The 3 things you'll need to be creative when you use AI for content
Your creativity makes the difference between good and great AI-generated content
any idiot anyone can create content, and it becomes accessible to everyone. Prompt, copy-paste, edit, and hit publish — more mediocre content by cutting corner marketers who chase engagement and eyeballs. Yay…??
→ AI isn’t just about creating more content at a large scale with lower costs.
→ AI is about delivering higher quality content, well-researched and well-written by passionate, creative people with in-depth knowledge and understanding of the topic.
Please, keep in mind that creativity is not only in the art of writing; it’s also in your thinking and daring to be different. Think Salvador Dali, Lady Gaga, Steve Jobs, Simon Sinek, Elon Musk and many more.
Why it matters: creativity is the differentiator
More mediocre AI-generated content means more clutter and crap. You can worry and fear missing out. You can also see this as a golden opportunity to be different and stand out.
The differentiator is creativity.
To be creative with your content, this is what you need:
- In-dept knowledge. Expertise and deep understanding of the topic to give context and meaning. It’s well-researched and shows authenticity. And it's well-written with a human touch.
- Strong standpoint. Being outspoken with a clear point of view to show your vision, daring to stand out, and refusing to echo
- Creativity and uniqueness. Be different with your sparkling personality and your distinctive own brand voice and tone. Add a little twisted and dirty mind to avoid being bland and vanilla, and you’ll have more engaging content.
Let’s dive deeper.
1. Knowledge is needed to be creative
There are two major things you need to realize when you use AI to write your content.
- No new insights or strategies. Generative AI is a language model based on probability and predictability. This means ChatGPT doesn’t give you genuinely new insights, strategies, or ideas. It echoes what’s already there
- No bias, judgments, or view of its own. ChatGPT can help you by giving rational arguments based on data. The good thing about this is that together, you can sharpen your thinking, broaden your mind, and come up with a different approach. The other side is that it’s bland and lacks personality, a point of view, and vision.
You provide creativity, not AI
To create content that stands out, it’s still you who has to have an in-depth understanding and knowledge of the topic. Not only to write the correct prompts but also to surface and stack the output to give meaning, create the context, and show a point of view and a vision. Why does it matter, and what are the most important elements plus key takeaways for your reader?
And it’s also you, with your knowledge and understanding to check on inaccuracies, outdated information, and cultural context. By now, we know we always have to check the output of ChatGPT.
I have to admit that with the paid version, ChatGPT-4, the output is better and more trustworthy than the free version, ChatGPT-3.5 (date of writing this is October 2023).
2. Personality matters
To start, being outspoken and not afraid to show your point of view and your vision on the topic is what you need to create engaging content. This is linked to your personality, which in turn shows in how you write and the words you use.
From my experience, every time I ask ChatGPT to write some content, its output is bland and vanilla. Even if I prompt for my tonality, and I use that tonality as a prompt to rewrite the output, I notice the content still isn’t me.
Another result of no personality is a lack of consistency between the content items. The only consistent thing is the bland and vanilla tonality with very long sentences and difficult words.
Of course, the exceptions confirm the rule; there are some great prompt-engineers doing an amazing job. That said, in general, it’s better to use AI for research, setting the outline, getting some content chunks, doing some proofreading on the structure and minor suggestions, and doing the creative writing yourself.
This lack of personality with very clean writing is one of the things how you can recognize AI-generated content.
I write the way I talk
The best compliment I get is that if they read my copy, it's as if they hear me speaking. Me is me and will still be me, no matter if I write or speak.
They want to hear my vision and view on content, data, AI, and all the other amazing sh*t that’s going on in our industry. If they want to have a more general bland and everybody-happy-go-lucky piece of content, I’m not their go-to person, nor is that the audience I want to reach.
A nice side effect is that the more outspoken I am, breaking all the rules and showing my personality, the more readers and engagement I get.
3. Unleash your creativity
Creativity follows your personality. It not only shows in the art of writing and formatting, it’s also thinking differently.
I’m not talking about being provocative and obnoxious, ruffling all feathers you see – it’s about being creative and approaching things in a different way. If you dare to be different, you’ll create content that is different and gets noticed.
- Daring to think outside of the box and take a stand with your point of view
- Flipping the perspective and approaching the topic in an uncommon, unexpected, or new way
- Being comfortable in challenging the status quo and standing out
The other side of creativity is the art of writing. Creating copy that’s fun to read, with a nice rhythm between the sentences and using normal words. If you let AI write you copy without your tonality in the prompt, it results in usually very, very long, difficult-to-read sentences. Filled with expensive and posh-looking words – especially for non-native English readers. Next to that, it lacks personality. Something already mentioned in the paragraph above.
And don’t forget about the formatting. That’s something I do manually. Proofreading, adjusting sentences, changing words, shortening paragraphs, using headers and subheaders. And most importantly, playing with the whitespace to make it airy and accessible.
I start in Word, then shift to the CMS of my newsroom. First, I edit for desktop; second, I edit and format for mobile.
AI is your ally
Don’t get me wrong. I love AI, and I use ChatGPT-4, Grammarly Pro, DeepL, and tools like Canva on a daily basis. It enriches, improves, and makes what is already good even better.
In a nutshell, how I use AI
- It’s my wingman, not my intern
- Research, inspiration
- Ideation and wordings
- Grammar check and structure proofreading
- Headline review
However, my creativity always starts old school with color-coded pens and paper. That’s where the ideas and juices start to flow.
There are no exceptions. If I skip this step, I’ll be stuck in some middle-of-the-nowhere-road, and I'll produce mediocre, bland, lame content. At least, in my opinion.
Wrapping it up
I think I made my case on why and how creativity is the differentiator between good and great content that engages. It’s not a matter if you use AI; it’s how you use AI for this.
It’s you who has to do the work and be creative. The key is…
- Knowledge and deep understanding of the topic to give context and meaning. It’s well-researched and shows authenticity, well-written with a human touch.
- Being outspoken with a firm point of view to show the vision, daring to stand out, and refusing to echo
- Be different with your sparkling personality and your distinctive own brand voice and tone. Add a little twisted and dirty mind to avoid being bland and vanilla, and you’ll have more engaging content.
And don’t forget to have fun!
Love what you do, do what you love. This sounds so cheezy, yet it's true. If you love what you create, your audience will notice.