How to use AI writing tools to your advantage

Artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionized the way we live and work, and writing is no exception. With the help of AI-powered writing tools, writers can generate ideas, improve their writing skills, and automate time-consuming writing tasks. Even prior to the advent of ChatGPT and other conversational AI bots that now act as personal writing assistants, several companies have for months and even year, developed some of the leading AI writing tools available today such as Writesonic, Jasper (formerly known as, Grammarly, ProWritingAid, Copysmith, Rytr, Articoolo, and more. These tools use machine learning algorithms to analyze large amounts of data, learn from it, and generate human-like content as the output. In this article, we’ll explore how you can use AI writing tools to your advantage, and which tools are the best fit for practical parts of the writing process.

What is AI Writing?

AI writing is a technology that uses natural language processing (NLP) algorithms and machine learning (ML) models to generate content without human intervention. AI writing software are usually designed to help with specific writing tasks, such as generating blog articles, email newsletters, social media posts, and even creative writing.

AI writing tools have proven to be a game-changer for many creators and businesses. For instance, the team at HubSpot has used AI writing tools like Writesonic to create dozens of social media posts in just a few minutes. Content creators have also creatively applied AI writing tools – in 2020, a group of digital marketers used GPT-3 to generate several blog posts that received thousands of views and shares. The tool’s ability to generate content quickly and efficiently helped them reach a broader audience, resulting in increased traffic and engagement. Even traditional authors have used AI writing tools to generate outlines and ideas for their books. A popular tool for this is Articoolo, which allows writers to input a topic or keyword and generates a full-length article on that topic in just a few seconds.

Can an AI Write My Essay?

Yes, in theory and practice, AI can write your entire essay (and I don’t even want to think about what teachers and professors are doing now to grade students’ work with this as a much more accessible technology). Still, while AI writing tools can be useful in generating content, they’re not yet advanced enough to write an entire essay without any human input. Students and other essay writers will still need to guide the writing as much as possible to ensure that it addresses the objectives of the essay.

Where essay writers can use AI tools most effectively today will be in assisting with idea generation, improving writing, and providing suggestions for revisions. For example, tools like Grammarly may provide suggestions for essay structure or offer ways to improve the essay’s clarity, style, or grammar. Another creative application could also be to use AI to search for research sources to support an essay’s arguments.

Can an AI Write a Script?

AI writing tools can assist in scriptwriting by providing suggestions for character dialogue, plot development, and even story arcs. While an AI writing tool probably can’t write an entire Oscar award-winning script on its own, they can be useful in providing ideas and improving the writing process.

The entertainment industry has already started using AI writing tools to generate scripts for movies, TV shows, and video games. In 2016, a short film titled Sunspring was created using an AI writing tool called Benjamin. Benjamin, which was developed by filmmaker Ross Goodwin, used a recurrent neural network to analyze hundreds of science fiction screenplays and generate a script for the film. Even media giants like Netflix has been using AI writing tools like LDA (Latent Dirichlet Allocation) to analyze viewer data and generate script ideas for its original shows. The streaming giant also used an AI writing tool called AIVA to generate a musical score for one of its shows.

How Do I Create Content for My Blog Using AI?

Creating content for a blog can be a time-consuming process, especially if you’re looking to produce high-quality, engaging content consistently. Fortunately, AI writing tools have made it easier to create blog content quickly and efficiently.

One popular AI writing tool for blogs is Jasper. Jasper offers a variety of features, including content ideation, writing, and editing. For example, if you’re struggling to come up with a blog post idea, you can use their content ideation feature to generate multiple ideas based on a keyword or topic. The tool uses machine learning to analyze thousands of blog posts and suggest ideas that will perform well.

AI writing tools can also help with writing SEO-optimized blog articles. AI tools can help improve the quality of your blog content by suggesting relevant keywords, optimizing meta descriptions and titles, and analyzing the content’s readability. SurferSEO is an AI-powered SEO writing tool that uses machine learning algorithms to analyze search engine results and suggest relevant keywords and phrases for your blog posts. It can also provide feedback on the length of the content, its structure, and readability. Clearscope is another tool that uses AI to analyze your content, and the app will suggest keywords and topics that can help improve its relevance and ranking on search engines. It’s like a real-time grader for SEO.

Practical Ways to Start Using AI Writing Tools

Now that we’ve covered the basics of AI writing tools, let’s discuss how you can use them to your advantage. Here are some tips for using AI writing tools effectively:

  1. Use AI writing tools like Writesonic or Jasper to generate ideas quickly. These AI-powered tools can analyze your keyword or topic and provide you with content ideas that you can build upon.
  2. Refine your writing style and grammar using Grammarly or ProWritingAid. These tools use AI to scan your writing for errors and provide feedback to help you improve your writing.
  3. Automate your writing process using tools like Copysmith or Rytr. These tools can generate content for you quickly, freeing up time to focus on other tasks. Copysmith can create high-quality product descriptions, blog intros and outros, and more, while Rytr can help you create blog posts, social media posts, or even ad copy.
  4. Experiment with new writing styles and genres using tools like Articoolo or Writesonic. Articoolo can create high-quality articles based on your keywords, while Writesonic can generate content for social media, ads, blogs, and more.

While AI writing tools like the ones mentioned above are not capable of writing an entire book or essay without any human input, they can certainly assist writers in generating ideas and creating content quickly and efficiently. By using these tools to your advantage, you can improve your writing, save time, and even have fun exploring new creative ideas.

The dark side of AI-powered marketing

Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a major tool in the growth marketing arsenal, helping businesses drive growth and increase revenue. In fact, as the world has been introduced to consumer versions of AI through tools like ChatGPT recently, businesses have been using AI-powered campaigns and marketing channels for a long time. From TikTok video feeds to Facebook ad delivery, machine-learned targeting models have already seeped into our daily interactions and experiences on our phones and devices. Even Siri and Alexa (as primitive as they seem) voice assistants are deep learning TTS (text-to-speech) model rooted in AI technology. Businesses use AI-powered marketing rooted in machine learning algorithms to analyze user behavior and personalize marketing campaigns in real-time. This allows businesses to reach consumers more effectively and efficiently than ever before. However, as AI becomes increasingly prevalent in marketing, there are emerging pockets of ethical risks that potentially pose harm to you and me.

One of the leading concerns about AI-powered marketing is a tale that we’re all familiar with: the spreading of misinformation and fake news through AI-powered social media campaigns. AI algorithms can be easily manipulated to create fake news and spread false information to millions of people. According to a study by MIT Technology Review, false information spreads faster and more easily on social media than true information, which can have serious consequences for public opinion, trust, and democracy (MIT Technology Review, 2018). For example, the 2016 US Presidential election was influenced by AI-powered media campaigns on social media, which helped shape public opinion and ultimately influenced the outcome of the election (The Guardian, 2018).

Another area of concern is the manipulation of consumer behavior through AI-powered personalization. AI algorithms can track and analyze consumer behavior, including their browsing history, search history, and social media activity, to personalize marketing campaigns. While this can be a powerful tool for businesses to reach consumers more effectively, it also has the potential to exploit vulnerabilities and sway consumer behavior in potentially unintended ways. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, as AI algorithms become more advanced, they will have the potential to manipulate human behavior to a much greater extent, creating new risks for consumer welfare (World Economic Forum, 2021). For example, brands or organizations can use AI algorithms can be used to target vulnerable populations and exploit data to drive adoption or education, leading to negative consequences.

Big data could become another driving factor behind unethical practices in AI-powered growth marketing. AI algorithms are fed massive amounts of data to analyze consumer behavior and personalize marketing campaigns. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, big data analytics has the potential to generate significant value for businesses, but it also presents significant risks to privacy and security (McKinsey & Company, 2016). Vast quantities of data collected by algorithms can be easily manipulated to create false patterns and trends, leading to skewed results and unethical practices. Having worked in technology companies with access to large data sets, I know that there are several levels upon which data can be biased, both in how we determine which signals to track, how we define them, and ultimately how we interpret what the data is telling us. The scary thing is that we don’t fully realize that we’re making biased decisions, because we think the data is objective.

One could even see a world in which perfectly fine-tuned AI, which is based on mathematical models and algorithms that are designed to analyze and interpret patterns in data, can lead to a worse or more mediocre customer experience overall. These algorithms struggle to understand the complexity of human behavior and the context in which these behaviors occur. According to a report by Harvard Business Review, AI algorithms are still limited in their ability to understand human behavior and the context in which it occurs, which can lead to homogenous and generic experiences for consumers (Harvest Business Review, 2020). As a result, AI-powered growth marketing can create homogenous and generic experiences for consumers, ignoring important cultural and contextual factors that can influence consumer behavior. Imagine a world where every experience on the Internet is a 3.5-star Yelp restaurant one – homogenous, not too good nor too bad. Optimized right for the crowd.

To address these ethical concerns and limitations in AI-powered marketing, I believe that businesses must take a responsible and ethical approach. This might come in the from of more businesses putting ethical guidelines front and center, in addition to their terms of services. We need a cultural system (or even formal regulation) that can ensure the right incentives for transparency and accountability in AI-driven marketing campaigns, protect consumer privacy and data security, and create meaningful and respectful experiences for consumers. Our best bet will be to find the sweet spot in combining AI with human intuition and creativity, and then putting together the charter upfront for how these interact.

What the future of performance marketing holds

There is a lot of buzz around AI-driven marketing today. Tools like Jasper and ChatGPT have caused many go-to-market professionals to question whether their jobs will be replaced by robots in the near future. It can be unsettling to think about, but I’m also excited about the potential of these technologies to drastically improve our work and productivity. In my daily work, I’ve been able to use Jasper to quickly generate strategy statements and ad taglines with minimal input. It’s even helped me proofread parts of this write-up.

While this is all novel and exciting, AI-driven marketing is already making an impact on performance marketing channels. In fact, I’ve been using an ML-based performance ad channel over the last year in my role running growth at Descript, and these campaigns have broken our performance ceilings month after month. Let’s explore what’s happening now and how it affects our digital marketing and go-to-market decisions.

ML-based performance marketing is already here

  • Channels are all converging toward ML-based conversion optimization for targeting. Example: Google’s Performance Max campaigns; Facebook/Instagram’s broad targeting with conversion optimization campaigns
    • For those who aren’t familiar: Google Performance Max is a paid search campaign type that uses machine learning to optimize ad delivery and targeting in real-time, which results in achieving better performance and ROI outcomes. Instead of setting up targeting, you set up ‘”anti-targeting’” by telling the system what’s not considered a valid conversion.
  • ML-based targeting is ideal from the lens of ROI – the machine-learned system will most certainly be more precise in targeting and use each ad dollar in more effective way than human allocation could. But, it’s not ideal from the lens of gaining customer insights.
  • Perhaps in 6-12 months time, all paid search and paid social will utilize blackbox targeting where we don’t define or know who the platforms are targeting, except understanding broad filters geography, demographics, or platform, to name a few examples.
  • This creates a reliance on ads, where you can get a ton of results but you don’t know what drove its success and you can only count on the blackbox targeting system to continue working well.
    • A good parallel might be to understand what Amazon does with brands/sellers today. You pay Amazon to sell on your behalf, and the units sell or they don’t, but you don’t know who the customer is at the end of the day.
    • Overall, the Amazon-esque system can work incredibly well, but it rules out a certain type of seller that isn’t savvy enough to learn and exploit the system.

Skills for the future are technical and strategic

Performance marketing becomes a technical sport

  • Less focus on hiring those with ads operating experience, which tends to be the background of most junior performance marketers or agency hires. The things that performance marketers spend time on today, such as building the post, creating targeting parameters like frequency caps and daily budgets, setting up an a/b experiment, or optimizing based on results, will all become automated. Instead, people will spend more time defining clear optimization signals and structuring campaigns across these signals. Think of it almost as prompt creation.
  • Performance marketing as a whole will become a technically performant function where the operators behind the scenes will need to be data-minded in order to understand how utilize targeting and ranking mechanisms.
  • Instrumenting marketing data systems isn’t a common skillset for data engineers. That’s why the performance marketer will need to become an acting product manager to help ensure accurate instrumentation, and define a data taxonomy that becomes useful for marketing teams.

Content marketing and product marketing work requires more precise customer segmentation

  • It will be imperative to develop strengths across multiple niches in order to gain scale. Otherwise, we’ll hit the ceiling within the constraints of our economics – i.e. willingness to pay for a conversion – and time horizon.
  • More micro-targeted content positioned to the customer that will be likely to convert. This could mean developing more landing pages with focused content that gives greater chance of fitting into the blackbox targeting match.
  • Having a multi-faceted product that spans customer segments should play to our advantage in that it allows us to compete in multiple audience segments at one time, which increases our chances of exposure and conversion.
  • This increases our need to have a clear data-driven signal customer segments that can be exposed externally somehow.

The chasm between digital performance and brand marketing tactics will widen, yet the function of these are intertwined

  • Today, performance marketers look toward increasing reach as a mechanism to improve the likelihood of finding a converting audience. Tactics include bidding on a CPM basis to achieve a broader set of conversion outcomes. However, in the world of ML targeting, the system will reach as few users as possible to reach conversion objectives, which minimizes total reach and frequency of reach.
  • Brand and performance assets are thought of as separate entities right now, but these are becoming inseparable parts of the customer’s experience. For example, a user that is abruptly shown a use case landing page will most certainly want to explore the brand’s larger offering on the homepage or other branded pages (in my experience, this happens 20-30% of the time). Both types of pages will be relevant to cold prospects who are looking to learn about the brand while trying to get more information about their use cases. It’s about identifying the ideal navigation path and understanding what happens after a user interacts with a brand for the first time, or vice versa.
  • The bridge from brand marketing to performance marketing can be built via a multi-touch attribution model that companies either develop themselves by centralizing all data within a CDP like Segment, or they can be outsourced and imported to a 3rd party tool that does this for you, like Branch.

Preparing for the future means hiring for technical skills & building for channel-market fit

In a world of ML-driven customer acquisition, digital marketing teams must create clear signals and high-quality user experiences to be successful. This means that the better you perform today, the better you’ll perform tomorrow – it’s a performance flywheel. This wasn’t the case in the past, when performance marketing was limited by target audience ceilings and manual optimization decisions. The more signals you have, the better these platforms will be able to acquire new customers for you.

To accomplish this, you should hire ad managers from diverse backgrounds, with an emphasis on those with technical expertise. Content quality is still paramount for delivering persuasive messages that convert, but product marketing, content marketing, growth marketing, and product teams must work together to create a well-managed journey from first touch to product entry.