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An Investigation Into AI Copywriting

Robot arm holding a pen

AI copywriting has been around for a few years now, but the quality has been nowhere NEAR good enough to use for your business.

Now, I have a bias: I’m a copywriter.

However, if I weren’t a copywriter, how would I judge how good this robot’s copy is? Takes one to know one.

I’ll try to stay balanced.

Jasper AI

I’ve chosen Jasper because they’ve just announced that they’re now worth $1.5bn. Quite a big clue that they’re probably doing something right.

I’ve been aware of them for a few years but remained largely unimpressed. I’m willing to have my mind changed.

I wrote this copy with AI:

If you think of copywriting as a function to be completed rather than an art, AI could save you time. However, if you enjoy the creative process or believe that writing is an important part of your branding strategy, stick with human copywriters for now. In either case, good luck with your website content and don’t forget to A/B test headlines and calls to action to increase conversion rates. If you want to try out AI copywriting for yourself, check out Jasper.

I didn’t write this with AI:

Ok, so my sample kind of sucked. It was a bit soulless, wasn’t it? Part of that is the lack of variety in sentence length and syntax – it’s just unimaginative, which makes sense.

I feel like AI copywriting is only good enough if you care about the image of paragraphs on a page, not any kind of engagement, enjoyment or reaction. This is stocking filler copy.

What IS AI copywriting good for?

Stuff beyond our human brains. An AI can in theory give you the headline that’s going to convert, if it has the right data. That’s ok if you can go by the high-level industry data it has – say, hairdressing – but you’d need your own data set for it to be totally accurate, at which point you’re running an internal data project involving split testing and all sorts.

For it to save time in a small business, we need something much easier and quicker than that. I don’t advise scrimping on copywriting but if your business is just you and an accountant right now, Jasper could be useful support.

Drafts

If you’re not a confident writer, the easiest way for you to get stuff written could be to come up with the main points you want, submit it to Jasper to write up, and then edit what it gives you. Saves on brain power and can still end up sounding how you want.

For its faults, Jasper does produce accurate copy in terms of spelling and grammar. And most people think copywriting is just that: no spelling mistakes. If that is a high enough bar for now, have at it.

Ideas for tone

If you’re happy with the accuracy of your writing but you don’t know where to start with tone, have a play with Jasper using the tone field. This is one aspect I actually have been impressed by, so it could show you how to get the vibe you want across.

This example, using ‘sad’ as the tone prompt, was hilarious to me:

“The death of a brand is always sad, no matter the circumstances. But when a company fails to understand that its brand is about more than words and pictures, it’s only hastening its own demise. A strong brand is built on relationships, with every part of the business working together to create a cohesive whole. From the type of envelopes you use to how you answer a web chat, everything impacts the brand. And when one part fails, the whole system can come crashing down.”

That’s actually not bad. Just be wary and check carefully. I found ‘lighthearted’ made the poor robot chuck exclamation marks in at random. Not cute.

Format help

Jasper has templates for anything from Facebook ads to final paragraphs. That means you don’t have to stare at a blank page in despair or frantically Google ‘how do you write a press release?’

Fill in a few details, as I was doing in my example above, and Jasper will generate copy for your chosen format.

Content ideas

This is one of Jasper’s templates and something I could see being super helpful for a small business. Again, it’s that little jump over the roadblock of the blank page. This template takes company name, a description of your service or product, the tone you want and optional example blog posts.

I used my own business as an example but I only got very vague concepts, which I guess is understandable as I provide a creative service rather than selling a distinct product. I tried again using plumbing, to better effect – especially once I gave it longer inputs to work with (which may defeat the object for you!). It’s still a bit ‘content for content’s sake’, but it could help if you’re suffering from some bad brain freeze.

If you can, be descriptive. Rather than your audience being ‘parents’, go further: ‘stay-at-home parents who want eco-friendly cleaning products.’ It should hopefully be stuff that’s easy to write or find as it’s fundamental to your business, and the more you give, the more you’ll get.

Outlines

This is my top Jasper tip for a non-writer: give Jasper a blog title you’ve thought of and it’ll give you a list of things to cover. That’s genius! There’s a definite science to breaking down and answering a topic, so use a robot for the science and fill in the gaps.

I used another of my recent posts for this example:

  • What is alt text and why is it important for web accessibility
  • How to add alt text to images on your website
  • Examples of how alt text can improve user experience for people with disabilities
  • The benefits of using alt text for SEO
  • Tips for creating effective alt text
  • How to test if your alt text is working properly

This is not the post I wanted to write, but it could be a useful outline for me if I wasn’t sure what I did want to write. If I wasn’t a writer, I’d then want to use Jasper to write a summary final paragraph as the robot seems to have missed that off the list.

OK, what’s it cost?

Starting at $99 per month, it’s not cheap – but it’s a lot less than a copywriter. However, the question isn’t whether you should get a human or a robot: they don’t compare. This is a useful tool if you definitely, 100% cannot afford a copywriter yet, but you need to generate words. It’s also a useful tool for your copywriter or content team.

But it is a tool. Not a writer.

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