As I prepare year-end analytics reports for our clients, I’m seeing the results of good content marketing. Our clients rank #1 at Google, according to the Google Search Console, for thousands of valuable keywords. They get traffic from links at The Atlantic, The Huffington Post, Lifehacker, Wikipedia, and many more high value websites. They see bursts of traffic from Reddit and Stack Exchange as well as their own social media platforms, but organic search sends 65-75% of their traffic, so they have a primary traffic source they can depend on in between viral posts. We know that content marketing works. But we also know that there is one big roadblock for most health and wellness websites: producing content.
DIY or outsource?
We’re about to begin working with a client focused on compliance with chemical regulations. Like many of our current clients, they have been producing content in-house. After all, they’re the experts. They know more than we do about their field and they worry about having content produced by people who aren’t in their offices every day.
These questions should not be on your mind when you think about whether or not to do your own content production. There is really just one question you need to ask yourself: Do you have an SEO copywriter on staff? If so, do your own blogging. Otherwise, hire someone like Haden Interactive to do it for you.
There are two big reasons for this.
First, the great results from content marketing come from regularly posting fresh content over time. We like to work with excellent people and organizations, so our clients are highly knowledgeable about their fields. Many of them have written books or blogs. About half of them write at least some of their own content. The proportion of our clients and former clients who post regularly at their company blogs: zero.
You don’t have time to be your own blogger.
Second, the results of the content you produce will probably not equal the results I’ve described above. This is because you are not a professional SEO content writer. People writing for their own company blogs often fail to write for their target market, and almost never write for the search engines. That doesn’t mean they don’t write well. It does mean their results will not be satisfying.
Working with your web writers
At Haden Interactive, our writers are full time professional writers with relevant college degrees. We’re proud of our work and we work hard to achieve and maintain strong results for our clients. We don’t think that hiring non-native speakers with limited qualifications and having them spin articles will get great results. But there are certainly plenty of good SEO copywriters around. Whoever you’re working with, it’s important to develop a working relationship that results in good outcomes.
- Provide the level of guidance you want. Maybe you’ll provide your web team with the keywords you want to rank for, keep a dropbox of images from your workplace, or check drafts before they’re posted. All of these things are useful. On the other hand, you may prefer to be hands-off and use your analytics reports to gauge your progress. That’s also fine. What you should avoid is planning a high level of involvement for yourself if you don’t actually have the time for that. Letting drafts pile up at your blog because you don’t have time to check them will frustrate you and your blogger. Insisting on furnishing all topics but rarely actually choosing any topics will result in no fresh content. Be realistic and communicate how much involvement you want.
- Make sure compliance issues are clear. If you have rules, whether they’re HIPAA regulations or an in-house style guide, tell your web team. They should check with you when they’re not sure of your position on a controversial topic or the specs of your product, but you can’t expect them to know that you don’t want to use The Hill as a source unless you let them know. Save yourself and your web team time and stress by sharing all the rules before they begin.
- Remember that your choices can affect your results. For better or worse, your decisions on producing content can affect your results. If you insist on duplicate content or big graphics with five words of text, you won’t see good results. Your web team should help you understand any possible negative consequences of your content decisions, but you should not hold them responsible for the results. On the other hand, you know your business goals and your web team’s artistic sensibilities shouldn’t interfere with those goals.
Producing content with an editorial calendar
Whoever is producing content for your content marketing campaign, plan your campaign and use an editorial calendar and reporting to keep track. You should know what, when, and where your fresh content is being produced and promoted.
At Haden Interactive, we use a simple schedule for content production. Blog posts and social media posting on a regular schedule gives good results and allows clients flexibility without gaps in content production. We send materials to clients in a number of different ways, depending on their preferences. Here are some of the approaches that we’ve used with success.
Is it time for your practice or brand to start content marketing? Contact us to discuss your needs.