Will AI replace copywriters?
Estimates suggest that emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning will displace 85 million jobs by 2025.
In the world of digital marketing, there’s a growing belief that these emerging technologies pose a particular threat to content writers and copywriters. But, can AI copywriting tools really replace talented copywriters? Let’s take a look at the details.
What do AI copywriting tools do?
A great variety of AI copywriting tools exist on the market today. Many of these claim that they can write “all of your content for you, at a fraction of the cost, in a fraction of the time”.
These companies also claim that the content created by their tools cannot be distinguished from copy that has been crafted by talented copywriters. They add that this copy is completely original and optimised for SEO.
Providers say that these tools can:
- Optimise your current content for SEO
- Craft unique product descriptions
- Create video scripts
- Write social media posts
- Create entire blog posts
Of the current tools available, Jasper (formerly Jarvis) is widely regarded as the best available. Prices starts from $29 per 2,000 words and $499 for 990,000 words. Other popular options include tools from Writesonic and Hypotenuse AI.
These tools use machine learning and natural language processing to generate copy that fits a particular format, style and tone.
When using AI copywriting tools, a user must first input parameters. Following this, the AI algorithm uses the information provided to understand the context and the format required. From there, it generates content that is relevant to the topic and the context, in the format required.
How accurate are AI copywriting tools?
Although AI copywriting tools are now beginning to flood the market, many users are still expressing concerns about their accuracy.
There has been tremendous progress in the development of AI copywriting software and tools since 2020, and this means that many AI copywriting tools can now create readable content that reads as though it has been written by a human.
However, many of these tools are also highly inconsistent and generate a high volume of content that cannot be published without at least some level of writing and editing. In particular, these tools are poor at understanding context.
For this reason, if left unchecked, AI copywriting tools can create copy that will damage a business. One great example that illustrates the infancy of AI and how unreliable the technology can be is Meta’s latest AI chatbot, which was released earlier this month.
Launched at the start of August 2022, BlenderBot was intended to be a prototype of Meta’s conversational AI. According to Facebook’s parent company, this AI can converse on nearly any topic.
However, those who conversed with the tool on the demo website were met with interesting results. Particularly because the bot shared some incredibly unfriendly opinions about Facebook itself. Asked about Mark Zuckerberg, the bot told BuzzFeed’s Max Woolf that “he is a good businessman, but his business practices are not always ethical. It is funny that he has all this money and still wears the same clothes!”
The bot has also made clear that it is not a Facebook user. It told Vice’s Janus Rose that it had deleted its account after learning about the company’s privacy scandals. “Since deleting Facebook my life has been much better”, it said.
In other instances, the bot made anti-Semitic claims and repeated falsehoods relating to the US election.
Can AI really replace copywriters?
Yes and no. We know that’s not exactly a helpful response, but bear with us…
While AI could potentially replace some low-skilled writers in the industry, it can never replace highly-skilled and experienced copywriters. This is because it cannot convey emotion and empathy. This means that AI-powered tools cannot create strategic and story-driven pieces of content that are completely in-line with your brand without some form of human intervention.
On top of this, AI-powered tools are also unable to understand the objectives of your business and how these objectives can be reached. It doesn’t know where the reader is in the buyer’s journey or where the content is trying to take them. For example, if the business wants to move the customer from awareness to action, the writer should tailor the message accordingly. AI-powered tools are unable to carry out this task.
Although AI can produce readable copy (which will suit some purposes), its inability to write inspirational prose, rule-bending writing and weird and wacky musings means that it is no substitute for a highly-skilled writer. For this reason, rather than replacing quality writers, AI will actually amplify the role of high-quality writers and make editors and subject-matter experts the most valuable assets on every team in every industry.
That said, AI is likely to lead to the demise of sub-standard content writers. This is because AI-powered tools are more than capable of creating basic content that doesn’t require original research or expertise in any given subject. Plus, they’re cheaper and can produce this content more quickly.
Can AI and copywriters work in harmony?
Although many copywriters are nervous about the introduction of AI, high-quality writers should instead be looking to embrace the opportunities these tools provide. This is because these solutions can actually improve the content creation process by:
- Helping writers overcome writer’s block and brainstorm new ideas
AI solutions may not be perfect, but they can provide writers with a great starting point. These solutions can help writers come up with original content ideas, marketing angles, taglines and headlines.
- Avoiding duplicate content
In some copywriting scenarios (such as creating numerous similar location pages), content must be repurposed to avoid duplication.
In situations such as this when no research is required, AI-powered content tools can easily rewrite the existing text to avoid duplicate content while creating content that is entirely original. In this regard, AI-powered tools are much more appropriate for this task than a text-spinning tool.
- Strategic and data-driven content planning
Finally, copywriters can also use AI to identify content opportunities and then create content strategically to establish topical relevance.
AI tools such as the Surfer SEO content planner provide copywriters with a list of topics, relevant keywords and information regarding search intent. Each topic comes with a list of keywords (primary and secondary) that the writer can target with a single piece of content.
Plus, with the help of these tools, writers can also uncover more traffic opportunities. For example, tools like Frase can cluster data from Google Search Console and help writers identify quick wins, hidden opportunities and decaying content.
The future of AI and copywriting – the view from Spike
While AI copywriting tools remain imperfect, they can still provide benefits for businesses. This is particularly the case for businesses that require high volumes of non-research-based content and can only operate on a limited budget.
Due to this, if AI continues to improve (as seems likely) then it will likely replace poorer writers. But, it seems clear to us that AI-powered copywriting tools will not replace highly-skilled copywriters who are experts in conveying the right tone and telling a unique story.
For this reason, highly-skilled and experienced copywriters should look to embrace AI rather than reject it or view it as an adversary. If copywriters employ AI in the correct way, then it could ease the stresses they face on a day-to-day basis. This is because it can help them with manual tasks and improve brainstorming and strategy decisions.