How to Leverage Internal Content Efforts with Hired Digital Marketing Experts

Jen Saunders

If you are working with a content marketing agency, then you clearly understand the value of properly optimized content, and how it can ignite any business growth strategy. But did you know that 9 out of 10 businesses overlook their own internal potential for leveraging their investment?

The “why should I do internal work when I am paying a digital marketing agency to do it mentality” will not churn the best results. Sure, if you work with true SEO experts you will get great results BUT why not get even better results by learning from your search marketing agency while simultaneously teaching your own internal team? After all, more content is ALWAYS a good thing, and when you have a content marketing agency willing to provide a level of mentoring to help your team increase their content skills, you are essentially getting consulting services on the side at no extra cost, and you are investing in your team.

work with a marketing team

You Need to be Working with the Right Digital Marketing Experts

Here’s the thing: most agencies aren’t going to favor the idea of supporting your internal team through an engagement, and here are the most popular reasons why:

They Fear Being Out-Shined – Think about it. Any savvy business is going to hire interns or internal teams that come with sterling resumes, and the best resumes generally boast impressive educations (psst, people who can write). Now consider two standard agency types: you have the large companies with 100+ people who have a “wash and rinse” content mill model run by minimum wagers or underpaid disposables treated as entities to a “revolving door” staffing model. Then you have micro start-ups that hand-pick the cheapest labor, and with that comes with the under-skilled who are still learning the basics. In general, It goes without saying that any intern or internal hire will be able to write circles around these novice agency scribes.

They Are Limited in Communication Engagement– Most agencies schedule monthly calls with clients, and even their email communication is restricted to turn-around times. Another popular standard procedure for client-facing protocol that large agencies use is the ticket request system.  Simply put, these models makes large agencies more money because it directs manpower to tasks that garner greater returns.

They Hoist the Up-sell Flag– When agencies are willing to mentor your internal team, they almost always do so through up-selling clients into ala carte consulting services. This is an industry standard practice.

best marketing agencies

How Boutique Marketing Agencies Stand Apart

Mid-size boutique digital marketing agencies drive their profits by limiting their client rosters so they can offer the best custom experience and top quality work while ensuring retention. Some of these agency characteristics include:

  • Mid-size with 15 to 30 employees
  • Limited number of clients to ensure service quality
  • White-glove customer care, all the way
  • Customized growth marketing strategies unique to each client
  • Ongoing communication from the same specialist or same team each time
  • Staff members are TRUE EXPERTS given competitive salaries for their exceptional skill set
  • High-end collaboration, no extra charge

When businesses work with mid-size SEO agencies offering custom marketing services to each client’s goals and needs, their customers get greater attention, personalized campaigns, better engagement AND exceptional communication that often includes a side of mentoring. This allows interns some internal education for greasing the efficiency wheel.

local SEO with Google

Your Interns Must Learn to Speak in Google

Before your team studies the content your agency produces and tries to follow suit, they must first get an entry-level grasp for how Google crawls and rewards content. Over the years, the search engine has made a number of updates to improve search results, and with that came raising the bar in content standards and best practices. Learning Google’s algorithm change history will help your team get a better grasp on the direction content is heading.

Your Writing Staff Should Dive Into Google RankBrain

Google RankBrain is a core algorithm and major driver in how the search engine’s bots determine ranking. Empowered by AI and Machine Learning, RankBrain crawls and records favored search results with specific queries to determine user intent, and provide the best possible solutions. In other words, the algorithm self-educates and learns as it grows. Understanding how RankBrain works will help your interns know how to parley articles from your digital marketing agency with their own internal blogs to create in-depth content designed to delight both Google bots and human readers–a sure sign you are becoming “fluent in Google”.

mobile seo

Write the Way Mobile Searchers Speak

About 70% of all searches are performed on mobile devices with the majority of queries executed through voice search. The big take-aways here are (1) how you use your keywords and (2) how you structure portions of your content.

In reality, you can write more organically for mobile AND STILL rank for desktop. Gone are the days where content is jammed full of short keywords to increase ranking. In addition, if your main keyword is “Los Angeles surf rentals”, you don’t need to populate your H tags and content with this EXACT form. Due to Google Hummingbird’s entry onto the stage a few years ago, and the more recent incorporation of AI in Google’s algorithms, high-ranking content must read naturally with longtail and short-form keywords mixed in. So be informative while using variations like “best surf rentals in Los Angeles”, and “where to rent surfboards in LA”. Make sure your keywords are nesting in well-written, original content tailored to your consumers. If your digital marketing agency has an open communication policy with clients, ask them to point your interns towards blogs they can study to better understand this task at hand.

content marketing

Learn to Write Emotional Content

With AI and Machine Learning at the heart of Google’s algorithm, the search engine is able to display results according to emotion-driven searcher intent. Good content needs to think beyond keywords, because RankBrain has made Google more human than ever before.

According to Google, “if RankBrain sees a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, the machine can make a guess as to what words or phrases might have a similar meaning and filter the result accordingly, making it more effective at handling never-before-seen search queries.”

When Google crawls sites it looks for user intent queues and the alternative results users click into. As it continues, it learns to better understand the various driving factors to a searcher’s decision-making process. When savvy digital marketing agencies set their content department into production, AI and Machine Learning is taken heavily into account within the folds of emotional content harvested from consumer modeling profiles.

Your interns are in an ideal place to make this work for your content. After all, you have access to your consumer data that pinpoints who your customers are, where they come from, and what their spending triggers are. This allows your writers to create consumer models and write emotional content FOR your various niche audiences. By writing copy that sits well with Google AND that is directly catered to your specific buyers, you will see a spike in online engagement across the board.

inbound marketing experts

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Your Growth Marketing Agency

If you are working with a mid-size growth marketing agency, and you have some talented interns or staff writers at your table, don’t be bashful; ask your agency rep if they would be willing to throw out suggestions as to how they can assist in marketing efforts. Ask for a set of guidelines to follow for writing blogs. Inquire if your interns could play a role in seeking out guest blog opportunities for off-site SEO. Boutique agencies form personalized relationships with clients, and so long as you are working with a company that values collaborative communication, you can tap your digital marketing experts for a wealth of educational information that will help polish your staff and set your brand on its way to running a highly successful inbound strategy powered by high octane content.
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Jen Saunders is the Director of SEO for WEBITMD bringing more than 15 years of search marketing experience. She spent 13 years in Europe earning her PhD while looking at lots of old neat stuff. Jen enjoys simple things, like trees, sunrises, and the delicate lull of a 16th century harpsichord. Jen enjoys meditating and studies Buddhism. She is a certified master scuba diver, dolls make her nervous, and she enjoys craft beer. Jen has two cats, Chairman Thaddeus Whiskers and Lord Joffrey Gaius Pitty-Paws. They are her heirs.

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