Many education companies do not have a fully staffed marketing department. They often have a marketing plan but lack the resources – time, money, or staff – to fully execute their plan. Budgets are tight. Everywhere. In a relationship-oriented industry such as ours, there are many people to turn to for help writing marketing content such as web articles, email campaigns, case studies, white papers, blog posts, sales sheets, and more. Marketing professionals often turn to former colleagues or established consultants for help. When you decide it’s time to reach out for help, what should you look for? Certainly good writing skills, timeliness, professionalism, and the ability to communicate clearly are all important. But even more important, in my opinion, is an understanding of and experience in the education marketplace. Both K-12 education and higher education have their own rhythms, cycles, and priorities. Often, the user is not the buyer. It is important for contract writers to understand how these markets work. Prime examples include:
- The seasonality of the budget year
- The long sales cycle
- The roles of buyer and influencer
- The impact of public policy on schools, districts, and educators
- The importance of transparency when using public funds
- And an understanding of effective pedagogy and desired learning outcomes.
There are dozens of topics that require specialist understanding to create credible marketing materials. Experienced education writers bring an understanding and richness to the work that newbie authors cannot, no matter how skilled they are. Accomplished marketing writers understand that every piece of content should be strategic and plays a role in moving a prospect toward becoming a buyer. Knowledgeable content developers know it’s about building relationships and not about features and benefits. You want to work with someone who can become a long-term partner– someone who can be an extension of and a contributor to your business. The more a contract writer knows and understands your business, the more effective their work will be. Often, the answer to outsource is a financial one – what does your budget allow? But another way to ask the question is, “Do you want to invest in your business by hiring an experienced writer who has market intelligence that you can leverage for your marketing and sales efforts?” What other factors do you think are important in outsourcing marketing content development?