- Makeda Waterman
How to Use Freelancers to Enhance Content Marketing
What are your content marketing issues?
A content audit with a room of employees can be a problem. Here’s why. An employee working 5+ years at a company is less likely to present ‘out of the box’ ideas than a freelancer.
Office politics and the red tape of writing content in an organization can limit content marketing efforts.
A set of new eyes from a freelancer’s perspective can be the magic you need to reinvent the content mold. Also, content is meant to tell stories and craft information that is relatable to consumers. If your current content marketing strategy is not producing the results you desire, it is time to consider hiring a freelancer.
Discover What You Need
What are your content marketing goals? The blueprint to hiring freelancers is discovering the skills needed to get the job done right; the first time. It is better to write a plan of action before posting a job opportunity online. It can save you time, resources and effort in hiring the wrong person.
I recommend setting up a meeting with employees to find out their volume of work and how hiring a freelancer can reduce unneeded stress. Here are a few factors to consider before starting the search for a freelance writer:
Do we need a rebranding of all content? It applies to online and offline content (i.e., marketing materials)
Do we need an on-call writer? Do we need a part-time or full-time writer?
How much do I pay a freelancer? Most writers charge an hourly rate based on experience or a rate per word depending on experience.
What skills are required? Hire a freelance with SEO content experience and at least 2+ years of content marketing experience.
Do we need two writers? If one writer is on vacation or is sick, a second writer can be on call to resume pending work.
Before you officially hire the write, request a short-term contract to be signed.
Set Content Marketing Goals
What is your motivation? If the ultimate goal of new content is to increase site visitors or improve SEO rankings it needs to be communicated to your freelancers. It must be on the job posting, discussed in the interview and the first point of reference for the first assignment.
Freelancers need direction in the beginning stages of the assignment. A blueprint of goals can help them to communicate ideas or provide feedback on how the current strategy needs improvement. For example, if the goal is to increase business by 35%, the freelancer will pull out their industry secrets to develop award-winning content.
Don’t expect the freelancer to arrive with ideas to take the business to the next level. Lead, and the rest will follow.
Build a Freelance Team
It can take less than 24 hours to find top freelance talent. Freelance websites that include Freelancemyway, Guru, and Media Bistro support businesses with the search. You can build a team based on specific business needs. Here are a few ideas to implement:
A graphic designer with award-winning skills
A content writer with marketing agency experience
An editor that understands marketing
A marketing analyst that studies leading trends
There is a chance that you can find one freelancer with all these skills. It can potentially cut costs by hiring an entire team.
Conduct a Content Audit
What is a content audit?
A content audit is a deep analysis of marketing content to discover if the current strategy is effective. It covers the review of all content that includes blogs, social media, web copy, and white papers.
As employees focus on time-sensitive projects, a freelancer can conduct SEO audits. Their day will focus on improving content based on the desired target audience. A freelancer can review analytic metrics of your website providing feedback that titles, meta tags, and page metrics need improvement.
Overall, the cost of training an employee to fully understand the technicality of conducting a full content audit can be replaced by using the talent of a qualified freelancer.
Work with Content Influencers
Hire a freelance content writer that has an audience; preferably one that is an SME (Subject matter expert) in your industry. Ask the freelancer to share all their work with their audience to drive traffic to your website.
Organizations that prefer working with ghostwriters and hiding it from the public have their reasons. However, there is no shame in sharing with the industry you are working with a top influencer.
Think of it as co-marketing. Instead of co-marketing with a competitor, leverage the audience of the freelancer.
Be Prepared for Change
A freelancer can start working with your company and completely change the way employees write content. Some employees might feel threatened or resist the path of change. Change in business is inevitable. The sting of the truth might hurt for a few days, but it is time to brush it off and face the music.
Freelancers can help reduce the time and effort an internal team dedicates to crafting content. The experience can help re-invent the public image of your branding. It might be the key to the puzzle that is lacking.
The reality is freelancers bring a wealth of knowledge to the improvement of content. As an employee works solely for your organization, a freelancer can work with up to 10 companies at a time. What does it mean for you? It means their mind is constantly in overdrive thinking of the best way to serve several businesses at a time.
The first step is to know what you want in a freelancer. Communicate it effectively in the job posting. Share with employees the benefits of having an extra team member to take up their workload. A change can be met with resistance, but if you hire the right freelancer, it can be good for the company in the long run.
Most importantly, set goals, complete a content audit and hire more freelancers if needed.