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Picking The ‘Write’ Partner for Your Business

All businesses, particularly those which operate on an online platform, produce some kind of content. When content production isn’t your game; who do you get to write it?

The choice between content agency and freelancer can seem incredibly daunting. With an almost infinite number of companies and writers to choose from, how do you see the wood for the trees? The right solution for you is context-specific and depends largely on your business, management style, and budget.

Here are some of the key factors you should consider before choosing a partner to generate content for your business.

1. To hire the lone wolf or the pack?

When you hire a content agency, you are hiring a team of individuals who have experience in generating relevant, good quality content in a wide variety of fields. When you hire a freelancer, you are hiring one individual. Although that individual may be experienced, you are still hiring one lone wolf. The freelancer becomes author, editor, and project manager all rolled into one person. Essentially this means that there are limited quality control and support systems in place to ensure that your content is of high quality and delivered in a timeous fashion.

2. Time?

The freelancing community has grown exponentially, with millions of people available for hire. The benefit of using a content agency as compared to a freelancer is that the talent hunt is done for you. As a business, you may not have time to sift through millions of CVs and writing samples. This process of finding a freelancer is time and labour intensive, however, it does have the added benefit of finding a writer with expertise well-suited to your field. Generally, content agencies will have a variety of different writers, each with their own unique skill set, thus allowing them to pick the best team to suit your needs.

3. Reliability

Hiring a freelancer can be a risky business, as there is only one individual who is producing content for an unknown number of clients. There is no way of knowing that your project is on top of their to-do list. Additionally, if there is an issue with the freelancer, finding a replacement can be difficult. When dealing with a content agency, there is a team dedicated to your project to ensure the continuity and success of the work. Furthermore, a content agency is likely to have a list of clients for whom they do work, thus allowing you to see their online content in action. It may be more difficult to source reliable references and samples from one individual.

4. The Project Manager

Perhaps the biggest benefit of a reputable content agency is that there is a project manager in charge of your portfolio. This person is tasked with client communication and ensuring the content is delivered according to the brief and deadlines you provide. This saves the client from having to coordinate the efforts of more than one freelancer. The benefit of working with the writer directly is that you get to be a part of the creative process. However, a good project manager is able to include in the parts of the process that you want to be apart of and deal with the parts that you would ignore.

5. Cost

On the surface, a freelancer seems cheaper, because they are able to bill per hour or per word, due to not their not needing to pay for overheads or a team. Alarm bells should go off if the price seems too good to be true. In most situations, you get what you pay for and a low rate may result in low quality. On the other hand, you may land up having several hidden expenses associated with the management of the content. A content agency, however, offers an all-inclusive package eliminating last minute hidden costs.

If you feel a content agency is the ‘write’ choice for your company, Goodman Lantern offers a wide range of professional writing services to suit any business.

How to Outsource Content Writing

Outsourcing your content writing can often seem treacherous. How do you trust someone that you don’t know with something as important as this? Content writers have similar nervousness about taking on new clients, as experience has shown that not every client is willing to pay for quality.

Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom. Finding the right fit for your business outsourcing needs often brings about the best possible results. The right content creators produce high quality work, within a fraction of the time, while doing what they love. As it stands, content creation is the top activity outsourced by B2B marketers. With the increase in need for content marketing, businesses must publish consistently high-quality and long-form content in order to remain relevant in the market.

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The most important thing to remember when it comes to content is, if you are looking to scale your business, you can’t do all the work yourself. There is no shame in hiring help, especially if that help will provide high-quality content more quickly than you are able to do alone. The second most important thing to remember is that cheaper is not always better. When it comes to content writing, you really do get what you pay for. But no need to worry, here are some simple things to remember when outsourcing your content writing.

How Can I Successfully Outsource my Content Writing?

The question of how to outsource content creation does not have to have a scary answer. In fact, it is rather simple once you understand the fundamentals. You need to develop a clear plan for your business that includes detailed descriptions on what you are looking for in a content creator, and what you are wanting to avoid. So let’s look into it:

Let Go of Your Fears

Do you have a fear of miscommunication? Does general distrust and the desire for control prevent you from reaching out? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. This is something we like to refer to as “Post Traumatic Outsourcing Disorder,” and it’s a more common affliction than you might think. Outsourcing content creation can keep your business growing and your profits increasing, but you need to have a proper strategy if you want to avoid PTOD. Many businesses who have had poor dealings in the past with content creators, no longer know how to outsource content creation. But don’t worry, you will heal from this.

The best approach to outsourcing is prevention. Although that may sound counterintuitive, avoiding certain pitfalls will ensure that you don’t have a repeat of previous disappointments. Websites that offer fast, cheap, and high quality content sound too good to be true, and this is often the case. High quality content should be your biggest priority, and you should be willing to invest in it.

Make Wise Choices

Some content writers will offer inexpensive services while claiming to work with clients ‘across every major vertical service.’ This is all well and good, until you start to consider their work in horizontal services. Always pay attention to grammar and spelling mistakes in their posts. Professional content writers make very few mistakes, as they should have a thorough checking and editing process. Posts and applicant responses are a guide to the level of service you will be receiving if you hire them.

3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Outsourcing Content Writing

In trying to understand how to outsource content creation, there are some common mistakes that can be avoided to make the process smoother. So pay attention to the following:

  1.  Have a Strategy

The quality of your application process will dictate the quality of your content later on.  Having a proper strategy in place when you approach the process will ensure a better outcome. Consider what type of content you need; what voice your brand has; who your target audience is; what your goals are regarding content marketing; and how you prefer to communicate.

  1. Don’t Make a Decision Too Quickly

Do not rush to find a content creator. As with everything, making the right decision requires careful consideration. Make a list of qualities you want in a content creator, and hire based on them. Putting in a little extra effort will ensure better results.

  1. You Get What You Pay For

As mentioned previously, cheaper does not mean better. You should never be looking to score a deal when it comes to outsourcing content writing. You should definitely have a budget in mind, but you should not compromise on content quality in order to keep costs low.

Some Advice on Successfully Outsourcing Content Writing

When it comes to outsourcing content creation, communication is key. Not only should you have a clear strategy within your business, you should communicate this to your potential content creators. You should include in your strategy: a definitive budget, set deadlines, and a clear and well thought out vetting process for potential writers. Evaluate your writers based on prior writing samples, or test their skills by asking them to complete a small trial task. A good content writer should always be willing to prove their abilities.

Another good option for outsourcing is to hire a content writing agency. Agencies provide professionalism, experience and flexibility that may often be lacking in freelancers. Agencies take care of the vetting process for you, so you know that you will likely be receiving quality content. However, you still have, and should definitely use, the option of asking for a trial task.

Go Ahead, Get Started

A better understanding of how to outsource content creation can make the process smoother and more stress free. The key is to go into the process with a clear strategy and a deep understanding of what your intentions are, and what you are looking for in a content writer. While the budget is important, you should never lower your standards to save money, as this is a short road to losing brand value. If you are still a bit confused about the process, maybe we can help.

Marketing 101: What to do With Original Research

As the varied and wide expanses of worldwide marketing have shown, no two strategies are alike. Each strategy will have to cater to different project needs, and knowing which strategy will work best for you is the starting point in any successful endeavor.

One of the most difficult hurdles to overcome in marketing is the mass amount of effort needed to create an end product worthy of beneficial responses.

In all things, there are those who thrive and those who dwindle; with the latter coming in at an astounding 65%. It’s natural for one to start asking why. 

What is it exactly that “successful” marketers are doing that the less experienced ones aren’t? 

Original Data in the World of Marketing 

What sets successful marketers apart is that a vast majority of them have admitted to using original data wherever possible.  

The real question is: how do they do that, and how can you do it too?

If you find that you are one of the unfortunate marketing minds struggling down an unnecessarily rocky path, the good news is that you’ve started asking the right questions. Better yet, with a few tips and tricks you could completely change your marketing approach for the better.

So let’s get to it.

Game Changing Things Marketers do to Improve Their Approach 

Applying a Focused Effort 

A leading component to successful marketing can be summed up in one word: focus. This means finding original content and uplifting sales. 

While working within a budget, we tend to want our resources to do a lot of things while sticking to a basic costing structure.

In most cases this can, and often does, lead to a cluttered and potentially ‘copied’ end product. It costs less to build on an already established idea, after all.

However, this is where pack leaders and successful marketers tend to break away from the norm – they do not limit themselves by using pirated ideas, and they definitely do not try and cram a potentially successful idea into an unrealistic budget. 

What makes these successful marketers shine is that they understand that the end result should never be a reflection of what you could afford, but rather present an uplifting goal or achievement that benefits your company and any potential clients simultaneously. 

So, wanting to do your content and business justice comes down to how you focus your ideas:

  • Always start by defining your marketing goals: immediate, short term and long term.
  • With these marketing goals in mind, start asking the questions that really matter. Look at your marketing ideas with a narrow perspective and cut to the simple truths of your chosen path.
  • Find the originality in each point, instead of relying on well-used ideas to define your outcome.
  • Create realistic cost parameters that are not so small that they affect your implementation, but not so large that you cannot afford them.

Getting Your Concepts out to the Public  

Marketing can be seen as the art of give and take. When done correctly, it’s a gift of solutions a business provides to the public. The take is what they get back for their efforts. 

In order to get your content properly noticed, you need to go to the people – you need to find your readers and transform your ideas into action.

There are numerous ways in which a wider content coverage can be achieved – including media mentions and backlinks. When it comes to the application, each method can provide a different type of success when used right, and while some may work better than others; a defining step leading marketers take is choosing the right method for their end goal.

  • Upon reflection, one of the most popular forms of marketing outreach is achieved through medias mention, which can include blogging, social shares and general public recognition.  
  • Statistics have shown that as much as 69% of successful marketers create partnerships with other leading web organisations; and this usually consists of social media platforms. By doing this they are able to get their marketing content out to more people and make the potential for backlinks possible.
  • Mainstream marketers make use of both outbound (advertising) and inbound (content marketing) techniques to generate hype for their content, but, any established professional will advise that finding the balance between the two can either make or break your approach. 

Using Effective Survey Technologies  

Another highly effective technique that separates successful marketers from their less-successful peers is the ability to write survey questionnaires that provide an elevated level of interest and storytelling.

While producing surveys and generating questions may seem fairly straight forward, there is actually a proven science that goes into creating a successful survey:  

  • Successful professionals take the time to establish how they want their audience to think differently as a result of their content and what it provides.  
  • They define the story they want their marketing to tell, and gear the related questions in a complementary way, e.g. including life goals for younger respondents.
  • They use respondent disqualification technology to maximise their selection process, e.g. age, sex and race. This helps ensure the surveys are being completed by the precise group of people needed at any given time.
  • They use survey logic technology when needing a survey to perform optimally. This allows a survey to ask the right questions in relation to the feedback the respondents provide, thereby avoiding incomplete surveys due to lack of knowledge or interest.

Degrees of Demographics

A great upselling trick used by industry professionals is including the ebb and flow of public consumption and patterns aka demographics. There is always some form of peer pressure prevalent in our day to day lives, and established marketers not only understand this, but find ways to use it to their benefit.

Obtaining a successful marketing impact can easily be achieved by using demographics, whether concentrating age groups, branding and public consumption or business details like company sizes, industry inf
luence or notewort
hy accomplishments. 

  • Researching demographics is not only beneficial, but crucial when wanting your work to seem credible. 
  • Successful marketers often use statistical data relating to popularity, populations and group trends in the form of “comparison” – e.g. using data in men vs woman scenarios, or saving percentages in one service vs another. This often lends them an edge over their competition purely because they are “In the know” and able to work that knowledge to their best advantage. 
  • Highlighting the attitudes and habits of different generations can also work in one’s favour; especially when targeting younger respondents. The better it makes them look, or the more impressive it seems the more they will want it. Look at celebrity presences in marketing – This is why they do it! knowing your targeted audience and customizing your efforts accordingly by applying relevant incentive could greatly benefit your end goal.     
  • Another one of the most successful benefits of demographics is that they can be very dependable and recurring, generally the public is very prone to patterns and overtime come to expect certain things. A great example of this is summer or winter sales, as the seasons change people start to expect certain types of marketing, offers and sales. Tapping into this is a great way to boost your revenue.   

Creating Original Content is what Success is all About!

An important aspect and probably the most defining difference between those who succeed and those who don’t is the ability to not only create quality content and a healthy outreach but use the momentum gained to generate future directions and accomplishments based on the feedback given by clients. 

Getting your company on the map might be the first step of marketing, but as so many successful professionals have learnt; it’s the ability to not only make today a success but also convert that proactivity towards the days to come; through adapted content creation.

So go ahead and make your mark, keep these tips in mind and soon you’ll be in successful category too! 

You Need a Content Strategy that Works

Here’s a throwback for you:

Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Let your mind wander back in time to a world where a blog was nothing more than an electronic journal for the chronically narcissistic, consistently bored teenager or desperate housewife.

Aren’t you glad you don’t exist in that particular space any more?

Flash forward a decade or so, and you’ll see that what started out as nothing more than a mere collection of diary entries has become an integral part of every business’ online marketing strategy. Ain’t technology grand?

At least 90% of B2B buyers have stated that online content has an effect on their purchasing behaviour. The fact of the matter is this: if you’re not on the content marketing bandwagon, you’re rapidly falling behind.

A few years ago, content marketing involved nothing more than churning out bulk collections of mediocre text. It didn’t really matter what you were saying, as long as you were actively posting something, your business was in the clear. With the growth of the Internet, however, that particular landscape has changed. Now, more than ever, the competition is intense. In order to take your business to the next level, you have to create content that is educational, insightful, and engaging.

In short, you need a goal. And in order to achieve that goal, you need a content strategy that works.

Set Your Goals and Start Planning

You can’t possibly begin a content marketing campaign without defining what your goals are. How will you know that you’ve been successful if you don’t have an idea of what you’re hoping to achieve?

Quite obviously, each goal will require a different approach. Your desired outcome will greatly influence the way you tackle each stage of the planning process.

Consider the following questions:

  • Do you want to build brand awareness?

  • Are you looking to instill trust?

  • Do you want to increase traffic to a particular website or landing page?

  • Are you aiming to attract new prospects?

  • Is your major goal to convert leads into sales?

  • Do you want to increase customer retention?

Once you’ve figured out precisely what your goals are, you’ll need to establish your KPIs. You need something solid to aim for in order to keep your efforts on the right track:

  • Increase website traffic to 100k visitors by a specific date.

  • Generate a certain number of new leads per month.

  • Convert a specific percentage of leads into sales by a particular date.

By creating KPIs, you’ll keep yourself (and your team) accountable. The idea here is to work backwards to develop strategies that help you achieve your goals.

Develop A Detailed Strategy

When developing your content strategy, you need to focus on a few key factors. Take the time to lay down some groundwork before diving straight in. This will prevent you from doubling back and trying to figure out what went wrong when you’re too far down the rabbit hole.

First and foremost, you need to figure out who you’re targeting. Invest some time in creating customer personas. You need to be able to successfully connect with your readers in order to generate the kind of results you want.

Keywords are another all-important aspect of any content marketing strategy. You need to choose keywords that are highly searched for in your specific industry. Take the time to figure out which topics are in high demand, and build your content around that. Give your potential audience the information they so desperately seek. Try to find a way to spin these keywords into something original and exciting; often a simple change in tone is all you really need.

You’ll also need to pay attention to where your prospects are in the buying cycle. If, for example, you’re communicating with potential customers who have no idea who you are or what you offer, you’ll need to create content that is focused on education rather than sales. On the other hand, if you’re trying to connect with someone who is already familiar with your brand, you need to deliver valuable content (case studies are a good bet) that will help you close a sale.

Finally, you need to consider which channels are important for dispersing your content. Take some time to figure out the platforms that are most likely to be useful to you, and what your goals are for each of them.

Produce High-Quality Content

As soon as you’ve ironed out your objectives and strategies, you need to start curating your content. You have two options here:

1. Work with your in-house team.

2. Hire professional content writers to help you get the job done.

Quite obviously, the path you choose will depend entirely on your in-house team’s expertise and the availability of time. If your team members are too swamped with their own regular tasks, it’s not a good idea to drown them in additional work that isn’t necessarily in their wheelhouse. Remember, you need quality content, not something slapdash you’ve cobbled together at the last minute.

If you choose to outsource your content development, invest in writers who truly understand the principles of content marketing. Make sure they’ll be able to embody your brand message. A trial task never hurt anybody, so perhaps consider asking them to write a short sample related to a topic of your choice and see if they’re a good fit.

Market, Promote, and Measure

You can create amazing content until you’re blue in the face but it won’t help you if no one sees it. Make sure to promote each and every piece of writing on all of your platforms and leverage them as much as possible. If you have to add in a small advertising budget to boost those posts, do it. A small investment can make a huge difference.

While you’re churning out content, it’s too easy to forget that you actually need to measure the performance of your posts. Circle back at least once a month to see how your content is performing. Check if you’re meeting your KPIs. If you don’t see any progress, make some adjustments. If you do see progress, keep on doing what you’re doing.

In the end, it’s all about trying new things and seeing what works for your business. Be inventive, be innovative, and above all, keep measuring your progress.

you need a content strategy that works