Many companies don't want to hire a marketing agency. There are many reasons for this. It could be a budget issue or fear of losing creative control. Some believe external authors lack the product or industry expertise needed to write effectively or relevantly. Others are concerned that content written by others will not be in brand voice.
While these are legitimate concerns, these same companies often recognize the gaps in their marketing and realize that bridging them is outside of their capacity. While they may have in-house marketing personnel who can write, all the work they accomplish will not make a difference unless a clear marketing strategy and implementation process is in place.
Agencies also have concerns about working with clients on content production. They often suffer through the arduous process of planning content, coordinating with writers, and often getting the content past deadline.
While there are pros and cons for overall marketing being done by an agency or handled entirely by an internal team (stay tuned for an upcoming post about this), this post focuses on the efforts of joint content writing.
If a plan for clear and regular communication is in place and if both parties are committed to success, it is possible for agencies and clients to work together to create content that supports a solid marketing plan.
A content writing strategy that unites insourcing and outsourcing is attainable.
Below is our approach to handling joint content planning and writing with customers. We always start with a GamePlan and work forward. We believe that content has no purpose without a strategic marketing plan in place.
- Construct A GamePlan
To start the process, we spend time constructing a GamePlan which contains the following elements.
- Overview of competition
- Buyer persona profiles
- Keyword analysis to identify and prioritize search terms
- A 12-month strategy outlook in brand, web, search, social, content and PR
- First quarter activity chart with a detailed plan that includes tactics, task lists, and timelines
- First quarter content marketing calendar including ideas for blog post ideas, case studies, videos, white papers, eBooks, webinars, articles, and more
- Build An Inbound Content Calendar
Once the GamePlan is in place, we create a chart in Google sheets that contains social posts, blog posts, content offers, and e-blast articles for the quarter and often beyond. Having all this content in one place makes for convenient access and allows others shared access to review, see the big picture plan at a granular level, and know what's happening in upcoming months.
- Flesh Out Content
As a final step, we move all content offers and blogs into GatherContent. We use this format to write, edit, and approve content. The process is fluid because a logical workflow is built into the system. Content moves through the writing, editing, and approval process seamlessly.
We're often the one who handles the meta descriptions, SEO, keyword implementation, and publishing. However, it's up the agency and client to decide which works best in their scenario.
To dig dipper on this topic, read Should You Insource or Outsource Content? A Blended Approach May be Best by SocialMediaToday.
Need help creating great content that drives your marketing strategy? Let's join forces. Contact us today to get the ball rolling. If you're not convinced that your marketing strategy is working, take a step back and consider taking advantage of our free marketing assessment.