Choosing your content marketing as a service agency may fill you with questions.
Will investing in content marketing will help you to achieve your business goals? (Yes, it can if your business needs more leads) How long does content marketing take to work? (Depends on your budget and competition but the right time measurement is months not days or weeks).
Isn’t content marketing as a service just writing blog posts? (No. You need to create content marketing campaigns that work together to attract traffic.).
Since so many business owners have questions about what goes into successful content marketing, I created this resource to help marketers and business owners may a more informed decision about who to work with and what to expect from that relationship.
1) Successful Content Marketing Starts With A Content Marketing Strategy
Starting with content creation without a clear content marketing strategy is unlikely to work. Before you ask a content marketing company to create any blog posts or social media posts, make time to discuss strategy.
Fortunately, answering a few simple questions is all you need to build your content marketing plan.
-How would you describe your ideal customer in 1 sentence?
My answer: The ideal customer is a marketing manager or director at a 50-100 employee business to business software company located in the USA or Canada. Based on this insight, I know that relevant content for this audience looks like and what topics should be avoided.
-What product or service do you ultimately want to promote using content marketing as a strategy?
My answer: Ultimately, I am seeking to promote my company’s content marketing services for B2B and enterprise clients.
-What content (e.g. magazines, blog posts, podcasts, influencers) do you customers already follow?
-What is the one metric of success (also known as a key performance indicator) that you will use to determine success?
For SaaS companies, the most important marketing metric usually looks like free trial sign ups, email list sign ups or demo requests.
Tip: The above questions serve as a foundation for strategy development. Set a reminder to periodically refresh your strategy by studying your competitors, updating your email templates and digital marketing goals.
2) Assess Your Content Marketing Assets and Resources
The best content marketing agencies also assess your content marketing assets before creating new pieces of content.
Consider the resources you already have in place because leveraging those assets means you will be able to achieve successful content marketing campaigns more quickly and get more customers from the search engines.
At a minimum, a content marketing team will needs to know the following answers to produces B2B content marketing that positions your company as an industry leader.
- What pages on your website drive the most traffic and have the highest time on site?
- Which social media posts have generated the greatest response from customers and potential customers?
- What feedback do you receive from the sales team regarding content assets (e.g. “our enterprise customers love the guide on improving the cost of customer acquisition!”)
- Which emails have generated the highest response as measured by open rate and click rate over time?
- Which employees are available to support content marketing campaigns?
A content marketing as a service will make a greater impact on your business goals if they have a good internal partner. In a small company, an agency might work directly with the business owner. In a larger company, collaboration with the sales team and marketing director would fit.
3) Content Creation: A Key Content Marketing As A Service Offering
Based on the business goals and insights developed in the previous two steps, you’re now ready to start the content creation process.
Successful content marketing needs to balance two business goals. First, the content needs to be valuable in the eyes of potential customers. Second, the content needs to advances business goals like lead generation. If either of those elements are missing, your content is likely to be ignored.
The content marketing consultant overseeing the content creation process will use multiple tools and techniques. For example, they might start by interviewing your customers. If that option is not available, they may review your search engine optimization (SEO) data in Google Search Console, Moz, Ahrefs or SEMrsuh. Based on these steps, they will have enough information to start the content creation process.
Tip: As a general rule of thumb, I recommend focusing your content creation efforts on text content like blog posts and social media posts. By all means, consider producing videos for YouTube and podcasts but recognize those assets will typically involve higher costs and production time. They may still be worthwhile though. For example, CoSchedule has published more than 100 episodes of the Actionable Marketing Podcast to attract leads.
4) Content Promotion: The Content Distribution Habit
On their own, content creation services will not create leads or grow your email list.
There are millions of blog posts published every month. Simply publishing new content is no longer enough. You also need a promotion plan to get those blog posts and other content in front of your target audience.
Your options for content promotion include:
- Email Marketing. Send an email to your email list to let your subscribers know about the new content you published. Some sales professionals also share new content with their sales leads to keep them engaged.
- Social Media Posts. Look for conversations online where you can join the conversation. For example, I created an article based on a Reddit post: How do you actually get paying SaaS customers? (Reddit Question).
- Working With Influencers. There are different ways to work with influencers including paying them to post about your company. Alternately, you might invite a business influencer like an author to give a presentation to a small group of prospects.
- Building Backlinks. Backlinks are critically important if you are focused on attracting more customers from search engine optimization. As a general rule of thumb, websites with the most high quality links tend to get the most traffic. That said, it is easy to get backlinks wrong. Before you work with a content marketing as a service agency, ask them about their backlink and search engine optimization process.
5) Content Repurposing: Get More From Your Content
Last year, I read Content Based Networking by James Carbary. It’s a great book that explores how to create content through interviewing. For example, Carbary records audio podcasts and then repurposes that content to LinkedIn in the form of quotes and short excerpts from the full interview.
If your company has never used content repurposing, you are missing out on an easy way to make faster progress towards your business goals.
Let’s take an example of a blog post you created based on a survey of 500 customers. Through that survey process, you may have gathered all kinds of statistics and comments. Such data can be repurposed in several ways. Start by creating four to five social media posts that highlight a single insight from the content. Next, you might create a short video based on the post and upload it to YouTube.
When you work with a content marketing as a service agency, you will get expert help in stretching your content further.
6) Content Reporting: Discover If You Are Reaching Your Goals
How do you know if the content marketing plan is working? The answer is reporting. Content marketing agencies can use a few different tools and techniques to measure success in monthly reports.
Typical content reporting metrics in monthly reports include:
- Leads (i.e. potential customers) – measure the number of people who have joined your email list after consuming valuable content on your website.
- Email Newsletters: measure the effectiveness of your promotional emails at generating orders, sign ups and other valuable actions.
- Search Rankings. When your business has higher search rankings, your ideal customer is more likely to find you when they have a need.
Measuring content marketing effectiveness requires comprehensive data. That means you also need track phone calls and whether people mention content (e.g. guides, blog posts and promotional emails) when they call your sales team.
7) Conversion Rate Optimization And Content Maintenance: Keep Your Content Relevant
Outdated content is unlikely to attract potential customers. Further, sending the same promotional emails month after month doesn’t make sense either. That’s why the final step in content marketing as a service lies in optimization.
Optimization can take several forms:
- Blog Content. Review all of your blog posts that are more than two years old and assess identify areas where they can be updated with new data and examples. Quality content should be up to date, so regular content maintenance needs to be part of your workflow.
- Email Newsletters. Regularly test new subject lines and copywriting ideas so that potential customers don’t get bored with your emails.
- Technologies. Test different tools that can help you boost conversions. For example, I started to use Optin Monster in 2021 to grow my email list. I like that it includes analytics data so that I can make better marketing decisions.
Content Marketing As A Service: Is It Right For You?
Content marketing is a great marketing strategy but it isn’t a good fit for every business. Let’s meet to talk about your business goals and what types of content are best suited for your situation. Send a message through the contact form today to request a free consultation.