Should You Generate Content Using AI or Pay a Strategist?

Fact: AI isn’t going anywhere. Also fact: That doesn’t mean that you have to fall into the trap of using it all the time in order to get ahead. 

We’ll be the first to admit that it’s easy to get swept up by the allure of AI. Especially when it comes to generating content.

After all, AI is incredibly fast, efficient, and – let’s face it – also pretty freaking cool once you get the hang of it. 

From crunching data in seconds to suggesting a plethora of content ideas to choose from, and even drafting up a half-decent (the key word here is decent) article in less time than it takes to brew your morning coffee, AI is all about getting sh*t done no matter what.

But that doesn’t make it perfect when you compare it with the intuition and adaptability of a human content strategist. 

Compared to their machine counterparts, humans go beyond the data. This means they understand the subtleties of human emotion, can navigate the nuances of cultural trends, and even bring a personal touch that AI – at least as of now – just can’t replicate no matter how hard and perfectly you prompt it.

But the question remains. How can you decide what’s right for you and your business considering where you are right now? 

Is it the lightning speed and tireless efficiency of AI that can help boost your brand? Or are you more into the long-term, slow burn of an insightful, human-centric approach?

Luckily, we’re here to help you figure that out.

Whether you’re a seasoned business owner or just getting started, let’s take a closer look at the strengths and limitations of both options. All so you can decide what will work for your brand strategy and content marketing in the long run.

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Choosing between AI and a content strategist

Choosing whether to generate content using AI or hire a strategist is a lot like planning for a road trip. It takes preparation, a sense of direction, and a clear understanding of your destination. Plus, it definitely doesn’t hurt to have a good co-pilot by your side.

In that sense, both AI and a content strategist bring different benefits. However, choosing which way to go all boils down to what your marketing goals are in this current season of your business.

Need something done now? AI might be able to help with some tweaks here and there. 

Need a culturally aware marketing campaign? A content strategist can probably nail it.

But don’t just take our word for it. Here’s a more in-depth breakdown of where each option can support you in reaching your marketing goals:

1. Speed vs. Context

If what you’re looking for is speed, AI is definitely where it’s at. After all, it’s a machine. This means it can work pretty much under any condition and without the need for breaks or rests. 

Today, AI is specifically designed to generate content at a pace that no real human can match. This makes it ideal for situations where you need to pump out posts, articles, or updates quickly. Plus, it’s also particularly useful for timely responses to current events or maintaining a consistent online presence with minimal downtime. 

On the other hand, a content strategist will probably take a little longer to map out a marketing strategy. Nonetheless, they’ll also make sure to provide context and relevance where it’s needed most. After all, your audience is made up of real humans – not machines – and a human is much better equipped to understand your audience. Specifically in terms of industry nuances, and how to make content not just readable, but also relatable and enjoyable.

This human touch ensures that your content isn’t just reaching your ideal audience but also engaging with them on a level that AI-generated content might completely miss.

2. Volume vs. Engagement

In line with the above, AI also excels in producing a high volume of content. For AI, it’s all about quantity over quality. 

Basically, think of it like having a personal content factory that keeps churning out material that will be perfect for ensuring you’re always in the public eye.

In contrast, a content strategist will focus on creating valuable, engaging content that connects with your audience – even if it takes a little longer to produce. Here, it’s all about quality over quantity.

Instead of just meeting unattainable “content quotas” that mean sacrificing quality, a content strategist will work toward crafting stories and messages that can resonate with your community on an emotional level. This will ultimately foster interactions, as well as help build a community around your brand. Both of these are key for long-term engagement and brand loyalty.

3. Technical Efficiency vs. Creative Insight

If you’re completely new to marketing and social media, you’ll be happy to know that AI is incredibly efficient in handling the more technical aspects of content creation – from SEO optimization to keyword integration and even hashtag research. 

Its ability to sift through data and optimize content for search engines is incredibly valuable for most business owners. Especially those who don’t necessarily have the time or resources to learn the basics of SEO so quickly. Plus, these insights might also help in getting your content seen by even more people out there.

Meanwhile, a content strategist won’t just stick to the technicalities. They will also offer additional creative insights and strategic thinking that AI typically doesn’t highlight. 

Along with the technical know-how, a content strategist can also work to align your content with your brand’s goals and values. All of this will create a more holistic view that encompasses market trends and audience preferences all in one. 

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4. Consistency vs. Adaptability

Once you learn how to prompt and ask the right questions (and that’s a whoooole other story), AI is a pro in terms of consistency. As a machine, it can maintain a relatively uniform style, tone, and quality that’s essential for brands who need a little extra help in terms of messaging across various platforms.

In comparison, a content strategist is adaptable and can flip between creative storytelling and data-driven analysis with ease. Whether it’s responding to the latest market trends, replying to audience feedback, or changing with brand needs, a human content strategist knows how to pivot strategies while keeping the brand’s core message intact. 

And it’s exactly this flexibility that allows them to adjust content strategies to stay relevant and effective.

VERDICT: AI falls short

When it comes to using AI to generate content, things are a bit of a mixed bag. 

Sure, AI is super handy for getting things done quickly and efficiently. But when it comes to understanding cultural nuances and creating a genuine human connection? That’s where things start to trip up a bit.

The thing is, while AI can churn out content at an impressive speed, it really struggles with the subtleties that make our cultures and conversations unique. 

It’s basically like trying to explain an inside joke to a super-smart robot. Things just aren’t going to click the same way. And this “not-clicking” is a pretty big deal breaker. Especially when there’s already so much noise out there that you can’t afford not to give your own a personal touch. 

No one wants to read a piece of content that sounds exactly the same as the one they just scrolled past. And that’s precisely what AI is doing. Making things sound the same no matter what niche or industry you’re looking at. 

Beyond this, don’t even get us started on how AI is lacking on the human connection front. 

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When it comes to understanding and replicating the complexities of human interaction and culture, AI still has miles to go before it can truly nail it. At the end of the day, generating content using AI is one thing, but making that content feel like it’s coming from a real, empathetic human being is another.

So while AI might be really damn powerful in certain aspects of content creation, it’s very important to keep in mind its many limitations when it comes to many other things that matter.

Despite all the algorithms and data at play, there’s no substitute for a human content strategist to help you solidify your brand presence and awareness and actually create a well-engaged and connected community.

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We’re a brand strategy & copywriting studio for mission-driven, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and Feminist-run brands and businesses who want to increase their visibility and connect with their communities through the power of story and content. We share tips & advice on how to make marketing (and business) fun!

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