Technology, audience habits and our new attitude to money have changed how buying decisions are made. While consumers still respond to offers and deals, any significant purchase starts with online research.
Would you buy a car without test driving or at least going to see it? Well, 75% of decisions to buy a car start online, 99% end in face-to-face. In fact AutoTrader data shows we’ll spend over ten hours online choosing the right car.
The same applies to all major purchases, furniture, home improvements, holidays, mortgages and pensions. The principle applies to B2B purchasing decisions too.
It all adds up to the buyer being better informed and knowing the specification of their purchase before speaking to the firm that will supply it.
In online marketing terms, search, social media, websites, pay per click, remarketing and email all have a role to play in bringing that customer closer to buying from you. These are the channels through which someone interested in what you have, travels from curiosity to giving you a real life buying signal.
At the core of this process is content. Valuable, engaging and relevant content.
Without content, these channels are empty vessels that fail to fuel the knowledge driving your new customer’s decision-making. So you can see why take content creation is taken so seriously. Content is personal. Compare a Dan Brown novel to one by Charlotte Bronte.
The first is a page turner (you can’t put it down), the second like sweet music. Well to me anyway. To showcase what your business has to offer, content is created with a personality that resonates with your customers. So it is easy to see how Marketing Managers start the process internally.
Surely your customer facing teams know exactly how to speak to your customers. Right?
Every company has a unique selling point. That thing you do best. Or it’s your brand that is so clearly different from your competitors.
Investing time on making sure you have this absolutely right is the core value of your head of marketing, not spending time crafting the content to represent it.
Hiring a team to produce your content allows you to deliver the best possible strategy and go to market approach. To test your view of the customer. To carry out analysis of the gap between what you think the customer values and what they really value. To get to know your customers and articulate how they want to be sold to.
Invest your time in being absolutely clear about what your clients are searching for online and what they need to find in order to choose to buy from you.
Then leave the production of quality content to someone else. And let me emphasise that a little more. It is a production line. Not like an old Model T Ford. More like a precision Tesla X. Breathtakingly beautiful crafted outputs; consistently shipped on time and to budget. Leaving you the space to focus on the big stuff, like strategy and all those fires that need to be put out.
There is an economic value to outsourced content production.
Yes, you have to find budget for it. But compare the cost of a well produced and edited 90 second video and the expense of providing your own filming facilities. Do you have an in house actor too and skilled script editor? And what about the post-production software, mixing images, sound and music together? What will it cost to have all of those facilities?
The same applies for writing. Let’s say you hire a permanent writer. What does the recruitment process cost? If you recruit from an agency, you have fees too. Hiring from within means training costs. What do you pay them and how do you decide on a bonus?
You may also have someone earning a wage when they don’t have to produce content all of the time. Or worse still in my experience, the poor scribe that has to write about the same thing day in, day out. They eventually lose the sparkle, their creativity wains and then you’re just left with another pen pusher.
All this and we still haven’t touched on flexibility. What happens when you need lots produced at once and then long periods of nothing at all. How expensive do your in house resources look now?
That’s why successful marketers leave the “how” to the people with the skills and resources and they focus on the “what” that their customers want.
Author: Simon Ryan
How can we help!