5 Questions to Ask a Potential Content Marketing Partner

Jul 2014

”Can I really outsource my content marketing?”5 Questions to Ask a Potential Content Marketing Partner

I hear this question often when I’m out and about talking with corporate marketers and small business owners, and my answer is an enthusiastic “Yes! … As long as you choose the right outsourcing partner.”

Just like outsourcing your accounting, your website design, and other services, outsourcing your content marketing can save you a tremendous amount of time and stress.

The right partner will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the task of creating powerful content that speaks with your voice — and that helps you to build those all-important relationships that grow your bottom line. And finding the right partner doesn’t have to be all that complicated.

As with all those other services, you just need to know what to look for. Let me get you started with 5 questions that will let you get a feel for whether a potential content marketing partner is right for you.

  1. “What is your background?” A basic question, yes, but it will help you make an important distinction. All the recent buzz around content marketing has attracted a lot of “me too”-ers who just want to get on the bandwagon. Look for someone with a solid background in professional content creation. (That means they’ve gotten paid for writing content for other people. Writing a personal blog where they gush about their favorite TV series doesn’t cut it.)
  2. “What’s your new-client onboarding process?” OK, I tossed in a little jargon there on purpose; give them bonus points if they know what you’re talking about. This is where you find out how your potential partner gets to know you and your audience, so that they can represent your brand and speak with your voice. They should mention some form of interview process — either in person, on the phone, or in writing — involving questions that will help them get a clear picture of who you are and whom you want to reach.
  3.  “What’s your process for creating and publishing content for your clients?” You simply cannot do this job without having some processes in place to make sure every piece of content (a) aligns with the client’s brand and audience, and (b) gets published on schedule. An experienced content marketer should be able to rattle off their process without hesitating. For example, Resonance’s social media clients get drafts of all their social posts the week before, which gives them time to review and send any edits in advance.
  4. “How do you report results?” A good content marketer understands that what gets measured, gets improved. Their packages should include reporting of analytics from all your various content delivery venues (blog post views, social shares, e-newsletter opens, etc.).
  5.  “Can I see samples of content you’ve produced for other clients?” The right partner will be happy to send you samples of content produced for a variety of different clients. This allows you to gauge their ability to write in different voices and for different audiences as well as for different formats.

Sure, there’s a lot more you need to know before deciding on a content marketing partner. Think of these five questions as the first elimination round. If they do well, they get to move on to Round 2. If they blow it, thank them for their time and move on.

Which questions would you be sure to ask a potential content marketing partner? Tell us in the Comments — we’d love to hear from you!


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About the Author

Rachel has answerA self-described geek who can recite entire episodes of South Park by heart, Rachel Parker has had a passion for content ever since she was old enough to hold a crayon (purple, please). As Founder and CEO of Resonance, Rachel helps businesses publish content that connects with their audience … and converts those followers into customers. She’s also the host of the Content Marketing Podcast and a sought-after speaker, having presented to many major business and marketing organizations. Contact Rachel about speaking to your group or business. content_marketing_50 BizSugar KredFeatured Author on Business 2 Community

1 Comment

  1. Tim Waldron says:

    Very helpful. Looking forward to picking up your book

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  • Added 5 figures to my business in less than 4 weeks

    Rachel took the overwhelm and stress out of writing content for my marketing campaign! When I approached Rachel, I was really concerned that I wouldn’t have the time to focus on writing copy for a lengthy marketing campaign that included sales pages, solo emails, newsletters and social media updates. Well, let’s just say I’m glad I hired Rachel because I couldn’t have done it without her support and expertise. I loved how she used my voice and words to craft content that helped me reach and attract my ideal client. As a result of working with Rachel, I added 5 figures to my business in less than 4 weeks, hundreds of new social media followers and exceeded my sales and list building goals! You know your marketing copy is working when you hear someone say, “I see you everywhere”. Thank you Rachel for helping me not only get seen by my ideal clients but get paid!

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    We are so happy to have hired Resonance for our social media needs. We spend most of our time serving our clients and studying our field so we can provide the highest quality possible. We no longer worry about our social media, as we have total confidence in the wonderful work Rachel and her team have accomplished.

    Our social media is active, promoted, and is ranking better than ever! People often comment about what they see on our Facebook page. Resonance has added a creative, and artistic twist to our social media that is appealing and captivating to our audience. This has allowed me more time to work with my team and clients, so I can focus on service towards the people that help our business grow.

    I know there will be wonderful content on Facebook, and that Rachel will answer to posts, comments and questions as soon as a comment arrives. I am often impressed at how quickly she responds! Thank you Resonance! I highly endorse Resonance and encourage companies who need social media strategies to work with Resonance! You won’t regret it! 

  • Professionalism and Sincere Desire to Help

    I just didn’t seem to be able to find the time or the right words to explain what I offer and how my company helps people accomplish their goals. Rachel was able to ask me some questions, do some research and capture my voice while writing my website copy exactly as I needed it to be written.  Now, the copy on my website is much more professional than what I would have created and having this task handled by Rachel and Resonance freed up my time to complete other tasks I am better suited to do.

    It was a joy to work with Rachel. Her professionalism and sincere desire to help was apparent from the first communication until the final delivery. I will definitely use Resonance again and highly recommend their services.

  • Produced ROI Result

    Form.io needed someone who could grasp the complexities of our product, capture the subtlety of our differentiating value propositions, and convey them in the right voice for an exacting customer audience…. Resonance delivered, by crafting a multi-faceted online content marketing strategy that drove traffic and conversion, producing the ROI result we were looking for….

  • Increased our likes and interaction rates

    Working with Rachel was a delight. Not only does she communicate very well, but she provided valuable insight about our social media platforms and followers. We have much better engagement with our fans and followers, which increased our likes and interaction rates.


  • Event Sold Out Two Years In A Row!

    Rachel worked with me on creating a content marketing calendar and content for the Big Social Media Summit (Big SMS) three years in a row. She is very organized and knows just the right amount of posts on social, email newsletters and content to send.  Her content marketing efforts helping us sell out our event three years in a row!  I am expecting the same for October 2014.

    Rachel was hired to write content for our email newsletter and content for our social platforms. In addition, she had a budget to do advertising on social media. She participated in the event live and after the fact to assure buzz was created before, during and after the event. As a result, our event sold out.

    When I work with Rachel, I have total peace of mind.  I know that she is on target, on time, reliable and delivers over and above the results I expect.

    I trust Rachel totally with her ideas on strategy, marketing and the content used to not only promote our events, but also post on my behalf on social networks. I have been doing social media for 8 years, and I hire Resonance to post on some of my social sites as it saves me time, and keeps my social sites relevant and current. They always post great, engaging content that gets my social properties likes, comments and shares.


  • Increased website traffic, New Lead Generation

    We were experiencing a lack of internal resources to consistently maintain the Ustream blog. So we turned to Resonance Content Marketing to write blog posts on current industry topics while maintaining a consistent tone with the brand. The result is increased website traffic, new lead generation from gated assets on blog, and better educated/qualified leads. And I now have more time to spend on marketing strategy with the confidence that the content we push out is extremely well written and engaging.

    Rachel is an amazing writer and has really managed to create engaging and relevant blog material on topics that aren’t always super interesting. On many occasions, she has been able to quickly turn around one-off requests and the results are always top-notch. She has also helped guide our content strategy based on her expertise in content marketing, which has been a huge asset to our team.

  • One of the best “vendor” relationships I’ve ever had.

    My company had little or no time to spend on social media. Our needs were to ensure a steady stream of posts across three platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) by harvesting and re-purposing content from our own site and news streams. So I contacted Rachel Parker of Resonance Content Marketing.

    The result was two-fold. Not only did our ranks of followers grew steadily, the steady drip, drip, drip of content helped us train our personnel and direct their own individual social media efforts.

    Rachel and her team are extremely organized and open to discussion and new ideas. They deliver a rapid response to new opportunities — and an overall feeling of being on the same team. One of the best “vendor” relationships I’ve ever had.

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