The progression seemed simple enough.
You created your personal brand and took on every role yourself. All the operations, all the financials, all the marketing.
Once you earned enough money to hire some help, you started at the most logical place: your operations.
But even though delivering your services has become more hands-off, the responsibility of marketing remains on your shoulders.
You’ve built a brand you’re proud of and your business is running smoothly, but those marketing tasks are pulling you away from working on your business.
And even though you’ve tried delegating some marketing tasks in the past, it never works for more than a few weeks. Balls get dropped and you’re left to pick up the pieces.
So where do you go from here?
If you really want to get out of the way of your growing business, here are six marketing tasks to delegate immediately (and tips for taking the next steps).
1. Brainstorm & Vet New Blog Post Ideas
If you already outsource your content to a third-party writer, there’s a good chance you’re not generating your own content topics.
To be perfectly clear, there’s nothing wrong with brainstorming your own blog topics. (This is something I encourage our own clients to take part in.)
But if you’re serious about your content strategy, you know there are three factors that must be considered when planning new content:
- SEO and keywords
- The stages of your customer life cycle
- Customer feedback (what do they want?)
When done correctly, this process can take several hours each week, which means it should be managed by experienced content marketing strategists with a background in SEO.
One of the best ways to stay involved in the brainstorming process without completely taking over is to share a Google spreadsheet containing all your blog post ideas with everyone on your team.
When inspiration strikes, you and your team can add content topics into a single organized doc.
Then, your content marketing team can vet those ideas against your customer life cycle stages and produce the right content at the right time.
2. Grammar & Proofreading
If you’re the business owner or face of the personal brand behind the content and still want to write the content yourself, you should only have two jobs:
- Create the first draft
- Give the final sign off
You should leave everything between to your editor and proofreader.
One of the biggest mistakes I see business owners make is attempting to shorten their sales content production cycle at all costs. They’re so focused on “getting it done” that they skip the editing process and move straight to publishing.
When this happens, grammar and spelling mistakes are almost guaranteed.
To be fair, nothing prevents mistakes from ever happening. We’ve certainly published our share of grammar and spelling mistakes in blog posts, content upgrades, and weekly emails — even with our lengthy editing process.
Sometimes spelling and grammar errors just slip through the cracks. But that doesn’t mean you should skip editing and proofreading altogether.
BJ Fogg found that grammar is directly tied to your earned credibility. When your audience interacts with a piece of content loaded with typos and factual errors, it affects the perception of your entire company.
In a study by a London-based agency, grammatical errors were the top issue web users said they hated about brands.
To properly delegate your editing, hire an editor who is:
- Experienced and skilled
- Committed to understanding your brand voice, target buyer persona, and personal writing style.
(It takes both to maximize your company’s authority and credibility.)
3. Video Editing & Graphic Design
In case you’re still on the fence about using visuals in your blog content, here’s the deal:
Graphics are insanely important!
John Medina, author of Brain Rules, says three days after hearing a piece of information, you’ll only remember 10% of it. When you add a visual, though, that number increases to 65%.Creating visual content should be near the top of every content marketers to-do list. In a 2016 study from CMI, 55% of marketers surveyed said creating visual content was a top priority for them, and that number is only increasing.
This can mean anything from designing featured images for an article, jumping into Canva to mock up simple visual model, or adding your logo and applying a filter to a photo in Photoshop.
Whatever it is, if you’re an owner, video editing and other graphic design tasks are a waste of your time and should be handled by someone else.
Most of us fall into the trap of thinking, "I can get this done quickly, no problem! It’s easier to do it myself than to explain what I’m envisioning to someone else."
The problem is, graphic design is one of those tasks that often takes twice the amount of time you expect, or more. And that's time you should be spending on other parts of your business.
The key to effectively delegating your visual content starts with developing a strong brand style guide that includes:
- Logo variations
- Your color palette and proper color use
- Good and bad examples of using your visuals
- Font guide
- blog post format guidelines
- Image-in-photography use
Outlining these components is the first step to delegating your visual content.
4. SEO and Keyword Optimization
These days, SEO companies are a dime a dozen and, unfortunately, most of them don't know what they're doing. That may sound a little harsh, but in an industry with such a low barrier to entry, it's the truth.
Nearly every new client I’ve taken on has been burned by at least one SEO company. It’s a sad reality, but that doesn't mean we can all ignore SEO. It’s still a cornerstone of content marketing.
Tons of factors determine SEO, but when we get down to the most essential, there are three main factors Google looks for when determining how to rank your content:
1. Backlinks to Your Site
Backlinks are important, but not all are created equal. The effectiveness of your backlinks is determined by the quantity and quality. Check out this article for more on the difference between a quality backlink and a spammy backlink that could hurt you.
2. Content Length and Readability
The average content length of a Google first page result is 1,890 words (via Backlinko). The days of cranking out 500-word posts that fetch a top 15 result are over.
3. User Experience Metrics (Site Speed, Mobile-Friendliness, Bounce Rate, etc.)
Mobile-friendliness is now the standard in site design, with 85% of all sites meeting Google’s specifications for being mobile-friendly. If you aren’t sure if your site is mobile-friendly, check out this article from Google on what it means to be mobile-friendly. Next, visit your Search Console to verify the mobile version of your site is fully functional.
The challenge for business owners is that most SEO companies focus on one of these factors instead of approaching SEO from a holistic viewpoint. These companies tend to focus too much on productizing and scaling their own business which results in cookie-cutter offerings that don’t get results for their clients.
Instead, when looking to delegate or outsource your SEO, we suggest finding a company that includes SEO in their content marketing services.
So how do you figure out who’s worth their salt? Here are a few questions I’d ask every SEO or content marketing company before hiring them:
Do you guarantee your rankings?
An honest SEO company will NEVER guarantee rankings because they know there are too many factors involved. If they do, you can bet they're getting black-hat links from a private blog network.
How do you get your backlinks?
They should be able to clearly articulate the ways they obtain backlinks. Good companies won’t try to hide their strategies.
How will you optimize our onsite content?
They should be doing both onsite and offsite SEO optimization.
How will your work tie into the rest of our content marketing strategy and campaigns?
Another straightforward question to ensure they’re thinking about (and actually care about) the bigger picture.
5. Blog Post Promotion
Publishing a post is a victory in itself, but it’s only half the battle. The real work begins when trying to increase exposure.
In Orbit Media’s survey of 1,000 bloggers, they found that since 2016, social media, SEO, and email marketing were the most common forms of content promotion. And, although it wasn’t in the top three, paid media was the fastest growing form of promotion.
When most companies publish a new blog post, they share a basic link a few times on their social media channels and call it ‘good’. It’s better than doing nothing, but it doesn’t ensure your content won’t get ignored.
To effectively promote a piece of content, you need to start with the content itself. Make sure it’s promotion-worthy piece of content — ideally, something better than anything else out there on the topic. Then find creative ways to get it in front of your audience.
When delegating this, you’ll quickly find there’s no substitute for manual outreach, and finding someone who understands and values this is essential.
6. Email Marketing Automation
Email automation encompasses the entire email experience your prospect has with you — from the moment they become a prospect to the moment they convert or disqualify themselves as a client.
When done right, automating your email marketing reduces sales cycles, close times, and prospecting for you and your sales team.
For example, after launching a sales sequence, one of our clients saw a 66% decrease in time it took to close prospects, taking his average call time from 9 hours to 3 hours to close a new client.
How? The emails educated his prospects, answering questions and helping them self-qualify throughout the sales process, saving their sales team from doing it manually.
If this is a manual process for you or your sales team, you’re missing an opportunity to boost efficiencies, but don’t get down on yourself — you’re not alone.
In the 2018 B2C Yearly Survey hosted by CMI, only 45% of marketers said they used drip campaigns and 36% said they used lead nurturing emails, despite their effectiveness.
Improving sales conversion rates is just one benefit to letting go of handling email marketing and sales yourself. Communigator did a survey in 2017 that listed other important benefits of marketing automation:
When looking to delegate your email marketing and automation, finding a partner that understands how to integrate automation and email into the rest of your marketing and sales initiatives is critical.
Setting up email marketing will impact almost every aspect of your prospect life cycle from top of mind awareness to the sales handoff. You’ll need a:
- Copywriter who can write in your voice
- Strategist who understands how to put every piece together and map out effective automation sequences
- Tech-savvy team to execute and implement the copy into your automation software
Delegating important marketing tasks is never an overnight process, but when done right, it’s always worth it.
The options for executing the handoffs for these tasks are limitless — whether you hire
Sure, we may be a little biased towards outsourcing, but there are several reasons we’ve structured our business as a full-service content marketing team:
- Unless you’re doing $10 million or more in revenue, hiring an in-house team (writer, editor, SEO specialists, strategies, etc.)
isoften too expensive and requires too much training time.
- Hiring more freelancers and one-offs for each of these roles results in a Frankenstein strategy where everyone is doing something different. Communication and quality suffer, and the role of project manager inevitably falls in your lap.
- Hiring an agency to manage every aspect of your marketing can be effective, but it comes at a steep price since you’re paying a premium to cover their overhead.
For clients in the $1 to $10 million revenue range, we’ve found the ideal balance in a small internal marketing department of one to three people. Then, we’re brought onboard to act as the content marketing department.
This frees up the internal marketing team to focus on campaigns, non-digital strategies, and other initiatives outside of creating content.
What’s your experience? I’d love to hear from you!
What mix of internal teams and