Why you still need a content plan in the AI content writing era
Welcome to the AI content writing era where with the click of a button, an algorithm can provide sales emails, blogs, social media posts and more. But this doesn’t negate the need for content experts.
Yes, AI content is improving and has its use cases. But it still requires a human touch and some serious marketing know-how.
AI won’t come up with a content plan for you, including what keywords you should be focused on, how often to publish content and what your customers care about.
Instead, your marketing team still needs to listen to customer inquiries, learn more about customers and their needs and respond accordingly.
What is AI-generated content?
First, let’s define AI-generated content. This includes any content that a machine creates. This content can be a sales email, blog post or website copy.
AI content is the newest tool in the content revolution where supplying customers with answers to common questions before they ever interact with a salesperson or purchase a product makes all the difference.
But it isn’t making content planning and content expertise obsolete. Here’s why.
5 reasons content planning is still essential
As you evaluate your B2C or B2B marketing strategies, here’s why content planning should still be at the top of the list.
1. AI content is only as good as the prompt and parameters you give it
When working with an AI-writing tool, you’ll still need a content plan to know how to program the writing tool to get the content you want.
Yes, AI can answer a simple question with a robust answer. But it can’t draft targeted, long-form content without your help. It needs you to tell it the main topic idea, keywords, length, etc.
2. AI-generated content has limited use cases
AI can certainly help you develop content quickly. But it still needs a human review. Having a content plan will outline what to look for in the content to make sure it checks all the boxes and will resonate with your customers.
The content is not completely original because it pulls from published content on the matter. And while the content is rephrased to avoid plagiarism or legal ramifications, it still lacks the originality required for thought leadership.
And Google has specifically said that it will flag low-quality AI-generated content and reduce the likelihood that those pages rank well on the search engine. However, it also says that AI content is not against its policies so long as it isn’t used to manipulate search results and that high-quality content will still rank regardless.
Your content plan should outline how to engage AI services effectively to save time and produce high-quality content that resonates with your customers. In some cases, using AI content works well, such as in the case of email marketing, internal communication and social media content. But when it comes to blogs, you’re better off using an SEO tool to help you create valuable content outlines and working with a skilled copywriter to draft high-quality, targeted content.
3. Customer-centric copy still reigns supreme
No matter how much you tell a tool about your target audience, it can’t know them like you do. It can’t understand the challenges they face or why they are seeking a solution to a problem.
Customer-centric copy is essential, and to resonate with people, the content likely needs a human touch. While AI can offer ideas and starting points for drafting content, a content plan should still outline the goals for the piece, how it fits into the customer buying journey and how it relates to your customers’ needs.
So instead of just churning out as much content as possible using AI, continue working from a content plan that aims to connect with your customers on a deeper level.
4. Backlinks add value to content
Content planning isn’t just about what you publish on your website. It’s also about the content you publish on third-party websites. Building backlinks from reputable websites can help elevate your domain authority, which can increase ranking for all pages.
The term content is complex and refers to much more than just blogs, emails and social media. Notifications in a company app, podcasts, videos and more all qualify as types of content. Earning brand name mentions during a podcast can be part of an awareness campaign, and there simply isn’t any way to automate that process.
Additionally, some third-party websites for guest blogs have taken a firm stance against AI-generated content. So when considering backlink opportunities, you might still need to call upon a good copywriter to aid in the process.
5. Distribution adds value to content
Content plans are about more than just what content you’ll publish, where and when. It’s also about how you’ll distribute that content and get the most out of it.
Publishing new content is good but getting it in front of readers is equally important. Some distribution strategies that might be part of your content plan include:
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Third-party email marketing
- Backlinking strategies
AI-assisted content vs. AI-generated content
AI-assisted content fits into a content plan far better than AI-generated content because it leaves room for your voice and tone and expertise with your target audience to shine through.
Content that AI generates entirely lacks the insights that you’ve developed throughout your time in your industry. The difference between AI-assisted content and AI-generated content is massive.
Using AI as a tool can help elevate marketing plans and speed up the process of generating high-quality content. The content will still sound very human and match the content you’re generating for other channels because it is written in your voice using the same team.
Using AI as an assistant will also ensure you don’t end up with content that has inaccuracies or overlooks certain questions your customers might have.
The best use case for AI in content planning includes:
- Coming up with content ideas
- Making titles more engaging
- Finding new angles for existing content
- Summarizing ideas into short phrases
- Meta data that fits within parameters
The future of content creation
No one can be certain of what the future holds for content creators. But ultimately, AI can’t generate all forms of content just yet, such as podcasts or videos. Yet, it can help you generate ideas and frameworks that can speed up the content creation timeline.
Most experts speculate that AI is here to stay. Content marketing experts will still be valuable though to edit and humanize that content.