That article you just read wasn’t written by its author – here’s why

You’ve seen his or her by-line, their profile photo, and read their article. Pretty impressive all round.

Except they didn’t write it.

But it’s not as underhand as you might think. Name an entrepreneur or VP or CEO who has the time to write a 1,200 word article once a week and I’ll show you a business leader who has lost focus.

So how is it they produce high quality content, that is on-message, up-to-date with industry developments, and is in their distinctive voice? Answer: they work with a great content agency.

Here’s why:

1. Time spent

A single article can take 10 or more hours to write. That’s the first draft. There will be more. Once that’s done, you need a second set of eyes – it’s time for the editor to check sources, ensure it fits the brief in terms of style and tone, tweak structure if needed, and give it a final shine.

Then it’s on to a third person to do a final proof read, before it’s published. That’s a lot of hours to ask a business person to take out of their week (at least a whole day) to produce a piece of content. And to do so every week – content needs to be regular in order to be effective.

Why it’s better to work with a content agency

You have a never-ending to-do list, meetings to attend, phone calls to make, plans to make and execute – does writing content sound like something you think you can crowbar into your week?

Alleviate stress and hand it over to a content agency. Not only will they perform all the tasks noted above, but they will build in steps for you to give feedback at various points in the process – as well as final sign-off – without taking too much of your time.

2. People required

As you can tell from the above-mentioned process, it takes not just a lot of time but a number of people to carry out this process effectively.

At minimum, we’re talking about:

  • A brief writer who will research relevant and timely industry topics, then liaise with the client and formulate exactly what the content writer needs.
  • A content writer who has years of experience, is likely a former journalist, has industry knowledge, and can communicate in the voice of your brand with ease. A good agency will have done rigorous writer recruitment, so only the best are used.
  • An editor who has a detailed process of checking to ensure the article fits the bill.
  • A proof reader who does a final read-through prior to publication.
  •  publishing manager who will actually upload and monitor the content – on LinkedIn, on your blog, and aim to get it re-published in the mainstream media.
  • An SEO specialist who will be involved from start to finish, ensuring your content is not just high quality but easily findable.

Why it’s better to work with a content agency

That’s a minimum of six people involved in producing a single piece of content. Even if time wasn’t a factor, it’s going to be impossible to find a business leader who also happens to possess all of those skills. Even a single in-house writer won’t be able to deliver at this level.

In addition, there is huge value in having multiple pairs of eyes look over a piece as it moves through the pipeline. It’s not a job for a single person, regardless of how talented they may be.

3. Level of expertise

Some companies are so diverse, or their offering(s) so complex that it’s highly likely that even the most in-tune CEO or senior manager, while being an expert within their field, may not be an expert in all areas of the industry.

If you’re the CEO of an oil and gas company, you may not necessarily have the technical background needed to write an expert piece of content on every single process your company carries out.

Why it’s better to work with a content agency

This is all about peace of mind. Having a professional writer with industry expertise means that you can communicate your overall message while knowing that the writer can take care of the details. And it’s not just the writer – having the right editorial team in place at a great content agency means that facts are checked before publication.

4. Planning and management

Unless you like juggling with chainsaws, this is not a job for one person who is also trying to run a business. Because alongside all the personnel mentioned in Point 2, there also needs to be systems and workflows in place to ensure that the correct planning goes into each brief, that writer deadlines are made and kept, that the flow of work to the editor is managed, that client feedback is sought at the right moment, and that ultimately the work is published on time.

Why it’s better to work with a content agency

A good agency will have managers who will ensure that the content moves smoothly through the pipeline and is ready to publish at the exact time you require it. Content is all about the right piece at the right time, and working with a team means you always hit those markers.

Making your life easier

As we have seen, the entire process of creating a great piece of content requires time, people, expertise, and good planning.

Bringing in a content agency allows you to ensure your stamp is clearly on the content without disrupting your entire workload – and lets you communicate effectively with both customers and prospects.

In short, it’s what you would create if you were a professional writer and not a business leader.

Posted inContent Marketing Posted on
written by

Alex Ionides Managing Director, Silx