The way businesses connect with potential customers and users has changed over the years. Modern consumers do not want to be strong-armed and convinced to make a purchase – they want to feel as though they’re in control of financial decisions, and content marketing services are key.
Naturally, this means that successful marketing approaches have also evolved along with audience needs. In 2022, if you’re to build a reliable and loyal customer base, your business needs to embrace content marketing.
But what exactly is content marketing, and what do you need to know in order to make it a success with your business?
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Content marketing revolves around providing information to an audience through a range of mediums, with the intention of building trust and awareness among a client base.
The four main advantages of content marketing are: building awareness of your brand, enhancing the trust of your customers, earning their loyalty, and saving significant time and money in the process.
Types of content marketing include: B2B content marketing services, B2C content marketing services, SaaS content marketing services, Online content marketing services, and SEO content marketing services.
Content marketing services are typically provided through one of three approaches – a content marketing agency, contractor, or individual freelancer. At the risk of sounding biased, we recommend an agency.
The cost of content marketing can vary wildly, depending on the approach you take, what you prioritise, and how much you can do in-house. Expect to spend somewhere between £50 and £5000.
If you’re looking to bring in the services of a content marketing agency or freelancer, be sure to ask the following questions.
Follow our seven-step process to ensure you find the ideal supplier of content marketing.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing revolves around providing information to an audience through a range of mediums, with the intention of building trust and awareness among a client base. Common examples of content marketing include:
|Type of content marketing||What is it?|
|Article writing||Articles are usually long-form and detailed chunks of prose, designed to provide welcome and exciting insights for users that showcase your businesses as knowledgeable and reliable in your chosen niche|
|Blogging||Blogs are slightly more informal versions of articles. They typically showcase a little more of a brand’s personality through humour and images and will not shy away from colloquial language|
|Infographics||A well-designed infographic can relay information in a significantly timelier way than pure prose – it grabs the attention and refuses to let go. Infographics are also a great way to apply backlinks to your content|
|Social media||Going viral on social media can be an extremely cost-effective way to spread awareness of your business. By providing bite-sized chunks of information to social media users, you’ll soon grow an audience|
|Videos||Video marketing is increasingly popular in the 21st Century, especially among younger internet users. Offering video to your potential audience is likelier to keep them engaged with your content than pure text|
Content marketing is often connected to SEO services. While content marketing can lead to direct sales and conversions, an effective campaign is more concerned with playing the long game. Content marketing can be used to attract the attention of a potential customer today, hoping to bring them back for more insights in the future.
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What are the benefits for a business of doing content marketing?
Campaigns to attract new business can be lengthy, costly, and ultimately frustrating if they do not provide the expected results. An antidote to these concerns is adopting an inbound marketing approach.
Think of inbound marketing as fishing with a rod instead of a net. Outbound marketing involves pulling in as many leads as possible, sifting through them after the event and hoping that at least some will prove beneficial. Inbound marketing, meanwhile, involves waiting for relevant leads to come to you.
The four main advantages of content marketing for a business are building awareness of your brand, enhancing the trust of your customers, earning their loyalty, and saving significant time and money in the process. If you bring in the services of a professional content marketer, you’re even likelier to enjoy success.
Raising brand awareness
First thing’s first – if you’re going to enjoy business success, you’ll need to build a brand identity that consumers can relate to. Customers will recognise and flock to you if you have a reliable content marketing strategy.
Building customer trust
This is beneficial to a business as, although the lead time is longer, it means you’ll be dealing with a captive audience. Imagine that you’re running an eCommerce website that sells rare and antiquated used books.
The term “bookstore” is a broad church, and you’ll attract all manner of customers. Those looking for potboiler paperbacks. Younger readers seeking the latest YA blockbuster. Comic book enthusiasts interested in superhero-centric adventures. Older readers that have their favourite authors … all of them will be disappointed to learn that your stock does not match their interests, or indeed their budget.
In addition, your target audience as a book dealer will be very particular. If they are going to part with five figures for a mint condition first-edition Dickens, they want to know they’re buying from a reliable source.
The internet is packed with people looking to sell expensive products based on dubious claims, and nobody wants to waste their time with a scammer. By embracing content marketing, you can build trust and a strong reputation among your audience before expecting them to hand over any money.
Saving time and money
Content marketing can be highly cost-effective. Take the writing of articles and blogs, for example. If a team member has a way with words and can create this content in-house, this will not cost you a penny. Even if you need external support, bringing a content marketing agency can be a cost-effective approach in the long term.
You’ll also potentially save time when potential consumers find you. Sticking with our used bookstore example, imagine that two different profiles of customer choose to get in touch. Now, review each of these potential conversations. Which would you prefer?
- Hello, I understand that you sell books
- Yes, we do. How can I help you today?
- Do you have the latest Dan Brown?
- No, sorry, we specialise more in rare books
- What, like Dan Brown’s first book? They don’t have that in Waterstone’s
- No, our area of expertise is more in classic literature
- Oh, you mean like Harry Potter?
- Well, we would potentially be interested in a first edition of the original book, depending on the condition
- I have the third, fourth and fifth books, do you want to buy them?
- Well, the series was very popular by then, and the books had much bigger print runs, so they don’t really hold any value –
- You can have all three for £20
- Sorry, that is not really how we work –
- OK, £15. I’m on my way to the shop now. Put me back a copy of the new Dan Brown, will you? I’ll grab that while I’m there
- No, please, wait –
And so on. Alternatively, how do this conversation sound?
Hello, I understand that you sell rare books?
- Yes, we do. How can I help you today?
- I saw a blog post on your website about some first editions of The Lord of the Rings trilogy that you have in stock. My husband loves those books, and I am looking for a unique gift for his birthday. Please could we arrange a time for me to review the condition of the books and buy them?
- Of course. You’ll find our address and opening hours online.
- Thank you, I’ll be there in an hour
Which of those sounds more appealing? Time wasted on a consumer that does not understand your business model can never be regained. By embracing content marketing, you can limit your interactions that never result in a conversion. This ensures that even single-time transactions, such as our example above, have a great deal of merit.
Retaining consumer loyalty
A popular adage in marketing claims that attracting new business is five times costlier than retaining existing customers. You may have experienced this yourself – and the example that we listed out above is a great example.
Who is to say that the customer that made this purchase will not return the next time they have a special occasion and need a gift? Perhaps more importantly, how many friends and acquaintances do you think they’ll recommend your services to? In the latter case, if you’re adopting content marketing, new consumers have plenty of material to sink their teeth into.
What types of content marketing services are available?
Our bookseller example above is a classic example of B2C content marketing – a Business marketing directly to the Consumer. The content creation is designed to pique curiosity in the customer’s mind, ensuring that the company remains at the forefront of thinking.
B2C is far from the only content marketing service available, though. Other popular examples include:
B2B content marketing services
In which businesses target other companies by identifying common pain points within an industry and creating content that aims to resolve these
SaaS content marketing services
Software as a Service is designed to solve problems, save time, and reduce outgoing costs – all things that many businesses will welcome. With so much competition, however, SaaS needs effective content marketing to overcome cynicism
Online content marketing services
The internet is a big place, with a range of different approaches and audiences. Online content marketing will focus on creating material that can be used in multiple disciplines – text, audio, and video
SEO content marketing services
SEO is the bread and butter of online business in the 21st Century. SEO agencies will work in tandem with content marketing agencies to create magic for your business
What are the best content marketing services available?
Content marketing services are typically provided through one of three approaches – a content marketing agency, contractor, or individual freelancer. At the risk of sounding biased, we recommend an agency here at Creative.onl, but we can provide good reasons. You can find a detailed analysis of which of these approaches is most beneficial to your business here.
How much does content marketing cost?
The cost of content marketing can vary wildly, depending on the approach you take, what you prioritise, and how much you can do in-house. Based on the five core areas that make up content marketing that we discussed previously, let’s look at average prices for each discipline.
|Type of content marketing||Average cost (£ / $)|
|Article writing||It is free if you handle this in-house, but it may be worth sourcing external help. Prices vary, so shop around – you could pay anywhere from £10 ($13) per hour to £50 ($65), depending on experience|
|Blogging||As with article writing, you’ll find an array of costs for bloggers. As blogs are more informal, you’re likelier to get away with handling this yourself|
|Infographics||Usually between £75 ($100) and £1,500 ($2,000) for each infographic|
|Social media||Social media content could be handled in-house, but it’s advisable to seek the help of influencers or social media experts. This could cost anywhere from £100 ($130) to £5,000 ($6,600) per month|
|Videos||Anywhere from £1,000 ($1,325) to £5,000 ($6,600), depending upon the complexity and length of the video|
Of course, these numbers are approximate – it’s impossible to provide an accurate quote without learning more about a business’s content marketing needs. However, if you’d like to discuss this, get in touch with Creative.onl – we’d be delighted to offer a free, no-obligation quote for our services.
What questions to ask potential content marketing services companies?
If you’re looking to bring in the services of a content marketing agency or freelancer, be sure to ask the following questions. Only consider working with a marketer that can provide satisfactory answers.
- Does the marketer understand your business model and your target audience? Are they capable of building a marketing campaign that creates an emotional connection with consumers while also retaining a laser focus on meeting their practical needs?
- How will a suggested marketing approach fit in with your existing brand strategy?
- What steps will the content creator take to ensure that material remains fresh, relevant and cutting-edge?
- Will you own the content created by an agency, or will they? This is important to know – if you do not hold the copyright of the material, you will not be able to use it if you sever ties with the creator
- How is success measured, and what steps will be taken to improve continually upon delivery?
You could ask these questions over email or the phone, but always pose them face-to-face. You’ll gain insights into any potential chemistry between your content provider and your team this way.
How to choose a content marketing services provider
Ready to start the search for a content marketing agency or creator? Then follow this seven-step process to ensure you find the ideal supplier.
How to choose a content marketing agency
- Set your budget
Decide how much of your marketing budget can be set aside for content creation. You’ll need to have a realistic idea of how much you can spend on such services
- Consider your strategy
Finalise your content marketing strategy and brand identity, ensuring that you can explain your core values and intentions to a third party. A content creator will need to tie their work into these
- Define your target customers
Build a customer profile to share with your content creation partners so they know exactly who they should be looking to appeal to
- Research competitors
Look into your competitors’ content strategies – most notably the successful ones. Share the identity of these rival businesses with your content creation agency
- Shortlist potential suppliers
Research content creators online. You should have no shortage of options to choose from, but do not be blinded by beautiful aesthetics and presentation. That is bread and butter for some a business. Look for agencies that show experience and understanding of your niche
- Interview your candidates
Contact a handful of potential agencies and arrange meetings to discuss your needs in more detail. Based on these interviews, choose the ideal content creator and begin your working relationship
- Define targets and KPIs
Set targets for your content creators and review to ensure they are being met. If this is not the case, consider terminating the working relationship and begin step 5 again
If you’d like to learn more about how content marketing could improve the fortunes of your business, feel free to contact Creative.onl. Our experienced team will be delighted to discuss your needs and explain how we can take your company to the next level of success.