AI is proving to be a useful tool for content development. But while AI can help streamline production, it’s creating new challenges at the same time — especially when it comes to differentiation. Differentiating was hard enough before AI-generated content started flooding the internet, but now we’re drowning.
In many ways, nothing has really changed when it comes to differentiation and content quality. As Google’s document on search guidance for AI-generated content points out, “Our focus on the quality of content, rather than how content is produced, is a useful guide that has helped us deliver reliable, high quality results to users for years.” Whether you’re creating SEO content, case studies, landing pages, or something else, the basics are still the basics. But there are a few tactics that are especially beneficial for content creators looking for ways to stand out in the age of AI.
1. Focus on Your Areas of Expertise
AI is pretty good at writing 101-type content, and most AI-generated content simply provides an overview of a topic. But your audience probably already understands the fundamentals of the topic you’re covering, and they’re looking for a deeper understanding or beyond-the-obvious solutions. Today’s generative AI tools aren’t great at delivering these in-depth insights. For this reason, a piece of content that’s written by a subject matter expert (or written by someone who’s interviewing/quoting experts) will automatically stand out.
2. Add Original Insights
AI, by nature, is derivative. Anything it produces is based on training model data. If you’re interviewing thought leaders or thinking original thoughts for yourself, the content you produce will naturally be different than what AI creates. Another way to add original insights is through survey-based research. Data-driven reports are a classic type of content that always performs well because people want to know what their peers (or other groups of interest) are doing and thinking.
3. Have a Point of View
A POV is a belief or stance on an issue. The most effective POVs serve to emphasize your positioning and the unique value you deliver. POVs are useful because they help establish your company as a thought leader and make your content more recognizable. You might have POVs on a variety of issues, which could include:
- Customer pain points / a shared enemy
- Customer aspirations
- The industry status quo
- Your vision of the future
- Market trends
- Social issues that your audience cares about
4. Speak with a Distinct Voice
While AI tools can be prompted with directives for different styles of voice, it’s difficult to get great results. Often, the copy AI generates sounds stuffy, odd, or simply inappropriate to the piece you’re creating. Developing a voice that fits your personality and resonates with your audience will help distinguish your writing from AI-generated content. Consider the following:
- Your go-to words/vocabulary that makes your work recognizable
- Typical syntax, including sentence length and punctuation
- Details you include, such as examples, metaphors, or vignettes,
- Emotional elements such as sensory imagery
5. Connect With Your Audience, Human-to-Human
People are hardwired for human connection. One landmark study showed that lack of social connection is a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure combined. For centuries, people have been connecting to one another through the written word. Infusing your writing with human elements will go a long way toward differentiating it from AI-generated content. Here are a few ways to do it:
- Share stories — Vignettes and mini-stories based on personal experiences make readers feel engaged on a personal level.
- Demonstrate empathy — Show that you understand the pain points of your readers.
- Include emotion — The topics and issues you’re writing about don’t exist in a vacuum. They have some kind of impact on people’s lives. Talk about it.
Learn to Surf the AI Sea
While generative AI will eventually become more capable than it is today, I think we’re a (very) long way off from AI that can keep up with good human-created content. I’m looking at the current wave of AI content as an opportunity. People are getting sick of reading the same old boring AI-generated articles. They’re looking for more, and we can give it to them.
Schedule a call to share what’s holding you back in your content marketing, and I’ll let you know if I can help and how. If I can’t help, I’ll recommend someone who can.