Is generative AI going to take your content marketing job?

In the classic movie The Graduate, recent college grad Benjamin Braddock (played by Dustin Hoffman) gets some advice about his future from one of his parent’s friends.

“I just wanna say one word to you,” the man says, “Plastics.”

If The Graduate were remade today, “Plastics” might be replaced with “Prompt engineer.”

Because, for content marketers, as we all know, generative AI is here and getting more pervasive and powerful by the moment.

Basically, if you wanna succeed in the brave new world of content marketing, you’re going to have to learn to not only live with AI but learn to marshal it.

In a recent episode of The B2B Content Show I had a really great discussion about all things AI with Sid Ewing, VP of Marketing at Xola. Things like:

–The biggest challenges generative AI poses for content marketers
–How learning to prompt AI can supercharge writing
–Why AI writing is just OK when left to its own devices
–Where all of this is headed 

If you’re fascinated by AI and eager to learn as much as you can, this episode is worth a listen!

Is generative AI going to take your content marketing job? Video summary:


Is generative AI going to take your content marketing job? Transcript:

Jeremy: In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge for B2B marketers when it comes to generative AI?

Sid: Thanks for having me. I believe the biggest concern with using generative AI, particularly in content creation, is the tendency for people to rely solely on AI-generated content without adding their own input. There is a risk that individuals will input general terms and receive decent but not truly engaging writing. AI is not yet capable of producing content that is as unique and captivating as what people want to read. So, the challenge lies in becoming a prompt engineer and utilizing AI as a tool to enhance original ideas rather than relying solely on its output.

Jeremy: That’s an interesting point. So, you’re saying that while AI can generate content, it may lack the level of quality and engagement that human-created content can offer. Can you elaborate on why that is the case?

Sid: Certainly. One aspect is the tone and voice of the content. To overcome this limitation, content writers need to become exceptional prompt engineers. They should train the AI to understand their specific writing style and voice. By providing writing style examples and being specific in their prompts, content writers can achieve better results. It’s about feeding the AI with the necessary information to generate content in the desired style. Additionally, being specific and digging deeper into topics can help generate more unique and valuable content.

Jeremy: I see what you mean. So, being more specific and providing a clear direction to the AI can help produce better results. Jeremy, as someone with a writing background, what are your thoughts on this? Do you believe there are certain aspects of writing that AI might never be able to replicate?

Jeremy: Thanks for having me. It’s an intriguing question. From my experience, AI-generated content, even when trained on specific styles, often lacks the same level of freshness and creativity that comes from the human thought process. Take, for example, an app I’ve used for generating show notes. While it can provide basic show notes, comparing it to what I had already written showed a significant difference in quality. What I had written had a certain irreverent style that I don’t think the AI could have captured. It’s about those moments of inspiration and the control over language that I believe AI struggles to replicate.

Sid: I completely agree. While AI can mimic certain styles and improve with training, it can’t replace the generation of new, creative ideas that come from the human mind. AI is a helpful tool, but it can’t fully replace the human touch in writing.

Jeremy: It’s interesting to hear both perspectives. While AI has its benefits, it seems that human creativity and the ability to generate unique ideas are still essential. Sid, you mentioned the importance of in-house content writers who are embedded in the industry. Could you expand on why having such writers is valuable?

Sid: Absolutely. In my experience as a VP of marketing in software companies, having in-house content writers who are deeply involved in the industry has proven invaluable. These writers have the knowledge, expertise, and understanding of our products, customers, and industry. They can naturally incorporate the right keywords and buzzwords into their writing. It’s about connecting with the audience on a deeper level and producing content that truly resonates. While it may seem expensive to have full-time content writers, the value they bring in terms of traffic, backlinks, and social media engagement outweighs the cost.

Jeremy: That’s a great point. The expertise and understanding of the industry that in-house writers bring can result in more valuable and shareable content. Jeremy, do you have any thoughts on the potential impact of AI on content creation and the role of human writers?

Jeremy: Absolutely. While AI can be useful for those without extensive writing skills, I find that as a trained writer, it’s often more engaging and fulfilling to create content myself. The mastery of language and the ability to control the written word is something I value. It’s about capturing the nuances and idiosyncrasies that make content truly exceptional. AI might have its place in certain scenarios, but for me, the experience of writing myself and being in control of the language is something that I don’t want to relinquish to a machine.

Jeremy: That’s an interesting perspective, Jeremy. It highlights the unique value that human writers bring to the table. Finally, both of you have discussed the need for content that goes beyond meeting KPIs and is genuinely interesting and shareable. Sid, any final thoughts on this topic?

Sid: Absolutely. It’s crucial for marketers to go beyond fulfilling quantity-based metrics and focus on creating content that genuinely captivates the audience. Content that people want to share and engage with. It’s about investing the time to dig deeper, develop a human touch, and produce content that stands out. AI can assist in generating ideas, but it’s the human touch and originality that truly make a difference.

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