How to Make Content Creation Services Work for Your Agency
Content creation services have become a mainstay of agency offerings. And not just for full-service agencies. Specialized agencies that focus on website development, design, SEO, and digital advertising are also looking for ways to bring content creation services into the fold.
In many cases it’s an easy sell.
No matter what marketing services a client came to you for, you know that content is likely a priority for them. They want to generate organic search traffic and bring in visitors from social media. They want to become trusted authorities in their industries. And they want to increase both leads and revenue.
Delivering content and driving these results will help you boost retention rates while also encouraging clients to increase spending.
It’s a win-win situation for you and your clients.
But just because it’s a good idea to add content creation services to your offerings doesn’t mean it always goes smoothly. A few missteps can turn this lucrative opportunity into a low-margin source of frustration.
Maintain Margins on Content Creation Services
While you never want clients to churn, that’s just the nature of the agency business.
What you don’t want to see is a partnership fall apart because of unclear expectations. But this is exactly what happens when agencies take the wrong approach to pricing content creation services.
The world’s most successful agencies use a freelance writer model to approach content creation. Hiring in-house writers would be too inflexible to support fluctuating demands from clients. Outsourcing to freelancers gives you the flexibility to find expert writers for any client’s needs.
But this is where the pricing problem rears its head. Outsourcing the writing process creates an extra degree of separation in your client relationships. They outsourced marketing to you and agreed to a specific pricing structure. And now you’re left to find ways to fit freelance content writing into that budget—without destroying the margins on your services.
How do you do this? By making sure that content isn’t priced in a vacuum.
When Content Pricing Hurts Your Margins
At the start of a new partnership, treating content creation as a standalone service may seem like a good idea.
The relationship is focused primarily on more upscale services like web design and technical SEO. You bring in the content offerings as a bonus that can boost profits for your agency.
But it doesn’t take long for that standalone model to falter. Two different pricing mistakes are often to blame.
The Flat Fee Model
For the sake of simplicity, niche agencies may offer a flat fee for content creation. It’s a side offering meant for more sporadic needs—not worth bogging the relationship down with additional negotiations and agreements. Except things start falling apart when you compare services between clients.
A highly technical client that needs a handful of white papers will take up significantly more time and money than an e-commerce client that requires a few blog posts per month. Those resource-intensive clients will kill the margins on your flat-fee content services.
The On-Demand Model
When clients only want a few pieces of content (or even just one piece of content) to get the ball rolling, you may just offer the service a la carte.
Say you agree to the price of $500 for a blog post. How much money do you give a freelancer to write the article? When subject matter expertise is a necessity, you can’t afford to deliver a budget-friendly blog post with a luxury-level price tag. Your client will notice, and the partnership will fall apart.
Pricing for High Quality, Results-Oriented Content
The way to maintain great margins on content creation services is to price according to the results you’re going to drive.
That means getting away from a model that simply delivers individual pieces of content in a vacuum.
When your content creation services revolve around results (Page 1 search rankings, lead gen goals, conversions, etc.), you’re able to charge a premium. Instead of finding a freelancer who can get the job done for the lowest possible price and coming up with the optimal margin, you roll all kinds of services into the mix.
- Strategic ideation for a client’s specific target audience
- Keyword research and SEO
- Research processes that include SME interviews
- Distribution that drives the right people to the content
- Analytics that prove the success of content creation services
Packaging your content creation services this way will keep you out of the low-margin business. Instead, you can invest in higher quality freelance writers without worrying that you aren’t making money on the deal.
Sourcing Freelance Writers for High-Margin Services
The agency business is tough. Even if you’re a master of client satisfaction, churn is a fact of life. You have to do everything you can to minimize turnover.
And at the same time, you’re under pressure to maximize margins at every turn. Taking a shortcut and delivering cheap content for high prices will only hurt your agency in the long run.
Once you’ve packaged your content creation services properly, your next step is to build a team of writers who will execute your strategic vision for each client.
Sourcing high-quality freelance writers isn’t just about budget. More money doesn’t always equal better service. To get the most out of freelance writers, you need to find the perfect balance between subject matter expertise, writing style, budget, and availability.
That’s where we come in. Reach out if you need help finding the right writers for your clients. Or, do some searching through our network of freelancers and find the experts you need.