The TikTokification of content and the power of AI vs human content writing

Since Artificial Intelligence took over the world early in 2023, we’ve witnessed a significant shift in digital content that mirrors broader societal trends. The term “tiktokification” has emerged, pointing to a world where short-form content reigns supreme. This seismic shift in content consumption has profound implications for digital marketers, content creators, and business owners alike.


Key takeaways:



    1. Shift to shorter content: The trend of ‘tiktokification’ shows a preference for shorter, more engaging content.


    1. Human vs AI writing: Human content still outperforms AI in terms of quality, emotional depth, and audience engagement.


    1. Leveraging human creativity: Human insight and creativity are crucial in content strategy, especially for personalisation and emotional connection.


    1. Combining strengths: A hybrid approach, using AI for efficiency and humans for creativity and insight, can be highly effective.


    1. Maintaining human touch: Despite the rise of AI, maintaining the human element in content creation is essential for authenticity and deeper audience connection.


Article lengths are evolving… again


Gone are the days when lengthy 2300-word articles were the benchmark for ranking atop Google searches. The standard has now shifted to favour more concise, 1447-word articles. However, the most recent data by Neil Patel reveals an even more startling trend across industries: the average article length is dwindling.


Why? It’s a direct response to the ‘tiktokification’ of content consumption.


The average user now spends about 95 minutes daily engaging with short-form content. This trend underscores a growing preference for bite-sized, easily digestible information. For a business owner or digital marketer, this shift presents both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is in conveying your message in a concise and engaging manner.


The opportunity? It lies in the ability to quickly capture and keep audience attention.



Data shows human content writers still outperform AI generated content creation


I thought 2023 would go down in history as the first death knoll of human creative writing itself. But a fascinating development has emerged: human-written content consistently outperforms AI-generated content. This is a monumental statistic, particularly given the increasing reliance of marketers on AI for content generation.


Look at these stats:


Changing blog post lengths according to Neil Patel (


Why are human content writers still winning?


While AI offers efficiency and scale, it currently lacks the nuanced understanding and emotional depth that human writers bring to the table when compared to ai writing. In what will be a great relief for copywriters everywhere, these statistics reaffirm the irreplaceable value of the human element in content creation. The unique perspectives, experiences, and emotional intelligence of human writers make their content more relatable and engaging for readers.


Who's using natural language processing to write their blogs?



Leverage the human advantage in your content strategy


This brings us to a crucial point: the importance of leveraging human creativity in your content strategy. If you’re incorporating AI tools, it’s essential to have human oversight. The process of enhancing AI-written content with a human touch can significantly improve its quality, making it more personalised and relevant to your audience.


Remember, in a world increasingly leaning towards automation, the human aspect of content creation becomes a distinctive advantage. It’s not just about the words; it’s about the human language, stories, emotions, and connections those words can foster.


“… human-written content will outperform AI-written content. 94.12% of the time, human-written content outranked AI-generated content.” 

Neil Patel


As marketers rely on AI to do everything for them, there’s a huge opportunity to stand out from the crowd and leverage the advantage a combination of human writers, machine learning and AI-powered writing tools lend to your content creation strategies.



AI just isn’t at a level where it can replace human writing completely. It may come soon but we’re not there yet. In the meantime, can you afford to let your brand’s reputation take a nosedive?



The value of human-written content



    1. Creativity and originality: Human-written content stands out in terms of creativity and originality. Humans draw from personal experiences, emotions, and thought processes, producing engaging content that resonates with readers on a deeper level. In contrast, AI-generated content, while capable of mimicking human writing, often lacks this originality because of its reliance on training data.


    1. Understanding context and nuance: Human writers excel at comprehending context and nuance in language, culture, and emotions. This innate ability enables them to craft content that is more relatable and engaging. AI, meanwhile, may struggle with these subtleties, which are crucial for content that resonates with a target audience.


    1. Emotional connection: A significant aspect where AI falls short is in conveying human emotions. The human factor in writing includes personal touch, emotion, and relatability, which AI currently cannot replicate. This lack of real-world experience limits AI’s ability to add nuance and originality to its content.


    1. Adaptability and responsiveness: Human authors can quickly adapt to real-time events, news, and trends, keeping content fresh and relevant. AI-generated content often lacks this responsiveness because of limitations in its training data.


    1. Ethical considerations and bias: Human intervention is essential in AI-generated content to ensure it aligns with ethical standards and social norms. Human writers and editors can review and refine AI content to eliminate any potentially problematic elements.


AI-generated content and its role


While AI-generated content has certain drawbacks, it’s not without its merits. It offers efficiency and scalability, making it suitable for businesses looking to quickly expand their content production. However, this often comes at the cost of reduced quality, requiring human editing and review to ensure accuracy and relevance.


AI content writing, while advanced, has limitations especially for nuanced tasks. AI often struggles with understanding and integrating cultural context, which is crucial for globally diverse audiences. It also falls short in accurately conveying subtle humor and wit, elements that often require human experience and cultural knowledge. AI-generated content might miss the mark in creating truly original and thought-provoking material, as it largely depends on existing data and lacks the capacity for genuine creativity and innovation.


A compelling example is a marketing campaign for a new product launch. In one case, a human-written campaign, rich with cultural references and tailored humour, significantly outperformed its AI-written counterpart in terms of customer engagement and conversion rates. Another example is an SEO study where human content and articles, filled with unique insights and reader-focused narratives, ranked higher on search engines compared to similar AI-generated content.


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Based on the information gathered, there are compelling real-world examples and studies that highlight the advantages of human-written content over AI-generated content in certain aspects, especially in terms of SEO performance and engagement.


1. SEO content experiment by Reboot Online: This experiment compared the SEO performance of human-written content against AI-generated content. The study involved creating content for both types and monitoring their rankings on Google. The results showed that human-written content ranked better on average than the AI-generated content. Specifically, the AI-generated domains had an average ranking of 6.6, whereas the human-written domains had an average ranking of 4.4. This suggests a statistically significant difference in favor of human-written content for SEO (Reboot Online).


2. AI vs. human content analysis by SurferSEO: SurferSEO conducted experiments to analyse the effectiveness of AI-generated and human-written content. It found that while AI can assist in content creation, especially in terms of speed and scaling, human content still holds a significant advantage in delivering voice, tone, personality, and emotional engagement. The study highlighted that AI-generated text often gets repetitive and lacks the readability and structure of human-written content. AI content often needs human intervention for editing, fact-checking, and adding personality to meet the required standards (SurferSEO).


3. AI detector analysis by Mangools: Mangools’ analysis showed that AI-generated content lacks certain elements that human writers excel in, such as creativity, humour, and the ability to understand complex assignments. They noted AI content often sounds too robotic and lacks the unique voice that human writers can provide. Humans have a better understanding of their audience and can tailor content more effectively to meet their needs. This analysis underscores the importance of writers’ creativity and understanding in producing high-quality content (Mangools).


These examples and studies show that while AI-generated content can be efficient and scalable, it still falls short in areas where creativity, emotional intelligence, and cultural understanding play a crucial role. The human factor in writing provides originality, emotional depth, and cultural sensitivity, which are essential for creating content that resonates with readers and performs well in search engine rankings.


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Combining human and AI capabilities


The most cost effective approach might be a hybrid one, combining AI efficiency with human insight. For instance, we can use AI for initial content generation or idea brainstorming, with human writers then stepping in to add personal touches, emotional depth, and contextual understanding. This collaborative approach ensures high-quality, engaging content that benefits from both human intelligence and AI efficiency.


While AI content generation tools offer certain advantages, they still lack the deft touch essential for creating deeply engaging, original, and ethically sound content. Human writers bring creativity, emotional intelligence, and an understanding of nuance that AI currently cannot match. By combining the strengths of both, content creators can produce high-quality content that resonates with their audience.


Embrace the change, maintain the organic touch


As we navigate this ‘tiktokified’ mediascape, the key takeaway for human content creators and digital marketers is clear: embrace the shift towards shorter, more impactful content, but don’t lose the human touch. It’s this combination of adaptability and authenticity that will help your content stand out in a sea of AI-generated material.


Our attention spans may be shorter, but the desire for genuine connection remains strong, the power of well-crafted, human-written content can’t be underestimated. Let’s harness this power to create content that resonates, engages, and makes a lasting impression.


Understanding the ‘TikTokification’ trend



    1. Shorter attention spans: Research suggests that the average attention span is decreasing, making concise and engaging content more effective. This trend is clear in younger audiences accustomed to the quick, engaging format of platforms like TikTok.


    1. The power of visuals: Visual content is king. TikTok’s success lies in its ability to convey stories and emotions quickly and effectively through visuals. Incorporating visually engaging elements into your content can enhance its appeal and effectiveness.


    1. Emotional engagement: While brevity is key, emotional engagement remains crucial. Content that evokes emotions, whether it’s humor, empathy, or excitement, leaves a lasting impression on the audience.


Balancing brevity with depth



    1. Concise yet comprehensive: The challenge lies in creating content that is both brief and substantive. It’s about distilling complex ideas into digestible snippets without losing their essence. This requires a deep understanding of your subject and your audience’s preferences.


    1. Storytelling in a nutshell: Effective storytelling doesn’t always require a lot of words. It’s possible to craft compelling narratives in a concise format. This involves focusing on the core message and using powerful words and visuals to convey it.


    1. Personalisation and relatability: Content that speaks directly to the audience’s experiences, needs, and desires resonates more. Personalised content, even when brief, can create a sense of connection and relatability.


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How to better leverage creativity in content creation


Embracing humanistic creativity in content creation offers a wealth of benefits that AI tools simply can’t match. Here are some practical examples and bullet points that illustrate this:


1. Human insight and creativity



    • Example of personalised storytelling: Imagine a travel blog post about Paris. An AI might provide generic information about popular tourist spots. In contrast, a human writer could share a personal anecdote about a quaint, little-known café in Montmartre, offering a unique and engaging perspective.


    • Humour and wit: A human copywriter can inject humour into a blog post about mundane topics, like household cleaning tips, making the content more enjoyable and relatable.


    • Empathetic tone: For sensitive topics, like mental health, human writers can approach the subject with the needed empathy and understanding, something AI lacks.


    • Writer’s block: Where AI excels is in kick-starting the human brain when inspiration fails to come. The combination of organic and inorganic imagination often reveals new insights and directions for stale copy or existing content.

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2. Understanding cultural nuances



    • Localisation of content: Consider a marketing campaign for a global brand. Human writers can adapt the content to reflect local customs, idioms, and humor, making it more relevant for different regions.


    • Diverse perspectives: In a piece about workplace diversity, a human writer can include diverse viewpoints and experiences that resonate with a wide range of audiences, going beyond stereotypical representations.


3. Ethical and responsible content



    • Addressing sensitive topics: When writing about issues like gender equality or racial justice, human writers can ensure the content is respectful, informed, and considers various perspectives.


    • Avoiding unintentional bias: Human editors can review AI-generated content to remove any unintentional biases or errors, ensuring the content aligns with ethical standards.


    • Fact-checking and accuracy: Especially in news articles or educational content, human writers can verify facts and data, providing accurate and reliable information to readers.


By leveraging human creativity and insight, content creators can produce material that not only captures the audience’s attention but also connects with them on a deeper level. This approach ensures that content is not just algorithm-friendly but also rich in personality, empathy, and cultural understanding.


Adapting to the trend of shorter, more impactful content requires a careful balancing act. It’s about embracing the brevity and immediacy that audiences crave while maintaining the depth, creativity, and emotional engagement that only humans can provide. By combining the efficiency of modern content creation tools and artificial intelligence with the irreplaceable human touch, marketers and creators can produce content that is not only trendy but also meaningful and impactful.

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