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We've all seen them in our inboxes and social media feeds—perhaps even in the blogs (and other content) we read: blatant AI ruffage.

Often generic or completely off-brand (and bland, like iceberg lettuce). And sometimes downright weird—think the content equivalent of Brussels sprouts ice cream. It may technically be good for you, but no one wants it.

You know what I'm talking about. Words like "delve" or "embark." And phrases like "it's important to consider" or "navigating the complexities of."

Yes, they're real words and phrases. But what average person says those things—especially in friendly dialog?

"I can sniff out an AI-generated piece of content a mile away," says Jason Hunt, author of Drop the Mic Marketing: How to Find Your Social Media Voice. "And a lot of it derives from some of these words."

Check out this video from his recent presentation, "The Marketer's Guide to AI-Powered Content Strategies: From Insight to Action," where he lists Chat-GPT's most common offenders:

Those overused words and phrases are just one way AI-generated copy lacks that je ne sais quoi—a uniquely human voice that can put people at ease and make them feel like you understand their needs and desires. Jason says one of "the big hiccups you're going to get with using AI, and Chat-GPT specifically, is that loss of human touch."

But AI brings so many benefits, you say. Speed, for one. New perspectives, for another. Plus, personalization at scale.

So, do you let AI take the wheel and double-down on efficiency wins while settling for often predictable—and clunky—outputs? Or do you focus on reader empathy and human connection but perhaps lose the speed-to-campaign-deployment your competitors increasingly employ?

The solution may be embracing a hybrid AI + human workflow. Jason recommends such an approach based on a study he and his team at Merged Media published in Journal of Brand Strategy: "We found that human copywriters achieved higher click-through rates and lower costs. In most scenarios, the human-generated copy outperformed AI—nine out of 12 cases for cost-effectiveness, and five out of 12 cases for clickthrough rate."

Conclusion? Today, at least, AI can't live without you.

And this hybrid AI + human approach means you are now a copy editor. Generative content needs your love and critical eye.

"Human marketers' nuanced understanding and creative capabilities are crucial for compelling copy. AI can efficiently generate drafts, but human expertise is essential for final edits and enhancements. So don't just take that Chat-GPT content verbatim and copy/paste it to save time.... Leverage the human aspect, the human element, and tweak that copy to make it better," Jason says.

Step One on your hybrid journey? Use AI to write a first draft. You'll get better results if you create a custom GPT and train it on a specific persona and brand voice, but your favorite LLM or AI writing software will suffice.

Then, grab your (figurative) red pen, polish up your copyediting skills, and give it a thorough, deep clean. Add an empathetic spin. Reframe aggressive sales messages to speak to your audience's experience. And cement it all in your brand voice.

"Leverage AI for initial drafts and human creativity for refinement," he says.

And do everyone a favor and eliminate those words and phrases that real humans never really say. We don't want to read them anymore.

Next, test and refine in real-world experiments. You may need more or less editing to maximize lead generation, conversion, and cost-saving results.

Finally, once you've found your hybrid AI + human sweet spot, it's time to iterate. And that's another excellent time to use AI for increased efficiency, whether you're looking to deploy short-form content, like social ads, or long-form assets, like personalized account-based marketing ( ABM) materials at scale. (Check out the MarketingProfs AI Tools Directory for some great writing-specific AI tools to help make that happen.)

Just don't forget to include a final copyediting pass in your workflow before pushing it out the door.

This hybrid method "combines AI's speed and scalability with the emotion and contextual relevance of human input," says Jason. Ultimately, your copyediting skills are vital to "optimized engagement and economic efficiency."

If you'd like more details on Jason and team's recent AI vs. human copywriter showdown methodology and results—plus a list of some of his favorite AI tools—check out his full AI for Demand Gen Marketers presentation.

More Resources From the AI for Demand Gen Marketers Series

Can AI Save You From Marketing Inferno?

AI Use Across the Customer Journey Means Aligning Across Teams

Using AI to Build Your Personas: Don't Lose Sight of Your Real-World Buyers

AI Can't Write Thought Leadership (But It Can Do Something Else)

Your AI Needs a Human Copyeditor

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image of Jo Roberts

Jo Roberts is MarketingProfs' director of product development. She's responsible for product planning, management, and post-purchase user communications, and she oversees instructional design for PRO subscription and training products. Jo previously spent two decades in PR, promotions, and product marketing.

LinkedIn: Jo Roberts