The AI content marketing revolution is upon us. If you’ve been browsing your social posts, digesting news sites, or reading blog posts on the web, there’s a good chance you’re reading content generated by a bot. What’s incredible is that the quality of copy produced by the current generation of AI tools is so good it can be indistinguishable from human-written content.
Some Marketing teams have already incorporated AI writing tools into their creative processes, but a much larger proportion is either curious or actively investigating how an AI text generator can support their business. In this article, we’ll walk through the brief-but-impactful history of AI writing tools, explore the types of content these tools can generate, and provide you with a list of the top AI content tools.
The importance of content generation in marketing
According to a survey by the Content Marketing Institute, 80% of B2B marketers use content marketing to create brand awareness, 75% use content marketing to build credibility/trust, and 70% use content marketing to educate their audience.
While nearly all marketers agree on the value of content marketing, for some it’s an expensive luxury. Many marketers have had their bold content marketing strategy denied or scaled back due to the cost of creating quality content. The dominant cost item is usually fees or salary required for writers to conduct research, write, and edit content.
For even the most efficient writers, producing smooth copy takes manual effort and time, and then there are times when they … struggle with … finding the right … words. AI doesn’t get writer’s block. It doesn’t need sleep or vacations either. And with price points that can fit into anyone’s Marketing budget, AI content generators can significantly shift the economic dynamics of content marketing.
AI content generation: history, benefits, and role
History of AI content generators: AI writing tools owe a portion of their functionality to spell-checking and editing utilities going as far back as the 1980s. In 1984, artificial intelligence produced the first AI-written book of prose and poetry (3.8 of five stars on Amazon, in case you’re wondering). In 2007, AI was applied to online writing for sports statistics, and in 2009 Grammarly’s AI writing assistant was launched. In the years that followed many new AI writing platforms were launched, but the software category still hadn’t emerged into mainstream awareness. The revolutionary ChatGPT, launched November 30, 2022, exposed the world to the quality of text that AI is capable of producing.
Benefits of AI content tools for Marketing teams: AI content platforms hold enormous promise for Marketing teams, namely:
- Tool-enabled processes: The platforms we describe below incorporate best practice workflows and templates for creating content. Some offer integrations that enable search engine optimisation recommendations, as-you-type AI editors, and plagiarism checkers. The integration of these utilities creates a powerful suite capable of supporting end-to-end content production.
- Speed: AI writers can produce thousands of structured words in seconds, vastly beyond the pace of any human. Many tools can also harvest facts and statistics from external data sources, reducing the need for an author to conduct manual research.
- Cost and productivity: These speed efficiencies mean that teams can produce significantly more copy in far less time. This can potentially yield cost savings, regardless of whether you outsource, in-source, or license content for your business.
The Role of AI in content marketing teams: Reality-check time. With today’s tools, you can’t just press go and reliably receive on-brand, factual copy. You will need humans to carefully scrutinize any copy produced for business purposes. And you’ll continue to need skilled professionals for planning and managing your content strategy, in addition to coordinators to handle internal approvals and web publishers to send content live. And if you jumped the gun and fired your copywriter, you may need to rush down the hall and apologize (Dave, come back!). With AI writing generators as your engine for new material, you may be dealing with a LOT more content, and are likely to need some skilled wordsmiths to assure quality.
As AI content writing tools become more widespread, organisations will need to carefully classify content types to determine which are suitable for AI-assisted composition. While one of the solutions mentioned later offers an on-premise deployment option, most AI writing tools are cloud-based. Imagine this Compliance nightmare: a communications specialist sending pre-release corporate earnings figures of a public company into the cloud to save some writing time. Employees using email writing AI tools pose a similar risk for your company’s intellectual property. Data management policies and client privacy law will be two important restrictions for companies to work through.
Type of written content AI can generate
Thankfully, you don’t need to separately source an AI blog writer, an AI article writer, and an AI paper writer. Most commercial platforms come with 30+ templates to choose from, including the most commonly used formats such as blog posts, emails, and web pages. AI writers operate on prompts, basically a set of commands that instruct it on what to write and how. Some common prompt parameters are format (blog, web page, etc.), topic, length, and tone of voice.
You can also start with a blank slate and create your own prompts, allowing you to generate virtually any text-based content you can imagine including poetry, song, and prose. A Shakespearean sonnet incorporating the lyrics of Metallica songs? Methinks YES!
Best AI tools for content generation
While certainly not a complete list, here are some of the content writing platforms that are attracting a lot of attention from marketers:
Article Forge: Article Forge offers a simple, streamlined workflow. You just input some topical keywords, choose a language and article length, and set Article Forge to work. As it writes the article for you it will automatically insert headings, images, and links.
Copy.ai: Copy.ai has over 90 content templates. It has strong editing abilities (such as converting passive to active voice), but lacks some of the SEO features of other platforms. Copy.ai recently launched a new chat capability that does things that ChatGPT can’t, such as accessing real-time data, harvesting data from LinkedIn and YouTube, and providing link-based sources for research.
Frase: Like GrowthBar below, Frase is designed to produce search optimised content. It goes a step further, integrating with Google Search Console to track your article’s performance.
GrowthBar: GrowthBar is a great tool for long-form blog content. Start with a simple topical phrase and it will guide you through creating a fully optimized blog post. You can also upload on-brand writing samples and it extracts elements of the voice, tone, and style so that it can emulate your brand voice in future writing.
Jasper: Jasper is a popular and easy-to-use content generator. It offers integrations to support SEO, editing, and checking for plagiarism. It has 50+ templates, and several tones of voice to choose from.
LongShot: LongShot not only generates content for you, it also has tools for fact-checking and an AI writing detector that scans for plagiarism.
Rytr: Rytr lacks features to help with topic discovery and ideation, but it does have a handy ability to generate royalty-free image recommendations to support your text content.
Scalenut: Scalenut takes you from start to finish through topic research, brief creation, headline options, to a fully-written post. However, some reviewers report that the output requires more revision time than other platforms.
Writer: This enterprise-level platform has features that appeal to larger corporations. It can be trained on your brand, style guide, content, etc. in order to produce on-brand text. It can integrate with corporate data sources such as your company’s wiki, cloud storage, chat and knowledge base, providing it with deep organisational knowledge. The company also promotes enterprise-level data security as well as an option for on-premises deployment.
Looking to the future of AI-driven content generation
Where will we go from here? Most marketers are in an awestruck phase of investigation right now, but it won’t be long until AI content generators are a vital component of nearly every company’s Martech stack. We’ll see investigation shift to operationalisation. The worldwide web is about to grow, and very, very quickly.
While Marketing teams get accommodated to new tools and workflows for content marketing, AI product teams will continue to push new innovations. OpenAI’s GPT-3, the language model used by several of the current content generation tools, will eventually be replaced by the recently launched GPT-4, which adds signifiant improvements including multimodality (prompts including images and text). We can also expect future enhancements will imbue AI language models with a deeper level of meaning/understanding, allowing them to communicate with empathy and more nuanced use of language. Wherever this journey may take us, it’s just getting started.
Track your content’s effectiveness with SentiOne Listen
Producing great content can expand your brand’s reach, engage prospects, and spark new sales. To get the most from your content strategy you need to actively monitor, engage, and optimise your efforts. SentiOne Listen is a powerful social listening platform that helps you assess the effectiveness of your content strategy. Monitor brand mentions, conduct trend analysis, or gather insights from SentiOne Listen’s extensive reporting capabilities. To learn more, visit SentiOne.com or book a demo.