At this point, you’re likely familiar with the state of AI copywriting. Tools like ChatGPT exploded in popularity over the past year or two, and now marketers and advertisers everywhere are considering integrating them into their core service offerings.
In other words, they’re using machines and robots instead of humans for their writing.
There are some cases where this is effective, especially if you’re in the business of producing large volumes of decent (but not exceptional) content. But when it comes to AI copywriting, it’s possible that these advanced tools may never be able to eclipse what the best humans are capable of.
The Art of Copywriting
Copywriting is sometimes treated as interchangeable with content writing, but this isn’t really the case. Copywriting is writing specifically for the purposes of persuasion, usually in the context of a landing page, a postcard, or some other advertisement. The goal is to hook the reader, overcome their objections, and convince them to take some sort of meaningful action, such as purchasing a product or signing up for a free consultation.
There are many ways to get access to high-quality copywriting. You can hire a Baltimore marketing agency; marketing agencies typically have access to multiple experienced writers who can help you achieve your goals. You can hire copywriters in-house if you can afford them. You can even work with freelancers.
No matter what, you need someone experienced who can deeply understand your products and services, analyze your target audience, and come up with the perfect phrasing to persuade them to take action.
The Problems With AI Copywriting
So why does AI fall short when it comes to copywriting?
- Knowledge/memory. For starters, generative AI tools don’t have a memory bank, and they don’t have any pre-existing knowledge. Some generative AI tools have live access to the internet, so they can access new information, but they don’t truly have an understanding of the world, nor will they understand your products and services. You may be able to loosely describe what your products and services are, and the generative AI tool can contextualize that information by studying writing on similar products and services, but it’s never going to be able to have a conceptual understanding of your products and services the way a human writer does. This makes things especially challenging in the long term; it’s much better to work with a copywriter who’s been writing about your products and services for a decade than a machine that forgets everything a few minutes after you’re done with it.
- Repetitiveness and predictability. Generative AI may seem very impressive, but it’s kind of a glorified parlor trick. These tools don’t magically conjure speech from nothing, nor do they have a brain-like system trying to figure out the “best” possible text to produce. Instead, they simply attempt to predict the next word based on a simple probabilistic calculation. This leads to a lot of repetitiveness and predictability; in fact, this is why we have so many tools that can automatically detect AI writing in existing materials. Repetitiveness and predictability are very bad for the copywriting world. You can’t hook audiences with tedious phrases they’ve heard a million times already.
- Lack of artistry. Copywriting is something of an art, and it demands creativity and novelty in thinking. Some of the best examples of copywriting are ones that truly break the mold and show the world something new; this simply isn’t possible with a machine that merely replicates the content it finds in a database.
- No persuasive skill. Generative AI isn’t trained on persuasion. It’s a sophisticated parrot, simply copying examples that enable it to respond to queries adequately. Without knowledge of the art of persuasion, most copywriting falls flat.
- Difficulty in refinement. You can use generative AI to build templates or brainstorm possibilities, but refining these examples is difficult. You’re often better off creating something new from scratch.
The Uncertain Future of AI
Most of the AI we’ve experienced thus far is narrow AI, which is often contrasted with general AI. Narrow AI is very, very good at one thing, while general AI is conceivably good at everything. Right now, general AI feels like a distant dream, but the day may come when we use it regularly. General AI may, indeed, be capable of generating passable copywriting, but it would still need to advance itself beyond the realm of our current understanding to surpass the capabilities of a human.
The Most Powerful Combination
Currently, and for the foreseeable future, the best approach to copywriting is to use a human writer, while calling upon AI tools as that copywriter deems fit. Generative AI is excellent for generating ideas, providing examples, and coming up with alternative phrases; as such, it can be an excellent tool in any copywriter’s tool belt. But it’s a poor substitute.
It wasn’t that long ago that scientists were speculating that AI would never be able to surpass human chess players. As we are now, machines have blown past humans in this category. It’s entirely possible that someday, machines will be better than humans at literally everything. But until then, copywriting is a unique skill of human beings.
Featured image provided by Negative Space; Pexels; Thanks!