Embracing Human Content in the Age of AI

Welcome to the front lines of what is arguably the most significant change marketers have faced since the dawn of the internet. AI has arrived, and it’s not just a basic tool; it’s a formidable rival in the content creation race. As we face a constant stream of AI-made content, an important question arises: Are we, the human creators, becoming irrelevant in our own field?

While AI is exceptionally good at producing mass amounts of content, the special quality of human creativity cannot yet be replaced. This blog serves as your alert, encouraging you to rethink your content strategy as AI affects both the supply and demand of your content. We’ll provide practical advice for keeping the human element alive in a world increasingly controlled by algorithms. 

The Economics of Content: Understanding Supply and Demand

The principle of supply and demand is straightforward. When the supply is scarce and the demand is high, value skyrockets. Remember the Tickle-Me-Elmo fiasco in the late 90s, where parents were trampling each other over the limited supply of the giggling red puppet? The low supply and high demand made the doll worth its weight in gold. And then production caught up. Now, Tickle-Me-Elmos are easily found on eBay for as cheap as $0.99. 

Tickle Me Elmo Ebay Listings

When it comes to content, AI is the doll factory, churning out more pieces of content than anyone ever asked for or needed. That means the value of your content is diminishing every day as the supply of content increases. Unfortunately, content supply isn’t the only part of the demand curve that  AI is affecting. Demand for content is shifting as well.

Move Over Google; AI is Here

The modern problem with content doesn’t end with the huge amount of content being produced. There’s another, perhaps even more pressing problem: where people are turning for answers in the era of ChatGPT. Ask anyone who’s integrated AI into their daily life how they search for information. Instead of Googling something like “SEO best practices,” they’re now asking ChatGPT. And ChatGPT is remarkably good at responding to these kinds of informational queries, even if it sometimes gets the answers wrong.

ChatGPT4 Query Results

Now, consider this: you might have created the best piece of content about SEO, and your website might rank #1 on Google for “SEO best practices.” But this becomes irrelevant if people bypass Google entirely and go straight to asking ChatGPT. When we think about the law of supply and demand, AI has shifted the dynamics once more. As AI usage grows, the demand for content on individual websites takes a nose dive.

While all this AI interference may be disheartening for content marketers, it does not spell the end of content’s worth. We believe content will become highly valuable again – if you know what to create.

Understanding the Three Queries

When you have a problem and go to the internet for a solution, you ask one of three types of questions – informational, navigational, and transactional. To illustrate this point, let’s say you have a broken dishwasher that needs to be replaced:

  1. The first query is informational. You go to Google and ask “what are the top dishwasher brands,” or “how to choose a dishwasher.” You may take Google’s suggested answer, or you may dig a bit deeper and jump off to a website.  
  2. The second query is navigational. This is when you need to visit a specific website, and typically consists of branded searches such as “Best Buy” or “Consumer Report.”
  3. The last query is transactional. You need to take a direct action and search “buy Frigidaire dishwasher in Milwaukee,” or “dishwasher repair or replace calculator.” 
Query Types

Before AI, informational content was exceptionally important to make sure that people at the top of the marketing funnel were finding your website. This is where AI is having the largest impact on the value of your content, and it’s a double-whammy. AI is very good at writing informational content, increasing the supply of that content exponentially. On top of this, AI is also very good at answering informational questions, reducing the demand for that information anywhere else. 

That’s why at Brilliant Metrics, we’re guiding our clients to steer clear of just producing informational content. There are now two query types where we can have the biggest impact – Navigational and Transactional. First, concentrate on building a strong brand that customers navigate to. Second, craft content that offers real utility for those who are ready to take action. Let’s dig into our recommendations for the latter part of this strategy.

The Human Edge: Specialized & Interactive Content

While the current versions of AI are exceptionally good at churning out informational content pieces, they’re less effective at writing specialized content. Things like guides and case studies that require intense amounts of information and processing are not quite within the grasp of AI… yet. The key here is to focus on content that provides utility. Find out how to make your buyers’ lives easier and give them a free tool to help. For instance, let’s say you sell cooking equipment to restaurants. Make it easy for those buyers to quickly evaluate different types of equipment by creating a restaurant equipment guide. Use the resources and knowledge unique to your organization to create content that provides high utility for your audience.

Restaurant Equipment Guide

While creating a stylized PDF guide may not be within your capabilities, there are many other types of content that can be created relatively easily while still providing your audience with actionable value:

Bear Grylls Ad

Creativity is the limit here. So flex your creative muscles and deliver content that is uniquely catered to the needs of your specific audience.

Community-Driven Content as the Future

Another clear path to success will be in community-building content. The B2C sector is already capitalizing on this, evident especially in the gaming industry. Game developers are taking to community streaming platforms like Twitch and Discord to live stream their game development, and as they stream, they’re interacting with their audience in real-time. 

Twitch Stream for a Game Developer

This not only builds anticipation for their upcoming games but also generates a sense of inclusion and community for their customers. Here’s how B2B marketers can take a leaf out of their book.

  1. Live Q&A Sessions and Behind-the-Scenes Looks

Use the expertise of your industry professionals to provide a live Q&A session and answer questions in real time. If you are in the manufacturing industry, consider doing a behind-the-scenes look at how your products are made. Take the viewer on a live walkthrough of the production facility. This can help demystify the process and build trust in your potential clients.

  1. Engage With a Community Forum

If you work in B2B SaaS, engaging in a community forum is a great way to build a following of clients and network with other professionals. Let’s say you sell project management software. Head over to the Reddit page r/projectmanagement and interact with their 124k community members. Post helpful guides or industry news, or simply observe the trends being discussed and use them as fodder for your next interactive content piece. Communities like this exist outside of SaaS as well, so regardless of your industry, consider finding a community to network with.

  1. Teach an Online Course

Another powerful strategy to create community engagement while also establishing your brand as a thought leader is through offering online classes. For instance, a digital marketing agency could offer courses on SEO optimization or social media strategies. Hosted on platforms like Udemy or your own website, these courses can range from free introductory sessions to specialized, paid modules for advanced learners. This not only diversifies your reach but also strengthens community ties. By offering certifications upon completion, you provide participants with a sense of achievement and a tangible connection to your brand, fostering ongoing loyalty.

Embracing the Challenge

As content supply increases with mass AI production, and content demand decreases as people flock to ChatGPT for their search queries, it’s clear that the value of content is changing. But change isn’t necessarily a sign of obsolescence; rather, it’s an invitation to adapt and excel in new ways. The key lies in leveraging what AI can’t—yet—achieve: the creation of highly specialized content and the cultivation of interactive, community-focused experiences. These elements can help differentiate human content creators from their AI counterparts.

For those of us who live and breathe content creation, the rise of AI-generated content is not the end—it’s a new beginning. It’s our cue to push the boundaries of creativity, explore uncharted territories of content that provide irreplaceable value, and craft experiences that resonate on a human level. The wave of AI content is here, but rather than being swept away, we can learn to surf it, riding the crest to new heights of innovation and relevance. The future of content isn’t about competing with AI. It’s about creating what AI cannot and providing a unique voice in a sea of automation. So let’s embrace this challenge and redefine the value of content in the age of AI.

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