If you are a SMB (small-to-mid-sized business) and have reached the point that you employ your own marketer or marketing department, why should you hire a copywriter from the outside? Shouldn’t you expect your staff to handle everything?
Maybe not. There are a number of reasons why you might want to hire a copywriter on a freelance or contract basis. Here are six reasons to consider:
- Writing excellent content is very time consuming, and it may mean your staff has less time for other important tasks that are not as easy to outsource. When your staff is overwhelmed, they have four choices: write less often, write lower-grade content, let other work slide, or get help from external sources. A good article about your business is likely to take several hours to write, and you need to post a new one several times each week. Can you spare your staff person 10 to 12 hours per week to write content?
- You may not have an excellent writer on your staff. While we like to think that everyone who graduates with a college degree — especially a marketing, communications or English degree — can write well, unfortunately, that is not always the case. Writing content that is not only grammatically correct but engaging is challenging. In 2012, there were an estimated 31 million bloggers in the U.S. That’s a lot of competition for eyeballs. If a marketer doesn’t write long-form content on a regular basis, he will have difficulty writing blog posts, ebooks and white papers that your picky audience will want to consume.
- Content creation for inbound marketing has become a specialty. It used to be enough to throw together a 50- to 100-word post on your blog once a week stuffed with keywords that was written to appeal to search engines. This is no longer true. This sort of spammy writing will get you penalized by Google today. Since Google’s Hummingbird update, content must be high quality articles that target humans who are searching for answers for real questions. Your content must set out to educate your readers, not trick the search engines.
- And speaking of SEO, content marketing requires a good, updated knowledge of SEO and the right tools. The rules are constantly changing. It’s difficult for specialists to stay abreast of the changes, much less a marketing generalist who has 50 other things on their plate. That’s why it’s advantageous to hire a copywriter who uses the best toolkit, such as Hubspot, to provide relevant keywords and other metrics, such as page performance, traffic sources and lead sources.
- A professional content developer can bring a fresh, external perspective to your business. It’s easy to miss important selling features of your business when you rely on your internal marketing staff for everything, regardless of how good they are. After a while, everything becomes a part of the wallpaper. When you hire a copywriter, she brings the experience of working with many businesses over a period of years and sees your business layered among them. Things that may not be obvious to others will stand out to her.
- You will likely save money by hiring a copywriter on a contract basis. Although you will probably pay a copywriter more on an hourly basis than you would if you had a full-time copywriter on your staff, you won’t have to pay benefits, which add at least one-third of the salary to the cost. In addition, you aren’t paying for unproductive time, such as doctors’ visits, bathroom breaks, children’s school performances, etc., that are typically woven into the “accepted as the norm” of salaried employees.
To the marketer who needs to hire a copywriter
If you are the marketer rather than the business owner and you are reading this post, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. And you are likely up to your gizzard in “to-do’s.” I know because I’ve been in your shoes. I’ve never worked in a marketing department — or known anyone who has worked in a marketing/PR office — who gets all the resources they need, particularly in this economic climate. Use this as fuel. Send it to your boss. Even if she doesn’t hire me, I hope it convinces her to get you some additional resources.
If you are the business owner or department head reading this post, the bottom line is this. You should hire a copywriter on a contract basis if your inbound marketing program for increasing traffic to your website and converting them into leads is not the #1 priority of somebody on your marketing staff. Any commitment less than that is damaging your business.