Why You Can’t Order Content Off the Value Menu

Justin Lambert

Written by Justin Lambert on Wed, Jul 29, 2015

Too many content marketing agencies are advertising filet mignon and serving up Big Macs. Your audience is not made up of fast food junkies. In fact, they hate fast food content. Get out of the drive through lane and start enjoying the delectable flavor of custom content that's worth what you're paying.

“Thank you for visiting Global Content, Inc. Would you like to try our Super Cheesy PPC Ads today?”
Hmm… Not today. I’ll have two weekly blog posts with everything… a small social media audit – actually, better make that a large – and a diet white paper.”
“And would you like SEO with that, sir?”
“Yeah, better throw that in too, thanks.”
“$399.99. Please drive around to the second window.”

4425453709_1f0ae52fee_oIf that’s what it feels like when you’re discussing your next quarter’s content marketing plans with the agency you’re considering, run away fast.

It’s all too common these days to find reputable-sounding content marketing agencies that handle their services like a fast food joint: it’s all about volume, every customer gets the same cookie-cutter packages, and quality is an afterthought.

Sure, it may be cheaper up front, and it may even taste good for a while, but in the end it leaves you feeling rotten.

Here’s why the fast food mentality simply doesn’t work for content marketing agencies:

No two customers are exactly alike.

Customers that walk into McDonald’s all know exactly what they’re going to get when they place their order. No matter where you are in the country, what time of day it is, or who’s working behind the counter, you know exactly what’s coming when you order a Big Mac.

For fast food, that’s both a convenience and a comfort. There are no surprises, and it’s super simple to place your order and get what you want fast and (arguably) fresh.

But customers seeking help from a content marketing agency aren’t going to benefit from the same experience. No two customers are alike. Every single business is looking to differentiate themselves in a crowded sea of competition, and content is a key factor in making that possible. So there’s no way they should be satisfied with essentially the same exact set of services as the last customer in line.

Instead, a quality content marketing agency is going to treat every customer as a brand new experience with different buyer personas to discover, different needs to be filled, and different tactics to be part of the experiment.

Quantity is important, but it’s not the top priority.

Let’s be honest. When we grab a Super Size Quarter Pounder meal, it’s the ultimate quantity-over-quality decision. It may taste great, but it’s not filet mignon and caviar.

And sometimes, quantity is important. That’s the case in content marketing too. If you hope to stand out amid all the noise online today, you’re going to have to producing a significant quantity of content on a consistent basis. That’s one of the main reasons companies end up coming to agencies to begin with: their content development services make it possible to create the volume needed without overtaxing the internal team.

But, unlike the occasional fast food meal on the run, there’s really never a good reason to produce content just to push it out there and keep the volume high.

In fact, producing junk content just to fill up your editorial calendar would be like offering a Quarter Pounder to a customer who ordered a steak: it’s not a valid replacement, it’s insulting, and it’s going to lose you business.

Custom, quality content will always rule.

As a business struggling to remain relevant and capture the interest of your audience, you need a consistent supply of exceptional content that’s made to order for your specific prospects and customers, and that has the “nutritional value” you can only get from quality ingredients.

This is what you’ll get from a content marketing agency that focuses on quality, custom content rather than high volumes of something less impressive.

At SPROUT Content, we’re proud to buck the system that’s commoditized content creation for so long: we’ve built a team of full-time, in-house content developers and managers that work together continually to craft unique, compelling content strategies for every one of our valued clients. Rather than farming out content creation to the lowest-cost option (and ending up with junk food), we pay more and expect more.

If you’d like to pull out of the drive-through lane and start working with a premier content marketing agency, we’d love to welcome you to the table.

Photo credit: Link576 via Flickr.

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