We know we’re preaching to the choir when we talk about how important content marketing is for B2B brands. But you may not have considered the idea of outsourcing part — or all — of your content development to an agency that offers blog writing services.
Every year the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs reports on B2B content marketing benchmarks, budgets, and trends. The 2017 North American report found that 70 percent of companies surveyed expected to produce more content in 2017 than they did in 2016.
There’s a good chance that if you’re reading this article, you’re among that percentage. There’s also a good chance that the full weight of your company’s content marketing program is falling on the shoulders of a marketing director who is carrying a lot of responsibility — paid advertising, sales support, events and social media management.
Doing a great job at content marketing is time consuming. That same survey found that the top reason for stagnation in a content marketing program was not having enough time to devote to it.
That was closely followed by challenges in actually creating the content, and a lack of content strategy.The top reason content marketing programs stagnate is not having enough time to devote to them. Click To Tweet
If that sounds like you, there’s hope. Contracting for blog writing services doesn’t have to add another item to your overflowing to-do list.
In fact, it can free you up to spend time on the high-level planning your boss hired you to do. You may already be ready to get expert content marketing help. But does your boss need a bit more persuasion before committing some of the budget? Here are some talking points to help you prepare.
Related reading: Your B2B Content Marketing Requires More Depth: 3 Steps to Get There
Scaling up without burning out
You need to get content marketing work off your own plate. But who is the best person — or people — to hand it off to?
You and your boss both want to spend your marketing budget wisely, which is why you should take a close look at all the options when searching for blog writers.
Source content in-house
Your company is filled with people who are experts in their field. Why not ask them to contribute a few posts a month to the company blog?
Because your in-house experts are busy with their own work. Most will be happy to take 20 minutes to chat with a ghostwriter. But you’ve probably already learned the hard way that expecting them to write blog posts regularly is expecting a lot even if they are confident writers.
Hire a new employee
Adding a new employee to the team to handle blog writing and other content marketing is a cost-effective way to up your content production. But you’ll still need to budget time to edit their work, which is a process that often gets underestimated.
Building an internal content team is never about adding a single headcount. An internal team makes sense when you are at a scale to hire an editor and assistant editor (or copy editor) and about four full-time content writers to keep them busy.
And even then the content strategy and proofreading are being treated as shared responsibilities.Building an internal content team is just never about adding headcount. Click To Tweet
Below that scale, you’ll have problems either of efficiency, quality or strategic misalignment.
Hire a freelancer or two
Hiring a couple of freelancers who offer blog writing services might be more efficient. But the drawbacks are similar to hiring an employee. You still need to manage them and editing their work, and you still need to manage the content plan.
Even if you could hire freelance bloggers who’d hypothetically turn in perfectly edited copy, there remains the issue of how well it aligns with your marketing strategy. The freelancer is unlikely to understand your company’s core positioning, to have the industry expertise you need, to know who your competitors are or to see where an individual blog post fits into your sales funnel.
Go with a full-service marketing agency
A full-service marketing agency may be able to help you reduce your workload and get very strategic and effective. Many agencies offer advertising, PR, distribution, website development, persona research, keyword research, SMM, SEM and conversion rate optimization.
And they may handle a wide range of other services you may need as part of your outbound and inbound marketing. They can provide a complete package in one spot by one team, including blog writing services.
But unless blog writing services are at their core, they may skimp on content production. For example, as one client told us for a content marketing case study:
“While they understood the marketing tech we use, we didn’t think their writing chops were as good. The primary contact person really got it, but we had very little communication with the writers, and it didn’t feel like a collaborative process. Content felt like a weak piece of their overall offering.”
Choose a specialized content marketing agency
With a marketing agency that specializes in producing content, you’ll get more than blog writing services. You’ll get a managing editor to help develop a unique plan and manage the content production process.
The agency provides a team of writers, designers, copy editors and proofreaders to ensure you’re getting the very high-quality work. The agency will have built up a system of hiring content writers and will take responsibility for both quality and alignment with your marketing strategy.
Making the case to outsource blog writing services
The options are there: hiring an additional employee, using cheap blogging services, working with a specialized team of content marketing experts.
How can you convince your boss to free up the budget? Make sure they consider these points.
A crack content production team will get your program up and running quickly
A good content production process has a content strategist, a managing editor, a copy editor, a proofreader and enough writers to keep them all busy. Even if your company is big enough to have several full-time employees working on content production, it will take time to get everyone into place.
The upside of a content development agency is that it allows a smaller company to access all those roles bundled into one package — for about the cost of one staff line. A blog writing service should have all those people on its team.
Hiring a trained managing editor leads to highly polished, authoritative content
Managing an industry-leading content marketing program is more akin to editing a magazine or trade journal than traditional marketing. As a marketing director or VP of marketing, you know a lot about putting together and running a complex plan that accounts for inbound, outbound, demand gen and sales enablement.
But you may not be as comfortable with crafting thought-provoking assignments, developmental editing and proofreading. Properly editing a piece of content isn’t just running it through spell check. A good managing editor will actually plan for several overlooked editing stages, from coming up with a content plan to coaching writers through interviews with experts.
An expert strategic plan will create a fully-supported funnel
When you’re doing everything from writing to editing to directing the strategy, it can be tough to see the big picture. But taking a bird’s-eye view of your content strategy is critical.
The most effective content marketing plans are designed to support all stages of your marketing funnel. Without a plan — or the expert team to execute it — you may end up with not enough content in a particular area, or even content that doesn’t actually fit in anywhere.
Related reading: Why Every Content Plan Needs a Creative Brief (And This Template!)
Outsourcing management overcomes the “last mile” problem
Sometimes it’s not a matter of finding solid writers but about getting that content over the finish line. Most directors and VPs of marketing have at least a dozen pieces of good content sitting in their inbox at any given moment . . . if only they could find the time to get it from good to great.
This happens frequently when the marketing department has come up with a content strategy but hasn’t spent time planning for how it should be produced. Sometimes the execution of that plan doesn’t account for the managing editor.
So the marketing director ends up running plays that move the ball part of the way up the field but never getting the momentum to get it across the goal line.
If you need content writing services, go for the win
B2B brands that want to stand out in content marketing face increasingly stiff competition.
Don’t undermine your chance at success by forcing your content marketing program to compete for your limited time, along with all your other responsibilities. Instead, spend your content marketing budget wisely on a solution that will deliver the strongest results.
Ready to see how a dedicated blog writing service can help your B2B marketing? Read more about how our specialized content marketing agency manages content production.
Guest AuthorJessie Kwak is a freelance writer living in Portland, Oregon. When she’s not working with B2B marketers to tell their brand’s story, you can find her scribbling away on her latest novel, riding her bike to the brewpub, or exploring the Pacific Northwest. She specializes in strategic marketing content including white papers, thought leadership articles and customer case studies. Beyond working with B2B clients over the past six years, her resume also includes stints as a catalog copywriter, brew pub waitress, tractor driver and mechanic, carpenter, theater house and stage manager, and a popcorn-movie slinger. She likes writing best.