Make no mistake; content marketing is complex.
It requires subject expertise, in-depth knowledge about your target audiences, an excellent strategy to guide its execution, and of course, exceptional copywriting skills.
Last but not least, hands-on experience and consistency.
Another thing to note: All these must go into the mix for you to drive positive business results from content marketing.
Chances are, you know this already, right?
Since you do, I take it that you’re here to appease your search for content marketing consulting from experienced professionals who walk the talk.
You’re in the right place.
For making it to this guide, out of over 2.7 million blogs published on WordPress alone per day, I want to help you avoid the pitfalls associated with content marketing consulting.
Let’s start by exploring some ways a content marketing consultant can help grow your business.
4 Ways a Content Marketing Consultant Can Help Grow Your Business
Again, make no mistake; content marketing isn’t limited to writing blogs or articles.
It’s way beyond that.
Podcasts, images, emails, videos, webinars, or social media posts, as long as they promote your business in a way, all fall under the content marketing umbrella.
Add all these together, and what do you get?
Over 4.6 billion content pieces produced daily.
How do you stand out in this sea of noise pollution created by excessive content creation on the internet?
And how do you do it to still go on to grow your business with content marketing?
Excellent content marketing consultants don’t fear taking on these mettle tasks.
And some ways they can help you is what follows.
Develop a content marketing strategy that drives growth
As I’ve mentioned, with billions of new content pieces entering the internet space daily, there’s already information overload to contend with.
In today’s world, everyone thinks they’re creative.
And now there’s a tool to produce just about any content type in a breeze. So most businesses forget to take into account things like who they’re creating for, how they’ll find it, and how what they create supports defined business objectives.
Sameness, which gives birth to mediocrity.
That’s a terrible combination.
First, mediocrity leads to color blindness in the eyes of your target audiences, as they won’t know how to differentiate you from competitors. Also, churning out content with hard-earned resources with nothing to show results in wastage of money and time.
You don’t want those, right?
An exceptional content marketing consultant can help you to avoid them.
How will they do this, you ask?
Developing a content marketing strategy sets you apart and drives KPIs for your business.
Takes into consideration who your target audiences are (their needs, challenges, desires, goals, and where they hang out). Identifies topics and clusters you need to create content around that supports the needs of your audience and helps to position your business in a positive light in their eyes. Outlines specific content types and formats to create and how they’ll lead to defined business outcomes.
A consultant can help you to drive growth by developing a content marketing strategy that:
Creating a strategy takes extensive research and hands-on experience.
To avoid the pitfalls most businesses make with content marketing or continue to shoot content pieces in the dark, hoping for a miracle, you’re better off hiring a consultant.
Increase awareness & generate site traffic
The amount of awareness and traffic you can drive to your website is about the first step in growing your business online.
And online, prospects need to be aware of your business or know your site’s URL before they can visit your site.
But on my blog, even though I don’t know all the people who visit my site, I generate well over 3 million visitors organically per month.
So, how do I create awareness and get even people who don’t know me, or my articles’ URLs to visit my blog?
I use content marketing.
Take this content you’re reading, for example.
I don’t know you in person, and I bet you didn’t type this guide’s unique URL into your browser. But, somehow, you visited this blog and enjoying what you’re reading, right?
An exceptional content marketing consultant can help you to do the same.
By creating relevant content pieces that show up on platforms your target audiences search for the services you offer or the problems your business solves.
At my ad agency, Neil Patel Digital, we call it the act of creating “content that matters to the people that matter:”
Your customers could be on social media or use Google to search for information. It doesn’t matter.
Excellent consultants can still help your business build awareness and generate traffic on the platforms or places that matter.
And they can do this, using the three steps my ad agency have used to drive growth for startups and some big brands across the world with content marketing:
Acquire brand mentions & backlinks
Google is still the holy grail as it concerns online research.
And if the need to rank on Google’s top pages is critical to the volume of traffic your site (and business thereof) generates, you’ll need brand mentions and backlinks.
No doubt, creating high-quality, SEO-optimized content is the first step in the process.
But on its own, it won’t suffice.
You need brand mentions and backlinks to build credibility; thereby, increasing your chances of ranking those content pieces higher on Google.
Acquiring backlinks or brand mentions isn’t a stroll in the park.
Hence, the need for a consultant.
A content marketing consultant can help you to get relevant, strategic brand mentions and backlinks that go beyond boosting your ranking but driving business outcomes.
As I discussed in an earlier article, “How to Build Quality Backlinks… (and brand mentions),” exceptional consultants can do this by:
Leveraging public relations. Writing competitive, link-attracting content pieces. Do an original study for your brand.Create an infographic.Align social media signals.Launch link-generating outreach campaigns, and others.
It’s best to work with a consultant on this because they’ll help you determine what strategy would drive the most impact for your business.
Fuel your inbound marketing funnels & drive sales
Sales funnels are synonymous with online marketing.
The first time when people visit your site, most aren’t ready to buy. And nothing guarantees they will visit your site when they are.
Hence, the need to convert site visitors into leads and nurture them into customers, using the traditional inbound marketing sales funnel.
The screenshot above shows…
The different stages of an inbound marketing sales funnel, from converting site visitors into email subscribers or leads to nurturing them into customers flows with content.
To make the most out of this process, you’ll need a content marketing consultant.
A consultant will help you develop a plan to drive traffic and fill your sales funnel with leads.
Depending on what they find from extensive research will work best for you, some strategies excellent consultants take to generate leads with content marketing are:
Content upgrades. Guest posting. PPC ads.Webinar collaborations.Surveys, quizzes, and others.
Generating leads for your sales funnel, however, is only half the battle.
They’ll also have to develop content assets for each stage of the customer journey to nurture leads into customers via email sequences.
The steps a consultant will take to this, as I shared in an earlier content piece, looks something like this:
Audit your leads and conversion ratios. Segment your leads based on their unique journeys, andLaunch lead-nurturing campaigns.
The four ways I detailed above are some ways a content marketing consultant can help to drive growth for your business.
Did I discuss an area you need help with?
How to Get Started With a Content Marketing Consultant
Getting started with a content marketing consultant begins with you:
What are your business challenges? What areas do you need help with, as it concerns content marketing?What business outcomes do you want to achieve?
It’s best to have the answers to those questions at the back of your mind before seeking content marketing consulting.
Because when you know what you need and the business outcomes you want to achieve, it streamlines your search for a consultant to those with experience in the area you need help with.
Doing this leaves you with only one question (how can you help me?) as you approach a consultant.
And because top content marketing consulting service providers expect this, that’s the question they rephrase back to you when you visit their contact us page:
After you fill this inquiry form, the next step exceptional consultants take is to follow-up by booking a discovery call with you.
This call typically lasts 30-45 minutes and is mostly held on Skype, Zoom, or Google Meet.
After this, most consultants take what you’ve shared with them (via the inquiry form you filled and discovery call) a step further by performing in-depth research.
This research is to diagnose your business challenges and needs. And the result of this investigation being their recommended strategies and tactics to grow your business with content marketing.
Expect to receive these recommendations over a second discovery call or delivered to you via email.
The next step?
If your conversations up to this point are positive, a consultant will send you a proposal and contract to work with you.
But going on to work with one should depend on whether:
You like the recommendations they suggest will help to grow your business via content marketing. They’re super clear on their process to achieving results, and They consider you (and your business) a good fit for their services.
Exceptional content marketing consultants value their reputation over a quick cheque, so they won’t take up projects they can’t deliver.
Besides, before you hire a content marketing consultant, it makes sense to know how to measure the effectiveness of the service they’ll provide you.
Let’s see some ways you can do that.
Measuring the ROI of Content Marketing Consulting Services
How you measure the return on investment (ROI) from a content marketing consulting service varies according to what you hired a consultant to help you achieve.
Ultimately, tracking sales and revenue increases after working with a consultant is always an excellent way to measure the impact of any marketing activity.
But this won’t happen overnight.
And because it doesn’t happen overnight, if you see increases in the following key performance indicators (KPIs), know that the consultant you hired is on the right track.
Increase in website traffic
Content marketing, when done right, drives traffic.
But the volume of traffic you drive via content marketing doesn’t correlate with the number of content pieces you produce.
It starts with quality.
A consultant should know this, so you shouldn’t measure how many content pieces they produce for your company.
Instead, ensure they’re producing top-quality content and optimizing them to be discovered by your target audiences on the platforms those audiences hang out.
And how will you know if a consultant is doing this?
Your website traffic will increase, so track that.
Backlinks and brand mentions
Producing top-notch content has other benefits.
It generates organic backlinks from people who find your content pieces insightful. In turn, this allows you to rank for competitive keywords most likely to drive sales.
External domains link back to your site via brand mentions and anchor links to specific articles on your site.
It’s hard to rank your site on search engines for competitive keywords without quality backlinks from reputable external sites.
Hence, by measuring the number of new backlinks a consultant generates to your site, you can measure if they’re doing an excellent job.
One more thing.
Track what is driving backlinks to your website. Doing this reveals if the consultant is using content to acquire links for relevant keywords profitable to your business.
Number of new leads and conversion rate
What’s the point of generating millions of monthly traffic if it doesn’t amount to new leads and sales for your business?
Hence, as you start working with a content marketing consultant, give them some time to settle in, develop, and implement the strategy and tactics that’ll generate traffic.
You need to track if they’re converting that traffic into new customers or leads for your sales team.
And how will you do this?
By measuring how much your conversion rate increases from traffic to new leads and how many of those leads convert into qualified sales opportunities and customers over specified periods.
You can do this by requesting the consultant to set up goals for you to keep track of in Google Analytics and through the analytics provided by your email service provider.
Finally, let me leave you with what to look out for when finding a content marketing consultant.
4 Point Checklist For Finding the Right Content Marketing Consultant
To hire a content marketing consultant that’s right for you, look out for the following attributes.
Do they have experience driving results from content marketing?
Charity, they say, begins at home.
This rule applies to content marketing consulting service providers.
When finding the right one to work with, always check if they practice what they preach.
In other words, do they have proven experience, driving real results via content marketing?
Based on these results, it’s safe to say that my ad agency, Neil Patel Digital, has proven experience with content marketing.
Always lookout for this.
Are they content marketing thought-leaders?
Exceptional consultants take it a step further than having the experience to drive business outcomes via content marketing.
They position themselves as thought leaders.
And they do this by sharing detailed insights on strategies and tactics they have tried and tested works for driving growth via content marketing.
How to check if a consultant meets this criterion?
Go on Google (or a relevant platform), type content marketing along with the company or consultant’s name.
Do they have processes to develop and execute content marketing strategies?
When finding the right content marketing consultant, ask for the custom tools they developed for delivering their services.
Yes, content marketing, even though it is a service hinged on creativity, requires tools.
For consultants, you’ll find these tools in the form of battle-tested programs.
Again, take my ad agency, Neil Patel Digital, for example.
We’ve developed an in-house SEO program powered by content marketing:
To ensure we leave no stone unturned, we’ve also developed a content marketing program specific to content creation and promotion:
Do they have an impressive clients’ portfolio and relevant customer testimonials?
Finally, to detect if a content marketing consultant is right for you, examine the companies in their portfolio.
Doing this will give you a sense of the caliber of businesses that trust them:
And take one more step further by looking at what past customers say about their services.
From here, you’ll see if customers they’ve worked with admired their expertise, driving business outcomes via content marketing:
Conclusion: Choose a Content Marketing Consultant that’s Worth the Fee
As I said at the beginning of this guide, content marketing is complex.
And experienced consultants you can rely on to develop and execute customized content marketing strategies unique to your business needs don’t come cheap.
Because such consultants go out of their way to ensure you get a positive return on investment (ROI) for every dollar you invest in content marketing.
If you can’t get excellent consultants for cheap, how do you know if they’re worth their fee?
In most cases, past customers will testify to this:
Do you want content marketing consultants that are worth their fee?
Then get in touch with Neil Patel Digital here.
Read more: neilpatel.com