Content marketing and content creation are very important marketing tools for any business hoping to connect with potential clients. Content marketing is about producing and publishing helpful, quality information that allows you to build meaningful relationships and trust among your customers. This type of marketing is also an effective way to establish yourself as an authority in your industry and build your brand.
As a content marketer, it is only natural to feel like you have to do everything yourself to get your desired results. That said, regularly creating and publishing original content is no easy feat. According to a recent study, over half of marketers (53 percent) say they fail to create enough content to resonate with readers. One solution to the problem may be outsourcing.
While some companies and business owners shy away from the practice, outsourcing can actually be a useful tool for content marketers, if done with proper planning and care.
It is important to have a strong foundation and a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish with your content marketing strategy. Does your objective involve generating leads for sales? Is your goal solely based on gaining fans or followers who interact with your brand socially? If this is the case, you may need writers who specialize in keywords, or content creation platforms who offer SEO options. If you are interested in developing respect and recognition for your brand among peers in your industry, you will need a writer with specific industry experience. Your goal will affect which tools you use to spread the message and how content marketing fits into your overall marketing plan.
You may want to consider using directed traffic as a foundation of your marketing strategy. This method uses a combination of platforms to get results. For example, you could use social media to drive traffic to your blog (which contains the quality content that you outsourced), which could then direct this traffic to your website and to specific landing pages.
Key in On Your Target Audience
Your target audience is the people who you want to reach with your marketing message. It is important to identify your target audience very early on. After all, you cannot address the needs of your marketing demographic if you don't know who they are, where they shop, or what they buy. Keying in on your target demographic allows you to tailor your content to directly appeal to potential clients.
The first step in finding and appealing to your target audience is to identify and develop a few customer profiles. Include information such as the gender, age, location, and income of each customer you wish to attract. Equally important is to consider the needs of your target customer. Having a better picture of your target audience will make it easier to come up with new and fresh ideas for content (as noted earlier, over half of content marketers worry that they fail in this regard). Forbes contributor Mark Evans writes: "by clearly identifying target audiences, it becomes easier to capture someone's attention because their needs and goals are front and [center]."
There are many great secondary resources available to help you find this information on your own if you don't have the budget to hire a market research firm. Resources like trade journals, government publications, and surveys conducted by other companies provide useful insight and are great tools to keep in your arsenal.
Avoid the Pitfalls of Outsourcing Content Creation
The most crucial step in setting yourself up for success with outsourcing is to choose a platform that allows you to manage the entire content creation process from start to finish. Content management and creation platforms like Ebyline vet all of their writers, and offer a diverse set of tools that allow you to manage multiple projects, track communication between you and the writers, and pay writers for their work easily. Take the time to learn the ins and outs of the content creation platform you choose as soon as possible and take advantage of all of its advanced features. This will allow you to invest your time developing relationships with writers you trust.
Secure excellent contributions by sampling different writers. Place a small batch of simple assignments on the platform's job board and add the writers who meet your writing standards to a list of favorites. As the list of writers with consistently first-rate work grows, the time you have to spend managing their progress and editing their work will decrease. Lastly, mastering the task of providing concise, thorough instruction is very important.
Thorough instructions will go a long way towards reducing the number of revision requests you'll have to send. Writing detailed instructions also helps ensure that you get the quality content that you need by letting your writers know exactly what you're looking for ahead of time.
One of the biggest struggles associated with content marketing is figuring out how to produce engaging titles that will catch the eye of your target audience. Always keep a notebook on hand to write down content and title ideas as they come to you. Research the keywords associated with your ideas -- your customers will be more likely to find your content if you use the terms they're already searching for online in your titles.
Dealing with Obstacles
There are many fears associated with outsourcing content creation. Some companies worry that if they outsource their content, they will lose control of the brand's voice. However, it is a professional writer's job to familiarize herself with the organization, including their target audience, values, and tone. Detailed prompts might also include a primer on writing in the brand's voice.
Another common fear is that outsourced articles will be poorly written. If you write specific, thorough instructions and manage writer relationships, however, this will not be the case. Always seek out writers with expertise and knowledge about your niche. Avoid hiring writers who do not have a good command of the English language to avoid content that might sound unnatural to your readers.
Hiring an editor, as content creation and management site Idio Platform suggests, can solve both problems. An editor offers you the peace of mind that any content you ultimately publish meets a uniform standard, without you having to spend time doing that work yourself. A single editor is also better positioned to apply a consistent, brand appropriate tone and voice than a diverse group of writers.
Outsourcing your content can be a great business decision. The key to successful outsourcing begins with forming a solid marketing plan, knowing your audience, working with excellent writers, and providing those writers with concise instructions.
Follow Sreedhar Pillai on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lastingrose