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Copywriting: what will survive in the age of AI content automation

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Is copywriting a dying artform? What will survive in the age of AI content automation?

Digital disruption. Uber, AirBnB, Menulog. It’s a movement that’s transforming the way traditional industries operate and it’s increasingly moving into the realm of communication.

To me, copywriting always seemed like the sacrosanct pillar of traditional industry that would survive in the digital world. The intrinsically human aspect of language and communication could never be replicated as effectively by something as inhuman as a machine, right? We’ve been perfecting the art for centuries and these guys are just getting started.

Well, nothing is sacred and the future will inevitably destroy everything you hold dear. Turns out artificial intelligence is incredibly intuitive and very, very good at creating engaging content in lieu of a living, breathing human.

As a copywriter, this is a particularly sensitive subject (don’t replace me!). As a creative director, I appreciate the economy of content automation for a range of business activities, and look forward to seeing how automation will streamline content departments and scale our strategies.

AI and content automation will soon transform the way businesses communicate across B2B and B2C. The traditional roles that content and copywriters perform today will almost certainly change in the age of AI as well. To what exactly? The jury’s still out on that one.

Just a glance at some of the new AI technologies businesses are leveraging to communicate with their customer base tells me that us ol’ wordsmiths are in for an interesting ride.

Conversational commerce

Chatbots are conversational agents powered by AI computer programs. They interactively simulate intelligent consumer conversations across any ‘chat’ platform. That means there’s a high chance you’ve interacted with a chatbot via Facebook Messenger, texts, WhatsApp or even Slack without knowing it. While this affects customer service far more than copywriting, it will surely influence the channels businesses opt for when communicating with their customers. Why would you send an email when you can chat in real time, collecting real data, and meeting real customer needs?

Here we have an example of Chatbots closing the gap between the online and instore experience, while simultaneously providing greater flexibility for interaction across multiple platforms outside the brand – going above and beyond the capabilities of live chat.

Indeed social animators provide a perfect example of AI supporting a brand’s messaging and Chatbots are revolutionising the way businesses interact with their customers, providing an economic opportunity for businesses to swiftly scale personalised and beneficial interactions with their customers.

Content automation

Back in the old days businesses used to publish one piece of content for thousands of readers. Now they use AI to publish thousands of pieces of content for each reader. The advantage of automated content writing? Personalised content tailored to customers based on their user profile (demographic, browsing patterns, personal data etc) that reflects their interests and meets their needs.

There’s a good chance you’ve already read a variety of content written by AI. News articles, blog posts, and a whole range of other long and short form content writing activities are increasingly being automated, using smart algorithms and data points to craft simple narratives. Content automation goes hand in hand with your social media and SEO strategy, allowing you to produce a lot of content that resonates with a diverse audience. What would take a team of online content writers months to pen and publish can be produced in a fraction of the time using content automation platforms.

Content automation will certainly augment the role of future content marketers, with automated syndication and content promotion being adopted into digital strategies, but can the same be said for online content writers? Some argue that AI will never perform well enough to replace humans, but in a field where quantity trumps quality, does it have to?

Content automation will soon become an integral part of business content marketing strategy, with content writers likely pivoting to focus on more complex, creative writing and manage automated activity. That’s my theory anyway.

AI content generation

The rise of AI in natural language processing is where things get interesting (and scary, depending who you ask). Cognitive content generation is transforming the role of copywriting and communications entirely, and represents true digital disruption, with machine learning algorithms now able to identify, interpret and understand emotion to scientifically generate effective marketing messages.

Platforms like Convincely use natural language processing algorithms and advanced image processing to consider text and understand emotion. Creepy. It then analyses thousands of semantic permutations to craft conversion focused messages that inspire emotion and drive action. Great, that’s my job.

Cognitive AI provides businesses with a unique opportunity to leverage language in a way that optimises and scales their brand. Integration across multiple marketing and ad platforms that personalise, reconcile and optimise campaigns and messages, without the in house cost of a team of copywriters.

So if we now have AI scientifically producing longform content and complex marketing copy, where exactly does that leave the copywriter? Businesses should certainly consider adopting AI into their content and marketing strategy, If we consider other automated activities – data analytics, e-marketing etc, these processes still require human oversight to function effectively, but for how much longer? Fear not friends, it’s not Skynet – yet.

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