ChatGPT replaces copywriters, right?

Well, that’s it then. 

Time for us to close our laptops, pocket our biros, and move on from the copywriting game. 

ChatGPT can do our job now. See ya! 

Except, there’s more to this story than meets the eye. 

Because ChatGPT could replace some copywriting functions. But the reality isn't as clear-cut as kicking out your humans and bringing the AI copywriters on board. 

Let’s explore why. 

Cut to the chase: will AI replace copywriters?

It depends on your standards. 

ChatGPT can replace a copywriter if you’re instructing them to write simple content with no opinion or commentary. Plenty of businesses need this type of content – and using chatbot copywriting is a cost-effective solution. 

Formats like listicles and how-to guides suit ChatGPT’s formulaic response style. But take caution before jumping in feet first. Tech publication CNET faced backlash for its ChatGPT-generated content when readers found countless mathematical errors and bad advice on interest rates. Note: CNET was using the earlier interation of GPT technology, but you should still check generated content with a secondary source.  Given a proofread and an edit, basic content generated by ChatGPT is certainly usable. 

Critics have been quick to dismiss ChatGPT as devoid of personality, depth, and originality. At Incredibble, we don’t think that’s true. The quality of ChatGPT’s writing depends on the quality of the prompt. Just like working with a copywriter, ChatGPT needs a clear and focused brief to generate a relevant response. 

Ask ChatGPT to write in the style of ‘X’, use humour, or pretend they work in a specific role, and the outcomes will all be quite different. If you thought creating detailed briefs was a thing of the past, think again. (Or find someone who can help you build a better brief). 

But as far as creating content that relies on expert interviews, brand messaging, and high-level content strategy, AI copywriting won’t cut it. You’re still going to need a human copywriter. 

Because expert copywriters aren’t text generators. They’re often content strategists, trained interviewers, and brand messaging curators. These activities demand a deep and empathetic understanding of how other humans behave. Traits that can only be developed through learned experience – for now. 

So if ChatGPT doesn’t replace copywriters, what does it do? 

Something much more interesting: it changes the role of human copywriters. 

ChatGPT is elevating copywriters to be thinkers by aiding them with the initial phases of content creation. Things like idea generation, research, and structure can be initiated by ChatGPT and refined by human writers. 

The partnership between copywriters and ChatGPT could look a little like this: 

  • ChatGPT generates 10 headline ideas. The copywriter refines them with your tone of voice. 
  • ChatGPT analyses a competitor’s thought leadership campaign. The copywriter uses this analysis to develop stronger ideas for your campaign. 
  • The copywriter writes a white paper on the most powerful technologies in your industry. ChatGPT produces a bullet point summary of the white paper for your landing page.

Copywriters that use ChatGPT can dedicate time to the more complex tasks we mentioned earlier – like content strategy, interviewing stakeholders, and developing your brand messaging. 

3 ways writers are already using ChatGPT

Let’s put what we’ve learned into context. Here are some examples of how writers can use ChatGPT to deliver better content. 

Idea generation

ChatGPT generates new ideas in seconds. Sure, those ideas will be generic and need shaping. But that’s not the point. By taking care of the initial ideation, ChatGPT helps get the creative juices flowing. It can take a handful of ‘meh’ ideas before you strike gold – the chatbot just speeds up the process.  

In this article, the author divulges how ChatGPT can engage with divergent and convergent thinking to help users generate original ideas. Pretty nifty. 

Prepping the page

Most copywriters will build a framework for content before writing a first draft. There are a few ways ChatGPT can help with this. 

First off, copywriters can prompt ChatGPT with the content topic and ask it to generate subtopics. These subtopics can be used to form the content of the article:

Example of ChatGPT prompt for marketing
Prompt: I'm writing an article on the future of travel. Can you suggest five subtopics?

For a more extensive brief, copywriters can ask ChatGPT to recommend points for each subhead:

Example of ChatGPT prompt for creating an article structure
Prompt: Can you create a bullet point article structure, with three bullet point items I should cover for each subhead?

Expediting research 

At its core, ChatGPT is a conversational AI. This means research becomes an interactive affair. Users can ask follow-up questions, probe deeper into specific topics, and expedite their understanding. 

Just take this history lesson on journalling: 

Example of a ChatGPT prompt for research
Prompt: Who invented journaling? Follow up prompt: Can you expand on 'nikki'?

But beware: as we’ve previously explored, ChatGPT gets it wrong sometimes. Always fact-check ChatGPT with a secondary source. 

Stand out by striking the balance

We’re already at a point where we can spot articles written by ChatGPT. Just do an ALT F command for the word ‘however’ in an article with lots of bullet points. 

But there are ways that writers can work with ChatGPT to deliver better content for you. Businesses that strike the balance between tech-enhancement and human touches will stand out from the rest.  

So will AI replace copywriters? No. ChatGPT won’t, anyway. 

But will AI change the role of copywriters? Absolutely. And we’re excited to see what the future holds. 

Want to learn more about using ChatGPT for marketing? Read this.

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