You’ve found and maybe already hired the right content marketing agency or consultant. They’re curious, experienced, knowledgeable of the industry and you’re ready to go. What’s next? Get ready to get personal (about your business anyway)! A content marketing partner, whether hired to implement a comprehensive content strategy or work on a one-off project needs to be brought into the big picture in order to achieve maximum results with their work. The more intimate of a picture you can give them of your business’s inner workings, the better output you’ll receive in the end.
A content marketer doing their due diligence should ask the following five questions at a minimum before diving into any strategies or projects:
- What are your business goals? This is the absolute first question that should be asked. Full stop. It puts everyone on the same page and sets expectations for the campaign. Without a very clear understanding of the end goals, the appropriate content strategy cannot be created. Additionally, if your goals are not exactly suited for content marketing (it can do a lot, but not everything), your content marketer should tell you that and set a realistic expectation of results. When business goals are articulated, the whole team can work together to build a campaign that gets the right results.
- What is your differentiating factor? It’s important for a content marketer to use the unique selling proposition to create pieces of content that reach audiences in a variety of ways. With content marketing, it doesn’t always have to be about the actual product. People like to buy from brands they feel good about. If you sell a widget that is exactly the same as someone else’s widget, but your CEO donates half of the profits to charity each year, that’s an important distinguishing factor your content marketer should know.
- What questions do your prospects most often ask during the buying process? If your sales team is hearing the same questions over and over, your content marketer can develop a strategy that answers those questions, giving prospects an easier path to purchasing.
- What are your prospects’ biggest barriers to purchasing? Similar to the questions your prospects ask before purchasing; knowing and communicating to your content marketer what holds people back from purchasing can help them create content that address those barriers in order to reduce or eliminate them.
- How do you currently maintain relationships with your current customers? As the saying goes, it’s easier and cheaper to keep a customer than to get a new one and with content marketing, doing that has never been easier. Sharing your current engagement strategy or lack thereof with your content marketer will help them create, modify or execute a strategy for maintaining relationships.
If your content marketing partner isn’t asking you these questions, ask yourself why and if you’re getting the results you expect from your content marketing campaign. On the flip side, content marketers can offer you a reality check as well.
- What aren’t we doing that we should be? Gaining outside perspective is priceless and one of the benefits of outsourcing. Presumably you’ve hired an expert, so tap into their expertise and experience to improve your efforts.
What would you want your content marketing partner to ask? Share it in the comments.