The Comprehensive Guide to AI Content Creation

November 1, 2023


John Thomas

AI-driven content is no longer optional for content creators looking to maintain a competitive edge. From AI’s historical roots to real-world applications, discover the benefits, challenges, and ethical considerations shaping the future of AI-driven content.

Historically speaking, artificial intelligence (AI) is nothing new. As far back as 380 BC, there were mathematicians, professors, theologians, philosophers, and authors pondering the use of machines and automation to replace human thoughts and processes. They didn’t know it at the time, but their curiosity about the mechanization of human thinking would explode into a ubiquitous technology that, today, is changing the way every industry does business.

One of those industries, of course, is digital marketing. Generative AI is a hot topic of discussion among content marketers looking for ways to use AI tools without losing the authenticity and creativity of human insights. As content creators dip their toes into AI applications, they’re seeking guidance on how to strike a balance between doing the work that no machine can ever do and leveraging technology to save time, money, energy, and resources.

Meanwhile, they’re making use of AI technology to drive more conversions and enhance their content marketing endeavors. As McKinsey reports, AI has the potential to generate between $1.4 trillion and $2.6 trillion in global marketing and sales — so this is not a technology you want to overlook in your strategic planning.

In this comprehensive guide, we explore AI in content creation, the history of generative AI, the transformative technologies shaping the use of AI in content marketing, the challenges of implementation, and the outlook for AI going forward. With this AI playbook, you’ll have everything you need to implement AI in content creation — all while avoiding the biggest pitfalls of AI content creation and holding fast to the human skills and talents that make content shine. We’ll walk you through the details below, and you can always jump to any section for immediate insights.


●      A Brief History of Artificial Intelligence

●      The Rise of AI in Content Creation

●      Benefits of AI-Driven Content

●      What About the Cons?

●      Case Studies: Real-World Examples of Successful AI-Driven Content Efforts

●      Top Questions to Ask About AI Content Creation

●      Future Outlook for AI Content

●      Key Takeaways

A Brief History of Artificial Intelligence

Although AI’s historical usage stretches back millennia, we can look toward more modern times for greater perspective. The invention of the Atanasoff-Berry (ABC) Computer in the 1940s was the impetus for scientists to create an artificially intelligent machine — a type of electronic brain capable of processing vast amounts of data in a short period of time.

Around a decade later, British mathematician Alan Turing theorized that the human brain is largely a digital computing machine, thus pioneering the concept of artificial intelligence. His Turing test eventually became a measure of a machine’s ability to “think” like a human brain. To pass the test, a machine would need to be able to respond to questions and prompts like a human would — without letting on that it’s a machine.

With OpenAI’s introduction of ChatGPT in recent years, scientists began to debate whether the technology passed the Turing test. Although the jury is still out for some experts, many others agree that ChatGPT not only passes the Turing test but also continues to get more sophisticated. Users can prompt ChatGPT with conversational language, known as natural language processing (NLP), and train the technology on their preferences, desired tone, and other specifics.

OpenAI is working on the fifth iteration of its free AI technology (which is also available as a premium version). As more and more users train ChatGPT, Bard, and other AI technologies in NLP, we can expect AI to get increasingly adept at generating content that’s indistinguishable from human-generated content. As a result, more people are likely to use AI in content creation as they grow increasingly confident that the technology won’t steer them wrong.

The Rise of AI in Content Creation

Granted, some journalists, writers, and other content creators are cringing at the thought of machines taking over their jobs. Indeed, the 2023 Writers Guild strike illustrates the current battle over whether to use AI in the writing process, among other creative endeavors. 

Yet the resolution to that Hollywood debate may help to set the standard for not only content creation but also other industries. The new writer contract doesn’t eliminate AI but rather touts it as a tool, not a replacement, for human roles — effectively putting the control of AI in workers’ hands.

It’s an outcome that many industries can model as they work to integrate machine learning with human processes. In the content marketing world, in particular, it’s imperative that organizations understand how AI applications can streamline their content creation efforts without undermining human intelligence.

Natural Language Processing: Are We There Yet?

The demand for high-quality content has never been higher. In one survey, 55% of marketers said creating more content and posting more often has the greatest impact on boosting search engine rankings.

To meet the growing need to post exceptional content on a consistent basis, many marketers are concluding that AI in content creation is no longer an option, but instead, a necessity. From SEO content writing to article outlines, keyword research, trend predictions, and more, AI is transforming the ways that content creators connect and engage with their audiences.

As you would expect, AI in content creation hinges on NLP. Imagine the possibilities of teaching machines like ChatGPT, Bard,, Jasper AI, and other tools to understand and produce human language. Only then can content marketers rely on AI to generate output that meets their standards.

As with Hollywood writers and anyone else tasked with creating unique content, the key is embracing AI’s current capabilities while acknowledging its limitations. Put a human at the helm of content creation efforts, and that human can steer the ship of AI usage without capsizing the team’s content development efforts.

Benefits of AI-Driven Content

If you’re unconvinced of AI’s potential, it might be helpful to weigh the pros and cons of AI in content creation. In one study, over half of content marketers said they are already using AI in content production, incorporating it in small and large ways to increase efficiency, enhance copy, and personalize the customer experience. Some of the use cases include:

●      Creating first drafts

●      Optimizing content

●      Checking spelling and grammar

●      Paraphrasing and summarizing content

●      Brainstorming ideas

●      Drafting social posts, landing page copy, and headlines

●      Creating tone-of-voice documents

●      Aiding in SEO tasks such as writing meta descriptions, translating, and reusing content


With machine learning, it’s possible for AI to learn a company’s desired tone of voice, target audience, and messaging. Over time, it’ll get better and better at creating the kind of content you want your customers to see.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of AI in content production.


Creating a user experience that’s tailored to your website visitors facilitates greater customer engagement. According to McKinsey research, companies that excel at personalization are more likely to win customers who respond positively to the brand.

In McKinsey’s “Next in Personalization Report,” 71% of respondents said they expect businesses they buy from to know their interests and recognize them as individuals. They want to feel special, as though a brand is personally invested in the customer relationship and not only seeking sales transactions.

Personalization might include checking in with customers post-purchase, sending how-to videos, or requesting customer reviews after the sale. Companies that embrace such measures grow faster, generating 40% more revenue from personalization than those that don’t.

With AI, personalizing the customer experience becomes easier and more effective. Machine learning and AI can gather customer insights, analyze them, and use that information to tailor content toward unique customer profiles and segments. It can also suggest products and services, potentially increasing revenue. Meanwhile, AI captures customer data while adhering to regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

Quality Content at Scale

As AI gets better and better at NLP, it will become more efficient at creating content that captures content creators’ desired tone of voice and messaging. In part, quality content depends on users’ prompts; the more information content creators feed to AI machines, the more it understands what they need in their content output.

Over time, AI tools can turn into writing assistants capable of fulfilling all kinds of writing requests. Generate blog title and keyword suggestions, content briefs outlining article topics, initial blog post drafts, social media posts, and other types of content in seconds — and finesse AI suggestions into content that meets your brand standards.

With AI aiding your content writing, you can scale your content production in ways that are typically impossible with human-led processes. You’ll produce more ideas, drafts, proposals, and finished content in less time, freeing you up to focus on the types of high-impact work only humans can do.

Improved SEO

Many AI-driven SEO content tools pull from popular content in search engines in response to user queries. With the help of AI, you can identify trending topics and keywords as you create article headlines, outlines, and final drafts.

Moreover, AI can help publishers improve on-page optimization. With SEO suggestions and improvements, it’s possible to rank higher in search engines and improve overall SEO efforts.

Additional uses for AI in SEO may include automation of repetitive tasks to improve productivity, such as:

●      Content and data analysis

●      Optimized meta descriptions, headings, and content on each page

●      Creating an SEO-friendly site structure and page structure

●      Performance enhancements for a website or webpage

User-Generated Content

Social media is filled with content creators who are happy to share their experiences with brands with their audiences. When they have a positive shopping experience, they may take to social media to tell their followers about it. What if one of those positive experiences happened with your brand? Wouldn’t you want to know about it? 

With AI, you can leverage this type of user-generated content (UGC) to boost your brand’s reputation, engagement, and reach. AI tools can scour social media platforms to discover mentions, reviews, and other UGC related to your brand.

Curating UGC gives you a competitive edge, too. In one survey, 79% of people said UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions, while just 13% said the same of content from a brand — and only 8% said influencer-created content would highly impact their decisions to buy.

When you have impactful UGC, you can publicize it on your social platforms, landing pages, and product pages. You’ll let your customers tell your brand’s story in their own words, with the help of AI discovering UGC about your brand.

Better Customer Experiences

AI-powered chatbots are capable of handling routine customer service inquiries 24/7, guiding customers through common questions, account issues, and product inquiries. These bots get increasingly more intelligent as users feed them information, helping to resolve customer support matters quickly and even upsell customers on other products and services.

With the help of deep learning, advanced chatbots can now comprehend customer questions in natural language and respond in a conversational manner, adding a human touch to customer relations. With AI chatbots serving as an extension of your content production team, you can provide customers with all the relevant information they need, such as:

●      Unique features and benefits of a product tailored to customers’ interests and needs. Imagine guiding customers through a quiz that presents a precise product or service recommendation based on their responses.

●      Steps to complete the checkout process.

●      Suggestions for additional products and services based on customers’ questions. AI can continue nurturing current customers and supporting additional revenue generation.

Providing speedy, friendly service enhances the customer experience and makes them more likely to become loyal brand advocates. As they enjoy a positive buying journey, they become part of your AI ecosystem, sharing UGC and contributing to the growth of your brand. 

What About the Cons?

Although AI has brought numerous advantages to the content creation process, it has its share of challenges. It’s essential for content marketers to be aware of AI’s limitations and implement quality control measures to ensure the content they’re creating is effective, unique, and accurate. Explore some of the unintended consequences of AI-generated content below so you can tailor your AI applications accordingly.

Lack of a Human Touch

One of the chief concerns about AI-generated content is the erosion of human creativity and authenticity. AI systems continue to grow more adept at mimicking human-created content, making it increasingly difficult to discern between the two.

If creators rely on AI alone to generate content, they’ll be missing out on opportunities to explore nuances and article angles that give content its unique flair. AI doesn’t necessarily have the capacity to draw conclusions based on research, recent studies, and user input. Nor can it generate the kind of content that captivates readers and leaves them wanting more.

Like an artist with a paintbrush, a content creator must use the thinking brain to create content that creates an emotional connection with audiences. Without that human touch, content lacks substance and depth.

Quality Control

Along with a lack of human authenticity in AI-driven content comes a lack of quality in many cases. AI pulls from various sources to create content based on a user’s input. However, it won’t provide citations and may lack accuracy in its output. 

If writers copy and paste content without fact-checking the information, they could wind up publishing incorrect information. In a worst-case scenario, they could land in legal hot water for plagiarizing content or infringing on copyrights.

Consider, too, that AI-created content does not enjoy the same copyright protection as human-generated content. As Indiana University copyright program librarian Nazareth Pantaloni III explains, U.S. copyright law only protects original, human-created works. It will not register machine-generated works where there is no human intervention to produce the final product. So, if you want your content to hold up to copyright protections, you’ll need to add a human touch.

Ethical Concerns

HubSpot’s State of AI Survey Report found that one of marketers’ top challenges when using generative AI is the potential for biases. With machine learning, AI algorithms continue to learn from data of all kinds, biased or not. When news stories, social media posts, and other content skew toward a particular point of view, it’s possible to perpetuate harmful beliefs in the algorithms — race and gender stereotypes, for instance.

Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Index Report 2023 further warns that AI may be biased due to:

●      Sample selection. Data may not be representative of whole populations. Thus, AI’s predictions and recommendations might leave out entire groups of people, rendering it useless.

●      Measurement. If the data collection process introduces biases, then AI may make biased conclusions.

Given the bias challenges, the need for ethical guidelines and human oversight in AI content creation is paramount. It’s essential for content marketers to have a system for monitoring outputs, analyzing data, and correcting inaccurate or biased information. Ultimately, content marketers must work in tandem with AI systems to fine-tune the output, verify information, and infuse a human touch in the process.

In addition, creators can encourage transparency by letting their audiences know when they’ve used AI for content creation — a short note at the end of an article should suffice. This extra step builds trust with audiences and lets readers make informed decisions about content they choose to read.

Case Studies: Real-World Examples of Successful AI-Driven Content Efforts

Organizations that address the challenges of AI-driven content are finding success in their content creation efforts, making the case for ongoing exploration of AI applications. Consider the success stories outlined below.


Investment firm Vanguard faced the challenge of standing out in an industry that highly regulates the language used in advertising. To avoid sounding like every other investment firm, Vanguard used AI language platform Persado to personalize its ads with messaging that resonated with consumers while remaining compliant. By using AI in ad creation, Vanguard experienced a 15% increase in conversion rates.

Tomorrow Sleep

Sleep system Tomorrow Sleep sought a way to increase website traffic and compete with bigger, well-established players in the space. Although the startup was garnering roughly 4,000 monthly site users, it needed more than that to reach its target audience at scale.

The company incorporated MarketMuse, an AI-powered content intelligence and strategy platform, to research high-value topics for their audience. The platform also equipped Tomorrow Sleep with insights on where competitors were ranking for these topics. With this information, Tomorrow Sleep was able to create content that gave it an instant lift in rankings, resulting in:

●      400,000 monthly website visits to its website, an increase of 10,000%.

●      Multiple positions in search engine rankings for a single search result.

●      The establishment of domain authority, securing Google’s featured snippet for certain results.


With a wealth of content on its website, Adobe faced the challenge of helping visitors find the content they were looking for and keeping them engaged. Adobe began using conversational AI tool Drift to incorporate chatbot functionality on Adobe’s site.

The bot is capable of natural language conversations, so it guides visitors to the appropriate content at each point in their user journey. It can also escalate conversations to humans when machines won’t suffice.

By adding Drift to its marketing strategy, Adobe generated an additional $10.8 million in revenue — simply by turning more users into paying customers.

Top Questions to Ask About AI Content Creation

If you’re considering adding AI into your content marketing strategy, make sure you set your organization up for success. Asking the following questions and seeking answers from key stakeholders will help you create a comprehensive AI content strategy and guidelines while addressing any pitfalls.

How will AI change the role of human content creators?

●      Are there aspects of content creation that AI can enhance or automate?

●      Which processes will remain uniquely human?

●      How can content creators work synergistically with AI, leveraging its capabilities while maintaining creative input?

What are the societal implications of AI-driven content?

●      How can organizations combat biases in content creation rather than contribute to them?

●      What steps must organizations take to ensure AI-generated content does not harm societal values, diversity, or inclusivity nor contribute to stereotypes and prejudice?

Will AI-generated content replace traditional content creation?

●      How can organizations maintain the irreplaceable human touch while leveraging AI’s capabilities?

●      What types of checks and balances need to be implemented to create the highest quality content and prevent inaccuracies?

●      What role should human editors and fact-checkers play in maintaining content quality?

What are the potential consequences of AI-generated content for employment in creative fields?

●      How can organizations avoid job displacement in journalism, copywriting, or graphic design while incorporating AI tools?

●      Are there opportunities for reskilling or new job roles created in the wake of AI’s disruption in the content marketing industry?

●      How can we balance innovation, creativity, and job security with advanced AI tools?

Future Outlook for AI Content

It’s evident that the impact of AI in reshaping the content creation landscape is profound and far-reaching. As AI continues to evolve, the technology will become an indispensable tool in content creation for many teams.

Those that embrace AI technology while staying vigilant of its challenges will be able to unlock AI’s full potential and meet their content marketing objectives. No doubt, AI algorithms will continue to get more sophisticated as they advance in NLP capabilities, improving in content quality and pushing the boundaries of creativity.

The increasing personalization of content that caters to individual preferences and needs is set to be a resounding theme in content creation going forward. Now is the time to establish clear AI content guidelines and goals so you can be prepared to tackle any challenges and opportunities that come your way.

Key Takeaways

If you’ve read this far, you now have a complete picture of AI’s roots, its modern-day applications, and its potential to transform all industries. Real-world success stories illustrate the power of AI to monetize the content creation process, scale production, and improve results for content marketers.

Looking forward, you can expect that conversations around AI in content creation will become even louder, with each passing day, month, and year presenting new possibilities and challenges. AI is set to claim a critical role on content marketing teams, becoming a collaborative partner for human creators who are prepared to tap into its capabilities.

To put things another way, the phrase “If you can’t beat them, join them” comes to mind. Rather than view AI as a threat, content creators can link arms with AI content tools and push the boundaries of what’s creatively possible. It’s an exciting time to be a content creator, and AI is only making things more interesting. Now is the time to start viewing AI as an asset and begin taking full advantage of its possibilities.

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