How to prepare for the AI-content world

AI tools are definitely moving aggressively into the content world, and there’s no doubt that soon, AI-generated content will saturate the web.

Right now the quality of that content is… well, nothing to worry about. But this will change as the technology improves. Ryan Law from Animalz shared an insightful article:

His take:

For many people, this next iteration of AI-enabled writing represents a potential process improvement, a way to speed up the content marketing workflow and get to a finished draft faster. For others, it’s an overhyped gimmick with limited real-world application, another marketing buzzword in the vein of Clubhouse and VR.

The truth is neither. AI writing tools mean that the marginal cost of a blog post is nosediving from multiple skilled person-hours to minutes spent in a freemium SaaS product. In the near future, any company with a modest budget and a functioning internet connection will be able to pump out truly mind-numbing volumes of content.

AI-assisted vs AI-generated content

There’s an important distinctin when it comes to AI content:

  • AI-assisted content is when you use AI tools as a jumping-off point.
  • AI-generated content is content where you push a button, take what the AI gives you and publish it.

Other interesting predictions:

Off-page ranking factors will become disproportionately important in response to every article containing the same remixed information as every other.

He then addresses the argument that “AI-content isn’t good content”:

I agree—but this is also how the vast majority of the web’s SEO content is currently written. Read through the top ten search results for virtually any keyword, and the chances are good that these “top-performing” articles are rife with the same problems that plague AI-generated content. No narrative. Repetitive information. Unoriginal formats.

Next comes my favorite section of the article:

How to win in the area of infinite content

If you open yourself to the idea that we’re on the cusp of a staggering uptick in AI-fueled content creation, most of which will be functional but unremarkable, one clear realization emerges: Quality is a powerful differentiator today, but it’s about to become vastly more important.

One by one, information asymmetries and operational moats have been eroded. It’s harder than ever to be first or faster, but the incentive to be better is the greatest it’s ever been. Your job is to create a vast gulf of quality between AI-generated content and your content.

So how do you do this?

  • Focus on information gain.
    • do primary research,
    • interview people,
    • conduct surveys,
    • gather expert quotes,
    • find find information gaps (information gain: How much new information does this article provide over other articles covering the same topic? An article that adds something new to a discussion or theme will rank higher than an article that simply repeats what other articles already cover)
  • Diversify beyond search and invest in thought leadership.
    • Counter-narrative opinions (exploring why the status quo is wrong or flawed)
    • Personal narrative (sharing your own lived experiences)
    • Network connections (sharing the experiences of people within your network)
    • Industry analysis (using our knowledge to add context to industry events)
    • Data storytelling (revealing the insights hidden within data—yours, or publicly available data)
    • Remember: How-to guides and standard processes are easy to replicate. Opinion and narrative are not.
  • Share the same information but create a new experience.
    • The same information can be shared in a way that’s either punchy and concise or eloquent and laden with story. You can focus on metaphor or real-world example. You can highlight the opinion and personality of a single person or strive for an ultra-authoritative Wiki-style tone of voice.
    • Even if you’re forced to compete with a dozen other articles, each sharing the same information, you can still create a unique experience that will appeal to your target audience.
    • Think Hamlet. It’s a story that has been told in hundreds of different ways, from the 15-minute Hamlet to the Klingon Hamlet to the Puppet Players’ Hamlet.

AI-tools for content marketers

Copy.ai can be a great brainstorming counterpart, flesh out bullet point outlines and get to the first draft faster

Writer helps to seamlessly implement your company style guide, and functions as a tone-of-voice editor

Clearscope – structure and search-optimize articles

MarketMuse helps to identify gaps in subject matter knowledge

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