Stock vs. Custom Content: Which Do You Need?

Stock vs. Custom Content: Which Do You Need?

Stock vs. custom content – which one is right for your firm? The answer isn’t as simple as you might think. When it comes to accountant content marketing, both can help you reach your goals. However, it’s important to have realistic expectations for each type of content and to understand the benefits and drawbacks of each one.

Stock Content – The Pros and Cons

Most people are familiar with stock photography. You can purchase a license to use a stock photo, but you don’t have exclusive rights to it. Other people can also purchase a license and use that photo on their blog or elsewhere.

Stock content is similar in nature. You simply purchase the right to use it, and others can do the same. In many cases, you can also edit or modify the content as you see fit, but not always. 

Because stock content isn’t exclusive or tailored to your brand, it’s generally less expensive than custom content. 

There’s a place for stock content in any content marketing strategy, but it’s important to understand its advantages and drawbacks. 

Pros

It’s Cost-Effective 

Compared to custom content, stock is the more cost-effective option. In many cases, stock content can be less than half the cost of custom content creation.

Stock content is a great alternative if you can’t quite fit custom content into your marketing budget.  

It’s Quick

Stock content is already created and ready for purchase. Once you buy it, you’re free to publish it on your site immediately. There’s no planning, research or waiting for a content team to produce your content.

If you’re looking to build up your blog, LinkedIn, YouTube channel or even your social media account, stock is a quick and simple solution that will save you time.

It Can Still Be Effective

Many people are under the impression that stock content isn’t useful, but it can be effective. When you work with the right person, you can get your message across and educate your prospects.

If custom content doesn’t fit your budget, stock is better than nothing. Stock content can also be used alongside custom content to reach your content marketing goals. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. The two can work together to inform and drive traffic. 

It’s Not Always Obvious

Many firms are hesitant to use stock content because they’re concerned that it will be obvious. But there’s a good chance that people won’t even notice that it’s stock content. 

Other people in your industry may notice that your content is stock, but will your followers or prospects? Probably not. 

When considering stock content, think about other people who may be purchasing it.

  • Do they have the same followers on social media?
  • Do they have the same newsletter subscribers?
  • What about website visitors? Are they targeting the same people?

If you’re not reaching the same people, then your prospective clients likely won’t even notice that it’s stock content. 

Cons

The Voice May Not Be Aligned With Yours

Stock content isn’t created specifically for your brand, so the voice may not match yours. If you have a very specific tone or way you like to communicate your message, stock content may not work well for you. 

Stock Social Media Content is Not Branded 

Stock social media content can help ensure that you’re posting consistently and engaging with your audience. But it’s important to remember that this content is not branded. It may not match your tone, and it may not be aligned with your values.

Stock Blog Content Won’t Work Well for SEO

Generally, stock blog content isn’t ideal for SEO purposes. Other people are using the same content, so search engines (like Google) see it on multiple other websites. Google prefers original content, so using stock content likely won’t boost your rankings.

Custom Content – The Pros and Cons

Custom content is created exclusively for your brand, which means that it:

  • Matches your voice
  • Addresses your prospects pain points
  • Is tailor-made for your audience

A lot of research and planning goes into custom content to ensure that it’s relevant to your audience and whatever stage they are in the buying journey.

While there are many advantages to custom content, some disadvantages should also be considered. Let’s look at both pros and cons.

Pros

It Can Be Ghostwritten

Custom content doesn’t have to be created by you. Written content, like blog posts, social media posts and even eBooks, can be ghostwritten to save you time. 

Ghostwritten content can be published under your name and/or brand. 

It’s On-Brand

With proper planning and research, custom content will sound, look and feel like your brand. Whether it’s a blog post, social media content or a post for LinkedIn, your content will be on-brand and relevant to your audience.

It Communicates Exactly What You Want

In some cases, custom content can be more effective than stock content. You can communicate exactly what you want because it’s made with your audience and brand in mind. 

Custom content can be effective for:

Stock content can also be effective for these purposes, but custom options do have a slight advantage because they are tailor-made for your brand and unique. 

It Offers SEO Benefits

One clear advantage of custom content is the SEO benefits. Stock blog posts are generally viewed as duplicate content by Google and other search engines, so they won’t do much to improve your rankings.

Custom content, on the other hand, is unique (at least it should be!). It’s also enriched with targeted keywords that may help improve your rankings. 

You’re in Complete Control

With custom content, you call the shots. You’re in complete control of the topics you cover, and  you can also ensure that your content is aligned with your:

  • Brand
  • Views
  • Voice
  • Vision

You’re in the driver’s seat, which makes it easier to reach your goals and move in the direction you want to go with your content marketing strategy.

Cons

Custom Content Requires More Resources 

The more obvious drawback of custom content is that it requires more resources to create. If you’re writing it yourself, it takes more time. If you’re hiring someone else to make your content, it’s more costly than stock content.

For many businesses, their budget is usually the determining factor in whether they choose stock or custom content (or a mix of both).

Consistency Can be Challenging

Consistency is crucial with content marketing. It can be challenging to reach this goal with custom content because of the time and cost investment involved, especially if you’re creating the content yourself. You say you’ll get to writing that blog post, but never actually do. 

Final Thoughts

Stock and custom content both have their benefits and drawbacks, and they both can have a place in a content marketing strategy. Our clients have seen great success with both. The key most important thing is consistency. Stock and custom content can work together to help you reach that goal.

Do you want to start using accountant content marketing to grow your business?

Click here to schedule a call and see how we can help with your custom content.


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