I’ve been writing for as long as I could hold a pen and telling stories even longer. For me, artificial intelligence (AI) was like the radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker: It gave me the superpower of automated content creation. 

The thing about superpowers — at least for me and Spider-Man — is that they’re defined, shaped and made meaningful by your humanity. Take away the “Man” and you’re left with just “Spider.” Take away the writer and you’re left with AI-generated content that feels hollow to both readers and search engines.

As Uncle Ben Parker taught us, great power comes with great responsibility. And in the world of AI content creation, that’s particularly true.

So before we start fighting crime in the streets of the search engine results page (SERP), let’s learn more about automation as a content creator’s superpower.

What Is Automated Content?

If artificial intelligence was the radioactive spider, automated content is the webbing I can now shoot out of my wrists. But what does that mean for content marketing?

Technically speaking, automated content is anything created using an AI tool. The term most often refers to exclusively AI-generated content — but realistically, you won’t want to add any of that to your website or social media posts without human intervention. (More on that later). For now, what matters is that you know just how broad a descriptor “automated content” can be.

Here’s a simple written example, created using ChatGPT:

Prompt: Can you please write me a sentence explaining automated content?

Response: Automated content refers to content created and produced using software and algorithms, often without direct human involvement, to streamline the content creation process.

Here’s a visual example, too:

Prompt: Can you please generate an image that makes people want to learn more about automated content?


Keep in mind that the wording of my prompts has a huge impact on what the AI content generation tool will spit out. (Do I know if saying “please” leads to better results? No. Am I going to continue to do it so I’m on the right side of the robot uprising? Yes.)

The other big variable here is the content creation tool itself. Each option has a different underlying AI algorithm, which means the same prompt can generate wildly different results depending on where you enter it. 

Let’s take a look at a few top automation tools:


This chatbot, developed by OpenAI and launched in late 2022, has quickly become one of the most popular AI writer tools. It can help you produce everything from a product description to a picture for your next social media post. Plus, its dialogue format allows it to “answer follow-up questions, admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises and reject inappropriate requests.”


If you need a personalized content idea or brief, using BuzzSumo is an excellent way to start. It’s also great for research, analysis, monitoring and content strategy improvements. 

ContentShake AI

This tool is a combination of artificial intelligence and Semrush’s search engine optimization (SEO) data, making it a promising part of your content writing repertoire. It can also instantly generate social media posts, support keyword research, integrate with Google Docs and more.


Frase calls itself an SEO content optimization tool and AI writer. Its content generation is based on “research,” a word that shows up 9 times on its home page, and its goal is to keep all your content writing steps in the same place.


DALL·E 2 uses natural language processing to create both visual content in various art styles and photo-realistic images. Essentially, it’s an automation tool for those of us who can only draw stick figures.

What Can You Create with Automated Content?

Now that I’ve described what my “webbing” is, we can put it to work fighting crime and protecting the innocent. Or, perhaps more realistically, delivering engaging content to the right audiences.

Here’s a look at what you can do with your favorite content automation tool:

Blog Posts

ChatGPT and its AI friends can write a blog post in seconds. You can tell them to include certain topics, answer questions, throw in a product description or drive users to do something specific. Some AI content generator tools also support optimization, which means you can include keyword research and SEO best practices.

Just keep in mind that many of these marketing automation solutions are still under construction. They might not know exactly what you’re asking — and even if they do, they might generate something totally different. In my experience, AI is great for the broad strokes of a blog post, but details like headings, effective use of bullet points and correct sourcing get lost in translation. 

Social Media Content

Many AI tools are great for social media content creation because these posts are short, specific and easy to customize. You can ask a content automation tool to write based on a blog post, product, website or even just a line of copy.


AI is all about taking tons of information and turning it into something easily digestible — which means it’s your new brief buddy. Use these tools to merge ideas, goals, vital steps and content suggestions in one document your whole team can rely on.


You can give existing content a second chance with a reoptimization or “reop” project. Some generative AI tools are smart enough to take your instructions — for example, “Please update this 2020 blog to 2024” — and refresh the right parts of a blog post. Others can integrate SERP and keyword research to help with SEO at the same time.


Several of the AI tools mentioned above are also great for research. That’s because they can cruise pretty much the entire internet in seconds, providing a snapshot of your competitors, audience expectations, content niche and even topic ideas that haven’t been covered yet. 

Content Strategies

There are two ways to think about using AI strategically:

  • Building a strategy using AI: You use a generative AI tool to organize your teams, projects, deadlines and goals into a cohesive strategy.
  • Building a strategy that involves AI: You build a strategy for automating content creation, which essentially means you plan how and where you’ll use AI.

Either way, artificial intelligence is involved. The only difference is that the former is built by AI and the latter is built for AI.

Automated Content: Pros, Cons and Considerations

If great power comes with great responsibility, you have to choose when to use it. Spider-Man doesn’t go around shooting webs at all of his problems — so we shouldn’t rely exclusively on AI-driven content creation, either.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of AI content:


  • Faster content generation: A project that might have taken hours can now take care of itself in seconds.
  • Speedy ideation: No need to spend hours brainstorming; automated insights and AI-supported research can come up with fresh ideas for you.
  • Cost-efficient work: Your creative teams’ time is valuable. Let AI do the simple stuff while your experts focus on using their talents.
  • More possibilities: AI thinks with the power of multiple people, presenting ideas, opportunities and technological possibilities that one content marketer couldn’t achieve alone.


  • AI hallucinations: This phenomenon occurs when an AI model perceives or uses patterns that either A) don’t make sense to humans or B) don’t exist at all.
  • Inconsistent tone and style: AI can “forget” instructions or guidance, leading to a tone, voice and style that differs between paragraphs and pieces of content.
  • Lack of humanity: AI-generated content can feel basic, hollow, unfeeling and simply inhuman — and readers are getting better at identifying these problems.
  • Humor issues: Although they may generate high-quality content with a little help, AI tools don’t often generate high-humor content, generally lacking the nuance, context and “element of surprise” that leads to genuinely funny material.
  • Model bias: Depending on the AI algorithm, certain tools can inherit the same biases as their creators (or the content they learn from).

Best Practices for Automated Content Creation

For all of its pros and cons, AI is still just a tool. That means success depends on the people using it — just like Spider-Man’s webs aren’t much good without Peter Parker calling the shots. Simply put, you need to know when and how to use automated content.

We’ve learned a bit about the when. Now let’s cover the how:

  • Supervise: Don’t trust AI to complete whole projects alone. Automation must have human supervision every step of the way to ensure quality and accuracy.
  • Fact-check: Remember, AI is far from perfect. Check important facts and add correct attribution where necessary — because these systems often struggle with complete, up-to-date sourcing.
  • QA: Build out a quality assurance checklist to help ensure tone, voice and style are consistent across all of your content. Don’t forget to look for typos and formatting issues, too.
  • Manage: Create rules for when and how AI-driven content creation should be done.
  • Support: AI isn’t a replacement for content creators; it’s just a superpower. Give your teams the support they need to use these tools comfortably, confidently and responsibly.
  • Encourage: Right now, artificial intelligence is all about exploration and creativity. Your teams need room to see what works and what doesn’t — so encourage them to experiment with different prompts, projects, tools and more.

Remember, AI is the radioactive spider that gave me new power, and it’s ready to bite again. Can you handle this great responsibility?

Ashlee Sierra is a senior writer and editor from Boise, Idaho. When she’s not buried under her giant dogs, she can be found playing video games, telling ghost stories and having passionate discussions about the Oxford comma.