AI - Saving Time or Wasting it?

AI - Saving Time or Wasting it?

AI is having its moment. Everyone is talking about it. Every conference is packed with AI-related agendas. Startups across California are rushing to slap .ai onto the ends of their URLs in a way we haven’t seen since .io was the premier signifier of tech-cellence.

The question on many minds right now is AI ready for full adoption? In our first edition we ran an article covering the dangers of AI hallucinations. We lived through crypto being hailed as the next wave, ready to disrupt the world as we knew it. Only to have our treasured NFTs drop through the floorboards in value. And we can’t even clip them to our bike spokes for a cool motorcycle effect.

However crypto was not a complete failure. It has continued to improve incrementally out of the spotlight and it’s clear that crypto-currencies and digital goods will have a big place in our future. Just maybe not our immediate future.

AI will also play a huge role in our future. Likely in ways that even the most chat-pilled AI champion can’t predict. If only that’s what we were being sold. But it’s not. The pressure is on to implement as many AI solutions as (in)humanly possible right this second. 

The biggest selling feature of AI products is the time (and money) they save you in your programs. For most marketers and businesses at the moment it’s main role is in the content creation department.

AI still takes some time to use but it’s shown it saves a lot more than it uses. The real question is, does content created with AI work as well as human created content?

NP Digital recently ran an experiment to answer this question. They took 68 websites and created 744 articles. Half with AI and half by humans. Then tracked how much organic SEO traffic each article generated on average over time.

94.12% of the time human written content outranked AI-created content. By month 5 an AI article was generating 52 visitors a month while a human-written article was generating 283.

Now that’s organic content but what about ads?

Hop Skip Media designed a controlled test comparing human ad copy vs. AI ad copy. Each ad contained 15 headlines and four descriptions, following the best practices for the RSA structure recommended by Google Ads.

Source: Hop Skip Media

The human-written ads achieved 45.41% more impressions and 60% more clicks, resulting in a significantly higher CTR of 1.33%.

It’s not surprising that human created content outperforms the AI. Even AI-companies will admit this. Which returns us to the real value here: AI saves you time.

If you’re using AI as an end-to-end creative solution the answer is AI does not save you time because it underperforms and can actually harm reach and search rankings.

However, combining AI with creative humans does in fact save time and might even be better than a purely human approach.

While not mentioned in the NP Digital article, Neil Patel mentioned on LinkedIn that they ran an experiment comparing human ad campaigns and AI ad campaigns. Humans were able to produce 1,709 ad variations. AI was able to produce 4,041 variations.

“We took the winning variations created by humans and had AI create multiple variations of them. With the new campaigns, we took the winning human version versus modified AI variations, and we found that AI won 75.7% of the time,” Patel wrote.

As it stands now, humans that leverage AI to complete backend tasks like research and creative variation studies beat out the human-only approach both in performance and time-saved.

So yes, AI does save time. It does save money. When it’s used as the right tool for the right part of the job. In five more years? Who knows. We’ll let you know when we get there.