So, you're considering using a content marketing consultant to help with your inbound marketing strategy.
You're far from alone. In fact, 75% of organizations are now outsourcing at least some of their content. Common approaches to working with a content marketing consultant can include:
- Outsourcing your entire content marketing strategy
- Working with a consultant on strategy and research, and executing content yourself
- Keeping strategy in-house, and using a consultant to create content
There's no right or wrong way to use content marketing help. The right approach for your business is the one that helps you exceed your inbound key performance indicators (KPIs). However, it is critical to find a content marketing consultant in Tulsa or elsewhere who you can work with seamlessly.
There's an abundance of good content marketing consultants available. But how do you find someone who's a great fit? Your content is your company's online voice. For many of your prospects, it will represent a first impression of your company.
Digging deep is definitely the right approach when it comes to selecting and hiring a consultant. Here are seven crucial factors to consider:
1. Knowledge of Content (not just writing!)
There are content marketing consultants with backgrounds in heavy academic. There are also candidates who come from creative writing, fiction, or journalism. While many of these consultants are certainly competent writers, they may not understand the ins and outs of creating online content.
The best content marketers aren't just writers. They're experienced marketing professionals, with a strong specialization in content creation. Their areas of interest and expertise can include:
- Content user experience
- Visual content
- Competitive research
- Marketing strategy
The right content marketing consultant has experience navigating the challenges that can occur when executing large-scale marketing campaigns. They're savvy enough to avoid common pitfalls, and understand the latest best practices.
2. Research and Organization
If you manage to find a consultant with years of experience in your industry, you're very lucky. However, as HubSpot’s Corey Eridon highlights, even subject matter experts still need to research to check facts, find sources, and locate expert quotations.
The most important thing a potential contnet marketing consultant can have in their portfolio is well-researched, organized content. The ability to research translates well across multiple industries.
3. How Will You Work Together?
No writer can simply run with the instruction to "go create some content." Depending on your business and your content marketing consultant, you may decide to have extensive feedback on every piece of content you create, or perform a minimum of oversight. Again, there's no right or wrong approach to how you'll work together. However, with the understanding that you will want to collaborate, you should ask yourself the following questions in the hiring process:
- Are they local and available for in-person meetings?
- Are they in a similar timezone for Skype, phone, or chat collaboration?
- Does the consultant have an established on-boarding process to research our organization?
- How much time can I commit to providing feedback on strategy and deliverables?
4. Beware Red Flags
Ultimately, your organization wants to hire a contnet marketing consultant that you can work with on a long-term basis. Selecting a consultant for a long-term engagement can be reflective of quality of work, results, and personality. Not only should you feel like you can collaborate well with a prospective contractor or agency, you need to have trust in their portfolio and work history. Evaluate their portfolio, client case studies, and philosophy on content marketing carefully before you proceed to sign a contract.
5. Marketing Experience
Did I mention that a content marketing consultant needs to have a deeper skillset than just writing or blogging? This is crucial.
The kind of content marketing consultant who will help you meet your KPIs is likely to have some background in business and marketing. They'll have professional experience onboarding content clients, learning their business, and elevating their content marketing strategies.
The costs of a content marketing consultant can vary significantly. Factors that can adjust the price of a consultant upwards or downwards can include:
- Years of Experience
- Industry Knowledge
- Agency Size
- Specialty Skills (Video, Graphic design, web design)
Quality isn't the only factor that plays into the cost of a content marketing consultant. If your business operates in a relatively low-cost part of the country and you don't need someone with advanced graphic design talent, you could find that a content marketing consultant is more cost-effective than you think.
Are you considering hiring – or becoming – a content marketing consultant? Share your thoughts in the comments!