One of the biggest objections we hear is that, “We have to write our own content because it’s too technical to outsource.”
I always want to dig into that one further, because chances are that you’re not producing enough content that appeals to a wide enough audience.
It’s true that there are some companies that have products and services that are so complex that writing technical white papers only using in-house expertise is warranted. A biotech or scientific product company comes to mind.
But the vast majority of B2B companies wouldn’t want to solely rely on the development of technical white papers as a content marketing strategy because most people (and more specifically, your prospects) won’t want to take time out of their schedules to put out the energy required to fully digest the material—unless of course they are really, really interested. But that number is most likely too small to make your revenue goals.
After reading a recent Contently article by Shane Snow called: This Surprising Reading Level Analysis Will Change the Way You Write, I was reminded of an exercise in Journalism School (at the University of Kansas, if you care) where we applied The Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level analysis to a journalism text book and an accounting text book.
The Journalism text book came out to about a 5th grade reading level, and the accounting text book was off the charts at something like PhD level. It’s no wonder why no one wants to read accounting text books! (If you’re the one person out there who wakes up every morning wanting to read through complex material, then I apologize—but I might suggest that you pay attention to how much energy it takes you to digest the material as opposed to a magazine article.)
The point is that even when dealing with advanced technical material, it’s important to communicate your thought leadership and expertise.
And, you must communicate it in such a way that it appeals to the largest audience possible with the understanding that a mass audience is NOT going to spend time with your technical jargon—especially not in our “give it to me quickly” society.
This is why many companies are hiring marketing professionals that have journalism, public relations, and publication backgrounds to generate content. Those types of professionals fundamentally understand how to interview subject matter experts, extract the relevant information, and communicate it in ways attract reader attention.
When content is developed in this manner, you still maintain domain expertise and thought leadership (because you’re the expert), and that message gets communicated to a wider audience—because that’s what we do as journalists.
When evaluating a content marketing agency, the question becomes “what’s your process for taking material that is complex in nature and communicating it to our audience?” as opposed to, “how can you possibly write about complex subject material without being in the industry?”
Answer: we can’t. That’s why you are the content expert. But we can certainly position you as a thought leader and maximize reader appeal.
Two big advantages that a content marketing agency has over most in-house development staff is deadline pressure and the complete focus to the task at hand. If you’re not getting enough content up to fuel demand for your sales team, outsourcing may be a good solution to supplement your efforts.
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