How to Leverage AI in Content Writing - Tips & Best Practices
Artificial intelligence is changing the world as we know it, and it is not very different for the content marketing industry too. With advancements in AI and machine learning technology, the way we plan, create, and publish content is evolving as well. One area that has seen wide adoption and a significant impact of AI is content writing. AI content writing tools have gone on to become so intuitive and smart today, you can hardly tell the difference between a paragraph generated by an AI writer and that written by a human writer.
But despite such improvements in efficiency and accuracy, some human intervention is always advisable when using AI writing tools. There are some best practices that you need to follow if you want your AI-generated content to fit in seamlessly with the rest of your content. Using AI content tools the right way will ensure that your content quality is maintained and using the AI tools actually brings better results.
What is AI, and how is it used in content writing
Artificial intelligence in content marketing mostly refers to GPT models or generative pre-trained transformer models that can generate human language through deep learning. AI tools are trained on natural language models. They are fed large data sets of content from the web to understand patterns and replicate them. AI content generation tools try to predict the next logical sequence of words or sentences that should come after the text you provide as input.
In content writing, AI can be used for multiple activities. AI writing assistants can help complete your sentences and paragraphs, write sections of blog posts and articles, generate email subject lines and copy, improve and paraphrase content, and more.
The way most AI writing tools work is the same. You have to provide the tool with some input text. This could be an outline or an introductory sentence, depending on the use case you're applying. A good AI writing tool will also let you define the tone, audience, keywords, etc., which are important to get an output that is better aligned with your requirements. You may also be able to generate multiple variations of content in one go with some AI tools. Once you have provided all of these inputs, the AI writing assistant generates the content within seconds.
Here's an example from the AI writer on Narrato Workspace to help you understand this better. We used the paraphrasing tool to rephrase the first paragraph of this article, defined the tone, chose the number of variations, and the highlighted text is what the AI tool gave us.
With tools like ChatGPT, however, the method is slightly different. Being designed like a chatbot, here you need to provide all the details in your query itself and there are no dedicated fields for the inputs.
Here's a screenshot of ChatGPT being put to similar use, and you can see the difference in the way the input is provided on these two tools.
In this article, we will discuss how you can improve these inputs to get better outputs from your AI writing assistants.
How AI can help speed up content writing and boost productivity
AI can help speed up your content creation process by giving you a headstart when you are facing a creative block. Most content creators use AI writing tools to generate article outlines, introductions, and sections, which helps them create a first draft much faster.
AI tools can also help with brainstorming ideas. An AI topic generator will give you a list of content ideas that you can work on, minimizing the time your team spends on research and ideation.
AI tools can also boost speed and productivity by automating some of the recurring activities in content creation, like generating SEO content briefs, SEO meta descriptions for every article, generating social posts for content promotion, etc., that are critical but time-consuming too. AI writing tools are great at generating short-form content and come in very handy here to save you time.
AI tools can help save a lot of time on content editing and optimization as well. AI content assistants can identify errors and improvement opportunities in your content to make proofreading and editing faster.
AI image generators can help you create custom images and graphics faster as well. Instead of searching for generic stock images from among thousands, you can create your own images with just a few descriptive text prompts.
How to use AI writing tools for best results (tips and best practices)
Despite the many benefits that AI content tools provide, you could end up using them the wrong way, which may lower your content's performance rather than improve it. Or you could end up with the wrong AI tool that doesn't do much for your productivity.
For an assured productivity and quality boost, the first thing you need to focus on is getting the best AI writer for the purpose. There are a few key factors to consider when choosing an AI writer, which include -
- Ease of use of the AI writing tool
- Use cases available on the AI writing tool
- Accuracy and quality of the output
- Ability to define tone, audience, etc.
- Number of variations of content generated in one go
These are some basic features that you should look for, but there can be more or fewer features in different tools. Pick one that best meets your writing needs.
To give you an idea of what a good AI writing assistant should look like, you could take the example of Narrato. Narrato is an AI content workspace that lets you manage your entire content process and team in one place. The AI writing assistant on Narrato can generate content for various content types including blogs, web and ad copy, emails, video marketing, SEO content, and more.
Some of the interesting use cases on this AI writer are -
- Blog post outlines, intros, and conclusions
- Paraphrasing, sentence expander, and content improver
- Product descriptions and website copy
- Ad copy based on AIDA, BAB, or PAS framework
- Cold emails and email subject lines
- Video script outlines and video descriptions
- SEO meta descriptions
There are several other use cases too and based on what your content strategy demands, you can put this tool to the test. There is an AI content assistant as well that helps with generating SEO briefs, editing, and optimizing the content faster, and an AI topic generator for content ideation.
When picking an AI content creation tool, make sure that you pick something with multiple use cases like Narrato. This will ensure that you don't have to toggle between different tools for different content types and activities.
Apart from choosing the right tool, certain best practices must be adopted when using AI writing tools to ensure that you get the best outputs aligned with your style and tone of writing.
Here are a few tips to help you get the best results from AI in content writing.
Using AI writing tools for blogs
Using an AI writer to create content for blogs is probably one of the most common applications of AI in content writing. But content creators and marketers may find it difficult to decide when and when not to use AI in blog writing.
The first thing to take note of is that AI writers are not a replacement for human writers. This means you should not get entire blog posts written by an AI writer. The AI tool is only meant to assist you in the process and speed up writing, and that is what it should be used for.
Some applications of AI writers in blog writing would be -
- To generate blog post outlines from the topic
- To generate blog post intros and sectional intros, giving you a headstart
- To generate blog post conclusions
- To generate SEO meta descriptions, with the primary keyword included in the text prompt
- To improve or paraphrase an existing paragraph for better readability and flow
- To proofread and edit content with grammar and readability checks
Generating small sections of your blog post using AI will ensure that your post does not look or sound robotic, and that the AI-generated content fits well with the rest of the post. It will also give you better control over the content quality.
Some of the best practices in AI blog writing you should follow are -
- Provide clear and descriptive inputs/prompts
- Choose your use case carefully and ensure it is relevant to the outcome you're looking for
- Define your tone and target audience wherever possible
- Generate and experiment with multiple variations of AI content instead of settling for the very first output you get
AI writing tools for copywriting & social media
Another major use of AI writing tools is for generating website copy, ad copy, and social media content. The best part about using AI for content writing in these areas is that these are usually short-form content, and AI is great at generating meaningful short paragraphs.
In the case of copywriting, you can use an AI tool to generate website copy, product descriptions, ad copy, web page headlines, and even to ideate business and product names.
Here is an example of a perfect product description generated by the AI writing assistant on Narrato. We generated three variations of the content, and each of them is quite apt and relevant. You can also pick bits and pieces from the different versions to create something more impactful of your own.
When using an AI content writing tool for any kind of marketing copy, however, you must be mindful of a few important things.
- Mention your brand name in your input text to ensure it is always present in the output content too
- Train the AI tool to understand your tone and style to capture your brand's personality better
- Don't rely entirely on the AI tool. If you want a truly impactful and personalized copy, some amount of editing and optimization will be necessary at your end
- Don't forget to include the target keywords in your input to the AI tool. SEO is key in copywriting
Following these best practices ensures that the content you generate for your website, landing pages, and ads are reflective of your brand identity. Tone of voice and messaging is critical in copywriting for a business, so make sure that you get these right even when relying on AI-assisted writing.
For social media content, you can benefit from use cases like paraphrasing on an AI writing tool. If you often need content for the social promotion of your blog posts, for instance, you can easily generate a number of different social media posts by paraphrasing important sections of the blog post. This will give you ready-to-use blurbs within seconds.
Just make sure to proofread and see if it flows well by itself or needs a little editing. Even with this step included, it will take you far less time than creating social posts from scratch.
AI writing tools for email marketing
Email marketing is an important part of all marketing campaigns, and it takes up a major chunk of your content production bandwidth too. So if you can automate email writing with the help of AI content generation, you will be saving a lot of time.
Most AI writing assistants will let you automatically generate email subject lines and email copy as well. But it is important to remember that emails are more targeted and personalized content. So getting the purpose and context of the copyright is crucial. Here are some key things to keep in mind when generating email content with AI -
- Clearly define the purpose of the email. If your AI tool allows you to define the context as Narrato does, that's great. If you're using something like ChatGPT, describe everything clearly in your query.
- Be consistent with the tone. If you are often generating emails with AI, choose the same tone for consistency, or it could reflect badly on your brand image
- Create a structured outline that you can use as input to the AI email writer. This will ensure a better-quality output
- Enrich and personalize the email by adding more to the AI-generated content. Use customer data to personalize.
Use cases like content improver, paraphrasing, sentence expander, etc., on the AI writer, can also come in handy when creating emails. If you prefer to write your own email, these use cases can help you improve and enhance the message further.
How to improve existing content with AI writing tools
Apart from content writing, AI tools can also help enhance your existing content, be it on your blog, website, or any other platform. Most AI content writing assistants have use cases that help with enhancing and optimizing content. For instance, if you notice that a blog post you published isn't performing great, your ideal action would be to rework the post to improve the content. But doing this manually can be an added effort.
With an AI writing tool that has a content improver use case, though, this becomes a very easy exercise. Pick the sections you think can be improved and rewrite them using the content improver or paraphrasing tool. Most of the time, the rewritten content will have a better structure and flow than the original content. You can also fix the tone of the content if you feel it is out of sync in some parts of the article.
You can improve your content's structure with use cases like 'Paragraphs to Bullets' on your AI writer. If you feel your content has too many paragraphs that could rather be bulleted lists for better readability, this use case can automatically convert it for you. Bullets are also great for SEO and for appearing in Featured Snippets on Google.
Here's how paragraphs-to-bullets work on the Narrato AI writer, to give you a better idea.
You can also generate answers for your FAQs sections with the QnA use case on an AI writer to save you time on this low-impact activity.
Next Steps: How to avoid common AI writing mistakes
AI writing tools are a blessing for content marketers, and there are no two ways about it. But if used wrong, they can end up doing more harm than good for your search rankings and brand reputation. There are some common mistakes in AI content creation that we all may overlook at times.
Here are some AI content creation mistakes that you should avoid to make AI writing assistants work to your advantage.
Relying entirely on AI - Having no human oversight when using AI-generated content can be a big folly. Ideally, human writers should create most of the content and take assistance where needed from an AI writer. If you generate entire articles with AI, the content may be incoherent, lack flow, and fail to connect with the audience.
Not fact-checking the content - AI-generated content may have inaccuracies (rare but possible). It is important that you always proofread and fact-check content generated by AI writers to ensure you don't publish any misinformation. This could be bad for your audience and your brand too.
Using AI writing tools beyond their capacity - AI writing tools are trained on existing data. This means if you are working on a thought leadership piece, original research, or a highly creative piece, using an AI writer might not help. AI cannot create original ideas, so it is important that you understand its limitations and use AI tools only where they give the best results.
AI writing tools are the future of content writing and offer a great opportunity to create high-quality content quickly and efficiently. With the right understanding of your content needs and priorities, you can easily find the right AI writing tool for your content marketing needs. By following the best practices outlined above, you can maximize the benefits of AI in content writing to help you deliver an impact with content and reduce the content-to-market time.