If your organization is new to content marketing you may feel tempted to rush out and hire a consultant to help you set the strategy.
But hold on just a minute!
I understand that the practice of content marketing is relatively new (about fifteen years or so). I also understand that you may be feeling overwhelmed about the things you don’t know about publishing. And that bringing in outside help might sound like a good idea to help make sense of it all.
Image Source: Michael Fitch, Wikimedia, Creative Commons License
But is it really? Here are three reasons why outsourcing your content marketing strategy may not be such a good idea.
#1. It’s Your Story
Frankly if you need a consultant to tell you what your story should be, I have to wonder if you even know what you want talk about in the first place.
Good content marketing is alive. It is your story. It is conscious. It is about emotion ~ Joe Pulizzi, Managing Content Marketing
It’s one thing to know your story and yet struggle to tell it. In that case, it’s perfectly fine to get a consultant’s help. A content marketing consultant certainly has the skills to bring out the story in a way that is relevant and interesting to your audience. But it still has to start with you – you cannot outsource your story.
#2. It’s Your Business
Content marketing strategy is not different from a business plan. You know your business better than anyone. You’ve researched the industry, you understand your goals, your competition and your product. In other words the intimate knowledge you have about your business makes you the best person to brainstorm a business strategy.
Content marketing is a part of your business strategy. There’s no one who could possibly know better what to accomplish with a content-driven marketing plan than yourself. A consultant can teach you how to do something new with content. But she can’t teach you anything new about your own business.
#3. It’s Your Audience
To have an effective content marketing effort you need to understand who your ideal “subscriber” is. That is the person on whom your content will have the greatest impact. Your ideal subscriber is probably one of your current customers. You know that customer better than anyone. You’ve served him, you know his ‘pain’ and you know what need he is trying to fill.
An outside consultant can certainly bring her persona-building skills to the table and help you uncover the best content to create for your customers. But still. There are things about your customers that she doesn’t know and you have to be the one to lead in that area.
Quick Wrap Up
You’re probably wondering why I – a content marketing consultant who makes a living by helping healthcare organizations with strategy – would write this article. I just want to set your expectations straight. A good consultant can help you accomplish many things such as:
- Expediting the content marketing process;
- Helping you sort through the weeds;
- Avoiding pitfalls that could get you into trouble;
- Providing a ‘reality check’ for getting things done.
- And if she has industry experience she might even help you to differentiate yourself from the competition.
If you have a story that you’re struggling to tell, then by all means hire a consultant to help you make sense of it. But if you don’t even have a story, don’t expect that a consultant will find one for you.
Over to you: What do you think? How much should organizations rely on outside consultants for content marketing?