Creative15 Dec 2023
Why should I invest in a copywriter over using ChatGPT/AI
Quick, sack your copywriter! We’ve got ChatGPT now. Whoa! Hang on a minute. While AI technology has broken through recently as a ‘game-changer’ for businesses, will it be replacing human creatives? The answer is no, or perhaps, not just yet.
With the rise of social media, content creation has become a resource-hungry requirement for just about every marketing department, small business and large corporations. With engaging, branded content, businesses can more quickly and easily build their loyal customer bases.
Copy-based content can be very varied. It may be a blog, article, SEO meta tags, advertising copy, social media post, landing page or brand tagline, just to name a few. These various forms of content capture the audience's attention, engage and create interest to inspire behavioural change and action.
The best person to create copy-based content is a copywriter. Think of them as skilled wordsmiths and storytellers. Their role is to produce interesting, engaging and informative copy for brands, which may include promotional or advertising material. Copywriters have been around for millenia and more professionally in full-time roles since the late 19th century.
In late 2022, Open AI launched a bot called ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-Trained Transformer) that can produce large amounts of copy content in mere seconds, with simple prompts and the press of a button. Today it has around 180.5 million users. (https://explodingtopics.com/blog/chatgpt-users)
With the rapid rise in AI-produced content, we must be mindful of consumer sentiment. According to 'Forbes Advisor', over 75% of consumers are concerned about misinformation from artificial intelligence. So consider your brand values in relation to transparency and whether crediting AI when using this technology may be the most appropriate approach.
But is the content produced by ChatGPT accurate, effective or indeed worthwhile?
If you ‘ask’ ChatGPT itself, ”can your written material replace human content?” The answer given is "AI-generated content can be helpful and provide value in many cases; it's not a complete substitute for human content. Combining human creativity, expertise and AI assistance often leads to the best results."
Although ChatGPT can help anyone with initial content ideas, writing meta tags, creating blog outlines, optimising ad copy, it can’t wholly replace humans (especially copywriters) who have the expertise to write expert and knowledgeable on-brand content that has creativity, empathy and above all personal experience.
Understanding the role of a copywriter
The art of crafting persuasive language to promote products and services in advertising and marketing is known as copywriting. In this field, skilled professionals known as copywriters help create compelling copy that effectively captures the target audience's attention and motivates them to take action. With a rich history spanning centuries, the practice of copywriting continues to evolve and adapt to the marketplace's changing needs.
Definition of a copywriter and their primary responsibilities
Do you know who's got the gift of the gab and the power of persuasion? A copywriter, that's who! These creative wizards are masters of the written word, crafting catchy slogans, video scripts, engaging website content and irresistible ads that leave you wanting more. They're responsible for bringing your favourite brands to life, making them stand out and capture your attention. So the next time you see an ad that inspires or excites you, you can thank the talented copywriter behind the scenes who made it all happen.
Though a copywriter gets involved in writing several content forms, their primary responsibilities include:
1. Researching industry trends on consumer tastes and preferences, recent developments etc.
2. Writing creatively on a huge variety of topics, or they can specialise in a specific field - like medical, property or IT
3. Editing and proofreading
4. Brainstorming for different copy ideas
5. Adapting, adhering and writing in different brand’s ‘tone of voice’
6. Enhancing their skills as a professional copywriter through training and development courses
The expertise of a professional copywriter lies in their ability to make their audience take action after reading the compelling copy.
A copywriter must possess the following skills to become an expert copywriter;
1. Empathy (i.e. put themselves in their audiences’ shoes)
2. Excellent reading comprehension
3. Good command of language; grammar, spelling and punctuation
5. Time management
6. Adaptability to various and engaging writing styles
7. Human creativity and intuition in crafting compelling copy
Human creativity involves understanding the consumer and creating compelling messaging that converts readers into customers. It is this higher level of ‘creative copywriting’ that helps make a brand stand out from the competition through ad copy, landing pages, jingles, slogans, social media content and more.
Despite AI content writing tools such as ChatGPT being able to assist us from an efficiency point of view, creativity still lies solely in the infinite and quirky nuances of the human brain.
Limitations of ChatGPT/AI
As a language model powered by artificial intelligence, ChatGPT boasts remarkable versatility in executing various tasks, such as content generation. Such an impressive skill set has solidified ChatGPT's position as a favoured instrument in multiple applications, like content development. Even with the cutting-edge technology underpinning ChatGPT's operation, it is not immune to limitations.
Like any AI system, ChatGPT confronts specific weaknesses and challenges that can impede its performance and accuracy. Let’s delve into the limitations of ChatGPT, spanning from its incapacity to grasp intricate contexts to its reliance on biassed data, among others;
1. Lack of contextual understanding and potential misinterpretation
A constraint of the ChatGPT platform is its difficulties in comprehending contextual nuances. It doesn’t understand the meaning of words. Despite its language-based artificial intelligence model, the system encounters problems grasping human communication's subtleties, such as humour and sarcasm. If sarcasm goes into a query, the ChatGPT platform may misconstrue the intended meaning and provide an entirely incorrect response.
2. Inability to empathise with the target audience and adapt the tone of voice
One of the limitations of ChatGPT, the AI-powered chatbot, is its inability to empathise with the target audience. While the chatbot helps to provide prompt responses and assist users with their queries, it lacks the human touch required to understand and relate to their emotions and concerns. This limitation can lead to a frustrating experience for users who seek personalised and empathetic interactions.
Adaptation of tone of voice is a crucial aspect of effective communication and a limitation of ChatGPT. The absence of tone of voice in ChatGPT can lead to misunderstandings, which can have serious consequences, particularly in professional settings.
3. Challenges in generating original and engaging content
One of the main challenges that businesses face when using ChatGPT is creating original and engaging content. While ChatGPT can be a useful tool for interacting with customers and providing helpful information, it is important to remember that users can quickly become disengaged if the content isn’t interesting and varied - i.e. sounds robotic. AI can often just string together endless facts in a repetitive manner, instead of rich explanations of why things are presented in a dynamic way. Equally, ChatGPT draws from data that is not current. It doesn’t use live data. So if there is something newsworthy or timely that you want to include in your copy messaging - it can’t. Businesses should focus on creating timely, informative and engaging content that is human-based, to avoid the limitation of using ChatGPT.
Benefits of investing in a copywriter
Although AI can assist writers (and non-writers) in making their workflow more efficient, or even providing a kickstart to idea generation, they fall short in originality. This is all the wonderful, social and quirky nuances that make human connection more meaningful when copy helps connect audiences with stories.
Below are some of the main reasons for investing in human copywriters:
Businesses require brand, sales and marketing copy to turn strangers into fans. To cater to the diverse requirements of market positioning, brand voice and drivers of multiple audience segments, copy must be smart, aligned, emotive and connect on a human level. This is where copywriters have a distinct advantage.
While creating copy for a brand, it becomes essential to incorporate the brand identity and voice through written text and storytelling. A professional copywriter can understand the market positioning of the brand (enhanced through its ‘tone of voice’) and then develop both strategic and tactical messaging to shift perceptions amongst the target audiences; to reinforce or challenge their understanding and connection with the products and services that they use or may desire to acquire.
Copywriters have the necessary skills to develop new and novel ideas that help create compelling copy that meets clients briefs and helps solve customer challenges. Problem-solving through research and brainstorming ideas helps copywriters write more human and engaging content that helps build a connection between brand and audience.
For the brand to create a cohesive and memorable identity across all brand channels, messaging needs consistency and uniformity in terms of tone of voice. Copywriters are experienced in adapting tone of voice to different types of topic and for different marketing channels.
The human element in copywriting
Copywriting helps brands create a personality that attracts customers over time. Though AI use simplifies the task of writing content, it's the human element that allows brands to differentiate and build a connection with brands over the longer term.
The following points further help in understanding the role of the human element in copywriting:
1. Emotional connection and storytelling
A brand thrives by developing stories that attract, engage and retain customers. With an understanding of customer psychology, copywriters build brand stories with empathy that compel customers to take action.
2. Incorporating cultural nuances and sensitivity
Brands often incorporate cultural differences across various regions so as to be more relatable. Copywriters understand cultural sensitivity and as such can create more sensitive copy that persuades users in their local context.
3. Timeliness to adapt to changing market trends and consumer behaviour
Consumer behaviour evolves over time. As does the competitive landscape. Often copy needs to be timely. That’s where research comes in. And that can be from many channels - news media, print, even weekend BBQ conversations. An experienced copywriter is like a ‘sponge’ for social nuances, commercial trends and can adapt their writing to inspire, engage and motivate audiences in the now.
Collaboration and Communication
Copywriters collaborate and communicate effectively with internal and external stakeholders to create well-rounded, on-brief and compelling copy. Through the buy-in and engagement of all stakeholders the copywriting process is enhanced.
While professional copywriters spend most of their time working independently, there is huge value in collaboration with clients, creative colleagues and industry peers. Copywriters can get closer to the audience when there are key touchpoints to meet with stakeholders; such as briefing, review and sometimes even testing with the actual audience (if budget permits) or if digital through market feedback and optimisation processes. Collaboration is an essential ingredient to creating copy that works.
The most effective copy is delivered when the copywriter incorporates feedback from various internal clients. It is imperative to work with designers, project managers, brand and marketing managers within an organisation to ensure the brief (including objectives) and copy revisions are meeting the needs of all stakeholders as the work progresses.
Revising content either at a general ‘tone of voice’-level and also at a specific phrase-level takes patience, persistence and fine attention to detail. Professional copywriters make this seem easy with exceptional editing skills and the ability to optimise content that aligns brand values with audience desire.
The advantages of investing in a professional copywriter allows businesses to use the skills and expertise of experienced messaging experts who offer the following benefits;
1. Create messages according to the communication channel and target audience
2. Leverage the tone of voice of brands in an effective way
3. Develop timely messages that are newsworthy and tap into social and human subtleties
4. Bring all stakeholders on the ‘messaging journey’ through collaboration
5. Create localised copy for audiences across culturally diverse regions
6. Bring a more emotive, human-storytelling approach to copy
7. Deliver cohesive brand stories effectively across communication mediums and over time
Although ChatGPT and other AI copy based technology has greatly evolved in recent times and is assisting both writers (and non-writers) to create more effective ad copy or inspire different possible angles to story-telling, they do have their limits. They are not as effective as human writers, who typically better handle subjective and opinion-based content, emotional or empathetic writing and content requiring unique personal experiences.