Consumers can recognise AI content, the challenge now is how to AI authentic

Millennials (aged 25-34) were the most successful at spotting non-human content, aligning with the age of consumers most likely to use AI when creating content.

The rise of advanced AI language models has opened up exciting new possibilities for streamlining content creation across the marketing sphere. However, this powerful new technology has also introduced potential pitfalls if these AI tools are not implemented thoughtfully and responsibly.

A recent study by digital asset management firm, Bynder, has uncovered how consumers interact with AI vs human content in 2024.

In a survey of 2,000 UK and US participants, Bynder presented two articles; one written by ChatGPT and one by a trained copywriter. Both had the same brief: “Write 300 words on how to clean your car”. The study concluded that 50% of consumers can correctly identify copy that is AI-generated.

In today’s landscape of infinite content competing for attention, consumers are becoming increasingly discerning. They will quickly tune out if they suspect branded content lacks authenticity, a true human touch, or fails to align with the brand’s established voice and personality.

To stay competitive and maintain audience trust, marketing teams must strike a delicate balance by utilizing AI as an enhancement tool while still preserving a distinct, human, brand-consistent voice and editorial standards.

While AI language models should not be viewed as a complete replacement for professional human writers and creators, they can serve as a powerful co-pilot and assistant by aiding with research, outline generation, drafting, editing and optimization of content.

AI excels at rapidly compiling information from various online sources, identifying knowledge gaps, and suggesting key concepts, angles or creative directions to cover based on the specified parameters. The AI-generated text can then act as a solid starting point or initial canvas that skilled human writers refine, restructure, edit and customize to meet their specific needs.

Maintaining an authentic, on-brand voice that resonates with the target audience is crucial for any successful content strategy. Before integrating AI, marketing teams should take the time to clearly define, document and distribute their brand’s authentic personality, writing style guidelines, and persona guidelines.

Use the AI drafts merely as a foundation, but rely on experienced human writers and creators to massage and elevate the content, adding nuance, natural flow, storytelling techniques and consistently reinforcing the brand’s desired fit and tone.

Rather than simply publishing raw AI output, which often feels stilted, marketing teams should focus the AI on supporting tasks like research, outline creation, and initial drafts that human creators then localize and enliven.

There are numerous creative use cases that can benefit from this human-AI hybrid approach to content development. AI can rapidly generate a wide range of potential blog titles, outlines or creative angles for a particular topic that writers then fully flesh out and make distinctive.

The same approach can be used for drafting first passes of knowledge base articles, video scripts, in-app notification text or support documentation from designated data sources that writers localize with examples and refine the voice. AI can suggest large concept clusters or batches of catchy social media post concepts, email newsletter ideas or ad copy hooks that human writers and designers build visual campaigns around.

For optimizing existing content, AI can provide recommendations on areas to reduce redundancy, rewrite for clarity or highlight opportunities to improve SEO that writers can accept or reject.

As AI-assisted content creation becomes more prevalent, ethical considerations around transparency and respect for intellectual property must be adhered to. Marketing teams should always be upfront, either in documentation or delivery, that AI assistance was leveraged during the content production process even if the final output was heavily rewritten and customized by human creators.

They should stay up-to-date on the latest guidelines around copyright, fair use and licensing with AI-generated text, images or other media assets. It’s also wise for organizations to have a plan for consistently versioning the AI models used over time to maintain consistent, predictable output and avoid inauthentic discrepancies that could emerge from constantly changing language models.

In the years ahead, AI-human hybrid content workflows have the potential to become the standard for many marketing teams. With the combination of AI’s speed for ingesting data, connecting ideas and rapidly outputting drafts with the critical human elements of on-brand voice, narrative skills and quality control editing, this collaborative approach can allow teams to operate at a completely new scale.

However, this can only be achieved if AI is viewed as a force multiplier for enhancing human creativity and capabilities rather than a full replacement of the authentic, emotional connection great content demands from its creators.

Ultimately, AI language models are powerful tools that can undoubtedly revolutionize content creation when implemented responsibly by skilled marketing teams. However, AI should not be seen as the end-all solution. The most authentic, engaging, high-quality and persuasive content will come from a hybrid approach that melds AI’s strengths in speed and data synthesis with human skills in creativity, communication, brand expertise and an essential editorial polish.

By leveraging this partnership between human and artificial intelligence, marketing teams can amplify their best ideas and quality standards while still operating nimbly and maintaining the cherished human qualities that cultivate true audience connection and brand loyalty.

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