April 9, 2024

How to Summarize Articles In 60 Seconds Or Less With AI

Why AI Summarization Matters

Attention span research from the early 2000s found that people would shift their focus every 2.5 minutes.

In recent repeats of the experiment at the University of California, the average attention span fell to 47 seconds

Coupled with that, over 80% of global workers experienced information overload in 2022—compared to 60% in 2020. That’s an increase of 20% over 2 years, but it’s not truly shocking to any tech, knowledge, or remote workers.

While we don’t want to make the problem worse, these facts should inform the ways in which companies need to organize information for prospects, customers, and in marketing overall. 

What does that mean? Short, sweet, and summarized wherever possible.

An Artificial Intelligence (AI) summary generator makes it easy-peasy to quickly summarize a business report, white papers, and other long text—in just a click. Creating efficiencies in such obvious places also frees professionals up to do more high-value work. 

Here’s how an AI summary generator tool make your life easier:

  • Quick relevance check: An accurate summary can help you or your audience quickly decide whether or not your content is relevant to their needs, saving them time and effort.
  • Great for SEO: Whether your blog has a dedicated summary section, or you generate SEO-optimized meta descriptions at scale, a wide range of content summaries can be great if you’re looking to rank on search engines!
  • Simplify social: Summaries are a fantastic starting point for social media marketers looking to craft engaging and informative posts at scale. Trust us: they’ll thank you.
  • Two-way information filter: Not only do summaries help your customers decide whether this is the right content for them (and prevent them from getting overwhelmed with the wrong information), but they help marketers and salespeople identify whether your points are clear!

Let’s get into it.

Benefits of Using an AI Summary Generator Tool

Summarizing Articles for Sales

You have a hundred clients expecting personalized experiences, and half an hour to prepare for a meeting: that’s the reality of today’s world for sales professionals. 

Sales hinge on your capacity to quickly assimilate and leverage new, key information. And because there’s always too much critical information and too little time to digest it, those who can game the system will win.

That’s why finding any administrative efficiencies (so you can focus on relationship-building), or getting a leg up on breaking news can be the make-or-break moment when you’re facing a prospect and a sale.

Creating customizable summaries with AI can be your secret tool as a sales leader or sales development representative.

Here’s some other ways that using an article summarizer benefits salespeople:

  • Speed up decision-making: AI summaries distill vast amounts of data into digestible, focused insights. This immediate access to synthesized information allows sales professionals to make quick, informed decisions.
  • Personalize pitches and presentations: Synthesizing breaking news and market shifts in real-time allows for flexible and quick customization—especially when dealing with client presentations and pitches. 
  • Competitive intel—before anyone else: Ever hit a button and gotten a personalized summary of the latest news—straight from your competitor’s blogs? If not, you should try it. The early, proactive bird gets the worm, etc.

  • Optimize research: By cutting down the hours spent on research, more time is dedicated to strategic planning and direct engagement with prospects.

  • Improve client engagement (and look better in conversations): By staying informed on relevant industry news and trends that might affect clients, sales professionals can proactively engage in conversations and provide value, thus fostering trust and loyalty.

Summarizing Articles for Marketing

Marketing professionals navigate through a sea of data, trends, consumer behaviors, and competitive landscapes, making strategic decisions that can define the success of brands and campaigns. 

And since everybody usually wants a piece of marketing, they’re usually time-strapped but still expected to perform with a slashed budget (especially in this economy.) That’s where AI comes in.

We’ve written at length about how AI can help you brainstorm, outline, draft, and edit your articles. But they can also summarize them for you. Not only do you get an easy clarity check on your articles, you get an SEO boost, too. 

(Here’s a free workflow for generating an online article outline!)

Here's how marketing professionals can harness the power of AI summaries to elevate their strategies:

  • Make your content skimmable: Information overload and attention spans decreasing means one thing for marketers, and one thing only: help your audience get the most important information in the quickest way possible. Summarized text, bullet points, and key sentences are a great start.

  • Spot and analyze trends—faster: Use AI to distill articles, reports, and social media data to highlight emerging trends—like changing customer sentiment about a product, a segment’s shifting pain points, or, say, a global pandemic changing the game completely. 
  • Keep an eye on competitors: Sift through competitor announcements, industry news, and market reports to provide a condensed overview of competitors' strategies, successes, and failures. Tech is crowded and aggressive, so having a sped up insight process can help you pivot on a dime.
  • Curate better content for newsletters: Content is king in digital marketing, but finding relevant, engaging, and high-quality material to share with your audience can be time-consuming. Use an AI summarizer to sift for gold, quickly.

  • Monitor sentiments and summarize for social: Before AI, you needed a multi-thousand-dollar subscription to be able to monitor and analyze vast amounts of social media data. After AI, you can now get insights into public sentiment, brand perception, and emerging conversations around relevant topics—immediately. 

Summarize Articles in Bulk With Workflows

AI is superb at doing one > many actions. It’s a machine, after all. 

For example, one prompt—engineered correctly and using the right online tool—could write 500 new articles in less than 2 hours.

One topic can generate 25 headlines. 

One blog post could create 15 social media posts. 

One research question could produce 10 relevant stats. 

Or… 

  • One workflow could summarize the last 20 blog posts on a competitor’s blog—and identify any trending topics, keywords, or products
  • One workflow could summarize the content of multiple newsletters over time so that you can stay informed without spending hours of your day reading
  • One workflow can summarize various studies you need to reference for a report

Instead of having to repeat the process one at a time, over and over again, you can create a workflow that does all of it automatically.

However, it's vital to remember that the effectiveness of AI-generated summaries can vary based on the algorithm's sophistication and how well it's been trained to understand and condense relevant information beforehand. Regular review and adjustment can help improve its accuracy and usefulness over time.

Limitations of AI Summaries

1. Risk of Bias and Inaccuracies

Despite highly advanced algorithms, an AI summarizing tool may still reflect the bias present in the training data. If the AI is trained on data that includes biased perspectives or misinformation, the system could unintentionally exhibit similar biases or inaccuracies in the summaries it produces.

2. Some Content Isn’t Appropriate for AI Summarization

AI does well with structured, factual content but can struggle with more complex types of content. Works that rely heavily on nuance, emotion, creativity, or figurative language—like poetry, fiction, and opinion pieces—are often not suitable for AI summarization. It may also be less effective for highly specialized or technical articles where missing out on the subtleties can lead to misleading summaries.

3. Need for Human Oversight

Given the inherent limitations and potential flaws of AI, human oversight remains critical. To ensure that the summarizer tool is accurate and relevant, a human eye is needed to scan and verify the data. This is not to negate the value of AI, but rather to honor the complementary strengths that humans and machines can bring to the table.

How to Use an AI Summarizing Tool in 3 Steps

Step 1: Prompt the AI summarizer tool 

Use a clear and concise prompt like "Summarize the following online article in 2-3 sentences" or "Provide a brief summary of key concepts from this article." Make sure to include the article's text or a link to the article for the AI to analyze, as well as specify the summary length.

Step 2: Review the generated content

After you’ve submitted your prompt, it’s important that you read through the AI-generated summarized text to ensure that it accurately represents the main points of your article. It’s also important to check whether the content generated fits your brand voice, style guidelines, and so on. If necessary, make minor edits to the copy or modify your original prompt. 

Remember, a generative AI summarizer tool is meant to help you be more efficient. It’s not meant to do your job in its entirety.

Step 3: Publish!

Once you're satisfied with the summary, add it to your CMS, send it to your social media manager, or set it live wherever you intended it to be! It’s as simple as that.

👉 Create your completely free Copy.ai account and start summarizing your articles in seconds!

AI Prompts for Summarizing Articles

Here’s what that looks like when using Copy.ai:

✍️ VAGUE PROMPT: Summarize this article: https://www.copy.ai/blog/generative-ai-best-practices-for-seo

Now, let’s say we want something a little shorter than that. We can refine the summary length for our prompt and add in some more parameters.

✍️ IMPROVED PROMPT: Summarize key points from this article in one sentence: [link]

Now, let’s say we want to have a little bit of fun with it. 😏

✍️ PROMPT: Summarize this article in the style of Ted Lasso: [link]

… And one more for good measure (on the odd chance you’re the only non-Ted Lasso fan on the planet!)

✍️ PROMPT: Summarize this article in the style of a news anchor delivering breaking news: [link]

When it comes to generative AI, there’s so much room to play around with to get the most succinct—or most engaging—summary.

Prompt Writing Best Practices

Want even better outputs? Here’s some general advice to follow when writing prompts:

  • Use positive language by avoiding negative commands. Instead of saying “Don’t speak in a formal tone”, you can say “Use a casual tone.”
  • Be descriptive. Summaries can vary in length, depending on what you’re using them for. While the AI won’t be able to spit out the exact word count you’re looking for, it can get pretty darn close! If you want to stop at 100 words, try adding direction like “Up to 100 words.”
  • Trial and error. When prompting generative AI tools, it’s important to understand that sometimes it’s all about trial and error. Changing up the language you use can go a long way—and don’t forget that you can “continue” the conversation with the AI to refine the output, as well. 

By following these simple steps, you can harness the power of AI to generate effective, engaging, and concise summaries for your articles in a matter of seconds!

Beat Information Overload with an AI Article Summarizer

The sheer volume of information that we’re all pummeled with on a daily basis can be overwhelming. Staying afloat requires smart tools that streamline the comprehension process. This is where AI offers a beacon of efficiency.

With Copy.ai, you can revamp lengthy content into captivating and approachable text—in a matter of seconds. Whether for your own writing, or summarizing others’ content, AI tools can identify the main points and ideas in the copy in one click, while saving you some sanity. 

Check out Copy.ai for free today—and summarize some articles yourself.

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