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THE TRUE COST OF QUALITY CONTENT



One of the biggest reasons content marketing strategies fail is because businesses are reluctant to invest in quality content. The main reasons for this are a lack of resources and a lack of budget.
Another, quite common reason is marketers’ lack of instinct for good content, or simply misunderstanding the importance of quality content.
They’re often more excited about signing up for social media accounts and getting an app than they are about considering how they are going to populate those digital platforms, and whether users will enjoy or share the content.

The result is that the majority of content on the Web today is watered-down copies of another website’s original content, hastily curated bits from around the web, or has no regard for Google’s new search guidelines that demands quality content to be written by experts, have authority and be trustworthy.

Google aside, users are also regarding interactive, engaging and visual content as the preferred type of content they want to access over the Internet.

So the writing is on the wall – produce quality content or both Google and users will ignore you.

The Zeentree 2015 Content Marketing Survey encouragingly showed that almost a third of respondents were going to spend up to 50% of their digital marketing budget on content this year.

It’s an indication that businesses in the Middle East have started to acknowledge the importance of publishing consistent, quality content as part of their marketing strategies.

But how many of them have actually given thought to what that content that they’ll be marketing will be made up of, who is going to create it, and have they put budget aside for content creation?

We’ve discussed what quality content looks like, so let’s take a look at how it’s created and what it costs:

Who creates content?

  • A team of In-house multimedia journalists and writers
  • An agency that specialises in custom content creation, including multimedia and graphics
  • A pool of freelancers each with his or her own specialty (e.g. video journalist, graphic designer or writer)
  • Writer marketplaces that act as a middle-man between publishers and freelancer writers
  • Feeds and third party content providers

Each one of these has their pros and cons and which one (or more) you’ll go for depends on the size of your company, how convinced you are of its ROI, and their individual ‘built-in’ costs.

For instance, freelancers, especially specialist writers, graphic designers, videographers and multimedia journalists are costly, the quality of their work varies greatly, and they’re not always available. But you won’t have overheads or company costs.

Agencies’ structure ensure quality work is delivered on deadline, take time to understand your content marketing objectives and may assign dedicated teams or a single content creator to your project. Watch out for services bundled in with your package such as analytics, planning and promotion.

An inhouse team often requires significant investment to cover monthly salaries, company contributions, workspaces, etc, but the control is in your hands.

Writer marketplaces favour the employer who can drive down prices for content, but quality is not always guaranteed. Beware of ‘content farms’, though, where you may spend as much time on article revision as the writer does writing.

Feeds and third party content providers could provide a steady stream of new content to your site, but most of it will not be relevant to your business and you will be duplicating content that other users of the feed service also publish. Google will prefer the site with higher authority for the same piece of content.

What influences the cost of content?

  • The time needed to plan, create and market quality content
  • How much money you are willing to pay for individual pieces or bundles of content
  • How much content you need to publish monthly to get or stay ahead of your competition
  • The technology you’ll need to streamline the content production and publishing process
  • The quality of your content and the creators. Content farms are cheap; experts are expensive.

Many marketers still favour social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter as their distribution channels of choice. That’s fine, depending on their goals, but Social Media experts are there for a reason – it’s easier to get it wrong than to get it right and not investing in someone who understands social media content could cost your business dearly.

Finally, as the demand for quality, original content grows, both from Google and users, so should your commitment to deliver it be if you are to stand out and be found.

Do you need content?

Zeentree prides itself on getting content creation just right. We thoroughly understand the importance of quality content and expertly written text, and have an international team of highly experienced and qualified content creators ready to create content that amplifies your brand at the most competitive rates.  Our team of journalists have experience across multiple industries which ensures a high quality of writing across any sector – no matter how niche or technical it may be. Take a look at how Zeentree works, and contact us to discuss content packages today.

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