How to Outsource Your Content Marketing

Content Marketing is King

You know your field inside and out, and you’re ready to take your business to the next level by adding content marketing to your comprehensive marketing plan. Well-written, thorough blog posts, timely social media, how-to videos, and strategic emails will make the most of your experience and expertise—and you’re excited to start putting these tools to work for your business growth.

There’s just one problem: creating all of this content takes time and consistency, which can be a challenge for growing companies.

From writing, editing, and posting blogs to studying reports, updating websites and landing pages, and staying on top of trends and tools, you’ve got a daunting to-do list. Factor in the time it takes to become proficient with the software needed to produce quality content, and you’re looking at spending a minimum of 15 hours a week once you’ve got an organized system in place.

As a result, many companies have found that outsourcing their content marketing is a solution that makes sense. The first step towards outsourcing content marketing is putting a few policies and components in place.

Tips For Outsourcing Your Content

By taking these small steps early on in the process, you can build a positive relationship that wins followers, expands your thought leadership, and increases conversions.

  • Start with your audience. Who do you want to attract to your company? Doing research on your audience and creating an avatar of your ideal customer is an important step toward a successful content marketing plan.
  • Think about your style. Do you want to publish highly technical pieces about your industry, or would you prefer more casual conversational blog posts? What’s your brand’s voice? Should content be written to sound as though it’s coming from you, or would you prefer a third-person, more formally written piece?
  • Think about your business. One of the biggest concerns many small business owners have when outsourcing content marketing is that the writer or marketer won’t understand their unique niche. Take the time to help the content marketing specialist shine by documenting your history, mission, vision, and goals. Include information that you’d like to see as standard in each piece.
  • Think about where you’re going. What’s your ultimate content marketing goal? Would you like to increase conversions or reach? Setting clear goals from the beginning helps the copywriter determine what they need to do to help you meet and exceed your goals.

Once you have a sense of your content goals, it can be helpful to create a short list of blog ideas, select a few different copywriters or copywriting agencies, and ask them to create a piece or two based on your chosen topics. When reviewing submissions, consider whose voice and style most closely matches your own, and which pieces best capture your company spirit.

Choosing Where to Outsource

Additionally, it’s important to keep these three things in mind when deciding where to outsource your copywriting:

  • Look beyond the dollar sign. In copywriting, you get what you pay for, and investing in quality content can have a powerful effect on your company’s success. No matter where you outsource your content marketing, remember that in order for your investment to generate a return, the writing must be clear, concise, and value packed, with a call to action that spurs consumers to take the next step.
  • Be clear from the get-go. Outsourcing your content marketing should never mean stepping back completely. Let the writer know what you want to see, be available and willing to answer questions, and review the content before publishing. Making style and voice suggestions can help in two ways: the writer learns more about you and can shape content accordingly, and you stay familiar with what is being written, preparing you to answer any questions or field any calls that come in as a result.
  • Remember, content marketing is all about relationships. Whether you’re working with your customers, employees, or your content marketing creators, the road to success is a two-way street. Investing your time and resources in the content marketing process upfront will help you see bigger returns and a more engaged, excited audience.

Above all, find a company or writer you trust, work closely with them in the beginning, and have patience. Becoming an established thought leader in your field isn’t something that happens overnight. Once you get a plan in place, allow your content marketing specialist or copywriter to do what they do best—create quality content—so you can spend your time focusing on your company, doing what you love.

Gabe Arnold

 

Gabe Arnold is the founder of Copywriter Today where you can get unlimited fresh content for all your marketing needs. If you want 250 free headline ideas for your next marketing campaign, use their free tool here.

Ruby’s at MILOfest!

MILOfest 2013

We’re delighted to be exhibiting again this year at MILOfest! Several Ruby clients and friends are speakers, and we’re excited to get to see folks in person — at the (second) happiest place on earth, no less!

If you’re attending, feel welcome to drop by Ruby’s booth and say hello to our General Manager Diana Stepleton!

Virtual Receptionists Jami R. and Lauren O. Spread Cheer with a Blanket Drive

Ruby Receptionist Gives Back
Lauren O. and Jami R.

We’d like to give a special shoutout to two Rubys who have been Creating Community in and outside of the Ruby office. The weather’s getting a little chillier here in Portland, Oregon, and virtual receptionist Lauren O. and Team Captain Jami R. saw an opportunity to help those in need. This is the second year that the pair have organized a blanket drive, and they’ll be collecting blankets through the end of November to donate to The Good Neighbor Center and Operation Night Watch.

Jami says she’s been touched by the reception from Rubys and friends so far; “I’ve already received over two carloads full! Quite the turn out!”

If you’re in the Portland area, feel free to swing by our virtual receptionist service and drop off your new or used blankets!

Help a Shelter Dog in Need!

Team Ruby with virtual receptionist Holly T.'s dog, Dogmar
Team Ruby at the Autism Walk 2010 with Holly T.’s dog, Dogmar

There are quite a few dog lovers here at Ruby® Receptionists, including me.  Lauren O., one of our talented virtual receptionists, organized a day awhile back for a group of Rubys to volunteer at the local Humane Society, Rubys have walked in the Oregon Humane Society’s Doggie Dash the past couple of years, and a few of us are lending our professional telephone answering skills to their annual telethon next month.

So when I found out Pedigree was holding a campaign called “Write a Post, Help a Dog,” I knew we had to get involved! For every blog post written between now and September 19th (this Sunday) about Pedigree’s adoption program, they’ll donate a twenty pound bag of dogfood to a shelter. Twenty pounds! It’s a very generous offer and a great program. It’s wonderful to see everyone band together to promote positive change — Creating Community at its best!

Ruby Honored as One of the 100 Best Green Companies

We just learned that we’re being honored as one of the 100 Best Green Companies to Work for in Oregon by Oregon Business Magazine.  We’re told that we achieved this by implementing a variety of green policies, and because our employees place a high value on sustainable practices and feel that our commitment to them is exceptional… and we agree!  We’ll find out our ranking in June – so stay tuned.

Happy Halloween!

As Halloween approaches, Ruby has the office decorated with faux spider webs and rubber bats, and there is excitement in the air.  The staff is getting ready for dressing up, treats, and parties this Saturday.   Halloween is one of the oldest holidays still widely celebrated today, and its popularity is second only to Christmas.  But how much do we really know about the holiday?

 

Most historians trace the origin of Halloween back to Celtic traditions in pre-medieval Europe.  The Celts celebrated October 31st as the last day of their calendar, a sort of Celtic New Year.   The celebration had roots in honoring the dead, and has been known by many names in its long history.  The term “All Hallows Eve” was given to the celebration by early Christians who recognized the day as the eve before All Saints Day.  “All Hallows Eve” has evolved into the Halloween that we know and love today.

 

Some of the traditional American customs of Halloween have roots in old Celtic and early Christian customs.  The carving of pumpkins dates back to the early Celts when they used to carve lanterns out of turnips or rutabagas and set them on their windowsills to represent the souls they had lost.  The term “jack-o’-lantern” can be traced back to the old Irish legend of Stingy Jack.  Candied apples as a traditional treat are believed to have been given on the holiday by the ancient Romans.  The apple is the symbol of the Roman goddess Pomona, goddess of fruit trees and gardens.  The tradition of passing out treats on Halloween is based on the Celtic custom of giving gifts to the souls of the dead to please them and ensure plentiful crops in the next year.

Regardless of the history, modern Halloween is certainly a day of excitement and fun! The Ruby team wishes you a safe and happy Halloween!

Flu season is here: What to do about it

An ounce of prevention

The best way to deal with flu season is to do everything we can to prevent its spread.  Here at Ruby, we’re taking all the precautions we can to stay healthy!  First, get your seasonal flu shot, and ask your doctor if you should get the H1N1 vaccine as well.  The Washington Post reports that getting your seasonal flu shot this year may help protect you from the H1N1 virus. It’s certainly not as good as getting the separate H1N1 vaccination, but it’s a little added bonus.

Is your employer offering a flu shot clinic?  If not, call your local pharmacy for information on setting up a flu shot clinic and suggest the idea to your employer.  Or, find a flu shot clinic in your area.

Who shouldn’t get a flu shot?
– People who have had a bad reaction to the vaccine in the past
– People with egg allergies
– Children under 6 months old
– People who have a cold or the flu (wait until you’re better)

Things you can do every day

You’ve probably been hearing it non-stop, but be sure to wash your hands (and carry hand lotion for dry skin) and use a tissue or your sleeve–not your hands–when coughing and sneezing.  You may also consider keeping hand sanitizer on hand (get it?)and wiping down common surfaces with disinfecting wipes.

If you or your family gets sick

Stay home!  Better to miss a couple days of work than risk spreading the flu to your co-workers.  If you work and you have children, plan ahead either to stay home or arrange for child care.

Get educated

Go to www.cdc.gov or www.flu.gov for more information on the flu, the 2009 H1N1 virus, and vaccinations.  If you have questions, ask your doctor.