In my 10+ years of experience working in internet marketing, content creation is one of the hardest parts of my job. Not creating it- that’s easy. The hard part is convincing clients on the importance of allowing me to create the content for their site. Unfortunately, this is also the easiest way to win, as in more customers and more revenue- and it’s almost impossible to do internet marketing without content.
I get it. I have a hard time allowing others to write for my site, too. Maybe I need to listen to the advice I often give my customers:
I think we’ve all experienced this before: someone describes you in a way that’s slightly insulting before you realize they’re absolutely correct. It’s really hard for anyone to take an honest view of themselves.
The same thing’s true about our companies. Especially if we love what we do, and care about our work, it’s hard for us to have a clear, outsiders perspective on what we do.
This is a problem when it comes to marketing our businesses. Sometimes this blindness doesn’t allow us to write about our companies in productive ways that will resonate with our customers.
I have to admit that I’ve fallen for this on my own website. As a business owner, I say that I focus on B2B companies looking to generate more leads. As I write my own content, however, I often meander into other audiences. I know why- a dollar is a dollar is a dollar. Still, I can’t escape this drive to not leave money on the table, and a bigger audience means a bigger payday. This creeps into my content. Many times I don’t even notice it.
This is where an outside writer can help. I can give them directions (like focusing on B2B customers) and they will follow the directions more closely than I would myself. Now the content will be done right- without my subconscious eeking in.
You’re an expert in your field. You know more than your competitors- and often more than your customers. Unfortunately, that’s the problem. When you write content for your own site, you might be speaking technically and leaving your potential customers confused.
When you hire an outside writer to produce website content, they won’t have your expertise- for sure- but that might help them write for your customers- who don’t have your expertise either. Instead, a good writer will be able to translate your concepts and jargon into ways that people find easier to understand. Why? Because a writer probably has the same questions as your customers, making your content that much more digestible, and as a result, more customer-friendly.
It’s also important to write in simple, clear language. The point is not to show off your immense vocabulary, which is impressive by the way. And this is just one of the dozens of best practices that go into creating great content. Best practices that take some time to learn.
This is important when it comes to writing for SEO. No, I’m not talking about keyword stuffing your content. I’m talking about how many customers search Google for the wrong thing while looking for your products and services. I’ve seen this many times before. Customers want to write about this or that specific type of product or service because that phrase most accurately describes what they have to offer. When my writers produce content, however, they pick the “wrong” term to write about- according to the client, and thus the client is disappointed.
This is when I ask my client: “Would you take money from someone who searched for this ‘incorrect’ phrase?” Most of the time, that answer is a quick and resounding, yes. That just means we need to take the content and connect the “wrong” phrase with the “right” one. This is something a good writer can do. If you let a writer do this for your company, you’ll be rewarded with more customers. Even if they started by searching for the “wrong” term, they become customers because our content educated them on what they really need.
Clients often hire me in a consulting role. “You tell us what to do, David,” they say, “and we’ll take care of it.” I’m happy to work this way with people.
It rarely works out in the long term.
Why? I have an insatiable hunger for new and original content. Even the most eager client has a hard time coming up with the volume of content I need.
Let’s be honest: marketing teams are the red-headed stepchildren of your company. If it doesn’t fit into someone else’s role, you wind up drawing the short straw. That means you’re always running around. You’ve got deadlines. Half the time you’ve got to learn something new on the fly and in a short amount of time- because nobody else knows how to do it. You might even like it this way (at least, I hope you do)!
With that, how can you spend the time necessary writing for your own site? Good writing takes time. It takes research. It takes knowledge and experience, and you don’t have time for that. Let someone else do it.
Sure, this will still take some of your time. You’ll want to read and review this content- to make sure it’s accurate. Sometimes that seems more daunting than writing it yourself. I promise, however, if you start to work with a good writer they will learn. The more they learn the easier it will be for you to review it. My goal for every client: that we know their content so well, they tell us, “Stop bugging me! Just publish it, already! I know the content is good!”
It’s hard to let someone else write for your website. Here are some tips that can help:
Some companies have very strict requirements about their content. This makes content production even more difficult. Because new and unique content is really important to any internet marketing campaign, this often results in stalled results.
Like another former boss used to say, “A lawyer’s job is to tell you, ‘No.’” Let’s pause and remember why: to protect your company (and your job probably, too). If the content you publish hurts your company, that hurt could be immense.
There are ways to work around strict restrictions on content. Over the years, I’ve had to follow several strategies like:
Sometimes branding guidelines can be harder to overcome than even the legal team. If this is what’s holding you back you might have a battle on your hands. It’s a battle worth fighting. Branding shouldn’t hinder your marketing efforts- it should enhance them.
I get it. It’s hard to let someone write content for your company’s website. In a hope to be encouraging to you, here’s how I’ve had to bite the bullet and do it myself.
If I can do it, you can too.
Reliable Acorn will help you create a custom digital marketing strategy that does just that.Ready to Talk?