Cody Schneider: Create a Brand With Ease Through the Power of AI | Podcast 29

Cody Schneider: Create a Brand With Ease Through the Power of AI | Podcast 29

Interview by Nikola Djuric
Published: January 12, 2024

In the 29th episode of the DesignRush Podcast, our senior editor Vianca Meyer talked to Cody Schneider, a content marketer and an AI enthusiast offering new ways of repurposing content with generative AI.

The show is now available on YouTube and Spotify.

Listen to the full episode to discover:

  • Detailed examples of how you can use generative AI to revolutionize content creation and scale your business
  • Why the impact of AI-generated content on SEO rankings is still uncertain, and it’s a strategy worth testing
  • How to create a personal or business brand with minimal effort by leveraging generative AI and content repurposing
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Who Is Cody Schneider?

Cody is an AI enthusiast and a content marketer who has been building online companies for the past 10 years before founding two of his AI products - Swell AI and Drafthorse AI. His mission is to help people streamline content distribution through content repurposing. People say Cody understands marketing for real and that he's quick to execute new ideas effectively. As Cody loves to say, "distribution is more important than the product."

Vianca: With the increasing role of AI in content creation, how do you see the marketing industry evolving?

Cody: AI significantly impacts personal branding strategies, especially for founders and C-suite executives.

Many are utilizing AI tools for ghostwriting purposes, as they help create various content formats, from social media posts to newsletters, capturing the individual's unique voice.

A key focus recently is making AI-generated content sound more authentic and personalized. This involves analyzing existing source documents to define tone, style and voice, ensuring the AI writes content that aligns with a specific brand identity.

Companies are now developing AI style guides, similar to traditional brand style guidelines.

These guides include specific parameters for AI to follow, ensuring consistency in the brand's voice across different outputs. Templates based on these style guides can be saved for future use, allowing teams to produce on-brand content efficiently.

How close are we to creating personalized AI that can mimic individual content styles?

We are very close to achieving this level of personalized AI content creation.

The simplest method is to record a short video discussing a topic you're knowledgeable about, then use the transcript to guide the AI in capturing your unique tone, style and voice. This process can be done in a matter of minutes, creating a personal style guide.

This style guide can then be applied to various content formats, such as transforming long-form content into a series of tweets, while maintaining your specific writing style.

This approach to creating AI-style guides is also scalable at a brand level.

When a team uses the same style guide, it ensures consistent output across the organization, maintaining a uniform brand voice in all AI-generated content.

How are AI content writing tools changing the marketing landscape?

AI content creation tools are rapidly changing the game, evidenced by how a company challenges a competitor's long-standing web presence.

They took a comprehensive list of blog post titles from a competitor's website and had AI create their versions of the content. This strategy led to immense success: within a year, they were receiving a million impressions and 140,000 clicks per month on Google, all accomplished by a small team in just four months.

The cost efficiency of AI tools is revolutionary.

Where once creating a thousand high-quality, SEO-optimized articles could cost around $100,000, AI tools can now produce the same quantity for around $500. Even if each article generates just one sale or lead, it’s incredibly cost-effective.

As everyone exhausts the general knowledge base of AI, the focus will shift to creating content that stands out.

This will involve providing AI tools with unique, expert knowledge as a source, resulting in more specialized, valuable content.

Right now, there’s a "land grab" in SEO with AI-generated content, but the future will emphasize domain expertise and unique insights. The way to differentiate in content marketing will be through the valuable, exclusive information your organization possesses and can provide to AI tools.

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What's the sustainability of AI-generated content, especially in light of Google's stance and potential content plagiarism concerns?

Google's AI content policy, released in February 2023, states that they don't mind how content is created as long as it adds value to the reader. This viewpoint is likely to be universally adopted.

The crux is whether the content is valuable to the human consuming it.

AI content plagiarism checkers, at present, don’t seem entirely reliable, as simply altering the tone or style can make previously flagged content pass the tests.

The quality of AI-generated content is continually improving, but it isn't yet at the level of top-tier human writing. The strategy moving forward is using AI for the bulk of content creation – the heavy lifting – and then human teams refining and personalizing the final output to ensure it aligns with the brand's unique tone, style and voice.

This method maximizes efficiency without compromising on the human touch that is crucial for effective communication.

AI in content creation isn't going away but will evolve.

Brands must define and adhere to their unique style guide to maintain consistency and authenticity in their communications. As AI tools assist in efficiency, human oversight remains key to ensuring content meets business goals and resonates with audiences.

Google and other companies won't penalize AI-created content, provided it delivers real value to the reader.

Given the mixed responses to AI-generated content in SEO, can you share your perspective on its impact and future?

The response to AI-generated content in SEO is varied.

I have entirely human-written sites and have been negatively impacted by recent updates, whereas AI-generated sites launched just months ago are thriving.

For example, one of my AI-generated sites is now generating around a thousand clicks per day and converting leads effectively through an email nurture campaign.

The reality is that both AI and human-written content can rank well or poorly.

AI content can rank successfully, even in sensitive niches like healthcare, contrary to common expectations. This indicates no definite pattern in how Google's algorithms respond to AI content.

The key is whether the content is adding value to the user.

For SEO, the focus should be on providing the most value to the user, regardless of whether the content is AI-generated or human-written. Mimicking top-ranking content on Google and consolidating knowledge from various sources can often lead to successful ranking, provided the overall quality of the site is maintained.

Another strategy I've observed is improving site performance by unpublishing lower-quality articles, which enhances the performance of the remaining content.

This suggests that the overall quality and trustworthiness of a site are becoming more critical.

How do you envision a balance between AI-generated content and maintaining authenticity when it comes to branding?

The rise in AI-generated content and the demand for authenticity might seem contradictory, but they can coexist. The key lies in understanding how consumers interact with and trust different sources of information.

For example, statistics show a significant shift in trust towards platforms like TikTok, especially among younger generations like Gen Z.

They are more likely to trust information coming from real people, influencers they can see and connect with, over faceless internet sources. This shift indicates a preference for more personal, authentic and less manufactured content.

Incorporating AI into this dynamic doesn't mean losing authenticity.

Instead, it's about leveraging AI to enhance human connections and create content that resonates with audiences on their preferred platforms. For instance, using AI to assist in creating more engaging, personalized content on TikTok can meet consumers where they are.

Authenticity in the AI era will likely hinge on presenting information through relatable and trusted figures or influencers, ensuring that even AI-assisted messages maintain a human touch.

For an average employee seeking to develop their personal brand, what would be your advice on how to do so effectively with minimal effort?

The most effective strategy involves creating content through simple, scalable processes.

One approach is to record a conversation or monologue on a topic you're knowledgeable about, then use AI tools to extract key ideas and create a variety of content formats.

For instance, you can use an AI tool to generate several LinkedIn posts, tweets and a long-form blog post from a single recording. This content should reflect your unique tone, style and voice, previously defined using generative AI.

You upload your recorded content, and the AI helps create different content formats based on templates. These templates can be tailored for different social media platforms, ensuring your content is platform-appropriate and engaging.

The beauty of this method is its efficiency.

What once required a team can now be handled by an individual in just a couple of hours per week. This approach saves time and ensures consistency across all your channels.

How do you foresee the future of agency-client relationships, especially in the context of B2B marketplaces like DesignRush that connect businesses with agencies?

The evolution of AI in content creation and marketing strategies significantly impacts agency-client relationships.

Despite the advancements in AI, there's still a consistent demand for 'done-for-you' services. People and businesses prefer to outsource certain tasks to agencies, especially those requiring expertise, despite the lower costs and efficiencies offered by AI.

The rise of AI has made services more affordable.

For example, a package that previously cost $30,000 per month for SEO and content generation can now be offered at $3,000 due to the reduced overhead and increased efficiency provided by AI tools. This cost reduction is transforming the agency landscape, making services more accessible to a wider range of clients.

However, the expertise and trustworthiness of agencies remain crucial.

In a world where information and options are abundant, B2B marketplaces like DesignRush, which vet and recommend agencies, have become more valuable. They act as a bridge, connecting businesses with reliable and competent agencies.

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