In 2021, you don’t have to be a Gen-Z influencer on Instagram to try your hand at digital marketing. When at least 97% of your qualified customers are online, honing in on an effective online marketing strategy can be the springboard that propels your company’s growth to exciting new heights.
As with any strong online marketing strategy, producing high-quality copy is an essential part of the process. But when it comes to creating compelling, creative copy that tells your brand’s story in the right voice to the right market, it can be hard to know where to start—and whom to trust.
Do you hire an in-house copywriting team, one that will be only a walk-down-the-hallway away when you want a progress check or have a new campaign idea? Or a cohort of freelancers: hiring copywriters on a case-by-case basis that will deliver on deadline?
While both of these options seem concrete at first glance, there’s much to consider when hiring copywriters and handing them the keys to your brand’s kingdom.
Hiring copywriters in-house can lack capacity and capability (in part)
Of course, there’s a great deal of value in having in-house writers: they know how to channel your brand voice—and they’re vested in developing important internal relationships. A good hire will plant their seed and grow within your company. But this scenario might not always be the wrapped-neatly-and-tied-with-a-bow execution you’d wish.
For one thing, your in-house wordsmiths might not always have the bandwidth to tackle every project thrown their way. An online marketing strategy includes email blasts that have to go out on Monday, blog posts scheduled for Tuesday—and, oh wait, some thought leadership that your in-house subject matter experts (SMEs) are chomping at the bit to get written!
When your in-house team is riddled with competing priorities, including the demands of other internal departments, they’ll often push important, growth-inducing deliverables to simmer on the backburner.
Additionally, your in-house team might be limited in their skills and perspectives. Can the writers you hired for their savvy blog post writing or click-worthy social posts also effectively deliver, say, a new piece of sales collateral or an in-depth case study?
If not, then consider outsourcing any content outside your team’s wheelhouse to a more versatile agency like MarketSmiths. This way, you ensure that all of your brand’s copy is high-minded, high-quality, and high-converting.
Writing marketing content also means walking a mile in your prospective clients’ shoes. Sometimes, an in-house writer can be too deep inside the house to know what an outsider wants; they might forget that prospects reading your blog posts don’t necessarily understand industry-specific jargon or need to know every last painstaking detail of your product or service. Agencies, on the other hand, have the arms-length perspective to engage potential customers with powerful stories that are just relatable and intriguing enough to win conversions.
Freelance writers aren’t always reliable—or available
You may not have the volume of work or budget to justify a full-time copywriter. Fair enough! Hiring a 1099 copywriter—or a freelancer—to write content for particular projects is a potentially solid alternative: someone who is eager to write compelling narratives, bend to your brand’s voice, and deliver on deadline.
But while you know what you want from your newly-contracted employee, it’s difficult to pick out the high-quality candidates swimming in the wide pool of freelancers. You might believe you’ve found your perfect person—they were professional over the phone, sent you impressive writing samples, and they don’t overcharge. But when it comes to the nitty-gritty of actually working together, it turns out they’re not all that.
Perhaps they lack familiarity with your industry: it takes them longer than you feel is warranted to talk to the right people, do the research, and deliver.
Worse: they deliver sloppy work that misses the mark with your internal stakeholders (all the more embarrassing if you were the one that brought them in). Some copywriters lack attention to detail; veering off-topic or off-strategy; still others miss deadlines; fly in the face of your branding guidelines; fall off the map with two sections of an ebook, or a round of revisions, left to go. Some don’t get it—they write at the surface, perhaps literally, without verve or pep or zing.
These sound extreme, but our sales reps hear stories like this from companies every single day.
Before we put this topic to bed, let’s be optimistic! Say you landed a fabulous freelancer (they’re definitely out there!). They can write humanized, engaging B2B copy and content. They know the nuances of your brand. And they get those crucial insights, details, and deadlines just right.
That raises the issue of availability. What do you do when the copywriter you rely on simply can’t show up—and it’s their prerogative not to?
I mean, as someone that’s not on payroll, your writer can legitimately jet off to Machu Picchu, or decide to spend all of May in Mallorca or Thailand (speaking from the receiving end of this experience!). They can take a job with their other client (sticking around to finish up your project, of course). Or they can get justifiably overloaded—putting you on a waitlist or pushing off existing assignments, which can quickly tank your momentum and make you feel a little bit helpless.
Misaligned skills. Inadequate work. Insufficient availability. If one of these happens to you, you’ll be back at square one, having to invest time, effort, and budget into wasteful new vetting, expensive repeat onboarding…and a dismal sense of never being able to catch up.
The best of two worlds
Okay. You know we’re leading to the big sell. MarketSmiths sits at the intersection of these two camps, delivering reliable quality and convenient flexibility. We’re a versatile team of writers—thoroughly vetted and rigorously tested to ensure tip-top results—writing compelling copy and engaging stories that will captivate your audience and close sales. We take the time to understand your brand’s needs, working with you to produce industry-leading blog posts, ebooks, product descriptions, brand guides, website copy, case studies, and more across countless industries—and we never miss a deadline.
If you’re looking for a high-quality content solution that will drive your brand’s growth (and that will never leave you hanging in favor of a beach vacation), the MarketSmiths team would be thrilled to work with you.