A woman looks at the camera and smiles. Before her is her laptop computer. Behind her is a modern open workspace.
AI opens new possibilities to resource-strapped business owners, but there are some caveats and best practices to follow, including disclosing its use to your audience. — Getty Images/Luis Alvarez

Although artificial intelligence continues to advance and grow in popularity, many small business leaders still aren't sure how to properly integrate it into their content creation process.

Here are the benefits of leveraging AI content creation and best practices to use these tools safely and effectively for your small business.

[Read more: Ready. Set. Scale. How Small Business Can Leverage AI]

AI for content creation: Benefits and tools to consider

Many small businesses don't have time to create content, nor do they have the resources to hire full-time content creators to oversee and implement it.

AI tools are a cost-effective solution for businesses that are short-staffed or that have a limited budget. Many AI options — both free and paid — are available on the market. These tools provide businesses with accessible solutions to quickly create content, with minimal effort required, that can help them scale. With this new technology, doors can open for small businesses to help enhance their team's creativity by providing new ideas and fresh perspectives.

The right AI content tools for your business depend on your specific needs and goals, including the following:

  • Content ideas and outlining: Well-known tools like ChatGPT can help with writing processes by generating content ideas and marketing strategies using prompts. You can also generate full pieces of written content that you can edit, including blog posts, social media captions, scripts, and more.
  • Transcription and editing: If you're looking to produce a podcast or start a YouTube channel to grow as a thought leader, a tool like Descript can help with the process, from recording to editing and sharing your content.
  • Image and video generation: Generate graphics or static visual media, including realistic paintings, logos, and renderings, for your business with tools like Midjourney and DALL-E. Or, if you need to promote a new product, tools like Synthesia can create realistic talking head videos in minutes following simple scripts.

[Read more: What AI Can't Do for Your Small Business]

Review and refine AI-generated content as needed before sharing rather than posting it as is.

Best practices for working with AI-generated content

AI content creation offers small business owners many benefits, but it's important to keep best practices in mind when leveraging it.

Ensure compliance with search engine guidelines and regulations

With the increased accessibility to AI, there has been an influx of lower-quality, AI-generated media. To safeguard against this influx and ensure compliance, search engines continue to update their AI guidelines and implement new penalties for websites that don't follow them.

These penalties can result in lower rankings or having your website listing completely removed from search results. If you have international clients, it's also important to understand regulatory compliance frameworks for AI adoption, such as the European Union's recently passed Artificial Intelligence Act.

Fact-check to ensure accuracy and relevance

Using AI to build content can streamline the creation process, but there needs to be some human intervention to ensure its accuracy. Sometimes, AI doesn't churn out accurate information; other times, its content may be correct, but it's irrelevant to your overall message.

To ensure that content flows naturally and is useful to your audience, use the time you save on drafting to verify the content's accuracy. Review and refine AI-generated content as needed before sharing rather than posting it as is.

Find a balance between AI and 'humanness'

Look at AI-generated content output as a first draft, not the final version. While AI tools can certainly help create base content, the original draft won't likely match your brand's voice right away.

Since your content is representative of your brand, revise the AI-generated content with a human touch. Human intervention allows you to change any unnatural language and redundancies, ensuring your content is of the highest quality for your audience. This helps it read naturally and authentically to your audience.

Disclose the use of AI

Just like content creators must disclose when they're promoting a for-profit ad, it should be common practice to disclose your use of AI to your audience. Taking an honest approach to embracing AI will help normalize its usage and ensure that AI-generated content is shared ethically.

Readers don't want to feel duped or as though the author is being inauthentic by trying to mask AI content as completely original. Disclosing this information avoids this by informing the audience that they are interacting with AI-generated content.

[Read more: How to Encourage Your Employees to Use AI at Work]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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