While the world is busy debating the notion of an “AI-augmented future of work”, some savvy businesses are already leveraging AI tools to automate their everyday processes and save time and resources.
Content creation is no exception and AI is assisting marketing and content teams to produce well-researched content to fill their marketing pipelines. There’s a decent chance that you’ve been lured in by a catchy introduction paragraph drafted by a non-human being or read articles produced from start to finish by artificial intelligence, without you knowing it.
Maybe your team is already using AI copywriting tools to run effective ad campaigns and write product copy that drives high conversion. Or, maybe you’re just getting started and still exploring how you can leverage AI in your team’s day-to-day. Whatever the case, spending some time to learn about how you can use AI to transform your content creation workflow will be an investment worth making!
What is a Content Creation Workflow?
A content creation workflow is a typical set of tasks that any content-producing team has to complete for a particular client, project, or piece of content. This can be anything – a webpage, an article, a blog post, landing pages, whitepapers, case studies, reports, or even emails – any content that a business needs to deliver.
While every business will have a different and unique content creation strategy, the following are the generic elements common to all workflows:
- Publish/ Deliver
Once the research is done and an outline produced, the content generation team will have a blueprint of the content it has to deliver.
The next steps of writing, reviewing, and editing are iterative, often requiring re-writing and subsequent reviews. It can take hours, if not days, to come up with the perfect content that’s ready for approval. Still, there are no guarantees that your work will get approved for publishing right away. Chances are the project supervisor will have some additional edits, or even asks for major revisions.
Once edits are made and content is approved, the next step is publishing when the content goes out into the world for customers or prospects to consume.
How does AI fit into a Content Creation Workflow?
Companies all over the world are now using AI in their content creation.
A prime example is the Washington Post’s AI-Robot Reporter, Heliograf, which produces more than 500 articles a year.
AI fits nicely into multiple stages of the content creation process. It does this by generating reports, case studies, short videos, video scripts, charts, visual content – you name it. Leveraging AI in the process lets writers, content creators, and journalists concentrate on high-value work. Statistics show that AI is freeing up 20% of a journalist’s time in some types of reporting.
At a high level, AI can speed up your research and content creation process. All you have to do is to mold the content to match your brand voice, style, and content marketing and/ or ad campaigns.
How can AI be used in a Content Creation Workflow?
Some of the steps in the content creation workflow aren’t yet ready for AI (for example approving), but for some of the earlier stages of the process, AI can definitely speed up your process. Here’s how:
The power of AI comes from its ability to process huge amounts of data and make sense of it. AI bots crawl the internet scanning every type of content and returning with well-researched reports supported by real-time statistics. Using content generators like JasperAI and strong prompts, a lot of your research can be done for you.
Writing an outline can take a decent amount of time, even if you’ve thoroughly researched and have a strong topic. With AI tools, you include the details of the article or post you are writing, the tone, the style, and the audience, and out pops an outline for you to start with! This may be a great cure for writer’s block.
With the right outline and prompts, tools like JasperAI and Anyword will actually write your content for you. They will ask for specific information and then will draft content based on that information:
- Content type: Blog, product description, website copy
- Tone of voice: friendly, expert, professional, academic
- Intended audience: chief marketing officers, creative directors, content managers, accountants, for example
- Formality: formal vs. informal
From there, plagiarism-free content is written almost instantly!
- Editing/Review: Many AI content services also have the option to review and make your content more engaging, creative or impactful. To do this, you typically upload already written content, detail the tone and audience, and your software will return suggestions for how to improve your content.
There are lots of ways to leverage AI in your content workflow from start to finish, including:
- Generating content ideas
- Generating appealing headlines and titles
- Building outlines
- Researching and writing content
- Editing and improving human-written content
Let’s look at an example together using JasperAI. Let’s say I run a dog walking company and want to write a blog post informing potential customers about the benefits of taking your dog for 2 long walks each day (with the goal of hopefully turning my readers into customers!).
I log into Jasper and go into my Template section, and select Blog Post Outline. You can see there are a multitude of options here! (I highly suggest playing around with many of them).
I input my details (article name, tone, and language) and click Generate:
And voila, here is my outline!
Next, I want Jasper to research and write this blog post for me. Let’s do it!
I can either use Jasper’s paragraph generator to write one paragraph at a time (recommended for lengthy posts, with more content and research required) or use their “One-Shot Blog Post” tool like I did here.
Using the paragraph-by-paragraph approach, Jasper will do more research for me and include more detail. I personally prefer this approach for higher quality content that is more useful to your readers. This does take more time and inputs (see inputs I included here) but ultimately results in better content. Take a look here:
What are the Benefits of Using AI in Content Creation?
- Speed up the Writing Process
As you can see from the example above, using AI to draft content is significantly faster than a human. AI writing platforms spew words faster than you could ever write, often cutting the writing time in half.
- Ability to work on limited budgets
A web presence and appealing content are basic requirements for most companies now, no matter their size. Content is a major aspect of most marketing plans.
Content isn’t cheap to produce though. It requires personnel, time, and resources. It is here that freelancers and/or AI can help you – paying an individual or buying a subscription to an AI writer is a much cheaper option than hiring an agency or full-time staff.
You may want to combine the best of both worlds and let your freelancers generate AI-assisted content. Freelancers producing AI-generated content often charge significantly less per article or per word.
- Maintain Constant Content Flow on Your Website
Although there are many factors that affect a website’s ranking on Google, maintaining a constant flow of high-quality content has the most impact in the long run. To increase your site’s visibility, it must have up-to-date content posted every day.
Because of the efficiency-driven by AI-assisted content, your team will have the capacity to produce significantly more content, ensuring you have a constant flow to your website.
- Generate unique ideas every day
While you can always spend your dollars hiring the perfect writer, involving AI in your content creation can replace the need to hire multiple writers. This is because AI-content generators can generate tons of words on the same topic but in different tones and styles – all fundamentally different from each other. This helps you flood your website with unique and creative content every day.
- Get the best of both worlds!
Like any other technology, AI has its limitations. At this point, it can’t fully emulate the thought, expression, and originality fundamental to human beings.
Although AI-text generation improves every day, it is still prone to error. For instance, it can (and does) mimic Wikipedia or sound spammy. At times, it also generates out-of-context words and exceeds the word count.
This is where human editors come in to breathe soul into the context which would otherwise feel robotic, disconnected, and wordy. Human editors make the final check for conciseness, flow, and readability. They also ensure the tone and style align with their company’s brand and voice.
I think it’s fair to summarize by saying: AI provides you with an efficient first draft, and humans edit that into the final product. Your content creation process can achieve the efficiency of a machine – all you need to do is humanize your AI-generated content. By doing this, you get the best of both worlds.