How AI is Changing Content Writing

April 6, 2020 Content Marketing no comments

The incredible leaps that we have been experiencing in various applications of machine learning and AI over the last couple of years have also started to seep in content writing.

This is not surprising considering that natural language processing has been one of the main focuses of contemporary AI research (the other being image recognition).

In this article, we will touch upon the scary elephant in the room – AI as the killer of human content writers. However, we will mostly investigate how current and future AI applications are changing content writing, especially commercial writing.

The super-scary, job-stealing pachyderm in the room

Before investigating how AI is changing content writing, it is probably a good idea to address something that has been weighing on the minds of content writers – am I going to be replaced by AI?

The short answer is no.

The long answer is ‘not unless a completely paradigm-shifting technology is brought to life’.

The main reason so many people worry about AI replacing human writers is that not that many people understand the level at which AI operates now.

Namely, over 99% of all AI applications in practice today revolve around a concept called backpropagation, first theorized in the 1980s by Geoffrey Hinton. After more than three decades, the hardware is finally good enough to put this concept into practice and it works.

For certain purposes.

For certain, very limited purposes.

In order for AI to even come close to human writing capabilities, AI would have to be completely reimagined. At the moment, however, it seems people are perfectly content with perfecting the backpropagation-based AI applications. At least the vast, vast majority of them.

In short, content writers can sleep easily.

That being said, certain applications of AI as it is are changing content writing, especially within the content marketing framework.

AI getting some outsourced work

Okay, this one feels like going totally against what’s written above, but you need to understand what kind of content we are discussing.

Namely, we are talking about content that is barely a notch beyond serving data.

For example, these might include financial reports which mostly revolve around filling in gaps between numbers. Or sporting event reports which also demonstrably lack the human touch.

Narrative Science, the company behind the aforementioned football report later launched a service that turns data into reports that seem as if written by people. Here’s a sample report.

Another big player in the natural language generation game is Automated Insights. Still, their content also boils down to reports and structured content such as client updates, product descriptions, stock and other financial analysis.

While this may seem like a big deal, it is actually a very niche type of content that is being outsourced to AI and it’s not like it is the type of content us humans like to write.

New types of content to write

Just as we’re witnessing AI taking over some menial writing from human content writers, the new developments in AI create other kinds of work.

Perhaps the most obvious example of this are chatbots – pieces of software with some basic AI capabilities deployed online to meet the various needs that organizations may have.

Custom-facing chatbots are by far the most common, helping provide some basic customer support. Marketing chatbots have also become quite the rage and many organizations even employ chatbots as part of their employee-facing HR efforts.

Since chatbots are not really self-sufficient, they still need humans to write their responses when they are being set up and this can be an exciting and interesting bit of content writing.

It involves predicting interactions, coming up with various approaches to customers (employees, leads), lots of conversational writing and much more.

Help with research and topic suggestions

A huge part of content writing is the preparation, in other words, research of the potential topics, keywords, sentiment and everything else that goes into crafting a well-performing piece of content.

In today’s world where everyone does at least a bit of SEO, this matters more than ever.

MarketMuse is a great example of this. It is an AI-based software that takes your topic research to another level. Once you specify your topic, their ML algorithms suggest what you should write and how to approach it.

Another tool, Atomic Reach features ML-based content analysis which helps companies and brands maintain consistency across their various content channels. This helps content writers ensure that their work is always on-brand and working in unison.

Market Brew is also a very interesting tool as it uses AI to simulate search engine behavior. This gives you the opportunity to see how content and SEO changes that you are thinking of making will affect the search engine performance of your content.

In other words, you do not have to wait for days and weeks to see the effects of your changes.

AI-based writing aids

AI-based writing aids go well beyond spelling-checkers of old that had very limited functionalities. Modern writing aids have an almost human-level grasp of grammar and they can even help with style, readability, and structure.

The best of them even have a personalized approach to individual users, identifying the weakest parts in their writing and focusing the suggestions on those pain points.

To understand how great these aids are, just try to find a self-respecting content writer who doesn’t use one such tool.

You’ll be searching for a long time.

Better targeted content

Another application of AI in content is helping with segmentation and targeting various audiences with more personalized content.

No matter how good you are at segmentation, you simply cannot process the amount of data that AI-powered software can, providing you with an insane amount of data on how, when and where to serve the most effective content.

The perfect example of this application of AI is in email marketing where every little help counts, leading to higher open rates, click rates and, ultimately, sales.

Of course, this does mean that content writers will have more on their plate, but, hey, at least the jobs aren’t disappearing.

Automated product recommendations and cart abandonment messages are another way in which AI has entered digital marketing. They give content writers a chance to once again flex their skills in order to capture customers.

Closing Word

On the one hand, AI is far from being able to write anything more than the simplest reports, making it unlikely that human content writers will be replaced any time soon.

On the other hand, its many applications have already started changing content writing.

The good news is that it’s for the better.

Jennifer Wilson is a writer at She knows business processes and operations management inside out. As she understands all the challenges of running a small business firsthand, it’s her mission to tackle the topics that are most relevant to entrepreneurs and offer viable solutions.

Social Media Marketing Strategies to Tide Over COVID-19

March 30, 2020 Social Influence no comments

Business photo created by jcomp –

COVID-19 (aka the novel Coronavirus) has forced governments around the world to impose travel restrictions and movement lock down orders. This has resulted in huge financial losses for consumer businesses, particularly those in the travel, retail, lifestyle and F&B sectors.

Professionals in the entertainment and events spaces have also seen a significant drop in their incomes, as shows are cancelled or postponed.

How to Prevent Your Business from Permanently Closing Amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

March 27, 2020 Business and Management 1 comment

The world seems frozen as people batten down at home in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

In countries around the world, some businesses closed by order of the governor of that state. Others chose to shut down for the safety of their customers and employees. Everyone has tried to do their part to slow the spread of this thing in the hopes that it will be over sooner rather than later.

How You Should Do Content Marketing in a Crisis

March 23, 2020 Content Marketing no comments

Nobody likes crises. They suck big time—our health, our jobs, our businesses, our finances, and maybe even our very lives are affected.

From global pandemics like COVID-19 (aka the novel Coronavirus), terrorist bombings, environmental disasters, to financial downturns, crises are Black Swan events (ie “unknown unknowns”) that are both unpredictable AND disastrous. Unfortunately, such catastrophic events are likely to be more common in our VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) world.

Does My Business Need a Sign?

March 17, 2020 Business and Management no comments

There are many reasons your business does need a sign, and there are many different types of signage you can use. Your sign is your opportunity to increase brand awareness and show the world who you are. Whether you’re a brand-new company and need to get the word out or you’ve been around for a while and need a fresh, new face, signage is a smart and inexpensive way to start.

As of 2019, the Small Business Administration reports there were around 30.7 small businesses in the United States. The number varies from state to state and city to city, of course. No matter where you are, you have competition, either directly or for the attention of local citizens.

If you want to drive passersby into your store and direct them once they arrive, pay particular attention to your signage. Here are seven reasons your business needs a sign and some best practices to help you design the right ones for your company.

1. Get the Word Out

Your signage helps get the word that you’re open and ready for customers. The name of your store likely tells people what you offer. A store sign with your name and logo should go at the entrance to your store. However, make sure the placement works for different distances. Will people driving down the street be able to see the sign? What about someone in the parking lot of the strip mall you’re in or inside an indoor mall? Check the sign out from different distances to ensure it is visible from different angles and far and near.

2. Advertise to Motorists

Large signs, such as billboards, help you advertise your business to motorists. People commute to work nearly every day of the week. If you can get your information in front of them, you have a captive audience. At least some of these people will turn into customers.

A general rule of thumb in advertising is that people have to see or hear your brand name seven times before they remember it. Some today might argue this number is much higher because of the sheer amount of advertising surrounding us, but large signage allows you to advertise daily and get your name out there over and over.

3. Offer Directions Inside Your Store

How do you guide people once they enter your store? Signage isn’t only for your brand name or outside ads. You can also use directional cues inside your store to show customers where to go.

For example, you might use a sign to guide people to the checkout area. Other signage can indicate clearance items, sale items or direct customers to new arrivals. Even something as simple as arrows placed on the floor helps guide customers in the direction you’d like them to go.

4. Share Sales Information

Although you need a schedule for marketing specific promotions via various media, there may be times when you have a pop-up sale. For example, if you own a bakery and everyone is buying bear claws one morning, it might be time to create a sign announcing glazed doughnuts for half off.

The key to sales-based signage is keeping it general or using signage you can change on the fly. Digital signage is an excellent way to advertise a pop-up sale and get people in your store, for example. If you can’t yet afford a digital sign, use a standard one that says “50% off” and add a small printout that tells what is on sale that day. You could also create a sign that reads, “50% off special. Ask inside.”

5. Entertain the Masses

Use signs to entertain people and let them know you have a good sense of humor. You’ve probably driven past real estate offices or churches that have an outdoor sign they regularly update with funny sayings. Figure out a play on words, such as something about “We’re good for your ‘sole'” for a shoe store, and add humorous notes for people to enjoy.

6. Show Your Location

If you have a storefront or office space outside a large mall, people might have a hard time locating you. A sign shows your location and serves as a marker for customers and delivery people. You can even add information on your website or tell those who call to watch for the large, lighted sign with your name on it. Make sure any signage is clearly visible from the street.

7. Educate Your Customers

Some products require a bit of information to convince the consumer to buy. Your sales staff may be busy or not always have time to direct each customer through the education process. Signage can help when the staff gets tied up elsewhere. Use signs to explain what a product does or how to use a demo. While not as effective as an actual in-person demonstration, self-serve demos can still help increase sales.

Signage Matters

Signage attracts new customers and makes people aware of what your organization offers. However, poorly designed signage creates an unprofessional look that can turn off customers. Keep smart design practices in mind. Make sure there is enough contrast to easily read any words or numbers on the sign and that colors pop against the background. If you aren’t sure about your signage, seek the advice of a professional designer, and get feedback on how to make it better.

Lexie Lu

Lexie is a graphic designer and marketing enthusiast. She loves checking out local flea markets and taking her goldendoodle on hikes. Follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner and check out her design blog, Design Roast.