Business Idea: Content Marketing as a Service

Image by Hao-Zhong Wang via Flickr

More and more companies are buying into the inbound marketing approach of providing fresh, original content on a regular basis to attract visitors to their site. Unfortunately, understanding and believing in the idea doesn’t mean most marketing departments spend the time to make it happen. There exists a need in the market for a company to provide content marketing as a service.

Here are some details around the idea:

  • A typical plan might be $1,500/month for one blog post/week, three tweets/week, and one email newsletter per month (based on the blog posts) as well as managing the tools to publish the content
  • The price point would be significantly lower than a full-time person in-house to do it
  • The price point allows for a marketing manager to put it on his or her credit card without having to get approval from others
  • Technology would be used to facilitate the workflow with approval process, coordination of freelance writers, and phone integration so that subject matter experts could talk for a couple minutes about a topic to have that content put into a blog post by a writer
  • The project managers and some of the editorial team would be in-house while the writers would be freelancers
  • Available up-sells include white papers, video publishing to YouTube, slide publishing to SlideShare, and coordinating webinars

Yes, a PR or marketing agency would be happy to do these things but agencies are typically not set up to get economies of scale with this level of specialization and aren’t good at building proprietary technology.

Inbound marketing works and the market needs content marketing as a service.

What else? What do you think of the idea? Pros and cons?

11 thoughts on “Business Idea: Content Marketing as a Service

  1. There is absolutely a need for this, I think its a great idea. Not something I’m particularly interested in doing, but something I might be a loyal customer of.

    I’ve been looking at other ways to achieve this goal. One I’m about to pursue: finding a group of 7 college interns. Once a week, we’ll provide transportation, food, and a fun environment. Once a week, they spend two hours writing a blog post on a relevant topic. Plus, they’ll get some decent experience in a startup, have something to put on their resume, and hopefully get to do something they enjoy.

    I’ll let you know how it goes. Perhaps by the day someone takes you up on your business idea, I’ll be in a position to pay for it! 😉

  2. A huge cost / benefit proposition to franchises since they all can use the same marketing content. And that’s what i’m doing now, so thanks for the idea.

  3. This makes good sense. The service provider can leverage focus and scale to repeat the process with skill & economy. Content marketing is extremely valuable but often falls in the category of “important but not urgent”…so it often gets put off or not given 100%.

    This would also be a great way to test & build a content generation tool like we talked about outside of TiE.

  4. Dave

    Allen Graber put me on to your post. I package and sell content development for energy and sustainability companies and VC’s (see website above) I think from a provider perspective you can get “intellectual economies of scale” and good margins from industry focus, as you said all buyers think/know their company and industry are special. from a buyer perspective, you get hands-free and even real time thought leadership that can be further personalized to clients, industry events, specific products/services, etc. all assuming that such content is well written and can help things stand out … one example (or attempt) here called U-Blog, focused on utilities:

    Interestingly it is the at the exact price point you noted in your blog, though does not include some of the add on’s you listed, which I think make it more compelling. Graber told me we have the same alma mater too? What year? I was ’91. Cheers. Kepler

  5. This is a great idea, but this is NOT intern work. And sadly, the price of content is never at the level it should be. Creating good content takes research, knowing the market, knowing your audience, oh.. and talent.

    Content is what drives your business, especially if you’re product ain’t cutting it. You really can’t afford to sacrifice in this area. We’ve never seen customers drive business so much and they are tough. They know good content when they see it.

    Where this business idea will succeed is if the service provider is GREAT at what they do and has a voice that is a GREAT match for the clients they are working with. But I think companies truly interested in their long-term success are going to step up and invest in in-house content developers who know their product and customers inside and out and who have a voice that represents the company – a voice that the customers come to identify with.

    You can’t sacrifice on content. You just can’t. Content is vital to branding, reputation, influence. It’s value is HUGE and if people aren’t paying attention to it, they are missing out. Big time.

  6. We have started a content as a service offering in the technology dealer space. We are able to do this because we understand the niche market and their customers. To grow a large business in this space it would be like growing a magazine publishing business. You’d have teams with niche experience writin for each publication. The only difference is that subscribers are businesses not the final consumers.

    I think this business space will continue to grow.

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