“Content Marketing” is a new buzzword making rounds in the business world, but what does it mean, and why should you be using it in your marketing plan? This post will address the ins and outs of content marketing, how you can use it to expand your business, and why it’s a great idea to outsource it.
What is Content Marketing and Why Should Your Outsource It?
Chances are, even if you aren’t sure what content marketing is, you’re already using it in some capacity. The Content Marketing Institute describes it as:
“a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Content marketing comes in many forms. Blogs, websites, social media, articles, magazines, ebooks, newsletters, and many other formats can be used, depending on who your target audience is. Almost any business, service, or product can be promoted with unique content marketing.
Content marketing is quickly overpowering traditional marketing initiatives, because it is both cost-effective, and client-friendly. In the age of the smartphone, exceptional marketing-driven content is capable not only of generating sales, but empowering brands. Content-marketing drops the sales pitch (not entirely, but almost), and gets right to the entertainment or information your clients are looking for.
Here’s what content marketing can do for your business:
Imagine this: Your client clicks on an article she wants to read, only to be assaulted with an advertisement for your product or service, which she clicks past in annoyance to get to her content.
Now, imagine this: Your client clicks on an article she wants to read, and that article is produced by your business, and links directly back to your website. She spends three minutes or more physically interacting with your brand. From there, she can visit your website, buy your product or service, share the article with her friends, comment on it, or any number of other real-time actions.
This isn’t to say that you should drop your traditional marketing strategy altogether. Content marketing is a cost-effective way to round out your current marketing plan, because hosting and sharing your content can be done (mostly) for free via social media and other platforms.
So how much should you plan to spend on content marketing? Market research shows that roughly 30% of your overall marketing budget is enough to produce effective content.
Why you Should Outsource Content Marketing?
The truth is, you can produce your own content. However, there are two main drawbacks to this approach.
The first drawback is time. Time spent on content marketing is time spent on your business, but also away from your business. Most businesses don’t have the capital to pay an in-house writer for original content, nor do they require enough content on a weekly basis to hire someone. Outsourcing is often most convenient, particularly for small to medium-sized businesses.
The second drawback to self-producing is a question of quality. Just as you hope people will leave your area of expertise to the experts (i.e. you), producing consistent and high-quality content often requires an expert. Audiences are keen, fickle, and easily lost when the quality of your content is questionable. If your writing skills are rusty, it’s likely a professional writer could provide you with higher quality work, at a more efficient pace, and a lower overall cost.
Content marketing requires original, consistent, and eye-catching content to be effective. Your blog should showcase your expertise in your craft, but it also needs to be easily read by your audience and creatively designed to captivate them. Many clients initially question the ability of a writer to accurately convey the details of their specific craft, but in reality, work by someone with a lack of expertise in your field benefits your content. A writer who is not an expert in your industry will act as the bridge between you and your audience, conveying your specialized knowledge in a more informative and approachable way.
Before you engage someone to create your content, decide how much time you have to dedicate to it, and what arrangement would be most suitable for your specific needs. If you are a great writer with a bit of extra time, hire someone just to edit your posts. Those with no time to dedicate to content can outsource the whole process, from topic selection, to research, to production, and even posting, reserving only the final stamp of approval on their content.
Fine Point Writing & Editing is committed to helping clients with effective and budget-friendly content marketing solutions for every industry. To learn more about how a content marketing strategy can benefit your business, contact Danielle for a free consultation.