Working in the digital space and working with clients, I am constantly amazed at the enormous gradient when it comes to skill level in all things digital, including SEO content strategies. This is a phenomenon on the client side as well as internally to an agency. For instance, when it comes to something like SEO, anyone who knows anything at all about marketing will understand the concept. Keywords are what people type into a search engine to find what they are looking for, so I must build a strategy for my brand relevance and visibility around those keywords. Simple enough, to be sure, but as you delve into it you will soon see that working with a top SEO agency will garner the best results..
But when diving into the details of how to actually implement strategy at the execution level, it quickly becomes obvious that this is a very complex endeavor. This is one of the reasons why there are so many SEO agencies out there selling very expensive snake oil, but that is a topic for another post. The bottom line is that this stuff is hard, and requires significant expertise to architect and execute the strategic and tactical variables which are critical to driving results via conversion.
This is one of the reasons why there are so many SEO agencies out there selling very expensive snake oil, but that is a topic for another post.
Now that we are getting into content well beyond just using it as a link building strategy, we have seen that content strategy is right up there with SEO as far as level of difficulty. Below we will give you 5 cogent reasons to outsource content development and strategy.
- Writing is hard. Writing content that works for both the search engines and the intended audience is extremely hard. I call it copy shaping, and it is more art than science. Come up with a topic, a great, clickable headline, flesh out the long form content, proof, edit, proof again… And if you are really doing top tier thought leadership stuff, then it becomes a team project.
- Number one just refers to creative process elements, not to the actual theming, tone and flavor of the content. This is where it gets a bit more interesting. Once you have chosen a topic and have a general outline in mind, the question then becomes who is this being written for? We use words like target audience, buyer persona and customer journey in the marketing business, but the bottom line is that the final product must resonate with the intended audience.
- A decision must be made prior to everything mentioned in number one and number two as to the length and form of the piece. Will this be a blog post for your internal blog, an e-book, and infographic, an article pushed through a social channel, or a piece that will be put out as a press release. How many words should we use? Should we use graphics? What about our logo? A good agency has the answers for all of this.
- Channels. There are many channels through which to push your content, but which are most effective? If you are B2B, you could use LinkedIn as a publishing platform, but it can become quite confusing when you are trying to decide how to actually post an article. It can be a sponsored article or it can be published for free. You can post through a personal LinkedIn profile or through a company profile. Twitter and Facebook CAN also be effective tools for the B2B set, but typically are more effective in B2C marketing. But what about Instagram, Snapchat or Pinterest? In short, this is just another multifaceted process in need of expertise and sound, experience based best practices.
- SEO and links. This is definitely something that needs to be part of the thought process. Paid or editorial, where to put the link, what to link to, how to avoid spammy links etc. Don’t worry, a lot of people who work in the SEO business are not clear on the difference or the ramifications of paid vs. editorial links, let alone how search engines value or devalue them. And the link factor is to say nothing of architectural best practices such as actually putting some thought and variance into title tags, H1s and H2s and other factors related to SEO.
To conclude, this is just a partial list and minimal examination of why “content” and all of its iterations, channels and strategies add up to a simple strategic direction and a few tasks. Done right, it is a major endeavor requiring multiple skill sets and expertise. As with most things digital marketing, there is a big difference between doing it and doing it right.
Not only that, but time and time again across the spectrum of digital marketing specialties, I have seen companies eschew digital agencies to build an internal team, waste a lot of money to not get the results they were looking for and then go out to find an agency to fix the mess, which is far more expensive than picking up the phone and calling in a reputable, proven outsourced resource.