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Friday Digital Roundup

The Friday Digital Roundup is a witty take on the weird world of the internet. With fun stories from around the globe, it’s the only email newsletter you’ll actually read and enjoy!

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Thursday 29th February 2024

Aren’t You Scared AI Will Replace Copywriters?

Artificial Intelligence, Copy, Copy AI, Copywriters, Copywriting, Jasper AI

First of all, rude. You’re immediately implying I’m replaceable by AI purely because of my job title. Even if you’re not, that’s how I’m taking it, so there. 

Secondly, if I had a doubloon for every time I was tagged in a bloody Jasper AI or Copy AI ad with the comment “lol you’ll be out of a job soon” I would have enough money to buy a pirate ship and sail away to an island that still does copy by quill and ink. I’ve even had the sympathetic “chat” about how there will be other roles I can do once AI has caught up.   

Luckily, I’m not intimidated by copywriting AI, and I’m ready to tell you why. 

Aren’t You Scared AI Will Replace Copywriters? 

The benefits of AI copywriting 

Do not fear, I’m not a technophobe, nor do I have a vengeance against AI (hello future robot overlords, love you). There are AI tools and technologies that can be used for all sorts of things, not just copy. From AI “art” to AI music generation and translation tools for SEO, it’s fascinating to see how far technology has come.  

It’s the same with AI copywriting tools. There’s a use for them, especially in large businesses that need to churn out lots of ideas in a short space of time. They generate content quickly and generate content angles a human writer may have missed or overlooked themselves. AI copywriting tools also never get tired, never call in sick, and it’s impossible for them to get writer’s block (unless the internet goes down). If you’re using AI alongside a human copywriter, the AI tools can handle the repetitive, mind-numbing tasks while freeing up the human writer to put their energy into the more complex, personal and complicated messages that need thoughtful, innovative solutions.   

 

You’re doing an excellent job at convincing Spag to replace you… 

Yes, yes, I know this might seem counterintuitive. I’m screaming about the benefits of using AI copywriting tools while I, the copywriter, should be defending my position, but hear me out. Just like humans, AI have their limitations and drawbacks.  

 I would be a fool to not recognise that AI is impressive. But guess what? It’s not a good copywriter. 

 

How isn’t AI a good copywriter? 

Hah! Now you’re asking the right questions.  

First of all, it doesn’t write original content.  

AI is powered by pre-existing content, snippets and data, and not all of that is going to be good. AI takes all these wonderful words, shakes them up like a bartender shakes a cocktail, and pours the words out to make a “new” sentence. But just like some drinks, it doesn’t always result in good content. 

Let me prove it to you. Here’s a paragraph I wrote from one of our other blogs: 

Title: Four Reasons Why You Really Can’t Just Rely on WhatsApp (or Facebook, or Instagram or Anyone!)  

“You might have forgotten about it now, but WhatsApp went down on the 25th of October 2022. After the frustration and blaming our internet when our messages weren’t sending (we’re still sorry Wi-Fi, baby,) we immediately began sharing memes of the internet’s reaction in our Slack channel. 

The whole world sought solace in heading to Twitter to mock WhatsApp, but it made us think. We know our clients use WhatsApp a lot for their business, we use it for a comms channel with our IT support and some clients, and it made us think; what happens if the thing you rely on suddenly stops working?” 

Let’s AI it.  

For this test, I’m going to ask CopyAI to use the same title, and the following prompts: 

  • WhatsApp went down 
  • 4 Reasons to use other social media 
  • Frustration with technology 
  • Open with a funny joke 

“What’s that sound? It’s the sound of your WhatsApp group breaking up. 

We’re not saying you should abandon your WhatsApp group—we want to be clear about that. But we do think it’s worth considering joining other groups on different platforms, because when WhatsApp goes down, those other groups are still there. You don’t want to be left with no friends at all. 

And there are plenty of other social media platforms out there, so no matter what you’re into, you can find a place to hang out with people who share your interests! Here are four reasons why using other social media is better than relying on WhatsApp for all your communication needs:” 

Don’t get me wrong, the AI content is salvageable, but that requires someone to salvage it. Yup – a real person.   

AI may write, but it doesn’t speak human. 

While we may all dream of having robot, AI friends in the future, currently AI tools are unable to understand and replicate human emotion. If you want successful copy, then it has to engage readers on an emotional level, or at least come across like you’re speaking to another human. Sadly, AI doesn’t understand emotion or other traits like empathy, culture, and morals, so AI copywriting tools will struggle to relate to humans, and the content will need a human writer’s human touch. 

Good luck without fact-checking. 

AI is not a fact-checker. As AI copywriting tools can only reference the research and articles that human writers have already generated, when doing their word scramble, they may end up churning out data that’s completely made up. The numbers may transfer, but what the numbers represent can be taken out of context. They’ll be similar, sure! But wrong. Imagine the copy created that simply has the instruction to “increase clicks” or “push upselling on customers”.  

We love those clickbait ads such as “doctors hate this woman for her anti-aging secret!” – not because we’ll click on them, but because they’re laughable. You (hopefully) know it’s some dodgy site that you should avoid, but AI doesn’t know the difference and that will end up in your copy. 

AI doesn’t understand a good copywriter’s challenges. 

Here are some of the typical hoops I jump through when I’m writing: 

  1. Understanding the goal
    The brief is my best friend. I have to think about the purpose behind the piece and who’s going to be reading it. Bad brief? That’s okay! As a human, I’m able to do more research or ask questions for clarity.
  2. Understanding the topic
    I need to make sure I know the topic before I write about it. For example, a client’s new service. I need to research and filter through the information before writing so I don’t end up with fabricated nonsense that isn’t relevant to the topic or the context surrounding it. Then, I must make sure the key information is within the word count! It’s not just adding contractions, you know.
  3. Ensuring message clarity
    Good writing makes logical sense, is easy to follow, and doesn’t have conflicting messages. Excellent writing is all of the above, and keeps your interest (you’ve made it this far, haven’t you?) If your copy isn’t structured and signposted, it’s harder to read and you get as lost as me in Birmingham Library.
  4. Adapting the tone of voice
    Funnily enough, the tone of voice across businesses will vary. It depends on the brand identity and guidelines, target audience, subject matter, publishing platform and the goal of the copy. I can write like this (for now!) because Spag value authenticity. I would write very differently if writing about property investment. Why? Connections! You need to trust that it’s the brand that’s talking, it’s why we ask all new clients to decide on their tone of voice before we start working together.
  5. Incorporating key messaging, and Calls to Action
    No point in having the copy if it doesn’t serve its purpose or stand out from competitors. If the purpose of the blog is to highlight a new line of products, guess who needs to make sure these specific products are mentioned? ME. I also always include internal links to more company content when it’s relevant, just to sprinkle in some proof we know what we’re talking about.
  6. Using opinions or original ideas
    Imagine having a personal outlook on something, but not being able to put it into convincing words. That’s where I come in. I can take your personal perspective, move through the narrative (such as arguing whether socks and sandals should be worn together – not unless you’re doing the bins) and create a blog that covers different perspectives but ends with a clear position. What I’m trying to say, is when it comes to writing original copy, it takes creativity.
  7. Relating products or services to needs and benefits
    I have often tied a customer’s pain point, or need, to items or services that the blog is mentioning. Whether it’s giving advice, or offering a product, there needs to be an emotional HUMAN connection. The client understands your pain; that’s why they have the product or service!
  8. Incorporating SEO elements
    Don’t even get me started on search engine optimisation. Not only does Google hate AI content, it often falls short in the SEO department. After writing, I review where I can fit in more keywords, add relevant internal or external links, more content suggestions, and then a quick review to make sure my writing is more reader-friendly. It’s a fine balance between making sure the content “scores well” but also reads naturally. Yeah, my brain hurts too.

This is just the surface level, and doesn’t include the strategic aspects of deciding what concepts to write about, or when and where to publish the copy. Nor does it cover what pictures and social posts to pair it with. That’s another specialism on its own and luckily that’s where #TeamSpag comes in.  

 

Okay, let’s round this egotistical blog up 

The short answer to “aren’t you scared AI will replace copywriters?” is, no. At the time of writing, AI copywriting tools cannot yet replace what good human writers create. There’s nothing wrong with using it to save yourself time, or to inspire you, but there are far too many downsides to having all the copy done by AI tools without a human writer supervising.  

While machines and automation are set to take over 85 million jobs by 2025, copywriters are not yet on that list. How about your job?  

If you want subpar content, go mad with the AI, but if you’re looking for excellent, high-quality, bespoke social content, contact us today. 

 


Tags associated with this article

Artificial Intelligence Copy Copy AI Copywriters Copywriting Jasper AI

2 comments on this article

  • Chana Burns at 13:36pm on January 27th 2023

    Jessica!

    I’m a copywriter, and ChatGPT has been my boogeyman shadow for weeks now.

    Google has been doing a great job drumming up the fear, pumping (more) stress into my newsfeed with articles detailing my pending doom on the daily.

    I read your entire post (a semi-annual rite in my world, btw), and I want to thank you for making such a clear case for copywriters. I’m going to revisit this on days I feel ChatGPT and its bot gang closing in. Thank you for the perspective, I feel much better now.

    Full steam ahead! There’s copy that needs us!

    1. Todd at 13:37pm on February 7th 2023

      Glad to offer some clarity 🙂

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