Building a business– or a function within a business– is all about choices: where to get funding, how to invest, who to hire. It would be wonderful to do everything you wanted to do all at once and be assured of a growing and profitable business–but it doesn’t work that way.
Fractional support for some of the functions within your business is a smart option, and is already a well-established trend in high-growth industries. Businesses have enlisted the services of fractional executives like Fractional CFO’s and Fractional CMO’s when senior leadership is required but only in a part-time capacity. It stands to reason that functions within functions–like content marketing within marketing–are the logical next step for fractional services.
What is Fractional Content Marketing?
Fractional content marketing involves working with outsourced strategists and content creators to help develop and execute growth-centric content marketing plans.
Generally, fractional content marketing support would be brought on by a growth marketing manager, head of growth marketing or head of marketing. The idea is that content marketing is but one (integral) facet of an overall marketing strategy that a growing company needs but might not have the resources to staff full-time.
Fractional content marketers are generally not just content creators, but instead content strategists who can help the existing team with the content plan rather than just the execution. After the plans are established, good fractional content marketers should either create content themselves or ideally, tap into a network of talented content writers, graphic designers and videographers who can create high-quality content for distribution.
Fractional content marketers should also be able to manage effective publishing and distribution, either doing some of it themselves or again leveraging a talented network of social media managers.
The Benefits of Fractional Content Marketing
Access to fractional help is a blessing at certain stages of a company’s growth. When a high degree of expertise is required and budgets are tight, part-time support in critical functions can make the difference between exponential and stagnant growth. Some of the benefits of fractional content marketing support include.
Access to Strategic Thinking: even if you were to hire a content marketer full-time, chances are you wouldn’t get the same level of strategic thinking that you would get with a fractional content marketer.
This is because good fractional content marketers need to continuously hone their strategic skills selling their services to various companies They also have likely had the benefit of working across multiple companies and therefore have hands-on experience with strategies that have worked elsewhere.
High-Quality Content: The experience the fractional content marketer has had with content as well as their established network means that the content they are responsible for should be high quality.
The capacity to reach the same standard using an in-house team might require a longer process, as there would be a need to find and test writers and establish content guidelines that lead to consistent quality.
Proven Processes: Having (likely) worked in a senior content role with other companies as well as a fractional content marketer with other clients, there is a high likelihood that you will be working with someone who has established processes for developing content plans–including developing customer personas, mapping customer journey’s, creating content calendars and assigning and distributing content.
These are processes that your team can learn from, should they eventually want to bring content marketing in-house.
Expansion of Marketing Capacity: Working with fractional marketing help is a great way to increase your arsenal of marketing capabilities. By working with fractional marketers, you have a veritable swiss-army knife of marketing skills available to you, whereas the hire of a single full-time team member may only provide access to a limited set of skills.
Access to High Talent with Lower Costs: Though you are likely getting fewer hours, the time you get with a good fractional content marketing manager will likely be high impact. Their experience will lead to better business outcomes even though their net cost is likely lower than that of a full-time hire.
The ability to focus elsewhere: Other parts of your business may present large opportunities and need full-time hires. For emerging tech companies, it may make sense to invest more in engineers and developers. Bringing on fractional help allows you to use the savings to invest in other parts of the business that need attention now.
How to Know if Fractional Content Marketing is a Fit for Your Business
You recognize how important content is to a growing business
The decision to bring on fractional or full-time content marketing help means you’ve recognized the importance of content marketing to your business.
It doesn’t take much research to come to this realization: According to research from Salesforce, 80% of consumers now consider the experience a company provides to be as important as the product. When we consider all of the touchpoints involved in a customer’s experience, we quickly realize that content plays a key role at all stages.
It’s not just a matter of customer preference but a matter of dollars and cents: according to DemandMetric, companies that create content also generate 67% more monthly leads than those that don’t.
You aren’t sure how important content is to your growing business
On the flip side, you might be skeptical and not believe everything you read–Is having a content strategy REALLY that important?
In this case, fractional content marketing allows you to “try before you buy”, evaluating the benefits of content before you hire a full-time content marketer.
Note that results from content marketing and particularly SEO can take some time. Patience is required if you take this approach.
You understand that you need a content strategy–not just another random blog post
A common failing of companies that begin to create content is that they use the “everything everywhere all at once” method–posting a bit of content on their blog and a few posts on every. single. social. platform– looking for something that sticks. Woe is the poor marketing intern told to “do something on Tiktok”.
This is a tactic that really never works and is a poor substitute for what should have come first: a strategy.
If you work with an expert fractional content marketer, they will begin by devising a strategy– leveraging the information they have on your company, competition, your customers (and their customer journey).
You need expertise in content strategy, writing and SEO–yesterday
With fractional content marketing support, you are quickly able to access content strategy expertise and spin up expert-level content. The alternative is doing things the slow way: finding your own writers, creators and SEO and social experts can be a slow process and involve some trial and error.
You care about organizational learning
The learning curve with the fractional model is slim to none yet working with experts can be an educational process for junior members of internal teams.
Consider bringing on fractional help as a kickoff to building your own internal content marketing team and have your team learn effective tactics and processes from experts that support your internal practice.
In conclusion, hiring a fractional content marketer can have benefits beyond a cohesive content strategy and expertly written content, it can set the groundwork for the future growth of the function and the overall business, whether you continue with outsourced content support or bring it in-house.
Frequently asked questions about Fractional Content Marketing
A fractional content marketer can provide a wide range of services, including content strategy development, content creation, SEO optimization, social media management, and analytics reporting.
You can find fractional content marketers through online job platforms, social media, or by working with a content marketing agency that specializes in fractional staffing.
The cost of fractional content marketing varies depending on the marketer’s experience and the scope of services required. Typically, fractional content marketers charge hourly or project-based rates that are lower than the cost of a full-time employee.
You can measure the success of your fractional content marketing strategy by tracking metrics such as website traffic, social media engagement, lead generation, and sales conversion rates. It’s important to establish clear goals and benchmarks before implementing your content marketing strategy to accurately measure its success.