Choosing the Right B2B Content Creation Partner: Insights for B2B Marketers
Updated: May 2
As B2B marketers, creating high-quality content is essential to attract and retain clients, establish brand authority, and drive sales. However, with limited in-house resources, expertise, and time, outsourcing to a B2B content creation partner, boutique content marketing agency specializing in content generation or freelance writer is often the best option. In this article, we'll provide insights on how to choose the best B2B content creation partner for your needs.
Why B2B Marketers Need to Find the Right Content Creation Partner
One of the biggest challenges facing B2B marketers is a lack of in-house skills and time to create high-value content. Many companies simply don't have the resources to keep up with the demand for fresh and engaging content. This is especially true when creating thought leadership content - your subject matter experts are usually busy building the business and delivering projects for clients. Consequently, creating essential marketing content takes a backseat. Outsourcing content creation to a content copywriter or content strategist can help control costs on a single project basis while ensuring the delivery of top-quality content.
Marketing Agency vs. Content Creation Partner: What's the Right Choice For Your Business
While both content marketing agencies and content creation partners or freelance writers offer content creation services, they differ in terms of their scope of services and focus.
What is a content marketing agency? A one-stop shop
A content marketing agency is a full-service agency that provides end-to-end content marketing solutions. They may offer services such as strategy development, content creation, content distribution, analytics and reporting, and may also have expertise in various other areas such as SEO, social media, email marketing, and more.
These can be a one-stop shop, developing the content strategy and calendar, creating the content and ensuring it is seen by the right people. These agencies often have a large team of professionals with diverse skill sets and may work with multiple clients simultaneously.
However, they usually don't have deep industry expertise in finance, technology or professional services and so often outsource more technical work to freelance writers adding an additional layer of complexity and cost.
What is a content creation partner? Is it the same as a freelance copywriter? How about a content studio or boutique content marketing agency?
While a freelance writer and a content creation partner may seem similar, there are some key differences between the two. A freelance writer is typically an independent contractor who is hired on a project-by-project basis to write content. They may have expertise in a specific type of content, such as blog posts or social media copy, and may work with a variety of clients in different industries.
In contrast, a content creation partner is more of a strategic partner who works closely with a company to develop a content strategy and create high-quality content that aligns with the company's goals, messaging and objectives. Content creation partners often have expertise in a particular industry or niche and work with clients on an ongoing basis to develop and execute a content plan.
Content creation partners can go by many names, including a content shop, content studio, boutique content marketing agency, and probably many more. You can treat them as essentially interchangeable.
Unlike a content marketing agency, a content creation partner typically focuses solely on content creation services. They specialize in creating a variety of content assets such as blog posts, listicles, educational content, pillar articles, investment theses, anchor content, white papers, thought leadership reports, infographics, and other content formats. They can also advise on which types of content will work to achieve your B2B content marketing goals and how original research can be adapted and repurposed to extend its reach and ROI. These individuals may have expertise in a particular industry or niche, and they often work with clients on a project-by-project basis. They may work independently or as part of a small team.
What the difference in cost between a content marketing agency and a content creation partner?
In terms of cost, content marketing agencies tend to be more expensive than content creation partners or freelance writers, as they offer a broader range of end-to-end services. This leads to more choice for the client but increases overheads. Additionally, working with an agency may require a longer-term commitment and a larger budget. An agency will typically charge a project management cost on top of the cost of creating the content. This will depend on the agencies pricing structure but can range from 15% to more than 40%.
Content creation partners provide greater control, but lack a full-service offering
Working with a content creation partner (or freelance writer) can offer more flexibility and control over the content creation process. Clients can work closely with the writer to ensure that their content aligns with their goals and vision, and can provide more specific feedback on each project. This approach can be particularly beneficial for companies that want to build high-value content that reflects their unique brand and messaging. It can also be a cost effective approach for start-ups and scale-ups who are looking to begin their content marketing journey. For these companies it can be cost-effective to hire an independent white paper or report writer than can then be used to drive lead generation.
The Risks of Using Big Agencies for Content Creation
While big agencies may seem like a good option for content creation, there are some risks involved. Often, clients have less control and input over the content being produced, and junior copywriters may lack the experience needed to create high-quality content. Additionally, the output may be generic and not tailored to your specific needs. Finally, the cost of working with big agencies is often much higher than working with independent writers or researchers.
The right model will depend on your business, budget and marketing goals
Ultimately, the decision to work with a content marketing agency or a content creation partner or freelance writer will depend on your specific needs, budget, and goals. If you require a full-service content marketing solution with a broader range of services including services like technical SEO, paid media or social media management, then a content marketing agency may be the best fit. However, if you need high-quality content that is tailored to your specific requirements, a content creation partner can be a better option.
Finally, and probably the most important factor, is you need to find someone that you enjoy working with on a personal level, and that you trust and respect.
How B2B Companies Should Choose a Content Creation Partner
As discussed above, a content creation partner can be a great choice when you want to maintain control and control costs. When choosing a B2B content creation partner, there are several key factors to consider. Firstly, look for someone with industry experience and data analysis skills. Ideally, the content writer should have experience in your particular field, which can help them understand your target audience and create content that resonates with them.
Ask how your content creation partner uses AI content generation tools
AI-tools such as Jasper and ChatGPT have revolutionized the copywriting process (see our article on Value Exchange and the Economics of ChatGPT). Content creators who aren't taking advantage of these tools are either lying or not being efficient. However, whilst these tools can provide significant efficiencies to the copywriting process, the outputs they create are only as good as the inputs they are fed. Without significant editing the outputs tend to be generic and lack specificity and interest. Ask to see your partners AI policy around using AI and ask them to explain their processes and procedures.
How to Choose a White Paper or Thought Leadership Report Writer
When choosing a white paper or thought leadership report writer, it's important to look for someone who can help shape the concept, conduct research and interviews, analyze data, and not just write copy. Look for a content creator who has experience working on similar projects and can demonstrate a track record of delivering high-quality work.
In many cases creating high-value, professional B2B content will involves some form of data analysis, if not then the result can be little more than opinion and is unlikely to resonate with your target audience. A B2B content creation partner should have be able to analyse data such as surveys, market data or other sources and present those results in and present the findings in a way that is easily understandable. with compelling visualizations. A good content creation partner may be able to provide a range of data analysis services including web scraping and the development of personalized content.
In conclusion, choosing the right B2B content creation partner is critical to the success of your marketing efforts. Look for a partner who has industry experience, data analysis skills, and a track record of delivering high-quality work. Consider working with independent writers, researchers, or data analysts, as they often provide more control, input, and personalized content.
Why Interpretive Economics
And, of course, please consider Interpretive Economics as your content creation partner. We work with leading B2B companies in Singapore and around the world to create high-value content that resonates with their target audiences. With our unique methodology that draws on the field of economics and the tools used by economists to understand the world, we can help create market-leading content and thought leadership on the technological, economic and environmental trends impacting your customers.
We are experts at creating high-value content that combines data with thoughtful insights . We've successfully worked with a growing number of global Fintech, SaaS, Professional Services and Pharmaceutical leaders to create white papers, thought leadership reports, data-driven research, economic dashboards, education content, personalized reports and more. Check our our case studies here.
To find out more about how we can help solve your most complex content challenges - get in touch today!