When it comes to your business’ marketing strategy, one of the best investments you can make is hiring a team of expert content creators and managers. Why is content marketing so important? As Lyfe Marketing explains:
- Content marketing’s conversion rates are about six times higher than any other digital marketing tactics.
- 61 percent of U.S. internet users decided to make a purchase after reading a blog article about a product or service.
- 74 percent of surveyed companies report content marketing increased lead quantity and quality.
Content Marketing Institute supports this, explaining three key benefits to investing in your brand’s content:
- Increased sales
- Cost savings
- Better customers who have more loyalty
It’s also clear this marketing strategy isn’t going anywhere. eMarketer recently shared that 80 percent of surveyed marketing professionals believe content-led campaigns will grow in the next two years. Comparing where we are now to two years ago, we’d agree!
5 Benefits To Hiring A Content Marketing Partner
As you can clearly see, content marketing is worth your time and resources. But why is it worth working with an expert rather than just doing it yourself?
Even if you’re a strong writer with a clear understanding of your target audience, bringing in a partner to help with content creation efforts is one of the best investments you can make into your marketing strategy.
1. High Quality Content Creation
For your content marketing strategy to be effective, you need high quality content with a clear message that permeates every platform. Why?
With each algorithm update, Google refines its process for filtering out low-quality content for its users. These are common mistakes less experienced content creators make:
- Posting duplicate content throughout your website (from page to page as well as on your blog)
- Keyword stuffing (the same combination of words and phrases over and over in an effort to “out-think” the search engine)
- Short articles (fluff pieces designed to post anything for the sake of new content rather than actually sharing something with value)
Instead, for your marketing strategy to be effective, you need to make sure your content is well written and has your target audience in mind, so you can solve their problems, share interesting insight or answer common questions.
Do you actually have time to create and publish strong content consistently? Digital Doughnut explains:
Producing unique content on a regular basis…can be very tedious, and business owners hardly have the time or resources to do this. However, hiring professional writers to produce quality content regularly can solve many of their content-related problems, allowing them to focus on their business goals solely.
You have other priorities to manage; developing high-quality content doesn’t need to be one of them!
2. Consistent Content Creation
A content marketing expert can create consistent, compelling content for your brand.
Content marketing is a slow and steady approach. Even if you publish at regular intervals, it takes time and dedication to keep it up long enough for the marketing strategy to work. Inc. explains:
[Content marketing is] incredibly cost-effective, and even better–it offers compounding returns. Your first few months of a content marketing strategy might not yield much in the way of results, but your next few months will start to see growth. The few months after that will see more growth. By the time you’re a few years in, your return could easily quadruple your investment (or more), consistently.
An effective content marketing strategy requires consistency. Citing Forrester and McKinsey & Company research, Hubspot reports, “Content consistency establishes your credibility, builds your trust and strengthens your reputation.”
Forbes backs this up, explaining that, “Whether you publish blog posts every day or once per week, it’s crucial for your organization to choose and adhere to a schedule. When your content quality, quantity or schedule isn’t consistent, it can confuse your customers. Keeping with a regular strategy not only helps create a better customer experience but it also helps build credibility, reputation and brand trust.”
I would also add that consistent publishing is directly related to search engine visibility. The more regularly you post new content on your website, the more you train Google’s search engine spiders (which collect website details to provide to the search engine) to come back and look for new pages to index on a regular basis, and the faster your pages are indexed by the search engine, the sooner they can show up in search results!
Do you have the time to regularly create quality content that will go live at consistent intervals? Ragan.com estimates it takes a little more than three hours for content marketing experts to craft a well-written, one-thousand-word blog article.
These are writers that are well-versed in writing styles, spending most of their time carefully crafting new content. If it takes them more than three hours, how much of your time would you need to dedicate to it? You’re looking at a commitment of easily more than six hours a week for a single blog post. That doesn’t factor in other content marketing tactics you may be employing such as social media updates, email newsletters, advertising, etc.
3. Cohesive Messaging
In addition to publishing new content regularly, your brand needs to maintain a consistent voice and tone. If your website copy, blog posts, Facebook updates and email newsletters all have different styles of writing, your target audience won’t be able to trust your brand; they’ll be confused about its identity.
Forbes explains, “From social media and blogging to responding to customer reviews and replying to emails, your content needs to maintain a consistent voice, tone and style.”
It’s not uncommon for well-intentioned, less-practiced content creators to attempt cohesive messaging by posting the same content everywhere (e.g. the same social media updates on every platform, chunks of similar text on different pages/articles of the website, etc.) and ending up with poorly crafted updates that hurt more than help.
Instead, a savvy content creator knows how to tie the same language and brand elements into a cohesive marketing strategy that tailors each message so it appeals to the target audience, matches the brand identity, performs well within search engines and ultimately achieves the business’ goals.
4. Strategic Content Creation
Effective content creation is both an art and a science.
- The art: While some types of content are more obviously artwork than others (such as a social media graphic verses a written social media update), carefully crafting content to connect with your target audience and convey your key marketing messages requires an artful, creative approach. Content marketing experts will weave together key messages in a compelling, inspiring way, carefully designed to appeal to those your brand is trying to reach.
- The science: Reviewing analytics and refining your marketing strategy is a key to success. A content marketing expert will review the brand’s analytics, looking for types of articles, updates and messaging that appeal most to your followers, and then wrap them into the content they’re creating on your brand’s behalf.
Effective content marketing is an art and a science.
Do you understand how to blend the art and science of content creation together effectively? When you review analytics, do you know which data to pay attention to and what you can glean from the numbers?
While many people know how to write, the ability to constantly review insights and apply them to your marketing strategy to fine-tune the content requires additional training and experience.
5. Search Engine Optimization
I touched on this earlier, but it’s important enough to bring up again.
If you want your target audience to take in your content, they need to be able to find it. Sometimes this means you need to encourage them to follow your social media page or subscribe to your newsletter. Other times it means you need to convince the search engines to rank your website high enough that users will see it and click through to your blog posts and web pages.
- 97 percent of online searches are done using a Google property
- Careful and streamlined use of keywords tells Google that your content is important; use formatting tricks like bullet points, bold text and short paragraphs to your advantage.
- These days, good content is not enough; what you create needs to be amazing and competitive – Google prioritizes content displaying Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness (E-A-T)
Not all subject matter experts know how to carefully craft content to provide value to readers while optimizing for search engines. Content marketing experts know how to work with your brand’s experts to craft articles and graphics that provide authoritative expertise your target audience can trust.
What To Look For In A Content Marketing Team
As you evaluate content marketing partners, watch for these traits.
How do you know if a content marketing team is worth your investment and trust? Here are five things to look for as you evaluate a potential partner:
1. Content Customized For Your Brand
Your content marketing strategy won’t be effective if it isn’t tailored to your company. Your partner should be able to customize your content to:
- Achieve your goals
- Connect with your target audience
- Project your brand’s identity
- Be relevant in your industry
- Fit within your budget
In addition to being well-versed in creating content for different channels (such as LinkedIn, your blog and an email newsletter), find out how easily they shift their content style. Can they write in multiple voices? Are their graphics customized to match their clients’ styles rather than all relying on the same templates?
Ask them to see samples of their work. A content marketer worth your time is happy to show you what they’ve done in the past as examples of what they can do for you!
3. Big Picture Thinking Attention To Detail
Just like strategic content creation is both an art and a science, effective content marketing requires big picture planning alongside very close attention to detail.
Look for a content marketing partner that knows how to develop strategic plans and messaging calendars, but don’t stop there! Look at their examples, watching for typos and consistency. Do they notice if they’re making small errors? You want your brand’s content to be well-polished so whatever they create on your behalf is something you’d be happy to share!
4. Relevant And Helpful Insight
A strong content marketing team will provide you with helpful advice and insight.
When it comes to content marketing, there is a lot to keep up on. Best practices regularly change, Google often updates its algorithm, new tools and resources pop up, etc. By investing in a content marketing team, you don’t need to worry about keeping on top of the latest news.
You can rely on your content creation team to explain why they recommend a specific strategy or not. If you’re not sure why they suggest a specific tactic or approach, ask! The more informed you are, the better it is for your overall business planning.
5. Strong References
Finally, ask about current or former clients of theirs you can talk to. They can tell you all about their strong customer service and superb content creation abilities, but a third-party recommendation carries much more weight. If they have clients they’ve worked with for years that can speak to their success and what it’s like to work with them, it can potentially save you a costly chance investing in a content marketing partner that doesn’t know what they’re doing.
Read more: The Worst Things You Can Do As A Content Marketer