Content marketing and content creation are sometimes considered to be simply putting out blog posts, videos and graphics. Some marketers even consider content creation to be a practice that is done relatively easily, and without much cost, time or resource requirements. Yet still other companies focus on the volume of content that they are creating and pushing into their various channels. These different approaches, philosophies and practices around content creation tend to ultimately lead to vastly different tactics and results.
Why is content marketing so expensive? Well that question can be irrelevant to some brands if they don’t consider content marketing to be effective, therefore they do not place an emphasis on how it is done, or the results it achieves. However, companies that understand the role of content marketing within their organization, are more likely to have a larger investment in creating content, and more importantly content quality is likely a measurable emphasis within their production team.
Key Questions About The Cost Of Content Creation
Do these different focuses ultimately have an impact on the resulting quality of the content being produced?
How does content quality impact the cost and more importantly the overall effectiveness of content marketing?
In just one study we reviewed for this article, it was reported that 1/3 of professionals said the quality of content is the biggest barrier they face. (newswhip) And as is typical with any product or service, the higher the quality, the more expensive it tends to be.
What Is Great Content?
If we start the content conversation around the quality question, we really need to define what that actually means for content. This is a challenging thing today because outside of the statistics, quality content can be very subjective. What we can do however, is define the term quality and then outline some of the content creation elements that are associated with content that gets the best traffic, shares, engagement and net results.
So content quality should be defined as the standard of content as measured against other content of a similar kind, or the degree of excellence of content. Using this definition, we need to measure any single piece of content against similar articles, videos and graphics to measure its degree of excellence as compared to others.
How To Create Quality Content
Though there are numerous elements that go into the content marketing and content creation work we do for our clients, I wanted to focus on three of the most important components of developing quality content for your brand. Many of you will be surprised at some of the details required to create quality content and this should help you understand why excellent content is expensive to create.
Research: Many of our clients are shocked to find out the amount of research we do for every piece of content we create. We search for studies, data and articles surrounding the specific topics we are working on for a piece and work to understand the information deeply. We also research other content that is out there, its quality, its search rank and overall quality, then look for opportunities to create content that is better and that could potentially rank higher than the existing content on the topic.
Understand that in order to create the high quality content we create for our clients, we ALWAYS spend more time on research, than we do on actually writing. As an example, often the research we do for a specific blog post for a client piece can take up to three hours, and that’s before a single word has been written. The amount of research required for every piece of content varies depending on the subject matter, the industry being covered and the market our client is in. These variables change from client to client and article to article constantly. But in any case, time is money and that can be expensive.
The content creation research provides necessary information that is required to create excellent content. Content research also provides the data that will support the story you are trying to tell. Finally the investigative research we do ensures that the content being created offers either direct or indirect support for the product or service the client provides, backed up with data. And THAT is the key.
Strategy: A great content marketing program combines information that leads to understanding and combines that with the details, tactics and planning that will accomplish specific attainable goals. In order to create quality content, you need to understand who you are reaching, the value you provide them, the problems that you are solving and most importantly what kind of content they seek. Furthermore, the content marketing strategy also has to integrate with all of the other sales and marketing components being utilized, to ensure that they will work together to achieve the desired goal.
As a side note, the strategy development will often uncover logistical, technical and sales changes that will be required in order to make the content marketing effective. You can have the best content in the world, but if there is no infrastructure in place to capitalize on and convert the traffic from the content, then it will fail.
Formatting: Quality content is easy to read through exceptional writing, just as much as how it is presented and formatted. The structure of quality content should always be taken into consideration when creating content for your brand, and it involves everything from graphics, blog formatting, headings, document structure and many other elements. How your content is formatted makes a significant impact on whether it gets read completely or discarded quickly. This is an element of quality content that is often overlooked.
Creating effective content is time-consuming and requires resources, time and focus. All of these things take experience and resources, which of course tend to be expensive. But when you are creating quality content and have established an exceptional content marketing program, the results WILL be realized. In fact, the content marketing we develop for our clients, that are coupled with a strategic integrated marketing program, always achieve dramatic results.
Yes, content marketing is expensive when done effectively, however when it is done effectively it also gets results! Content creation and content marketing that does not have a foundation of content quality and marketing integration is far less expensive but rarely gets real results.