Content marketing has long been a point of frustration for marketing agencies. You either need to employ full-time writers in-house, outsource your writing needs to a secondary content provider, or roll the dice by hiring freelancers or contract writers.

Due to the costs and resources needed to facilitate content generation through these methods, you may be drawn to the low cost and immediate availability of AI-generated content. In fact, since the launch of ChatGPT in late November of 2022, AI content has been more prominent than ever. But is it really the answer to your content woes?

The use of AI in content marketing is not all good or bad. It’s a complex issue that’s likely to evolve as technology rapidly becomes more sophisticated and widespread. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what you need to know about AI content before going all in on an automated content strategy.

Understanding AI-Generated Content

AI content generation is not exactly new. Large media outlets, including The Washington Post,have been using AI to generate financial reports and other types of templated content for more than a decade. However, the rollout of ChatGPT has ushered in a new era of AI-generated content that makes it a more accessible option for digital marketers and other content creators.

You can think of ChatGPT and other AI content tools as giant funnels that scour the web for information on a topic. They then condense all that information into a piece of copy that fits the requested format. Results can be fine-tuned by limiting resources to specific sites or adding more detailed parameters in your input text.

On the surface, AI-generated content produces impressive results. Thanks to a type of machine learning called natural language processing (NLP), AI tools are able to produce content that better captures the nuances of human language and reads like it was written by an actual person. However, when reading with a more analytic approach, you might find that AI content may include phrases that just feel odd or out of place, or it veers off track from the core topic.

Does Google Penalize AI-Generated Content?

From a content marketing perspective, one of the most important things to know about AI-generated content is how it will affect SEO. In other words, you’ll want to know if Google penalizes AI content. In Google’s own words, they aren’t concerned about how content is produced as long as it meets their content standards:

“At Google, we’ve long believed in the power of AI to transform the ability to deliver helpful information… Our focus is on the quality of content, rather than how content is produced.”

However, it should be recognized that AI content may be more likely to be penalized if the aim is to game search results through keyword-stuffed blogs and clickbait. Additionally, Google recommends utilizing transparency when using AI to create content, offering a disclaimer that AI tools are part of the content creation process.

AI Content Pros and Cons

AI is not universally good or bad. Like anything, it has its perks and its drawbacks. Therefore, you may not necessarily be asking the question of should you use AI-generated content, but rather, you might be asking how to leverage AI content within a more conventional content strategy informed by trusted human writers.

 Pros of AI

  • Content is developed instantly.
  • AI content is incredibly cheap to produce.
  • AI content generators can compile hours of research with the click of a button.

 Cons of AI

  • AI cannot generate new content ideas; it can only reorganize existing information and ideas.
  • Content may sound stilted or repetitive.
  • Human editing may be required to ensure relevancy and accuracy.
  • AI content isn’t always unique, so it may violate content standards.
  • AI content generators cannot accurately assess editorial quality or identify media bias.

Is AI Content Considered Plagiarism?

Google and other search engines utilize algorithms to favor “high-quality, original content.” Therefore, plagiarism should not be taken lightly when it comes to content marketing. While AI content is not inherently plagiarism, there is a higher risk of generating content that is considered plagiarism.

AI-generated content doesn’t typically regurgitate information word for word from various sources, but it does paraphrase existing content without adding any new editorial view or perspective. This might lead to higher instances of plagiarism than human-written content based on the same sources.

Another concern is that AI content generators may repeat themselves, both within a single piece of content and across multiple queries. Particularly in long-form content, AI content is prone to repetition and simple, generic language. Therefore, relying on AI exclusively to produce long-form blogs or eBooks is likely to be problematic.

How Accurate Is AI Content?

Along with plagiarism, a big factor to consider with AI content is accuracy. When you ask ChatGPT a simple question, it will produce an answer that is likely not only correct but also hard to distinguish from a human answer.

However, when you seek more depth or length in your input prompt, accuracy may decline, along with the flow and syntax of the language. Troublingly, research published in mid-2023 showed that ChatGPT specifically has declined in its accuracy, and researchers are not exactly sure why that’s the case.

How Can AI Be Used Ethically and Effectively Within Content Marketing?

In short, AI is not perfect, and it can’t replace the creativity and judgment of a real human—for now, anyway. Therefore, it’s essential to leverage AI tools as part of the content creation process rather than as the sole source of content.

For example, AI may offer great assistance in coming up with catchy titles for a new article or organizing data points for a lengthy blog post. However, it simply isn’t ready to replace human writers entirely.

To keep the human touch in your agency’s content marketing offerings while streamlining tasks for your team and remaining within your project budget, connect with Pennington Creative.

We are a white label marketing agency offering a suite of content services, including blogs, website copy, Google Ads copy, and social media management, to help your agency scale up and expand your service offerings without substantially increasing overhead. Contact us today to schedule a strategy call.

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