From the AI takeover to financial services copywriting – Content Marketing Trends

Rise of the machines – will AI replace copywriters one day?

We’ve all seen Terminator, iRobot, Metropolis and all those crazy ‘robots take over the world films’. And we’ve probably scoffed in disbelief. But now it’s happening.AI

AI is taking over in a big way. It automates many of the jobs humans do, and does them better and in less time. There’s even a website dedicated to working out if a ‘robot will take your job’.

But what does this mean for content writers? Are we under threat?

Phew! Fortunately, computer says no. The aforementioned website says “It’s not very likely”.

So, what is the nature of the ‘threat’ from AI copywriting? Thanks to ‘Natural Language Generation‘ (NLG), AI has already started producing logical coherent text.

Gartner predicts that by 2018, 20% of all business content will be authored by machines. Eek! However, we mere mortal copywriters have still got one crucial advantage over the robots – our creativity!

Christer Clerwall asked his respondents to rate two pieces of text on a set of criteria. One was written by a journalist, the other by AI NLG software. Here are the results:

The biggest disparities fall in the ‘pleasant to read’, ‘boring’ and ‘informative’ categories.

This shows that journalists have something that current AIs lack. The ability to engage the reader, and spice up the text so that it’s enjoyable – key traits of a successful content marketing strategy.

However, the AI’s text was considered more informative and more trustworthy than the journalist’s. So maybe we have a thing or two to learn from our software counterparts.

Despite what WALL-E tried to teach you, AI has no soul or understanding of emotion (yet). This means that human copywriters will probably keep their jobs for the time being. However, some of the easy-to-generate, fact-based tasks may be given to AI-bots to lighten the workload. That can’t be a bad thing, can it?

25% of financial services firms to prioritise content marketing in 2017

Great news content marketers! Financial services organisations will be calling your names throughout 2017, at least according to Econsultancy’s Digital Trends report, which shows that 25% of these organisations are prioritising content marketing this year.

What else did the report show?

  • Targeting and personalisation (33%) and customer journey management (31%) were the top two priorities of financial services firms.
  • Only 11% of FSI marketers are prioritising the joining up of online and offline data.
  • 9% of FSI organisations claim to be digital-first organisations, compared to 11% in other sectors.

And in plain English? Financial services firms want to produce more content, they want it to be properly targeted, and they want to make sure they address every part of the customer journey. There may not yet be majority support for the ideas of digital-first or joined up data, but let’s see what happens next year!

So, financial copywriters, get ready for your services to be in demand!

Spotted in the news

Attention language nerds! Boy, have we got a story for you!

The Oxford comma is a contentious topic for writers everywhere. But for a group of dairy drivers in Maine, it’s their new best friend.

Under Maine law, overtime is unpaid for “the packing for shipment or distribution of” certain goods. Believe it or not, the lack of a comma between “packing for shipment” and “or distribution”, meant, in legal terms, that the contract covered the single activity of “packing” rather than two separate activities of “packing” and “distribution”. This meant that drivers could claim overtime pay, after all, as they distributed, but did not pack, the items!

Yet another argument for proper punctuation!