7 questions

In my previous post ” 7 signs that shows you need a content marketing agency for your small business“, I enumerated the signs you need to watch out for in your business, that will tell you that you need a content marketer.

I am sure by now, you should have made up your mind, whether you are going to continue doing content marketing by yourself, hire someone to help you out or outsource it.

Content marketing is not something you can do on a part time basis. It is a full time job. If you are a small business owner, you may not be adequately staffed to dedicate a personnel to content marketing efforts.

This is why you see several business owners having a stale blog. They don’t have the time, nor the personnel to overlook that important aspect of their business.

As your business grows, you will discover that, there will be no time or manpower to run your content marketing aspect effectively.

When you are faced with such situation, what do you do?.

The best option here is to outsource the whole or part of your content marketing process to a content marketer.

In order to help you make an informed decision, below are 7 questions you need to answer.

1. What is your budget for content marketing?

Some business owners believe that creating content is cheap. That is far from the truth. In those days, you can succeed just by creating cheap articles littered with keywords. But, nowadays, you will need to create epic contents to be able to surpass your competition and get tangible results.

In the newly released 2016 b2b content marketing report by Contentmarketing institute and Marketingprofs, it is stated that the average proportion (%) of total marketing budget allocated to content marketing this year is 28%. This is against 25% allocated to content marketing in 2015. The figure is rising.

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It is also good to note that more than half of B2B businesses plan to increase their budget for content marketing because they know its effectiveness.

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You have two options here, which will be determined by your budget. I will discuss that in the next point.

2. Will you work with a content marketing agency or a freelancer?

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The two available options for you are to either hire a freelance writer or a content marketing agency.

Let me attempt to define the two terms to provide a better clarity.

A freelance writer is a writer who is self employed and works for different clients at the same time.

A content marketing agency is a professional team of people with experience in different niches, working for different clients.

Cost

Now that you know the terms, let’s check out the price/cost of doing business with each of them.

A freelance writer is cheap, because they have low overhead cost. Also the quality of their work is determined by your price. I have worked as a freelance writer for more than 10 years and so, I know what is obtainable in the industry.

Articles are written without any intent or goal of the business owners. There is no audience persona, no sales funnel consideration or content strategy to work with. You just write articles based on the business owner’s keyword. Such article cannot produce the best ROI. This is why they are cheap.

A content marketing agency on the other hand, will consider several factors before deciding on the topic to write about. We look into your audience persona, sales funnel, existing content on your website and your business goals to design a suitable content marketing strategy and campaign that will give you a good return on your investment.

With a considerable budget of $2,000 – $5,000, you should be able to get a good content marketing agency to work with, based on your preferences. Some business owners only need a content creator to create content and not to promote or distribute. The cost is determined by the services you want to incorporate into your business, such as content creation, distribution, promotion and measurement.

Quality of work

Let’s talk about the quality of work. Your budget will determine the quality of work you get. If you prefer to hire freelancers because they are cheap, you also get a low quality of content. I am sure you wouldn’t want that.

An agency, though expensive, will provide a high quality content that will grow your business.

In addition, you can always rely on a content marketing agency to deliver what you want, when you want it.

Some freelance writers are terrible at keeping their word. They might disappear into thin air after taking on your projects.

3. Do you have content marketing skills you need?

Content marketing is a sure way of driving traffic to your business. However, it is not easy. If you want to be successful in this endeavour, you will need to have 3 main skills:

  1. Writing
  2. Niche expertise
  3. Effective promotion

Most content marketers do not possess all of these skills. Some have one, two, but very few can combine these three skills together.

A survey revealed that 42% companies do not have the expertise to implement content marketing effectively.

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The companies surveyed above do not have anybody with the necessary skills to execute content marketing in their companies.

It is difficult to form an effective content marketing team.

So, if you don’t have the necessary skills to execute content marketing, it is better to outsource it to a content marketer.

4. Does content marketing fit into your overall marketing efforts

Most business owners hire content marketers because they have other aspects of the business to oversee.

You need to make sure that the content marketing efforts fit into every other aspect of your marketing such as, lead generation, conversion, repeat business, increase revenues e.t.c.

A content marketer will create content that will attract readers, convert them into leads and generate sales. A freelance writer can only produce content that may generate traffic. Most often, a content marketer will help you to create content that will help nurture that traffic into leads and customers. They will also produce content that will keep your audience satisfied so that they will continue to buy from you in the future.

5. Which content marketing process will you use?

When you’ve decided to hire a content marketer, you need to know the content marketing process that will be used for your business. A content marketer should be able to help you plan your business growth.

Business owners specified three major challenges in content marketing. They are:

1. Producing engaging content

2. Measuring content effectiveness

3. Producing content consistently

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Therefore, the content marketer should be able to produce engaging content consistently and measure its effectiveness. You need to know how they plan to create content consistently and measure it.

They should know the relevant topics to create, how to optimize it, publish on several platforms, promote and measure.

They may not give you the full details, but you need to know the process.

6. How will you measure the success

You need to specify what you want to achieve with content marketing. There are many ways you can measure success as seen in the chart below:

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You can choose any metric that matches your goal. It can be sales, website traffic, subscriber growth etc.

Each of these metrics requires content to achieve a good ROI.

Let your content marketer know your goals and metrics.

7. Should you hire a content marketer as an editor?

If you run a small business with a big budget and will like to work with freelancers instead of employing a content marketer, why not? You can use freelancers to create content for you and then employ a content marketer as an editor. The editor will be the one to review the freelancer’s work, distribute and promote the articles on different platforms.

The issue here is that it can be expensive to do that. You will need to fix a pay. This will help you to free up your time for more important business deals.

A company that is running this model is Crazy egg. They have a group of writers working for them and a content marketer who research topics for the writers, edit the content to improve the quality and promote them as well.

Using this process, you will be able to post daily articles on your business blogs for a long time to come.

Conclusion

You cannot overlook the effectiveness of content marketing for your business. With it, you can build your traffic, generate leads, build your brand and generate sales and more sales for a long time to come.

If you don’t have enough time and skill, to run your content marketing, the best thing you can do is to outsource it.