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Quality Vs Quantity: The Benefit of Human-Written Content

Happy business people supervising an AI robot

AI. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of years, it’s been impossible to avoid hearing about it – no matter how much you might like to.

Those two little letters are often capable of provoking the strongest reaction since Marmite hit the shelves. Depending on your point of view, it’s either the best thing since sliced bread, or something that we should fear and be wary of for the day it inevitably rises up against humanity and takes over the world.

For writers or anyone who makes a living from creative work, it has been the cause of more than a few sleepless nights. Those long nights where you’re lying awake with cold sweat running down your back, fearing the day when you lose your job (and perhaps the only thing you’re good at) to a machine that can churn out words far faster than you’ll ever be able to.

These days, more and more brands are relying on AI-generated content to use on their websites, social media and promotional material. You might be reading this considering doing the same for your business too, or already be doing so.

But is it really the golden bullet you need to improve your branding or boost your sales, or are you still better off getting a real, living breathing person to help with that? The answer might seem straightforward, but hang on. Before you rush off to get ChatGPT to rewrite your home page, read on to discover whether it really is the right approach for you.

The AI-generated content revolution

ChatGPT is perhaps still the best-known AI tool there is. Since first being launched in November 2022 by OpenAI, it has been a gamechanger in the world of written content creation.

Every day, ChatGPT receives over 10 million queries from around the world. And that’s more than just lazy students wanting an easy way to write that essay they’ve been procrastinating on. A 2023 survey of 1,000 business leaders in the US found that 49% of businesses already use ChatGPT, whilst 30% intended to use it in future. Moreover, 25% of companies using ChatGPT have already saved an astonishing $75,000 with the technology.

ChatGPT’s most common use in business is for coding, but unsurprisingly, 58% of business leaders also reported using it for creating content or copywriting.

It’s not hard to understand why.

The biggest advantages of ChatGPT are that it’s free, fast, and (usually) available at any time of day. Rather than having the hassle of finding a good writer, pay them money, and then wait whilst they craft something you’re happy with, you can simply head to ChatGPT, enter your prompt, and it’ll do all the hard work for you in seconds. No matter whether you want a 250-word blog post, or 25,000-word brochure, you won’t find a solution for creating something faster.

When finding new ways to save time and money are two of your biggest concerns, it seems like a no brainer.

But have you stopped to consider whether that AI-generated content is actually any good? Or perhaps more specifically, whether it’s better than what a human could write?

The problems with AI-generated content

Oh sure, ChatGPT will always deliver word-perfect content the second you want it – but is it really going to resonate with your intended audience? As new and impressive as it might seem, there are several BIG problems with an overreliance on this kind of content.

AI copy lacks that human feel

Humans value connection, and we’re better at connecting with people through words than a machine ever will be. Think about the last advert, blog post or promotional email you read that sticks in your mind. Chances are that it was written by a person, rather than a robot.

While AI is great at generating words quickly, most of the time the stuff that it comes up with sounds like… well, like a robot has written it. It’ll be cold, emotionless, and pretty boring to read. If that’s the sort of copy your business wants, great. But good luck getting any sales or engagement from it.

The problem with AI-generated content is that it has not been written by a human who has all the memories, experiences, and emotions each of us share. It will never be able recall that sage advice a parent once gave it, that funny thing its dog did this morning, or that life-changing experience that helped shape the way it views the world. 

The best writing makes your reader feel something – whether that’s joy, excitement, worry, intrigue or anger – and the best way to incorporate that into your writing is still to get a human to write it for you. A human has way more personality than a robot ever will.

AI generated content doesn’t speak to your customer

One of the top tips any content writer or copywriter learns from day one is to write like you speak, and to avoid jargon that confuses readers and customers.

But this is another problem with AI generated content. Often, the content it generates can be excessively wordy and use phrases that you’d never use if you were talking to a friend in a café.

ChatGPT describing your business as an “integrated agency providing innovative commercial solutions to unlock new opportunities and enhance experiences” might sound impressive, but will anyone have the faintest idea what the heck you’re talking about?

Put simply, if you’re using AI content that isn’t speaking the language that your customers use, then how are you ever going to reach them? Human written content is far more likely to.

ChatGPT is generating similar content for everyone

In a crowded, competitive environment, your brand’s tone of voice can make a huge difference in helping you to stand out from your rivals.

The most successful brands all have unique tones of voice that are the result of hours of hard work from extremely talented human writers.

And whilst AI might be able to mimic, it’s very unlikely to be able to come up with something truly unique or special that is suddenly going to see your brand winning lots of marketing and advertising awards.  

The problem is that when so many brands use ChatGPT, it is simply generating very similar content for everyone, no matter what prompts you enter. Whilst human writers are capable of thinking differently to come up with fresh, new ideas and content that stands out, AI lacks creativity and is limited by the scope of its programming.

Who knows, maybe one day that might change. But for now, it means that AI-generated copy is often repetitive and lacks the spark that is needed to boost your brand.

And that’s not all…

  • ChatGPT doesn’t know your business (or care about it).
  • AI-generated content is unpopular with increasing numbers of people.
  • It struggles to convey your brand voice authentically.
  • It’s less engaging and interesting to read.
  • AI content can be unpredictable, unreliable and sometimes even offensive.

AI is a useful tool, not a magic solution

The mistake lots of brands make is an overreliance on AI-generated content. Being cheaper, faster and readily available at any time, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing it to be a cure-all solution.

But look, we’re not going to sit here and tell you to avoid it completely – as we’d be being dishonest. Even writers often use ChatGPT. It can be particularly useful when it comes to formulating ideas and getting inspiration at those moments when your brain is frazzled and on low battery.

There have been plenty of scare stories in the past couple of years about how AI content will replace human-written content. But it now seems far more likely that AI will aid human writers, rather than replace them completely.

AI has its place and is here to stay, and a combination of human-written and AI generated content is the best approach to take. But you’ll be making a very costly mistake if you fire your writers and believe that your brand can simply rely on ChatGPT as their permanent replacement.

If you disagree, simply ask yourself the following question: what’s more important to your brand, quality or quantity?

“Quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten”

Aldo Gucci