Photo courtesy of tiramisustudio @ Free Digital Photos

You have read all the studies and know that content marketing is essential to the future of your online business. Unfortunately, now you feel overwhelmed and don’t know how where to start. This is the point that many start-up companies and small business owners look to hire outside help. It’s a large, but necessary investment if you hope to attract and keep customers in the competitive online marketplace.

Initial Assessment and Strategy Development

A good content marketing company wants to know as much about your business as possible. Your initial meeting should include an assessment of your online presence, studying your buyer personas, understanding the competition, and deep knowledge of your company’s purpose. This foundational information helps the content marketing representative develop an online strategy for your company. Of all services provided by a content marketing company, this is perhaps the most important of all. It should include these things at a minimum:

  • Analyzing the current keywords you use and suggesting improvements
  • Improvements to your existing website
  • Establishing or improving your company’s social media presence
  • Development of your marketing funnel
  • Creation of a content marketing checklist

If you don’t understand any part of the newly-created strategy for your company, don’t hesitate to ask. It’s essential that the company you hire not rush through any part of strategy development or you won’t see the customer acquisition and retention that you desire.

Content Creation Enters the Picture

You’re now ready to place content on your website and across the Internet. This could include blog posts, videos, eBook downloads, product descriptions, and much more. At this stage in working with new clients, many content marketing companies reach out to freelance writers to produce the content for them. It’s their job to maintain a high-level overview of the entire process, so the ability to hire freelancers is a huge bonus.

The company you hire often comes up with search engine optimization (SEO) criteria for the writer to include in the assignment. Using key phrases and words that your representative already identified as SEO friendly helps the search engines rank your content. That means people find your website – and your products and services – sooner than they would have without an SEO effort.

Tracking Your Results

Your content marketing representative should keep you continually apprised of the success of key phrase and words after publishing your content. However, it’s important to understand you won’t have immediate results no matter how good your content and SEO. It takes time for the search engines to crawl and index your site. It’s reasonable to except frequent ranking reports showing which search terms are leading people to your site. It should also show how you’re doing for your geographic area and against the competition.

Comparison Testing

You can’t know the type of content that will attract the most people until you publish at least two versions of it. This is the concept of A/B testing in the content marketing world. It’s important to hire a firm willing to test different headlines, photos, and types of content to see which perform the best.

Content Runner helps hundreds of agencies manage the content production aspect of their clients’ long-term marketing strategy. Feel free to reach out with questions or browse our writer directory linked above.