In recent months, there has been a spurt in the number of Artificial Intelligence (AI) based writing tools. Are such tools like Kafkai, Nichess, Snazzy and others here to stay?
Background : AI for copywriting
In August 2020, I had written a post about (and using)Kafkai on my blog. Kafkai is an artificial intelligence based writing tool. This tool helps you prepare drafts for blog posts headlines, social media promotions, etc. At that point in time, The software was in early stages of development left much to be desired. Thepotentiapresented by the idea was exciting. Since then, the market for such tools has evolved, and today there are at least seven or eight tools in this space. Many of these SaaS tools follow the Premium model, though some offer a free trial.
As a content creator or a content marketer, are these tools really helpful? Are these really a writing aid, or replacement for the copywriters? Those are some of the questions that are being asked in writing groups or communities. If you explore sites like ProductHunt, Indiehackers or Betalist, you will find an ever growing list of AI driven content creation tools.
Several writing apps have been doing the rounds in the past few months, that use artificial intelligence tools. Many of them use GPT2 technology, whereas others use the shiny new GPT3 .
The List of AI powered writing tools
The tools that I have cataloged so far are mentioned below.
Of the above tools, I actively use Nichess and Snazzy. In the past, I had also created a few posts using Kafkai. Note: here is another example from Kafkai- though this was created in August 2020. The last one, I noticed on betalist, only a couple of days ago.Deal aggregator sites like AppSumo have some tools on deeply discounted sales.
With this plethora of options available, which is the right tool(s) for you? To answer this question, let us first take a look at types of content.
Types of Content Creation
There are four or five major categories of written content that content marketers would typically require. These form a part of their content calendar or content marketing strategy. Below are some major categories.
a. Blog posts and Long form posts (blog posts: typically 600 words or longer)
b. Short posts of a couple of hundred words, that describe the nature of business for an organization, event invitation, etc.
c.Headlines and promotional text for social media sites, including Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
d. And finally, maybe product descriptions for any new service, books, etc.
e. Product Reviews
f. Last but not the least, copy for newsletters and other outreach activities.
This is just a small set of the different kinds of content that may be required by content marketers. As of today, no single tool can deliver all of these with aplomb.
Getting Started: Putting the tools to use
I typically follow a multi-step approach in my writing, a standard practice followed by many folks. Typically, this means using a different tool for each step. Below is my writing process. You will find mention of the tools for each step.
a. Identify the topic or problem statement, and develop the storyline.
b. Prepare the Content Brief
c. Prepare the draft
d. Optimize for readability
e. Add mix media: Images, videos or audio, to the post to make it interactive.
f. Prepare the social media promotion posts (using open graph or relevant tool like Missinglettr or playable)
g. Revisit the post in about 3 months, update or optimise as required.
Let us look at the first four in detail.
Identify the topic or problem statement, and develop thestory linee.
A tool like Nichess does a really good job at providing a starting point: headline and the first paragraph itself. It can also help in preparing headlines and posts for social media promotions once the actual blog post has been published. SnazzyAi lets you ‘stretch’ the AI created paragraph to get some more writing ideas and/ or words. In many other aspects, it is quite similar to Nichess.
Now looking at the others in the list. Some claim to do certain aspects of this whole blogging, or content writing journey, really well. Others are very good at optimization.
Develop the content Brief
This involves looking for relevant keywords, titles for headings and subheadings in the post. I use getkeywords or Ubersuggest for keywords. Serpstat is another useful tool for keywords.
A resource like Frase is helpful in developing the content brief, which also includes references and other resources even before the first word has been written.
From the list of keywords, we can add a search query in the form of a problem statement. Frase tool will help you identify the relevant resources by looking up the top articles related to the search query. Based on analyzing the patterns in these posts, it will identify the number of words, suggest the number of headings for the new content. Next, it helps you prepare the brief, or even let you prepare the draft that your content writing team can modify. Some links and resources with domain authority are optional.
Prepare the draft
I use Otter.ai speech to text tool to create the first draft. I recently created a short video review of otter.ai, I will leave it below for your consumption.
Optimize for readability
Here I must also talk about Storychief in addition to Copywritely and Content Studio. These three tools are my lifesavers when churning out content in volumes. Ink App is another weapon of choice for me. I use Copywritely and Storychief help in formatting as well as optimizingg the draft for grammar and readability.
Nichess can also help here, by providing catchy headlines or some really quirky content that can be later used for social media.
Are AI tools ready to replace copywriting?
At this point in time, this question can best be answered as follows.
“Your Mileage May Vary,”
”Different strokes for different folks.”
I believe the above answers will be true for a period of time. One should look at AI tools as an enabler, not a threat. Many of the tools are experimental and need user input at multiple locations. For example, subject matter experts (SMEs) would be required when one is writing technical blog say on rocket ships, or a post on medicine. If the Corporate Communication of a pharmaceutical company is to talk about advances, say in testing of COVID-19 for example, inputs from SMEs would obviously be required.
Back in 2015 or early 2016, there was a post circulating on social media about AI writing tools. An artificial intelligence tool had written the first 100 pages of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It was very early times in technology, and the result left a lot to be desired. But that was *only* five years ago. In technological terms, we have come a long way. Let me also tell you about another quirky little tool called podbot.ai that I came across on ProductHunt. It creates audio podcasts, using artificial intelligence. You can read my blog post to learn more about this tool. As a podcast creator, I do see that as a threat. Or rather, I see that as a threat in a good way. As this tool keeps getting better and better, it will push us creators to go ahead and keep improving our own output.
In my opinion, AI based writing tools should be seen as (healthy) competition and not as a threat.
What do you think about the AI based Ccopywriting tools? Are they ready for prime time? Are they ready to replace copywriters?