Updated: Oct 14
AI copywriting tools are the latest content creation trend. Is the human copywriter obsolete? Will AI kill copywriting? And how can we use AI content tools ethically?
"Should I use AI for copywriting projects?" There is no question more pervasive in content marketing right now. (Honestly, is there ANY topic more divisive in 2023 than ChatGPT and other open source AI technology?)
The AI revolution has reached the world of copywriting, promising content creation that's affordable, responsive and stressless.
Jasper AI bills itself as "an incredibly talented and intuitive AI copywriter". AI writing tools like Copy.ai, Writecream and Hypotenuse AI offer fast content generation to combat writer's block.
There's always a trade-off, of course. In exchange for quick access to large blocks of content, you're giving up freedom of expression and original thought. If that's the case, then why is AI generated copy so popular?
Why is AI copy so appealing?
There's no nice way to say this: AI writing tools are popular because they let humans be lazy. This isn't always a bad thing. But if you're expecting unique content from a professional writer, you can run into some major hurdles.
It's easy to pull up an AI chatbot or copywriting tool and punch in a few keywords. Sit back, take a few sips of coffee, and BAM — AI generated writing falls in your lap. And it looks great on the surface, sure. Heck, even a human content creator marvels at its efficiency. But there are some ways in which AI copy isn't ready to compete with the genuine article.
Let's be clear: we're not here to **** on AI copywriting tools. They have value, but they also require context.
(Want proof we're not blindly hating on AI? We used it in the construction of this article — more on that here.)
Artificial intelligence has a place in copywriting. But the key word here is "place"... not replace. There's a tremendous part that generative AI can play in creating killer copy.
If we're going to better understand AI's role in content development, we have to define its limitations. So before we talk about what AI can do for copywriting... let's talk about what it can't do.
5 reasons a human copywriter beats AI copy
#1: “AI copy” Google searches are trending the wrong way.
It's easy to claim we're biased against AI copywriting — after all, we're humans. So let's ask a slightly more objective source: Google.
Search engine queries regarding AI copywriting tools reveal a growing distrust among users. This is a Google search conducted the date this article was published, with the keyword “ai copywriting”:
Google autofills keyword phrases based on popular search queries. When 2 of the top autofill suggestions are "AI copywriting checker" and "AI copywriting detector" — well, that's not exactly a sign of user trust.
On the contrary, it's a sign that employers don't want their writers and freelance content creators taking AI-related shortcuts. Imagine paying someone a competitive rate for content creation, only to find the work was generated by an AI chatbot.
There is good reason for employers and marketing executives to be skeptical of AI content. Some of it may be downright misleading.
#2: AI generated content can't (fully) fact-check itself.
Nieman Labs published a fantastic article about AI fact checking in late 2022. It discusses the rollout of algorithmic fact checking, which is a vital tool against disinformation campaigns and forged videos. So what's the problem?
"A quote might be accurate, but misleading," the article explains. AI's ability to fact check is based on a benchmark data set, which allows the program to measure content's accuracy against other sources.
But what happens if that collected data is incorrect — or if new information changes the narrative? Keep in mind that bad actors have the same access to AI as reliable writers. There's currently no way for AI writing tools to outpace misinformation, or to provide context.
Theres AI copywriting tools. AI content platform developers are creating and perfecting writing tools that will make keyword research, header creation, and content marketing analysis more effic iae nlti '(and less expensive).
Context, after all, is what creates great copy.
Ultimately, AI copy is at the mercy of its sources — and its ability to judge the credibility of those sources is a work in progress. We aren't saying it can't get there. It's simply not there quite yet.
#3: Generative AI is not built for long form content.
The longer you let artificial intelligence talk, the more artificial it sounds. It's easier to pass off AI-created small blurbs or social media posts as authentic content, as there's less margin for error.
If you need articles, blog posts, or content marketing copy, things can get a little sticky. If there's human content (or at least editing) done to an AI-generated piece of copy, there are going to be awkward passages.
Medium calls over-reliance on AI copywriting "business killing". It's not an overstatement. If you aren't constantly checking long-form content for grammatical errors and plagiarism, it's a recipe for disaster.
Imagine your employers run your content through an AI copy detector and find plagiarized content? That sounds awful... but what happens if they don't check, and you're accused of plagiarism by outside sources? Nightmare fuel.
There's a chance your AI content is seamless, sure. But even in a perfect world, artifically created copy still can't provide one thing — genuine emotion.
#4: Content marketing relies on emotions. AI doesn't have them.
Users can tell AI what to talk about. They can enter keywords, target or reject language by adjusting filters. So to some degree, you can tell AI writing tools what to say.
But you can't tell them how to say it.
Facts are lovely. But emotion drives conversions. You can organize AI generated content to seem logical, and even somewhat man-made. But no amount of logic is going to call your target audience to action.
“Power doesn’t come from content, power comes from the content that moves.” – Mark Schaefer
So you've got 2,000 words of content in the blink of an eye. What good is a single one of those words if it doesn't inspire confidence, love, or emotion?
No matter how factual or logical AI copy is, it's going to take human intervention to make it powerful. Speaking of which...
#5: That AI content isn't going to edit itself, y'know.
The punchline is that no matter how fast AI spins content, a human copywriter has to edit any flaws that reveal themselves in the copy.
Does the content contain incorrect statements or unintentional plagiarism? A human writer has to fix that.
Is the content stilted, awkward to read, or mechanical-sounding? A human has to fix that.
Weak calls to action, soulless brand stories, a lack of connection with the audience — you get the picture.
You're inevitably going to pay a copywriter to fix AI generated content, so why pay for AI copy in the first place?
This isn't to say that AI tools don't belong in today's content creation process. They do — as long as you know their place.
AI has a place in content creation — keyword research
Can AI replace copywriters? No — at least not anytime soon. But AI technology has a great deal of value within the content marketing process if it's properly applied.
Using an AI tool focused on keyword development is a brilliant place to start sales copy or blog post content. Artificial intelligence can scour search engine queries in seconds for keyword trends that would take humans hours to find. These results are invaluable for writing product descriptions, optimizing titles and headers, and scoring high search engine rankings.
The reason distrust in AI writing tools is on the rise isn't a software issue. An AI writing assistant is just that — an assistant. The problem arises when lazy or ingenuous people use AI to spin massive amounts of content and pass it off as their own work.
AI isn't currently designed to be the be-all, end-all of content creation. It's simply a tool. And whether that tool is effective or destructive is all up to the person holding it.
Will AI Kill Copywriting? Not if we use it properly.
So, will AI kill copywriting? I think that's the wrong question. We should be asking how copywriters can use AI ethically and effectively.
There's a bright future for AI copywriting tools. AI content platform developers are creating and perfecting writing tools that will make keyword research, header creation, and content marketing analysis more efficient (and less expensive).
The fact that bad actors use these tools to spin mass content to save a buck stinks. But it shouldn't deter us from pursuing further AI development in copywriting.
As with all technology, its value is determined by how humans use it. We should remain critical of those who would use it negatively. But let's remain optimistic about the value AI writing tools can provide — in context.
Want to find the perfect balance between AI content research and experienced human copywriting? Perk Copywriting is here for you. Let's have a free conversation and write your next chapter together.