AI is the future of content writing

Tue, 25/09/2018 - 08:00

There’s no denying that AI is the future of content writing. We’ve been discussing this for many months and years.

A recent article on Search Engine Journal posed the question, “Can AI Replace Human Writers?” And while content marketing writers everywhere will likely alternate between vehemently denying this and crying in the corner, the reality is they do need to make peace with this new normal. Because the reality is that AI-generated content is already being created and is, without any doubt, the future of content writing.

Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, said a few months ago that it might be the norm for robot content creators to create all content.

“In 10 years the majority of content will be generated by software. In 20 years, humans will wonder why we wasted so much time on content creation. I can't see any other way around this.”

The tech that is already being used today to generate and proofread content is increasingly sophisticated.

A recent report by software platform Acrolinx, which uses AI to suggest writing improvements, found that large businesses face pressure with the following when creating their content marketing messaging:

  • Enforce brand and style guidelines across content creation silos
  • Maintain quality and consistency among thousands of writers
  • Ensure that all content speaks with one clear voice
  • Use the corporate and product terminology
  • Create sufficient content to meet their business objectives
  • Translate content into many languages
  • Publish content efficiently
  • Ensure content achieves business results
  • Target their content for many different audiences, each with individual needs

All of these pain points could be helped with the use of AI, says the report. And it would certainly make life easier for content writers. We’ve mentioned before how content marketers need to learn to embrace AI and find ways to work with it.

The first step is to find the ways that AI can automate certain tasks, allowing content writers to focus on what they do best – write content. Importantly, that’s the part where AI currently falls flat. Reading a piece of AI-generated content reads a little like having an awkward conversation with a distant relative. The facts are there, the flow is not.

Content, especially the type of content marketing that is going to lead to goal conversions, needs to have heart and soul, humour and personality. Those are the markers of quality content. A point which is made over and over again about the need for human writers is that of the personalised impact of influencers. Content agency founder Julia McCoy, writing for Search Engine Journal, describes this need for human connection in marketing:

“They’re humans who relate to other humans on a human level. Lots of people know, like, and trust them, because they share themselves and connect with their followers on social media, blogs, and other outlets.
“They relate to us in real, human ways. Thus, when they write a blog or create a post on Instagram, it can have an incredible impact – it can move people, literally.”

Marketing agencies in Cape Town, indeed all digital marketing agencies in South Africa, need to learn how to work with AI. It’s not going to disappear if we hide from it, ostrich head in the sand style. As an SEO agency based in Cape Town, Rogerwilco, for instance, ensures that every piece of written content is checked by Grammarly and well as goes through a human quality control check. Grammarly is, therefore, one of the AI we use in our content creation process.

Grammarly describes its systems in this way:

“Grammarly’s AI system combines machine learning with a variety of natural language processing approaches. Human language has many levels at which it can be analyzed and processed: from characters and individual words through grammatical structures and sentences, even paragraphs or full texts.
“Natural language processing is a branch of AI that involves teaching machines to understand and process human language (English, for instance) and perform useful tasks, such as machine translation, sentiment analysis, essay scoring, and, in our case, writing enhancement.”

Now, we have found that Grammarly is not always right. There are some instances where it just doesn’t understand what you’re saying. If you were to accept every one of its changes, you would end up with a page filled with gibberish. But those instances of misunderstanding are rare. Every content writer worth their salt will soon pick up what should be changed and what’s best ignored.

This is just one example of how and why AI and content writing can and should work well together. Because we are better together.

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