17 May Why you should be involved in your own content creation
These days, outsourcing your copywriting function or content creation to an external resource is becoming increasingly common. After all, it makes sense to hand over this job to a specialist: it saves you time, and also allows you to outsource a task that may not necessarily come naturally to you or your colleagues. But even if you use someone else to do your content creation, it’s still absolutely essential that you’re involved in the process.
You may protest this, thinking, “But I can’t write!” or “I don’t have time!” The truth is, though, that one of the most important ingredients to good content – digital or otherwise – is input from the knowledge experts themselves (yes, that’s you). Here’s why it’s so important:
1. You understand your business. No matter how good the copywriters or marketers are that you use, the truth is that no one understands the intricacies of your business like you do. You know the ins and outs of your offering, you know what your customers need and want, and you have the expert knowledge to add value to what they’re looking for. The difference between average copy and really unique, useful content is the input you give the copywriter in terms of the subject, the angle and “raw material” that they use to write it.
2. You’re in the industry. This applies especially to producing ongoing content on a regular basis. You’re in touch with the latest trends and insights within your industry, which means you can brief your writers on the most pertinent topics to write about. The risk of not doing this is that your content becomes dated, irrelevant, bland or generic.
3. You know your calendar. Maybe you have a huge campaign in the works, are launching a new product, or are changing direction with your business offering. Whatever it is, being involved in the content creation function means you can use content in a strategic way to boost whatever you want to draw attention to within your company. And don’t assume your copywriters will know this – chances are, they won’t.
4. Content needs to align with your brand. You understand best how your brand should be portrayed externally, what tone should be used, and the angle the content should take. This applies both to “core” website copy, as well as ongoing fresh content such as blog posts or articles. The risk of outsourcing the copy function to someone without this knowledge is that the content that’s published is not necessarily in alignment with your overall strategic objectives. Even worse, it could dilute or even damage your brand if it’s written in the wrong way.
But I don’t know how to come up with ideas!
You may be daunted at the thought of being heavily involved in the content creation function. We find that a common reason for this is that no matter how accomplished the people are that we’re working with, many of our clients are often intimidated at the thought of sitting down at a blank page and writing something. But the truth is that you don’t even need to be a good writer – or write anything at all! – in order to add value to the process. Here are some ways to generate content ideas:
– Ask your content creators to send you some quick industry related questions and jot down your answers in bullet format.
– Schedule a monthly telephone call or brainstorming meeting with your content creators where each person in the room has to bring at least 2 or 3 fresh ideas.
– Think about the last work-related articles you shared on social media – is there a fresh topic idea in there?
– Ideas are everywhere – keep a notebook with you so you can jot down topic ideas that occur to you in meetings, when you wake up, or even after your morning run! Or, write them down as Notes on your phone.
We’re all busy. But setting aside the time to be involved in the content creating process can help you get a really worthwhile return on your content investment. Whether that translates to more sales, higher quality enquiries or better brand sentiment by your target market – it’s absolutely worth prioritising.