Written content on the Internet has infiltrated the marketing world over the last few years. Content-producing startups seem to be popping up everywhere. In the content marketing world a mature company is only three to five years old. And some of those are getting bought up. Brands are shifting their budgets more towards internal and external content production. This is reflected in the growth of content marketing as an industry and a buzzword.
Content marketing organizations come in many shapes and sizes. Some aren’t independent companies at all, but teams or departments inside of existing companies.
Regardless of the make-up, these content marketers create web content through different methods. These include researching and writing from scratch, outsourcing and editing, repurposing news or existing client content. Or a coaching model that facilitates content production by client employees.
Some of these content creation methods may work for one client, but might not work for another. Below are the pros and cons of each content writing production method agencies can deploy for their clients.
1. Writing from Scratch
Have agency journalists or copywriters regularly conduct client interviews and research in order to produce content. This type of regular interaction via phone, computer or in person builds real relationships. If the journalist or copywriter has great skills, the resulting content can produce some level of gratification or pride in the mind of the interviewee.
It’s hard to find a cost-effective writer with real industry expertise for all of the industries represented by an agency’s client base. If the writer lacks real industry experience, the content can lack passion or be inaccurate.
However, some content marketing agencies alleviate this problem by only targeting verticals or crowdsourcing for expertise. Vertical specialization and crowdsourcing doesn’t always guarantee quality or passion-filled writing, though. This technique is also hard to scale and can be inefficient.
2. Outsourcing and Editing
Pros: Some agencies outsource or crowdsource content production for their clients, bring it back in-house and edit it before delivery. This process can have some scalability and efficiency.
Cons: Agencies that deploy this model are in somewhat of a middle-man position. Editors and account managers must efficiently communicate client corrections or updates to the third party writers to remain profitable. Rejections of this type of content are expensive for the agency. The problem goes further if the writer speaks a different language.
3. Repurposing Existing Content
Pros: Tapping into older yet still relevant, content already produced by a client company and repurposing it into a new piece of written content has many benefits. It’s not much different than creating a research report in college. However, plagiarism is encouraged, rather than discouraged. There’s also efficiency and scalability for agencies using this technique.
Cons: Not all clients have sufficient quality or quantity of content to repurpose. Repurposed content may be also be difficult to get through compliance or past department heads.
4. Empowering Clients
Pros: This technique for creating content puts the heavy lifting back on the client. Many agencies provide a coach, mentor or consultant to help empower client employees to produce content. When successful, employees are an expert source for the content in Internet marketing campaigns.
Cons: Client employees may not want additional responsibilities on top of their day-to-day activities. If a content coach is unsuccessful at motivating and training client employees, all other content marketing tactics will fail.
Each of the content production methods has pros and cons. Marketers and marketing organizations need to decide which ones to leverage to make their clients successful. Unfortunately, most content marketing companies rely on only one of the production methods.
Content marketing as a service is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. A mix of content production efforts is required to optimize results, reduce costs and keep clients happy. The mix should be client or industry driven. It should also be tested and refined over time.