Copywriting in industrial manufacturing isn't an easy area of work. You need knowledge of different manufacturing sectors, an understanding of various fabrication and machine processes, and an ability to write like manufacturing teams talk. All too often, copywriters trying to help manufacturers market and sell their products fail to produce results because they just don't have the background or industrial experience necessary to effectively communicate with manufacturers.
Nevertheless, there are a handful of copywriting solutions that manufacturers should seriously consider as they try to communicate with their leads and customers more effectively. In this article, we'll review:
- How to search for content creation help
- What outsourcing opportunities you have available to you
- And why manufacturers, specifically, shouldn't evaluate copywriters in vacuum
How to Find the Content Creation Help You Need:
1. Know What You're Really Looking For
If you're looking for outside help to drive your content development efforts, then you should be ready to develop a very close relationship. The writer will need to be extremely comfortable...
- Interviewing internal subject matter experts (your engineers, floor leaders, salespeople, etc.)
- Drafting articles on in-depth manufacturing processes
- Producing downloadable eBooks that provide helpful tips and information to your prospects
- Developing whitepapers that outline your product solutions
- Collaborating with your in-house Marketing/Sales director to achieve overall business development goals
- Writing your website copy so that it's optimized for search engines.
Understanding these basic needs or qualifications is crucial before vetting which writers—and copywriting services—are best for your content needs.
2. Auditing and Evaluating Copywriting Services
Today's landscape of copywriting services includes online platforms that allow writers to sell their services to interested parties, individual freelancers who provide services directly (mostly to local clients), and writing services available through a full-service marketing agency.
When evaluating across these options, here are a few steps you can take to ensure you make the best choice for your company:
1. Research the individual writers: No matter how you'll be accessing the writer (whether directly, through an online service, or as part of an agency relationship), you need to research and understand who the individual writers are. For instance, if you're looking at an agency like Weidert Group, you should look at our team page and learn about "Content & Design" department. Similarly, as you evaluate online platforms like Scripted or WriterAccess (see below), you should first audit what kind of writers (with the right background knowledge and experience) are available.
While some copywriting services provide relatively little about their writer network, others are extremely transparent. Always opt for the transparent options because you won't rely on trial-and-error nearly as much.
Try to find writing samples or information related to your industry sector in the writer's background description, as this research will help you weed through potential options early in the game.
2. Compare pricing: In content writing, there are three main ways of paying writers:
- Priced by the hour
- Priced by the word
- Priced by the piece
Typically, for content, agencies tend to operate on a "by the piece" basis, rather than charging an hourly rate or by the word. In this way, an agency prioritizes marketing value over the work it takes to get there.
On the other hand, online services tend to base their pricing by the word, whereas individual freelance writers often work on an hourly basis. Some alternative services pay flat rates for a word range (e.g., 350-450 word blog post = $35).
3. Compare Usability When Evaluating Online Platforms: Is the platform a hassle to use? Are you left with tons of questions about the service? If so, look for a more user-friendly platform and thank yourself later on. If you're going to be creating content on an on-going basis, you don't want to deal with less-than-adequate communication and usability functions.
Scripted vs. WriterAccess:
The Best Online Platforms for Industrial Manufacturers
Let's dive into the online platforms. After evaluating and testing lots of the options out there, we've settled on two that are particularly effective for industrial manufacturers. Scripted and WriterAccess are, by no means, manufacturing-specific, but they've both managed to attract writers who have the experience necessary to write for industrial sectors.
Scripted is an online network connecting businesses in a variety of industries to freelance writers specializing in blogging, advanced content, and other content types. Some of the benefits include:
Heavily vetted writers: Only two percent of writers who apply on the network are accepted. This ensures you're working with the "best of the best" in your industrial manufacturing sector, which only eases the writer recruiting process on your end.
Writer generated blog ideas: You can't create quality blog content without quality topics, and Scripted's writers can play a major role in this process. You can simply type in a keyword, find related topics posted by writers, and work with the writer to tweak the topic to your desire.
Scheduling a call with a writer: Perhaps the platform's best feature, Scripted lets you put a voice to a freelance writer. This is a great way to interview potential writers, and also allows you to set up weekly calls or status reports with current writers.
Scripted's in-depth writer information makes it very easy to connect with potential writers, and the personal nature of the platform allows you to build relationships with writers, while also ensuring you receive high quality content that connects with your prospects.
This top writing marketplace has an easy-to-use interface, top-notch writer information, and an excellent breakdown of the specific industries, asset types, and expertise of each writer. Some of the standout features are:
Writer experience: WriterAccess takes the “Experience” section above and beyond. Here's one example of a writer's experience producing content for manufacturers:
This especially helps during the vetting process, as it gives industrial manufacturers context into which specific topics are best suited for the writer, along with what questions to ask during an interview.
Endorsements: A similar concept to LinkedIn's endorsements, you can see which asset type (e.g., blog article, press release) clients are most satisfied with. For instance, a writer with 20 endorsements for blog articles is likely a good option for your blogging efforts, while more endorsements for "web page" could be perfect for writing landing page copy.
Pricing: Rather than a fixed rate for each blog post length, WriterAccess adjusts their prices based on the quality of each writer. A five-star writer, for example, can write a 350-450 word blog post for between $35 and $45. Scripted offers very similar pricing, but with a flat rate, which could cost you more over time.
The clean interface and writer recruitment tools makes WriterAccess an easy-to-use platform, while the more flexible pricing also separates WriterAccess from static pricing services like Scripted. Ultimately, we suggest exploring the usability of each platform and interviewing writers to find which is best suited to produce content for your specific industry sector.
How Do Scripted and WriterAccess Stack Up Against Content Agencies?
There are plenty of strong reasons to get writing help from an online platform like Scripted or WriterAccess. You have lots of writers at your fingertips. You can easily control how much you spend on content marketing. And obviously, you can hire and fire at will.
However, you'll quickly find that no matter what, managing and assigning the writing is just as much a major job as the actual content creation. If you don't have somebody in-house to be the managing editor of your content efforts, then you're going to struggle to meet your goals.
The major advantage of working with a content-focused marketing agency is that an agency's writing team won't just produce marketing content, they'll make sure it produces results, by promoting your content to the right audience, working to make sure every content piece is fully optimized, and packaging your content in a way that generates leads for your sales team.
This all-in-one approach is a major advantage in terms of marketing, but clearly, it requires a more significant commitment. As you seek out solutions and plan how you'll produce the content your company needs, consider checking out our annual marketing planning guide below.