The Future of Marketing: Harnessing AI with a Human Touch

You know that eerie moment when you’re halfway through an article or ad and you realize – “Hold on a second, a human didn’t write this. An AI did!”? We’ve all been there. It’s a bit like biting into a juicy apple, only to realize it’s made of plastic. 

Sure, we’ve got AI now – it’s pumping out content faster than a popcorn machine at a movie theater. But truth be told, a lot of AI content lacks the warmth, the humor, the “je ne sais quoi” that makes us human. That, my friends, is the puzzle we’re facing in today’s marketing world. 

But here’s the kicker: with just a bit of human editing and smart prompting, AI content can transform from simply good – to indistinguishable from top human writers. That’s the sweet spot we’re aiming for, and that’s exactly what we’re going to explore in this conversation.

Understanding the Limitations of AI-Generated Content

Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of why human editing is crucial, it’s essential to understand why AI can’t go at it alone. Let’s unpack the limitations of AI-generated content.

Overestimation of AI Capabilities in Content Generation

As AI’s popularity in content generation grows, there seems to be an overestimation of its capabilities. It’s easy to get drawn into the allure of automation, the promise of churning out article after article without so much as lifting a finger. However, AI is not some magical wizard that spews out flawless, engaging content at will.

AI writing tools are excellent at structuring information, spotting trends, and even using natural language processing (NLP) to mimic human-like text. But they lack the nuances, context understanding, and creativity inherent in human writers.

They can’t grasp emotions, humor, sarcasm, or cultural references the way we do (at least not yet), leading to content that, while technically correct, often feels flat and uninspiring.

The Risks of Factual Inaccuracies and Low-Quality Content

One of the most significant risks with AI-generated content is its potential for factual inaccuracies and low-quality output.

While AI tools can pull in data from numerous sources, they lack the human ability to discern between reliable and unreliable information. This can lead to content peppered with misleading or outright false information, damaging your brand’s credibility.

While these tools can spin sentences using complex language models, the final result often lacks the cohesion, logic, and flow that readers expect from high-quality content. This can lead to content that’s not only unengaging but also confusing for readers, impacting your brand’s image and authority.

While these inaccuracies might be minor nuisances in some fields, they can have devastating effects in others, particularly in “Your Money Your Life” (YMYL) niches. YMYL content refers to information that, if presented inaccurately, incorrectly, or deceptively, could directly impact a person’s health, happiness, safety, or financial stability. Think of content related to health advice, financial planning, or legal matters.

For instance, let’s consider the healthcare industry. Imagine an AI tool writes a blog post on managing diabetes but misinterprets the data it was fed and suggests a dangerously high dosage of insulin. If a reader were to follow this advice, it could result in severe health complications or even death. This is an extreme example, but it underscores the potential risks of unverified AI-generated content.

Content Velocity Vs. Content Quality: Striking the Right Balance

In the world of digital marketing, there’s often a tug-of-war between content velocity and content quality. While it’s tempting to publish content at a high frequency to keep up with competitors and maintain online visibility, it’s a delicate balancing act that could backfire if not managed appropriately.

The Dangers of Prioritizing Content Velocity Over Quality

Imagine you’re a reader, faced with a stream of new articles every day from a particular brand. Initially, you’re impressed by their prolific output. But as you read through the pieces, you notice a recurring trend – the articles are filled with convoluted sentences, factual inaccuracies, and offer little to no value. Would you continue to trust this brand?

The point here is simple – prioritizing content velocity over quality can be a dangerous game.

While it might offer short-term gains in terms of visibility and perhaps even click-through rates, in the long run, it’s likely to harm your brand’s reputation and reader trust. It could also lead to lower engagement rates and increased bounce rates, as readers quickly exit your content if they find it low in quality or relevance.

The Continued Importance of Quality Content for Ranking and Authority

In contrast, high-quality content continues to be a pillar of digital marketing strategy, and for a good reason. Well-researched, accurate, and engaging content appeals to both your target audience and search engines. Google’s ranking algorithm, sophisticated as it is, rewards quality content that provides value to readers.

Beyond SEO, quality content builds authority. It positions your brand as a trusted expert in your field, a source of reliable information and insights. This can lead to higher engagement, increased conversions, and brand loyalty.

The Role of Human Editing in Enhancing AI-Generated Content

Integrating AI into your content creation process doesn’t mean human involvement becomes obsolete. Quite the opposite. It’s in the merger of AI capabilities with human skill that the magic happens.

My Experience with AI and Human Editing

As a seasoned digital marketer, my journey with AI has been enlightening, to say the least. I’ve seen firsthand how AI can simplify the content creation process, taking care of the heavy lifting by producing multiple drafts in a fraction of the time it would take a human.

Yet, there is something innately human about the act of writing, a subtlety and nuance that AI, for all its capabilities, can’t quite replicate. So, I’ve learned to work alongside AI, using it as a tool to augment and speed up my content creation, not completely replace it.

Every AI-generated piece I work on goes through a thorough human editing process. I infuse the AI output with a human touch, refining the language, ensuring factual accuracy, and most importantly, crafting a narrative that resonates with readers on a deeper level.

Estimation of Editing Required in AI-Generated Content

Now, you might wonder – “Isn’t that too much work? How much editing does AI-generated content need, anyway?” The answer is – it depends. Some pieces come out surprisingly well-formed, requiring only minor tweaks and polish. Others might need a more substantial overhaul to ensure they meet the desired quality and resonate with the target audience.

My rule of thumb? Consider spending around 40-60% of the total content creation time on editing and refining AI-generated output.

This isn’t a rigid number but more of a guideline. It emphasizes the need to dedicate significant time to the human element, ensuring that every piece of content you put out aligns with your brand’s voice, meets quality standards, and provides genuine value to your readers.

Google’s Perspective on Quality Content

Google’s mission is to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” This mission directly impacts how they evaluate and rank content. So, what does Google consider “quality content”?

Effective Communication with Target Audience

One of Google’s core principles in evaluating content quality is how effectively it communicates with the target audience. Simply put, your content needs to resonate with the people for whom it’s intended.

While SEO techniques, like optimizing your content with Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords and links, play a crucial role in enhancing visibility, they’re not the be-all and end-all. In fact, an overemphasis on keyword density at the expense of readability and relevance can backfire. Google’s algorithms have grown incredibly sophisticated and can penalize ‘keyword-stuffed’ content that doesn’t offer genuine value to the reader.

So, how should you approach this? First, strive to thoroughly understand your audience’s needs, interests, and pain points. Then, craft content that addresses these aspects in a meaningful, engaging, and accessible way.

This effective communication gives your readers the sense that you are an authority on the subject, which can enhance your website’s trustworthiness and authority.

Engaging content can increase the average session duration, a significant ranking signal for Google. In other words, the more valuable your content is, the longer users will stay on your page, which in turn signals to Google that your content is useful, pushing it higher in the search results.

Providing Value and Establishing Authority

Another critical aspect in Google’s quality content equation is the value your content provides. Are you offering new insights, or are you simply rehashing what’s already been said a thousand times? High-value content tends to be original, in-depth, and relevant, directly contributing to a positive user experience.

Lastly, Google pays attention to authority. It trusts content from sources that consistently provide accurate, trustworthy, and valuable content. Earning this authority isn’t about being the loudest or publishing the most content. It’s about demonstrating your expertise and reliability over time.

Let’s look at it this way – If your content was a person, Google would want it to be a knowledgeable friend who speaks clearly, offers genuinely helpful advice, and is trusted by others.

Achieving this in an AI-dominated content landscape requires the human touch – an understanding of the audience’s needs, the creativity to offer unique insights, and the ability to build genuine connections. Taking the time to go the extra mile will make your content stand out in an ocean of AI content.

Finding the Right Editor for AI-Generated Content

Just as every artist needs a discerning critic, every AI-driven content strategy needs a sharp, skilled human editor. But what does it take to edit AI-generated content? And where can you find such talent?

Key Skills Required in an AI Content Editor

When it comes to editing AI-generated content, traditional editing skills are just the start. Of course, a solid grasp of grammar, style, and punctuation is necessary. However, AI content editing demands more.

One key requirement is a knack for spotting and fixing AI-specific errors. Sometimes, AI content can be a little ‘off’ – oddly structured sentences, incorrect facts, or phrases that just don’t quite make sense. A good AI editor needs the sharpness to catch these issues and the skill to fix them while maintaining the overall flow of the piece.

Equally important is the ability to infuse a human touch. A skilled AI content editor can take an AI-generated piece and give it life, weaving in a compelling narrative, adding emotion, and tailoring it to the target audience.

Finally, the right editor is adaptable, able to work with various AI tools and tweak their editing approach based on the specific outputs of different AI models.

Platforms to Source Content Writers and Editors

So where can you find these AI-savvy human editors? There are several online platforms to tap into:

  • Freelance platforms: Websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr are teeming with freelance writers and editors. You can post your requirements and invite freelancers to apply, or you can directly approach freelancers whose profiles match your needs.
  • Content creation agencies: These are companies that specialize in producing and editing content. While they can be pricier than individual freelancers, they often provide a more comprehensive service, which can include content strategy, SEO optimization, and more.
  • Online networks: Websites like LinkedIn and Facebook can be a good source of professional writers and editors. Look for individuals with a proven track record in content creation and editing, and preferably, experience with AI-generated content.

The Process of Humanizing AI-Generated Content

Leveraging AI for content creation presents a unique blend of challenges and opportunities. As we’ve established, a key part of this is infusing the ‘human touch’ to ensure the output doesn’t read like it was churned out by a machine. So how does this process work?

Starting Point: Generating AI Content Outline

The journey of humanizing AI-generated content begins with feeding the AI the necessary information it needs to know. Contrary to common misconceptions, AI is not an all-knowing entity. The quality of the content it creates is directly tied to the quality and depth of the information it’s given.

The human editor plays a crucial role here. They ensure that the AI is primed with a thorough briefing and all the necessary context about the topic at hand. From the intended audience to the key points to cover, the AI is equipped with all the requisite details.

Following this, the AI takes the baton and creates the initial content outline. This AI-produced blueprint forms the basis of the content piece, setting its direction and flow.

However, the editor’s job isn’t done yet. They need to review the AI-generated outline carefully, ensuring it is comprehensive, logical, and aligned with the content’s goals.

Only after this careful examination and potential refinement does the AI proceed to flesh out the content. This process ensures the AI-generated content starts on the right footing and stays on track as it evolves.

Section-by-Section Review and Reprompting

Once the initial AI-generated content is ready, the human editor steps in for the next phase – a detailed, section-by-section review. Here, the editor critically reads through each part, reprompting the AI tool wherever necessary.

Is the AI providing a relevant response? Is it capturing the nuances of the topic? Is it staying within the desired tone and style? If the answer is no, the editor reprompts the AI, tweaking the instructions to guide the AI towards a more desirable output.

Fact-Checking and Surgical Editing for Final Refinement

The final stage of the humanizing process is fact-checking and surgical editing. Here, the editor verifies the AI’s data and cross-references it with reliable sources to ensure the content is accurate.

Any factual inaccuracies are corrected, and the content is fine-tuned. Grammatical errors are rectified, awkward phrases are reworked, and an overall polish is given to the content, enhancing its readability and engagement factor.

Through these steps, the AI-generated content is transformed. It becomes not just technically correct and informative, but engaging, valuable, and ‘human.’

The Benefits of Combining AI and Human Editing

In the world of content creation, combining AI and human editing is a match made in heaven. But what specific benefits does this union bring? Let’s dig in.

Saving Time and Improving Efficiency

The first major benefit is a significant boost in time efficiency. AI is lightning fast. It can generate a draft in the time it takes a human writer to finish their morning coffee. This speed frees up a huge chunk of time that would otherwise be spent on writing, allowing editors and content teams to focus more on strategic tasks.

AI doesn’t suffer from writer’s block or fatigue. It can churn out content consistently, helping maintain a steady content output.

That’s not all. Editing AI-generated content is often faster than editing human-written content. Why? AI tends to make predictable, patterned mistakes. Once editors get the hang of them, correcting these errors becomes quicker and easier.

Achieving Complete Topical Coverage

Expanding the depth and breadth of your content to cover a topic comprehensively is a proven strategy for establishing authority and improving your search engine rankings. Here, AI and human editing work together like a well-oiled machine.

AI, with its ability to generate content swiftly and at scale, can help you achieve broad topical coverage faster. It can produce multiple pieces around a core topic, covering various subtopics, and creating a web of interconnected content. This, in turn, positions your website as a comprehensive source of information on a specific subject.

However, the speed and scale of AI-generated content could potentially lead to compromised quality standards if not properly managed. This is where human editing steps in. Editors ensure that each AI-generated piece of content is accurate, engaging, and offers real value to the reader, aligning with Google’s perspective on quality content.

Ensuring High-Quality, Humanized Content

The AI-human combination isn’t just about speed and efficiency. It’s also about quality. While AI is great at producing quick drafts and covering topics extensively, it often lacks the human touch that makes content relatable and engaging.

That’s where human editors step in. They transform AI’s technically correct but often sterile output into something rich and engaging. They add warmth, emotion, and narrative flow, turning a plain piece into a compelling read.

Human editors ensure factual accuracy, maintain the brand’s voice, and optimize the content for SEO. All these are areas where AI still has room for improvement.

How to Implement These Tips

Now that we’ve discussed the ‘why’ and ‘what’ of humanizing AI-generated content, let’s dive into the ‘how.’ How can you put these insights into practice?

Identifying Suitable AI Content Generation Tools

The first step is choosing the right AI content generation tool. There’s a myriad of options available, each with their strengths and weaknesses.

Your selection should depend on your specific needs. What type of content do you produce most often? What’s your budget? How much content do you need to produce?

Some tools are excellent at generating short-form content like social media posts, while others excel at long-form content. Some are geared towards creative writing, others towards SEO or technical writing. Research different options, use free trials, and find the one that fits your needs the best. 

Plain ol’ ChatGPT is a great place to begin if you would rather not pay to use a third party software.

Finding and Collaborating with Skilled Content Editors

You need skilled content editors who can humanize AI-generated content. Look for editors with a knack for storytelling, an eye for detail, and a deep understanding of your brand and audience. They should also be comfortable with AI tools and eager to learn and adapt.

But finding good editors is just part of the equation. You also need to foster a strong collaboration between your AI tool and your editors. Set clear expectations, establish communication channels, and encourage feedback and learning from both sides.

Consistently Reviewing and Improving the Editing Process

Don’t set it and forget it. Regularly review and tweak your editing process. Solicit feedback from your editors, watch for patterns in the AI’s errors, and continuously improve your briefings and editing guidelines.

The more your editors work with it and correct it, the better your editing processes will become.

With these steps, you’re all set to leverage AI for content creation while ensuring top-notch quality. But remember, the world of AI is fast-evolving. Stay curious, stay flexible, and continue to learn and adapt.

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