AI content generation has become a hot topic for digital marketers and curious businesses, growing in popularity over the last few years. New AI writing tools have entered the market with the aim of making content creators’ lives easier by producing a variety of copy in minutes.
We’ve tried a couple of these tools to see what the fuss is all about – and to see if AI content generation tools are as good as they seem. But how does AI write content? And does AI content rank? In this article we’ll take a look at some of the tools on the market and whether it’s worth incorporating AI writing software into your marketing mix.
What is AI generated content?
AI content is essentially content generated by AI technology. When you sign up to one of the many AI article writers available, you’re essentially leveraging artificial intelligence to write thousands of words in practically no time at all.
There is AI writing software available for a wide variety of content types, including:
- Product descriptions
- Meta data
- Social media (both bios & captions)
- YouTube video descriptions
- Emails (both newsletters and your everyday emails)
And it doesn’t stop there. AI can also be used for writing quotes, testimonials and reviews and even novel writing. Some tools also offer content idea generation, such as Hubspot. You also get tools that don’t write content but run spelling and grammar checks, such as Grammarly. AI content generation tools can write copy in different languages, and there are now also AI tools for image creation, which can be used to support your content.
What are some examples of AI writing tools?
There are plenty of tools you can use for content creation. Here’s just five AI tool examples:
How does AI content generation work?
Content creation with AI involves artificial intelligence producing content, based on the data found online. Using natural language processing (NLP) and natural language generation (NLG), AI tools teach themselves all they can about a topic and generate sentences using vocabulary they’re designed to learn.
Usually, when using a content AI tool, you select the type of content you want the tool to produce. Type in the topic, a description of the content you want the tool to write, import keywords and select an emotion. The AI article writer then produces content based on what you’ve inputted and the info it can find online – it usually takes no more than a few minutes.
Often, once the tool has finished writing your content, you can give feedback or select the style that you like, so over time the tool will learn how to better produce the content that meets your needs.
You can see an example of a blog written by Jasper.ai here, and see an example we pulled from another AI tool, writing about content and AI:
Artificial intelligence content is the future of blog and article writing. AI is a new trend that has recently gained popularity in the world of content creation. Bloggers, writers and website owners are using AI to generate blog posts, articles, white papers and other forms of content to save time and money. AI-generated content is a great way to save time and money. It’s also an excellent way to build your brand or generate leads for your business as it attracts readers with its unique value proposition
– excerpt from an AI writing tool
Does AI content rank in Google?
Google has said that AI generated content is considered spam. As AI content is essentially auto-generated content, it goes against their guidelines and is considered a black hat practice.
However, the issue that Google has is that they ‘can’t claim’ to tell when someone has used AI writer software. SEMRush trialled this by creating a number of pages with AI (with tools that used artificial intelligence model GPT-2, doing no SEO optimisations other than link building. The pages did achieve a few rankings, suggesting that, if these blogs had been fully optimised, it could have produced some impressive results. You can read the full case study here.
Not only that, other users claim to have achieved rankings using AI content writing. This shows that Google is not yet able to differentiate between AI content and content created by humans. What doesn’t help is that GPT3 – the machine learning model used by AI writing tools – seems to be harder to detect compared to other models, posing more of a challenge for search engines.
Google has always said to write for your target audience, not search engines. In order to create content that truly resonates with them, you need to pay attention to the industry, listen to what your audience is actually saying so you can provide points of real value, and even the solution. Simply finding keywords, importing them into tools and using AI to write articles leads to generic copy that doesn’t hit home with your readers.
AI content writing pros and cons
Content writing with AI has some benefits, but there are some fairly significant negatives.
Advantages of using AI writing software
There are some advantages to using AI for writing:
- Reduces writers block – AI tools can be a handy way to get started writing a piece if you’re struggling to put words on the page.
- Can help with new content ideas – especially if you’re using a content idea generation tool. If not, seeing how a tool would structure or write a long form article can give you a refresh if you feel stuck in a rut.
- Saves time and, by extension, money.
- Can be used for a variety of content – although, the quality of the content can vary. For example, we tried creating social media captions on an AI tool and the results were better than long form content, although still not perfect.
- Can create first drafts for you to edit and expand on – again, ideal for writer’s block or when you’re short on time.
- Content created by tools improves over time – as the tool gets to know the content you’re looking to create, it will better meet that need as you continue to use it.
Disadvantages of using AI writing software
While AI powered copywriting can be beneficial for a number of reasons, there are many disadvantages.
- AI tools are unable to fully understand human emotions and motivations – as we mentioned before, AI article writers can’t create copy that resonates with audiences as well in the same way well-written human content can.
- Unable to pick up certain nuances of language – this means that AI tools are prone to making mistakes when detailing information to your audience.
- Can hinder creativity and collaboration
- Not 100% perfect – the generated content may not read well and even share wrong information that will need someone to work through. Consider the potential reputational damage if factual errors or basic mistakes in content were to go live on your website. When we trialled long form content writing using AI, we also found that it felt monotonous and repetitive.
- Has issues speaking to a particular audience – AI tools cannot fully understand the language they use and dig deep into what they are saying. Because of this, they do not work well for certain industries, such as medical.
- Not all AI tools are up to date – for example, Jasper was last ‘trained’ in 2019, meaning that it’s currently unable to write about events after this time.
Will copywriting be automated?
Some areas of copywriting have become more automated with the development of AI writing tools. However, content generated by AI lacks the empathy and emotional pull that’s needed to create successful copy. These tools still have a long way to go for copywriting to become fully automated.
In terms of what the future looks like for AI powered content, Google’s John Mueller has shared his thoughts:
“Maybe over time these AI tools will evolve in that direction that you use them to be more efficient in your writing or to make sure that you’re writing in a proper way like the spelling and the grammar checking tools, which are also based on machine learning. But I don’t know what the future brings there.”
Our content expert Tom Spooner believes there are some areas that are impossible to replicate (or at least he hopes!):
“Great content balances so many different components. At Loom, our skilled writers create various types of content as part of a wider digital marketing strategy. Each piece plays an essential role in communicating the value of our client to a specific audience at a specific time. Through our writing we capture a client’s tone of voice and adjust our language to talk specifically to a defined audience, understanding their situation and delivering real value. Bringing together our client’s knowledge, with topically relevant content and engaging copy is one thing – what we do in addition is optimise it to meet a search demand so it can be discovered by users too. AI may be able to do some of these elements with a degree of success but will never be able to fully replicate the quality of a human writer.”
– Tom Spooner
ChatGPT and content writing
We can’t talk about AI content generation without mentioning ChatGPT. ChatGPT is by far one of the most popular AI tools around. But can it produce the high quality content that users – and Google – look for?
Like other AI writing tools, ChatGPT can be used to create many types of content, such as blogs, social media posts and product descriptions. You can also use the tool to create content briefs or outlines to help you get started with your writing. It has taken the world by storm with its quick and personalised responses, growing rapidly in use.
However, ChatGPT does come with issues – many of which are listed above in our ‘Disadvantages’ section. But there are a handful of its own disadvantages to consider:
- Without the right prompts, ChatGPT may provide an answer that is either inaccurate or not relevant to what you need. You need to have a good idea of how to get the best responses by using the correct type of prompts – something which may take getting used to if you’re new to the tool.
- In fact, ChatGPT has only been trained up to 2021, meaning that if you asked it a question about an event in 2023, you’re unlikely to receive an accurate answer.
- While ChatGPT provides some great responses, it does not ask follow up questions. This means that, if it doesn’t quite understand what you’re asking, it will simply try to answer a question or create content based purely on how it interprets your instructions, which may not align with your needs.
While ChatGPT can be useful in some situations, and can certainly help if you’re experiencing writer’s block, the quality and accuracy of the content it produces is still weak when compared to human content writers.
Is AI copy writing worth it?
While AI can be beneficial in some areas, it can’t create the quality of content needed to convince users to read on and take a desired action. It may help with breaking through writer’s block, coming up with ideas and saving time, as an aid to the writing process if you like. The end output of AI content does not compare to content written by humans. Not only that, it goes against Google’s guidelines.
“Content should never be created for the sake of it. Every page on your website should have a clear objective and deliver something of unique value. Often that value comes from the client – their unique expertise and experience built up over the years. For me, the question you need to ask yourself is, ‘Will AI deliver content of genuine value to the people that matter for your business? If there’s doubt, then you have your answer. It’s impossible to replace the skills and insights of a professional human writer.”
– Tom Spooner
At Loom, we don’t believe in handing over your content requirements to artificial intelligence. Successful copywriting involves getting to know your audience inside and out, and is creative enough to keep them engaged all the way through while being optimised for search.
When creating content we keep user intent and needs in mind and dig deep into your industry to ensure we speak the language of your target audience – something AI struggles to do. This way, audiences will trust your business and come to you, positioning you as an industry leader. Click to read more about our Content and SEO services, or get in touch for more information.