One of the biggest realities of the Internet is how it revolves so much around user-generated content. Today, just about anyone can be a publisher, and more importantly, it can be done for cheap. But that in and of itself is also problem.
The ease of creating and publishing content means readers now have to be more selective of which content to consume and which to ignore. This places companies looking to leverage content marketing at a disadvantage, especially when they need to go up against larger, more established players.
Because many businesses do not have the manpower to produce great content on a regular basis, the common practice has been to outsource content creation to freelance content writers. Unfortunately, this is where several potential problems usually happen.
1. Inexpensive Writers with Little To-No Experience
Businesses naturally want to protect their bottom line, but they also know that marketing is important. And so, they try to find the best of both worlds by hiring a writer with affordable rates—think less than $10 per article. The writer is given a topic and a list of keywords, and they are told to go to town.
Is this content marketing? It is hard to call it that when the business essentially just wasted company resources. While there are genuinely great content marketing writers out there looking to break into the industry by intentionally lowering their hourly or per-article rates, most of them do not have the skills or expertise to create high quality content.
And even if they did, the required content volume and low rates should prove unsustainable in the long run. To earn more, writers will increase their work volume, which in turn affects the quality of their work.
2. Writers With Not Enough Industry Knowledge to Create In-Depth Content
Imagine a business engaged in fintech (financial technology) consulting that wants to do content marketing. Because of its very narrow niche, the company is likely to have problems looking for writers with deep knowledge and experience in their industry. It is not impossible, but it will be hard, especially if the company is not willing to pay an experienced writer’s rate.
The deeper a company’s niche, the more important it will be to find a niche writer—someone who knows the ins and outs of the industry and the challenges faced by the business. In cases like this, the company may require the services of a firm like TabithaNaylor.com, which specializes in custom content solutions for digital marketing agencies, website developers, and PR firms.
3. Writers Focused on Production and Quantity
Many companies hire content writers because they believe they need a team to constantly churn out content on a weekly, if not daily basis. Consistency in content production is of course important, but too many writers are stuck with the mentality that it is all about writing article after article.
This mindset is a remnant of the early days of SEO, when writers were focused on creating short-form articles (around 250 to 300 words) packed with keywords to game search engines. Suffice to say this approach no longer works. And while it may seem that shorter content appeals to the equally short attention spans of online readers, several studies say otherwise. In other words, companies are better off creating a longer content asset with actionable information, than several bite-sized ones with little value.
4. There’s A Disconnect Between the Writers and Readers
The success of content marketing is hinged on how well the audience responds to content. But the problem is that it takes time for companies to get to know their audience and identify the kind of content they want. It is much harder from the perspective of an outsider, who not only needs to understand the company, its products and services, but also its customers.
There is no shortcut to this problem. Writers need all the time they can get to research the company, audience, and industry. Companies and writers need to work together to gather as much audience information, preferably by creating customer personas, which will make the task of creating relevant content easier and more efficient.
“Content is King,” as many marketing gurus proclaim. Content marketing is unlikely to go away any time soon; if customers still desire to read, watch, and listen to media content, content marketing should be here to stay. While it is important to invest time and resources in content marketing, businesses need to do it in a circumspect manner.
TabithaNaylor.com provides custom original content for digital agencies, PR firms, and enterprises. We offer a unique all-in-one suite of content development solutions, providing clients with access to specialized content skills and experience.