Writing takes time. Anyone who says it doesn’t probably isn’t much of a writer. But managing other writers? A whole editorial team and a production process to boot? That can be a logistical nightmare and a huge time suck. Are you equipped to manage content production for your company in today’s market?
Today, content generation needs to be fast. And next month it will need to be faster. There’s just no other way to meet the ever-increasing demand for inbound marketing. Data shows that the demand across industries for content creation in 2013 was 70 percent higher than it was in 2012, and that trend was expected to continue through 2014. But that’s no surprise, considering the overwhelming evidence showing the more quality content the better:
QuickSprout reports that the average length for webpages appearing in the top 10 Google search results for any keyword is 2,000 words.
Blog posts or articles with more than 1,500 words garner 68 percent more tweets and almost 23 percent more Facebook likes, according to QuickSprout.
HubSpot reports that 79 percent of companies running an active blog reported a positive ROI as a result.
Can you scale your writer pool, like, now?
Generally speaking, writers aren’t getting any faster. If you assume a writer (internal staff or otherwise) has a finite amount of work hours to contribute in a given week, you simply need more writers if you want to increase your output. So as you inevitably scale your content solutions to cover more products, services, blog posts and overall written content per page, can you scale your writer base to meet the demand?
Unless you organization is extremely efficient at recruiting, onboarding, training and communicating with traditional freelance writers and editors, chances are you’re going to hit a wall — hard — as you scale up. You just can’t vet all those applicants and then spend time teaching them how to write on brand. And of course you’ll need to continuously check up on them to make sure they continue to apply those lessons.
That wall is something scalable content solutions providers like eZdia had to demolish early in development to meet customer deadlines. eZdia puts in a lot of legwork early in a project to understand and efficiently communicate all customer needs, brand voice requirements, etc., to writers and editors. Our freelancer vetting process is also designed to only allow the most versatile, solid marketing wordsmiths to work. We’ve also found effective ways to continuously monitor quality, so we’re able to quickly correct freelancers if they start to stray.
Unlike any other type of content provider in the inbound marketing sphere, providers of scalable content solutions can rapidly expand writer and editor pools in a matter of days. This unique trait was developed after investing serious effort and resources into identifying the best places to recruit editorial workers, along with meticulously developing techniques for training these workers to write exactly the way our customers need them to.
How about your quality assurance processes – can they scale too?
Editing large volumes of content is no easy task. Under normal circumstances, making sure content matches your brand identity and ensuring that every sentence flows, is grammatically sound and free of typos takes a lot of time. If you’ve worked in an industry dependent on content production before, you know that sometimes getting content right just can’t happen without ample time.
But when you start talking about the volume most e-retailers need to expect today, a number of other issues arise beyond making time for quality. The volume of content just becomes too much for a handful or even a full team of editors to handle, and inevitably the workload will lead to an increase in human error: typos, missing punctuation, etc.
Those might be small things to some people, but they can be very embarrassing when they show up on a page you’re really hoping will convert new customers for your business. Some potential customers might not be too concerned about the occasional typo; others will take it as a sign that you’re not sufficiently professional and will bounce right off the site — even if you never knew the typo was there.
Again, companies must either keep hiring more freelance or internal editors, or they must turn to a more flexible, scalable solution. Providers of scalable content solutions like eZdia have invested in building a large, on-demand pool of qualified editors who can swoop in when volume demands it.
Does your content infrastructure consist of dirt roads or superhighways?
Outside of the human element involved with mass content production, you also need to consider how your current production setup can handle large-scale demand. Several factors will determine whether you’re equipped for the content creation requirements the market now demands.
Do you have a solid, simple system for soliciting, tracking and storing your content? If you’re still assigning and collecting work via email, that’s not going to cut it. As demand rises, even your well-designed email flagging and categorization system will slip, and inevitably things will be lost or overlooked. It’s true that a custom system for assigning and monitoring work by using free tools such as Google’s suite of apps is a step in the right direction. However, you will run into functionality obstacles once you really get into the swing of producing content at scale.
For the most part, scalable content providers have custom platforms built to surmount many of the challenges you would face when going at this alone. They include things like incremental QA steps, UIs that make it easier for writers and editors to see and fix their mistakes, and comprehensive views permitting insight into production velocity. You won’t find these sorts of efficiencies in any boxed or cobbled-together solution.
If your process doesn’t meet the criteria outlined above, you’ll either need to invest heavily into revamping your current content production process or go the cheaper route and outsource. Talk to a project manager at eZdia about leveraging a flexible, scalable pool of American marketing writers for your next content initiative.