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Startups can reap tremendous benefits from content marketing. Every business on the Web needs a content marketing strategy, but for startups, high quality content can place a new brand on a level playing field with its more established competition. The additional challenges startups face, however, can render a do-it-yourself content marketing plan dead in the water.
What topics should the business write about? Which content format works best? Hiring a cost-effective managed content provider is a great way to answer these questions and many more.
Content development today
At a cursory glance, buying content from an online marketplace seems like a low-risk investment. Content farms can provide fast content for the bargain-basement price of a penny per word. This commoditization of content means that any business, major corporations and startups alike, can purchase in bulk at an astonishingly low price.
The problem is that the truly expert writers do not maintain profiles on content farms because they can get fair value for the quality of their content elsewhere. The true value of content lies in its ability to engage, educate and entertain a specific audience, and not every writer can pull that off.
A managed services content provider is focused on developing quality content. Content farms simply act as an intermediary between freelancers and clients. The rest is left to businesses to do for themselves, which is one of primary reasons many startups eventually hire a managed services content provider to give their websites a much-needed makeover.
Three hidden content pain points
The phrase “content is king” has become a mantra in journalism, copywriting, marketing, SEO and any other industry involved in content publishing. Agencies looking for a managed services content provider for their end clients can expand this wisdom to read, “content is king…and hard to develop alone.”
Developing quality content has three hidden pain points that startups often discover only after they have already become overwhelmed with how much work it takes to maintain a company website.
Those pain points are:
• Managing the volume of content required.
• Ensuring that content supports strategy development.
• Avoiding wasted opportunities for content optimization.
Certainly, there are many other challenges that hiring a managed content provider can address, but these three tend to give startups the biggest problems.
Managing the volume of content required
There is a profound difference between buying content in bulk and writing content in bulk. Most startups do not initially grasp how much content they need to produce.
The value of newsletters, case studies, white papers, blogs, press releases, informational articles and social media begin to diminish simply because startups cannot publish content fast enough to meet demand. An expert writer working for a managed content provider can write several different content formats in a matter of hours, not days.
Supporting strategy development
Similarly, due to volume constraints, startups often have a difficult time with strategy development. For instance, a startup can purchase a dozen articles from a content farm, set them to publish automatically via WordPress and monitor how the content fares in the wild.
But after the first few articles have been published, it often becomes painfully clear that something is missing. The price seemed right, and the editorial calendar appeared sound. But the content did not perform. Managed content providers help startups avoid this issue by developing content strategy in depth.
Wasting opportunities for content optimization
The opposite scenario happens, too. A startup can publish its own content and see good results, but without thorough planning and follow-through after publication, it might never notice that white papers are driving more sales than posts on the company blog. An experienced professional content provider can avoid these wasted opportunities by analyzing the success of each type of content to establish its value to the overall marketing strategy.