Throughout the last two months, I’ve worked with plenty of businesses and spoken to dozens of business owners who are looking to market their companies online. We get talking, and some of them are genuinely interested in digital marketing and showcase an interest in doing their own marketing.
There have been some examples of my clients who have come along, had a website designed and built. After asking me questions regarding content marketing and my social media services, they have decided to start writing blogs and promoting their own content.
It got me thinking. Is this something that I would encourage local businesses owners to do by themselves? I mean, it’s just writing blogs – right? It’s just words on a page, isn’t it? Anyone can do that, right?
Today I will examine the reasons for and against creating your own content, and give local business owners and insight into content marketing to help them decide if this is something they really want to proceed with on their own.
Benefits to doing your own content marketing
First off, your are the master of your own space and know your company’s selling points. The chances are, you know your industry better than most due to your own experience with clients and on-the-job. No amount of keyword research and reading into your trade can help a digital marketer understand the way your industry operates better than you do.
Why do company’s need your service? What is it that makes you better than the competition? How do you deliver on the promises you are making in your online marketing? How do you effect the lives of your customers?
Only you truly know that, through your experience with clients. And I’m sure, particularly if you can convey that professionally within a blog, there will be some great selling points in those stories you have.
How authentic does it look to have the business owner, or the local entrepreneur do their own content marketing?
Content marketing could be the blogs you write, but it could also be a video you share showcasing your expertise on a subject in your industry, a series of videos that are helpful and give advise to potential customers. It could be a podcast every week, where you showcase your team and the atmosphere within your office.
If you’re a local entrepreneur, this could be a live stream of one of your personal fitness or yoga classes. It could be the photographs you take as you go on a client visit.
There’s so much potential for raw, unedited video. Look at your news feed on Facebook, what is the commonality among the highest shared and viewed videos? Authenticity.
If you do get good at writing blogs, a good blog can be written in two to three hours. Since you should already be studying material within your industry to keep yourself engaged in your job role and constantly up to date with the most relevant news, knowledge and trends, putting that knowledge into practical, actionable guides and tips for your audience would perhaps take you a couple of hours a day.
For local business owners, it’s weighing it up. If you were to spend three hours writing a blog, would it be worth saving you the money may have cost you to get that written? It all depends on how much you value your time, but once you get into the rhythm? Doing your own marketing can be cost-effective.
Benefits of doing your own social media marketing:
Showcase your brand
Taking a picture and sharing it spontaneously while you’re in the office? How about live streaming a morning meeting to showcase how you motivate your staff? These are things that you’re better equipped to deal with on a day-to-day basis than you are when an agency is involved.
Don’t get me wrong, it can be great to have a combination of both, but if we’re looking at this objectively? To represent your own brand across social media in real-live time and create a personal brand, sometimes this can be better done yourself as again, it provides authenticity.
It also allows you to have more personal control over how other’s see your brand, which can be really important to small business owners.
Stay connected with customers
When you are actively on social media and engaging with your audience, it gives you opportunity to stay engaged with your audience and keep up to date with their needs, what they’re going through, your brand reputation.
Giving you a better insight into your customer’s problems and allowing you to personally connect with customers is what social media is all about. If you can effectively do that on a day-to-day basis and have time to personally stay engaged with your audience? Nothing beats that.
There are some drawbacks when you consider the digital landscape and digital marketing when you’re going at this alone:
- Digital marketing is a vast and ever-changing industry that takes real skill and expertise to gather results in
- It consumes time to write your own content and stay relevant on social media
- You may not have the expertise to know all of your options when marketing yourself online
Benefits of hiring an agency for your content marketing:
Frequency and consistency
As a local business owner, could you write four keyword-researched blogs that are compelling and will attract your audience?
I doubt it. Not when you have a business to run.
The thing is, when you pay a digital marketing agency, you hire them for a specific job. Content writing.
For me, it’s what I do. If you order my services, you know what you’re getting. A package will get you up to one, two or four blogs per week. We can personalise packages to be even more, if needed.
Either way, you know it’s going to be frequent and consistent, week-in, week-out. No holidays, no days where you can’t be bothered to write, no weeks missed due to being too busy with clients.
Strategic search engine optimisation
If you’re a local business owner, can you guarantee you have the resources, time and expertise to ensure that your content reaches your audience?
Can you ensure that the content you write is optimised for search engines whilst being of good use to your customers and generating leads online?
If not, then why would you write content? Isn’t that the whole reason we do this – to reach more customers and get our website and name in front of our customers by demonstrating our competence?
The good news is, if you invest with a digital marketing agency, they may not have your level of expertise and knowledge on your industry – but they can make sure that the content you do produce is of good quality and helps you reach customers.
The different between content that converts your customers, and content that doesn’t convert anyone?
Can you drive engagement to your content? Can you write content that audiences are likely to give their time to read, like and share?
By hiring a digital agency, you have a range of choices – and ultimately you are in the driver’s seat with who you choose to do this for you.
That means you can have a look through their work, you can be the detective. You can ensure that you do your due diligence, and that the work they write creates engagement and is of good quality?
If you do that, your content writer will be someone who can drive engagement for your brand, raising your profile online and creating new relationships that may turn into paying customers.
Benefits of hiring an agency for your own social media marketing:
Availability to customers
No matter what, an agency will make you more responsive and available to customers. Why? Because their process by default streamlines your digital marketing process, and that extra pair of hands on your social accounts and across your digital brand certainly helps be more responsive and available to your customers on a multitude of different platforms (remember, it’s not just about Facebook – what about your website, Google, Twitter, LinkedIn?
Allowing an agency to take control and provide you with a strategy? That improves your availability to customers by allowing you to spend more time responding to personal messages and building connections that matter, and leave the marketing, planning, scheduling and analysis to the experts. It makes sense!
More diverse strategy
An agency should give you an insight into digital marketing that you didn’t have. By providing their expertise across the range of channels available to your business, and the range of ways you can advertise and market yourself online (content, pay-per-click ads, SEO, digital display, email marketing).
Through their experience and knowledge-base, they should be able to provide a more holistic package, allowing you to spend your money more wisely when it comes to advertising online, which can often give you a much better return on investment. Just this fact alone (this expertise and input, and the strategic changes they can make to help you target your audience more effectively for less money) justifies the price of their work, never mind the time they save you.
A service is a service. For example, my service provides customers with at least one post per day across their social media accounts. Some of them offer ten a day. That means you know what you’re getting, and you’re consistent in your message online.
As well as that, with a professional’s input, they will endure to make your brand consistent across all digital marketing platforms. An example of this would be the fact I offer social media branding, logo design, print design (brochures, posters, menus), alongside social media graphics to represent your brand.
That allows you to give me details on how you want to present yourself, and know that your in capable hands and I can design the branding and imagery to represent your brand professionally.
Being consistent in the amount of content you produce and being an active, daily voice in your industry is what will separate you from the competition when it comes to digital marketing.
There are some drawbacks, of course:
- They are not experts in your field
- You may still need to get involved to make it worthwhile (which can still take time)
- You still need to follow-up on the leads to turn them into sales
- This is a long-term strategy that will pay off over three, six and twelve months as you grow (as is any marketing investment).
The best results come from those who are eager to grow, want to invest time and energy into effectively branding themselves online, and hires an agency to help them in areas in which they have little or no expertise.
Feel like social media is your thing, and you can effectively do that? How about an consistently updated website and content marketing?
Not got enough time to constantly engage with an ever-growing client base online? Why not get some help scheduling relevant posts, content and handling the replies to your customer and get someone involved?
I feel there is room for a digital marketing professional to help any company. Right now, I am working with several local businesses to help design websites, write content, and help engage with more of their target audience across social media.
Could I help your small business grow? Give me a call on 07904008731 for a chat.