While creating content is essential for the business, more agencies are outsourcing their content needs as the work becomes more challenging.
Content creation agency Verblio surveyed more than 400 content marketers across agencies, freelance and in-house to get insights on the state of digital content in 2022. The results showed 71% of in-house marketers and 68% of agencies are outsourcing their content needs to freelancers. They also reported that the most effective type of content for driving results seems to be blog posts.
However, marketers said some of the top content challenges they faced included limited resources, a lack of industry knowledge and the need to manage client expectations. Content can serve as a way to provide measurable outcomes to clients. Bill Durrant, managing director of Exverus Media, added that affiliate-type content is what makes agencies a “true business partner” with a publisher or influencer.
“Critically, it means a direct line of sight to trackable sales, which keeps the CFO and CEO happy,” Durrant told Digiday. “With many performance channels, we do not have the chance to tell a deeper story about a brand or product, so they benefit from deeper, custom content complementing their media mix.”
Additionally, one-fourth of agencies said that more than half their income comes from content creation, according to Verblio.
Increasingly, as the research notes, marketers have found a solution in acquiring help from freelancers and content marketplaces that generate content in their respective fields, whether that’s in real estate or information technology or other topics.
“Content is the reason people visit websites,” Andy Crestodina, co-founder and CMO of Orbit Media Studies, said in the report. “Clients eventually figure this out and moments later, discover the limits of an all in-house team. This research shows that all but the biggest companies need help. And the best agencies are there for them.”
Other highlights include:
- Some 75% of agencies are getting help from either freelancers or content marketplaces, with 54% of those working exclusively with freelancers.
- Another 21% of agencies said content creation accounts for more than three-quarters of their revenue. The majority (67%) of these have more than 10 employees, so this is the case for larger agencies.
- In terms of volume, 41% of agencies are producing five to 14 pieces of content per month, while 39% are producing one to four pieces per month. But as Crestodina noted in the study, “for most clients, results will be flat. Unless you have data to support the more-is-better case, you’re probably better off publishing fewer, better pieces…”
- Blog posts and landing pages continue to lead the way for a successful content strategy, as Verblio noted in 2021. Social media and email newsletters were the most effective channels for distributing content.
- Most content marketers are evaluating their content quality on engagement (41%), such as clicks and time spent on a page, and conversions (29%), such as filling out forms. Another 15% of marketers said qualitative data is the best measure of quality content.
- Content teams sit in various places across the organization – 38% are in the growth team, 29% are in-house creative agency side and 17% are with the brand team.
- The biggest bottlenecks to successful content strategy were industry and audience knowledge (28%), managing client expectations (24%) and not enough resources (20%).
- The demand for content is only rising, with 86% of agencies agreeing that there is an increasing need, and the majority of them are still investing in content marketing in the long run.
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Author: Ashley Biancuzzo, Associate Editor
Ashley is a professional writer and editor with a strong background in tech and pop culture. She has written for high traffic websites such as Polygon, Kotaku, StarWars.com, and Nerdist. In her off time, she enjoys playing video games, reading science fiction novels, and hanging out with her rescue greyhound.
Tesla finally delivers its first production Semi
Five years after CEO Elon Musk officially unveiled his Semi, Tesla’s electrified tractor trailer, the company delivered its first official production vehicle to Pepsi on Thursday during its “Semi Delivery Event” held at Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory. The beverage maker has ordered 100 of the vehicles in total.
First shown off in 2017, the Tesla Semi originally was set to retail for $150,000 and $180,000 for the 300- and 500-mile versions, respectively. Those prices are significantly higher than the $60k a standard diesel cab runs but Tesla estimates that its vehicles can operate 20 percent more efficiently (2kWh per mile, Musk revealed Thursday), and save up to $250,000 over the million-mile life of the Semi.
Each rig is “designed like a bullet,” Musk said at the vehicle’s unveiling, and would come equipped with a massive 1MW battery pack. This reportedly offers a 20-second 0-60, which is impressive given that these vehicles are towing up to 80,000 pounds at a time, and a spent-to-80 percent charge time of just 30 minutes. The Semis are also outfitted with Enhanced Autopilot capabilities, as well as jackknife-mitigation systems, blind-spot sensors and data-logging for fleet management.
As reservations opened in 2017, Musk said at the time, deliveries would begin two short years later, in 2019. By April 2020, Tesla had officially pushed that delivery date back to 2021, citing production delays and supply chain issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, just two months after that, in May of 2020, Musk sent a company-wide email reading, “It’s time to go all out and bring the Tesla Semi to volume production. It’s been in limited production so far, which has allowed us to improve many aspects of the design,” as seen by CNBC. In the same email he confirmed that production would take place in Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory.
Cut to July, 2021, and the new delivery date has been pushed again, this time to 2022, citing both the ongoing global processor shortage and its own pandemic-limited battery production capability for the new 4680 style cells as contributing factors.
“We believe we remain on track to build our first Model Y vehicles in Berlin and Austin in 2021,” Musk said during the company’s Q2, 2021 investor call. “The pace of the respective production ramps will be influenced by the successful introduction of many new product and manufacturing technologies, ongoing supply-chain-related challenges and regional permitting.”
“To better focus on these factories, and due to the limited availability of battery cells and global supply chain challenges, we have shifted the launch of the Semi truck program to 2022,” he continued. Beginning in May of this year, Tesla started actively taking reservations again for a $20,000 deposit. “And first deliveries are now,” Musk said on Thursday before welcoming Kirk Tanner, CEO PepsiCo Beverages North America, and Steven Williams, CEO PepsiCo Foods North America, on stage for high fives and handshakes.
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