Copywriting has been around since long before the internet. It involved writing compelling and creative copy for print and electronic ads. With the advent of the internet, copywriting moved online as businesses set up websites and social media profiles. Copywriting has always been an important aspect of search engine optimization or SEO.
Google rewards websites with quality copywriting by placing their links higher up on the search engine results page. This means that whenever someone searches for a relevant query, that website appears in one of the top positions, thereby gaining more traffic.
Quality copywriting takes time but with the recent popularity of AI tools, there’s been a trend to automate this important task. However, what many businesses don’t realize right now, is that it can actually be risky for them.
What is AI copywriting?
AI or artificial intelligence-based copywriting relies on machine learning algorithms to create written content automatically. There are a number of tools that utilize these algorithms to enable users to automate copywriting. These tools can create multiple forms of content, including but not limited to website copy, social media posts, product descriptions, email newsletters, and more.
These tools are backed by Natural Language Processing technology that enables them to analyze and understand the content to deliver content that appears to have been written by a human and not a machine. The popularity of these tools has exploded following ChatGPT’s public release. Some of the other popular AI copywriting tools include Copy.ai, Contentbot, and Writesonic.
How AI copywriting can be risky for businesses
Google is penalizing websites with AI content
Google has always maintained that content is king and that websites wishing to rank higher in results need to work on improving the quality of their content. The frequency of posting content is important as well. If a website posts infrequently, it faces a more uphill battle in trying to rank. AI copywriting tools have made it much faster. Websites that don’t have big writing teams can use these tools to quickly get new content out.
However, Google has caught on to it and is now actively penalizing websites that utilize AI content. Therefore, businesses that rely heavily on traffic from Google should avoid the temptation of using AI writing tools. There’s always the risk that their website could get labeled as a spammer by the Google algorithm, causing their ranking to tank and bringing them back up would be a very difficult task.
Accuracy and reliability remains a concern
It’s easy to feel that AI is intelligent enough that it gets everything right and that all of the content that it writes is going to be extremely accurate and reliable. However, that’s not entirely the truth. There remain concerns about the accuracy and reliability of content generated by AI tools. Google itself learned this the hard way when Bard, its AI tool, made a factual error during its first demo and lost the company $100 billion in market value.
Businesses, particularly those in regulated industries like healthcare and finance, need to provide reliable content as inaccuracies in their content can have far-reaching consequences. If they simply rely entirely on AI content, they run the risk of posting something that may not be entirely accurate, leaving them up to potential fines and legal action.
A real risk of bias
AI isn’t sentient, at least not yet anyway, so it doesn’t have any thoughts or ideas of its own. It’s trained on a large data set and the results that it produces are a reflection of the data that it’s trained on. So if the data that it’s trained on is biased, the results will be biased too. AI tools have been improved considerably to reduce bias but it’s entirely possible for bias to creep into the content it produces.
Even if businesses do use AI tools for content, it’s very important to have a human look over the content to make sure that there’s no inherent or obvious bias in the content. The business would certainly not want the appearance of being biased as that has the potential to cause irreparable harm to its reputation.
Lack of originality
Similarly, AI isn’t able to come up with ideas on its own. It relies on the inputs from users and generates ideas based on the data that it has been trained on. Since there’s the obvious lack of human creativity, there tends to be a lack of originality when it comes to content created by AI.
This lack of originality can pose a significant risk for businesses that rely on their unique brand voice and messaging to differentiate themselves from their competitors. While AI-generated content may be well-written and grammatically correct, it may lack the originality and unique insights that come from a human writer’s personal experience and creativity.
Plagiarism can be detected fairly easily these days. Businesses can’t afford to be called out for plagiarized content as that can tank the brand value. The assumption tends to be that AI tools write everything from scratch so there’s little reason to believe that what they produce will be plagiarized.
However, these tools are often repurposing information from their database and that includes information that they’ve picked up from websites and other sources. This can lead to unintentional plagiarism in the content they produce. If a business posted it and then proceeded to get called out by the original author, that would be an entirely avoidable risk that they have just materialized for their brand.
Use AI tools to assist your copywriters, not replace them
This isn’t meant to suggest that AI copywriting tools shouldn’t be used at all. There are instances where they can be of great use but they shouldn’t be considered as a replacement for your copywriters.
Use AI tools to assist them instead. Your copywriters can rely on them to generate outlines, sort through keyword data to pick ones that are the most relevant, run grammar and spelling checks, etc. AI tools can make their lives easier and help them do their work quickly. Until such time that AI tools evolve enough to mitigate these risks, it’s important to assign only a supporting role to them.