When we talk with prospective clients about implementing their inbound marketing programs, a concern that often arises is the sheer time, focus, and commitment it takes to produce both the quantity and quality of content needed to attract and engage qualified leads.
Lots of companies don’t have the time to devote to content creation.
Many don’t have qualified writers on their teams.
And believe me, many companies — especially those whose products, services, or processes are complex — doubt that anyone outside their own operations could capture the intricate technical details of their offerings.
Some would argue that producing high-quality content for complex industries is the domain of an “inside” expert. In fact, plenty of B2B content marketing agencies leave content writing to clients.
But should you?
In our experience, with the right partnership, the content you outsource to agency experts has even greater potential to help you establish authority, distinguish your company from competitors, and fill your sales funnel. The key is outsourcing your content creation to the right team.
11 Benefits of Outsourcing Content Marketing to a Professional
When you work with an experienced content marketing agency to create your website, landing pages, blog posts, guides, eBooks, and more, you’ll get marketing content that’s based on sound inbound marketing strategy and delivers benefits to your company and your team like:
Marketing content that lives up to its objectives
Reporting on performance metrics to help you prove ROI
Quality that distinguishes your brand from competitors
Target-audience specific insights that resonate with your industry
Added creativity and fresh ideas
More consistent and frequent publication schedules
More cost-effective solutions over hiring an in-house writer
Flexibility to meet changing needs
Agility to move and execute when it matters most
More time and capacity to work on your own goals and objectives
Admittedly, these are pretty substantial claims — but they’re also the truth. Here are a few of the most important factors that contribute to creating content that works harder for you.
5 Ways a B2B Content Marketing Agency is Distinctive
Here’s a closer look at just a few reasons why an experienced B2B inbound marketing team can actually deliver more effective marketing content than your teams could on their own.
1. Content Experts Know How to Optimize for Search
Yes, you need to write for your ideal customer personas, but if prospects don’t find you online because your content’s not showing up on search engine results pages (SERPs), then your content has already failed.
One major reason it happens? Jargon.
Often, employees write using “insider” language or rely on specialized or industry terms that new prospects might not even be aware of.
That’s right — think about the ways your customers talk about their problems before they start working with you on solutions. How do they sound? Your “insider” writer may be great at proposals, technical manuals, or even trade publications, yet might not have the skill set needed to write effective online marketing content.
Strategic content marketing requires expert use of SEO tools to research keywords and ensure a close match with search intent for your specific target audiences. A skilled digital content writer knows how to incorporate those keywords into natural language and still deliver enough nuance and knowledge to establish your expertise online. They also stay up-to-date with evolving best practices for headlines, subheads, meta descriptions, and other functional components that deliver the best possible user experience and support improved rankings.
A professional will also be able to optimize existing content you’ve already created for a quality boost that can translate to landing a better position in search results.
One reason in-house content creation often runs late or fizzles out is that the content writing request is in addition to the subject matter experts’ (SMEs) core responsibilities. To the engineer or technical specialist who already has a long to-do list, that blog post is unlikely to be prioritized over other projects. And often enough, technical experts are great resources for knowledge and love to talk about their fields — but they can still be intimidated by a writing assignment.
The longer those SME requests are back-burnered, the harder it gets to meet your editorial calendar deadlines. That’s a problem, because when it comes to blogging, consistency matters — not just to your blog subscribers, but to your SERP position.
Let’s say you decide to solve the issue by hiring your own dedicated, in-house content creator. Chances are, you’ll likely spend a lot more on salary and benefits for an employee than you would on the investment in an agency relationship. From a budget standpoint, you stand to save both money and time — and you’ll see results faster — by working with agency experts.
3. Agencies Hire Expert Writers
Good writing avoids typos and grammatical errors, but there’s a lot more to it than that. When you outsource content writing to a professional, your writer brings a unique skill set that’s been honed with years of experience and includes:
Developing and executing content strategy
Interviewing subject matter experts on complex and/or highly technical topics
Structuring and organizing details for clarity and reader recall
Translating technical information into easy-to-read, jargon-free text without talking down to readers
Stripping away unnecessary detail to highlight key points
Knowing when to call in design support for illustrations or helpful graphics
Proofreading and copyediting to achieve a polished final piece
Following corporate style guides
And that’s all in addition to their search engine optimization expertise.
So what should you do if a top sales executive or even your CEO wants to share their insights by writing for your company blog? Blog articles with the CEO’s byline can be valuable, and leadership buy-in can be critical to your inbound marketing program’s success.
At the same time, a great leader, a first-rate engineer, or an outstanding sales executive isn’t guaranteed to be an excellent writer. Their subject-matter expertise is incredibly valuable; a seriously good writer helps shine a light on that brilliance.
Effective inbound marketing gets the right content to the right audience at the right moment. And the right content is rarely a sales pitch. One common mistake we see from in-house writers is that too often, the content is shaped into a sales pitch, which eventually has the effect of everything being a sales pitch. That’s just not how inbound content marketing works — the first goal is always to be helpful.
None of this is to suggest that your agency won’t need your input. They will, and a smart agency will welcome your teams’ involvement. We often work with clients who like to jot down notes or bullet points about the main ideas and important details that need to come through in a piece. A good content writer can take the information, combine it with the SEO specifications, and create something really special — and your SME gets the byline.
4. An Outside Perspective Adds Value
You might not think someone from outside your industry, who’s not steeped in your company culture, would bring a lot of value to the table. But an outsider’s point of view can be eye-opening and can lead to conversations that foster new ideas your own teams might not think of on their own.
Professional creatives specialize in identifying and creating new connections between ideas — so helping you stand out from competitors with unique content is their specialty.
5. A Pro Will Do the Work to Understand Your Industry
One critical question to ask when choosing between in-house writing and content marketing outsourcing (freelance or agency) is how they approach the complexity of your industry. Just because someone makes their living as a writer doesn’t mean they’re the right fit for your needs.
We chose to build our niche serving clients in complex B2B industries, including industrial manufacturing, distribution and logistics, insurance and financial services, and technology service providers.
If you work in an industry like these, working with an agency that specializes in consumer marketing, B2C for retail, or commodity goods can create new problems. After all, these folks may not be aware of the length of your sales cycle or the importance of delivering the right information to your target audiences as they move along the path of their buying journey.
How to Know You’re Outsourcing to the Right Content Marketing Agency
We recommend asking any agency you’re considering whether their content writers are their own, or if they farm out the work to freelancers. An in-house team of pros builds top-notch quality assurance into the process. You’ll get content in the right voice, answering the right questions, delivered to the right audiences just when they need it (because they’re searching).
Request samples of real work they’ve written and published for companies like yours — and ask for performance metrics. They should be able to show you how their work moved the needle, so you can have confidence they can do the same for you.
Are you responsible for marketing your B2B company within a complex industry? If so, you know the struggle to find the right balance between content marketing expertise and a healthy approach to the complexities of your business. We know it can be tough to find a team that really “gets” you, your industry, and your customers — so we welcome you to contact us for a free consultation.
In the meantime, you need to start putting content out there, so feel free to use our free guide to marketing content creation. It’s got checklists, templates, and everything you need to get started generating your own effective inbound marketing content, from blog posts to videos. Just click below and download your copy.
Posted by Jo Phillip Jo is a Content Manager who thrives on complexity and challenge. She has a knack for active listening and in-depth research. She loves to draw out important details from subject matter experts and use her new understanding to craft content that spurs action.