Why startups should outsource their content marketing

In 2020, every business needs a content marketing strategy, but for startups, high-quality content can place a new brand on a level playing field with its more established competition. The additional challenges startups face, however, can render a do-it-yourself content marketing plan dead in the water.

There are many obstacles to consider: What topics should you cover? Which content format will work best? How will your program scale with your business? What if your program is too broad or too specific? Should you work with a freelancer or hire an agency
Working with a content provider can be a cost-effective and revenue-generating option for startups.

Content development today

At a cursory glance, buying content from an online marketplace seems like a low-risk investment. Content farms can provide fast content for the bargain-basement price of a penny per word. This commoditization of content means that any business, major corporations and startups alike, can purchase in bulk at an astonishingly low price.

The problem is that the truly expert writers do not maintain profiles on content farms because they can get fair value for the quality of their content elsewhere. The true value of content lies in its ability to engage, educate and entertain a specific audience, and not every writer can pull that off.

A managed services content provider is focused on developing quality content. Content farms simply act as an intermediary between freelancers and clients. The rest is left to businesses to do for themselves, which is one of primary reasons many startups eventually hire a managed services content provider to give their websites a much-needed makeover.

Three hidden content pain points

The phrase “content is king” has become a mantra in journalism, copywriting, marketing, SEO and any other industry involved in content publishing. Agencies looking for a managed services content provider for their end clients can expand this wisdom to read, “content is king…and hard to develop alone.”

Quality content development involves hidden pain points that startups often discover only after they’ve already become overwhelmed with the amount of work it takes to maintain a quality search engine ranking. In fact, businesses make hundreds of mistakes during the optimization and scaling of their programs.

Those pain points are:

• Managing the volume of content required.

• Ensuring that content supports strategy development.

• Avoiding wasted opportunities for content optimization.

Certainly, there are many other challenges that hiring a managed content provider can address, but these three tend to give startups the biggest problems.

contentManaging the volume of content required

There’s a profound difference between buying content in bulk and writing content in bulk. Most startups don’t initially grasp how much content they need to produce, and they risk prioritizing quantity over quality.
The value of newsletters, case studies, white papers, blogs, press releases, informational articles and social media posts begins to diminish simply because startups can’t publish content fast enough to meet demand. An expert writer working for a managed content provider can write several different content formats in a matter of days, not weeks or even months.
Supporting strategy development
Similarly, due to volume constraints, startups often have a difficult time with strategy development or even take too long to create an effective strategy. For instance, a startup can purchase a dozen articles from a content farm, set them to publish automatically via WordPress and monitor how the content fares in the wild.
However, after the first few articles have been published, it often becomes painfully clear that something is missing. The price seemed right and the editorial calendar appeared sound, but the content didn’t perform and resulted in a negative ROI. Managed content providers help startups avoid this issue by developing an in-depth content strategy.

Wasting opportunities for content optimization

The opposite scenario happens, too. A startup can publish its own content and see good results, but without thorough planning and follow-through after publication, the startup might never notice that white papers are driving more sales than posts on the company blog. An experienced content provider can avoid these wasted opportunities by analyzing the success of each type of content to establish its value in the overall marketing strategy. With robust content marketing solutions, a content marketing platform like Tempesta Media can ensure your content is not only performing well but is also optimized for your unique company in your specific industry. Additionally, a content marketing provider can create a strategy that will scale as you do, ensuring your program adapts to your ongoing needs.

If you have a content marketing program or are planning one, download our e-book 100 Mistakes Businesses Make When Starting, Optimizing and Scaling Content Marketing Programs. Learn from the mistakes of hundreds of other companies as we walk you through the common and uncommon challenges they faced while implementing their content marketing programs.

Case study projects for a content marketing candidate interview

Case studies are a great wait to see if what the interview candidate says they can do during an interview, actually matches up to their skills. Case studies also help sniff out how interested a candidate is in the job.  The reason why Tempesta Media uses case studies during the hiring process is because hiring the wrong candidate can actually slow your business down.
Here are a few ideas of case studies that you can create for candidates who are applying for a content marketing position at your company:

Create an email nurturing campaign with at least five different emails:

This person should create the email and the blog article for each component of the campaign. Look for attention to detail. Does this person include subject lines, call to action descriptions, and proper links?
Nurturing campaign case studies also allows you to determine if the candidate can customize the content to match the audience or where the reader is in the marketing funnel.

Develop an editorial calendar with topics

Ask the candidate to create a brief one month editorial calendar. This will demonstrate the content marketing expert’s creativity and ability to research.
Do the topic suggestions involve something that’s already been written about?
Is the topic timely or segmented towards the audience?

Repurpose a white paper

Provide the candidate with a white paper and recommend that they break it up into smaller blog articles. See how they’re able to do it, and how they would execute it. This is a great example of someone taking initiative and being able to interpret the content that you create for them.

Ask for content marketing goals to determine ROI

Goals are critical to determine whether or not your content marketing program is successful. By asking this question during the interview process, you’ll be able to tell if the candidate is analytical and goal orientated.
Do they have a business sense?
As with any case study deliverable, pay close attention to the questions they ask, the timeliness, and the overall style of what’s produced. Need help with a strategy, How to create a simple content strategy.

Finding a content marketing firm: the difference between a marketplace and a managed service

People often throw around the buzz words “managed service” and “marketplace”. But what are the key traits that define both options? And what do they mean?
As you evaluate and optimize your marketing stack – or the marketing platforms used for different aspects of your marketing programs, considerations should be made around the type of investment and partnership you need. Content marketing as an industry has grown exponentially and there are different types of vendors and partnerships available.

Content Marketing Marketplaces – quick on boarding with a lot of work up front

Pros of working with a market place:
  • Easy to get started: Marketplaces make it easy to get started, offer ultimate flexibility with pricing, but require you to do most of the work. What do I mean by this?
  • Low commitment: With a marketplace, you can easily order one blog at a time or start with one project rather than making any long term commitment.
Cons of working with a market place:
  • You need to find and vet the writers yourself: Think about how long it takes to find a new employee and go through the interview process. Even after all the interviewing, that employee might not be able to deliver. Recruiting and sorting through writer resumes is more time consuming than most people realize and you might end up falling for common freelance writer traps. These freelance writer traps include ghosting, plagiarism, and poor turnaround time.
  • Additional services won’t be included. For example, any editing, SEO optimization account management, support, and more will be an additional fee. You also won’t be able to have consistency with your voice or your writing team. Expertise can be questionable as many times writers do not go through a stringent vetting process.
  • Can’t access the best writers: The best writers are in high demand and prefer to work with long standing partners than hunt for one assignment at a time. If you are only committing to one article, you’ll only have the chance to work with writers who are willing to succumb to learning a brand new company’s voice and style preferences.
  • No guarantee on the writing quality: There is typically a limit on the amount of revisions that you can order and if you are disappointed in the writing, it is typically money down the drain.

Content Marketing Managed Services – better quality, more time saved and a longer partnership commitment

Pros of working with a managed service:
  • All inclusive service: In regards to content marketing specifically, our managed content marketing service includes SEO optimization, unlimited revisions, editing, plagiarism screening, use of the platform, and an account manager who is available by phone and email. You aren’t charged for each individual aspect, which actually saves you more money than if you were to work with a market place who structures their pricing based on each element of the content development process.
  • Humans are there to support you every step of the way. Your account managers proactively manage your account.
  • Consistent team of writers who have real world experience: Your writing team is consistent and includes writers who have real world experience in your industry. The idea with a managed service is that you will save more time and the quality is much higher.
  • Set a schedule designed for long term content marketing results: We set up your partnership at the beginning so that you don’t have to do the heavy lifting. Once we lock in your nuances, it is easy to scale content marketing without sacrificing quality.
  • Commitment to quality: We stand by the content we provide by offering unlimited revisions, editing every piece of content to save you time in the long run, and making sure that the writing is geared towards your reader.
Cons of working with a managed service:
  • Both parties need skin in the game to get started: Because of the initial investment up front to establish a positive long term partnership, both parties need to invest in the partnership. From the client perspective, that means that they pay for the initial start up and commit to a kick off call and review of the content. From the content writing service, this means that they put in the resources to truly optimize and lock in the goals up front.
  • First piece of content can take approximately 2 weeks for delivery: The initial onboarding includes a kick off call, writer team optimization and editorial calendar development. After the kick off call it is typically around 2 weeks until you get your hands on the first article. It is a little slower than a market place, however, in the long run, you save all the time it would take to go from vendor to vendor, restarting the process over and over again. With Tempesta Media, your onboarding has a valuable impact on the long term nature of the partnership.

Find a blog writing service that works for your needs

There are many different considerations that come into play, but ultimately, each business has goals they are trying to achieve. If you are extremely limited on budget and are willing to sacrifice quality, a market place might be a good option. If you are ready to truly invest in your content marketing program, learn more about Tempesta Media’s managed service content solution.

Creating a simple, holistic content strategy

Tasked to create a content marketing program and not sure where to start? These questions are a great starting place for developing your strategy. Answer these questions and you will be well on your way to a content marketing program that justifies some serious ROI.

Why do I need to create a content strategy?

Creating content involves a lot more than just writing something and sending it out. You have to think about what your company’s mission is, what your business goals are, who your audience is, and what exactly specific types or pieces of content need to achieve. You also have to do all of that within some sort of sequence in which you decide what you want to convey, how to structure it in the right words or visual form, what tools and resources are needed to get the job done, and how to ensure that everything does what it is supposed to do and how it is supposed to do it. If you create content without a strategy in place, you are more than likely to miss the objective you are trying to hit, or deliver the message you are trying to convey, rendering your content creation initiatives a failure.
Best practices for developing a successful content marketing strategy

What is the goal/core message of this content?

The goal should answer the question, “What are you trying to accomplish with the content that you create?” For example, are you using the content to drive new leads, or to move people through the marketing funnel? The core message contains the key concepts and messages about your company that should be present within the content that you create.

Who is the audience of this content?

Is your content targeted at middle managers? Senior execs? External suppliers? Internal employees? The sales team? Perhaps you are targeting casual customers, or maybe even your most steadfast repeat customers. Depending on your target audience, you need to tailor your content’s tone and level of technicality to those specific target groups and carefully choose the platforms on which you distribute and disseminate your material.

What tone should my content take?

Your content can take on a number of different tones. For example, content that is targeted at senior execs or decision-makers would take on a formal and professional tone, and content targeted at a younger demographic might take on a more persuasive, informal, or even a colorful or humorous tone. Your tone should reflect your brand and play well with your target audience. For example, Wendy’s is known to use a very playful tone with all its branding, but Microsoft, which has a very large professional user base, often uses a more subtle and formal tone in its marketing and external communications. This contrasts with Apple and Google that often create content which can be called creative, sometimes quirky, and always ingenious – reflective of the images that both companies strive to maintain.
Find a consistent voice for your company’s content

What themes should the new content focus on?

The best way to pick a theme for your content is to focus on any one of the following: what your key competencies are (this content will reiterate your commitment to that competency, such as quality for Toyota), what market trends and insights you’ve discovered (this content will position you as an industry thought leader, such as IBM catering to the automated AI bot market), problems that plague your specific industry (this content will position you as a creative problem solver, such as any Apple product, or more recently, Microsoft Surface products) or growing and expanding your business (this content will highlight the value, happy customer base, and product/service benefits that you offer, something GE has done for a long time).

What categories should the content fall into?

Content can be broadly categorized into educational or persuasive content. Different people are at different places along the product buying cycle, so to teach those at the top of the funnel who don’t know about your product you need educational material. Keep in mind, however, that educational material should include less direct selling about your company because too much of it can turn people off. However, for people further along the buying cycle (people who may know about your product but need to be convinced to make a purchase), you can use more persuasive and sales-oriented marketing content to close the deal, and that is the ultimate job of content, to begin with.

What is the state of your existing content?

Assessing the state of existing content is made up of several separate yet related steps. First, you need to gauge how well current content is performing in the channels you are distributing it (which is discussed at the end of this article). Next, evaluate existing content against what your competitors are offering and general industry trends to ensure you are not creating outdated or irrelevant content. If the first two steps look fine, you need to apply best practices (explained below) to your content.
Finally, wherever possible, you need to optimize and automate the content creation process and workflow (also explained below) to ensure that your content is not only refined, polished, published and promoted in the right way but that you are also creating the right amount of content for all of the channels you maintain a presence on.

What are the immediate gaps in our existing content?

To answer this, you need to ask yourself if you are creating content around all your company’s core competencies versus just a few, and whether or not known customer pain points are being addressed within the sources you currently have at your disposal. One way to do this is to pinpoint the channels that your target customers most frequently use (or that they can most easily be found on), and see what kinds of content, customer interactions and visibility you already have on those platforms. Compare what you find against what people are saying, and tailor future content around trending topics and any insights you may uncover.

What are our competitors writing about?

This is easy to look up, but it is crucial to not missing the bigger picture. Your competitors may have found a lucrative niche, a message or approach that resonates better with customers that you could learn from. Notice any trends in the content, for example, are they writing about one vertical more than others? Are they offering specific types of content formats that may be more appealing to their audience? All of this helps determine what to write about and how to convey the message appropriately.

Do we need a style guide, voice guide, or brand guideline?

Absolutely. Even if you don’t have one today, it can be developed slowly over time. Tempesta Media’s Voice Profile technology ensures that the writing style and voice of content created for you matches your company’s brand, and you can use our services to build out your branding and develop internal guidelines for all future content. The Voice Profile also captures who your target audience is, how formal the writing should be, and all the other nuances our writers need to be aware of in order to create high-quality content for you. This is in addition to editing services, SEO, unlimited revisions, and more.

Who will be creating the content?

Content creation has become such an integral part of business success that there is an entire industry dedicated to it. To create content, you can hire freelancing content creators, in-house copywriters, or partner with a professional content creation company. You can even write content yourself, but in most cases, it pays for business leaders to focus on running their business and either outsourcing content creation to a third party or hiring a team of in-house writers – but do this only if budgets allow and content requirements can justify and support such a dedicated function.

What timeline should I expect?

Creating content takes both time and money and, depending on the speed at which your industry rotates, you may need more or less content. On average, simply to stay relevant, you should publish at least one piece of relevant, insightful or educational content every week, so you’re looking at a turnaround time of one week per piece of content, but if you are aggressively trying to grow your customer base, you may need more regular posts and sales content going out, as much as two or three times a week. Be careful, though; many people underestimate the time it takes to write just one quality post. It takes at least 2-3 hours of writing time to compose a 500-word blog, and this is excluding the time it takes to brainstorm topics, time spent editing and revising the content, and of course, adding any graphics and ultimately publishing it.

What types of content should be created?

You can write basic blog posts, have a mini e-book on a topic of your choice, create a podcast, send out a press release if you have had an interesting idea or a relevant event that you could talk to your audience about. If you work in a technical industry, you could even have a white paper written to break down a proposed solution or product, and send it out to the public for feedback, critiques and general opinions.

Who will be responsible for content governance?

Content delivery channels are important gateways and interface points between companies, their customers and the general public, so it is important to manage what content is publicly published, who has access and permission to do so, and that all published content matches your brand guidelines. Small companies can have a reliable senior team member handle this important function, but larger enterprises should have a dedicated hire who oversees content governance and publishing.

Will there be a content development workflow (from person to person, division to division)?

Most issues with content creation arise because of a lack of clarity about what needs to be done, by whom, how, and by when. When you consider this alongside the fact that it is worth optimizing and automating anything that you do on a regular basis (from sales email funnels to content generation and customer outreach), you should definitely outline a flexible process in which content generation is first ideated/brainstormed, passed through screens and filters for feedback and improvement, and then passed forward for actual composition, editing, review, approval and publishing.

Where can the content be distributed?

You can distribute your content on your company website, on a social blogging site such as Medium, as an answer to a question in a relevant thread on curated information sites such as Quora or Reddit, and as insight or guest pieces on LinkedIn or other publications that are well-known and respected in your industry. Once you have a piece of content ready, it can also be easily shared on social channels in the form of, say, a Facebook post or a tweet to the blog link, and you can even use email marketing strategies and pay for publication in premium news outlets (think of TechCrunch, HuffPost or Wired as premium outlets for the tech industry) to get the word out.

How will content be promoted?

Two of the most popular ways to promote online content are on social platforms (this content would take the form of, say, Facebook posts that can be promoted on the platform itself using paid promotion or social sharing by a dedicated social media manager handling content promotion), and bidding on Google search terms (using AdWords). You can use one or both of these channels and promote your content on the channel that gives you the highest traction at the lowest cost.
How to allocate your content marketing budget between creation and promotion

How will success be measured?

A lot of content is created to increase brand exposure and customer awareness, so if you define success in these terms, then social platforms allow for fairly easy collection of basic stats on shares, likes, mentions, audience reach and overall views. However, since those things don’t always translate directly into sales or an improved bottom line, you might want to measure success against more technical data such as actual sales (and where they came from), customer engagement levels, and turnaround times for things such as delivery or customer support responses.

Content marketing for startups

A lot of startup companies are driven by people with deep technology expertise, for example, programmers or engineers, who had a great idea about a product or service. They started developing a product or service in the hopes of ultimately being able to serve their audience. The challenge that nearly every startup faces is how you go about attracting and getting the attention of prospective customers, when you have so little budget to work with.

Start by building your website

From my own experience, my advice to startups is to create a website, even if your product or service isn’t at market yet. Get your domain up and get at least a couple pages on the website. Get an ability for prospective customers to get added to your newsletter and spend your first marketing dollars on content marketing.

It pays not to wait

Content marketing, by its very nature, takes anywhere from three to nine months (on average, 6 months) to be able to start getting traction. If you’re early on with your company and you haven’t yet launched your product or service, that lead time that you spend by building up your content marketing in your domain presence within the internet will be invaluable to use when you do launch. When it comes time to launch your new offering, you’ll already have an established presence online.

The number one mistake that startups make worldwide: They wait until their product is launched before they start doing any marketing. I would contend that startups should start marketing the day that the company becomes incorporated. This is step one.

Start with a Blog page

Step two is determining what kind of content you should create and how you should do it. The purpose is to get your content indexed within the search engines so that it can start ranking. You really need to publish at least once a week. Something that I recommend is that you get a Blog started on your website. Even if your site only has two or three pages, such as a Home page and About Us or Contact Us, there should be one more page called Blog. If you are opposed to calling it “Blog” other names could be “Insights”, “News”, “Thought Leadership”… you get the idea.

By establishing a repetitive cadence of publishing new content at least weekly, Google or the other search engines will start recognizing that you exist. They will start including those pages within their index for their search engine.

Keep in mind, you’re not going to show up high on any of the keyword terms that you aim to achieve for your business, but at least you are getting indexed. You have built up an initial reputation. Once you launch your product and/or service, then you should rapidly increase your cadence on content marketing. Your blog cadence should ultimately get to once a day. You should also make sure that you have your social media presence. So if you’re a B2B company, you should be on LinkedIn and Twitter. If you’re a B2C company, you should be on Twitter and Facebook, and/or potentially Instagram.

There are software plugins within WordPress that most companies start with at their website that automatically take your blog posts, create snippets of it, and publish it to your social media accounts. I strongly recommend that startups create a system to effectively promote their content to their website and across their social media channels. Once they’ve gone and started that baseline, then they’ll benefit from some initial traction.

Create your buyer personas

Now, let’s talk about what is it that you should write about (or have written for you). Before you could even do that, you have to understand who your target audience is. Most companies, especially startups, will have one or more target audiences whom they’re trying to go after. It is actually true for startups because they haven’t quite narrowed down who is the right buyer of their product and service. In many instances, the startups haven’t even launched a product or service yet.

What we recommend is that you create a persona for each and every audience that you’re going after. That persona will include who it is that you’re targeting, their motivations, what they’re like (demographically or otherwise), and what it is that you want to convey to these people that is of importance to them or solves their pain points.

At Tempesta Media, these style guides for content or personas are what we call our Voice Profile. We include these to our assignments for every single one of our customers. It’s the most basic thing that needs to get into place before you can really start any content marketing.

Start with the right keywords

The next thing that you’ll need to do is you’ll need to identify the keyword phrases to target and ultimately rank for on the search engines.

For example, if you’re a credit card company, you don’t go trying to say “I want to rank number one in the world for credit cards.” It’s just not going to happen right off the bat. Pick some two-, three-, or four-word keyword phrases that have relatively low competition and search. You can start to rank by creating content that specifically targets those keyword phrases and appeal to the audiences who would be interested in those.

That’s where startups should start within the first three to six months of launching their content marketing. Get some early successes with these smaller keyword phrases because when you get successes with those that you build up, you gain more authority within the search engines, which means more traffic to your site. It also means that it’s going to be easier for you to rank on the higher keyword phrases or the ones that have higher volume or competition. Content marketing best practices for SEO also recommend that the the keyword phrase be in your meta title and descriptions as well.

Geotags matter, sometimes

If you do a geographic attack to it, like for example, a “lending company in Chicago”, that’s actually a whole different keyword phrase. When using geotags, best practices depend on the type of product or service you’re offering. Let’s say you’re a dry cleaner. Having the geographic appendage added to your keyword phrases is absolutely imperative because if you’re a dry cleaner in Chicago, you don’t want to attract visitors that are from Texas.

Take your customers to the next step

The next step that a customer needs to do to get their content marketing strategy off the ground is to determine what action that you want your visitor to take. In marketing terms, this is called the buyer’s journey.

Once someone is on your website and has read an article – it is time to determine what they should do next. If you’re a startup and you don’t have your product in the market, start off with something that is very low commitment from the visitors perspective. You can ask them if they want to sign up for a newsletter at the end of the article or recommend other articles that may be of value to them. This builds your credibility, keeps the prospect engage, and serves as another relationship touch point.

The more content someone reads, the more they’re going to gain an affinity toward your company. They will also positively view your company and be more likely to buy from you in the future. So at the end of each piece of content, there should be some sort of call to action. At the start, it should be something as simple as “here are some other articles that you might be interested in” or “download this e-guide on how to do X Y and Z” or “sign up for our newsletter to get timely briefings on content marketing.”

There always should be a call to action because even though start ups have numerous priorities and initiatives, there’s nothing wrong with building up a newsletter and an email list early on. There’s nothing wrong with building up an affinity with your prospective buyers.

There was one company that didn’t launch for 12 months. Within that 12-month period, they built up excitement about their potential launch through their website. They added hype right on the front page “Sign up here to be informed when we will launch.” So almost 25,000 people had signed up for their solution before it even was launched. The moment that launched, they had tremendous success right out the door because of the material that they used to build up the momentum.

Repurpose old content

The last thing that startups tend to tend to overlook is repurposing the content that’s being created. When sharing content, you can use snippets when posting in your social media networks. The other thing that’s incredibly effective as well is using micro influencer marketing to start getting the word out about what you’re talking about.

Tempesta Media offers a micro influencer marketing solution, which is very inexpensive from a budget perspective. It could be quite effective when used in conjunction with a content marketing or your SEO program.

Tempesta Media Named Top Ten Start-Up by FUND Conference

HONOR FURTHER VALIDATES COMPANY’S CONTENT AND INFLUENCER MARKETING PLATFORM

October 25, 2018 – Chicago, IL – Tempesta Media, LLC a leading content and influencer marketing platform, was named one of the top ten start-ups by FUND Conference.  The event and conference was held in Chicago.  Over 100 innovative companies participated in the event and competition.
“We are pleased that Tempesta Media was selected.  Because many of the attendees were businesses running active digital marketing programs, it represents further validation of our company’s unique approach to solving the challenge most companies face when trying to scale their content marketing programs – how to scale without negatively impacting quality or performance.”, commented Michael Marchese, Founder and CEO of Tempesta Media.
The award marks another achievement and milestone in the company’s progression, adding to a string of successes in 2018.

About Tempesta Media

Tempesta Media is a content creation and micro-influencer marketing platform.  Every business struggles with scaling their content marketing program, without sacrificing quality. Tempesta Media solves this problem.   We deliver 10X better performance for up to 80% less cost than trying to create content in-house.
Using Tempesta Media’s proprietary technology platform and leveraging over 20,000 registered and vetted expert writers, Tempesta Media delivers a scalable solution at up to 10X better quality than competing solutions and up to 80% less expensively than building an internal content marketing department.

About FUND Conference

FUND is the preeminent international connector of entrepreneurs, venture capital, private equity, angel investors, and industry experts with a focus on high-quality curated deal flow, captivating content, and same-day connections. FUND’s market-leading conferences have successfully hosted over 5,000 investors and entrepreneurs from all over the world. FUND alumni have gone on to raise over $300 million collectively in just a few years.

Little-Known Benefits of Content Marketing

The era of traditional outbound marketing favored the creation of sales pitches that focused on persuading prospective customers to purchase a business’s products or services. They had to be concise and catchy to hold the interest of prospects long enough to make a purchase. Although such strategies worked in the past, old sales tactics produce negligible results and negatively impacting conversion rates. Businesses need to look for better and more effective strategies to grab the attention of potential customers.
Content marketing has a lot of advantages over traditional outbound marketing tactics and is far more effective. Over 90% of B2B companies favor content marketing over traditional marketing strategies because it generates more leads. When used properly and integrated as part of an overall marketing strategy, content marketing has the power to pull more traffic to your website, improve conversion rates and significantly boost your business’ revenue. It is indispensable to every advertising, marketing or brand promotion campaign, no matter the industry or vertical. Let’s take a look at some of the little-known benefits of content marketing.

Decreases churn

Churn refers to the category of customers who made one-time purchases or stopped using your product or service altogether. Research by Emmet Murphy and Mark Murphy show that reducing churn by 5% can increase your profitability by as much as 125% and one of the most effective ways of doing this is by providing customer-focused content. Such content will answer pertinent questions, provide solutions to customers’ problems, drive service or product adoption, help in the creation of brand advocates and ultimately reduce churn. Since the acquisition of new customers costs 6x as much as retaining existing ones, reducing churn using content marketing will ensure effective utilization of your marketing budget and increase conversion rates thereby generating more revenue.

Boosts employee morale

One of the side benefits of content marketing is the impact it has on the morale of your employees. Apart from building credibility and authority in the minds of potential and existing clients, a piece of content marketing can positively impact the author’s mind and morale. The knowledge acquired when your executives and employees take time to perform in-depth research on a given subject and organize the information into comprehensive content briefs is invaluable. Content marketing thoroughly engages them in their work and makes them more confident about their abilities, thereby boosting their morale and making them more productive in the long run.

Expands your retargeting audience

Statistics show that 96% of visitors to your website leave without making a purchase and 70% of those that add products to their shopping cart usually abandon them before completing the purchase. This amounts to a significant loss of revenue. Deploying an effective content marketing strategy enables you to capture and re-engage these potential customers through retargeting. Retargeting is a marketing strategy where potential customers who have shown some interest in your website are remarketed to using social media or search ads. When a lead hits a piece of content on your website, retargeting allows you to identify these visitors and show them relevant ads after they have left your website.

Speeds up the sales cycle

Over the years, the length of the average sales cycle has increased by 22% due to slow economic growth and more decision-makers in the purchasing process. The more time it takes for a customer to move down the sales funnel, the more resources you use up. This means that a shorter sales cycle is desirable for improved revenue generation and profitability. The solution to this problem lies in the effective use of content marketing. A recent study shows that 57% of the purchasing decision is made before any contact with the supplier. This means that over half of the buying decision happens as a result of your brand’s reputation, thought leadership in the industry, information posted on your website, social media awareness, etc., all of which can be improved through content marketing. Expediting the buying process requires the creation of relevant and targeted content for each stage of your sales cycle.

Provides more opportunities to engage leads

Publishing more content on your website and social media platforms increases the number of opportunities you have to engage your target audience. As the volume of content increases, so also does the chances of converting leads into customers. More content on your website creates more opportunities and touch points to engage leads, move them further down the conversion path, build trust and relationships and eventually turn them into paying customers.

Improves referrals

Unlike traditional outbound marketing tactics, content has the added benefit of being shareable. Getting your customers to share your content increases your business’ online visibility, enables others to benefit from the information it contains and enhances your reputation as an industry leader. Since your customers already trust your brand, you can leverage their influence to turn their friends, colleagues and family members into prospective customers.

Improves credibility and customer loyalty

Reports show that over 50% of digital marketers view the creation of blog content as their No. 1 inbound marketing strategy. This is due to the effectiveness of blog content in attracting, engaging and retaining the attention of website visitors and customers. Publishing high-quality content positions you as an industry leader, increases your credibility and ensures that you have a competitive edge over rivals in the online marketplace. Being seen as a credible source of information in your chosen industry increases the trust customers have in your brand, allowing you to build a loyal customer base.
These are just some of the benefits of investing in content marketing. Compared to traditional outbound marketing strategies, content marketing is cost-effective and much better at generating sales. No matter your objective, whether it’s higher conversion rates, an increased customer base, better relationships with existing customers, or the generation of more revenue, content marketing is just the thing for you.

How to create more content with an understaffed marketing team

For people who wear many hats on a small marketing team, content marketing might sound like a scary term. After all, to do it well, it’s important to be able to produce high-quality content on a consistent basis. If you’re serving multiple marketing functions, that feat might feel impossible.

Luckily, successful content marketing with a small team is possible.

It’s also a necessity: Content marketing helps you reach the customers in most need of your product or service. By reaching leads through quality content that speaks to them – NOT to your brand – you are empowering them to choose your brand.

Sometimes they choose you right away. Sometimes they choose you six months later. Still, they choose YOU.

The struggle is real

Unfortunately, small marketing teams sometimes struggle to do content marketing well. That’s often because:

  • There isn’t enough time in the day to keep up with the volume of high-quality content needed to make an impact.
  • Due to limited budgets, recruiting top content marketing talent is tough in an increasingly competitive job market.
  • C-level executives or supervisors do not understand the value of content marketing.

The key is to develop a content marketing strategy that delivers results without overtaxing your staff, or your budget. I’m here to tell you it can be done – but not before you realize and accept this one thing:

It’s not about you. It’s not about how great your company is, how much money it’s brought in, or how many people currently do business with you.

It’s about your customers. What are their pain points? What do they need? How is your company in a unique position to address those needs and pain points?

Once you can honestly and effectively answer those questions, you are well on your way to content marketing success.

It can be done

Other companies are answering those questions, and seeing excellent ROI as a result. For example – Frontline Education’s content marketing strategy accounted for 32 percent of its new business. AARP’s content marketing program, featuring “AARP – The Magazine,” is read religiously by more than half its members.

If your staff is small, don’t worry – you can still achieve results like this! Your approach will require a little creativity, but it can be done. Here are some ways to make it happen:

Focus on quality

If you’re keeping a laser focus on your customers, this part will be a lot easier. Constantly gather and analyze the information your customers are giving you through their interactions with your company.

  • What kinds of question do they ask when they take the time to call or email?
  • Are they leaving you mediocre reviews?
  • Are you seeing a trend in online conversations surrounding your company?

If your content consistently addresses the very topics your customers care about, your content will be found online by the right people, who will then visit your website and turn into leads.

Hire an intern

According to this Hubspot study, companies that publish 16 or more blog posts per month get more than triple the traffic of those that only publish up to four times per month. But … 16 posts a month? We don’t blame you if that sounds impossible.

Still, one post per week to help drive traffic to your website is better than nothing.

Hiring an intern is a cost-efficient way to help the staff keep up with content demand while keeping costs down. Many talented, up-and-coming people who need the experience will likely jump at the chance!

One challenge that utilizing an intern to generate content is that the intern likely won’t have the technical or industry expertise to create content that appeals to your target audience.

Collaborate across departments

If you’re starved for content ideas, you need to enlist the help of other departments that regularly interact with customers, or the data they provide.

Connect regularly with your sales department by setting up a way for them to share the customer pain points they hear about most. Companies use collaborative software to jot down pain points and ideas about potential blog articles. This feedback can be used to develop high quality blog articles, eGuides, and case studies to fuel your content marketing program.

The major obstacle utilizing different departments to fuel your content marketing program is that actually getting a sales rep or someone on the executive team to sit down and write can be like pulling teeth.

Outsource content creation to a reliable partner

… but don’t outsource to just anyone. Lower quality content providers without industry expertise will end up costing you more time and money with rewriting and editing alone.

Instead, consider a content provider like us. Tempesta Media’s team of industry and subject matter experts can deliver high-quality, on-budget content tailored to your customers’ needs.

Think of Tempesta Media as an extension of your marketing team or an entire copywriting department for your organization. Writers with industry expertise, Voice Profile style guides, and guaranteed turnaround times ensure that the writing quality is high and the process is easy.

We can help you execute a consistent, top-quality content marketing strategy that turns leads into new customers. Give us a call to get started or schedule a time on our calendars to chat.

The biggest content marketing challenges startups face

As if startups don’t have it hard enough,they also have to deal with serious challenges when engaging in content marketing. Fortunately, there are workarounds to these problems.

Challenge: Not having a plan

According to eConsultancy and Outbrain, 54 percent of businesses don’t have an on-site, dedicated content creator. That means there isn’t somebody on staff who can come up with a marketing plan, create an editorial calendar and execute content.
If hiring a full-time staffer isn’t possible, bring in a consultant. Make sure this person not only scopes out a content marketing plan, but looks to your overall goals. Your marketing plan and content marketing plan should not be two separate items created in silos. You must integrate them.
Additionally, don’t make the mistake of simply allowing this hire to take on the load without some of your involvement. If you find yourself typically floundering and unsure how to create a plan, have this consultant explain the process to you, step by step. Good timeline and project management are key to content marketing, and learning what the work entails will help you control how your brand is presented.

Challenge: Expectations

Too many businesses think that content marketing will be a silver bullet. They expect that putting a “Blog” tab on their website will magically pull in an audience. One great article isn’t going to put your startup on the top of a Google search. Successful blog posts take time. There are no real tricks to get you noticed right away.
So how can you create realistic expectations and avoid Internet heartache? As with most everything else you do in business, set smaller, short-term goals. Have a budget for what will be written. For example, don’t spend thousands of dollars on a handful of expert posts. Instead, get a few dozen well-written and high-quality blog posts on the site. Take the time to look at your analytics. Where are the numbers? What is successful? Be relevant and create per audience demands.
Set other goals that seem achievable for followers and/or email subscribers. Remember that it often takes time to build this base. When you find that you are meeting or exceeding your goals, raise the bar. Be patient, deliver the best quality content you can and results will happen.

Challenge: Timing

Startups typically have a lot of things on their plates. Content marketing is often something that companies push to the back burner when everything from staffing to payroll becomes top of mind. Here’s one thing to keep in mind when it comes to content marketing: it takes time.

Content marketing is not a Super Bowl ad. It’s not a 36-hour sale. Content marketing is about building relationships, and relationships take time.

A good relationship is worth beginning now. Don’t expect people to jump to you later, when you want them. Plant the seed now, nurture it and give it time to grow. Dedicate at least one person to content marketing. Prioritize online content and establish your voice. Become the expert your audience is seeking. In a highly competitive market, distinguishing yourself with solid content marketing earns customer loyalty. Consistently delivering content builds relationships, gets visitors to return and converts them to customers. Starting now, instead of down the line, can mean everything to your bottom line.

Challenge: Not having the staff

Startups are inherently short on the resources they need. In fact, this includes the human resources to get necessary tasks done. Once you understand that content is a priority, the challenge lies in getting the right people to crank out the right content.
With content marketing, it’s important to have consistent and high-quality information. You don’t want to simply post something just so you can say you are adding blog posts to the website. Essentially, quality content needs to be focused and well-written.
While hiring freelance writers is an option to get this task done, finding the right freelancers can be labor-intensive. It also includes searching for writers and then monitoring their work. One way to get the best return on your investment is to bring on an expert team via a content provider. Content providers like Tempesta Media vet writers to ensure the timeliness and accuracy of the information you need to best promote your brand. Additionally, content providers identify keywords and focus on SEO-optimized content, ensuring that your new quality content can be found.
When seeking out a content provider, take some time to first understand your content needs so you know what to request. Work with the provider to make sure your style and personality match theirs. Ask about timelines, milestones and metrics so you can measure success. Ultimately, if you pick the right provider, you will see definitive results.
Tempesta Media is an outsourced content marketing provider that will optimize and empower your marketing strategy. Contact us to learn more.

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