3 Pitfalls to Avoid with AI Content in Marketing

AI content is nothing new - but the impressively conversational output of newer AI tools like ChatGPT and Bard are new. And with new tools comes the question: how do I use this to make my life easier?

Using generative AI tools in your content process is a fantastic way to buff up your content output, but as with any new technology, there are a few problem areas. 

3 Pitfalls to Avoid with AI Content in Marketing

1. "Replacing" Writers

One of the most common pitfalls with AI content is assuming you can use it 100% instead of having a human writer create content.

While AI content has dramatically improved, it's still not a replacement for a human writer. Using AI to generate subheadings on a page? Great. Using AI to generate an entire page and calling it a day? Not gonna fly.

Your audience can detect fakeness pretty quickly (think "uncanny valley," or those weird early-days animated videos - it just feels "off"). When you rely too much on AI for all your content needs, you'll end up with circular logic, overly repetitive content, and sometimes plain-old errors. We've conducted a few non-scientific tests internally here at BizzyWeb to see how effective AI content can be. Each time when we've run fully AI-generated content past a test audience, they can tell "something is up" with the language. Granted, this is far from comprehensive proof, but you can try out the same experiment yourself - try generating long-form content with AI and then submitting it to several team members without telling them it came from AI and see what kind of feedback you get.

Do this instead: Use AI content as a starting point.

AI content shines in ideation, research and combating writer's block. Use it to kickstart your writing process and as a first draft, but not as a final, polished product. We've successfully used AI to help brainstorm topics, outlines and even first drafts for introductions and conclusions. Just don't expect to pop a prompt into an AI generator and get the same quality as a writer.

To walk the walk with everything above, here's an example. Re-read the previous paragraph, which I wrote. I had an AI generate the same paragraph using prompts instead, which is below. While the AI-generated paragraph is readable, it's also more to-the-point and bland: if the entire blog was written that way, it would be very obvious while you're reading it.

Example paragraph from AI:

Use AI content as a starting point for ideation, research, and combating writer's block. It can be a useful tool for generating topic ideas, outlines, and even first drafts for introductions and conclusions. However, it should never be used as a final, polished product itself. As a blogger, it's important to prioritize quality over quantity and not rely too heavily on AI-generated content. 

 

2. Choosing Quantity > Quality

Another common trap to avoid with AI-generated content is immediately ramping up your production schedule without considering quality. 

Just as you shouldn't replace writers entirely with AI, generating long-form content and then trying to have a writer "clean it up" later is typically not very effective. They often have to spend nearly as much time rewriting as they would have writing it from scratch. 

Google is also aware that people may try to artificially boost their rankings by pumping out higher volumes of content at a lower quality - and its algorithm is trained to reward quality over quantity. If you increase your content production but the content itself is just "passable, but not great" then you won't see any actual SEO benefits. 

Do this instead: Use AI content to save time on repetitive writing tasks. 

Where you can use AI to shave time off the writing process isn't in writing the piece itself - but in the building blocks that get you there. Things like generating outlines, creating subheadings, formulating lists and even basic SEO optimization are all tasks that you can easily run through AI without sacrificing overall quality.

AI can also work to save you time on distributing pieces of content - for example, using AI to convert a video script into other formats like blogs, emails or social media posts.

3. Not fact-checking

The goal of generative AI is to produce conversational content in real-time. It's not to provide the most accurate information. You may find - especially the more niche your ask - that answers produced by AI are not 100% accurate or factual.

That isn't to say that information by default from AI is nonfactual, but it is to say that producing facts isn't its primary goal, so you can't assume that whatever it tells you is correct.

Do this instead: Verify anything that comes from AI.

Trust, but verify. Double-check anything created by AI for accuracy. Not just in terms of numbers or data, but if it passes the sniff test. Any content you use from AI will have your brand behind it, so treat it like you would content produced by a human writer.

Generative AI content is exciting, and the resources it offers are massively helpful. However, be sure that you're not replacing all your manual writing efforts, that you're still focusing on high-quality content over quantity and that you're fact-checking everything produced to get the greatest benefit from AI.

Free Template: Content Audit

As you plan out your content, you should make sure you have goals in mind and track toward them. Your content is the main driver of your SEO, so having an organized plan is key to measuring results! 

With this template you'll get:

  • An organization method for all of your content
  • Ability to share with your company the results of your efforts
  • A place to plan future content and promotion activities

Download the Content Tracker today!

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BizzyWeb is a Minneapolis-based digital marketing and web design agency that helps companies get the high-quality leads they need to grow and thrive. Our tactics include inbound marketing, SEO, advertising, web design, content creation and sales automation. We are an accredited HubSpot Platinum Partner and we offer full-service HubSpot onboarding, enablement and strategy for new and current users.

 

 

Dave Meyer
Author: Dave Meyer
Dave Meyer is President of BizzyWeb. Dave has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and communications and has presented digital marketing topics to thousands of people across the US and Canada.