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Why paying for unique website content is worth it

Why paying for unique website content is worth it

Is unique website content worth it? Yes. As a company that specialises in creating exactly that, we’re prepared to go out on a limb and give you an early affirmative on that question. But let’s take a look at why we think this.

Why is it worth paying for unique website content?

Let’s break the answer down into three parts:

  • Why it’s worth paying.
  • Why it’s worth paying for content.
  • Why it’s worth paying for content that’s unique.

In this article - why it's worth paying

Why it’s worth paying

A quick point here. This article isn’t just us saying you should pay an agency to create your content. That would be a little self-serving – and in fact, if you have the inhouse resource to create what you need, then you should certainly use it. The point here is simply that creating unique content will always cost something.

Whether that’s the opportunity cost of having existing staff spend time on the work, the cost of hiring an internal expert, or the cost of outsourcing to an agency or a freelancer, good website content will always take some investment – and that’s appropriate. You should always give content creation the time that it deserves, because, done properly, it can become a core part of your marketing efforts.

Why it’s worth paying for content

Okay, with that said, let’s look at some of the benefits of paying to create website content, before we move on to why it must be unique. Here are five reasons.

1. You own the conversation

Sure, user-generated content may have been all the rage a few years ago, but for brands that want be seen as the authority in their space – and have control over their story – then creating unique website content is a must.

For a best-in-show B2B example think of the way PricewaterhouseCoopers publishes research. Its website is home to free-to-access, high-quality, thought-provoking content that demonstrates the firm’s expertise. And they’re not using it to drive a hard sell. Instead each report is eagerly picked up by journalists who write articles citing this-or-that PWC finding, such that we’ve all come to associate expertise in virtually any business field with the giant accounting and consulting firm…

Job done.

That’s obviously out of the range of most marketing manager budgets. But for a more modest, yet still impactful, example from the B2C world, take a look at pet-food maker Purina’s puppy information site. Putting aside the sheer cuteness factor, it’s hard not to admire their approach – you could draw a Venn diagram with ‘authority’, ‘trust’ and ‘brand affinity’ on it, and Purina’s puppy-hub would be right where those circles overlap.

Naturally, each of the articles on that site will draw in relevant users organically via search engines, and by pushing that content out into the social space Purina will also be able to keep the conversation going, and in an environment that’s all about them.

That’s a lot of marketing bang for what’s essentially some unique, quality content collected in a space that looks nice – which is something well within the capability of most brands.

2. Unlike advertising, content improves with time

Yup – like fine wine, French cheese, and the Michael Jackson popcorn gif, quality content gets better with age.

As opposed to advertising, which vanishes the moment your budget dries up, an informative article published today will still be attracting organic traffic a year and more down the track.

In fact it’s likely to become more effective by then. Quality content attracts inbound links – aka off-page SEO – as people read your material and refer to it from their own sites, or post it on social media. This has a big effect on your own website’s domain authority – i.e. the likelihood that it will be found in search – but that effect takes time. Moz SEO expert Kristina Kledzik says it takes about 10 weeks for a link to lift your position on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP), and adds that an active link-building campaign generally sees the best returns after 6 months to a year.

The short story? Future you will thank you for posting content now (especially if future you might get their budget cut).

3. Content’s ROI is compounding

This one is related to the point above. Yes, content keeps working for you even when you pause your marketing activities. And yes, good content improves with age – but there are also compounding benefits to a content campaign.

What do we mean? Basically, regularly posting quality content becomes more valuable the more you do it. Here’s how:

  1. Creating regular content with a coherent keyword strategy behind it builds a picture for Google of what your site’s about, making future articles on those subjects rank even higher.
  2. Adding internal links between your posts moves readers around your site, boosting engagement metrics, which further improves how your site performs.
  3. Regularity of posting is itself yet another contributor to domain authority.
  4. And finally, having a track record of good content on your site builds your authority in the eyes of your audience. Would you hire a consultant whose last blog post was 2012, or one that steadily published insightful work?

All those reasons are by way of saying that quality content becomes more cost-effective the more you do it.

4. Your customers have become ‘adlergic’

According to a 2017 global survey by Deloitte the use of ad-blocking technology is now rife. More than 75 per cent of North Americans now use some form of ad-blocking software, and around ten per cent are what Deloitte snappily call ‘adlergic’ – using the technology to block ads across “four or more types of traditional and digital media channels, most of the time”.

Interestingly, the more valuable the customer, the more likely they were to block advertising: in all countries Deloitte found that people with higher incomes and more education were between 200 and 400 per cent more likely to block ads compared to those on lower incomes.

And website content isn’t advertising. It neatly skirts the ad-blocking trend – which is a powerful reason to invest in quality original website content as a way to engage your customers.

5. Modern customers want more touchpoints

B2B marketers in particular know that big-ticket sales don’t happen right away: nobody searches “What enterprise software package should I use” then clicks “buy now”. Instead careful research goes into most major investments – and thanks to their ability to track customer activity, marketing specialists can now quantify that behaviour.

According to Demand Gen Report statistics cited by Hubspot, 47 per cent of buyers will view between three and five pieces of content before they engage with a sales rep.

Outtake: You need multiple kinds of content that potential customers can engage with in a non-salesy way. The people who will end up buying from you are going to do their research – and that can include everything from the details of your products and the expertise of you staff, right down to your workplace culture or the sustainability of your supply chain.

Why it’s worth paying for unique content…

Okay, as you can tell from the above, we think quality content is one of the smartest ways to move people through your sales and marketing funnel, right down to the point of purchase (and even beyond, to advocacy). So let’s wrap up with a couple of pointers on uniqueness.

As elegantly explained in this Moz Whiteboard Friday video, your website content needs to be unique in two different and important ways.

One-of-a-kind content

The first, is that it needs to be unique as in ‘not-copied’. Stuffing your website with content that has appeared elsewhere is going to negatively affect how your site performs. You don’t need to worry unduly about reproducing part of a press release if you’re adding value to it in some way, or even posting the same news article to different sections of your site. But if your idea of quality content is using other people’s posts and spinning the text by replacing a few words here and there, then you can kiss your site rankings goodbye.

By contrast, the ideal in Google’s eyes is a website where the words in the main content are original – as in created for the first time in that particular order and way.

One-of-a-kind value

That, however, doesn’t mean the content has unique value (which Rand Fishkin explains well in the clip above). Something can be unique, as in composed originally and not identical to other material, but if it’s just another version of something that can be had elsewhere, then it’ll be less valuable to your audience. Think of those blogs you see about the “Top 5 phone photography tips” and so on – sure they’re ‘not-copied’, but the value in them certainly ain’t unique.

Now go forth and create…

So there you have it: content can be a powerful asset in your marketing endeavours, so long as you invest sufficient time and skill in its creation, and it is both one-of-a-kind and uniquely useful to your audience. As we sincerely hope this article has been.

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Greg Roughan
Greg Roughan About the author

Castleford’s Editor, Greg has a passion for popular science writing and is an occasional contributor to Radio New Zealand, where he writes on sustainability. He works on high subject matter expertise accounts at Castleford, is an occasional contributor to the blog, and writes for the artificial intelligence conversational marketing client Stackchat.

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