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We are on the precipice of an entirely new world — AI will absolutely transform everything about the way we work, and so much more. The rate of change is rapidly increasing, and day by day large companies like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple and more are releasing AI updates that can be hard to comprehend.
As we step into the future of content marketing, a new age is dawning – an age of unprecedented content volume. The advent of accessible AI writing tools, such as ChatGPT, has turned content creation into a veritable floodgate that’s just waiting to be unleashed. Marketers are set to ramp up production, churning out blog posts at an astonishing rate. Yet, in this wave of limitless content, there’s a real risk of backlash.
(If you already feel way behind, I recommend reading Marketing Artificial Intelligence by Paul Roetzer of AI Marketing Institute!)
In the quest to capture attention, traction, and conversions, we are at risk of overwhelming our audiences.
Readers, under an avalanche of posts, may soon feel drowned rather than enlightened. The more we produce, the less our audience may be inclined to sift through. As content marketing stands at this critical juncture, I believe a change is imminent.
Our audiences’ journeys will evolve, incorporating AI tools like ChatGPT as a step to answer questions and find information – roles traditionally played by blog content. But then, if AI is answering the questions, what space will blogs occupy?
In this future of content overload, blogs will serve a new purpose – providing what AI can’t. In the era where AI floods the content landscape, blogs will become the beacon for human touch, offering insights, experiences, and nuances that AI can’t replicate.
The question then is – what exactly can’t AI tell them?
Let’s delve into the vital territories where human-authored blogs will continue to hold sway in the face of AI’s rise.
While AI tools like ChatGPT can provide highly informative, well-structured, and relevant content on a wide range of topics, there are some areas where AI may fall short and where human-authored blogs will continue to shine:
AI lacks personal experience and emotions. While it can generate content based on a huge amount of data and knowledge, it cannot share personal stories, emotions, or insights that come from lived experiences. Authentic stories of success, failure, challenges, or unique circumstances can only come from humans, making blogs an excellent platform for such content.
Blogs like Humans of New York excel in telling personal stories. Each blog post features an individual’s unique life experience that AI cannot replicate. Similarly, a small business owner can share their journey of establishing their business, their triumphs and failures, and lessons learned along the way.
AI systems operate on predefined rules and data sets, so they don’t form opinions. Blogs written by human authors can provide subjective analysis, informed opinions, and unique viewpoints on a variety of topics that AI cannot offer. A film critic’s blog where they analyze and review recent movies is a good example. They can share subjective thoughts on the film’s plot, acting, cinematography, and how it resonated with them personally. AI may summarize a film or collect reviews, but it can’t offer a personal opinion.
AI systems are trained on historical data and their knowledge cutoff prevents them from being up-to-date with the very latest trends, news, or developments. While algorithms can be updated periodically, they can’t provide real-time insights like a human author who is immersed in the world and culture around them.
For example, a blogger in the fashion industry could write about the newest fashion trends from the latest Paris Fashion Week, something that an AI with a knowledge cutoff wouldn’t have access to. They can include their observations and the likely future trends based on their experiences and insights.
AI can generate creative content based on patterns it has learned, but true innovation requires breaking from existing patterns. Human-authored blogs can push the boundaries of conventional thinking and present new ideas, perspectives, and innovations that AI might not predict or generate.
A thought leader or industry expert could write a blog post about a novel concept they have developed or an unconventional approach to a common problem. For example, a marketing expert might devise a new framework for customer engagement that disrupts traditional methods.
While AI can mimic emotional tones based on training, genuine empathy and emotional engagement are deeply human traits. Blogs written by people can connect with readers on a personal and emotional level, which is especially important for topics related to personal growth, mental health, relationships, etc.
As an example, blogs about mental health often draw on personal experiences and emotions to connect with their readers. An author might write about their personal struggle with depression, offering insight, hope, and strategies that helped them, which could be profoundly meaningful and encouraging to readers going through similar challenges.
AI does not have a moral or ethical compass, and cannot make complex decisions that involve ethical considerations or moral judgments. Humans will continue to turn to other humans for guidance on these nuanced and complex issues. A blog post discussing the ethical implications of using AI in hiring processes, for instance, would involve a nuanced understanding of fairness, bias, and societal impact. This type of content needs the human ability to weigh various ethical considerations, which AI currently lacks.
While the advent of AI might indeed increase the volume of content available, the demand for insightful, personal, creative, and emotionally engaging content that can only be produced by humans will continue to exist. The future of content marketing for small businesses will need to leverage both AI for scalability and efficiency, and human touch for personalization, creativity, and emotional connection.
And you can quote me on that one. AKA, you’re going to need to step into the realm of thought leadership, creating content not for search results but to help your customer along their life journey. Your job is to wield empathy and expertise to support other human beings toward their goal.
What does this look like in the content you create? It looks like sharing:
Every thought leader has their unique path that led them to their current position. This journey often includes overcoming challenges, learning from mistakes, celebrating triumphs, and accumulating wisdom along the way. It’s through sharing these narratives that thought leaders can inspire and guide others. Unlike AI, they have first-hand experience and real-life stories to share. For example, an entrepreneur-turned-thought-leader can share what they learned from launching a startup, the challenges they faced, and how they overcame them. AI, lacking personal experiences, cannot generate such content.
Thought leaders possess extensive knowledge and deep understanding of their field. Their expertise allows them to assess situations, trends, or ideas critically, offering their unique viewpoints. They can analyze complex scenarios and provide actionable insights based on their analysis. AI, while able to process information and provide objective insights based on its training data, lacks the human element of instinct, intuition, and years of hands-on experience that form the basis of expert viewpoints.
Thought leaders are recognized for their innovative thinking. They don’t just follow existing trends; they set new ones. They can challenge conventional wisdom, introduce pioneering concepts, and propose original solutions to problems. AI, on the other hand, is trained on existing data. It can generate content based on what it has learned but creating entirely new, groundbreaking concepts is outside its capabilities.
Thought leaders have the unique ability to empathize with their audience. They can understand their audience’s fears, aspirations, struggles, and dreams and can connect with them on a deeper, emotional level. AI can mimic human emotions in its responses, but it doesn’t experience emotions and thus, cannot form a genuine emotional bond with the audience.
Many discussions in any field involve ethical considerations and complex decision-making. Thought leaders, with their deep understanding of their field and its impact on society, often lead these discussions. They guide their audience through complex issues and help them make informed decisions. AI, on the other hand, does not possess a moral compass or cultural and contextual understanding and is not capable of making ethical judgments.
In a word, brands who fired their copywriters are screwed. AI can’t produce thought leadership content for you, and if you’re churning out ChatGPT blog after blog you’ll be contributing to the very content deluge that will drown you out.
Who do you need on your team now more than ever? Empathetic, data-driven, conversion-focused storytellers (like me, hello!) who can position your brand as a thought leader, not content creator.
I know that transitioning from a strategy that primarily focuses on educational and instructional content to one that emphasizes thought leadership can feel like a daunting task. As a business owner, you may be wondering: How can I shape my content to reflect deeper expertise, unique insights, and a strong connection with my audience?
Let’s explore some steps you can take to gradually move your content marketing towards thought leadership and in the process, create a more profound impact on your audience and industry.
You need to really know your audience. Go beyond the surface level – understand their aspirations, fears, and challenges in detail. Ask yourself what issues they are grappling with that aren’t being adequately addressed by the current content.
Thought leadership isn’t about echoing what everyone else is saying; it’s about offering unique insights and perspectives. Dig deep and find that unique viewpoint you hold within your industry. This unique perspective should form the core of your thought leadership content.
You have deep knowledge and expertise in your industry – make sure you showcase it. Provide expert analysis on industry trends, offer unique solutions to complex problems, or predict future developments based on your extensive experience.
Thought leadership content often goes beyond just facts and figures. Your journey, experiences, and lessons learned can resonate with your audience on a deeper, emotional level. Share these stories.
Encourage and participate in discussions with your audience and peers. This could be via blog comments, social media, webinars, or industry forums. Being part of these conversations not only keeps you attuned to emerging issues, but also provides an opportunity for you to share your insights.
As a thought leader, you can play a role in shaping the future of your industry or community. Host industry events, contribute to industry publications, participate in community projects – these actions will help position you as a leader in your field.
Remember, transitioning to thought leadership from purely educational and instructional content doesn’t happen overnight. It requires time, consistent effort, and a genuine commitment to sharing valuable insights. But the rewards – an enhanced brand, increased influence, improved audience relationships – make this a journey worth taking.
I’m a trained conversion copywriter and experienced brand building with a knack for brand messaging, organic content marketing, writing copy that actually does something for your marketing, and reading every mystery novel Agatha Christie ever wrote (not the psycho mysteries, the kind where the butler did it).
I know your brand message doesn’t begin and end with a blog post; it starts the moment a human discovers you, deepens at every touchpoint through their buyer journey, and hopefully it never ends. My job is simple — map literally all of it out and write it up for you. No biggie.
But, I didn’t get a degree in creative writing for nothing, and from my experience in news reporting I took one major thing — stories connect us and make us more human. That’s why I spend 80% of my process digging in to find the part of your story that connects with the story your ideal client wants to tell. I find that story, and I tell it. I tell it through your marketing and your content so that when your ideal client discovers you, they step into a relationship that never ends.
And by genuine I mean it mirrors your core values, resonates with actual real-life humans, and features a brand voice that is unmistakably YOU — no imitations, no facades. Download my most comprehensive resource yet, the Brand Messaging Blueprint, designed to help small businesses create guidelines for communication that fosters trust and builds lasting relationships, rather than just transactional interactions.
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With extensive experience in brand building, content strategy, PR and marketing, I help entrepreneurs take their biggest pain points and create actionable plans to turn them into growth. Book your 90-Minute Breakthrough Session Today!
I’m Kaylan, of Bushel & Bunch, and as a brand messaging strategist, organic marketing expert, and conversion copywriter I specialize in helping businesses build brands that make authentic relationships, optimize conversion quality, and build sustainable growth.