Does your website have a blog? Have you posted articles to it? Have you posted new content consistently? It’s okay if you haven’t answered yes to all of these (or any of these) questions. Many small to mid-sized businesses struggle to get a handle on their content marketing. It’s a serious struggle for B2B service companies because they know they can use their blogs to illustrate their expertise, if only they could find the time to publish great content. So that may be why you should consider outsourcing your content marketing.
Why Invest in Content Marketing?
Studies show that those companies who invest in their content marketing have 55% more site visitors than those who don’t. Why does this matter? Because content marketing turns your website into a lead generation engine. Your ideal buyers (which you determined by creating B2B buyer personas, right?) will self-identify by interacting with your web content. If your content resonates with them, then they do things like subscribe or download your eBooks and slideshows.
Leads generated by your website are leads you didn’t have to chase down. They are leads who have shown you that they are interested in your services and in your company. Great content is an investment that keeps on giving as long as your website is up.
How Do You Know If You Need to Outsource Your Content Marketing?
Okay, you’ve determined that content marketing will help you establish trust with leads and create serious ROI. But how do you know if you need to outsource your content creation and marketing?
Do You Have Anyone with Content Marketing Skills on Your Team?
So first, so you have anyone in your company who has content marketing skills? There are quite a few technical skills involved, but the basics are:
- Ideation and Strategy: You can create a content strategy and tell the writers what to write.
- Writing: You can put pen to paper and the words flow to your target audience.
- Topic Expertise: You’re a subject matter expert.
- Distribution and Promotion: Once the writing is done, you know how to position it and distribute it best for maximum reach.
Depending on what your business is, it can be a struggle to find even one of these skills in your organization. Don’t let the “writing” skill fool you. When I write that, I mean writing that is optimized for search engines as well as your target audience. Great writing can languish at the bottom of search results if you don’t write so search engines understand that it’s great.
Finding one person with two or more of these skills can border on the impossible for smaller organizations. When you try to find one person with all of the skills, well we like to call those a unicorn. When discussing job postings with other content professionals, sometimes all you have to say is “Oh, they’re looking for a unicorn.” and that justifies not applying.
The one thing I recommend companies let go of is finding someone with their exact niche experience. If you can find someone who can create your strategy, write/optimize, and distribute and promote it effectively, then take that person and teach them what they need to know about your specialty. Or resign yourself to perhaps finding writers with niche expertise, and also hiring a content marketer to work with them.
You have good writers in your company, but don’t they have jobs?
When you assign writing to people in your company, they often do well at first, but…. You need to post fresh content to your blog and social media channels and send new content to your email list consistently in order to have the best results.
Any writer in your company already has a job, correct? Unless you hire them just to write for you. So eventually, as things come up, your content creation and distribution gets pushed to the wayside, leaving you with a blog that hasn’t been posted to in 3 months…. 9 months….. a year. Until someone remembers it, posts a few times, and then leaves it alone again.
Maybe You Hired Freelance Writers, and Things Are Getting Out of Hand
So you hired freelance content creators, and things are getting crazy. It’s almost a full-time job to manage all of them. Not to mention, you struggle to manage all of the distribution channels. And are you sure that blog post was optimized?
When you have multiple contributors, in-house or freelance, it can cost you a lot of time to keep things straight and on schedule. So you should consider hiring a content marketer to tie your marketing goals to your sales goals, create your strategy, implement your content plan, and optimize, distribute, and promote your content.
What Does an Outsourced Content Marketing Solution Look Like?
You don’t have to outsource your entire content marketing strategy. Here are some ways content professionals can help you:
- Create a content marketing strategy you can implement in-house
- Pay them for a few extra hours each month, and have them create your content calendar too
- Consult with them as needed for content marketing pushes (i.e. for large events or new services)
- Have them train your in-house staff on aspects of content marketing
- Hire a content marketer to manage content created by your in-house team
Of course, a content marketing solution could also be completely Done For You (DFY). This is definitely the most expensive option because it requires the most time and skill. It becomes more expensive if you expect one person to handle everything. A DFY solution typically looks like:
- Ideation and strategy creation, providing an overview of how social media, the blog, email, and premium content pieces will all be used.
- Annual, quarterly, and monthly content calendars and plans (sync with company events and initiatives)
- Producing regular content that is:
- Optimized for search engines
- Contains royalty free photos or photos that you own
- You’ll want those photos edited to have your brand and blog post title to optimize for sharing (like the ones you see in this blog)
- Contains authoritative links to non-competitive websites
- Content management (drafting and scheduling all approved content)
- Repurposing old content (taking a video and turning it into a blog post for example)
If you completely outsource your content marketing, I highly recommend finding a content marketer you can work with first. Allow them to find the best blog, email, and social media writers. This would be the most cost-effective option for a completely outsourced solution.
So there you have it. Does your company have the symptoms of needing to outsource some or all of it’s content marketing strategy?
Shoot me a message to schedule a free consultation with you to see how you can start using your website to attract the sorts of leads who really need and value your services.