“Should we keep our content writing in-house?”
Many small to midsize businesses struggle with this question: whether to have internal staff write your content or outsource the job to a professional copywriter or company. You like to write, you know your business best, and outsourcing content sounds costly, so why mess with your current content creation process if it’s working for you?
The “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality might deter some small businesses from considering professional copywriting services, but there’s a lot more to content creation than the weekly blog post or obligatory product/service descriptions.
Effective content and a lead-generating content strategy require a consistent editorial process, sharp creativity, and thorough research, which can be overwhelming for small businesses relying on in-house content creation.
We could sit here and list out the pros and cons of in-house versus outsourced content creation, but let’s focus on YOU and your business instead. Answer the following questions to get clarity on the role content is currently playing in your business—and what role you want it to play moving forward!
1. What are your website’s goals?
Your website is the foundation of your digital marketing strategy, and every digital marketing strategy has certain goals: improve SEO, generate leads, engage current customers, nurture leads, etc. While all of these options probably sound great, which of them is your main priority right now?
Remember that your web presence has a huge impact on your brand, so having the right content in the right places throughout your website will go a long way to help you reach your sales and marketing goals.
To break it down, good content—coupled with an effective digital marketing strategy—can translate to more site traffic, increased sales, and a better overall brand reputation. Content that’s relevant to your customers keeps them on your site longer, increasing their likelihood of making a purchase or using your services.
If all you’re after is words on a page, then in-house writing will certainly do the job, but if you want those words to engage website visitors and prompt them to act, then outsourcing your content may be a good investment to help you achieve specific marketing goals.
2. What do you know about marketing?
Unless your business is the only one in its market, chances are that you have competitors—and the best way to get ahead of the competition is through a robust marketing strategy. And what’s at the heart of any robust marketing strategy? Great content. (Remember, content is king!)
Wouldn’t you love to rank higher for certain keywords on Google? Or fill your website with captivating articles, case studies, how-to guides, interviews, and product descriptions that resonate with your buyer persona(s)? Creating content that fulfills your wildest website dreams will likely require the marketing know-how offered by professional wordsmiths.
Many content writing companies not only provide text and images, but also offer other content-related services such as search engine optimization, content strategy, and content calendar development, creating content that won’t just fill your web pages but will bring you quality leads who are more likely to buy.
Digital marketing isn’t something that can be learned overnight, especially when it comes to composing content that’s effectively optimized for your target market. By using outside content writing services, you gain access to writers that already have these skills, ensuring that your business receives the quality content marketing it needs right away.
3. What is your business’s personality?
Think of your favorite blog or brand. What makes their website so special to you? Why do you keep coming back to that site?
It should come as no surprise by now that it’s content that keeps visitors coming back for more.
Whether it’s a product you’re selling or a blog whose subscribers you’re trying to increase, content helps generate a certain feeling around that product or website, which is what keeps the traffic coming.
Brands don’t just sell products or services, but lifestyles, mindsets, and values—what marketers refer to as “brand personalities.” Picture a popular travel blog you know of (we know, there are so many to choose from!): Does it focus on dreamy, picturesque vacations complete with luxurious hotels and fine dining? Or is it all about rugged trips to offbeat destinations for the more adventurous traveler?
Whatever your travel blog of choice, there’s something about it that attracts you. The perfect recipe of interesting topics, fascinating photos, digestible content, and useful information evokes a feeling of inspiration, and maybe even hope—that you too can achieve your dreams of international travel.
Your company may be targeting one type of person, or you may have multiple buyer personas.
Let’s take Apple as an example. Their products are perfect for various types of people:
- the businessperson on the go
- the creative filmmaker or musician
- the multi-tasking college student
- the preschooler
- even the retired techie
How do we know this? By visiting their site, watching their commercials, and being exposed to all of their other content.
What kind of brand personality do you want to create for your business? Consider the images you use, your product design, the tone of your site content, and other customer touch points. Outsourcing your content is a great way to help you establish this brand personality, as a professional content writer will ensure consistent messaging across platforms to cultivate that unique feeling that keeps your customer coming back.
4. How often do you want to update?
Many small to midsize businesses are faced with the challenge of consistently updating their content. In order to build a strong web presence, it’s important to produce regular blog posts and update the latest information about your products or services to ensure your customers are motivated to continue visiting your site.
According to Hubspot, posting just 1 or 2 blog posts a month can increase B2B leads by as much as 70%. The same study suggests that brands seriously invested in increasing traffic publish at least 15 new articles per month, or approximately 3–4 posts a week.
For most small business owners, writing 15 articles a month is cause for panic—how will you or your staff ever find the time to write so much content while also meeting your other obligations? External content writers are pros at content creation and will help you stick to a strict editorial calendar.
The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Content Writer
Your time—and that of your employees—is valuable. For many small businesses, that time is not best utilized with content development assignments that could be completed more quickly and with better marketing value when outsourced to a professional.
If you’re looking to increase traffic, generate leads, or become a thought leader in your industry, hiring an external content writer is a valuable investment for your business. You have a vision for your company, and you deserve a website that will help you achieve that vision. Even if you start small, partnering with an expert content writer will help you make strides in the right direction while ensuring that you’re using your resources in the most efficient—and effective—way possible.