AI-powered writing tools can simulate human thought in a way that’s both awe-inspiring and a little scary. However, they have a way to go before they can fully replicate human thought patterns.
That buys you time to prepare.
My colleague Matt Bentley predicts that it will be hard to distinguish AI-generated content from human-written content in terms of language usage and writing quality before the decade ends.
A lot of time is spent today answering the question, “Will copywriters be replaced by AI?” and concluding that writers don’t need to worry now. I propose changing the question: “How can content writers prepare themselves for a world that includes AI-created content?
Here are a few of the things you can do today to ensure your work and skills can’t be replaced by a robot:
1. Learn how to use AI tools to write better content
AI-based creation-related tools can be a real asset for content marketers who know how to use them to their advantage. They range from writing functional, well-optimized content to boosting its development by completing tasks like writing meta descriptions and social media copy.
Here are a few AI tools to enhance your content creation process:
- Grammarly uses AI to identify language that’s awkward, stilted, or unnatural in addition to its standard proofreading review.
- Can I Rank? is our AI-powered martech tool that validates content ideas with keyword research or suggests other possibilities to help a page rank.
- AI automates the process of producing clean and well-optimized content. It has a library of AI templates based on common copywriting formulas like attention, interest, desire, action (AIDA), and problem-agitate-solution.
- Jarvis uses AI-powered templates to generate content, automating and optimizing your headlines and social media copy.
2. Train in content promotion strategies
You’re not just a content writer; you’re a marketer. That means you should know how to promote content as well as write it. That right there puts you a step above any AI writing program.
Promoting content requires an intimate understanding of your space, the audience’s pain points, and how your content and brand products address those challenges. Promotion really encompasses much of the same knowledge required for effective content creation.
It’s a good idea to brush up on your content promotion skills by learning more about:
- Link building is the practice of securing the inclusion of links to your content from reputable third-party sites to boost your site’s keyword rankings. It requires you to interact with editors and publishers and persuade them to link back to your content.
- content syndication is the practice of republishing your content on platforms like Medium through content aggregators to boost the reach of your content. To do this well, you must be familiar with the online spaces where your target audience hangs out and know how to make your content visible in those spaces.
- social media marketing involves the paid and unpaid promotion of your content, products, and services on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. It requires knowing which hashtags to use and which groups will be receptive to your content, so it gets the most likes, comments, shares , and ultimately traffic.
- Search engine marketing goes hand in hand with search engine optimization. Know how to build pay-per-click advertising campaigns to target your keywords.
3. Become a specialist
It’s common career advice for content writers to focus on a niche or vertical as their area of expertise. Apart from just being a talented writer, you should become a subject matter expert. Know your space and vertical better than anyone else.
Tim Soulo, chief marketing officer at Ahrefs, says, “Content marketers need to be developing deep expertise in the area where they are creating their content. If you’re doing content marketing for a productivity app, you should study productivity, as well as practice it.
“It’s your knowledge and unique ideas that make your content useful and interesting. Everything else is secondary.”
Some skills you can train in to make yourself more valuable than an AI copywriter include:
4. Generate demand
Viewing content creation from the perspective of its business function is essential. By thinking of it in terms of demand generation, you will better the content to the ultimate business goals. While creating the content, think about such strategies as lead magnets. Create e-books, white paper research studies, etc. Also, think about how to create content from other lead-generation tools, such as writing an article based on a webinar.
5. Gain machine learning skills
AI content tools can achieve some impressive results, but they’re not yet capable of operating on their own. A person needs to run the AI program. You can improve your value-add as a content marketer by understanding how AI works and the basics of machine learning and natural language processing, and what they can and can’t do. That makes it more likely for your content to be improved by AI tools rather than be replaced by them.
You also can learn how to use AI to do data analysis and information-gathering tasks to free up your time for human-involved creation like clever wordplay and creative storytelling. For example, The Washington Post uses AI for local election result reporting.
Udemy offers a wealth of courses on the subject of machine learning to familiarize yourself with the topic. Meanwhile, tech boot camps like General Assembly and Springboard offer courses in data science.
Power a human-focused career
You have two choices: 1. Bury your head in the sand and pretend that the evolution of AI-produced content won’t happen, or 2. Recognize the AI content evolution now and take steps to future-proof your career as a human content marketers.
That choice is yours.
Please note: All tools included in our blog posts are suggested by authors, not the CMI editorial team. No one post can provide all relevant tools in the space. Feel free to include additional tools in the comments (from your company or ones that you have used).
Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute