AI and Copywriting Tools in 2023 – Will They Replace Copywriters?
Unless you’ve been hibernating in a dark hole, you’ll already know that AI copywriting tools have exploded into the collective consciousness in 2023 and are steadily revolutionising the way we create content. But can AI-generated content replace human writers?
Let’s delve into the world of AI writing, explore its benefits and limitations, and discuss the future of the collaboration between AI and copywriters.
In the quest to generate a torrent of content no one really wants to read, businesses, students, marketers, and creatives are embracing AI copywriting tools at an unrelenting pace.
AI copywriting can shave hours off the clock, but it can also stumble with genuine creativity. Humanising your content remains, for now, an elusive quality AI can only mimic, not master.
AI lends writers speed and reliability to match their creativity and emotion – harnessing the power of both is the key to unlocking the full potential of content that converts.
Why I think AI is super-exciting (and why it worries me)
I wrote my PhD on technology and culture, including how fiction writers have characterised AI over the centuries (yes, our cultural obsession with creating artificial life can really be traced back that far and, yes, I’m a big old nerdy nerd).
So it’s probably not surprising that I’m juiced by the prospect of AI. But I can’t say it was always so.
When I emerged from my 22-23 summer holidays, rested, rejuvenated and ready to work, I noticed things were pretty quiet. Usually, the new year is a busy time for me, work-wise, as marketing departments and web designers get down to business after a long hiatus. Apart from finishing off some work in progress, the phone wasn’t ringing; the emails weren’t pinging – well, at least not as much.
I shrugged and enjoyed the extended break while I could. 20+ years of working as a copywriter have taught me to roll with the punches – you’re guaranteed to be flat chat and dreaming about another holiday again soon enough.
By the end of January, ChatGPT was on my radar. As a confirmed tech nerd, I’ve been playing with various “AI” writing and SEO tools for a couple of years – Frase, Market Muse, Wordtune. They were fun, but I wasn’t really impressed. They certainly weren’t threatening my bottom line.
ChatGPT is another ball game. As soon as I realised it might be affecting my WIP, I immediately started playing with ChatGPT 3, amazed at how it could spit out decent-enough sentences. I still wasn’t worried – I felt it was great at churning out a whole lot of lacklustre copy that I’d be embarrassed to write, and nobody would really want to read.
Of course, that’s nothing new. There’s already a vast reservoir of utterly boring copy on the web designed for scanning through fast and boosting SERPs. I’ve been hired to write some of it myself, or rather despaired when my story-focused copy was reduced to industry jargon with as much life as a century-old desert cactus drained of its joie de vivre, standing as a skeletal reminder of the spirited tale that once bloomed within its parched hide.
A dark night of the soul for copywriters?
So, when I finally realised that the world of writing had changed, perhaps forever, there was some gnashing and wailing in my office. For the first time in my life, I felt a sad camaraderie with the poor superseded scribes facing down Gutenberg’s printing press circa 1440.
Because, while I like to think of myself as well-rounded on the skills front, my innate talent has always been writing, even from a young age. And, I won’t lie, to suddenly find that natural talent overtaken by an algorithm (at least in the eyes of those entrepreneurs who gleefully proclaimed copywriting as a career was dead), was bound to instigate a fair dark night of the soul.
While the phone stayed silent and my fellow copywriters began to sound the alarm, ChatGPT 4 arrived on the scene, then web access and plugins, promising to change everything… again.
If you can’t beat them, master them.
Faced with more hours in my workday than I’m used to, I began plugging away at improving my prompts. And yes, what I found was that you can get some amazing copy out of AI if you prime it right. You can:
Research every market and your client’s competitors (as long as you commit the time to rigorously checking its results for hallucinations)
Create branded copy in the blink of an eye, change its tone of voice and repurpose it for different media (as long as you have the right prompts and take time to edit the output meticulously for pesky rote metaphors it spews)
Get help with analysing your website content, SEO, USP and VP.
These are all things I do for my clients. And, look, I get it. Why wouldn’t businesses use AI to get the compelling and persuasive copy they need cheaply? If you know what you’re doing, you can cut out your middle(wo)man/copywriter and generate lots of text for your brand.
And there’s the rub.
After months of putting AI copy tools through their paces, I’ve come to a single conclusion: You have to know what you’re doing to get the results you want. You have to:
Be prepared to put your prompts through multiple iterations before finding the secret formula that works for your brand.
Commit to checking through every sentence and statement carefully to check for hallucinations.
Meticulously edit and rewrite AI content that sounds corny, metaphor-heavy, overly casual, or just not on-brand.
And if you really want to get the best out of AI writers, you’ll also need to accept that you’ll spend significant time adding in the human touch to your copy—that “je ne sais quoi” that makes copywriting go from “ho-hum” to “OMG!”
Using AI the right way takes time
In fact, I’ve found that it can take as long, or even longer, than if I sat down and wrote the copy from scratch sans tech. So it doesn’t make business sense for me to use it for client projects. If businesses. currently aren’t happy paying more for a human copywriter’s skills, the combination of human copywriter and AI will really ruin their day.
And now I’m wondering – if it takes someone with 20+ years of conversion copywriting experience and 30+ years of research experience to get the best out of AI, how the hell will the average person—for whom writing copy is akin to navigating a labyrinth in pitch darkness armed only with a flickering candle—coax out the eloquence that lurks within AI’s colossal vault of linguistic potential?
Enquiring minds would genuinely like to know.
Understanding AI Copywriting
AI offers a new approach to content creation, harnessing the power of artificial intelligence and natural language processing to generate content based on set parameters, such as tone and existing content. With AI copywriting, tasks like crafting social media posts, blog posts, and product descriptions can be done more efficiently.
But how do these tools work, and what sets them apart from traditional content writers? Essentially, they use algorithms to analyse existing content and generate new content that is tailored to the user’s needs. This allows for faster and more accurate content creation, as well.
Some of the best use cases for an AI copywriting tool include creating short-form content, aiding non-writers, and scaling content production. E-commerce owners, copywriters, students, agencies, and social media managers are embracing AI writers for product descriptions, proposals, resumes, ads, and social media captions.
The software generates content by accessing an extensive database and combining words and phrases connected to a prompt. Machine learning allows these tools to evolve continuously, making their output sound more natural.
The quality of the generated content, however, depends on the input you give the software. While AI content may be quick to create, it still requires us humans to input and supervise to keep it relevant and accurate.
(Lord help us if AI ever writes all our content automatically. When we truly cede culture to the machine, we’ll be living in a hyperreal universe that would make even Baudrillard (or the Wachowskis) weep—a world of unending simulations that become more significant than the reality they represent, where the line between ‘real’ and ‘artificial’ becomes blurred, if not entirely vanished).
Advantages of AI Copywriting Tools for Writers
I’m not saying it’s all bad.
In fact, AI offers many benefits for writers, ranging from saving hours on research, summarising source material into salient soundbites, and helping combat writer’s block. These are all great new for creating short-form content and helping non-writers generate content.
And there’s an argument to be made that, by automating tedious tasks, AI allows content writers to focus on more creative and complex aspects of their work. Provided they understand how to prompt AI to get the best results possible, that is (and that’s a whole other rabbit hole of time-sucking activity).
So I’m not advocating for a return to pre-AI days, where human copywriters, armed solely with their wits, crafted each golden phrase with loving attention. That horse has bolted. If you squint your left eye tight, you can just see a wiffle of dust far off on the horizon. We need to accept it, move on and make AI our verbiage-venting bitch. Here’s how.
Timesaving and Efficiency
With the right prompts and know-how, an AI copywriting tool can significantly reduce the time spent on content creation, allowing businesses to save valuable resources. For small businesses and marketing teams, AI can be especially helpful in meeting tight deadlines and maintaining a consistent output of content.
AI’s timesaving benefits extend to both experienced writers and non-writers alike, making content creation more accessible for those with limited writing experience. But this also means you’ll need someone who’s knowledgeable about the kinds of content you’re creating to check the AI output for hallucinations, audience appropriateness, and those pesky clunky phrases it spits out.
One of the most significant advantages of AI copywriting software is brainstorming and idea generation. By providing a starting point for content creation, these tools can help writers overcome writer’s block and develop fresh content ideas for their projects.
An AI copywriting tool can serve as a valuable resource for inspiration, allowing seasoned writers to explore new concepts and approaches to their work.
Automating Repetitive Tasks
AI copywriting tools excel in automating repetitive tasks, such as data entry and keyword research. By handling these mundane aspects of the content creation process, AI-generated content allows writers to focus on more creative and engaging aspects of their work.
Automation not only boosts efficiency and productivity but also helps maintain a consistent tone and style across all content.
This consistency is particularly important for businesses looking to establish a strong brand identity.
Optimal Use Cases for AI Content
Artificial intelligence is well-suited for certain media types, from short-form content creation to aiding non-writers in content generation. E-commerce specialists, copywriters, creative professionals, and digital marketing agencies working across all sectors have already embraced AI for tasks like writing product descriptions, proposals, resumes, ads, and social media captions.
Here’s some a few examples of the most effective use cases for using an AI copywriting tool:
AI is ideal for crafting short-form content, such as social media posts, headlines, and product descriptions. These tools can produce high-quality copy quickly, allowing businesses to maintain a consistent presence on social media and other platforms.
Automating short-form content lets writers focus on more complex and creative aspects of their work.
For those who aren’t confident writers, AI software can be a valuable resource for research, idea generation, content creation, and even language translation and simplification.
AI support and guidance can help non-writers overcome the challenges of content creation and produce high-quality content for their projects.
AI-generated copy can play a crucial role in scaling content production. By automating the creation of large volumes of content quickly and efficiently, AI allows content managers to keep up with the ever-changing digital landscape.
This is important for businesses looking to expand their online presence or adapt their content marketing strategy because of new trends and platforms.
Industries and Roles Embracing AI
Various industries and roles are adopting AI copywriting software to streamline their content creation processes, from e-commerce store owners to copywriters and digital marketing agencies.
In this section, we’ll explore some of the key industries and roles embracing AI tools.
E-commerce and Product Descriptions
If you’re not too worried about what they say, AI product descriptions can create product descriptions quickly and efficiently, allowing businesses to maintain a consistent and up-to-date online presence.
AI can help e-commerce owners create personalised product descriptions based on customer data, improving the overall shopping experience and increasing conversion rates.
Copywriters and Creative Professionals
Copywriters and creative professionals can leverage AI tools to enhance their workflow and expand their creative horizons. Ai tools can help localise content through translations, adapting copy for different audiences, and creating captivating content for marketing campaigns.
By automating time-consuming tasks and providing data-driven insights, AI tools let copywriters focus on the creative and strategic aspects of their work.
Digital Marketing Agencies
AI copywriting helps automate tasks like SEO content, ad copywriting, conversion rate optimisation, social listening, and review response writing. Using an AI content generator allows agencies to save time, cut costs, and create more personalised, targeted content for their clients.
By streamlining content creation and automating repetitive tasks, digital marketing agencies can focus marketing efforts on developing innovative marketing strategies and achieving better results.
Limitations and Drawbacks of AI
AI lacks the creativity, context, and emotional connection that copywriters can provide. At the moment, it can struggle with understanding pop culture and trends, which can create content that feels outdated or disconnected from its target audience.
In this section, we’ll discuss some of the key limitations and drawbacks of AI copywriting.
Creativity and Context
One of the most significant limitations of AI content is its struggle to replicate human creativity and contextual understanding. While an AI content generator can quickly produce text based on a prompt, it often lacks the creative flair and subtlety to generate ideas that captivate and engage readers.
AI struggles to understand context, resulting in content that feels disconnected or irrelevant.
Pop Culture and Trend Awareness
AI copywriting often falls short of understanding and incorporating pop culture references and trends into its output. This can cause content that feels outdated or disconnected from its target audience.
Human writers possess a deep understanding of pop culture and trends, allowing us to create more engaging, relevant content for targeted audiences.
Creating an emotional connection with the reader is crucial to effective copywriting. AI copywriting often struggles with this, as it lacks the ability to convey vulnerability and establish a genuine connection.
Writers may be slower and more expensive, but we possess the emotional intelligence needed to create content that resonates with customers on a deeper level.
The Future of Copywriting: Can AI Replace Copywriters?
Given the limitations and drawbacks of AI content, it’s unlikely AI will replace me in the foreseeable future. However, collaboration between AI and copywriters holds immense potential for the future of copywriting.
By working together, AI and humans can leverage their respective strengths to create more powerful and engaging content. In this section, we’ll discuss the importance of human creativity and the potential for collaboration between AI and humans in the future of copywriting.
Does Human Creativity Matter?
Human creativity is essential in copywriting, as it allows for the production of unique and original content that evokes an emotional reaction from readers. AI tools, while efficient and data-driven, often lack the creative flair and subtlety that only an organic writer can bring to the writing process.
As such, human creativity remains an invaluable asset that sets copywriters apart from AI content.
Collaboration Between AI and Humans
The collaboration between AI and humans in copywriting is key to achieving greater efficiency, better decision-making, and more comprehensive content. AI can automate tedious tasks and provide data-driven insights, while humans bring creativity, emotional intelligence, and the ability to see the bigger picture.
By working together, AI and humans can create more powerful and engaging content that surpasses the capabilities of either party working alone.
Preparing for the Future
As AI technology continues to advance and AI content becomes more sophisticated, it’s crucial for writers to stay prepared and adapt to the changing landscape of copywriting. By embracing AI writing tools and learning to collaborate effectively with AI, writers can ensure they remain relevant and competitive in the dynamic world of content creation.
Preparing for the future will enable writers to harness the full potential of AI and human creativity, unlocking new possibilities for the field of copywriting.
AI copywriting tools offer incredible potential for revolutionising the way we create content. Although AI content has its limitations, the collaboration between AI and human copywriters can unlock new possibilities and enhance the quality of the content we produce.
By embracing AI copywriting tools and learning to work effectively with AI, writers can stay ahead of the curve and ensure their continued success in the dynamic world of content creation. The future of copywriting is here, and it’s time for writers to adapt, collaborate, and thrive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use AI for copywriting?
Yes, you can use AI for copywriting! AI is a great resource for creating content quickly and easily without sacrificing quality. By leveraging AI’s natural language processing capabilities and machine learning technology, you can create high-quality content that resonates with your audience.
How does AI affect copywriting?
AI is transforming the way copywriters create content, from automating certain tasks to helping writers optimize their work for target audiences. While it can never replace the creativity of a human copywriter, AI definitely has an important role to play in modern copywriting.
AI can help copywriters save time and energy by automating mundane tasks, such as keyword research, ad copy variations, and content optimization. It can also provide insights into the preferences of target audiences, allowing copywriters to craft more effective messages.
What is the future of copywriting with AI?
Copywriting and AI are two sides of the same coin; AI can be a useful tool to help copywriters create more accurate, personalised, and effective content. With AI’s help, copywriters can create higher-quality work at a faster pace.
In short, AI will become an invaluable tool for copywriters in the future.
Will AI writing replace writers?
AI may well be a useful tool for writers, but it won’t replace them. The combination of creative insight and an understanding of audience needs can only come from a human with experience. AI isn’t ready to take on the role of content writing soon.
Overall, while AI has improved in recent years, it’s still not capable of producing content that is equal to what humans create. Writers should look at AI as a helpful tool instead of a threat, as it is unlikely to take our jobs anytime soon.
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