Contrary to pronouncements from marketing analysts, traditional marketing is not dead. Well, not yet anyway.
You still see evidence of its existence everywhere you go. As you drive along the highway, you’ll come across billboards hosted by various retailers. Food service crew continues to distribute menu flyers inside the mall. On weekends, we still have to deal with the annoying experience of flyers falling out of our Sunday paper. Of course, commercial advertisements continue to inundate the airwaves.
But markets have evolved. People are no longer interested in having products and services presented to them. Since the evolution of the Internet, consumers have become more pro- active in finding products and services that address their needs and concerns. With the Internet, consumers have access to information that validates their decision to buy.
The popularity of social media has further changed the marketing landscape. Social media has given the consumer the power to influence markets. In the United States alone, 61% of consumers report their decision to patronize a product or service was influenced by a blog post.
The evolution of Digital Technology has created a paradigm shift in the world of marketing. Its evolution is a response or an accommodation to the changing behavioral profile of the consumer. And the by- product is content marketing.
Content marketing is the process of creating engaging, relevant and valuable content with the purpose to attracting, acquiring and building a clearly identified target audience. It is a non- intrusive approach that solely places the decision to patronize in the hands of the intended buyer.
The centerpiece in content marketing is content writing which is best represented by social media, newsletters, blogging and article writing. In a survey by Marketo, the most popular content marketing tactics used by businesses today are as follows:
- Social Media- 79%
- Article Posting- 78%
- ENewsletters- 61%
- Case Studies- 55%
- Blogs- 51%
According to Marketo, content marketing budgets have been steadily growing. 51% of the respondents indicated increasing their budgets over the next 12 months.
While the need to implement content marketing strategies is no longer in doubt, one more question continues to stir debate among marketing experts:
“Should we outsource content writing services?”
The best approach to resolve the debate is to itemize its pros and cons:
- The Pros of Outsourcing:
- Lowers costs. In the survey by Marketo, content marketing on average accounts for 26% of a company’s marketing budget. Average spending per company size are as follows:
- 10 employees or less = $22,700
- 10 to 99 employees = $42,400
- 100 to 999 employees = $77,200
- 1,000+ employees = $182,300
By outsourcing content writing, companies can significantly lower their costs by taking advantage of comparative cost advantages particularly in terms of salary.
- Content Writer (US) = US$40,669 median salary per year
- Content Writer (India) = US$3,449.12 median salary per year
In addition, outsourcing has the advantage of economies of scale. Based on the above figures for salary, the average hourly rate of a Content Writer in the US is $20 and $1.7 in India. If we assume salaries are 30% of overhead then the hourly cost of operation in the US and India for content marketing is $66 and $5.8 respectively.
- Assuming you are a small business owner, you have more important things to attend to rather than content marketing. It’s not that content marketing is not important, but as the proprietor, your time is best allocated to managing the businesses’ core functions.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, 80% of businesses use content marketing but less than half believe they have the skills to run it properly.
Given the higher costs associated with in- house content marketing, small businesses are better off outsourcing it. If a small business outsources its content writing process not only will it save money but it will have it done consistently and according to strategy.
- Writing is a skill that we are taught the moment we can hold a pencil. But despite the volume of units we go through in different educational institutions honing our skills in writing, not everyone can become a good writer.
Effective content writing is not just about using keywords. Your piece must encourage people to engage and compel thought. It must inspire your readers to take action or create a measure of clarity. It takes years of constant writing to become an effective writer.
And countries from remote locations are rich sources of talented content writers. The Philippines has supplanted India as the number one destination for outsourcing largely because of the Filipino’s ability to speak fluent English.
In fact SEO and Internet Marketing are among the services with the highest demand in outsourcing.
- Cons of Outsourcing Content Writing:
- Delivery of message. The most essential part of your content is the message that you want delivered to your audience. The problem with delivering the message lies in the existence of filters. When you are outsourcing your content writing to another writer, his interpretation of the message may distort your original intent.
It all comes down to one thing: perception. People simply perceive messaging differently. Content writers are highly creative people who are also highly- intuitive. The difference in perception may be magnified when working with remote content writers because there are social and cultural nuances to factor in.
- Despite assurances and the existence of safeguards, you can never be 100% sure of the security and integrity of your content when you outsource it.
As the author, content writers have a natural inclination to believe the content is theirs even if you paid for it. After all, the final product is a result of their intellectual capacity.
There is always the risk of your content to be re- used or offered to another client. When you outsource, you will not have control over data management.
To mitigate the risks involved, you should be more cautious when selecting your outsourcing services provider. You can do this a number of ways:
- Contact regulating agencies in the industry.
- Get referrals from associates who have outsourced content writing.
- Conduct strict due diligence procedures when qualifying service providers.
The bottom- line is outsourcing presents advantages that far outweigh its disadvantages. Outsourcing content writing will save you a significant amount of money and allow you to consistently post high- quality, engaging articles.