B2B content marketing plays a key role in the success of your business, yet getting it right can be a challenge. Learn why outsourcing to a content agency streamlines the process to focus on your goals.
Business-to-business (B2B) buyers rely on content to drive their purchasing journeys, which means B2B content marketing is key to connecting with today's customers, driving traffic, and closing deals.
Consider the following numbers regarding consumer buying trends:
- Consumers (84%) want brands to provide them with content to help them make buying decisions.
- Nearly half (47%) of B2B buyers typically consume information from five to seven content pieces before deciding to reach out to a salesperson.
- Over 50% of buyers become more interested in a product after seeing content about it.
It’s clear that B2B content marketing is essential to businesses. In the right hands, it can bring countless advantages that create an atmosphere conducive to sales conversions.
When considering how to boost your lead generation, there are typically three main options:
- Your in-house marketing/communications team,
- A freelance or content writer, and
- A content marketing agency.
In this article, you will learn the pros and cons of each avenue to see which is best suited for reaching your organization’s B2B content marketing goals.
1. In-House B2B Content Marketing Team: The DIY Approach
An in-house marketing team has better brand understanding. Understanding your business's requirements, values, stories, and target audience is essential to creating content that connects consumers to your brand.
Typically, in-house writers are already familiar with the company's needs and have more experience with the brand and the product or service itself. Their knowledge and expertise position them well to market it, which ultimately leads to a more successful B2B content marketing campaign that takes much less time to produce.
Working alongside your own writing team also means easier collaboration. In-house writers can coordinate faster with the marketing department to produce quality content. Need to organize an ad-hoc meeting about the upcoming product release? The team is just a quick email away. This also makes it easier to ensure everyone is working toward the same goal and aligned with the strategy.
Since in-house writers are always ready to assist, they can be ideal for businesses that require large amounts of targeted content or those that depend on B2B content marketing as their primary source of income.
Because getting a high return on investment is one of the primary concerns when running a campaign, in-house writers give you the transparency you need. Not only can you get a full picture of how the strategy and content production are going, but you also have complete control over the implementation and management of your content marketing campaign.
Boosts Company Culture
Generating content in-house typically means involving almost all of the company's teams. From the writers to the sales department, everyone contributes to building your B2B content marketing efforts. After all, your content reflects who you are as a brand, so it only makes sense that all your teams take part in the process to ensure the company is cast in a positive light.
When you include the entire organization in content generation, you boost your company culture while also helping your customers better understand your brand. For instance, your sales team can help your writers produce content that revolves around customers' frequently asked questions.
Developing an internal writing team also often involves some upskilling and maybe even promotions that boost employee morale. You can cherry-pick the best marketers among your existing staff and create an entirely new department that aligns with your marketing goals. When you have an in-house team of experts by your side, your content becomes more authoritative, building your brand as a credible source.
If, however, you feel upskilling and promoting your current personnel is not enough, you can always hire new recruits. This allows you to select only the best people who are at the top of their game and can help your brand grow.
Training People Might Take More Time (a Lot More)
Creating a B2B content marketing campaign is not as easy as putting words together and publishing them online — there is much more to it. Before even starting the blog post, you have to learn about your customers, understand the buying journey, audit your current content, and develop a strategy. It takes a lot of time to generate content that reflects your brand's voice.
When you decide to build an in-house team, understand that your staff will not be able to produce the content you need right away, especially since their focus will be shifted. They will no longer be handling a single role; instead, they will have to juggle writing with their primary tasks. This can lead to inefficiency and a delayed release of content.
What also makes building an internal team time-consuming is inexperience—the expertise is only as good as what existing employees know. Depending on your industry niche, training and upskilling your current staff can be a lengthy process. Getting your team to a content specialist’s knowledge level might take months, if not a year (or more). Your in-house team might have the best skills, but they might not have the years of marketing experience that can help you penetrate a new or crowded market.
This will lead you to onboard new content marketing professionals. Unfortunately, this isn't as easy as it sounds.
One study shows that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find candidates who possess a combination of both creative and analytical skills.
That said, the hiring process alone can take months, with more time and employee resources than spent on training a new team member.
2. Outsource to a Freelance Content Writer
Freelancers are business owners who work solo. It’s common for them to acquire clients, perform research, develop content, and edit articles completely on their own, and good ones can produce high-quality work.
Fits Your Specific Needs
Freelancers are frequently seasoned professionals who have worked in a variety of businesses before embarking on their own. Expect them to bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the table, as they have a broader perspective of the business world and how it operates.
Although some generalists are incredibly competent, as a rule of thumb, freelancers should be regarded for their specific areas of expertise, whether it be SEO, link-building, social media, or anything else. It’s also in your best interest to hire a freelancer with the appropriate skill set for your particular niche. For instance, if you're in the wellness industry, a freelance writer who has worked as a yoga teacher for a decade can add significant value to your content.
When looking for the best writer for your B2B content marketing efforts, look for these important skills and qualities in a writer:
- An effective content writer should know their way around the internet and be able to look only for relevant and authoritative resources.
- They can effortlessly keep readers engaged throughout the piece, from the first word to the call of action at the end.
- They are a wordsmith who does away with complex words and simplifies things to get to the point.
- They enjoy reading, whether it's a book, a journal, a blog, or social media posts.
- They can drive traffic to your website effortlessly through interesting pieces that make readers browse the website longer.
Freelancers don’t expect to be paid in the same way as full-time employees. In fact, paying an all-inclusive per-word charge is frequently doable, depending on your arrangement with them.
Freelancers are highly flexible and more open to adjustments, meaning you can easily negotiate rates and can usually make changes to the agreement as you see fit.
Employing a freelancer is also more affordable than hiring someone new. You will only be charged for the time you actually need, and there are no overhead costs to consider, such as an office, utilities, and additional office equipment like laptops.
One downside: While the price is pretty flexible, the payment schedule can be a little tighter compared to those of an in-house team that has predetermined paydays.
Risk of Subpar Sub-Contracting, AKA ‘Outsource of an Outsource’
If a freelancer accepts a job and then delegates it to another person for a lower fee, this is known as an ‘outsource of an outsource.’ In some cases, this is not always acceptable, particularly if the freelancer or independent contractor agreement explicitly specifies such.
Outsourcing is becoming more commonplace in the freelancing world, and it isn't necessarily considered unethical. A freelancer who delegates the task to a virtual assistant or subcontracts out to another freelancer doesn't just get paid to do nothing— they act as the primary project manager, who builds the relationship with the client, ensures the quality of the work meets the client’s needs, and even delivers the final project deliverables to the client at the end.
You pay them to manage the project and own the final delivery, so they determine their share of the project cost depending on the rates they pay to their sub-contractors.
3. Hire a Professional B2B Content Marketing Agency: Your Smartest Option
Building an in-house team or hiring a freelancer have their pros and cons.
However, when it comes to meeting your overall B2B content marketing goals, teaming with a professional content agency is the most effective way to get there.
Not only do content agencies have skilled strategists, editors, and advanced content production management skills that freelance writers typically don't—a professional content agency also offers other key benefits that can grow your business.
Proven Results With Streamlined Strategic Processes
A lot of planning and processes go into producing content that generates leads for your business. There are many factors to consider, including what channels to post your content on, the graphics to include, and even the SEO practices to implement.
If you're new to content creation, it can be a bit daunting to do this internally since you may not have a content strategy established yet.
Content agencies can help you produce and deliver content with a strategic approach. Agencies typically have specialized teams for each stage of the production process, from researching keywords and creating content briefs to writing, editing, and publishing the content.
A B2B content marketing agency’s sole purpose is to establish you as an authority in your industry and to help grow your business. They keep up with content trends, maintain regular SEO training, and they are always on the lookout for new tools to make workflow more efficient. Keeping all these balls in the air is something that can be challenging for smaller marketing teams to take on, especially if their staff is already stretched thin.
If you decide to delegate these tasks to your in-house team, know your risk of producing lower-quality content. Your content strategy reflects your company, so it’s best handled by professionals.
Scalability and Growth
The goal of every business owner is to expand their business. However, scalability with an in-house writing team comes with a hefty price. You have to hire new employees to accommodate the growing list of tasks or risk burning out your current team. This means dedicating precious time and money to onboarding and training.
When it comes to adapting to a client's shifting demands, an agency can do so more efficiently. All you have to do is specify your requirements, and they can provide you with as many or as few professionals as you need.
They are flexible and can develop both short- and long-term content plans, spanning from 30 days to many months and even quarters. This is particularly important when you want to scale your B2B content marketing campaign during peak seasons. Instead of hiring and training seasonal employees, you can go with a content agency that can provide you with a set price that works for you.
As opposed to freelancers, content agencies can also crank out more words in a given time period since they operate in teams rather than individually. This will help you scale faster without sacrificing the quality of the content.
Professional Expertise and Industry Knowledge
An effective B2B content marketing strategy calls for a wide array of skill sets, including SEO, conversion optimization, public relations, and sales. Building an in-house team with all these talents likely means you have to create an entirely new department, which can be challenging to handle.
Even if you do come up with a way to effectively manage your internal team, you still have to deal with the heavy work of training your existing employees on inbound marketing. This isn't something that can be learned overnight. You also have to consider the types of marketing tools and platforms to use depending on your goals and the complexity of your sales funnel. The research involved in choosing just one can be time-consuming and stressful.
While it is possible to grasp the concept of inbound marketing (e.g., developing buyer personas and understanding the buying journey) in a matter of months, the best kinds of strategies come from experience and feedback, which good content agencies will have in spades.
By partnering with a professional content agency, you can rest assured that your B2B content marketing efforts are in the right hands. They already have the marketing tools you need for your content, and they know exactly how the algorithms work to increase your online presence and get your content in front of your target audience.
Partner With WriteForMe for Your B2B Content Marketing Needs
While there are advantages to creating an in-house content marketing team or hiring a freelance or contract writer, hiring a professional content marketing agency clearly has a significant edge. An agency offers a broad variety of services and experiences that can help you stand out from the crowded market. It takes the guesswork out of content generation and lets you concentrate on what truly matters most: growing your business.
Partnering with a professional content agency helps you gain a competitive edge in your industry.
The B2B content marketing experts at WriteForMe get to know your business from the core and develop a winning content strategy plan that you can execute with the help of our dedicated account success manager. In the end, you’ll have high-quality content that helps you climb the ranks of SEO legends, bring in more customers, and increase your profits.
Contact WriteForMe to get started today!