Posted on August 31, 2022 by Kyle Greenwood A few of us at Webfor were recently treated to a 30-minute presentation (that swelled to 45 minutes with questions and potential concerns) for an AI content generator tool. AI, of course, is short for artificial intelligence, and this technology has been brewing for quite a few years now. Being a content writer myself, I had always bristled at AI-produced content, and not just because it has the potential to render me unnecessary. It always read as a little wooden, like it was putting a puzzle together instead of creating the image on the puzzle. There was no creativity, although all the words were spelled correctly. So there is that. As the presentation continued, my incredulity turned to interest. The software had plenty of bells and whistles, created credible copy, and worked incredibly fast. The presenter was quick to point out that the content still needed that human touch, but what was written on the spot with minimal guidance was a helluva starting point. When the Robots Come Marching Home Fellow Webfor Senior Content Writer Matt George Moore already took a deep dive into how AI will, one day, take our jobs. Written in 2021, he discusses the limitations of content created by AI, but also how quickly those limitations are being addressed. It’s one of the few times I’ve ever wished to be a decade older than I already am — so I could retire before being forcibly removed by our AI managers. (The other time was when I was 8 years old and wanted to go see R-rated movies. Although it’s probably for the best that eight-year-old me didn’t go see Aliens. I bet I could have handled The Warriors, though.) How AI Content Generation Can Help Today Matt’s blog touched on how the automatically-generated content still needed some love before being ready for prime time. The stiff repetition of primary keyword phrases, wonky transitions, and the lack of nuance may help search engine algorithms but can be spotted by potential clients. And, potentially, by Google itself: The search engine recently launched a “helpful content” update to help bring original content to the forefront. A year later, however, the software we were presented with seemed to improve on all of those points. Yes, there were still some issues that needed to be ferreted out, but the advances in such a short amount of time were impressive. Depending on the kind of content you need, the software is just about there. The content itself, however, played second fiddle to what really piqued my interest: How the content was compiled. The Webfor content team has decades of writing experience, most of which was for a human audience. But digital content marketing needs content for humans as well as search engines. As such, we enlist the help of a few tools to get us the juice that resonates with both sides of the content coin. This is where the software wowed us the most. By integrating the features of the extensions we were already using, while also partnering with other well-established apps, content marketers can use the software to help inform our writing. (Side note: If you’re like me, it’s gotta be killing you that I haven’t named the product yet. Sorry… you’re just going to have to tough it out. I haven’t used it enough to give it a review.) The Tools of AI Content Generation When it comes to content marketing and copywriting, the first thing you have to consider is what people are searching for. There are a number of tools that help with search volume, keyword difficulty, and other data to give us an idea of what people are looking for. Quick question: What do you think gets searched more, “how to unclog a toilet” or “unclogging a toilet?” The first suggestion gets used nearly four times as much as the latter. There are other factors to consider, but search volume helps form what kind of service page or blog post content we create for a client who is a plumber. From there, associated keywords are compiled, additional ideas are presented, and even content length recommendations are estimated. All of this is done via third-party apps or browser extensions. And the AI content generation tool we were being presented with offered all of these tools in one place. It even had a spellchecker! All of this is to say the software could not only help inform our writing but it could also help with content ideas, strategies, and plans. One piece from the AI content generator begat four or five other marketing pieces that could help a site improve its EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) rankings. Welcoming Our New AI Overlords In our discussions after the presentation, we all looked forward to test-driving the software and discovering just how easily it corners content creation and how fast credible copywriting can be produced. There were also options for writing social media captions, newsletters, and emails. Need a certain tone of voice for your intro paragraph? The software could do that, too. But there was a downside to the software, in our opinion. If reasonably priced, we could see AI content generators making it that much more difficult for freelance writers to find work. Why pay someone to write several standard service landing pages or product descriptions over a few weeks when a much smaller monthly fee could take care of it all in a few hours? We also worried about how it could generate unique content for ad copy. AI copywriting tools pull from all the same sources on the internet, so what’s to prevent it from creating generated text for a Facebook ad that’s already been created? Or would this AI writer copy the AI writing assistant over there? Or if the two write content at the exact same time? Of course, the “finished” pieces from the software still need to be edited a bit, a final polish if you will, so perhaps there will still be work for those English majors after all. Smaller companies that may not have a budget for content marketing could benefit from the product. Shoot, Webfor is growing every year, has a content team, and we see the value in having something like this in our back pocket. While I don’t think a real human can be replaced by a robot just yet, there is still something to like about AI content generators. For me, I see the value not only in the content it creates but also in the tools it uses to create that content. And I’m not just saying nice things about it because it may become my boss one day. Not at all.