Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr.
The Internet thrives on content, be it text, images, podcasts, videos, info-graphics, animation and many other types of content available today.
What this simply means is that if you want to be successful on the Internet, then it is important to have an effective content marketing strategy.
According to AML, a content, talent and resource organisation; content is often misunderstood. The firm defines content as the “skilful capture of the brand essence of anything.”
This in itself suggests that approach to content must be deliberate, strategic and painstakingly professional.
A great deal of content development, dissemination, and marketing for clear results lies in a sound grasp of strategy and clear mapping of stakeholders at every point in time.
Content marketing can make a whole lot of difference in your online marketing efforts if done correctly. One question I often get asked is whether it is better to outsource content marketing or develop resources in-house.
Reality is that there is no right or wrong answer; it all depends on organisational preferences. However, lack of in-house capacity, poor communication skills, weak execution, lack of experience are some of the reasons experts recommend outsourcing.
That said; below are four reasons why you may want to consider outsourcing your content marketing.
- Understand what content marketing entails
Many businesses, after having chosen to outsource their content marketing, reflexively make a quick turn towards freelance editors and writers. Freelance editors and writers on their part do exactly that; they simply edit and write.
From the ideas shared above, it is obvious that content creation is not about nice videos, fluffy copy or nice photos. Rather, it is built around key messaging, expected response, audience sentiments and engagement outcomes and clear indices to evaluate impact.
It all begins with a strategy, implementation plan, production checklist even before a calendar is designed. When all these have been sorted, a campaign is set to be launched.
If done right, content marketing engrosses content creation in addition to vital steps that take place prior to and after the process including planning of the content, its optimisation, distribution, analysis, and reporting, as well as a component of social media.
With an intention to fully capitalise on your investment in content marketing, you will need to have these stages effectively covered by the company you select for your outsourcing needs unless of course, you are planning on carrying out this exercise through your own in-house staff.
- Define what should be outsourced
Before jumping into a relationship, spend some time to work out who or what team precisely will be taking care of which content marketing aspect and deliverable. That should be taken care of by the marketing plan for your content.
No single entity, be it client, freelancer or agency, would be happy with initiating an ‘away-from-the-scope’ type of parleys while in the honeymoon stage of a new relationship. That would simply mess up the momentum, especially as the few early months are critical in an engagement.
At the strategy stage, it will take team effort because the business owner or brand ‘visioner’ must be involved or carried along every step of the way. Just like any important element of a business which contributes to growth, it is not advisable to leave content management to an individual or team without all the aspects of the business getting involved.
Hence, proper analysis will help to ascertain this, including the value of investment a business is willing to make for content marketing. It is then perhaps better to put in place the right strategy – whether enlisting external support or not before ascertaining whether outsourcing will be the most expedient approach.
- The right company is key
Content marketing companies come in a variety of exhilarating flavours and there are numerous ways in which you can be misled into selecting one that’s probably wrong for you. Cutting the homework short, you will find these few vetting quick tips rather beneficial:
First, engage the company’s representatives to gauge their approach and their style of work.
Ensure the company practices what it preaches by asking for trade references.
Review an assortment of their recent content as acceptable samples.
Verify processes involved in creation as well as marketing of a few of these explicit content items provided as samples.
Enquire into the sort of reporting that you can expect to receive along with the type of analysis that accompanies it.
If it’s a fairly large project or organisation then discuss the composition of the team and each person’s role.
What’s the firm’s ‘on-boarding’ process?
What method will your outsourced new partner use in getting to know everything about you and your business?
Does this partner have any prior or related experience with your industry or similar brands in other industries?
The above was designed serve as a guide only. Feel free to add other thoughts and ideas that help you make an informed decision. The ultimate aim of today’s piece is to ensure you have all it takes to decide how best to approach content marketing within your organisation.
Remember, the Internet is exciting simply because of content. According to Emilia Asim – Ita, Practice Director, AML, “The future depends on content and talent.” Content is what makes you want to visit your favourite social media site day after day or engage brands in the virtual space.
Content also spans beyond social media platforms to multiple (and increasing) digital platforms and channels everywhere humans exist. Following the same principle, you should supply interesting content to your prospects week after week.
I probably won’t be the one sharing these thoughts with you on this column, if I didn’t get my content strategy right ten years ago when I started out on the Internet. As we always say on the Internet; content (quality) is king.
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