Content marketing can take multiple years before it starts to yield significant business results. It’s totally worth the wait, though. Once you begin to build momentum, seeing trending increases in traffic and leads, you’ll probably be curious about doubling down on content marketing.
Some content marketing processes are more or less infinitely scalable, but others are not. And, the returns you’re likely to see will stop being incremental at a certain point. So when does it make sense to take your content program to the next level, and what’s the best way to make it happen without compromising on quality and ROI?
When Scaling Content Marketing Makes Sense
For the most part, increasing the number of posts on your blog helps to establish your brand as a serious contender in your field. It also provides your audience a more immersive experience, therefore upping the likelihood of sales conversions.
There are many benefits to posting consistently and often. Research suggests that if you can manage to post at least three articles per week, you will see a significant bump in lead generation and conversion compared to posting 2 or less.
Beyond traffic numbers, or "vanity metrics," it's vitally important to establish what the most important and relevant performance metrics are for every type of content you create. You need to be able to correlate goals achieved with the amount and quality of content you’re putting up.
Finding the Right Talent
Let’s say you’ve already hit the ceiling of your existing marketing team’s content production capacity, and hiring another in-house employee doesn’t feel like the way to go right now.
This means that you’ve got three options for where to turn for more human resources: people from your company who aren’t in the marketing department, freelance content generation pros and agencies that specialize in producing marketing assets.
1. Tap into Everyone’s Expertise
How many people do you have devoted to writing or other aspects of content production?
Make sure you’re drawing contributions from all of your company’s departmental experts. Getting everyone involved enriches the perspectives represented in your content, adds authenticity and puts you in a position to address things that your sales prospects care about.
Create a culture where everyone is on board with creating content. Not everyone will be thrilled about contributing, but by explaining the benefits of content marketing, you should be able to onboard a few allies from key departments.
Also, be open to receiving input in whatever format works best for the contributor – if it isn’t a proper article draft, then even a quick sketch or a few lines of shorthand may give you what you need to get it ready for publication.
2. Hire a Freelancer – or a Few
In addition to tapping into your entire company for content marketing help, you may want to involve specialists who are not exclusively members of your staff.
The “gig economy” is booming, as more and more organizations are waking up to the benefits of commissioning services from independent contractors.
There are scores of writers, graphic designers, coders, branding consultants, community managers, data analysts, video editors and conversion optimization specialists, among other experts, who can help develop your content efficiently – without any long-term commitments and without drawing the attention of your staff away from their daily tasks.
A word of warning: a lot of people who have never worked with freelancers think outsourcing is the key to their scalability. And that is true to a point. What most people overlook is the time involved in managing freelancers. It takes detailed instructions, and constant oversight to ensure the quality is worth the price, and that the job is done correctly.
Freelancers could be the magic mixture of talent for your company. Or, it could turn out to be a time sink that you have a hard time getting out of.
3. Opt for an Agency
Another way to find the kind of expertise to grow your company’s content production bandwidth is by turning to a marketing agency.
Typically, with a nod to your budget, an agency provides an assured level of expertise that is really hard to find with freelancers. After all, these are the people who eat marketing for breakfast and drink it down as a nightcap before going to bed.
People generally hire agencies for their high levels of knowledge and because the agency has already gathered a team whose collective efforts will be creative, prolific and effective.
A good agency should provide the experience that virtually guarantees results, and with the track record to prove it. Perhaps most importantly, unlike your in-house folk who have other responsibilities, an agency provides a capable, ready team that is responsible for working on your materials single-mindedly, until you see the output you like and tell them to stop.
An agency isn't as expensive as full-time marketing staff, and is generally much more expensive than freelancers. The two main benefits of the right agency over the other two options is less waste and ready access to a broader range of experience and talent.
More Content for More Performance
The more excellent content you provide, the greater the likelihood that your brand message will be heard. With so much business taking place only after consumers perform a healthy amount of online research, you want to make sure that you are front and center for them to discover you.
The best way to accomplish all of the above is simply to increase your content production.
Keep it valuable.
Keep it honest.
And keep it coming.