content marketing services

The 9 Most Useful Content Marketing Services You Need to Get This Year

This year, content marketing is a non-optional activity for any brand that wants to be successful.

Facts: 84% of consumers now expect brands to create content.

And if you think you can just get in front of them with ads… think again.

Today, 80% of users ignore sponsored search results in Google.

Organic is where you’ll win.

However, if you’re thinking about content marketing services (such as hiring an agency to manage your content marketing campaign from start to finish — something we don’t do, we only write great content) — it can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out what services to choose, and from whom. Should you go with strategic content services from a digital marketing agency? Or should you go with content development and marketing services from a creative agency?

Or should you just go renegade and do it all yourself?

You have a lot of options, so I’ve put this guide of the most quintessential content marketing services that you need. It’s got advice for whichever route you choose, so if you’re going to take that dive (and you absolutely should!) … start here.

Thinking about content marketing services? 🤔 It's overwhelming figuring out what to choose. 💻 ...Or should you just go renegade? 👩‍🎤 Learn everything you need to know in this guide on the Write Blog. Click To Tweet

content marketing services

A Quick Guide: Content Marketing Services You Need This Year – Table of Contents

What Goes Into Content Marketing?

9 Content Marketing Services You Need to Grow Your Brand in 2020 and Beyond

1. A Rock-Solid Content Strategy

2. The Creation of Mind-Blowing Content

3. Frank, Thoughtful Video Creation

4. Captivating Infographics & Visual Assets

5. A Kicka$$ WordPress Site

6. Flawlessly Branded Social Media

7. Next-Level Email Marketing

8. A Fresh, Modern Maintenance Routine

9. The Right Tools to Measure Success

content marketing services to get in 2020

So, Exactly What Does Content Marketing Entail?

If you asked me to pick the top 10 buzzwords in the online writing industry, content marketing would definitely be near the top of the list.

It’s difficult to tell when the term content marketing first came around. It appears in a few marketing textbooks (available on Google Books) from the late 1990s, but internet results all seem to indicate that digital marketers first adopted the term in the mid-2000s.

Now, it’s everywhere. But what does it mean?

In short, content marketing is the strategic planning, creation, and distribution of content to engage audiences and drive revenue. (CMI wrote a wonderful guide on it that’s worth reading.)

In 2020, content marketing is all but a necessity for any company looking to market itself effectively. Consumers were fed up with in-your-face advertising and slimy sales tactics a LONG time ago.

In contrast, content marketing takes a different approach. It emphasizes the delivery of engaging, helpful, useful content to audiences rather than convincing them outright to buy a service.

It’s helpful to think of content marketing like a chain-reaction. Each step builds on the previous to create a working system to build an audience and generate leads. In general, you’ll see six steps:

  • Strategy: Content strategy is the foundation of content marketing. It’s your road map and blueprint to build your content engine.
  • Creation: Content marketing relies on the creation of superb content that’s been developed with your audience’s needs and the customer journey in mind.
  • Optimization: With optimization, it’s time to get technical. Here, you make sure that search engines see you, your site works on mobile, and all the details are perfect.
  • Distribution: Also called promotion in some resources, this is the release of your content on platforms like your blog or social media.
  • Maintenance: Keeping the momentum going is important. In the maintenance stage, you apply the sensibilities of marketing to keep your content and presence fresh.
  • Metrics: In 2020, everything is data-driven. To maximize success, you need to know how your content is performing.
It’s helpful to think of content marketing like a chain-reaction. ⛓ Each step builds on the previous, leading to growth. 📈 There are 6 steps: 1) Strategy 2) Creation 3) Optimization 4) Distribution 5) Maintenance 6) Metrics 📋 Click To Tweet

Content marketing involves a lot! It’s no surprise that 84% of companies outsource at least one of those elements (usually content creation) – even if they have a dedicated content marketing team (which according to CMI, most do).

So, what all goes into content marketing? Here are nine content marketing services you should absolutely consider if you want to grow your brand this year.

9 Content Marketing Services You Need to Grow Your Brand

This year, you’ve got abundant options for content marketing services and packages. As the marketing approach finally goes mainstream, there’s no shortage of agencies and independents offering tricks, tools, and services.

However, not all content marketing services are created equal. It takes a discerning eye to decide which option is best for you.

If you’re looking around and feeling overwhelmed, I totally feel you! It’s a big, big world.

Here’s a guide to the top nine services for content development and marketing that you definitely should consider this year.

1. A Rock-Solid Content Strategy

First and foremost, don’t go anywhere without a road map! Content strategy is the framework for your content marketing. It’s what will inform things like what content you create and where you’ll distribute it.

In many ways, developing your content strategy is front-loading your content marketing. With a solid content strategy as your foundation, you’re already halfway to a comprehensive content marketing engine.

Strongly consider documenting your overarching strategy. According to CMI’s 2020 B2B Content Marketing Report, only 41% of surveyed businesses had one – but that included a whopping two-thirds of the most successful businesses who reported. Likewise, only 16% of the least well-performing companies surveyed had a content strategy that was written down.

Many marketing agencies and even freelance writers offer content strategy. When shopping for a service, make sure that it’s got a few quintessential items:

  • Trending topics research: Don’t let your content strategist rely on what’s already on your site! A good one takes the initiative by researching topics in your industry.
  • SEO or keyword research and analysis: SEO remains a backbone of content development, even if emphasis lies on delivering good exceptional content.
  • Brand awareness: At the end of the day, content strategy is still about promoting your brand. Choose a strategist who can effectively reflect this in the content plan and creation.
  • Content planning: A list of titles and some keywords isn’t enough! Look for strategic content services that deliver a comprehensive plan for creating, publishing, and maintaining your content (like using an editorial calendar).
Don’t move forward without a road map! 🗺 Content strategy is the framework for your content marketing. 🏗 It’s what informs the content you create and where you’ll distribute it. Click To Tweet

2. The Creation of Mind-Blowing Content

You can have the best strategy and the best delivery but if your content falls flat? No bueno.

What does it mean to have MIND-BLOWING content in 2020? It’s:

  • Authoritative: You know what you’re talking about and it shows.
  • Results-driven: Either furthering a reader along the customer journey or solving a problem for a reader (no strings attached).
  • Beyond well done: It’s well-written, well-designed, and all-around a tantalizing piece of content that causes readers to crave more.

This is where your chosen agency’s portfolio and website come in handy. It’s a smart idea to work with one agency (or team) to centralize your content marketing. (CMI reports that 44% of the most successful companies do this, compared to just 14% of the least successful companies).

Likely, that agency already has writers or other content creators on hand. One of the advantages of this route is that those creators are already vetted and will deliver quality.

Of course, if you’re building your internal team, the same advice applies. Take a look through the individual’s portfolio and see if their work is authoritative, results-driven, and beyond well done.

One word of warning: You get what you pay for when it comes to content writing. While it might be tempting to go for cheap services or packages, content marketing is a skill that frequently demands a premium. The smart move is to hire the quality content services agency the first time around.

You get what you pay for with content writing. 💰 While it might be tempting to go for cheap services, content marketing is a skill that frequently demands a premium. [email protected] on THE essential content marketing services🎯 Click To Tweet

Pro Tip: Do You Have a Blog? You Need One.

Spend enough time online and you’ll come across all sorts of innovative, novel content ideas. However, none of them have remained such a staple in the internet realm as blogging.

The first blog was created in 1994. 20-something years later, blogs remain the number one way readers access information. Yet, it’s still routinely underestimated. That’s an amateurish mistake that can cost you.

According to CMI’s report, 89% of companies’ content marketing efforts involved publishing blogs. And HubSpot has found that marketers who prioritize blogging in their content marketing are 13 times more likely to see a positive ROI.

Do you have a blog chock full of authoritative, well-researched, in-depth posts? If not, you need to get on that right now.

3. Frank, Thoughtful Video Creation

One of the biggest content marketing trends this year is video – and I’m not the only one saying that!

According to HubSpot, 54% of consumers want more video content. According to OptinMonster, videos generate two-thirds more qualified leads than other forms of media.

However, it’s not enough to simply create enthralling video content. Sure, it’s easier to consume – especially on the go. Instead, video became popular as a branding tool for another reason entirely:

Audiences perceive video content as an authentic, raw glimpse into a brand.

Pictures can be doctored. Statistics can be manipulated. And of course, anyone can say anything on the web.

Video, on the other hand, comes with the natural perception that it’s real. According to Convince and Convert, at least 40% of viewers regard video as more credible than other forms of content – even if they’re obviously ads. When developing brand authenticity is crucial to success, that’s too valuable to pass up.

Think about how your brand incorporates video. You want it.

4. Captivating Infographics & Visual Assets

Infographics are awesome. They’re one of the best eyeball traps out there because they harness our innate curiosity – especially if you’re a data junkie like me.

Although video content has become the new darling of the content world, visual assets still play a major role in content marketing.

According to CMI, at least 65% of content marketers use infographics to convey information. Likewise, according to marketing researcher Demand Gen Reports, infographics not only increase traffic to a site by 12% but also assist significantly with information retainment.

Although great copy absolutely matters, visuals have a few advantages that text doesn’t. These include:

  • Most people (65%) are visual learners, and infographics cater to them.
  • Infographics are easier to share on social media (which might be why they increase traffic).
  • They can deliver a LOAD of information very quickly.
  • Through careful design, color, and content curation, they can reinforce branding.

As I said, infographics are awesome. Use them.

Great copy absolutely matters, but visuals have a few advantages: 1) Most people are visual learners. 📷 2) Infographics are easier to share. 🔁 3) They deliver TONS of info quickly. 🚀 4) They reinforce your branding. 💯 Click To Tweet

(Want to take it up a notch? Use infographic videos for extra WOW.)

the world's first infographic

One of the world’s first infographics. It was published in 1821 and depicts the history of wheat prices. It even came in color! Source: Gizmodo.

5. A Kicka$$ WordPress Site

Did you know that WordPress powers 35% of the web? There’s a really good reason for that.

WordPress has everything you need to launch a full-fledged professional web presence in a single afternoon.

But how does having a WordPress site relate to content marketing? Simple. At a minimum, to support your content marketing efforts, you need:

  • A blog.
  • Landing pages.
  • Static pages with thoughtful copy for products or services.
  • A contact form or e-commerce site to funnel all those warm, happy leads.

WordPress makes setting up each of those easy. However, WordPress is also awesome because you can do other things with it, too. For instance, you can support content marketing with:

  • Membership portals and communities.
  • Comments and discussions on your blog posts (⬅ great for conversational marketing!).
  • Integration with social media accounts.
  • Advanced SEO tools and metrics plugins.

Most guides that talk about content marketing emphasize the planning, creation, and distribution of content. I’d like to advance the idea that there’s an infrastructural element to content marketing, too.

You need a great business website.

Yoast SEO on WordPress

WordPress has many powerful tools, like Yoast SEO, which can enhance your content marketing efforts.

6. Flawlessly Branded Social Media

Does your business have a social media account? If you’re like most businesses, you’ve got somewhere between four and 10 of them (according to Hootsuite).

Social media remained the number one channel for content marketers in 2019, according to CMI, and that’s not going to change. Almost every business (95%) surveyed in their 2020 report indicated that their social media was a quintessential element of their content marketing.

If you’ve been struggling to keep up with social media, it’s time to get on that. There are two things you can do:

  • Concentrate your social media presence: It’s better to consistently distribute content on just a couple of platforms than posting sporadically on several. Close those unused accounts.
  • Bring a dedicated social media manager on board: There should be someone on your content marketing team that manages social media. Or, the agency you select should offer management packages.

Need a refresher on how to rock social media like a boss? Check out this guide.

7. Next-Level Email Marketing

It seems like blogging’s been around forever, but email has been around for a lot longer (1971!).

It’s still a valuable distribution channel that isn’t going away any time soon. According to CMI’s report, 89% of businesses used email campaigns to warm leads and keep readers informed. When done right, email marketing has an ROI of $44 for every dollar spent.

Email is a vital piece of content marketing. According to CMI’s 2020 report, 89% of businesses used email campaigns to warm leads and keep readers informed. 📧❤ When done right, email marketing has an ROI of $44 for every dollar spent. 🤩 Click To Tweet

Definitely include email marketing in your content marketing but be smart about it. I recommend the 3:1 Rule, which I consider a Golden Ratio of email marketing:

For every sales-focused email, send three value-focused emails first.

What are value-focused emails? They’re emails that provide your readers with informative, useful, helpful content WITHOUT (!) pitching sales.

Whether that means providing exclusive resources like white papers or ebooks or linking them to your latest (or best) articles, view email marketing as yet another way to deliver value to your readers.

Remember, 91% of customers want to receive emails from brands they like. So, get started right now leveraging that to create a rich conversation with them about your brand.

8. A Fresh, Modern Maintenance Routine

Content marketing relies on consistently providing fresh, useful content to readers. Many people assume this means unique, new content that hasn’t been posted yet.

That isn’t always true.

Having stale, outdated, or worse – inaccurate – content on your site can hurt you worse than having no content at all. One of the things that Google looks at when determining page rank is timeliness.

Content maintenance is, therefore, an important element of content marketing. It’s the process of going through a site and identifying:

  • Poorly performing content: These pieces need to be updated or removed.
  • Old, outdated content: Maybe something was accurate once and times (or tech) have changed. Update these pieces or remove them.
  • Content that was hit by an algorithm update: Many people saw this with the release of Google BERT in October. This update changed the way search engines interpreted certain keywords, which caused some businesses to drop in rank as their content was no longer as relevant.
  • Content that once performed well but no longer does: Since timeliness matters, refreshing these pages can return them to their former glory.
  • Content that’s no longer relevant to the company: Brands pivot all the time. Don’t muddle your rebranding attempts by retaining a semblance of your old identity.

Google loves fresh content, but that content doesn’t need to be totally unique. Perform content maintenance on a regular schedule and keep your entire site fresh.

9. The Right Tools to Measure Success

Finally, CMI’s 2020 report had an especially fascinating insight into something that the top content marketing performers do that mid-ranked and least well-performing brands don’t…

They use metrics.

According to the report, 95% of the top performers used metrics and data to make informed decisions regarding their content marketing. That was compared to only 62% of the least successful companies in the survey.

Further, 83% of the top performers used KPIs to measure their content’s success – compared to just 30% by the other group.

The key takeaway from these numbers is painfully obvious: use metrics.

What metrics? That depends. Everyone tracks ROI, conversion rates, and page views. However, that might not always be right for you.

For example, if your pages typically contain in-depth, long-form content, consider tracking scroll depth.

Likewise, if you’re pursuing a conversational marketing approach in your content marketing, track things like comments, conversations with your chatbots, and backlinks.

There’s a whole world of content marketing metrics, KPIs, and tools out there. Follow the lead of the successful and implement them ASAP.

The final piece of content marketing you need? The right tools to measure those all-important metrics. 📏 Of course, the metrics YOU track will be personal to your goals and content. 💕🔥 More on the Write Blog ➡ Click To Tweet

Build a Strong Content Marketing Plan With Express Writers

Phew – that was a lot! Hopefully, this comprehensive list of content marketing services has left you feeling a little more inspired at all the possibilities that are within your reach.

Your next step is to figure out how you’re going to secure these services. Marketing agency? Internal team? DIY…?

How about a leading content marketing specialist with top content quality creators already secured? When you partner with Express Writers, we make content strategy (and marketing!) easy – while delivering beautifully designed content written by rock star expert copywriters to boot.

Don’t wait! Take that dive. Get started with your best content marketing plan ever. Talk to us today.

15 replies
  1. illusions brand solutions
    illusions brand solutions says:

    Content writing is the main part of website. Content are relevant is most important. I Really like this blog and thanks for sharing this information
    Keep sharing

    Reply
  2. Gale L.
    Gale L. says:

    This was a great article!

    Thank you for explaining in detail how why content marketing is important.

    I feel like most people write content, and leave. That is only half the battle!

    Reply

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