Outsourcing Content: Let Writers Write
People see certain skills as black and white. Take driving. You may assume people can either drive or not, and that driving a race car is just like driving a regular car — only faster. Anyone can do it, you think to yourself. Of course any race car driver will tell you that what they do is nothing like driving to work. They’ve trained and worked; they’ve polished their skills and practiced their art. In short: They’ve put a lot of effort into making what they do appear effortless.
The same common misconception applies to writing. We all write every day in some capacity or another — whether we’re firing off a quick email, texting a friend, updating Facebook, or crafting the perfect cover letter. Because we’re constantly writing, we risk falling into the trap of thinking all writing is the same. Good writers make good writing look easy, but just as racing is not the same as commuting, writing high-quality content is not the same as dashing off an email to a friend. So, while it might be tempting to save money by tackling content production yourself, it may not result in the savings you hope for. Going back and having to rewrite a weak piece takes time. And time, as we know, is money.
To illustrate the pitfalls of DIY content, let’s take a hypothetical case in which a software company asks one of its developers to put together a white paper explaining the value of a new application it’s developing.
Let’s say you’re the CMO at an up-and-coming software company whose products have been lauded in the media and on the streets as “revolutionary.” That’s great in terms of publicity, but now you want to solidify your position as a thought leader at the forefront of your industry. You decide a white paper will do the trick. “No need to outsource this project,” you think to yourself; “I’ll just have one of my team members write something up.”
Janet: Great developer, not-so-great writer
Michael: A decent writer—but not the best
Well, what about Michael, you think? In addition to being a great programmer, Michael is an English major who used to blog a lot before diving headlong into programming. Of course, he’s never written a white paper before, but all that blogging and that degree have to count for something, right? Michael will approach the task logically — first researching the style and format of a typical white paper; then doing a draft or two, asking for your input on some details he wants clarified. Then maybe a final draft. In the end, Michael may well have produced a perfectly serviceable document. It will work, but it won’t shine, and it certainly won’t stand out against the slew of marketing collateral being released by your competitors.
That is the best-case scenario, but it produces a piece that is merely “good enough.” With all the white noise out there, good enough just isn’t good enough. Your message has to be truly extraordinary to merit a second look, let alone a share on social media. You know which white papers are going to get the attention you wanted? The ones written by the pros.
Saving time and money with professional content creation
As your white paper begins to flounder, you’re feeling a pang of regret and start to kick yourself for not bringing in a professional content developer.
A dedicated content creator could have rephrased Janet’s hypertechnical language, using simpler verbiage while taking the time to check in with your programmers to ensure accuracy. A professional writer would have drafted something in less than half the time it eventually took Michael to come up with the paper you asked for. At the same time, it frees Michael himself up to work on your company’s next big thing. Best of all? A pro would’ve written something worth sharing.
Professional content creators have the skill, training, and experience to produce content that others cannot. Using professional content writers allows your employees to focus on the reason you hired them and not waste time struggling with something that isn’t actually their job. Yes, hiring a dedicated content creator does incur an out-of-pocket expense, but the ROI on the improved content quality (and time saved!) more than makes up for it. And the value of having a great piece of content that puts you and your company squarely at the forefront of your industry? That might just be incalculable.
While some companies might hire someone internally for their content marketing, many others choose to hire an outside firm like Prose Media to help develop their marketing materials. Whatever route you take, weigh the pros and cons of going in-house versus contracting a writing agency. You owe it to your company to represent yourself in the best way possible — and that’s by going with a professional. Sign up to gain free access to our platform today. We'd love to see how our professionals can help you.