“Some of my earliest childhood memories are of exploring the scrubland where we lived, hoping to come across a snake. I vividly remember being thrilled by the anticipation of finding one yet terrified that I actually would. I’d gingerly approach each rock crevice, prepared to turn and flee at any second. But the allure of seeing something so lethal up close was still irresistible. Snakes have this effect on us – our primordial brains are deeply wired to both fear and be fascinated by these enigmatic creatures.”
You’ve just read an example of human-written editorial content that AI tools like ChatGPT can’t successfully mimic. On the surface, it’s really just the everyday kind of prose that we’re all used to reading, be that in a blog article or a novel. And that’s the very point.
What’s wrong with AI-generated content?
If we deconstruct the opening paragraph, we can identify some specific hallmarks of human writing that are still beyond the imagination of AI tools, so to speak.
The first is that it tells an authentic human story. It paints a scenario based on deep-seated and widely shared human impulses. This makes it instantly relatable and engaging, by evoking thoughts and feelings that many people also have. It describes an experience that resonates with others who have done something similar.
It thus creates a personal connection with people, inviting them to read further. In website marketing terms, this is one of the most potent ways to lead potential customers through a conversion funnel.
Compare this to merely presenting a reader with a page of AI-generated content that jumps straight into the facts. While certainly informative and useful, the lack of personal engagement removes much of its power. That’s why it’s still essential to invest in high-quality content written by humans who are authorities on their subjects, and can appeal to human feelings, impulses and experiences.
The what and why of editorial content
While not designed to directly sell, editorial content does much of the work behind the scenes to inform, engage, educate and provide real value for the reader. Unlike marketing or advertising content aimed at driving sales, its role is to convey expert information written in the brand’s voice. Typical examples are long-form opinion pieces and thought leadership articles. White papers, research reports and case studies are other very useful options.
This content serves a dual purpose. It establishes that it comes from an authoritative source, which engenders trust in website visitors. It also helps the site to rank higher on search engine results pages, as Google and others richly reward content that’s expertly written and authoritative.
High-quality content like this is also ideal for sharing on social media channels, which further boosts brand image and reach. A very effective example can be found in the sphere of influencer marketing. It’s a digital-age term for something as old as marketing itself – the simple principle that we trust those we see as experts or authorities in their fields. This unavoidable natural human response draws people to your content and your brand.
By creating authority and trust, these kinds of premium content are extremely effective in establishing strong brand recognition and connection. This leads to higher engagement levels that further reinforce a positive brand image. Among the results are increased lead generation, contact requests and conversions.
How to create premium editorial content
Above all else, to create high-quality, engaging content you need to tell a compelling story. Storytelling is deeply ingrained in the human psyche – we’re all primed to absorb it, which is why it’s so effective. An honest, relatable story written with an authoritative yet empathetic tone easily outperforms reams of dry marketing copy when it comes to engaging potential customers.
Make sure to inform your editorial content with research. With so much disinformation on the Internet, people are constantly searching for accuracy and veracity in what they read. By publishing reliable, trustworthy information, you can boost your brand’s reputation and stand out from the noise.
If you’re an expert in the subject matter yourself, share your knowledge using as many of the above mentioned content types as you can. If you’re not, it’s well worth outsourcing your writing to someone who is an expert. Content agencies such as Key Content can help with this. It bears repeating that you cannot underestimate the value of authority in the content marketing arena.
Practical examples of high-quality editorial content in action
So far, so theoretical. Let’s have a look at some concrete examples of the premium content we’ve been discussing in various industries.
Here you’ll find an excellent long-form thought leadership article on investment, which clearly demonstrates industry authority. It goes into great academic detail on the topic and leaves no doubt that the author and their company have deep knowledge of the subject matter.
In the travel industry, (https://www.roughguides.com/articles/how-to-climb-acatenango-volcano-guatemala/)are an excellent way of establishing expertise and brand authority. Once again, note the granular level of detail and the tone. An effective travel article should demonstrate the author’s expertise, ideally incorporating personal experiences and storytelling elements. It engages the reader by having a local authority share their personal knowledge in an upbeat, conversational way.
Even Google uses influencers to attract customers to different facets of their brand. Here’s an example of Google teaming up with illusionist Zach King in a sponsored video. It’s a subtle approach, simply using brand association with a well-known public figure, without explicitly promoting the brand. The more than 32 million views speak to the success of this kind of premium editorial content.
What do we learn from this?
Tools like ChatGPT undoubtedly offer plenty of benefits. However, AI-generated content still plays second fiddle to premium editorial content when it comes to brand recognition, customer connection and lead generation.
With AI churning out so much information on the Internet, you couldn’t ask for a better time to distinguish your brand by investing in fresh, engaging, authoritative content that stands above the rest.
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At Key Content, we believe in authentic content that also converts. We remove the complexity out of the content creation and build content strategies that speak to both humans and search engines. Get in touch today with our content experts to discuss your unique needs.