Over the past six weeks, I’ve been learning different ways to improve business. Not just mine, but every client business that I help as well. I went to the business improvement conference ‘52 Ways’ put on by Business Blueprint. Dale talked a lot about systems and clever online apps, i.e. shortcuts to success.
Apps for creating great content are helpful time-savers and shortcuts also keep the cost of content creation down, if we are judicious.
Yet you don’t want to be shortcutting your way to low quality and inconsistency. Those posting inconsistently and offshoring a lot of content creation/writing will find that the outcome of content marketing is poor…
Indeed, according to Content Marketing Institute, the professional B2B marketers feeling most successful have clarity on what success in content marketing looks like. The top two contributing factors of those who felt their marketing was more successful this year (2017) were:
- Doing a better job with content creation and
- Developing or adjusting the content strategy.
Documenting their content marketing strategy is also one of the markers of success.
Small Business Content Marketing
If you can’t afford an agency though, where do you go to get promotional images or written content? What shortcuts can you use? Do you know your brand voice? What about story? What persona am I selling to?
Why are we even creating the content? Is it to be a leader in the niche? Or is it more defined and your team wants to highlight a new offering in a subtle and persuasive way?
It is for all these reasons that an external freelance marketer can help your business soar. Rather than a hefty set-up and monthly agency fee, the freelancer can charge per hour, per project (for campaigns or static pages), or for amped up results, as an equity share (plus expenses).
Many stable small businesses have nobody with a background in permission-based marketing. So they go at content marketing with an advertising framework, expecting instant results. Traditional advertising is usually two simple steps: advertise to attract customers, the advert begs them to contact the business or (if a larger business) sets the branding tone.
While content marketing and advertising online can go hand-in-hand very successfully, a planned content strategy in a longer-term tool that is best viewed as a four-step process.
One: Advertise content (landing page) OR develop content that attracts web visitors.
Two: Get permission to give relevant content to wonderful person in exchange for email.
Three: Email with informative material (or perhaps call for a free appointment) to wonderful person to convince of your value.
Four: Finally, pitch for a trial of your service or sell a related product. (Product related to all your lead magnets and emails)
So, you can see that there is more to this system – and there are a lot of little online steps to be set up too. At no point do you want pages (thank-you page, download page) and downloadables going up online, with no idea of whether they work.
Other Benefits of Using a Freelance/Contracted Marketer
If contracted over a longer period, the Freelance Marketer can build ideas through briefing, Brainstorming and content arcs. (Content arcs are monthly or quarterly themes that you can write about).
They can also bring their constant learning and knowledge of better apps to your business – rather than having a staff member struggle through learning a complex and expensive program.
So always get the best quality content and use the best person that you can find to do your content marketing.