July 25, 2016

Ascend2 Survey: More Companies Are Outsourcing Content Creation to Achieve Better Results

The main barriers to executing a successful content marketing program were recently identified in Ascend2’s 2016 State of Content Marketing Survey Summary Report as: 1) lack of an effective strategy, 2) lack of content creation resources, and 3) budget constraints. We’ve tackled the importance of an effective strategy before, and do so again in greater detail in another feature article published today, "The Absence of a Content Marketing Strategy Is Killing Your Marketing Program." Herein we delve into tips for tackling No. 2 on the list, that is, bolstering your content creation resources in case your in-house capability falls short.

 Your first question might be: What comprises a strong content creation capability? Primarily, you need talented writers who know how to create content that resonates with the intended audience—from generating catchy headlines to optimizing visual interest throughout with subheadings, bullets and the like. Effective content producers should further have the capacity to quickly move up the learning curve on numerous subject matters that will cross their desks from a multitude of clients, which means that solid interviewing and communication skills are critical as well. Savviness for crafting copy that ranks high in SEO searches and, ultimately, elicits some form of response from readers is also key.

Source: Pixabay

Ascend2’s survey revealed that only 66 percent of companies consider their content marketing successful, mostly because the tactic is time-consuming and requires a strong commitment from marketing leaders to achieve best-in-class status—something only 16 percent of the companies surveyed reported achieving.

The degree of difficulty required to create content is driving the need to outsource this job. Seventy-two percent of companies reported outsourcing all or part of their content creation, allowing them to access specialized resources and capabilities not available in-house.

Look for the following qualities when developing your content creation resources:

Writing talent/ability: Stellar grammar skills and a flair for words are the basic building blocks for the job. On top of those skills, writers must be able to write in a voice that is appropriate for the audience, i.e., more formal and elegant for, say, a financial firm and less structured but pointed for, perhaps, blue-collar readers. Your writers must also have a knack for writing with a business purpose. Your key targets come to you mostly with a goal in mind. When they arrive, they should be welcomed with business content that is engaging and persuades them to take action.

Marketing savvy: Search giant Google sets the bar high for content creation. Your content producers need to know how to optimize content, especially key words, links, related associated meta tags and other SEO-generating tools, to take advantage of Google’s search engines. Expertise in this area can have a profound impact on the popularity and shareability of your content. Google’s algorithms are frequently updated to align with fundamental content marketing principles (such as creating content that is useful), which means that businesses publishing quality Web content should naturally stand out, and their content should rank higher in search engine results.

Conversion expertise: Whether your goal is to establish brand authority or to offer helpful informational or educational resources for your readership, your content should also promote or sell a product or service. After all, conversion is the ultimate measure of content success. Therefore, content writers must be skilled at eliciting some form of response from readers, striving to include compelling calls to action (CTAs) that will help guide your audience through your sales funnel. For example, content producers should use actionable, specific language when writing CTA copy, and be adept at pairing CTAs with the appropriate content.

If your in-house writing team is falling short on producing compelling content for your business, or maybe just has its hands full, consider outsourcing your content creation to a content marketing vendor.

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