Are your next copywriters robots?

29.03.23 | By Kimberley Killender | opinion

Are your next copywriters robots?

Beep beep.

First, they came for our supermarket checkouts. Now, they’re coming for your copy team. Yes, the robots have learnt how to write. Claiming to produce high-converting copy for everything from taglines to emails, these clever little bots want to compete with your copywriters. But can they? Will your copy team be made redundant by a computer algorithm?  

We could keep this article really short and tell you it’s a straight up no. But of course, this is being written by a copywriter, and we might be a little biased. Let’s look at the facts.

Robots don’t have feelings.
Computers don't have empathy or emotions - despite the emotional bond you've formed with your Siri. Ensuring the emotional experience and understanding is present in your copy and brand personality can make all the difference for engagement and loyalty. Emotion-led ads perform 15% better than rational ads, and customers who have an emotional relationship with a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value. They also have a 71% likelihood of recommending a brand they emotionally connect with. 

Like your ex boyfriend, AI might say all the right things, but is ultimately emotionally absent. It can find and place the correct SEO, or cobble together a passable paragraph by pulling from other sources. But when it comes to connection, understanding, and empathy, AI is missing the human touch that makes copy work harder.

Copywrite copycat. 
AI works by researching and rewriting human written content. You aren’t getting new words or ideas, you’re getting a Frankenstein’s monster of what others have written. Sure, those sentences will probably be understandable and grammatically sound, but they won’t be fully original.

Of course, not all copy needs to be a unique creative masterpiece. AI’s ability to pull strong keywords and piece together words based on what’s hot online can provide some powerful and competitive SEO options for web ads. It can also help with thought starters, such as generating blog titles and potential outlines from your information input. But where true creativity is required, you’ll need a real person. 

That’s old news.
AI writes by pulling existing content from external sources. If there isn’t enough to pull from, it won’t be able to write anything of substance. You’re going to need a human for anything new or creative, including breaking news or cutting-edge concepts.

Think of AI Copywriting like a 12 year old who is really good at Googling. They can find all the basic information and put it in a legible, grammatically correct sentence. They can take something that’s already written and rewrite it. But you wouldn’t trust a 12 year old to write a press release, or your website. At least not without adult supervision and some heavy editing.

Trust your instincts.
You know how sometimes you’ll hear a creative say “Something just feels off” about a piece of work? That’s because people have a sense of when something isn’t quite right, even if technically everything is in line with your brand guidelines. Even if you could input your brand message, purpose, values and culture, instinct is not something a computer can learn. You need your gut and experience to guide you. 

Adopting AI.
If you’re planning on adding some tech to your touch, here are some tips to ensure your copy stays top of the game. 

Provide sufficient details: Feeding the AI adequate context about your brand, product or topic will help ensure it stays aligned with your intended output. There’s no common sense with technology, you have to tell it exactly what you need from it. 

Set the tone: Make sure your brand voice has been input into the AI where possible, to help it generate work that aligns with your brand identity.

Edit the copy: Always make sure a human proofs and edits the AI copy. It’s new technology and, much like their human counterparts, isn’t perfect. 

Always fact check: In our world of fake news, clickbait and unreliable sources (particularly in the Elon Musk Twitter era of verified accounts for all), AI cannot logically filter through what’s real and what’s not. 

Whilst AI won’t take over from your copywriters, it may be able to streamline their roles. In fact, AI and people may be the ultimate power couple, with humans able to write things that connect, engage, and inspire, and AI being able to help optimise it. Your writer is still in control of the content, as the creative heart and strategic eyes. But utilising AI to help break through writers' block, optimise SEO, or recommend alternative words and phrases to change the tone of the message could help elevate their copy, and make their lives easier. 

Don’t quite trust the robots yet? Reach out to our team of real people instead.

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