This post looks at the peril of publishing marketing content created by artificial intelligence (AI) versus the expertise of practitioners. Yes, AI offers the benefit of efficiency in generating words related to a specific topic. The price you pay for efficiency, however, is that the source of the content is artificial, and is easily recognizable as such. Conversely, content that reflects genuine practitioner expertise is nuanced by authentic experience, emotion, and even passion. It leaves the reader with a warmer feeling as if they had a conversation rather than read a report. The marketing implications can be powerful.
Practitioner Expertise is a Tall Order
You may be thinking that this post is self-serving, given it’s written by a content marketing agency. But hopefully, you also understand that as a content marketing agency, we have vast experience (and expertise) in the art of creating effective content; particularly in the tech industry.
That experience confirms that rallying and relying on practitioner expertise is not easy. Certainly not as easy as churning out AI-generated content. But consider that image – churning – and our point is clear. Compare it to a more refined image – crafting – that involves mastery and precision.
Producing optimal quality content crafted by technical experts is understandably out of reach for some; particularly at scale. Some degree of efficiency – regarding both time and money – must be considered. But it’s not necessary to “throw the baby out with the bathwater.” Efficiency should not come at the expense of the quality of your marketing content.
You can achieve a degree of efficiency using OpenAI and tools built on it, such as ChatGPT. But be cognizant of its weaknesses and downfalls. Artificial intelligence can’t be swapped out for practitioner expertise for many reasons.
Avoid the Churn of AI-Generated Content
We use the metaphor of “churning” to describe AI-generated content based on language models because it connotes repetition and drudgery; unimaginative and unappealing. This is not just an opinion. This is a view shared by both content creators and consumers.
AI-generated content . . . does not have any personality, and it reads very robotic.– A Fixate Contributor’s input
What? Where did this come from? … Is this some kind of AI-generated garbage?– A client’s reaction to an AI-generated abstract
Comments like this imply a general distaste for and desire to avoid AI-generated content. The popularity of AI-detection programs – predominantly by educators and publishers – also indicates a collective disdain for the practice.
You don’t always need a program to confirm your suspicions, either. While compiling content on our associate site, Sweetcode, we received many AI-generated submissions. It didn’t occur to us that a writer would risk their reputation by putting their byline on work that wasn’t theirs; we weren’t even watching for it. Nonetheless, those drafts were easy to recognize from the tell-tale signs. They seemed monotone and almost terse. They didn’t express enthusiasm or evoke emotion.
If popular opinion isn’t reason enough to warn you against the use of AI-generated content, consider the importance of “voice.” As a marketer, you authenticate your expertise through the use of voice. It is invaluable in its ability to persuade and procure; to compel and connect, and to set yourself apart from your competitors and their commodities.
We reminded Sweetcode contributors that Sweetcode’s promise is to amplify their voices and expertise. And that developing that skill as a DevOps practitioner is paramount to becoming a Fixate contributor.
Craft Content with a Specialized Approach
We emphasize “specialized” because it accurately describes the expertise that technical practitioners possess and contribute to the content creation process. The specialized knowledge of a DevOps practitioner is built on training and years of experience. This is in contrast to the general intelligence that OpenAI indexes.
General intelligence equips OpenAI to churn out “tech talk.” On the other hand, specialized knowledge empowers the practitioner to “talk like a techie.” Practitioner expertise resonates with other techies. The practitioner’s credibility is influential, and instrumental in building trust.
Strategic Use of Practitioner Expertise
A specialized approach isn’t solely dependent on specialized knowledge. It includes all the elements of your content marketing strategy. Your specialized approach might involve the use of AI for ideas and inspiration. That inspiration can lead you to ask questions and seek answers – from experts. It’s the combination of your ideas, inspiration, and then, practitioner expertise, that will raise the quality of your content from “churned” to “crafted.”