Do you remember when 5-minute crafts was all the rage?
If you tried it, you will probably remember the pointless hacks and horrid set design. And if you were lucky enough to avoid it, all you need to know is that Vox described it as "do-it-yourself-how-to's that no person could or should ever replicate." Enough said.
Essentially, hiring a generic writer to write a specialized article is the equivalent of following a 5-minute craft tutorial. A toilet roll taped to your foot could double as footwear, but the question remains, WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT WHEN YOU COULD JUST BUY SHOES? Sure, both generic writers and toilet rolls are easily available, cheaper, and would make do, but wouldn’t you want your business to do better than just make do?
Reconsider who gets to write your content. In the B2B tech world, content is king, and it deserves to be treated as such. Here are some of the factors why you should consider hiring a specialized writer.
Save costs in the long run
The most obvious reason someone would hire a generalist writer is to save on cost. And sometimes, you just don’t want to spend a fortune on a blog post for a generic marketing topic. After all, what could a specialized writer possibly offer that a generalist couldn’t find out after reading a few blog posts on the subject matter?
But let's take a look at the stats.
An average B2B tech blog takes about four hours to write. In the limited time that a writer can afford to spend on your blog, they're only going to be able to research so much. A generalist may write about how a personalized subject line can up your open rates or even how to personalize subject lines, but would they know about Gated and how it has changed the email marketing world?
When keeping up with an industry’s trends isn’t their job, they’re most likely to not do it. And why should they? You're only paying them for their words. But when you hire a specialized writer, you’re not just paying them for the number of words they are going to deliver, but awareness of the competitive landscape and understanding of the technology that they bring with them.
Maintain consistency and positioning
Imagine a prospect who wants to buy your product, is the key decision-maker, doesn't need follow-up emails to convince them to buy, and is happy to give you feedback.
Now imagine they were to visit your website today. Do your blog posts tell a consistent story? Is it clear to who each of them is targeted? Is the customer journey for this amazing prospect aided by your content, or does it confuse them?
Consistency plays a huge role in your content marketing strategy and ultimately, your business. Furthermore, it isn’t limited to an established tone of voice or a few related blog titles. Unless your blogs are written by specialized writers who understand the space you operate in, are comfortable with the terminology, can effectively analyze your competitors, and relate to your buyers, your content strategy isn’t going to work.
Someone that doesn’t specialize in your niche will not understand your positioning and would not be able to communicate it efficiently, irrespective of how good they are at what they do. It’s that simple.
Drive higher ROI
Marketing in B2B tech is hard enough with all the complicated sales cycles, TOFU-MOFU-BOFU madness, and the cripplingly short attention spans (down to 8 seconds). Add corporate hierarchy and the insane conversion rates to the mix and that’s how you create a riot. In fact, the chances of you dying on your birthday, getting into a car accident before turning 34, and being called on “The Price Is Right” are all higher than the average conversion rate in B2B tech. Worse news? You’re significantly more likely to get away with murder than convert a prospect.
You’re significantly more likely to get away with murder than convert a prospect.
In B2B, sales reps have always played the hero, but recent studies show that 28% of B2B buyers don’t want to consult a vendor representative throughout their purchase decision and over 57% don’t get in touch with a vendor representative at all. Your audience wants to discover you organically, and that’s only going to happen through a strong SEO strategy and interesting content.
74% of companies indicate that content marketing is increasing their marketing teams’ lead quality and quantity. For marketing that has proven to be this effective, why would you risk putting out sub-par content?
Your content is usually the first point of contact for your audience; and unclear, scrappy, and confused copy and content is the sure-shot way to get low-quality leads that just don’t convert. Moreover, in an industry where the churn rate is already pretty high, unreliable and misleading content is only bound to increase it.
Establish and maintain a higher quality of content and copy
“Quality of content” is rated the #1 most important success factor among all bloggers. The number one reason any business also wants to hire the perfect writer is to establish and uphold quality. (And better ROI of course, but let’s take one thing at a time).
Even if a generalist writer understands the principles of writing good generic copy and content, they will not know your audience and what clicks with them. Someone writing for B2B tech cannot write for assisted healthcare and welding and event planning - the breadth of knowledge required and effort to keep up with trends is just too time-consuming to make this realistic.
B2B tech isn’t a straightforward, easy industry to break into. You can’t get away with writing argle-bargle because your customers are looking to spend a fortune (at least a fortune to them) on your product.
72% of marketers say content marketing increases engagement. But what sort of engagement would it be if the content is sub-par and doesn’t accurately represent your business? In the end, it all boils down to quality. If you want quality content that is consistent and drives results, you should invest in a niche writer.
Help save time as a resource
If you’re hiring a non-specialized writer, chances are, your business is short on time or money, or both. If you’re someone who has worked in content or even been around content marketers, you’ll have a basic idea of how the process goes. The process looks something like this:
Plan --> Research --> SEO --> Outline --> Create --> Get feedback and revise --> Publish
After all the in-house content work is done, your writer is given a brief to work with, that they are responsible for turning into content, followed by feedback and revisions (one or multiple depending on complexity and quality), followed by them submitting the final draft to you that you are free to publish.
If you have a content calendar in place, you will have to publish content regularly, which means you have deadlines to meet. If the brief is too complicated, you will have to elaborate on the brief, will have to give out headings with explanations, include relevant links, include industry jargon to be used in the content, and set the stage for them. After the first draft, you’re most likely to send the edits, usually long, complicated ones with even more complicated explanations because the brief was too unclear for them to begin with. This way, a blog that should take about a week to ship, would take a month. Let’s not even talk about website copy or white papers.
In a fast-moving and dynamic industry, you simply do not have this sort of time to simply wait around. These extra weeks will add up costing you a lot more than what you saved by not hiring writers in your niche.
Pros and cons of hiring a specialized writer vs a generic one
To summarize, in complex, dynamic industries like B2B tech, it’s best to work with writers who specialize in your niche. It may seem like a huge investment at first, but the payoff is almost always worth it. However, if you have a writer on your radar that sounds like the perfect fit but doesn’t specialize in your niche, ask them if they’d be open to learning on the job. At the end of the day, skills are transferable and if they are willing to put time and effort into this, you can make it work. Just make sure they’re in for the long run and you have ample time on your hand to train them.
Here are some more hiring tips: Seven things to look out for when hiring a B2B tech copywriter
Looking for writers specialized in B2B tech?
If you’re on the lookout for a B2B tech content writer who can help you transform your content strategy, you’re in the right place. Even the best marketing teams can use an outsider's perspective on how to align their content marketing efforts to maximize revenue, and if that sounds like you, get in touch here.