Can AI Write B2B How-To Guides? Findings from Our Experiment Suggest Otherwise

There seems to be a stark divide in the content community in response to the soaring success of ChatGPT.

Some say that ChatGPT isn’t at all viable for use. Others are quick to point out that this technology will replace writers. Well, if there’s any truth to these viewpoints, it sits at the intersection. Neither is ChatGPT useless nor is it a replacement.

It’s a great tool (much like the host of AI tools out there) that can help with writing inspiration, testing ideas, and even seeking novel ideas. I’ve been using GPT-4 (ChatGPT Plus) for the past two days now, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a better writing companion. It’s that good! One might even think that it’s conscious, but that’s a debate for another day – although Sam Altman will outright deny the claim. 🙂 It’s still a question as to how he knows what “conscious” means and if AI has achieved it.

Today, we’re going to look at a very specific long-form use case of how-to guides against the growing prominence of AI Writers. 

Are AI Writers Good at Writing How-To Guides?

Contrary to the popular belief, how-to guides are one of the most difficult forms of content to conceptualize for two reasons:

  • They have to be exceptionally simple in their articulation. After all, easy reading is damn hard writing.
  • They must be factually relevant and recent to help the user navigate the path they’re seeking answers to. The need for “recency” can vary based on the subject under question. For example, there’s hardly any relationship between time and playing chess.

But, here’s a concern – Is “how to play chess” similar in complexity to “how can CIOs harness the power of quantum computing for breakthrough innovations in B2B applications”?

You’d notice that the AI writing segment focuses on very generic use cases when it comes to marketing or demo videos. They would exhibit AI answering queries that are too broad to befit any robust content strategy. 

In fact, the tools are inherently much more capable when it comes to elaborating the steps to achieve something. That’s precisely the hypothesis we laid out for further investigating the viability of AI writers for long-form B2B content – especially how-to guides. 

The Results from Our Experimentation

We tested the top AI writers and AI writing assistants to help us craft how-to articles like:

  • How to leverage metaverse technologies for B2B collaboration?
  • How to validate and review data annotations?
  • How to leverage swarm intelligence and distributed robotics for industrial applications?

We limited the article length to 500-600 word range. The results were satisfactory at best. 

It took more than 3 hours to pen factually and conceptually correct articles. Only journalistic & opinionated articles took more time. 

Highly technical guides were largely difficult to pen because AI would often hallucinate. So, the human writer had to intervene after every few words to check for fallacies and make the necessary improvements.

Access our full research report here.

What Does This Mean Going Forward?

Should you not leverage the capabilities of AI tools? You definitely should! And AI is going to evolve, so you can expect it to comprehensively help with moderately technical articles, if not highly technical ones.

Read More: 4 Areas AI Writers Excel at for B2B Tech Content Writing

But as someone leading a B2B enterprise, you must also understand that there’s a lot of data associated with your projects, functions, workflows, etc., at your disposal. If you can inspire your narratives based on this data, you’d be looking at a thought leadership piece that’s authentic and, most importantly, credible for users. 

This would be in alignment with Google’s E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) principles and provide much more impetus for the articles to rank on the SERP against websites with high domain authority.

More to come in this series around AI writers’ viability for other content types. Stay tuned!

Apart from the above, what more would you like to know? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below.

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