workloads.
For one, it can inform data-driven decisions based on audience behaviors and market trends. Programs like DALL-E 2 are poised to transform the graphic design space. AI can even personalize a user’s website or social media experience in real time, proving it is, indeed, a valuable resource in many areas of the industry.
Then, there’s copywriting and content marketing. A slew of AI-driven platforms has entered this scene lately, all claiming to magically turn a few keywords into comprehensive blogs and webpages that align with business goals and target audiences.
Sound too good to be true? It is.
Why AI & Content Marketing Don’t Mesh
After experimenting with a leading AI copywriting software, we quickly learned there’s one aspect of marketing that AI will never replace: a skilled content writer. It’s simply impossible for a computer to replicate the human nuances required to create strategic content that speaks to various audiences, follows brand voice and tone guidelines and spurs conversions.
No shade to AI, of course. We’re all for seeking out new ways to save time, money and effort, and it’s been a life-changing innovation for millions of professionals worldwide. However, this technology has a time and a place — neither of which is strategic copywriting.
Don’t Believe Us? Which Would You Rather Read…
Let’s look at a real-life example putting AI writing to the test. We used part of an Aker Ink blog entitled “How to Navigate Data Privacy Laws to Target Digital Audiences in a Cookie-Less World,” which aimed to educate readers on how new data privacy regulations and the elimination of third-party cookies would impact digital marketing strategies.
For this experiment, we decided to keep it brief and focus on only the title and intro paragraph.
Here’s what we put into the system:
And here’s what we got out of it:
Does it make sense? Yes. Is it grammatically decent? Sure. Is the information accurate? Probably.
However, it’s not meaty or entertaining enough to make readers want to drop everything and start reassessing their digital marketing efforts.
Unlike robots, we used a more conversational tone while keeping the specific audience, pertinent data and overall purpose of the piece at the forefront.
Check out the original:
The informative, yet approachable tone was too complex for the software to duplicate — and the same notion would apply to any other brand’s voice. Beyond this, the AI version doesn’t provide any tangible data points or insights, nor does it speak to the needs of business owners or fit our brand voice.
You’ll also notice the title doesn’t align with the blog’s goal. While it is true the end of third-party cookies will impact data privacy, the focus should be on how changes in data privacy laws, including the end of third-party cookies, will impact digital marketing. See the disconnect?
Unless you find yourself in a dire time crunch, it’s best to rely on your own brain, or better yet, that of a skilled content writer. Here are five important reasons why:
AI Content Can’t Effectively Target Your Audience
Copywriters are problem solvers as much as they are storytellers. They dive deep into real issues clients and customers face, then help solve those issues in the most straightforward, engaging way possible. AI can certainly spew valuable information, but it can’t think critically through complex topics to piece together an optimal structure for the individual reader.
The way you frame one sentence can also be tweaked for several audiences, which is why copywriters carefully position each word — one may resonate with the audience, the other may not. Content that’s built for the desired end-user from the start requires a marketing-trained mind.
Additionally, different mediums require different language. A blog, email, press release and social media post could all have the exact same topic and target audience but be written completely differently based on the intended outlet. You can specify the type of content you’re creating within AI platforms, but it may not nail down the ins and outs of structure, messaging, length and other important details.
AI Content Creates Brand Inconsistency
Brand messaging frameworks may be the holy grail of written communication, but AI software doesn’t know that. If the positioning statements comprising the core of your brand aren’t intentionally weaved into your content, this could hinder customer loyalty and trust: 90% of potential customers expect to have a similar brand experience across all communication channels, according to Crowdspring.
With AI, you also can’t provide any further instruction for tone and voice beyond a few broad descriptors — and we know a brand is much more than a handful of adjectives. Human writers ensure consistency throughout every piece of collateral, so audiences feel connected to one reliable identity.
AI Content Doesn’t Dive into Data
Long-form content pieces, like blogs and whitepapers, are typically chock full of data. Studies, surveys and statistics are all critical for backing up claims and establishing credibility, which is one piece of the puzzle AI often neglects. If AI does provide a data point, it doesn’t cite it — which means a human would need to spend time going back to find the source anyway.
AI Content Doesn’t Understand Your Goals
Content marketers are trained to write with the “Why” top of mind. What are the short-term goals of this piece, and how will it eventually help the company reach its long-term goals? Everything from the calls to action to the specific services and products linked plays a key role in securing conversions.
AI doesn’t know whether a business is seeking to generate leads, boost sales, promote a discount or simply spread brand awareness — and as a result, customers won’t know the goal either and likely won’t take action.
And if the objective is to boost SEO, AI is not the answer. Google picks up on computer-generated writing and ranks it lower because it doesn’t effectively help users find answers they need. After all, it’s scanning for high-quality content based on search intent, which AI can’t produce.
Additionally, user experience (UX) copy plays an important role in content creation from start to finish. This serves as a guiding voice that leads users through the flow of the page, which requires a specific structure that aligns with UX best practices.
The best content helps users solve problems through a streamlined digital experience, which in turn helps businesses meet their goals. If AI isn’t proficient in the nuances of UX- and SEO-driven copy, it will be harder for businesses to meet those goals. Blogs serve a greater purpose than simply sounding nice; there are multiple levels of strategy that must be considered to actually make content effective.
AI Content Lacks Emotion
Customers who have an emotional relationship with a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value and will recommend the company at a rate of 71%, instead of the average 45%, according to a Motista study.
As humans, we’re all inherently drawn to connection. We want to read things that make us feel things. Irony, shock value, sarcasm, innuendos, metaphors, jokes — each of these are essential for genuine communication. AI may have the logic part down, but it can’t supply the emotions nor empathy needed to create long-lasting relationships with your audience.
So, AI, please don’t be mad if you read this. We promise you have plenty of other strengths, and we’re genuinely excited to see what you accomplish in the future. That said, you may want to stay out of this particular lane.
Want to ensure your content is consistent, comprehensive, engaging and tailored to your goals? Our team of experienced human writers can help. Learn more about our content marketing services.