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The AI Tool Landscape: 

In case you haven’t heard, AI is all the rage. 

Ever since the launch of ChatGPT, there's been an explosion of new AI tools hitting the market every week—which has pros and cons. The pros are clear: we now have a diverse array of timesaving, productivity-enhancing tools at our fingertips that, frankly, exist to make our lives easier. Who doesn't love that? But with the advantages come challenges. With so many tools emerging after the introduction of ChatGPT, we're confronted with a dilemma: how do we select the right tools? And how long will they remain relevant? Technology is advancing rapidly, and there's a prevailing concern that what we use today will be outdated tomorrow. When considering tools, one must weigh project requirements, budget constraints, and privacy concerns, among other factors. So, before you embrace a new tool, ensure you understand your organization's AI guidelines and priorities. With a clear understanding of what you need, you're poised to explore more possibilities. 

So how do you get started? And what tools are worth trying? 

First and foremost, organizations must adopt a sandbox mindset—willing to roll up their sleeves and experiment with new tools. Why are we emphasizing this? Well, the reasons are straightforward: 

  • Embracing the Art of the Possible: It's crucial to welcome new technologies and explore fresh possibilities to unlock potential.   
  • Leveraging Available Technology: We stand by the principle of using existing technology to understand its benefits for clients and as a testament to our commitment to practice what we preach. 
  • Enhancing Your Productivity: At the heart of our ethos is the view of GenAI as an efficiency assistant that augments productivity and creativity. AI should complement human efforts, not replace them.   

 And as part of our commitment to these principles, we'll show you exactly how we put them into action in this new series of blog posts. Let's dive in.  

First things first: select the tools.   

Like you, we've recently seen a lot of listicles floating around the internet advertising the best AI tools to try. For today's post, I've selected 3 such tools that seemed exciting and valuable for marketing.   

  • Pictory 
  • WriteSonic 
  • SlidesAI   

Next: Determine the criteria for evaluation. 

The criteria we used to evaluate the tools are straightforward:  

  1. Does it work?
  2. Is it easy to use? 
  3. Does it add value? 
  4. What does it cost, and is it worth the investment? 
  5. Would we recommend it to a friend? (Or, in this case, a reader. 🙂) 

Finally: Explore! 


Pictory is an AI tool that makes video marketing easier for companies with a backlog of long-form content like blogs, white papers, articles, demos, and webinars. At 11:59, we have 20 years of experience successfully implementing business and digital transformation solutions for our clients. What does that mean? We have a mountain of long-form content that can/should/will be turned into video content.  

Does it work?  

Yes! When you first enter the site, it prompts you to create an account (free trials are available, thank goodness!). You're given four long-form content to video options: 1) Script to video, 2) Article to video, 3) Edit video using text, 4) Visuals to video. You select the type you'd like to use and upload the content.   

For this article, I uploaded a recent blog post where our Chief Marketing Officer shares how our team leveraged Chat GPT to support our rebranding efforts.   

Here’s what it created 
Is it easy to use?   

Yes, it's a very straightforward, user-friendly tool with plenty of tutorials to help guide you through uploading your content and getting it to the finish line with a video output. However, Pictory is just an assistant; a highly effective assistant, but just an assistant. If you use Pictory, you need to take control of the outcome by stepping into the driver's seat and directing the decisions it will prompt.   

 For example, a long-form blog will pull a handful of sentences that serve as the best "summary" of "most important information." But did it pick the correct information? In my experience, not so much. I wanted the story to be told in a specific way, which meant changing the curated list of sentences it pulled.  

Does it add value?  

Absolutely! Without question. We recognize how important video is to our customers. If your customers are similar to ours and have busy schedules, making content easy for them to digest is crucial. And sometimes–more often than not–that means they won't have time to read long blog posts or dissect the inner workings of a well-written case study. With Pictory, all that changes.  

What does it cost, and is it worth the investment?  

There are three payment options: Standard, Premium, and Teams. The Standard package is $19/month and includes 1.5M Storyblocks visuals, 30 videos a month, up to 10 minutes of text-to-video, 10 hours of video transcription per month, 3 branded templates, 5000 music tracks (wow), 34 AI Voices, and three video formats (16:9, 1:1, 9:16). With the premium version, you get 20 hours of video transcription, 15000 music tracks, higher video resolution, and automatic voice-over synchronization. The Teams option is $99/month. It includes access to all premium features and is recommended for teams of 2 or more.   

Our take? Depending on your unique needs, it's worth the investment to build onto your existing content marketing strategy and increase reach on social.   

Would we recommend it to a friend? 

Yes, definitely. One note about Pictory: I still value long-form content, as do our customers. While Pictory is excellent at creating short videos that summarize the main points of a piece of long-form content and grab your attention, it's still just a summary. As we move forward with the tool, we'll likely be using Pictory as an addition to long-form content–not as a replacement.   


WriteSonic is an AI writing tool that can craft SEO-optimized, plagiarism-free content 10x faster with the power of generative AI. 

Does it work?  

Yes, it works! As a business and digital transformation consulting firm developing a thought leadership program, we thought it would be fun to see if the tool could write a thought leadership piece for us covering Web3. 

Here’s what it created

Is it easy to use?  

Yes! When you use WriteSonic, you enter the subject of the article you want it to write for you and the keywords you want it to rank for. Then, you select the content you want the tool to use to write the piece for you; you can upload your own content or hand-select from a curated list of relevant sources on the web. Next, you can tell it about your brand voice and/or ask the tool to study your existing website to learn about your brand voice and apply it forward (our team thought that was a really cool feature). From that point, it will generate an SEO-optimized article for you and prompt you to make any necessary edits in a tool that resembles Google Docs.   

Overall, I had a seamless experience using the tool, but there were some drawbacks. It's easy to sign up for a free trial. The user interface is very straightforward once you get started with a project–but it's lacking in the following ways: 1) it doesn't cite the sources within the content itself, so you don't know where the information it's using is coming from – you know the broad list of 3 or 4 or however many sources you ended up selecting. That, to me, was a source of frustration. 2) It can get keyword jargon-y pretty quickly. When I sent the piece to our company's subject matter experts, they weren't as impressed with WriteSonic's ability to craft the content and make it feel original. Can it serve as a great starting point and writing assistant? Yes! Is it a turn-key solution? No. Like Pictory, WriteSonic also needs a human to direct it for an optimal outcome. 

Does it add value?  

Yes! WriteSonic is undoubtedly a timesaving writing assistant and in-house SEO specialist. Though we used it to craft an SEO-optimized blog post, WriteSonic can also be used as a paraphrasing tool, a text expander, an article summarizer, a product description generator, a Facebook ad writer, a Google ad writer, a landing page writer, and more. So, if your team is shortchanged for writers and marketing specialists who are SEO savvy, this is a tool that'll get you 90% further than you're getting today. But, like the other tool, you will need a human to direct and refine what it creates for you.

What does it cost, and is it worth the investment?  

There are three paid plans: unlimited, business, and enterprise. You can learn more about the specifics of each by clicking here. We think the Business option – priced at $12.67/month – will be the best bang for your buck because it includes the built-in brand voice feature, arguably our favorite feature. 

Would we recommend it to a friend? 

Definitely! But again, with the caveat: this is an assistant, not a director. Use it to help you, not to replace you. 


SlidesAI is an innovative AI-powered text-to-presentation tool that can extract critical information from any text and automatically create beautiful slides. Gone are the days of tedious manual slide creation (your sales team will thank you later!), and in their place are professional, engaging presentations that can be developed in a fraction of the time.   

Does it work?  

Eh, not really. With SlidesAI, you download an extension for Google Slides and can upload long-form content that will be summarized and translated into slides. Multiple team members tried to use SlidesAI, and only one person succeeded. The tool couldn't handle the text in two attempts and kept timing out. In one successful attempt, we had to cut the copy to half its original amount to produce a set of really basic slides that, frankly, no one would call beautiful. 

Here’s what it created 
Is it easy to use? 

In theory! But it only works sometimes, and the free version of the tool has a limited capacity to show off the magic of the tool.  

Does it add value?  

In theory, yes! Even though we wanted to love it and unfortunately didn't, we still think it's a useful tool. In the future, we may use it to do a temperature check on whether our presentations could be more concise. It narrows down writing so much that it could help make what we already have more succinct. But–would we use it regularly? No, it's…a far cry from a design tool. :)  

What does it cost, and is it worth the investment?  

They have monthly and yearly plans with basic, pro, and premium options. The monthly basic is free, the pro is $10/mo., and the premium is $20/month. The basic offers 3 presentations per month with a 2500-character input per presentation. The pro offers 10 presentations and a 6000-character input per presentation. Finally, the premium offers unlimited presentations and a 12,000-character input per presentation. 

Is it worth the investment?  

We aren’t sold yet.  

Would we recommend it to a friend?  

Not yet.  

Remember that saying, "AI won't replace marketers, but marketers using AI will replace those who don't"? We're living it! Dive into Pictory and WriteSonic, and you'll get what we mean—they're game changers but still need a human at the wheel. SlidesAI? Well, it's got some growing to do (and maybe we'll check back in with it later). The big takeaway? AI tools are the sidekicks we never knew we needed, boosting our productivity tenfold. But they still need us to take the lead. So, let's partner with the tools that make sense for us and keep exploring the wonders of technology that lay ahead. Onwards and upwards!  

Alexa Davis
Post by Alexa Davis
September 15, 2023
Alexa Davis is the go-to communications person at 11:59. With her background in digital anthropology, she's passionate about understanding how tech and people mesh. Alexa's all about getting curious, asking questions, diving deep into the tech world, and then breaking it down into content that everyone following 11:59 can connect with. Basically, she takes the techy stuff and makes it relatable. Simple as that!