Our second Idea Chats Series post is brought to you by Christopher Travers. In this series we’ll be sharing findings on problems we’re currently exploring. Each post will follow a similar format: 1) what exists today (if any), 2) what are the problems with it, 3) what does the future look like?
Companies create multiple blogs per month to build reputation as thought leaders, rank higher in search engines, and, ultimately, boost inbound leads. As you may already know, this practice is called content marketing. While more and more businesses compete on the content marketing front, the demand for higher quality content continues to grow and grow. Content marketers are forced to get more informative, detailed, and "real" in order to compete and retain the attention of readers like you.
A demand for higher quality content directly correlates with an increase in the time it takes content marketers to research, write, edit, and publish each new blog. I call this the Time To Post (TTP).
The industry average TTP was 3 hours and 20 minutes in 2017, and it's rising year over year. That being said, marketers will not be able to create as much content as before under the same time constraints. However, assuming a marketer's attention to quality rather than quantity proves worthwhile, they should increase the average number of inbound leads generated per blog.
"Let's outsource it." - Content marketers
The costly alternative to focusing on increasing blog quality would be to hire more writers, be that freelancers, interns, or even full-time content marketing hires. 52% of marketers report having outsourced a blog to a freelance writer in the last year (up from previous years). This enables a team to boost the "number of blogs per month" metric without sacrificing time.
Outsourcing writing may fill a company's social feeds and fuel the inbound leads metric. However, the content produced will be weak fluff unless the outsourced writer has intimate experience (like you) to back up their writing. Outsourcing comes at a direct cost, too, that will cut into the marketing budget.
A BETTER SOLUTION
Marketers are struggling to produce worthy content that pays off without committing additional time. Content marketers face the growing need to create higher quality, worthy content as fast as possible.
To learn more about the core of the TTP problem, I spoke with a range of experienced content marketers ranging from Lauren Patrick (Director of Marketing at Bark) to agency owners like Asia Matos of DemandMaven.
I see a considerable opportunity for a new SaaS company to break down the blog writing process into simple steps, identify which ones take the most time (and for what reason), then attack each one with a highly-optimized, in-house tool designed for speed. It works sort of like an Ironman suit for content marketers. A company that beautifully empowers marketers to shave hours off the TTP will enjoy impressive customer retention, as the marketers would become dependent on the solution to maintain their now-drastically improved inbound lead metric (or other key success metric spawning from writing blogs).
To learn more about how this problem affects content marketers, I built an MVP aggregation of the tools I unearthed during my research and customer discovery process:
You can check out WritKit featured here on Product Hunt today. The gist is as simple as the previous paragraph: give content marketers aggregate access to the tools they need to write efficiently, thus reducing TTP. That's it.
Just one question remains: Is the pursuit of lower TTP an opportunity that truly needs solving in the next 5 years? 🤔