The future of digital marketing: AI vs. human copywriters

How good can AI be at content marketing?


Creativity is the divine spark that has urged people to come up with genius ideas and embody them in grandiose projects. In business, in its turn, the industry where creativity thrived the most was advertising. Imagination and a disruptive approach were valued above all.

Today, now big data is the master, the priority is shifting to AI-powered technologies which can provide the light-speed processing of data, super-effective work with statistics and production of content.

With the booming investment in AI, according to Serene Capital, there were 271 funding rounds for AI startups raising on average $3.7m each in 2017, advances in AI are accelerating almost on a daily basis. It is no wonder that businesses are tapping into the potential that AI-enabled computers are giving to them.

Among these businesses is content marketing — the industry which, according to the forecast, will be worth $412bn by 2021. Copywriting by programmed systems has moved from science-fiction to commercial fact. Businesses need impressive, clear and well-researched content to fill in their product page which will allow users to make informed decisions and encourage them to buy.

Nowadays, the area where creativity ruled is being given to a computer program providing automated content, and the sector is managed by data scientists and number-nerds. The question that is pondered on here is whether there is a place left for creativity and, consequently, for humans in the industry of content marketing. Or are robots going to supplant creative human copywriters altogether?

The truth is that advertising has in many ways benefited from AI technologies. Machines do heavy data processing much faster and more effectively. Algorithms have been trained to analyze written as well as voice-based content, to assist companies to identify which ads are most relevant for users and contribute the most to the success of an advertising campaign.

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AI can give advice on how to iterate the next round of the ad creative, to recommend which words are going to have a profound effect on a potential customer and advise to expand on a certain concept or help choose images similar to a particularly successful one. It means that companies get quality content in a fraction of time.

There is one thing that is lost in the mind-blowing efficiency of AI-enabled computers, perhaps one that matters most: no computer program can generate content that aims to produce the emotional impact, come up with original ideas or create texts off-the-cuff. The main reason for it is the complexity, idiosyncrasy and often subtlety of the human language.

Artificially intelligent technologies do not bring any actual creativity to the content they generate, as creativity requires intuition as well as empathy which are still totally human. Creative processes are not fully understood by people themselves. How ideas are sparked is still a mystery. Thus, it is hard to believe that without the deep and detailed understanding of the points mentioned above, engineers can develop computers that can spark ideas for us.

It is very unlikely that artificial intelligence will ultimately replace human copywriters in the foreseeable future. Websites delivering services, such as HireRush or SearchEngineLand, will still have the copywriting services highly requested for quite a while. These businesses can benefit from computer-human collaboration which will help them to better interact with potential consumers and eventually build a strong brand.

Some companies have already witnessed the advantages of such collaboration. IBM, for instance, is scaling up its experience in AI-powered advertising and claims that its platform can help advertising agencies adapt their content based on the requirements, needs, and desires of their clients. Another ad agency is using AI-powered technology for facial recognition to understand how people react to a poster on the side of a bus stop or a billboard in the center of London. The data they receive is used to improve the next version of the ad.

That said, programmed systems can arm companies and advertising agencies with data necessary to ignite creativity and direct it in the right way. Cooperation with AI machines is going to make human copywriters better, encourage them to enhance their skills, discover untapped potential of human creativity, look for new ideas in sometimes most unexpected domains and develop all new concepts.

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