There’s an old theory that says if you give a monkey a typewriter and an infinite amount of time, it will eventually randomly bash out the complete works of Shakespeare.
The same can be true of outsourcing your social media activity. Given enough time, you may find that one of the many random posts that’s published on your behalf will generate the buzz around your brand you’ve always dreamed of, but if the next post goes straight back to being generic and inane how effective was that brief moment of glory?
As a content marketer, I’m often asked whether we can deliver social media activity for our clients and, almost as often, I turn it down. And that's usually because I’ve been given one of three reasons why they want our help.
Reason 1: “I don’t have any time to think about it”
Working with us will save you time, lots of it, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to do anything. If you don’t have any time at all to invest in your social media activity, you’re not going to have the time to keep us properly updated with what’s going on in your business either.
At the very least, to be able to deliver content marketing that will give you results, we’d need regular calls with you. Otherwise, we’d just be doing what the many other standard package providers out there are doing and churning out non-specific, unfocused and pointless content for you that neither sets the world alight nor makes you stand out among your competitors. It could even do you more harm than good.
There are plenty of social media management companies out there who’ll be more than happy to part you from your money to do that sort of work for you, but we're not one of them.
Reason 2: “I don’t have the skills”
Assuming this is the only reason, and you lack the skills but not the time, I think there's a persuasive argument there for using the time you’ve got to learn the skills.
This would not only save you money, but you’re always going to be infinitely better placed than anyone outside your business to keep your social media activity updated with relevant and meaningful content.
If it’s a two-pronged problem and you have neither the skills nor the time (or inclination perhaps) to learn, then you need to hire or train someone else INSIDE your business to take some responsibility for it instead.
We can help you with a strategy and to develop the content plan framework as a one-off project if that would be useful for them to follow, or we can work closely with that person on an ongoing basis to deliver the type of content you need when you need it.
Reason 3: “I need quick results”
Content marketing is a vital part of your marketing mix, but it’s not a silver bullet. Think of it as yeast in a recipe; it’s an essential ingredient, but you need to give it time and put in a reasonable amount of effort for it to work properly.
Gone are the days when consumers would see an advert and rush straight out to buy the product. These days they research what’s available. They consider their options. They read reviews. And they look for proofs in your content marketing that reassure them you’re a trustworthy business that can give them what they need.
You can’t cram all these trust signals into one post and expect that to do the trick. They’ll want to see that you have a solid history of delivering what you say you will. That you have lots of testimonials. And that you have lots of other customers just like them.
This means a lot of content over a lot of posts over a lot of time. It can take months, sometimes years (depending on the product/service and market you're in), to get to a stage that it consistently and effectively delivers new leads or sales conversions.
So if you’re looking to invest your last pound to get a quick win, content marketing isn’t going to be right for you. And I won’t be the person to take that last pound from you.
So when would we take this type of work on?
To take on content marketing for a client, we need to understand you through and through.
Then we look at what messaging we need to create and how the information you supply us with can be sliced and diced to give you content that can be reused and re-purposed across different platforms to reach different market segments most effectively.
From just one video testimonial for example, we could re-purpose it to give you a keyword rich blog and some eye catching memes, to pull out some key quotes in graphics and branded soundbite video extracts and more.
That one testimonial could allow us to give you enough content to create several posts on several channels for several days. But we can only do that if you’ve given us the video testimonial to begin with.
When I know you understand that, and that you appreciate the importance of having a well-structured and strategic approach to your content, and that you’re willing to work with us as an extension to your team to get the right results, THAT’S when I agree that we can take on this type of work. Otherwise, it's a 'no' from me.
If you want content marketing done right, get in touch.