For anyone who ever had any doubts about the power of online content, 82% of consumers admit to having made a purchase after having interacted in some way with online content. This data comes from an interesting report entitled, “How Content Marketing Benefits Businesses,” published by the B2B research, ratings and review company, Clutch. In the same report, 53% of consumers say that they revisit a website with worthwhile content and 50% agree that they are likely to research the products or services that a company has to offer if its online content is up to scratch.
Online content is worth the investment
What this report helps to illustrate is that most companies can, in the long run, benefit from regularly publishing original online content. But it’s fair to say that, for many companies, the development of timely, thoughtful content is one of those online marketing strategies that gets placed at the bottom of the priority list. The difficulty for many companies is that good content creation takes time, generates additional company costs, and doesn’t offer immediate results in terms of sales, leads, and other kinds of conversions that companies want to see.
Even so, what Clutch’s recent survey proves is that well-crafted, regular content has the potential to connect with consumers in ways that other forms of more direct online marketing – like social media ads – cannot. As Marcus Sheridan outlines in his blog on The Sales Lion, companies that shy away from the demands of good content creation miss out on opportunities to nurture company-consumer connections. The point that Sheridan drives home is that content creation really can work, but only when it’s good, and unfortunately, a large number of companies just aren’t willing to invest the amount of time and money required to produce online content that turns heads. And this, Sheridan believes, is where they’re going wrong.
In 2018, quality still trumps quantity
A few years ago, the trend that drove content creation was linked to quantity: get as much content up on your site, blog, and social media platforms as possible. The more content, the more visible your company will be. The more visible, the greater your chance of persuading someone to invest in one of your services or products. It sounds like a pretty safe theory, but market analysis over the past couple of years suggests that when creating content, less is more.
The 2018 freelance writer landscape
Assuming that what Clutch’s survey reveals is a true reflection of today’s online marketing space, freelance writers play a critical role in the development and advancement of any online marketing and/or branding strategy. But knowing how to hire, who to hire, and on what terms, is something that requires a bit of thought.
10 years ago, online content specialists were few and far between, but according to the editor of Making a Living Writing, 2018 is pretty much a melting pot of freelancers competing for work. With so many people out there, claiming to be the writer you need, you’ll need some criteria from which you can make your hiring decisions.
Wrapping things up, making a solid hire
Above and beyond the obvious, like asking to see a resumé, links to published writing examples, and past employer references, you need to make sure that the writer you hire is going to be happy writing content for you. There’s nothing worse than having a writer who hates what he/she is asked to write about because their disinterest bleeds into their writing.
You also need someone who’s creative enough to generate ideas for content for you. If you have to source your writer with blog ideas, you’re doing half of the work. Before you hire, ask those writers you’re interviewing to share their ideas for content creation with you. It’s also really important that your writer is earning enough money to feel happy working for you. If they can get by, but don’t feel comfortable with their pay, they’ll always be looking around for a better option. Remember, if you choose to invest in content creation, you must be prepared to commit to the costs of the same.