Unpacking the Hype: A Casual Chat about the Copywriting AI Tool

Don’t use an AI copywriting tool

As usual, there’s a lot of hype within marketing about the use of AI. Some of it justified, a lot of it not. One of the more popular uses is for copywriting – and there’s an AI copywriting tool that’s right for you. I’ve examined the pros and cons and done a little test.

First, let’s look at the pros that I’ve found using an AI copywriting tool like ChatGPT.

AI copywriting positives

1. It’s fast

Yes, in a matter of seconds, you can have as much text as you need. And when you have a deadline to hit, that’s incredibly tempting. It’s also faster than hiring a copywriter and waiting for them to find inspiration.

2. Compared to a copywriter, it’s cost-effective

Currently, for £20 per month you can have access to the latest and best version of ChatGPT. That’s way cheaper than any copywriter. And it doesn’t need to be a monthly fee, you can stop the subscription any time (and restart it when you need it).

3. You can define a style and language

Prompts are the text inputs (e.g., questions, instructions) you enter into ChatGPT. In the prompt you can specify if you want the style to be casual, professional, witty – you name it, it can be written in that style.

You can also instruct it to write in any language, not just French or German, but US English versus UK English. Your international audience will think you’re a local.

4. It starts the ball rolling

We all get writer’s block. ChatGPT can get you started and provide inspiration. It also sometimes comes up with ideas and points of view you may not have considered. And even if you don’t like what it has written, it is easier to edit existing words instead of looking at a blank page.

AI copywriting negatives

A. It’s rational, not emotional

ChatGPT is great at rational arguments or benefits, but less good at emotional reasoning. But that’s not a surprise – it’s a machine after all.

Rational copywriting plays a significant role in the early stages of the sales process (prospect/lead stage?). The audience wants to see hard evidence of the benefits displayed in percentages, money, and time.

But after you have convinced them of the benefits, they start to consider if your organisation is a good fit. Are you a good company with a great reputation and easy to work with? This is emotional.

B. The SEO is a bit clumsy

Because ChatGPT is a machine it sometimes introduces key phrases for SEO at awkward points in the text. It squeezes them in and the text doesn’t flow naturally. You may get a good ranking on the search engines, but visitors may find your text difficult to read and bounce.

It also sometimes uses the keywords and phrases too frequently which can damage your SEO.

C. It doesn’t understand how to persuade humans

ChatGPT doesn’t understand buyer behaviour. Nor does it understand the dynamics within a buying team. Instead of writing “the IT team and the facilities management department need to work together to get the best result”, it’s more likely to write “the IT team need to control the facilities management department or mistakes will be made”. As a result, the Facilities Manager may give you a hard time.

D. It could damage your reputation

I believe that we are already finding it easy to spot text written by Artificial Intelligence, and that ability will grow over time. Will audiences feel ‘conned’ by companies that use AI to write text, will it feel less authentic and maybe a little bit lazy? This is all bad news for an organisation’s reputation.

E. The result depends on the prompt

To repeat, prompts are the text inputs (e.g., questions, instructions) you enter into ChatGPT. And there is a skill in writing good prompts to get the best result. Indeed, I’ve already seen jobs advertised for AI prompt writers/engineers.

So if you are not regularly using ChatGPT, you may not be writing great prompts and the result could be mediocre or downright bad.

F. It gets some facts wrong

I recently asked ChatGPT to write a blog about the FACC cyber-attack, where a CEO lost his job and the company lost €42 million. It originally wrote that the CEO clicked a phishing email. That was untrue. If I had published that ‘fact’ it could have resulted in embarrassment and maybe a letter from a solicitor.

Thankfully I always do a good ‘old-fashioned’ (!?) Google search to fact check everything I publish using credible sources.

What to do

ChatGPT and other Generative AI is a tool, not the solution. Use it to speed the process of copywriting, but don’t just copy and paste. Remember, there is a human trying to read the text during their busy day. They want to feel you have empathy for their pain, want or need.

They may want to be entertained, and humans are good at writing stories that connect with their audience.

To copy and paste may be tempting when you have a deadline (or a hangover), but ultimately it may damage your reputation in the long run. There will come a time when search engines downgrade websites that use excessive generative AI, because they will be concerned about originality and trust.

Do I use an AI copywriting tool? Hell, yes. Do I copy and paste? Never.

This blog was written by me and not ChatGPT. Could you tell? There is a version written by Generative AI and you can read it here; ‘Unpacking the Hype: A Casual Chat about Copywriting AI Tools‘.
March 2024 Update: Checking Google Analytics I can see that the average time spent reading the ‘human version’ of the blog is 2 mins 6 seconds. The average time for the ‘AI version’ is 38 seconds. I think that proves the human version is more engaging because they both have the same subject and same amount of text.