Technology has evolved substantially over the last couple of years.
Northsail has been on the cutting edge of technology, since we specialize in creating unique software solutions for our clients that are always delivered on-time, on-spec, and on-budget.
However, recently the conversation around content creation has shifted dramatically, due to a single, revolutionary type of technology - artificial intelligence (AI).
Many businesses have started using AI programs like ChatGPT to quickly create a vast array of landing pages and blog/article content for their sites, but with mixed results.
There are definitely some pros and some cons to using AI-generated content, but before we dive into those, let's talk a bit about what artificial intelligence actually is, and how AI applies to content generation.
Artificial intelligence or AI as it's more commonly called, is a field of science that revolves around combining extensive datasets, algorithms, and other computer science techniques, in order to problem solve.
Some people like to compare AI to a simulation of human intelligence, but the truth of the matter is that computers can calculate and learn things exponentially faster than a human brain can. This is part of the reason why the topic of AI has become such a point of contention amongst both scientists and artists.
Although the technology is developing very quickly, AI is still very rudimentary in its ability to reason and think 'outside the box', which is one trait that is essential for effective problem-solving. It’s only as good as the instructions it’s given, and the resources it has to pull from.
However, anyone that's a fan of science fiction will tell you there are plenty of stories out there that talk about the dangers of what could happen if an AI was to become self-aware and be let loose on the internet. It could very well have disastrous consequences for the whole human race, but we don't really know.
Unfortunately, it seems to only be a matter of time before we find out one way or another what will happen, but until then, let's just be thankful that AI is confined to things like predicting the weather and being used as a writing tool.
AI-generated content is essentially just content that you had an AI machine learning system (like ChatGPT) produce for you.
This functions by 'scraping' data off of other well-known and popular sites online, and then recompiling that information into a new document that is unique enough that it shouldn't be considered plagiarism. ‘Shouldn't’ being the most important word to remember from that statement.
Typically, it takes only a few minutes of time for a content generator, where a human writer might take hours to create something that's similar in length.
These services are typically sold by AI companies in monthly subscriptions, so you'll have to shell out some of your budget if you want access to any reputable AI content generator tools.
Believe it or not, using content generator tools can be a great way for new businesses to help identify certain traits that are clearly working for competitors within their target audience.
Because the piece of content being created is being pulled from a number of other popular sources, you can take certain queues from this new copy and build it into your website content, so that you can better connect with potential customers.
Many natural language processing software will look for common themes or terminology, which can help you get to know what industry jargon is working well for other companies with high search engine rankings.
The fact of the matter is that human writers can only work so quickly; especially if you're looking for them to provide you with high-quality content that will organically improve your search engine optimizations.
Creative content takes time to research. Brand voice takes time to capture effectively. If your business is looking to create several hundred unique landing pages, each with meaningful content on them, that's a very sizable project for a human writer to take on.
Even researching in-depth topics for blog posts can be a huge time sink for real writers; particularly, if they have no experience dealing with that topic before. Do you have thousands of SKUs that need individual product descriptions? Same problem.
AI-generated content can be pumped out at a rate that is simply not feasible for real writers to match.
If you've already got a website that's full of meaningful pieces of content, you may not want to have to go back and rewrite those constantly to adjust to shifting trends in search engine optimization (SEO).
Many content creation tools also have features that allow you to copy in certain amounts of content on any topic, and then the tool will either optimize the relevant content for you and spit it back out; or, it will make suggestions that you can use to optimize it yourself by hand.
Not only will this save your business time and money on SEO research and auditing, but it's a great way to quickly refresh your content every year or two, so that you can make sure as much of your content is evergreen as possible.
Sometimes, AI-generated content will give you back something that wasn't really what you were looking for, but that doesn't always mean it's a complete waste.
In some cases, if the content creation tool misunderstood what you were trying to ask it to do, it may pull other relevant information from your industry on another topic to create a landing page or blog post.
Instead of just deleting it and telling the content generator tool to start over, consider going through this new topic and seeing whether it has any relevance to your other marketing materials.
You never know. It's not unheard of for an artificial intelligence content writer to suggest new, helpful content types that you can incorporate into your future marketing strategies.
This may not always be the case, but if you're creating a huge amount of the same type of content, and the quantities of content matter a lot more to you in the short-term than the quality, you could end up saving some money on your content writing.
Because professional writers are human, they take longer to complete the same tasks. Their quality is almost always higher, but if you just need pages for your site ASAP (and they don't need to be perfect), this can be a good way to create vast quantities of content for as little cost as possible.
Just remember the old saying: you get what you pay for.
We've sort of touched on this a bit already, but this is possibly the biggest downfall to using content generation tools.
Complex topics can be very difficult for AI to process effectively; especially, if there's a lot of technical jargon that's specific to the industry or very unique situations. It can also be difficult to get good content writing if the topic involves certain key ideas that have multiple names, which is common in certain fields.
At the end of the day, AI content creators have no emotional intelligence. They're not human, so it's difficult for them to truly capture the way that we speak.
And since English is such a difficult language to master with so many slang terms, idioms, colloquialisms, and multi-purpose words, you could be looking at some pretty serious grammatical errors to fix before you can publish the content.
For long-form content, this can add additional time to the backend of the writing process, depending on the content types.
When you've got a detailed content strategy that you're trying to fill out, the type of content you're trying to produce could have a huge impact on whether or not AI is a good fit for you.
If you're dealing in complex, detailed topics, you'll want blog posts that provide helpful content for uninformed users. However, AI doesn't excel at breaking down complex theories into less intricate examples for easier understanding.
You need all your marketing materials and website resources to fit within your long-term plans for content marketing, which means that they must all fit inside the same content ideation.
Unfortunately, due to the fact that AI lacks the ability to reason like a human being, you may find that excessive AI content generation could lead to muddling your brand voice or making your content marketing feel inconsistent.
Not just Google, either. Many of the most popular search engines are starting to incorporate AI content detectors into their algorithms.
AI content detectors essentially make it possible for search engines to tell when an AI has created a piece versus when it's human-written content. The biggest difference being that if you upload hundreds or thousands of AI-written content pages without any human intervention, then it could hurt your ability to rank.
Google realizes that AI technology isn't at a point yet where it can be considered anywhere near flawless. Between accuracy issues and keyword stuffing techniques that you'll see some AI using, it could actually hurt your ability to rank; at least, when compared to the results that you could see through original content written by a professional writer.
Keywords are something that can make or break your website content, so it's a good idea to have human oversight in how these are being implemented.
AI is great at churning out a lot of content in a short period of time, but content volume isn't everything.
Content on topics that are very personal to you, your brand, or your customers, should include at least some human content throughout. The human language is a complicated, ever-evolving vocabulary, as we mentioned before, but when you're telling a personal story, the element of 'voice' becomes much more important than with strictly educational content.
If you want your online content to connect with your target audience on a personal level, or you're trying to use emotional triggers to better engage with your audience, you shouldn't trust those things entirely to an AI content writer.
If nothing else, you'll have to use some human assistance to adjust those drafts and make them sound less like artificial intelligence writing. After all, human behavior is one of the things that AI simply can't capture better than we can on our own - yet.
Like it or not, you'll still need to use human editors if you're planning to incorporate a lot of AI-written content into your website.
The more AI content you're using, and the more complex the topics you're discussing, the more likely the possibility of errors will occur in your finished products.
Between grammar mistakes, fact inaccuracies, or robotic sounding language choices, you'll want to keep human editors around to provide grammar corrections, fact checking, etc.
This will add substantially to the average time it takes for your 'AI' to complete a piece. Otherwise, if you go straight to posting, you could end up hurting the credibility of your brand, or end up looking unprofessional if you're posting inaccurate or misleading content.
Still trying to decide whether or not you want to use content tools to help create your website content? We don't blame you. AI is a valuable tool, but it can end up costing you more time on the backend than it's worth.
Thankfully, Northsail has a wonderful new service that you can use to help save yourself time and energy putting your website itself together - Horizon.
Horizon allows you to quickly and easily create high-performance landing pages, manage all your campaigns simultaneously, create custom customer data forms, widgets, and more, all from a single, intuitive platform.
Best of all, you can try Horizon for free for yourself for 30 days, no obligation or payments required. In fact, we won't even take your credit card information, until after your trial is completed.
Ready to get your website on the fast-track to success, without the need for a developer's oversight?
We’ll send you important updates about the early access program and your free invite when we are ready.
Your contact information will only be used for the early access program, not for future sales and marketing.