At the top of the list of 2013 online marketing trends is: content marketing. You may need to enlist the help of content marketing services if you are a busy small business. In order to evaluate a content marketing service, consider 1) the content marketing company research team 2) the content marketing service itself--can they write quality content? 3) content marketing companies should understand the SEO impact and 4) dig into how content marketing services promote the content. Watch the Video below to learn more about content marketing, where it's going, and how to evaluate a content marketing team.


Hello, and welcome to our content marketing companies video. I'm Chad Hill, and I have Adam Stetzer with me. Adam, how are you doing today? I'm good. Good afternoon to you. We're talking about content marketing. It's an exciting topic.

All the blog posts are in, making their big, bold predictions for 2013. And of the course, at the top of all the lists for where is SEO going, how is it evolving, is content marketing. And everyone's asking about, what should my content marketing strategy be? Of course, for a lot of people, that will include outsourcing. So I want to ask you this question-- how do you evaluate content marketing companies?

Well, there's four things that I think you need to have in any content marketing program that a content marketing company needs to offer. And so you should look at those when evaluating a content marketing company that's going to help you with it. The first one is qualifications in developing the editorial calendar and having a research team that can put together interesting facts and angles that other people haven't taken when writing about content. So that's the first one.

So engagement here is going to be key. So your content has to be good. And you're saying that starts with research and having something to say. Yeah, absolutely. And then, of course, the second one is actually the ability to write the content. So what does the team look like? And I think, more and more, you might have different levels of content you might want to write. There's content that might go on a blog. There's content that gets written up on a white paper. So you want to make sure that content marketing companies have experience working with different types of content and ultimately has the chops to write the content in a compelling way.

Right. In the old days of content generation and being sort of this sweatshop function that we could send out overseas, from what I understand of SEO, what we've seen really works and what's engaging and what really is link bait-able. You just don't want to do that. You want to have a team that can have message points and be writing very high quality, that has an editor and has a review process, standards, guidelines, all these things, right? Of course. And then, I think, once that content-- that team needs to be sort of versed and understand how to tune the content they write for maximum SEO impact so that, if there's a keyword that-- and we've talked about this before, but identifying keywords that you want to include in the content that you create. So taking the content that's written and then tuning it up so it has the maximum chance of actually getting seen in search results or going viral on the social networks.

And I know a lot of people get tripped up on that stuff, because they get so tuned into the mechanics of on-site SEO and titles and tags and density and all these other technical issues, they can sort of lose the forest for the trees. It's tough, because content marketing is really important. You have to position your work appropriately to be found in the search engines and to come up quickly. But you can't do that and lose quality and engagement. So you've got to serve two masters, which I know a lot of people struggle with.

Yeah, absolutely. And I think the final thing that you really need to look at is, how does the content marketing company, the content marketing services company that you're talking to, what do they do with actually syndicating that content? Because coming up with a plan, writing content, tuning it, those are all well and good. But if you don't actually use the content to get the ultimate goal, which is to get people to see that content and come back to your website, then it's sort of all for naught. So what does the company do in terms of syndication so that they take that content you're writing and put it in places on the web that's going to be found by search engines, by people, on the social networks, all of that together?

Right. Create buzz, get that stuff out there, help it go viral. It's really interesting, though, because the better you do steps one through three, that syndication and promotion and buzz process is going to be so much easier, because you've got something of value that people want to read and want to share. So you're actually shooting yourself in the foot if you really skimp on having good facts, having high-quality writing staff, having an editorial process, and then you're out wondering, why can't I promote this effectively? So it seems to me, you make those investments in one, two, and three, you can't lose step four, because you've got to syndicate this. It's not just going to happen on its own. You've got to prime that pump. But content marketing will become so much easier when you get to that point.