Will AI replace designers, writers, and content creators?

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By Maria Lilly

Content creators develop informational and/or entertaining content to address the challenges or needs of specific target audiences. They are considered the backbone of the creator economy, an ecosystem comprising platforms, brands, vendors, agencies, and consumers where content, money, or goods/services are exchanged.

A Goldman Sachs report  focused on the creator economy, cited 2024 as the start of the "creator era" of media, marketing, and commerce.

This is a welcome change after last year’s AI-focused headlines suggested doom and gloom for creatives. Instead, Generative AI is now being viewed as a technology that creatives should learn to improve efficiencies and spark ideas. The tools it offers can be used to support (not replace) their work in developing original content and putting a premium on authenticity.

A focus on storytelling

In this emerging creator era, it's important to point out that the focus on content creation is not entirely new. What has changed is the increasing demand to develop uniquely creative content as a key driver in building customer interest, trust, and long-term loyalty.

Over the last decade, content marketing has been a cornerstone of marketing efforts, supporting go-to-market product launches and lead-generation campaigns. Current forecasts predict content marketing could reach $107 billion by 2026.

Now, brands are shifting traditional advertising dollars to content creators as well. There are predictions that the native advertising sector will reach $400 billion by 2025. In addition, Insider Intelligence reports that this year in the US alone, sponsored content on social media should rake in nearly $6 billion. This figure does not include paid amplification or creator ads in other media channels.

Business leaders are also touting the need for creative content. Look no further than a viral video of Kevin O'Leary of Shark Tank fame. Like him or dislike him, he says, “The number one demand I have for my companies are people that can take the concept of the business and tell a story about it.”

What does this mean for content creation?

Simply put, it spells opportunity! Companies are seeing the correlation between creative content and revenue and are investing in creative collaboration to move the business needle.

The Accenture Life Trends 2024 report encourages brands to invest in the power of creativity to competitively differentiate and provide creatives with both the budget and time to deliver on their craft. In addition, Business Insider reports that "agencies are snapping up influencer marketing firms and hiring creators as consultants and strategists, while brands are co-creating products with creators to bring their magic in-house."

To get your creative juices flowing and deliver meaningful creative results, here’s a quick reminder of what to consider:

Get your messaging right! Messaging is the fountain from which all creativity should flow. Do not give this short shrift. Make sure your messaging is concise, clear, and focused on customer needs. And yes, give it some flair!

Develop real and emotionally resonant narratives. Consumers are looking for content that is both relatable and sincere. Do not shy away from personal stories and experiences. Sad or happy, funny or serious, very few ideas are off-limits if the storytelling flows from your messaging.

Incorporate graphic elements and rich photography. Storytelling is more than just words, it's visual too. Be sure to use original logos, typefaces, animations, charts, and other elements to convey and support your messaging. Rich, detailed photography with attention to detail also can have a strong subliminal effect on audiences, serving to better differentiate one product or service from another.

Produce videos to fit various customers and platforms. Videos are a winning content form, but their style and form must match the audience andplatform. Short-form (15 seconds) works best for some, while the comeback of long-form (60 seconds) is better for others. High production values make sense for some brands, but a low-end “garage” feel can be more effective in reaching other audiences. In terms of social platform dominance, TikTok and Reels are the new dominant players, but look out for BeReal which is experiencing significant growth in Gen Z usage.

Invest in podcasts. Not only is this a fast-growing medium it’s also a platform to share information and showcase personality. Podcasts are perfect platforms to deliver creative content with authenticity.

Cut through technology templates. Templated designs have resulted in content that is often drafted, formatted, and delivered with little differentiation. Skilled creatives can find ways to break through these efficiency-first templates and produce content that shines.

As we look ahead into 2024...

Let the creator era get fully underway! To quote Accenture Life Trends 2024, "As more organizations lean heavily on generative AI, human creativity could set others apart. Where there’s a void of novelty, there’s opportunity—in a sea of familiarity, originality truly stands out."

Here’s a toast to all the creative forces across the great marketing, product, digital, sales, and communications universe. Let the many colors of great strategic and creative work rain down and translate into customer and client success.

Maria Lilly provides market positioning, strategic thinking, and content marketing. Maria led the marketing communication initiative with Langton Creative Group on Moody’s KMV; created the market positioning and elevator speeches for IPRO; and wrote the 20th anniversary content for the Primary Care Development Corporation. She is Principal of MJ Lilly Associates, LLC, a strategic communications consultancy specializing in developing branding and integrated marketing programs.

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Langton Creative Group is a NY communications design firm dedicated to improving the way businesses and organizations interact with their audiences. We were founded as Langton Cherubino Group in 1990.

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