3 Reasons to Not Outsource Your Blog
Thinking about outsourcing your blogging to a third party? Think twice. Effective blogging and content marketing strategies should not be outsourced. You may be struggling to create a constant stream of content that effectively generates leads and sales. But you want to keep that very strategic process in house, within your control. Hereâ€™s why.
Most of us are racing to produce quality content on blogs and redistribute it on Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social platforms. But what does â€œquality contentâ€ really mean? And why are so many of us failing to generate tangible leads and sales with it? More importantly, what can be done to make sure your blog posts and articles ultimately drive behavior that produces sales? Start by keeping your content decision-making process inside.
Attention is Not the Goal
First, we’ve got to get one thing clear, and I know many of the social media gurus will disagree: effective blogging has less to do with frequency of posts, how often you produce content, or how well optimized it is for search engines. Blogging often (and getting that blog re-tweeted) earns the fleeting attention of prospectsâ€”at best. Good search optimization (getting discovered) is not the end goal. However, blogging experts who help us often overlook this. Not because they’re bad people, but because they’re specialists (rather than strategic-minded generalists).
Effective blogs generate leads and sales. So the blogs that bring home the bacon:
- Solve problems and/or dramatize the emotional end benefit
- Induce behavior (sometimes addictive) through their design
- Translate customer need (analyze and feed it back into design)
Now, this isn’t just me talking. This is small business owners like inbound-marketing expert, Marcus Sheridan and one-woman marketing teams like Jenna White of Lauren’s Hope who I interviewed in my book.
Without applying these key principles for content generation, you won’t produce sales for your business. Despite what experts keep saying, the most effective blogs are not those that get discovered frequently in search engines. Nor is the most effective content that which has â€œyour voiceâ€ or â€œreflects your cultureâ€ or â€œis authentic.â€ These qualities do not define effective content because they never have.
The View from the Outside
Content marketing (the idea) is as new as custom publishing. It’s not new at all. After all, what are white papers (B2B) or magazines (B2C) or infomercials? The most effective content has always been that which produces measurable outcomes, like leads and sales. Period. Yet being a contract/freelance blogging specialist doesn’t typically focus on this aspect; rather it focuses on the “newness” of blogs and the nuance of singing to search engines (gaining customer attention).
I can hear the social media consultants screaming. OK, OK. Yes, well-optimized pages (keywords) are important pieces of the puzzle. But over-focusing on authenticity, culture, good SEO, frequency of posting, or transparency will cause you to put far too much faith in these tactics. These ideas aren’t the secret sauce. However, connecting these ideas to sales is. This is where most outsourced specialists deliver poorly.
For instance, take the idea of frequency. Making your blog produce sales is not purely (or even mostly) a numbers game or a matter of how much attention you earn from search engines or blog visitors. Believing this to be true will only cause you toâ€”that’s rightâ€”outsource it! The truth is frequency of posting, good SEO, and other tactics are just a few pieces of the puzzle.
The Key to Success: Context
If leads and sales are what youâ€™re after with blogging, then youâ€™ve got to come to grips with the truth: context matters. Being inside an organization forces strategic thinking more often than working on the outside.
Yet there’s another success principle at work. Effective blogs do more for your target market than make useful information discoverable. Sure, providing information is essential, but in my research, I’ve learned something exciting. Youâ€™ve sometimes got to go the extra mile and provide NEW, previously unknown knowledge that tells customers how to avoid risk or exploit opportunity.
Think about it this way. It’s difficult to hire an employee that:
- understands this concept,
- knows enough about your competitive environment to know how and where to find what your customers truly need to know, and
- can actually execute the research needed to produce effective (provocative) contentâ€”and produce it over time.
Good luck finding someone on the outside who can do all of that well enough!
It’s Go Time!
Ninety-five percent of blogs are producing knowledge everyone already knows. To spice it up, outsourced bloggers often surround stale information with snazzy buzzwords and cool-looking infographics. But in the end, the audience already knows. Creating new insights is real work. Releasing this kind of valuable knowledge into the ether in ways that cause readers to identify themselves as potential buyers is a serious talent. It’s a strategic cornerstone, not a mechanical tactic.
â€œIâ€™m a huge fan of earned attention,â€ says Edward Boches, Chief Innovation Officer at Mullen. â€œAnd owning content. And being in the publishing business. But the one downside of everyone and anyoneâ€”and that includes brands and companiesâ€”being a content creator is that just like cable television, the good stuff becomes a smaller and smaller percentage of all thatâ€™s out there.â€
Want your blog to produce leads and sales? Hire employees who know the real goal: producing written or multi-media materials that make readers/viewers say, â€œHmm, I never thought of it THAT way” or â€œI see the opportunity in that, I better get in touch with these people to take action!â€
This is what good social media marketing and content marketing doesâ€”induces responses that you can nurture toward an eventual sale. What do you think?
Photo Credit: DigitalRob70
About Jeff Molander
Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell and corporate trainer to small businesses and global corporations like IBM and Brazilâ€™s energy company, Petrobras. Heâ€™s an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded what is today the Google Affiliate Network. Heâ€™s adjunct digital marketing professor at Loyola Universityâ€™s school of business and author of Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You.
Blog: Off the Hook Blog
You can find Jeff on Twitter @jeffreymolander.