The content marketing industry is witnessing a paradigm shift.
The search for the keyword “AI copywriting” is trending upward globally. On Google Trends, between December 2021 and now (August 2022), the search term has maintained an upward trend.
Also trending alongside it are more specific keywords, such as Jasper AI (an AI copywriting tool), best AI copywriting tools, and free copywriting generator.
According to Ubersuggest, a keyword research tool, it is estimated that the word AI writing is searched 4,400 times each month in the United States alone.
Factor in semantically related keywords such as “AI writing assistant,” “content creation tool,” etc., and you’ll see that tens of thousands of people are researching AI writing tools each month.
If you are in the online marketing industry, you’ve probably been seeing a lot of conversations about this as well. Everyone’s talking about them, including content marketing powerhouses such as Neil Patel and Animalz.
And quite a lot of users are adopting them. The goal of this post is to discuss what the popularity of AI copywriting tools means for content marketers and what you should do to stay ahead of the pack.
What is AI copywriting?
AI copywriting is the process of using AI copywriting software to create content. This may be a marketing copy, an editorial, or a story. And they work by taking a bit of information from you and turning it into complete content.
You can use them to generate social media ads, social media posts, product descriptions, blog posts, and more.
While they share the same fundamental purpose (creating content), AI copywriting tools are not the same. They differ in many aspects, such as long-form content creation, target users, and AI writing templates.
How does AI copywriting affect online marketing?
Most automated copywriting software programs are geared toward marketing, even though some of them are more versatile. What’s certain is that the #1 target market for AI writing is the marketing industry.
And that’s why they are going to be the most affected. In this section, I assess four ways AI writing is going to change online marketing forever.
From what I have seen across social media platforms, software review sites, and my experience working as a content strategist for one of the AI writing brands, I can tell that lots of users are signing up for AI copywriting every day.
Most of them have no prior experience in content writing, but they are delighted to see what the AI is doing. This has helped them to create a lot of auto-generated content within a short timeframe.
At first, the SEO/content marketing community floated a theory that Google would somehow find a way to identify AI-generated content and penalize websites for it. Google itself has come out to say it’s against the use of AI-generated content and that it’s the same as word stuffing and spam.
It remains to be seen how Google intends to identify AI-generated content from human-generated when a lot of it gets a human touch before finally going live on the web.
While the hope that Google will do something has helped the marketing industry stay calm, marketers were unsettled again when Ryan Law of Animalz, a leading voice in the content marketing industry, published a post saying, “Google will do very little to counter it.” He cited three reasons why he thought so:
- No detection tool is 100% accurate.
- Technology is an arms race.
- There is a blurred line between human-written and AI-generated content.
As anyone who’s familiar with AI content writing and content marketing would know, these are largely correct. But the jury is still out on how this will eventually play out.
A shift from SEO as the main channel of distribution in SaaS
For a while now, the content marketing world, especially those in SaaS, has been obsessed with organic search marketing as its major channel of user acquisition. And several findings back up the ROI of using content and SEO to drive business goals.
However, as more similar brands competed to create more content to rank on Google, the web became a sea of similar and generic content.
This was aggravated by the emergence of tools like Clearscope that score your content based on how many times you use industry-popular key phrases and terms.
Using Clearscope, the higher your content score, the better your chances of ranking on Google. Having worked with several SEO agencies, I can confirm to you that most of the content we wrote following this pattern got to #1 on page 1 of Google within a fairly short time.
But do they help the reader as much? Do they convert as much? That’s another ballgame entirely.
Most of these AI copywriting tools integrate with SEO tools. For example, Jasper AI integrates with Surfer and Copysmith integrates with Frase.
This gives every AI writer user an equal opportunity to create content that ranks on Google, just like you, a well-learned expert with several years of experience.
Here is a recent Twitter thread about using AI writing tools for content creation:
From this, you can see that AI-generated content ranks well.
If you want your great content to be found by your audience, it’s time you started thinking more creatively about content distribution.
Some say the content writing business is in free fall.
At the moment, AI writing software cannot sustain logical arguments over a long period of time. In most cases, once it writes a paragraph or two, it’ll start writing nonsense. But in rare instances, they write a whole blog post that makes sense, albeit laden with factual inaccuracies and fallacies.
This may put a lot of content writers’ minds at ease, but not so fast. These content writing tools are bound to get better with time.
It wasn’t until late 2021 that I started paying attention to them. Between then and now, the level of improvement I’ve seen in them is improbable, and they are getting better.
For example, at a time, only Jasper AI, Writesonic, and a handful of others can generate a blog post. At the moment, nearly every one of them creates blog posts that are of average quality.
I’ve also seen a lot of SaaS brands and freelance writers talking about using AI copywriting tools in their day-to-day processes.
The advantage of this software is that it can help you overcome writer’s block, and it also creates content faster than humans. Some of them can even create bulk content.
As these tools get better and better, the need for freelance content writers will drop significantly. And writers who would do well would most likely be those who know how to collaborate with these tools.
In other words, “competent with AI writing tools” may soon be a prerequisite for landing a content writing role.
Social media managers are the worst hit.
At the moment, I haven’t seen stats on how much social media marketers are adopting AI content writing. But after using them myself, I can say they are absolutely good at creating short-form content, especially social media content.
If anyone is likely to be out of job sooner because of AI writing, it’s likely to be the social media managers and content creators.
That said, let’s now discuss how to stay afloat in this new era.
How can you protect your business against AI copywriting disruption?
There is no other way to thrive in a technologically advanced world than to position yourself for the next opportunity; to try not to be among those who will be swept away but rather among the first movers.
If you are wondering how your business can survive in all this, here are the things you should do.
Create thought-leadership content.
Thought leadership is the act of positioning yourself as an expert and authority in your industry. To be considered a thought leader, you must consistently create content demonstrating high-level expertise, experience, and understanding of the subject matter.
Your content should show your readers that you are the best at what you do. This will build trust in your brand and eventually improve your bottom line. In light of the ever-growing identical content in recent days, top brands have been discussing the importance of thought leadership content as the next big thing.
But make no mistake; thought leadership content doesn’t necessarily need to be created by an expert. The insights and information should come from an expert, but the writing can be left to a good writer.
As Ryan Law says, “I’ve written articles and books on behalf of architects, entrepreneurs, and executives at publicly traded companies—the common thread through those experiences was that the clients were better at generating ideas than distilling them into prose. If they attempted the latter, the end product would’ve wound up unfinished, confusing, or worst of all…boring.”
And John Bonini, the director of marketing at Data Box, says, “Most subject matter experts aren’t writers, and most writers won’t have the specific subject matter expertise you need.”
Become a content strategist.
The essence of creating content in the first place is to actualize a business goal. And it doesn’t matter how your business does it. What matters is achieving that goal.
Since creating content has become a generic thing, you can no longer win by simply creating good content.
As you read this, a lot of marketers are thinking innovatively and creating newer marketing concepts that allow them to achieve their goals against all odds.
If not for critical thinking and innovation in marketing, no new brand will gain traction in organic search in industries dominated by the likes of Hubspot, Salesforce, and Amazon.
This is the time for you to start thinking about hiring a content marketing strategist or becoming one yourself.
Here are the steps I’d recommend to become a good content strategist:
- Follow marketing managers/heads of marketing of the SME brands: these are the people that innovate from time to time. You’ll learn a lot from their real-life experience.
- Test marketing ideas from time to time: there are still so many discoveries to be made through testing.
- Follow the knowledge: things you can do include listening to podcasts, attending webinars, reading reports, taking courses, and so on.
- Follow the thought leaders: By simply following marketers that know their onions, you can be one of the first people to know before strategies become trendy.
Adopt AI writing.
This sounds counterintuitive, but it’s time to add AI writing to your marketing toolkit. If all you do with it is create an outline or kickstart a piece when you are suffering from writer’s block, then that’s an added advantage.
Come what may, being quicker will always be a business advantage. Find resources on AI copywriting software and study them thoroughly to identify which one can fit into your marketing workflow.
My review of the top AI copywriting software is one of the most in-depth resources on the Internet.
Build your site’s domain authority.
Domain authority has always been essential in SEO. And they are even more important now. As nearly everyone with a computer and access to the Internet can now create search-engine-optimized content, having a higher domain authority can make all the difference.
Link-building is an entirely specialized skill that cannot be done on your behalf by any software. This will certainly be one of the major areas of competition. Stay ahead by building domain authority.
Featured Image: Tara Winstead; Pexels. Thank you!