The internet, LinkedIn and online forums are buzzing with discussion and debate about ChatGPT (as well as the broader use of AI online tools) that can be used to create content for a website or other forms of media.
For many people, they are deciding to use AI tools as a quick and easy way to complete day-to-day digital marketing tasks (like website content creation) which would usually be outsourced or done by a marketing resource.
Although, is using an AI tool like ChatGPT better than hiring a professional copywriter? I decided to ask professional copywriter Jackie McRae to share her thoughts on the topic.
is using Chatgpt better than hiring a copywriter?
Copywriters won’t lose their jobs but their work will change
For copywriters – who earn their living by writing – the introduction of Artificial Intelligence tools such as ChatGPT could be viewed as a threat to our livelihoods.
After all, in a few seconds, and for no cost (or about $30AUD a month for the Pro features), ChatGPT can feed you any information you ask of it, in any form you want it in.
Need an 800-word blog for your website?
It’s all yours within seconds.
How about an email to launch your new product or service?
What about a month’s worth of social media posts that covers your area of expertise?
Just watch as they pop up on your screen!
Jackie even asked it to produce a University essay with in-text citations from researchers in the last ten years and guess what?
(Just to clarify, Jackie used a sample question to test what the platform would deliver after being alerted by the University that ChatGPT was a concern for take-home tests. Jackie would never actually use AI to write an essay or produce exam content).
On a global scale there will be some copywriters who will lose either existing clients or potential new business to the plethora of content writing tools that are powered by AI. A lot of this will be because of their perceived value to their client vs using a free or relatively cheap tool isn’t strong enough.
While this may sound alarming, it is important to think about whether those types of clients are the ‘ideal customer’ for a copywriter in the first place?
Like any industry that has battled technological advances, the role of humans will change and shift. Copywriters that do not produce incredible work will quickly be replaced by basic AI tools unless they improve or evolve their service offering into other areas. Looking at it another way, copywriters who are not strong in a particular niche or become an expert in a particular field may also find it more difficult to compete.
The same competitive pressure will apply to website content creators, digital marketers like myself and anyone else involved in any type of function that is required to create content that is used for websites or social media, some may even simply use these tools to do the work for them.
So like anything in life, things will evolve and people will lose their jobs through natural attrition if they don’t change or adapt.
Should you use the ChatGPT AI tool instead of a copywriter?
AI content writing tools seem quite attractive to use
There’s no denying ChatGPT and other AI tools are re-engineering the way businesses are creating content, especially for websites or social media. If the barrier was time, an inability to write, or simply no idea what to write about, AI can solve all this in moments.
But, like all business services and products, copywriting falls on a spectrum.
At one end, there’s platforms like Upwork and Fiverr where people will pay $5 or $10 for a blog (and a lot of these people are probably using AI copywriting tools anyway).
You will then have freelance copywriters who will specialise in a particular niche they are passionate about. While at the other end of the scale, there are multinational agencies that charge $20K+ per month.
People who engage copywriters do so for more than just content generation. They invest in the craft of copywriting – understanding the goal of the communication piece, the channel it will be published in, the motivations of the audience, tone of voice, syntax, and the numerous copywriting techniques that take a string of words and articulate them in a way that allows them to inspire and influence the reader to think or act in a desired way.
When you first see the content produced from Chat GPT, you might be blown away like Jackie and I were; it definitely surpassed our expectations. However, while the content might be good in what it can discuss, the depth, quality and emotion of the copy generally isn’t.
How to analyse the quality of ChatGPT-generated copy
Take a closer look at the words that are generated
Once you use ChatGPT a few times you will start to recognise the patterns pretty quickly, it almost feels like it is capturing the first twenty sentences of the top web pages from a web search and putting those sentences together with a fair amount of repetition.
AI tools can produce great volumes of copy, but just because it is ‘new’ copy with lots of words doesn’t make it original or even high quality – that is the differentiator.
- The content follows very obvious patterns (formulas are common in copywriting but professional copywriters know how to humanise them)
- The copy is generally dry – it understands the words it needs to deliver, but doesn’t know how to deliver them.
- The copy isn’t written specifically for a certain audience or platform – even if briefed this way, it doesn’t appreciate or consider the demographics or psychographics of an audience or the unique attributes of the channel.
- The copy isn’t written with your brand’s unique key messages or tone of voice.
- The copy can only respond to the content it is fed and the content it can draw from, so it may lack objectivity, accuracy, and providing a complete (or niche) picture.
What are the benefits of using a copywriter instead of ChatGPT?
Producing content is just about lots of words, you need more than that.
The art of copywriting isn’t in the writing, it’s in listening and the questioning. Highly skilled, experienced copywriters ask quality questions to generate quality responses which is how they can create quality content. They can appreciate angles, hooks and key messages from conversations, and many understand behavioural science and consumer psychology to effectively use words to arouse the reader’s interest.
The objective for a copywriter is to penetrate human nature’s desire to want to do more, have more, and be more. AI cannot clarify what you want, nor can it build on the content it gives you without you asking it to do so again.
Humans understand humans.
Copywriting humans understand the humans they write for, and on behalf of, to deliver compelling narrative and elicit a desired response. As a copywriter with a particular interest in award, tender and grant writing, Jackie asked how ChatGPT could help business owners enter awards.
It supports the premise that AI can’t replace humans:
“Hello! As an Al language model, I can certainly provide some guidance on how to write award entries for nominees. However, I cannot directly write an award entry on behalf of a person or organization. Writing an award entry requires a deep understanding of the nominee’s accomplishments, strengths, and impact, which can only be provided by the nominator.”
ChatGPT also warned:
“There is a possibility of two competitors using Al-generated content and ending up with the same or similar copy. Since the algorithms used by Al models like ChatGPT are based on large datasets and statistical models, there’s always a chance that the same phrases or language may be generated by different models.”
While it went on to say it’s not a likely event, in today’s digital world the stakes could be too high to risk it.
What happens if everyone uses ChatGPT?
When everyone uses similar tools then everything will feel the same
If business owners, freelance digital marketers, agencies or even contractors on copywriting websites all start relying on ChatGPT to create their content, you will eventually have a situation where lots of sites will be displaying very similar copy – it’s as simple as that.
The nature of how it all works will mean that the most common questions will continually have very similar answers generated, if hundreds of thousands of websites around the world have this same information there is little chance they will win the online battle and achieve search ranking positions with generic content.
Worst still, to a normal human being it won’t be compelling enough to convert a website visitor into someone that wants to engage with a business, make a purchase etc.
Perhaps over time the AI tools will evolve and we may not be able to tell the difference, but like most skilled trades there will always be a difference in quality of output & thoughts generated.
Will AI generated content help improve SEO rankings for A website?
AI content used for ranking websites is a hot topic of debate
Even if you don’t consider the use of a copywriter and think that ChatGPT will solve all your SEO content creation requirements to improve your keyword rankings – think again.
Yes, if your website right now has very little content, using ChatGPT can improve this with a quick solution to write introductions, describe services or products etc. It can produce volumes of text at the push of a button very quickly, faster than you can type actually.
But guess what?
Google has re-iterated that at the end of the day, quality content will win out over anything that is poorly written, doesn’t help the end user or is similar to other websites that already exist. So they don’t care how it is created – what’s more important is the overall quality & relevance of the output. Read their position on the matter in their Search Guidance About AI-generated content.
Their rules haven’t changed: getting found online and converting visitors into potential customers will still come down to how well your business is presented, the depth of your content, how much it resonates to spark an emotional reaction and of course your actual product/service offering.
Having pages stuffed with generic paragraphs of text (that may be similar to other businesses who decide to use AI tools) won’t help you achieve this, in fact the other day I flicked past a handful of websites for pest control that were written to rank organically but didn’t even prove their expertise.
The only exception may be if you are in a niche business sector or location that has little competition online for similar products or services.
Working with AI content creation tools
You could use AI content creation tools to improve the speed of production
AI tools can play a significant function in the copywriting process, if you allow them to. Jackie has been dabbling in ChatGPT for a few months now, and here are the top five benefits she sees for professional copywriters when working with ChatGPT:
- Fast track the creative process.
- Ask questions to elicit direct responses: no more trawling 10 websites to find information.
- Get it to elaborate on content at my request.
- Create initial drafts that can be honed and edited, saving hours of time writing from scratch.
- Ask it to reproduce the content in different styles – with humour, excitement, professionalism, warning etc – to see the differences in language.
With AI here to stay, it will still be important for brands to resonate with prospects and set themselves apart from competitors. There’s only so much a computer generated program can do for a business – when you work with a copywriter who works with ChatGPT, you’re going to blow the sole-reliance-on-AI-users out of the water by delivering a brand story that is more meaningful and relevant to humans reading it.
What are the best AI copywriting tools available online?
There are so many online content writing tools available
The list of AI copywriting tools that you can use are growing by the day. You can do lots of searches online for what are the ‘best AI copywriting tools’ but guess what, it is hard to believe which list or review is accurate as most websites are either getting paid to promote them or the content pages were written to rank organically to get discovered.
This means the ‘best AI copywriting tool’ can only really be determined by trying them for yourself to see which one feels easy enough to use and produces outputs that are usable for your situation.
If you’re yet to dip your toe in the AI water, here are some you may want to experiment with:
What does a ChatGPT AI written piece of content look like?
Take a look at a real example
What you have been reading so far has been written by Jackie, a professional copywriter, and I, a digital marketing consultant, as we wanted to answer some of the common questions we are fielding from our respective clients. Below is the original ChatGPT generated response to a question we posed about whether AI tools like ChatGPT are a threat to copywriters, and should businesses use AI tools.
Artificial intelligence (AI) tools such as ChatGPT are rapidly advancing, and their impact on the copywriting industry is an area of concern for many people. While these tools have the potential to automate some aspects of copywriting and change the way people create new copy, they are unlikely to completely replace human copywriters.
One of the primary advantages of AI tools like ChatGPT is their ability to quickly generate large amounts of content. For example, a chatbot like ChatGPT can generate responses to user queries or generate articles on a particular topic in a matter of seconds. This speed and efficiency can be beneficial for businesses that need to produce large amounts of content quickly and with minimal costs.
However, the quality of the content generated by AI tools is still not up to the standards expected by most clients. AI-generated content can lack the nuance, tone, and creativity that are hallmarks of human writing. As a result, the use of AI tools is unlikely to completely replace human copywriters in the near future.
Moreover, copywriting is more than just writing words on a page. It involves understanding the target audience, creating messaging that resonates with them, and ensuring that the content aligns with the company’s overall brand strategy. These tasks require a human touch and an understanding of the subtleties of human communication that AI tools are not yet capable of replicating.
In some cases, AI tools like ChatGPT can even augment the work of human copywriters, helping them generate ideas or complete routine tasks more quickly. For example, a copywriter might use an AI tool to generate headlines, freeing up time to focus on crafting more complex and nuanced content.
While the use of AI tools may lead to some changes in the copywriting industry, it is unlikely to take away jobs entirely. As with other technological advances, the introduction of AI tools will likely lead to new opportunities for human copywriters who are able to adapt and learn to use these tools effectively.
In conclusion, AI tools like ChatGPT are unlikely to pose a significant threat to the copywriting industry in the near future. While these tools have the potential to automate some aspects of copywriting, they are still unable to match the creativity and human touch that are essential to effective copywriting. Human copywriters will still be needed to produce high-quality content that resonates with the target audience and aligns with the company’s overall brand strategy.
At first glance it looks excellent and for many people it may well be. Although for the business owners who wish to truly stand out, you will quickly see it is a fairly generic answer without a lot of depth.
Compare a client’s writing, ChatGPT’s writing, and a copywriter’s writing
Take a look at a real world example and how it differs
Jackie took a small business’ About page on their website and asked ChatGPT to produce content to replace it. She
also asked her copywriter to create copy for the same About page. Here’s what each version looks like…
Welcome to our Novated Leasing company’s About Page! We’re a team of passionate professionals dedicated to providing quality personal service to help our clients save money. We understand that navigating the world of novated leasing can be confusing and overwhelming, which is why we take the time to explain all facets of leasing and ensure that our clients have a clear understanding of their options.
Our approach is tailored to each individual client, as we understand that everyone’s circumstances and needs are different. We believe in building strong relationships with our clients, so that we can better understand their unique requirements and work towards achieving the best outcomes for them.
We are proud to have relationships with some of the biggest novated leasing companies in Australia. This allows us to offer our clients a wide range of options, and ensures that we are always up to date with the latest products and services available.
At our Novated Leasing company, we pride ourselves on our commitment to excellence. We are constantly striving to improve our services and processes, so that we can continue to provide our clients with the best possible experience.
Thank you for considering our Novated Leasing company for your leasing needs. We look forward to working with you to achieve your goals and save you money.
We’ve Got You Covered
Our team at [Business Name] have extensive experience in the financial services industry and will provide to you a quality of personal service that is hard to find in these days of email and voice mail. We want you to know we are in the business of helping employees “save money” where they can, we are not in the business of “selling cars”.
With an impartial approach you will be guided through the entire Novated Leasing process, step by step, to ensure you have a full understanding of the benefits and any pitfalls of the product. Our team take our commitment to providing motor vehicle leases that are suitable and affordable to our clients very seriously.
Taking the time to explain all facets of the lease including vehicle selection, lease terms, exit strategies and inclusions so that you are well informed and in a position to make the decision that will benefit you the most.
To ensure you receive the best rates possible, we have partnered with one of Australia’s premium Novated Lease companies, [Business Name], which will also guarantee you the best level of ongoing service for the life of your lease.
We are dedicated to achieve the best result for our clients. Our understanding of the Australian tax system, automotive industry and by having access to the best providers, has put [Business] to the forefront of the salary packaged vehicle market and guarantees you total satisfaction when acquiring your Novated Lease.
Experience the [business name] difference to truly understand why this is the way leasing should be.
[Business Name] – Proudly Driving Tax Savings for SMEs
Welcome to [Business Name], Australia’s first novated leasing brokerage for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and their employees.
We’re proud of our commitment to drive tax savings for small businesses and the individuals they employ. There’s no greater feeling than helping clients connect with a fully maintained novated lease which provides an ATO-endorsed, tax-effective way for employees to get a great car to drive around in and put more money back into their bank account.
Under the direction of [Founder’s Name], former Financial Planner with over three decades’ experience, [Business Name] was founded on three respected principles that underpin financial planning services:
- Fiduciary Duty – we act in the best interest of our clients and put their needs above all else. This includes full transparency, no hidden fees, and brokering the most appropriate solution for each client’s unique needs
- Education – we believe knowledge is power and have created a number of resources to educate Australians on novated leasing so that they can make informed decisions
- Integrity – we adhere to high ethical standards and act with integrity, from the hands-on support we provide employers and payroll teams to our advice around lease terms and exit strategies and our ongoing customer service.
How We Work
Our goal is to provide our clients with a stress-free and seamless novated lease experience, ensuring that they can get on with enjoying their new vehicle without having to worry about the financial details.
Every novated lease we help establish takes a tailored approach to our clients’ unique circumstances. We are dedicated to providing independent advice and support every step of the way, from helping small businesses attract and retain staff by setting novated leasing up through their payroll, to assisting employees with tax saving vehicle options, budgeting anticipated car expenses, and providing the most suitable novated lease options.
Our exclusive relationships with some of the largest novated leasing companies in Australia (who largely focus on big business and multinationals) means small business owners and their employees now have access to tax savings they otherwise would not have been able to take advantage of.
When you partner with us, you’ll see our client-focused approach extends beyond the lease setup. We’re here to provide ongoing support and advice, help our clients manage their novated lease and ensure you get the most out of your vehicle.
Our team is always on hand to answer any questions and provide support whenever it is needed. If you have a question, we have the answer! We’d love to hear from you.
Analysing the versions
Read over the different versions a couple of times and you will quickly see that ChatGPT did an okay job producing content based on a brief that was pretty light on details. Jackie highlighted the key words and concepts from the client’s version to generate an AI generated body of copy. No doubt there are lots of different ways to approach it and different tools may have produced other variations, although you can see compared to a professionally written piece, there is a stark difference.
The copywriter’s version focuses more on the values as well the problems financial planning can solve. This was derived after asking the client questions about the relevance and importance of these aspects to them & their clients. The client’s version also had no clear introduction, body, and conclusion, and included a few ill-constructed sentences as well as some grammatical errors. The copywriter introduced sub headings to break up the text and allowed the reader to effortlessly follow along from start to finish through appropriate syntax (order) and segues.
The type of focus that is created by a professional copywriter helps real humans consume the information and understand it quickly. The combination of feature/benefit or problem/solution together with headings/sub headings means the content is also better understood by search engines which can potentially improve keyword ranking performance. The page structure, if set up correctly, can make a page easy to be crawled, understood & a great change of being indexed by Google.
More importantly the extra contextual depth of the information vs the standard paragraph in the ChatGPT or Client versions, creates a greater opportunity to convince a reader to take action, thus converting a visitor to a potential customer. All of this could be enhanced a little further by engaging an SEO specialist to do another round of tweaking to the headings or body copy to include specific search keyword phrases the business wants to get found for.
Using AI content tools or a copywriter is here to stay
The momentum has started to shift and there is no denying that the plethora of AI copywriting tools is quickly changing the landscape. As with any industry that faces technology advancements, think Uber vs taxi’s, there is always upheaval. Although eventually the dust settles as people figure out what may or may not be useful for them.
In the case of copywriters, content creators and digital marketers there will be plenty of instances where they lose clients, miss out on jobs or are not considered as business owners choose to use other methods. Although, this has been the case for many years now, its up to those individuals to make sure their value is very clear & they have the tools to attract the right type of client.
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