Content marketing – What’s working in 2022

Jonathan Powell digital marketing

Marketing gurus will tell you that connecting with an audience isn’t hard. Tell a joke. Say something powerful. Try Tic-Toc!

In reality, connecting with an audience as a business can be a challenge. With so much advice on the internet, it’s easy to pile all marketing strategies like the Burj Khalifa of pancake stacks. Which pancake to chew on first, right?

With this comprehensive strategy, your marketing plate will be topped with short stack of what actually works in 2022.

What is content?

1. What is content?

In the context of marketing, the word “content” casts a pretty wide net, so it’s easy to see why some folks get confused about what content is—and is not. We’ll put it this way: if it’s trying to communicate something and has an audience, it’s content.

Instead of advice, consider the pancakes in the example above as your product.

The stuff you write about your pancakes on your website, stylized images of your pancakes, your menu’s phrasing and design, social media posts you use to spread the word about your pancakes—all content. The pancakes themselves? Not content. (Though eating them will make you content. Disclaimer: Please, don’t eat your products unless they’re actually edible.)

While the actual forms of content we’ll discuss below—like blog posts, eBooks, and white papers—aren’t as tasty as pancakes, they’ll still do a damn good job of satisfying your business and marketing initiatives, which, with any luck and a healthy serving of effort, will provide you the type of ROI that will afford you a lifetime of delicious breakfast items—or you know, success.

Content Strategy Illustration

2. What is content strategy?

At its core, content strategy is the who, what, when, where, how—and most importantly—why of content creation and promotion.

While there are plenty of things content strategy is, there are also plenty of things it isn’t. It’s also important to remember that content strategy won’t mean a thing if you haven’t already established your branding. Without it, you have nothing to base your strategy on.

To understand the intricacies of what content strategy is, as well as how and why it works, you should understand how it plays into the bigger picture, regardless of whether you’re just seeking tips and secrets for your startup or looking to exponentially expand the marketing efforts of your fully matured business.

From the top-down, it should go like this: Your overall business goals should shape your sales and marketing goals. Your sales and marketing goals should shape your marketing strategy. And your marketing strategy should shape your content strategy.

It may seem like a lot to get in order just to start producing content, but aligning your teams and their respective goals is the first step in building a content strategy that works—especially if you have a complicated product. After all, what’s the point of producing content if it doesn’t produce results for your business?!

Of course, we can’t expect you to be able to answer the 5 W’s (and how) immediately, but by knowing that your strategy hinges on them, the process of asking those questions should help bring greater clarity to your efforts.

Here’s a closer look at how each one will affect you content strategy.

B2C

Who

There are two big sides to the “who” question. The first should ask who the content is being created for, also known as your audience or buyer personas, which we’ll walk through later. The second should ask who will produce the content. Although the latter is a pretty straight-forward question, it’s also often one of the toughest for most businesses to answer, largely because it’s heavily reliant on available resources.

Relevant “who” questions: Who is the content for? Who is creating the content? Do you already have a marketing team? Do they have the bandwidth to take on content production? Do you have internal thought leaders in other departments who can assist with ideation or other efforts? Will they also be handling promotion?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you might need to seek outside help, such as a marketing agency or even simply a freelance content creator. That means you’ll also need to ask: What is our marketing budget? Who can deliver the type of content we need? What are their limitations? How can we best collaborate with them?

What

Since there are so many different types of content you can produce (which we’ll break down in the next section), this is often one of the most intimidating questions of all. However, the bonus is that this question is almost always answered by “why,” since what you create should be aligned with a greater goal or purpose.

Relevant “what” questions: What kind of content should we produce? What should the topic be? What keywords should we use? What topic cluster does it fall within? What else are we producing that’s supplemental or similar? What kind of results are we expecting to see?

When to use content stategy

When

If you have at least some of your ducks in order, or at least in the same pond, “when?” is usually a relatively easy—yet still highly-important—question to answer.


Relevant “when” questions: When are we putting our content marketing strategy into action? When are we publishing and promoting our content in terms of timeline and frequency? When can we expect to start seeing results? When or how often should we conduct a content audit?

Where

The question of where is often the easiest to answer since the type of content you produce should dictate where it will end up. Generally speaking, content should be tailored to the platform it’s published on. The only other “where” is where it can be promoted, such as publishing a blog post on your website and promoting it on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Relevant “where” questions: Where are we publishing this content? Where are we promoting it? Where can we syndicate it? Where else might it gain traction?

how to apply content strategy

How

While several other questions will help answer the “how” of content strategy, there are still a few remaining questions that should be asked, many of which have to do with the context of the content itself. Is it a standalone piece of content you’ll only use once? Or is it part of a larger campaign that will have other elements that need to be considered?

Relevant “how” questions: How does this content fit into the larger context of our content strategy? Our marketing strategy? Our business goals?

Why

Finally! The biggest, most important question of them all. On a grand scale, there should ideally be only one answer to this question: To support our marketing and business goals! On a smaller scale, however, there are plenty of answers that may surface related to support-based initiatives, such as boosting lead generation or conversions, improving website traffic, and so on.

Relevant “why” question: Why are we creating this content?

types of content

3. Types of content

Now that we’ve defined and outlined content and content strategy, it’s time to dig into the nitty gritty of content type and, more importantly, purpose.

But before we dive into that, we should clarify something: viral content is not a thing! Ok, it is actually a thing in that it exists, but not a thing you should aim for if you want your efforts to be sustainable and aligned with realistic expectations. Viral marketing strategies do exist, but they’re often not predictable or reliable, making them a boom-or-bust scenario—and even when they hit, they’re generally short-lived, which doesn’t do much for your overall ROI.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at content types that should be part of your content strategy.

Blogging

blog content marketing

Many people still think “content marketing” simply means blogging, when in reality, it should only be a part of your larger content marketing efforts.

But that’s not to say that business blogs aren’t powerful content tools. In fact, when done correctly, they can and should supplement just about every other marketing effort you put forth—from press releases and product launches to FAQs—and stand as the driving force of your inbound methodology.

Although there are plenty of ways to ensure your blog posts are successful, your efforts should ideally be based on three key elements: search engine optimization (SEO), timing/frequency, and the buyer’s journey.

search engine optimization

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is the process of improving the number and quality of website visitors by using information like keywords to tell search engines what’s on your site. This helps determine how your site will be ranked and displayed in search results organically (non-paid).

While there are certainly exceptions to the rule, most businesses reap significant benefits from employing keywords discovered through tailored SEO research—and fortunately, you won’t have to ask search engines to find your pages either!

Identifying and properly using the right keywords helps significantly improve your chances of drawing organic traffic to your site, establishing yourself in your niche, and even positioning yourself in relation to your competition. Plus, it can help define your content strategy by identifying relevant topics and topic clusters you can establish a framework on.

Generally speaking, your keywords should be used in your page title, meta description, body content, and your slug (URL), but should always give preference to readability. Overstuffing or using awkward turns of phrase just to fit your keyword in will be penalized by both readers and search engines. Formatting techniques that provide better organization or a better reading experience, such as header tags, bolding, and bullet points also help boost SEO.

Finally, having other relevant posts and websites link back to you also helps build credibility and authority, but there’s growing proof that outbound links will help your SEO efforts as well.

what is good blogging timing

Timing and frequency

If you’re doing marketing research, chances are you’ll run into this concept more often than not: Delivering the right message at the right time to the right audience. And it exists for good reason.

When it comes to blogging, there is also a lot to be said about the number, frequency, and timeliness of every post you publish. Too many posts on the same subject or keyword can oversaturate and even bury your other posts in search results. Publishing and self-promoting  too often can look spammy and give the illusion of —or even actualize—quantity over quality. Errors in timing can mean missed opportunities and the appearance of being a bit tone-deaf.

Within the context of the buyer’s journey, which we’ll discuss below, it’s also important to provide useful information at appropriate points along a buyer’s timeline: from the first step of initially discovering a problem to the final step of purchasing a solution. Failing to do so could be as innocent as simply looking a little off-base and as serious as turning them off of your offering entirely.

For instance, if a prospect just discovered your product but doesn’t understand it yet, using a form to ask for contact or even personal information might deter them from being interested in your product altogether, even if you provide helpful information afterward—it just comes off as pushy.

Believe it or not, despite its clear importance, many companies fail to connect with prospects in this stage for one simple reason: they’re more focused on keywords and topics related to their solutions, not their prospects’ problems. To make sure you’re properly aligned with those you’re trying to serve, focus on their pain points—that is, the specific problems your prospects face or those creating their larger issues.

For instance, management personnel dealing with an inefficient and unorganized mailroom may not know that “digital scanning solutions” will solve their problem. Therefore, the term itself likely wouldn’t work well to bring awareness stage prospects to the website. However, a prospect might search for “streamlining your mailroom” or even “how to improve processing times”, so creating content around those keywords and topics would much better serve those in the awareness stage.

blogging considerations

Consideration

Once prospects know that they have a problem and have defined it, they’ll start searching for different potential options, known as the consideration stage.

During this stage, prospects will be faced with a variety of different solutions—some that may be in your niche and that of direct competitors, and some that may not—with varying levels of applicability to their actual problem.

In this stage, it’s best to focus on content that provides proof as to why your product or service is the best or most effective fit. Types of content that are well-suited for this stage are blog posts, webinars, videos, and even some case studies.

For instance, in the example above, the term “digital scanning solutions” might not have been on a prospect’s radar in the awareness stage, but once they’ve done some research, chances are pretty good that they’ve discovered it could potentially solve their problem.

Using that term as a topic to showcase exactly how digital scanning solutions work, how they solve numerous efficiency and organizational problems, as well as the supplemental solutions they offer, is a great way to reach prospects at this stage.

Decision

Once prospects are aware of the potential solutions available and prepare themselves to purchase one, they’ll be in the final stage of the buyer’s journey: the decision stage.

If you’ve done a good job exemplifying how and why your solution works in the two previous stages, you’ll already be positioned to bring it home. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t still work to do.

To be successful in the decision stage of the buyer’s journey, you’ll want to focus on differentiating yourself from the competition. Content in this stage can come in a variety of forms, from white papers and case studies to free trials, direct competitor breakdowns, and even coupons or other financial incentives—anything that truly showcases the effectiveness and value of your offering.

With any luck and a whole lot of strategy, you’ll be able to reach the finish line with the best thing a business can ask for: well-qualified, paying customers!

White papers

white paper content

Although they’re discussed less often than eBooks or case studies, white papers are one of the most powerful and overlooked forms of content out there.

So, what are they? White papers are guides or reports aimed at informing readers on a certain topic. Most businesses use them as comprehensive examples of how and why their solutions work. This makes them generally pretty dense, requiring a fair amount of research. White papers tend to be a mix of data and empirical evidence and usually fall between six and 50 pages long—though we prefer to stick to 25 or less for the sake of digestibility.

At their core, white papers should be direct, polished, and professional, though your brand voice and personality may allow for a lighter tone. Because they are meant to be both compelling and comprehensive, they are also generally well-designed with clean formatting and complete with images that properly exemplify and pace the material covered.

Realistically, since white papers are so in-depth and take a fair amount of resources to produce, most businesses will only generate a few over the course of their lifetime and they are generally used as gated content—that is, only accessible through an information-collecting form. This makes them great sources for lead generation.

However, depending on the content and purpose, they can also be promoted through other channels such as email, blogs/newsletters, and social media—just make sure you have a means of following up. Otherwise, you may give away high-value information to a prospect who may fall out of your funnel, or even worse, into the arms of a competitor.

Case studies

case studies in content strategy

While white papers and eBooks can provide exceptional insight for readers, case studies do one thing better than nearly any other form of content: provide social proof.

Not only are case studies meant to showcase the successes of your other clients, but they also provide a chance to see what it’s like to work with you vicariously—which is probably why they’re so effective at lead nurturing for mid- and bottom-funnel prospects.

But even beyond social proof, getting current clients to participate in well-executed case studies can also help nurture existing relationships, as they increase your clients’ visibility while positioning you as a dedicated advocate for their business—a favor of which they might be inclined to return.

However, it’s important to note that case studies can also be quite sensitive. Even if some clients find success with you, they may not want their stories told for one reason or another, or have certain details disclosed. It’s always best to be clear with your intentions and gauge their comfort level.

When it comes to actually writing case studies, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, outside of good structure, you’ll want to provide readers a meaningful story that both resonates with them and exemplifies that you have a clear understanding of the industry.

Second, you’ll want to make sure that you’re providing a good format that makes for easy reading, or better yet, a format properly tailored to your audience. If your buyer personas are busy or always on-the-go, a short video or even a podcast can often work better than forcing someone to read a big, long narrative when they’re already strapped for time. And since case studies tend to be longer than the average blog post, keeping attention long enough to deliver your message and provide proof is key to their effectiveness.

eBooks

ebooks in content marketing

Although eBooks are regularly regarded as the longest form of content, they share a lot of similarities with the types we’ve listed above: they need to be relevant to their readers, have a central topic, leverage keywords for visibility, include appropriate images, links, and stats, and be properly promoted.

Like white papers and case studies, they also need to be high-value and comprehensive, two factors that make them prime candidates to be gated content and/or the center of landing pages, and thus, great lead generation tools.

But what truly sets eBooks apart is that they offer something most others don’t: convenience.

While plenty of businesses may provide downloadable versions of their case studies and white papers, eBooks are generally unmatched in terms of the volume and quality of information provided. They also often require going above and beyond the structure and design of other long-form content, making them the single-most representative standalone brand and business entity outside of your website, and they should be treated as such.

In order to be effective, creating a truly meaningful eBook requires nearly as much effort as an actual book—you know, minus the whole printing thing. That means spending time creating a compelling cover, a proper table of contents, easy navigation, and top-notch visuals and research. In a sense, outside of the actual information included, an eBook should show your leads, prospects, and even customers just how much time, effort, and support you’re willing to offer, even to those who aren’t paying customers.

social media content in content marketing

Social media
content

We saved social media for last for a special reason: it often blurs the lines between content and promotion, the latter of which we’ll be covering next.

Realistically, social media will almost always fall somewhere between the two, and even though it leans towards promotion more often than not, it can be used for one, the other, or both.

To put it into context, consider this: You’re looking to promote a great new eBook you just rolled out, so you take to Twitter to spread the word. Regardless of whether or not you intend to include a link to the eBook or simply exercise some thought leadership with a quote from it, you have to craft the Tweet’s text and format it in some facet, therefore qualifying it as content—even if minimally so.

It’s safe to say that if it takes thought or strategy and words and images are involved, many of the same theories of creating, editing, and publishing content apply.

But for a majority of its applications, social media generally falls under the category of promoting your content.

promoting your content

Promoting your content

Unless this is your first day in marketing, you’ve probably heard this one before: Content is king.

Although the concept isn’t new, it’s enduring. And while there are schools of thought that will champion content over all else, we put a lot of weight into quality promotion. In fact, we find failing to properly promote the number one B2B content marketing fail. To us, promotion is the road to the kingdom of prosperity. After all, without it, how would anyone find the king in the first place?

Promotion should be approached with just as much strategy as the content itself or risk falling on deaf ears—or blind eyes, as it were. That takes understanding how individual platforms operate, their greatest strengths and weaknesses, and how your audience engages with them.

Social media

social media  in content marketing

If you plan on diving into the world of social media, you’re going to want to bring a filter. And we don’t mean for Twitter trolls.

Since platforms like Facebook rocketed digital socializing, engaging, and communication into the thermosphere, there has been a massive boom in sites, apps, and software to curate the growing desire for online interaction. The problem is, most of them don’t really apply to a lot of businesses, let alone B2Bs, and even those that do don’t really come with a user manual on how to operate or leverage them, let alone both, to truly get the most out of everything they offer.

In fact, in our experience, far too many businesses rely on what they “think” or “hear” are good ways to use social media over proven best practices—and there are plenty of common mistakes businesses make in the process.

Because of it, below, we’ll cover those that are most applicable to B2B businesses and even touch on a few that are popular with B2Cs, as well as provide a few general best practices on how to get the most out of each one.

facebook content marketing

Facebook

As one of the oldest forms of social media, Facebook has seen several significant transformations in its 15+ year history. Once a place for college students to socialize, it’s expanded into a massive platform that now extends beyond personal communication and into sales and marketing opportunities for businesses.

On the surface, it’s a viable place to set up a business page to increase visibility, promote content, and place paid ads—as long as you don’t treat it like a replacement for a website. Underneath, it offers some pretty keen features many other platforms still haven’t mastered, such as top-notch analytics and even tools to find new audiences.

LinkedIn

One of its greatest benefits is that it reaches individuals particularly well through paid ads. If you’re looking to extend your paid marketing on social media, Facebook advertising might be a good place to invest some of your advertising dollars. With a plethora of segmenting options—such as location, behavior, and interests—you can reach your core target audience fairly easily.

However, invest in this platform with a grain of salt and a realistic attitude on traction. One of its greatest downfalls is that it’s not the best, easiest, or most streamlined place to do B2B networking. In addition, its overall search logic seems to be ever-changing, leaving your business at the mercy of its often-confusing algorithms.

Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn was created with professional networking in mind and provides plenty of ways to connect with and discover businesses as well as the people who run them. Through features like Follows, Connections, Interests, and Activities—plus both business and individual accounts—you can keep up with the latest buzz in your industry, build professional communities, and even directly reach out should the opportunity strike.

But LI also took cues from its predecessors, including the ability to post content, hashtag, and even react to and engage with what others have posted. In combination with the networking capabilities above, all of these features make LinkedIn one of the most powerful professional networking and marketing platforms available.

twitter content marketing

Twitter

While Twitter may not be as well known as LinkedIn for its professional advantages, there’s no denying it’s still a significant and robust business tool for a variety of reasons.

Outside of being the most immediate social media platform, Twitter also breaks down barriers in the business world simply because it is more geared towards—and flush with—individuals over companies. Based on engagement statistics alone, it’s clear that those direct and often instantaneous one-on-one interactions between individual users are far more common and valued than those of standard B2Cs, which is largely where the platform derives its power, even when it comes to business. (Who knew people would rather connect with people than businesses, right?)

But Twitter also remains consistently relevant because so far, it’s the best platform for leveraging trends and hashtags—in fact, the latter was even pioneered there. That means businesses can build entire social media campaigns on Twitter alone with a great idea, some clever marketing, and a clearly defined hashtag.

In addition, it’s also an exceptionally great place to post your content, pioneer thought leadership, share insights, industry-related news, and ideas, and engage with leads, prospects, and customers one-on-one.

You should be aware, however, that Twitter is also one of the most volatile platforms in all of social media. Even small mistakes are easily visible and can get amplified in an instant, and there are plenty of people looking to use them to make a statement, get a rise, or simply create drama for the sake of entertainment, so it’s always best to stay helpful and positive, no matter the exchange.

Additional social media avenues

Although the three we’ve mentioned above are the most popular and universally applicable for most businesses, there are other platforms available to take advantage of.

For those who develop video, YouTube can be a great place to host easily-shareable content, as it allows users to create their own channels, opening the door to dedicated followers and even communities. The same holds true for Vimeo, Dailymotion, Wistia, and Jetpack, each of which boasts a few key differentiators depending on your intent.

For B2Cs—or B2Bs who are especially creative— Instagram can also be a great way to display products that are visually exciting and, as a platform, it offers similar benefits to Twitter in terms of being able to aptly leverage hashtags and trends.

Online
communities

Online communities  content marketing

While they may not have the ROI of the “big three” in social media, online communities shouldn’t be ignored when it comes to promoting your content.

Medium, for instance, is an exceptionally great place to syndicate your content once you’ve featured it on your site for a few months, as it offers partner programs, followers, communities, and recommended reading, all of which contribute to increasing readership.

If you’re looking for honest commentary or to see what’s organically trending in your niche, Reddit is also a reliable place for both. But like Twitter, the anonymity of the site often breeds detractors and trolls, so the rules about helpfulness and positivity apply.

Email

email content marketing

Although it may seem dated to some, there are few better ways to promote your content than through email—a significant portion of professionals admit that it’s still their preferred method for business communications.

Because the audience you’re likely sending emails to are generally qualified as prospects, leads, customers, or other interested parties, email also provides some of the best ROI of nearly any content-sharing platform. And since you have a bit more flexibility in terms of design, context, and overall presentation, you can customize your message to reflect the values, aesthetics, and personality of your brand more than any other method.

What’s more, using a customer relationship management technology, or CRM, with marketing capabilities like HubSpot or SalesForce allows you to set up automation, gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your content through various analytics, and have a driving force behind your promotional efforts.

Paid marketing

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Paid marketing has seen quite a few shifts over the last few years but still remains a reliable option for increasing the visibility of your business. However, it’s not as simple as just paying for space anymore and should be approached with the same kind of strategic mindset as the rest of your marketing efforts.

Influencers

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Remember how we mentioned that individuals generally get better traction on Twitter than businesses? Influencers are concrete proof of that.

Due to the rise of social media, influencers have become one of the most powerful marketing tools currently available—if you know how to use them. In the simplest sense, influencers can be paid to help spread your message, give reviews, be outspoken advocates, or simply mention you in some capacity, depending on what kind of deal you have worked out.

Now, not every industry has well-established influencers at the helm, but that doesn’t mean you or they need millions of followers to be impactful. In fact, many would argue that the quality of their presence and their followers are worth considerably more than sheer volume.

Finding the right influencer isn’t always easy, but fortunately there are plenty of resources to help you discover, identify, and connect with the best possible options to fit your business and budget. There are even free services like HypeAuditor, Discover.ly, and Tweetdeck to get you started.

Pay-Per-Click
(PPC)

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Despite the rising popularity of other forms of paid marketing, PPC remains number one for good reason: it’s direct and undeniable visibility.

Although it generally takes a greater investment than numerous other forms of content promotion, its ROI remains stable and the buyer-intent keywords it focuses on are sure to quickly target qualified searchers.

Social
Advertising

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Although there’s been some fluctuation of use when it comes to social media, many of the largest platforms have remained reliable when it comes to paid advertising.

Realistically, social advertising is best approached with prior experience with each platform you intend to use, an understanding of their respective audiences, and a realistic idea of who you should be targeting.

For example, Facebook is more often used for personal applications than it is professional, while LinkedIn is more or less the opposite. Having a keen understanding of who and how to reach your audience through these platforms depending on your branding, products, services, language, etc., is a key to finding success, as is having a good understanding of how each one handles segmentation and targeting.

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4. Producing content

By now, we’ve walked through what content and content strategy are, what types you can produce, and even how to promote them, leaving one big topic left to cover: how to actually produce it!

Theoretically, there are three ways you can produce content: keeping it in-house, hiring someone else to do it, or a combination of the two. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Before you decide who will be taking on the responsibility of content creation, it’s best to start asking some of the “who” questions we touched on in the Content Strategy section, then using those responses to work towards the best solution for you and your business.

Producing content internally

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Start by asking the most painfully obvious question: Do we have a marketing team? If so, you’ll either need to see if they have the bandwidth to handle it, make new hires, or supplement them with external help, whether it’s for ideation, writing, editing, or even promotion.

If your internal team does have the time and capacity, they may just need to brush up on some tips on how to write killer content.

If you don’t have a marketing team, you’ll have to align your overall goals with the content necessary to fulfill them, then assemble an internal team accordingly. Just because the team might be fulfilling other duties in their day-to-day doesn’t mean they don’t have what it takes to create great content.

Most businesses tend to forget that product and service developers and customer-facing employees like those in sales and customer service already have an intimate knowledge of your offerings and how customers interact with them successfully and unsuccessfully, as well as many of their pain points.

Even if they don’t have incredible writing skills, they, and the team as a whole, shouldn’t be overlooked as key contributors in the ideation process and beyond, especially since they know your business better than any outside marketer ever could.

Once you’ve identified internal contributors, you’ll need to figure out what your budget is, then find the right individual or team to fit it.

Hiring externally to produce content

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Start by asking the most painfully obvious question: Do we have a marketing team? If so, you’ll either need to see if they have the bandwidth to handle it, make new hires, or supplement them with external help, whether it’s for ideation, writing, editing, or even promotion.

If your internal team does have the time and capacity, they may just need to brush up on some tips on how to write killer content.

If you don’t have a marketing team, you’ll have to align your overall goals with the content necessary to fulfill them, then assemble an internal team accordingly. Just because the team might be fulfilling other duties in their day-to-day doesn’t mean they don’t have what it takes to create great content.

Most businesses tend to forget that product and service developers and customer-facing employees like those in sales and customer service already have an intimate knowledge of your offerings and how customers interact with them successfully and unsuccessfully, as well as many of their pain points.

Even if they don’t have incredible writing skills, they, and the team as a whole, shouldn’t be overlooked as key contributors in the ideation process and beyond, especially since they know your business better than any outside marketer ever could.

Once you’ve identified internal contributors, you’ll need to figure out what your budget is, then find the right individual or team to fit it.

What NOT to do

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While we’ve outlined a fair amount of advice on how to go about assembling your team the right way, it’s also important to remember that there are certain approaches you should avoid.

Generally speaking, it’s best not to:

Let a freelancer or agency run wild with your blog (or your budget). We get it. Some businesses have no experience, knowledge, or confidence in the arena of producing content and would prefer to be as hands-off as possible. But that doesn’t mean you should open your blog, bank account, or overall strategy to someone trying to maximize their profit. Good freelancers and agencies don’t post too often or too infrequently, post mediocre content, or go off-brand, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need some direction or help aligning with your goals.

Lean on content writing services. In the industry, these are better known as content mills, content factories, and content farms, none of which have good connotations, let alone results. While not every business that touts itself as a content writing service is bad, a majority of them reel businesses in with the promise of creating a lot of content quickly, and while they often deliver, it usually comes at the cost of quality. If you don’t have a strategy or they don’t know your strategy well enough to write something valuable and meaningful, it’s likely going to be a troublesome and resource-wasting endeavor.

Pay per word for your content. Much of the same logic applies to paying per word as it does going with a content writing service. Paying per word encourages all the wrong incentives for writers, including inflating content with useless words and flowery language as well as quick turnarounds with little to no self-editing. It also implies you’re looking for low-quality work and might be a pain to work with, amongst other things.

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5. Inbound marketing success

Of course, coming up with a solid content strategy and building your team isn’t the end of the line. Once you’ve gotten to that point, it’s time to actually produce the content and start incorporating it into your larger inbound marketing efforts and overall business goals.

Putting it all together can be a lot of work in itself, but once you’ve got the basics of content strategy down, you can start focusing on how to make individual elements of your inbound strategy more effective, such as lead nurturing. That means crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s on everything from SEO, topic structure and ideation, CTAs, forms, sequences, automation, and more.

If you’ve read through everything and are feeling like you need more, download our Killer Content Strategy eBook ASAP!

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6. Tools and resources

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Not everyone is an expert writer capable of churning out quality content. Even if your a "bad" writer, here are our best blog writing tips that can help.

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Whether it's a lack of time, energy, internal talent, or something else altogether, so many struggle with...

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Any piece of content you put out should give value, but all too often, it falls short. The bad news is this is often difficult to see in your own content. But it's good news...

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