It goes without saying that a comprehensive content marketing strategy is a must in today’s business environment. With potential customers looking to the Internet for all forms of research, B2B companies that blog are generating 67% more leads per month than those who don’t. It is not enough to throw up a website, though. You need to create valuable content that makes your company stand out as an expert, and you need to amplify that content via social media and guest posting opportunities. What is the most effective way to tackle content marketing as a small business?
The Uphill Battle
Like many marketers, you have probably already discovered how all consuming the process is. Whether writing content yourself or hiring writers, the process of idea generation, writing, editing, blogger outreach, social sharing (and on and on…) is a massive time-suck. And that’s just the beginning. There are infographics that require research and design, Slidehare presentations and much more.
Creating decent content – content that will draw visitors and lead to conversions – is hard work. That’s why so many business owners – 62 percent according to Mashable – delegate content marketing duties to other parties.
Of course there are more or less effective ways to do this. You can seek out each individual writer, designer and the other resources you need, or you can hire a specialist firm to handle your content marketing efforts for you. The challenge for most small businesses is that the budget for a marketing agency is scary – a lot of which is wasted in overhead – and sadly, despite the additional cost, results are often average at best. In fact the more your content requires specialized expertise the less likely a content marketing agency is able to deliver the quality to price ratio you need.
Somewhere on the spectrum between doing it all yourself and hiring a marketing agency is a sweet spot of cost and effectiveness that makes perfect sense to the small business. A high quality virtual assistant with a content specialty from a company like Worldwide 101 can help you coordinate all your content activities and take much of the weight off your shoulders.
Your specialist virtual assistant can help generate content ideas, source writers and designers, screen content, do blogger outreach, handle social media, and ensure that there is always someone available to respond to comments and enquiries.
You will still need to provide strategic direction, and be the final signoff on subject matter, but it will save you a significant amount of time, effort and cost.
An ‘Assisted’ Content Marketing Strategy
- Generating ideas – The first few ideas come easily, but you have probably found it increasingly difficult to churn out fresh ideas that are worth developing. Your assistant can help you develop a content calendar with monthly themes, content organized around the time of year or holidays, content that targets specific events. She can help you do research for new ideas, that target your customer demographic.
- Writing – Every writing job has two elements – what is written (expert subject matter) and the way it’s written (writing style). Not only can your assistant help you to identify writers, but she can also help you maintain a comprehensive style guide, and prepare content outlines so that your ideas get translated into meaningful content.
- Blogger Outreach –Responding to comments on your blog, commenting on other blogs, reaching out to other bloggers to establish relationships and find guest posting opportunities are all things that your assistant can do to increase the reach of your content.
- Creating Infographics – Researching data for your infographics, sourcing a designer, and ensuring that you get the widest reach possible, mean that you can add rich content to your marketing mix on a regular basis, without blowing the budget.
Make Every Second Count
You know that every moment of your time is valuable, which is why for many business owners the content marketing dilemma is a difficult one. On the one hand your time has to be used strategically, and on the other hand quality content is a critical success factor. Now, with a virtual marketing assistant you can leverage your time to produce high value content, widen its reach, and increase the number of inbound leads to your business.
Sandra Lewis is the Founder and CEO of Worldwide101 a virtual professional services company, which provides Admin and Customer Service for companies worldwide. Born and raised in France, Sandra has travelled extensively as a Project Manager to Asia, Australia, North America and in various parts of both Eastern and Western Europe. During her career she has worked as Operations Manager for companies such as Regus and BuroServices, with a focus on supporting small businesses to be effective as they scale. Setting an example of the efficiencies gained working virtually, she manages her entire team on 4 continents, on a virtual basis.