How to write human-first, AI-generated content

9 February 2023
5 minutes

Key takeaways
  • Carefully consider your inputs into AI content tools.
  • Think of AI-generated content as your basic draft, to be edited and refined.
  • Always personalise AI content and adjust for your brand’s voice.
  • Check quality and consistency before publishing.

There has been a lot of talk around the use of AI-generated content in business, particularly since the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT at the end of 2022. As the technology continues to advance, more and more businesses are incorporating AI tools into their content marketing approach. But is AI-generated copy suitable for all content types, and can a robot fully replace a content writer? Here, we discuss the importance of adding the human touch to AI-written text.

What is AI-generated content?

AI-generated content is copy written by an AI-powered machine. While ‘normal’ software needs humans to input rules in order to automate a process, AI content tools use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to understand what you want and Natural Language Generation (NLG) to emulate the way humans write.

They learn over time as they are fed more written data. From newspaper articles and social media posts to Twitter threads, these tools essentially ‘study’ thousands of example documents from all over the internet and train themselves to recreate them.

Image of an AI content creator, creating content behind his computer

How do AI content creators work?

There are three basic stages to any AI-generated content production process:

  1. Data collection – The model is trained on billions of text samples.
  2. Human input – The user provides input.
  3. AI output – The model interprets the input using Natural Language Understanding and predicts what would be the most logical completion for what it understands of the input – using its understanding of natural language as produced by humans. Basically, it’s ‘pattern matching’ on a high level.

Why is it important to humanise AI-generated content?

1. AI is not perfect yet

Although the results that AI can achieve are undoubtedly impressive, human editing is still very much needed. AI content generation relies on algorithms and data. It does not have its own knowledge or opinions like we do, it merely mimics opinions based on the data it gathers. It can, for example, produce conflicting outputs in different sessions. Quality and consistency must be closely monitored, with slightly different prompts often resulting in radically different outputs.

2. Think of AI-generated content as the first step

Ever been irritated by a conversation you’ve had with a chatbot? AI copywriting can follow a basic grammatical structure, but it cannot replicate all the nuances and emotions of human language. The output can sometimes be blunt or disjointed. As well as being a clear indication that you’re not communicating with a human, using AI text without editing could damage the relationship with your customer by not connecting with them effectively.

Content marketers should consider AI-generated content as the first step in basic content production. The next step is to humanise the draft, removing any unnecessary information, checking the facts, and editing the content, so it sounds more natural – most importantly, so it appeals to a human audience. And not just any audience; your audience.

3. Personalise and adjust to your brand’s voice

It’s already hard enough to stand out in the online world without producing marketing messages that sound bland, unnatural or repetitive. AI can help with the writing process, but humanizing its output is essential if you want to communicate with your audience in an authentic and engaging way.

AI content works by replicating the style of existing authors across the internet, it doesn’t have its own style, and it certainly can’t convey your unique brand voice. AI could write a thousand words for your business, but – if you want to make a lasting impact on your customer – these words must be honed and personalized by someone who understands your brand.

4. Consider the context

AI has come a long way, but it is still a machine. It can’t empathise with your audience, link the messaging across multiple marketing channels, or create a consistent look and feel for a single campaign. It needs your input for that. Adding the human touch to AI output provides the wider context and gives you the best of both worlds.

person writing content with ai and applying her creativity

Who can benefit from AI-driven content creation?

While AI-powered content creation tools cannot replace great writers, their biggest benefit is in speeding up the writing process. An AI tool can help overcome writer’s block by bringing all the information together and suggesting outlines and key topic areas to get you started. It can also produce content much more quickly than a human, typically in minutes.

How can AI help social media marketers?

AI content creation tools are less suitable for long-form copy and thought-leadership pieces, but they come into their own when creating multiple variations of short-form copy. That’s why they are often used for social media posting. From suggesting headline variations to pull quotes and spotlight text, AI tools can help draw out the most effective parts of any written content to use in social posts. 

How can AI help content marketers?

AI tools can also go beyond creating content by offering content intelligence. By trawling thousands of online documents to gather the information needed, they can understand what kind of content your audience is looking for and select keywords to improve search engine optimisation (SEO). But using these keyword suggestions will only result in higher search engine rankings if the text has been humanised first. As Google confirmed in its content update, it looks for ‘helpful content written by people, for people’ so text that is obviously machine-generated won’t cut it.

Can AI content writing replace human writers?

We’re still a long way from creating AI technology that is as complex or rich as the human brain. AI content writing can help you save time and enable you to scale up by creating content faster, but use its output wisely. Without the human touch, content can lack the context, personalisation, and emotion that drives engagement and conversion.

That’s not to say your content can’t still be on-brand, original and engaging to read if you get help from an AI content generator – as long as you use a human to edit it!

Want to learn how our unique approach to content marketing can help your business scale its content output? Get in touch with one of our content advisors and book your free demo today.

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