[Updated February 15, 2023]
Artificial intelligence (AI) is powerful—and the use of it for content generation is on the rise. In fact, some experts estimate that as much as 90 percent of online content may be generated by AI algorithms by 2026.
Many of the popular AI content generators produce well-written, informative content. But is it the right choice for your firm? Before you decide, consider the pros and cons of using this unique sort of copy with your digital marketing.
This article explains how AI content generators works, the pros and cons of AI-generated content, and a few tips for utilizing AI content in your digital marketing workflow.
Note: This article has been updated in the wake of Google’s announcement in February 2023 regarding guidelines for AI content.
How does AI-generated content work?
Consumer-facing artificial intelligence tools are pretty straightforward, as far as the consumer is concerned. You provide some inputs, and the machine provides some outputs.
Here’s how it works with content writing. You generally provide the AI generator with a topic and keywords. You can usually select the format you’d like the output to take, such as a blog post or teaser copy. Then, it’s as simple as clicking ‘GO’.
The content generator will scrape the web and draft copy for your needs. Some tools can take existing content and rewrite it, which can make content marketing a lot easier.
Not all AI content generators cost money, but you’ll need to pay something to access the better tools—or to produce a lot of content.
Pros of AI content
If you’re excited about the possibilities, great! There are some serious benefits to AI content generators.
Here are a few pros of AI content tools:
- Cost effective: AI tools are far cheaper than paying a human copywriter.
- Efficient: AI tools can spit out content super fast—minutes, not days or weeks.
- Natural-sounding: The copy will (usually) read like it was written by a human.
To sum up, AI content tools can quickly produce natural-sounding copy at a fraction of the cost of paying a real copywriter.
Cons of AI content
There are several important drawbacks to consider with AI-generated content. Speed and cost aren’t everything when it comes to content generation.
Here are two cons that come with using AI content tools:
- Sometimes inaccurate: Without a human fact-checker, there’s no guarantee of accuracy. Law firms must be especially sensitive to this.
- Lacking nuance: Machines can produce informative articles but nuance and social awareness are not baked in. In other words, you might get an article that is less empathetic or politically correct than you need.
As of February 2023, Google is taking a new quality-over-origin approach to AI content. If your website quality is good (whether or not it’s generated by AI), your site will not be penalized. However, you will be penalized if you use AI content to manipulate search results.
AI tools can be hit-or-miss when it comes to empathy and accuracy. Law firms should be careful when publishing this type of content.
Best practices if you choose to use AI content
Overall, it’s clear that AI-generated content can provide value. The question is how to best incorporate AI content into your digital marketing efforts.
In February 2023, Google made a public statement about the use of AI content. In keeping with their general approach to content, Google has said it will not penalize sites using AI content if they provide value to the user. Google will “reward high-quality content, however it is produced.”
In light of Google’s recent announcement—and our experience—here is our advice to you.
1. The E in E-E-A-T has never been more important. if you can show content written by real experts (not computers) in your field, the better. Google rewards reputation and expertise.
2. AI content is fine if it provides value—so it absolutely must be accurate. Accuracy is paramount for your users, but AI is notoriously unpredictable when it comes to accuracy. Google recently made headlines when its own AI chatbot, Bard, gave an incorrect answer in a promotional video for the tool. If you use AI-generated content, make sure to employ a human fact-checker as well. We recommend hiring a legal professional to review and edit AI copy. A copywriter can help smooth the rough edges, too. Because the content is already written, the hourly rate you’ll pay these professionals should be minimal.
3. Now is the time to get ahead with true thought leadership. With this announcement, more and more firms will enter the content game. To get ahead or maintain your ranking, it’s time to dig deep and create insightful thought leadership content. AI cannot produce this type of content yet because these tools just scrape content that already exists. If you can leverage your expertise to take a new stand, interpret new information, or explain a complex concept in a new way, you’ll do well. You’ll also earn more links which is fundamental to SEO success.
4. Be careful when selecting a new digital marketing agency and look for one that offers both attorney-written and machine-assisted content options. SEO and web development companies should be very aware of the risks that come with using AI content. If an agency provides AI-generated content without professional review, this is undoubtedly a red flag. If you’re looking for best-in-class SEO strategies, be sure the agency offers attorney-written content. As more firms flood the web with AI-written material, original thought leadership will lead the pack.
Review and next steps
Our current position is that AI-generated content can be helpful when it’s used to deliver value to website visitors but firms looking to stand out in the search results, shouldn’t rely solely on machine-written content. As good as tools like Chat GPT are, they can’t capture the voice of your firm and they can never replace the diverse expertise of your professionals. When AI content is used, itt should only be deployed with human oversight.
At Omnizant, we help our clients develop comprehensive content that informs and engages website visitors. We provide best-in-class copy written by a team of legal writers—most of whom are licensed attorneys. Get a custom quote for your firm and let Omnizant’s team of experts transform your digital presence.