With everything that’s happened this year, I think we’ve all started to realise the importance of content creation for business. Over the past decade, the way we market businesses has begun to shift: less emphasis on hard selling and more on relationship building. This has meant that we’re seeing growth in all aspects of content creation, particularly in areas such as social media, blogging, and more visual stuff like video.

In the past, we’ve been able to rely on the types of marketing where we can just spend a little bit of time creating an ad or editorial piece, and then sit back and wait for the sales to roll in, that’s no longer the case. Now, we have to really work for returns, which means being consistently present online.

Why? Well, you might have heard the phrase ‘know, like and trust’ being thrown around the social media world – and with good reason. It means that to sell to someone, you first have to make them know you, like you, and trust you. And the best way to do that is by using well written content.

The content creation conundrum

Here’s a stat for you: 61% of consumers have said that they are influenced to buy a product or service because of custom content.

That’s a pretty high number, and one that I think will rise over time.

Let’s break it down; more than half of people who are looking to buy something will be persuaded to do so because they read content about it online.

If you think about it, that makes perfect sense – pretty much every one of us has a smart device in our pockets. What do we do when we see something we potentially want to buy? We grab our phone, open either a social app or Google, and do a quick search, right?

If you don’t have content online, your competitors will.

But here’s the conundrum; what if you simply don’t have the time or the skill to create content?  What if you don’t have the time while running your business to keep updating your social feeds, responding to messages, building relationships, writing blogs, creating newsletters… you get the idea. Content creation is a job in itself, right?

Your content is an investment

Of course, what we’re really here to talk about is whether or not outsourcing your content creation is worth the spend. After all – what can a content marketing company do that you can’t do yourself?

It’s a question that comes up a lot, because lots of businesses, particularly smaller businesses with less budget, think that they’re better off doing the job in-house.

Of course, you might argue that no-one knows your business as well as you do. Or, that you’ve got a couple of staff members who are really good at social media and are happy to spend time doing it. It saves on costs, right?

But does it, really?

Let’s say that you need to dedicate the average time of 10 hours per week on social media (that’s just social media – not the rest of the content you’ll have to focus on). The average working week per employee is between 35-40 hours. So that staff member you’ve earmarked to do the job is spending at least a quarter of their working week just on social. Plus, that 10 hours is being taken away from the tasks you hired them for in the first place.

If you look at it like that, are you really saving, in terms of time or money?

Let me throw another stat at you; 64% of business marketers now outsource their content writing. Looking at the reasons mentioned, there are a lot of businesses who recognise that it’s more cost-effective to outsource the writing of their content to a skilled writer because it frees up the time of internal resources while providing an improved ROI.

And if you’re still concerned about hiring someone who doesn’t know your business – a quick Google search will tell you that there are plenty of niche copywriters out there who specialise in specific industries, as well as having up-to-date knowledge of industry-specific SEO, mastering your tone of voice and branding, and knowing what type of language to use to get your message in front of the right people.

In fact, it’s likely that the content writer you choose will have worked for similar industries before. So, they’ll be able to offer additional input and experience that you might not have thought of – they’ll know from experience what type of content will work for you, and what won’t.

How to find your perfect copywriter

Suppose you’re new to outsourcing your content to a copywriter and want to see what’s available. In that case there are plenty of places you can search.

Try asking some of the companies you work with/for if they can give you recommendations. Search social media platforms such as LinkedIn. Try professional groups like Procopywriters.

Be specific in your search – if you want someone who just does social media, search ‘social media manager/writer’. Try putting your industry in the search to see what comes up (copywriter for [your industry]).

Of course, you can always speak to me – I offer a wide range of content creation and can offer you help, and advice should you need it. Get in touch and see if I’m a good fit for your business?

About me: I’m Emma a copywriter and content manager based in Harrow, London. I have a passion for content and for creating amazing content for brands that have a strong sustainable, social and ethical ethos.