In the last few years, there have been several news stories about robots replacing copywriters.
The Associated Press is now automating quarterly earnings reports through a company called Automated Insights. The Washington Post used a software program to write hundreds of posts about the 2016 Olympics in Rio. A company in Israel has created an algorithm that will write short blog posts geared toward SEO. The list goes on.
There have been rumblings of companies using these software programs instead of copywriters, as long as these programs have been around. I see colleagues mention this problem in copywriting groups on a regular basis.
Personally, I don’t think it’s going to happen, at least not any time soon.
Good Copy is Engaging, Not Just “Well Written.”
You can program a computer to string grammatically correct sentences together to create information on any given topic. But for people to want to read that content, it has to “speak” to them. There needs to be that “human touch” in the writing to attract a reader’s attention and keep them reading to the end of the article.
Personally, I have yet to see an article written by a “robot” that I found engaging. Most of them feel like long, rambling soliloquies on a subject that don’t quite make sense. There’s a great example of this at the end of this Tech Crunch article.
Computers Don’t Have Emotions
Good copy does more than inform the reader. It also makes them feel something. This “something” can be positive or negative, depending on the writer’s intent.
This involves knowing how to play on the reader’s emotions. Computer algorithms don’t have emotions, yet, so they have no concept of how to use emotions to their advantage. (Once they figure it out, we’re all in trouble.)
Humans are naturally empathetic. Different topics resonate with different people.
If you have a specific problem, you’ll be excited by a product post or sales letter that promises to solve your problem. If you are sympathetic to a political or charitable cause, you’re more likely to be swayed by a story involving someone who has been a victim of the opposing forces of that cause.
Good copywriters know how to use emotions to steer their readers toward the intended goal of the article or sales letter. It’s an art.
Computers Can’t Think for Themselves
A computer will do exactly what you tell it to. Nothing more, nothing less. I know this frustrates me on a regular basis, when I don’t understand how to tell the computer exactly what I want it to do, and I expect it to understand me.
Well, it can’t.
This is to my advantage as a writer. Because I can think for myself, I can interpret what my clients want or what my audience is interested in. I use my creativity to go beyond the “exact instructions” and bring more depth to the piece I’m writing than a computer ever could.
Good Copywriters Are Worth Our Weight in Gold
While I was at Converted 2016 this past October, Brian Massey of Conversion Sciences said “If you’ve got a good copywriter, hang on to them. Lock them in the basement.” (I objected to the locking us in the basement part on Twitter. Brian’s response is below.)
And we really are worth our weight in gold. When you find a copywriter who understands your company, your goals and your audience, you’ve got the key ingredient to your secret sauce that converts site visitors into leads and leads into customers. No computer algorithm can give you that.
Get Your Copywriting Project on My Schedule Now
If you’ve got a copywriting project coming up, and you want it to get results, hire a talented copywriter. I happen to have some openings in my schedule at the moment and would be happy to assist you.