Case Study: Outsourcing Content Marketing

TLDR; Tried outsourcing content marketing via Fiverr, didn’t like it.

Content Marketing is viewed as a key part of platform building, driving SEO growth, and generally creating traffic.

socm_effectiveness-1024x668

Yet Content Marketing is exhausting. You have to keep writing. And writing. And checking SEO keywords and optimizing. And writing. And optimizing. And marketing. And marketing. And marketing. It occurs to every blogger, company, and ne’er-do-well that it would be better to outsource this work to a reasonably priced person. After all, time is money and I value my time, so I am willing to be parted with some money. And when you start Googling what people do about stuff like this, they seem to be able to write single digit payments per post either to freelancers (with bonuses for traffic) or offshore.

Every time I think about trying to do this, I find it hard to imagine what it would be like for someone else to try to be me. First, I write with such a masterful command of the English language, my ghost writer would need to be Ernest Hemingway himself to even begin to replicate my writing style. Second, my content knowledge is so deep you would have to feed Ernest both Seth Godin and Marc Andreesen to fill him with the knowledge available at my fingertips. (You would tell Mr. Hemingway that they were two de-shelled turtles and he would dig in with gusto, no doubt.)

seth-godin-why-business-think-like-artists1Marc Andreessen, investment banker and a founder of Netscape

 

Yum.

Regardless, if there was a way, in all of this amazing universe, for Ernest Hemingway to rise from the dead, use his zombie powers to ingest the brains of our leading thinkers, and then use that zombie braingestion on my behalf for just a few dollars per article, I would be a fool to not dig in to this. I resolved to test this and understand what was really going on here. For my first test, I decided to use Fiverr because people love Fiverr. It has more than 3 million gigs for sale on it! It seems like people were using Fivver for everything. Some people have had what seem like a pretty good experience on Fiverr.

Test Design

I wanted this test to succeed. I mean, of course I want someone to produce awesome content for me at low, low prices. So I bought two different Fiverr gigs. The first gig I bought was the “featured” 8 week content marketing plan.

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 3.54.34 PM

This guy is a top seller, a featured seller, and has a 99% approval rating. I figured that meant good things. Here is what he needed from me to get started:

Provide:
1. Industry (i.e. food and drink):
2. Business type (i.e. mfg. of coffee):
3. Description of product or service:
4. Keywords (up to 5, separate by commas):
5. Website Address:

So I responded with this:

I am writing a book about Lean Advertising for Startups. My new blog is http://brenthalliburton.com/

My old blog is http://www.cogmap.com/blog/

My blog will cover how Lean Startups can use display advertising, SEO, SEM, and other technologies to acquire customers.

Topics covered in http://adexchanger.com/ reflect the kinds of topics we will want to cover, only from a start-up perspective.

Other related keywords include topics such as “growth hacking”.

What I got back was this:

Content Marketing Media Schedule

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 3.58.45 PM

I thought this was actually pretty good. Maybe a bit cookie-cutter, but solid. He also attached a PDF document that included the guides that he references, but there you go. I thought he had a nice cookie cutter model, he spent a bit of time thinking about the titles, and I got all this for $5. Bam.

So the next thing I did was say, “Now I just need to pay someone to write all these articles for me.”

Same deal: I went on Fiverr, I picked a “featured”, “96% success rate”, “top 5 seller” and hired him to crank out some good stuff.

Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 4.03.30 PM

You have to confess, this guy looks legit. Also, in the interest of being particularly awesome, I sprang for the extra $5 to get a 1,000 word article: Ten whole dollars in exchange for quality content! I was excited.

Here is what amitbt needed to write his 1,000 words:

Thank you for ordering my gig! 🙂

I need you to give me the The TITLE (Optional) and the KEYWORD of the article.

I was a bit nervous about that, so I gave him much more. I want it to be awesome!

Title: Ways Startups Can Launch Successful Marketing Campaigns

Keyword: Startup Marketing

Few more things:

– Testing new things is a good way to find strong value. Experimenting with Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter are all places where cheap clicks and performance can be purchased because there has not yet been an influx of advertisers.
– Google clicks are increasingly expensive, however performance on the backend is very strong because when people Google things, they are interested in buying them!
– Content Marketing is a strong component of every marketing campaign because content marketing helps improve the value proposition of your business when other marketing mechanisms drive a consumer to your site. Strong content helps validate your business!

The first draft of his response:

First Draft Outsourced Content Marketing Product

Ways Startups Can Launch Successful Marketing Campaigns

Anyone who is engaged in business startup may find that it is really hard to build and establish brand awareness and to generate leads and convert them into sales. This issue also involves the complexity behind increasing customer loyalty. There is a limited resource and there are more challenges to face although opportunity can be found everywhere. You should keep in mind that you must be able to make your startup marketing a success because your other marketing campaigns will also become successful in that way.

5 Ways that Startup can Launch Successful Internet Marketing Campaigns

Actually, there are ways on how startups can launch effective marketing campaigns. To achieve these things, you need to be familiar with the best ways of how to make it happen. For sure, these tactics will lead you to the right path to take in order to meet success.

  • Concentrate on a particular strategy at a time. If you start your marketing process with the use of social media, you should never try to use it together with other techniques such as search engines and blogging all at the same time. It only means that if you choose to use social media today, you should focus your full attention to this strategy first. You need to invest money and time for mastering one area and after that, you can pursue to another marketing strategy.
  • Test and follow everything. It will assist you in cutting your expenses as well as to focus your funds in those aspects of internet marketing that are working. You may try some things as you want to attain improvements.
  • Handle cash flow in the best way. You should avoid spending the extra money that was generated by using your marketing campaigns on your personal needs. Instead, why don’t you make a plan for another marketing campaign to execute after your startup marketing campaign?
  • Take continuous actions even though the results are not good. If an advertising campaign fails to work, it is not the failure that matters. What’s important is that you did everything you can and now, you found out that it does not work. That way, you can start making a plan for your next move.
  • Focus your attention on the generation of leads. Good promotion isn’t just regarding the process of making a sale. The truth is that most of the successful entrepreneurs are focusing their attention on generating leads. What you can do to meet this objective is to offer free teleseminars, send cost-efficient special reports and share useful content through the web.

Aside from these ways, there are other things that you need to keep in mind about startup marketing. You need to know and understand that startups are all about aligning your business objectives with your recent assets. There are some tips that can help you about this.

Five Steps to Startup Marketing Success

  1. Identify your value proposition. If you find that it is difficult to describe your competitive advantage, promoting your service or product during your business startup will become a rising climb. Rank the value proposition of your startup and the benchmark factors that are crucial to business & advertising success with a complete assessment.
  2. Determine the major performance indicators that are important to your particular growth goals. You should prioritize your goals. Your aims should include building your brand, generating your leads, converting your leads into sales and obtaining customer loyalty. When it comes to startup marketing, your first clients as well as your regular customers can amplify, reach & work as advocates for your target audiences. You have to track churn, the recurring value as well as the referral income to bind this objective for a lasting impact.
  3. Align assets, audiences and your activities. You have to be careful with the most crucial resource and that is time. You will not be successful if you will not allocate your talent and time toward establishing impact to where it is very important. You can start by defining the buyer personas for the most essential audience segments that you have and ensure that your campaigns are tailored to their goals and requirements.
  4. Balance drivers and builders. Each company must invest in making assets that you can leverage to accelerate your success. This is the reason why it is very important in building social network reach, attract internet users, publish helpful content, extend your lead’s database and cultivate relationships with influencers and these involve the media, analysts, bloggers and peers. You should keep in mind that a startup marketing campaign that relies on the conventional form of marketing as well as in paid media will never be able to survive and succeed. You should never forget that success requires the combination of drivers and builders. Drivers are the campaigns that get the most out of the existing assets in order to generate short-term revenues. Meanwhile, builders are the foundational & recurring campaigns. Examples of these are social engagement and blogging which are designed to establish & expand assets.
  5. Embrace agility and gauge, analyze and evolve it. Always remember that a startup marketing campaign should be agile and it should be focused on shifting time and dollars continuously to all activities which are producing desirable results.

Following these tips will guarantee you success in the end. Moreover, there are additional ideas that can help you make your startup marketing into a success.

Few More Things to Remember

– Testing new things is a good way to find strong value. Experimenting with Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter are all places where cheap clicks and performance can be purchased because there has not yet been an influx of advertisers.

– Google clicks are increasingly expensive, however performance on the backend is very strong because when people Google things, they are interested in buying them!

– Content Marketing is a strong component of every marketing campaign because content marketing helps improve the value proposition of your business when other marketing mechanisms drive a consumer to your site. Strong content helps validate your business!

Ouch. This was not what I wanted my blog to be like. But Fiverr gives you the option to reject things, so reject I did! Here was my comment. Maybe I should have been more aggressive, but I think I already realized that there was no way this document could be groomed into the kind of content I was hoping for:

There are very few sentences in this that are grammatically correct. For example, “You should keep in mind that you must be able to make your startup marketing a success because your other marketing campaigns will also become successful in that way.”

So the end product of my experiment was this:

Final Outsourced Content Marketing Product

Ways Startups Can Launch Successful Marketing Campaigns

Anyone who is engaged in business startup may find that it is really hard to build and establish brand awareness and to generate leads and convert them into sales. This issue also involves the complexity behind increasing customer loyalty. There is a limited resource and there are more challenges to face although opportunity can be found everywhere. You should keep in mind that you must be able to make your startup marketing campaign successful. This way, you will be 100% sure that your other marketing campaigns for the future will also be effective.

5 Ways that Startup can Launch Successful Internet Marketing Campaigns

Actually, there are ways on how startups can launch effective marketing campaigns. To achieve these things, you need to be familiar with the best ways to make it happen. For sure, these tactics will lead you to the right path to success.

  • Concentrate on a particular strategy at a time. If you start your marketing process with the use of social media, you should never try to use it together with other techniques such as search engines and blogging all at the same time. It only means that if you choose to use social media today, you should focus your full attention to this strategy first. You need to invest money and time for mastering one area and after that, you can pursue to another marketing strategy.
  • Test and follow everything. It will assist you in cutting your expenses and in focusing your funds to the aspects of internet marketing that are working. You may try some things as you want to attain improvements.
  • Handle cash flow in the best way. You should avoid spending the extra money that was generated by using your marketing campaigns on your personal needs. Instead, why don’t you make a plan for another marketing campaign to execute after your startup marketing campaign?
  • Take continuous actions even though the results are not good. If an advertising campaign fails to work, it is not the failure that matters. What’s important is that you did everything you can and you have learned that it doesn’t working. That way, you can start making a plan for your next move.
  • Focus your attention on the generation of leads. Good promotion isn’t just regarding the process of making a sale. The truth is that most of the successful entrepreneurs are focusing their attention on generating leads. What you can do to meet this objective is to offer free teleseminars, send cost-efficient special reports and share useful content through the web.

Aside from these ways, there are other things that you need to keep in mind about startup marketing. You need to know and understand that startups are all about aligning your business objectives with your recent assets. There are some tips that can help you about this.

Five Steps to Startup Marketing Success

  1. Identify your value proposition. If you find that it is difficult to describe your competitive advantage, promoting your service or product during your business startup will become a rising scale. Rank the value proposition of your startup and the benchmark factors that are crucial to business & advertising success with complete assessment.
  2. Determine the major performance indicators that are important to your particular growth goals. You should prioritize your goals. Your aims should include building your brand, generating your leads, converting your leads into sales and obtaining customer loyalty. When it comes to startup marketing, your first clients as well as your regular customers can amplify, reach & work as advocates for your target audiences. You have to track churn, the recurring value as well as the referral income to bind this objective for a lasting impact.
  3. Align assets, audiences and your activities. You have to be careful in dealing with the most crucial resource and that is time. You will not be successful if you will not allocate your talent and time towards establishing impact to where it is very important. You can start by defining the buyer personas for the most essential audience segments that you have and ensure that your campaigns are tailored to their goals and requirements.
  4. Balance drivers and builders. Each company must invest in making assets that you can leverage to accelerate your success. This is the reason why it is very important in building social network reach, attract internet users, publish helpful content, extend your lead’s database and cultivate relationships with influencers. These involve the media, analysts, bloggers and peers. You should keep in mind that a startup marketing campaign that relies on the conventional form of marketing as well as in paid media will never be able to survive and succeed. You should never forget that success requires the combination of drivers and builders. Drivers are the campaigns that get the most out of the existing assets in order to generate short-term revenues. Meanwhile, builders are the foundational & recurring campaigns. Examples of these are social engagement and blogging which are designed to establish & expand assets.
  5. Embrace agility and gauge, analyze and evolve it. Always remember that a startup marketing campaign should be agile and it should be focused on shifting time and dollars continuously to all activities which are producing desirable results.

Following these tips will guarantee you success in the end. Moreover, there are additional ideas that can help you make your startup marketing into a success.

Few More Things to Remember

– Testing new things is a good way to find strong value. Experimenting with Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter are all places where cheap clicks and performance can be purchased because there has not yet been an influx of advertisers.

– Google clicks are increasingly expensive, however, the performance on the backend is very strong because when people Google things, they are interested in buying them!

– Content Marketing is a strong component of every marketing campaign because content marketing helps improve the value proposition of your business when other marketing mechanisms drive a consumer to your site. Strong content helps validate your business!

Meh. That was okay. If I was some crazy domaining SEO’er, maybe this would be enough.

Obviously for you, my super high-quality audience, this is not enough! The real secrets of content marketing are not hidden in this article, they are hidden in describing how this article gets written. Good times!

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