Monday, February 27, 2023

3 Reasons to Choose Human Content Creators Over AI

I was participating in a networking conversation recently and got hit with an interesting question: "Are you worried about AI taking your job away?" Of course, this question had already been floated around various writers' forums and social media channels for some time, especially since Open AI unleashed the artificial intelligence chatbot ChatGPT on the world. It seems like everywhere you look, you see headlines pronouncing the imminent death of search engines and the end of Google as the dominant force in that arena. 

So, was I worried that machine-generated content was going to put me out of work? No, I answered. And as I started explaining why, I realized that my reasons made just as much sense for my clients' purposes as they did for my own. Let's look at three reasons experienced, skilled human content creators aren't going anywhere anytime soon -- and why you wouldn't want them to.

Reason 1: Google Can Tell When You're Using AI

Until Chat GPT and its ilk become the law of the land regarding search, the major search engines will continue to make the rules as far as what content ranks and what doesn't -- with Google as the head arbiter. Okay, so you can still go ahead and ask Chat GPT to create your written content for you and then post it, right? Yes, you can, but there's a potentially worrying catch: Google can theoretically detect AI-generated content with the aid of programs such as GPT-2 Output Detector. Google might not downrank your content simply because it detects it as "fake," at least not currently. But keep in mind that Google likes to tweak its algorithm from time to time based on new criteria for relevance and authenticity, so who knows whether the AI-generated content you post today will still rank in the future?

Reason 2: AI Provides Content Without Context

AI content creation has been around longer than you might think. Many years ago, I wrote a blog post about a program that could generate quick, accurate football and baseball game summaries. I noted that while this kind of straightforward journalism might suffice for recounting plays, scores, and penalties, the program couldn't really place those basic facts into any larger, more meaningful context. While I'm sure AI has evolved somewhat along these lines in the years that followed, it still can't provide the kind of editorial insights or commentary that lend a piece of writing real depth. If you're happy with a laundry list of information, maybe AI will do the job for you. But if you're looking for writing that has real thought behind it, you want to bring some organic gray matter on board.

Reason 3: It Takes a Person to Understand a Person

Robots don't buy your products or services; people do. How do people make their decisions about who to buy from and why? As I've noted in the past, you can throw all the facts and figures in the world at a potential customer without nudging them toward the proverbial "Buy" button. That's because the decision to buy hinges on emotions, not logic. At the end of the day, all information aside, people buy from you because your content inspires feelings of warmth, agreement, and trust. Professional copywriters know how to trigger those emotions -- not just because we spend years training ourselves in all the necessary techniques, but because we understand how your target audience feels and thinks on a human level as well as a data-based one. In other words, it takes one to know one.

Don't forget that when you work with a living, breathing marketing copywriter, you get more than just  content -- you also get a real interaction with a creative professional who can go back and forth with you on strategy, tactics, and ideas. If that sounds like something you want and need, contact me today and experience the real deal!

Monday, February 13, 2023

Want to Market Yourself More Successfully? Stop Selling and Start Giving

Recently I found myself chatting with a marketing consultant who expressed some frustration with a client's attempts at writing his own PR: "He's a great businessman, he's a strong writer, but he tries to turn everything into an ad."

A salesperson's first instinct is to sell. When given an opportunity to appear in print, we all feel an urge to bombard that empty space with the details of how great we are and why. But we must remember that the only articles that interest readers is one that gives them something of value instead of simply lunging for their wallets. If you want us to make an emotional investment in your brand, ell us why we should care about what you do and how you do it.

You can promote your value through any and all kinds of marketing content. For example, you can issue a press release announcing an item of community interest. Your company's grand opening, improved product line, or expanded service area is a news piece, and your audience gains immediately by knowing more about what's happening in their town or neighborhood. A sufficiently large announcement attracts the regional or national press. In any case, a good press release informs first and advertises second.

What about other forms of marketing writing that use subtlety to win readers' interest in your business? Again, the key is to give them something attractive and meaningful to their daily lives. Here are a couple of examples:

Solve a problem. How many of us have needed a quick, authoritative answer to some vexing question, from how to unclog a drain to how to choose a business broker? Post an online article providing ready answers to a question, and you've taken a thorn out of your lion's paw. Add your company's contact information to the bottom of the article, and that lion will reach out to you the next time a similar thorn comes along.

Entertain. A funny, touching, or exciting human interest story makes a great feature article. Entertaining your readers is a surefire way to grab their attention and make them want to learn more about your products or services. And true-life stories can be powerful testimonials. Touch their hearts and they'll think of you when it's time to buy.

I once knew an insurance agent who made a point of saying, "I don't sell insurance; I help people buy it." When we educate instead of sell, we help our potential customers get what they want. By increasing your value to your target audience by enlightening and entertaining them instead of hard-selling them, you earn their trust, respect, and loyalty. If you'd like help crafting the kind of content that can capture their hearts and minds, contact me so we can position you as the best thing that ever happened to your customers!