There’s no one way to create a piece of content. Every content marketing team has its own players. All of them have their own strengths, and they work in unique ways. However you currently create content, one thing is certain: Building an efficient team requires lots of time, skilled talent, and the right technology.
At Influence & Co., we combine a team of content marketing experts with custom content software and relationships with more than 1,000 online editors to help our clients create amazing content, at scale, that reaches their goals.
Those goals often include things like industry thought leadership, lead generation, sales enablement, and SEO. To help our clients build a content program that consistently achieves these goals, we assist them in creating and publishing guest-contributed content, which is content that is published in online publications under our clients’ own bylines.
With 89 percent of B2B companies committed to creating and publishing content, it prompts the question: Would it be better to partner with a content marketing agency to create content, or are you better off building your own team to handle it?
What follows is a breakdown of the four major steps in the process we use to create guest content that works and the average time spent at each stage — on our end and our clients’. Every guest-contributed article is different, so time spent varies, too. We arrived at these estimates by auditing the thousands of pieces of content we’ve published for our clients over the past six years.
It’s important to know that any time you work with an outsourced partner to create content, there’s going to be a get-to-know-you period. It may take time upfront for a partner to learn all the ins and outs of your industry. And even when you’re comfortable with one another, there will always be trickier projects or busy times when it’s harder to coordinate. As we build trust and the relationship grows, though, your time investment in content will decrease.
As part of our onboarding process, Influence & Co. works to understand your company, what your content goals are, and who your target audience is. Your dedicated content marketing team, which we call a “pod,” then uses all that information to generate topics that align with various online publications that reach your audience to achieve your goals.
Each month, we present you with the number of topic ideas included in your monthly plan. You don’t need to spend time brainstorming topic ideas, researching trends, or identifying trending content opportunities — that’s our job.
All you need to do is review and approve the topic or give us feedback to adjust it if that topic isn’t a fit for you.
On average, we spend between 1 and 2 hours on topic ideation per opportunity. Without our team of experts, that would be on you.
With a topic approved and a publication in mind, it’s time to start developing your actual article. Now, your content can’t be boring or generic or void of personality. According to “The State of Digital Media,” nearly 60 percent of online editors say unoriginal articles that offer generic insights are one of the biggest problems with contributed content.
At Influence & Co., we don’t believe that companies have ideas — we believe that real people do. We know that the best content is driven by expertise. It’s in your voice. It draws from your life and experiences. That’s why we developed a knowledge extraction process to fuel content creation.
Rather than writing an entire article yourself, you simply answer a few questions about the content topic you approved earlier.
Your answers to these questions help us do a few things:
Content like this is exactly what audiences want to read and exactly what publication editors want to publish. This process gives you the opportunity to share the kinds of insights that only you can, while we take care of what we do best — such as adding supplemental research, fleshing out takeaways, writing the article, and generating headlines that attract your audience.
Otherwise, your team would be tasked with developing an entire article from scratch — which is why our clients, especially those who aren’t natural writers or don’t have time to create a full article, love working with us.
Recent research shows that the average blog post takes 3 hours and 20 minutes to write, and one in eight bloggers spends up to 6 hours writing one piece of content. Without us, that’s time you’ll be spending (or risk lowering content quality if you rush through it).
Writing an awesome piece of content is one thing, but editing it is another — and that’s OK. Not everyone who has great ideas is also going to be a great editor. In fact, it’s really hard to edit your own work. And even if you manage to do it, you run a greater risk of letting mistakes slip through, which is another reason publication editors reject content.
All of this is to say that we recommend having at least one other person edit your work.
At Influence & Co., your article is edited by two highly trained editors to ensure everything is of the highest possible quality. First, your pod editor will edit it for structure and flow and with your goals, voice, and audience in mind. Then we work with you to make any additional changes during your review to ensure the content is in tip-top shape.
From there, your approved article is edited again — this time, for grammar, spelling, and all the other technical details that make your content shine.
Behind the scenes, our team spends between 4 and 6 hours on our rounds of edits, which is time that your team would spend if you didn’t have us.
Our team has cultivated more than 1,000 relationships with editors at the world’s leading online publications. We’ve been building these relationships for more than six years and even have an entire department devoted to getting our clients’ content published in online publications.
We source publications that fit your goals, meet with editors to understand what they’re looking for, pitch your content to the editors, and follow up until we’ve got the article published.
The vast majority of content we submit on our clients’ behalf is published in the first-choice publication. Sometimes, though, an editor will request changes; other times, a piece might be rejected. If this happens, we keep you in the loop, making necessary changes or finding another home for your article on a different site that meets your goals.
Once you’ve given your approval to send the article to publication, all you have to do it sit back and wait to hear from us that it’s been published.
Without our team of publication strategists, your team would spend an estimated 3 hours per article sourcing publications, researching guidelines, building relationships, pitching to editors, and following up.
Estimated total time investment to create and publish an article with Influence & Co.: 2 hours and 15 minutes
Want to talk more about how partnering with us for your content strategy can save you time? Set up a call below!