December 26, 2023
Companies have long been seeking ways to produce high-quality content at scale, and artificial intelligence (AI) has answered that call. In just a little under a year since ChatGPT was launched publicly, AI has emerged as a powerful tool for content generation, offering efficiency and speed that human writers simply cannot match. Last year Gartner predicted that by 2025, 30% of outbound marketing messages from large organizations will be synthetically generated. I can’t help but wonder if that was a gross underestimation.
With AI's growing ubiquity, a critical question arises: How can brands maintain their unique identity and voice amidst the surge of AI-generated content? With so much content being produced at the prompt button, it’s inevitable that people will be more skeptical about the authorship and legitimacy of what they're reading. And more selective. Authenticity and real personality will be what stands out.
The challenge lies in striking a balance between AI's efficiency and the human touch that defines a brand's essence. While AI can churn out vast amounts of content, it often lacks the nuance and emotional depth that resonates with audiences. To overcome this challenge, companies will have to adopt a strategic approach that integrates AI seamlessly with human creativity.
Train AI to capture brand voice.
The first step in this process is to train AI to understand and emulate the brand's voice. This involves immersing AI in a rich selection of the brand's existing content, including marketing materials, customer communications and social media posts. By analyzing these patterns, AI can develop a deeper understanding of the brand's linguistic style, tone, and messaging preferences.
AI is great for enhancing production efficiency and optimizing content for SEO. But these capabilities are now available to virtually everyone. Which means they don’t really offer a competitive advantage. When you consider the velocity and magnitude of content production enabled by AI, it's easy to see why quality and authenticity will emerge as the difference-makers.
Develop a messaging playbook.
To ensure consistency and maintain brand authenticity across all content channels, it is crucial to develop a comprehensive messaging playbook. This playbook should serve as a guide for all content creators, outlining the brand's core messaging pillars, tone of voice and key messaging points. By adhering to the messaging playbook, businesses can ensure that all content is aligned with the brand's overall identity and resonates with their target audience.
A well-crafted messaging playbook should include the following elements:
Brand Vision: A clear and concise articulation of the brand's purpose, mission and values
Target Audience: A detailed understanding of the brand's target audience, including their demographics, interests and pain points
Key Messaging Pillars: The core messages that the brand wants to convey to its audience
Tone Of Voice: A consistent and appropriate tone of voice that aligns with the brand's personality
Messaging Guidelines: Specific guidance on how to express the brand's messages in a consistent and engaging manner.
By developing and implementing a comprehensive messaging playbook, you can leverage AI's efficiency while preserving the human touch that ensures brand authenticity. This will enable you to create content that resonates with your target audience and strengthens your brand’s identity rather than diluting it.
Maintain human oversight to ensure authenticity.
While AI can generate content with remarkable efficiency, human oversight is still crucial to maintain brand authenticity. Human editors should carefully review and refine all of your AI-generated content, ensuring it aligns with the brand's values, messaging, and overall tone. You also need to cross-check any statistics or references it gives you. AI hallucination is real. Recently we worked on a project for a cybersecurity client, and not only did Bard hallucinate facts, it even hallucinated the Harvard Business Review as a source. Human oversight is essential for infusing content with the emotional resonance and also the judgment that AI may struggle with.
The Future of Human–AI Collaboration
The future of content production lies in a harmonious partnership between AI and human creativity. AI can handle the heavy lifting of content generation, while humans provide the emotional intelligence and storytelling expertise that elevate content from mere words to compelling narratives. This collaborative approach will enable brands to create content that is both efficient and authentic, fostering deeper connections with their target audiences.
As AI continues to evolve, its role in content production will only expand. Companies that embrace AI responsibly and strategically will be well-positioned to thrive in the ever-changing digital landscape. By leveraging AI's strengths while preserving the human touch, brands can create content that resonates with audiences and strengthens their brand identity.