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There are many factors that need to come together for a startup to succeed. A solid plan, focused mission statement, and experienced founding team are all essential. Even when the internal pieces are in place, you need one more thing to gain momentum quickly: external resources.

Venture capitalists (VCs for short) are a common way for fledgling businesses to fund the earliest stages of business formulation and growth. However, this kind of startup funding isn’t free, nor is it easy to access.

You need to court VCs the right way if you want them to fund you. One of the best ways to do that is through growth marketing. This is an effective, affordable form of marketing that can help you gain the eye of VCs no matter what startup stage you’re in. 

Here are a few tips and suggestions to help an entrepreneur secure venture capital funding.

Understand What a VC Is in the First Place

The term “venture capitalist” puts a certain degree of emphasis on the individual — and in a sense, that’s true. When you seek VC funding, you are interacting with venture investors. 

When you break it down, though, a venture capital investor provides more about the specific resources (including, but not limited to cash) rather than the individuals who provide them. That is what the term “venture capital” is referring to. 

For instance, Investopedia describes venture capital as “money, technical, or managerial expertise provided by investors to startup firms with long-term growth potential.” In other words, venture funding consists of a combination of three things:

Together, these are lumped into the concept of “venture capital funds.” Young companies seek this form of financing to establish themselves and become profitable.

If you’re looking for VC money, rest assured that you’re not the only company doing so. Every VC has to choose from a myriad of young brands, all with varying degrees of potential. Growth marketing can help you position your company to stand out from this crowd of suitors.

Positioning Yourself to Attract VCs Through Growth Marketing

You want a VC firm to see your startup as a healthy, growing business. In order to guide an investment decision, it's crucial to have a solid business model and business plan. However, funding will also depend on the stage of growth you’re experiencing and what kind of funding you’re requesting.

The Stages of VC Funding

VC financing is provided via several “rounds” over the course of a startup’s growth cycle. Seed round funding gets things started. Early stage funding (often referred to as series A funding, series B funding, and series C funding) involves large cash infusions and additional support to build on early growth. Late stage funding (series D, E, and F rounds) feeds a thriving young business, helping it dominate its market.

Consider what stage you’re in and if you come across in that way to investors. Small businesses looking for series D funding from a potential investor, for example, should be well-established and seeking to grow your product line and expand into new markets. 

Using Growth Marketing to Impress VCs

In most cases, you want a VC to see your company as one that is already active and building a reputation. Growth marketing is an ideal investment to achieve this in a synergistic fashion.

Growth marketing is cost-effective, a data-driven approach to marketing that focuses on the customer to facilitate sustainable long-term growth. It integrates three key growth marketing pillars.

Digital PR Builds Credibility

Digital PR fosters industry credibility by accumulating public mentions from third-party entities across yours and related industries. This helps build a sense of trust in VCs as they see other companies and individuals willing to reference and, at times, even endorse your brand.

Content Strategy Establishes Authority

Content strategy builds your authority by publishing high-quality online resources designed to help customers at various stages along the customer journey. This signals to fund managers that you know what you’re talking about and have the wisdom, knowledge, and experience to go the distance.

SEO Strategy Boosts Visibility

Search engine optimization goes hand-in-hand with content strategy. SEO helps increase your chances of receiving a VC investment by boosting visibility. This makes it easier for VCs to see your brand pop up on SERPs (search engine results pages).

Together, these three growth marketing tactics enable a young brand to quickly establish a pattern of upward marketing momentum. This makes them more impressive as VCs conduct research into their brand and consider making an investment.

Attracting VC Funding for Your Startup

Venture capital firms are a unique form of private equity for a business. They provide various forms of seed funding and other resources that can streamline a startup’s path to profitability.

From internal factors like a competent C-suite and clean balance sheet to external considerations like growth marketing, make sure you set the stage before looking into VC funding. That way, when you begin to make inquiries, you’ll stand out as a startup that knows its business and has plenty of potential for future profit.

Marketing funnels are a common way to visualize the customer journey. Different marketers describe the funnel in various ways. 

Marketing funnel stages are often discussed in relation to sales, paid ads, and customer service. But what about SEO? Here is a quick rundown of how a solid SEO strategy can impact visibility across the entire digital marketing funnel.

What Is SEO Visibility?

If you’re asking yourself, “What is SEO visibility in the first place?” The answer is as simple as it sounds. If you’re ranking on SERPs (search engine results pages), then you have good visibility. SEO ranking means you’re getting good attention and traffic for your website and its content. Website visibility is important, as it makes your brand discoverable, even to those who don’t know you exist yet.

There are many paid and free SEO visibility tools, each of which functions as a different version of the same thing: an SEO visibility check to see if your content is discoverable by your target audience through search engines. These tools compare your content to an SEO visibility index and use that to create a content score. 

Each site’s score can vary based on what metrics it considers. Moz, for instance, provides an SEO visibility score definition that reads, “the percentage of clicks we estimate you receive based on your organic rankings positions, across all of the keywords you’re tracking in your Campaign.” 

While the specifics can vary, SEO visibility always revolves around the key concept of how much traffic and attention your SEO is getting you. High SEO visibility is a powerful thing. It’s also an organic marketing element that has an impact on all parts of the marketing funnel.

SEO Across the Sales Funnel

So, how does good SEO visibility impact the various stages of the marketing funnel? Let’s start at the top.

SEO is never more important than at the early stages of the marketing funnel. Good SEO visibility ensures that your content is showing up when customers are searching for solutions to the pain points that you address — even if they don’t know who you are. 

As they see your brand appearing in searches, they become aware of you and the odds of them engaging with your brand grows. Awareness leads to acquisition, which then leads to activation and retention (i.e., getting an established customer to use your solutions and then become a returning customer).

Once again, SEO comes into play here. Greater search engine visibility leads to a steady stream of brand reminders. Seeing positive feedback from other customers encourages engagement. Quality search engine optimization also ensures that you’ll be at the top of the list the next time the customer does a google search for the same or similar solutions that your brand can answer. 

Investing in SEO provides a perpetual and affordable way to maximize customer retention and improve the speed at which potential customers move through the funnel for the first time. This translates to better customer lifetime value (CLV).

Finally, there’s the referral stage. Word-of-mouth marketing is powerful all on its own. However, good SEO visibility reinforces this when a customer recommends your products to a friend, and they can immediately find that product online.

Improving SEO Visibility Across Your Funnel

Good SEO visibility can improve your reach and general awareness, facilitate decision-making, and turn consumers into repeat customers and even referral machines. If you aren’t experiencing these benefits yet, here are a few suggestions for how to increase SEO visibility:

There are many ways to boost your visibility through SEO. The key is remembering the comprehensive benefits that SEO visibility offers to the entire customer journey.

Using SEO for Comprehensive Brand Visibility

Remember, don’t invest in SEO services simply as a way to generate leads or create brand awareness. Build out your organic search content with the big picture in mind. 

If you’re struggling to see results, or even to know where to begin, our team at Relevance can be your SEO expert to help craft an SEO strategy that benefits every stage of your sales funnel. 

Small- to medium-sized business (SMB) owners and entrepreneurs are definitely allowed to daydream about taking company success to the next level and beyond. If you aren't doing at least some "Magic Wand Thinking" occasionally, you might want to check yourself for a pulse. If you are serious, a marketing growth plan can help you get there.

There are few things more intrinsic to the mind and heartbeat of an entrepreneur or SMB owner than to speculate on how to boost productivity, enhance visibility, and beef up the bottom line. Motivations will vary, of course, but it's common knowledge that daydreams must be translated into plans at some point.

"Failing to plan is planning to fail" has become a well-known guardrail for running a successful business, and for good reason. To ensure that your marketplace success is more enduring than a flash in the pan, you must set aside time regularly to develop, implement, and fine-tune a marketing growth plan.

Perseverance in the Face of Ongoing Change

Some SMB owners and entrepreneurs are tempted to give up on maintaining a marketing growth plan. The pace and frequency of marketplace changes have become dizzying. Planning and adjusting a marketing growth plan can seem secondary to the everyday demands of keeping all the pie plates spinning simultaneously.

There's no getting around it. All seven of the elements listed below will require the investment of your time and attention. How you find time in any given week to review, update, and inform others will vary depending on the main thrust of your enterprise.

1. Overall Vision and Supporting Objectives

It’s easy for visionaries to keep their “35,000-foot view” of any business undertaking tucked away securely in the recesses of their minds. While acknowledging that entrepreneurs must keep at least some of their cards close to the chest, the primary problem with too much secrecy tends to crop up when employees and other strategic partners come alongside to help implement the vision. If you’re an inventive, free-thinking leader, you can unintentionally believe that other people know everything you do. In all likelihood, they don’t.

Don’t expect your people to become mind-readers. Break out whatever works best for you to get those objectives and plans out of your head. For some, this will mean recording voice messages on a smartphone. Others think best while using a computer and keyboard. Still others prefer to use pencil and paper.

Use whatever helps you crank out your ideas as quickly as possible. As you brainstorm, hold off on judging what pours forth. You can do that later. During this step, your job is simply to see how well you can translate your big ideas into words that others can understand.

Objectives and vision statements don’t need to occupy multiple three-ring binders. In fact, the very best vision statements often take the form of a single sentence. If you can think of your vision statement as a platform, the objectives you come up with to achieve your vision are the undergirding support structure.

2. Niche-Specific Research

Don’t skimp here. This part of the process will likely consume most of the time you invest in your marketing growth plan. In addition to an initial research period, you will want to set aside a chunk of time every so often — weekly, biweekly, monthly, whatever — to review, update, and add to what you’ve learned.

Research doesn’t need to be a drag, either. Yes, some hours might be spent feeling chained to a book or web browser, but there are other ways to discover what the “latest and greatest” in your industry looks like. Who knows? You might even find that you enjoy the process of adding to your personal knowledge base.

Extroverts typically prefer to get out of their routine, meet others, attend conferences and events, and volunteer their time serving the community. (You might be surprised to find out how much you can learn about the local business landscape just by serving alongside others.) All of these represent opportunities to gain knowledge, improve visibility, and perhaps even garner candid feedback about your company that you would be unlikely to attain any other way.

Introverted types can spend long hours with a laptop, trade journals, magazines, books, and other “solo” data sources. What’s more, they tend to thrive in that setting. Another suitable self-driven means of research might be watching or listening to industry-specific podcasts, training sessions, DIY videos, etc. Truly effective ongoing research will draw on both learning styles, but the key will be to find what works best for you and augment it with other forms of learning. The main takeaway here is that to keep up, you need to keep at it.

3. Data-Driven "Best Guesses"

By now, most SMB owners and entrepreneurs have already had it drilled into their heads. The era of following hunches is more than likely in the rearview mirror.

True, there will always be a place for novel insights and unique approaches to problems the rest of us assumed had already been solved. However, the catchphrase for the 21st-century marketplace is data-driven.

Data sifting software solutions are evolving at a rapid pace. Many SMB owners might assume that advanced data analytics are the exclusive province of Big Tech and out of reach for the average entrepreneur. While that may once have been the case, this is no longer true. Witness the rise of an ever-expanding array of business solutions offered under the umbrella of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Today, even the smallest businesses capture and generate an enormous amount of digital data daily. Since the onset of the digital revolution, one primary problem has been sifting and sorting through terabytes of information, looking for the tiniest fractions of data that SMB owners can use to hone their products and services to meet genuine needs.

Business owners owe themselves a renewed look at the SaaS services available for every budget. Collecting and analyzing data is in many ways easier today than ever. Armed with previously-hidden insights, you can construct a marketing growth plan that leverages hard facts. And if you want to throw in one of your (data-informed) hunches from time to time, go ahead.

4. Plans A, B, C, and D

How many successful entrepreneurs or SMB owners do you know are still operating profitably with the plan they came up with decades ago? Chances are good that number is zero.

However, this does not mean that it’s not on you to come up with your single best shot at a workable Plan A. What is the default strategy you will use to prosper and grow? Nail it down.

Many business people like to use (read: overuse) buzzwords such as agility and pivot. OK, feel free to use those terms if you must. Still, the underlying idea is to look carefully at your completed Plan A schematic and purposefully, intentionally look for every weak spot. At every potential breaking point, sketch out a backup plan for adjusting your marketing growth plan.

More than a few businesses still go into total gridlock if the internet goes down. If all it takes to wreck your productivity is for a load balancer to blow at the local power company, start over. Come up with an alternative that includes regular service interruptions and even makes allowances for disaster recovery.

You don’t want to send everyone home and shut down your company’s website if, for example, a pandemic forces you to disperse to remote locations. (Perhaps a far more common disaster would be your competitor getting to market six months earlier than you had projected.) Whatever the calamity, don’t allow your overall guiding vision to be obscured by the unpredictable.

5. Inventory of Strengths, Opportunities, Limitations, and Needs

No one knows your business better than you, right? Who better to compile the authoritative list of your strengths, known opportunities, limitations, and needs? Well, not so fast. An effective marketing growth plan often needs to bring more than just your insights to bear.

There really is no substitute for clear-eyed, impartial assessment than someone with no vested interest in whether your company succeeds or fails. While hiring an outside contractor or agency may not be in your operating budget year after year, you should at least consider bringing in a consultant with a proven track record. Once the confidentiality issue is settled to your satisfaction, give your expert permission to ask all sorts of annoying questions, some of which you may never have considered. Here’s a partial list of what you’ll want them to cover.


Your company might dominate the widget-building industry, but that’s an obvious strength. Non-obvious strengths might include geographic location, unique skill sets of employees, online reputation, employee perks, etc.


Are there markets for your product or service that you may not have previously considered? Have you recently acquired staff with highly specialized skills? Are other municipalities offering incentives that would significantly reduce your operating costs? All of these (and more) should show up here.


Less fun, but listing these out is necessary. If your planned expansion stalled out for lack of capital, that will need to be documented. Are you locked into an unfavorable multi-year contract? Most of us are only too painfully aware of our limitations. However, an objective perspective can help flesh this out, too.


Needs are not the same thing as limitations. This section of your marketing growth plan can be considered more of a “shopping list” than anything else. They are not obstacles in the same way as a limitation but rather assets you don’t have yet. Which line items will you need to add to your budget this quarter? This year? Five years from now?

6. Risk Assessment: Upsides and Downsides

Most of us prefer to live on the sunny side of the street, but you did not become a successful SMB owner by ignoring the potential pitfalls. Your marketing growth plan must consider both sides of the success ledger. Without allowing yourself to get carried off by unrealistic expectations or becoming overly moribund, strive to find the middle way.

Of course, any enterprise's primary threat these days is the growing risk of hacking, ransomware, and data theft. Digital security is paramount for any business to succeed long-term. Your plan must make allowances for added expenditures to protect both your business and the privacy of those with whom you do business.

Of course, risk management is hardly limited to the digital realm. In early 2019, no one was predicting that a worldwide pandemic would close stores, overwhelm the healthcare field, and send the value of video conferencing software stock over the moon. When conducting your risk assessment, you might find it helpful to open up a casual conversation with your insurance agent and the law firm that represents your firm. One or both of these professionals will likely offer insights you might have missed otherwise.

7. Ongoing Assessment and Revision

In the halls of academia, it’s common knowledge that every Ph.D. student who successfully publishes a thesis is “the world’s leading expert” on that specific topic. However, this claim to fame lasts for approximately one or two days. As soon as someone else publishes another thesis on the subject, that person’s previous work is obviously still relevant but not current.

Keep this concept of obsolescence in mind as you plan and launch your marketing growth plan. You will protect yourself against frustration by beginning the process if you understand at the outset that you will need to update and improve your marketing growth plan.

Preparation and Flexibility Are Everything

The actual launch of a space shuttle takes less than 10 minutes. However, no one in their right mind wheels a hunk of metal onto the pad and straps a few engines to it. Arriving at lift-off presupposes thousands and thousands of hours of intense labor.

Likewise, your marketing growth plan will require a diligent effort, but make sure to have some fun along the way. If you can assume that not everything will go to plan, that’s more than half the battle. Are you prepared to solicit advice and feedback earnestly? If so, you strengthen your marketing strategy by adding the wisdom of others to your company’s portfolio. Dream big, and allow others to do the same on your behalf.

Content is an effective marketing strategy to boost SEO rankings, increase visibility, and use writing to build a loyal following. Unfortunately, content writing and content creation that resonates with your audience take up your marketing team's time and effort. This realization often precedes many business owners to seek to outsource their content marketing strategy.

Consequently, the internal costs associated with social media marketing, marketing automation, email marketing, or any other marketing function are why many companies opt to outsource content marketing for enhanced success.

With nearly 5 billion people online and more than 4.5 billion using social media, it's no wonder most companies use content marketing to reach their prospective customers. Harnessing the expertise of a marketing agency for outsourced marketing is becoming more of a necessity than a "nice-to-have."

The internet has empowered today's consumers to conduct their own research on products and brands they want to patronize. As a result, they're more discerning in their solutions to their problems. They know what professional content looks like when they see it. A one-shot blog post no longer cuts the mustard. An effective marketing plan has become absolutely essential and outsourcing content creation has become commonplace.

However, outsourcing content writing and content marketing allow companies to hire a writer to create tailored articles directed at specific audiences to ensure a higher likelihood of conversions.

But marketing agencies are really expensive, right? Well, not necessarily. Outsourcing marketing can actually save your company money even as it leads to an increase in sales. Keep reading to learn why, when, and how small businesses, SaaS companies, and companies of all sizes should outsource content development and content marketing to make the most of this impactful digital strategy.

Key Takeaways

What Does it Mean to Outsource Content Marketing?

Content marketing involves writing and publishing relevant, useful, and engaging content that resonates with an audience's needs. Businesses employ a content writer or content writing services to create blog content, attract a certain following, generate interest in a brand and its products, and convince people to convert to customers.

However, to create meaningful content, companies must know who their audience is, what their needs are, and how those people prefer to receive information. Delivering the right message to the right people at the right time is key to content marketing success. It represents the ultimate marketing goal for any marketing department.

Content outsourcing can include any of the following online marketing staples:

While many companies choose to write their content, most businesses prefer to outsource their content marketing to content agencies and freelancers. They must trust an external freelance writer, marketer, or content marketing agency to create material for their brand.

This company, writer, freelancer, or another marketing team will learn about your business. Any digital marketing agency worth its salt will seek to gain an understanding of your goals.

The marketing professional will then write content that resonates with your audience and helps drive marketing strategy success. Additionally, by outsourcing content marketing to an agency, companies can benefit from the expertise of a third-party team. Outsourcing marketing frees you up to focus on other aspects of your business.

The video linked directly below provides further detail about how to go about outsourcing your content marketing.

4 Reasons to Outsource Content Marketing

Size, budget, and marketing needs determine whether outsourcing your content marketing is right for your business.

It's important for any business owner to identify particular challenges that third-party agency writers can solve. Here are four reasons to outsource content marketing and how to recognize when it's time to consider making the move to an external marketing expert, agency, or another marketing firm for outsourced content.

1. Save money.

Growing a business requires significant expenses. That's why 70% of companies outsource tasks to reduce overall costs. By delegating your content marketing to a third-party company, you save the cost of hiring a full-time employee to write your blog post. Through outsourced marketing, you can focus more attention on your sales team. Content outsourcing and marketing also eliminates visible and hidden onboarding costs that average $4,425 per employee.

If you don't have the resources to hire a full-time staff member, it's time to consider outsourcing your content marketing to an agency or other external marketing department. Step one, then, is to compare the cost of hiring a full-time employee against that of engaging with an outsource content writing team. Outsourcing digital marketing is not something you ought to do on a whim.

2. Save time.

Maybe you have several terrific ideas for effective content, but you simply don't have the time to put everything into action. Perhaps writing isn't in your wheelhouse or you don't want to add marketing responsibilities to your work week. This is just one example of where outsourced marketing can represent a solid investment.

Hiring an outside writer or agency to take over your digital marketing services reduces your workload and frees up your time to focus on other job responsibilities. If you're feeling overwhelmed or having trouble getting everything done, you may need to outsource your content marketing.

3. Gain access to more talent.

If you don't have enough people in your marketing department to write your content, or you simply don't have a qualified writer to effectively communicate your ideas to your audience, outsourcing to an agency may be a viable option. Outsourcing content creation gives you access to a wider agency talent pool with various skills, training, expertise, and experience. Oftentimes marketing dollars can even be reallocated to outsourced sales, further improving your bottom line.

Choosing an agency with the necessary background to write meaningful and relevant content for your specific audience cuts down on project completion time. It allows your outsourced marketing team to publish expert content that is effective and efficient.

4. Increase productivity.

When your marketing department must multi-task, their stress levels rise. Distractions actually impair brain function.

Not only does this diminish efficiency, but it also impedes your marketing campaign productivity. When you outsource content writing, you relieve your staff's workload and allow them to give undivided attention to specific tasks.

Outsourcing to a digital marketing service helps your team complete projects sooner. They can tackle new projects more quickly, boosting overall business productivity. If workers are spread too thin, outsourced content creation is a viable solution. In fact, an outsourced marketing department might positively reshape the way you do business.

Outsource Content Marketing in 5 Steps

You can make the shift to outsourced marketing in five easy steps if you feel content outsourcing is right for you.

Step 1: Identify tasks to outsource.

Assess your content marketing plan and determine what projects you should outsource. Maybe all content writing needs to be delegated to a third-party writer. Or maybe you have in-house experts who could tackle some of your topics. Whether it's individual assignments, social media posts, or content marketing in general, you must first identify which tasks you want to outsource.

Step 2: Consider ROI.

Identify which areas of your content marketing efforts are costing your business money, time, and resources. This step alone might help you make your marketing outsource evaluation.

You can resource any part of your strategy with low ROI to a professional writer who can quickly and easily complete the task. Make the most of your outsource content writing investment by ensuring your content marketing plans are full of high ROI tasks.

Step 3: Give clear instructions for content creation.

When you assign content creation to a third-party marketing service, it's imperative that you give clear instructions to your content creator about what you want and what goals you're trying to achieve with your marketing effort.

If you're unclear, the writer at that marketing firm may deliver content irrelevant to your audience and must be rewritten. This takes more agency time and may cost more money, negating the benefits of outsourcing to a content writing agency in the first place. Avoid confusion by providing clear expectations to your content agency for outsourcing marketing from the get-go.

Step 4: Supply helpful content writing resources.

An outsourced marketing writer armed with plenty of helpful resources is more likely to succeed at their inbound marketing task, whether that's blog writing, visual content, or other high quality content.

Prior to beginning content production, supply your agency writing team with any information that would be useful in broadening their knowledge of your company, your audience, or the topic of the assignment. The less an agency writer has to research on their own, the lower the chances of the designated content team delivering erroneous or mistaken information as part of your outsourced marketing package.

Step 5: Track progress.

It's important to know whether your hired writers are hitting the mark with great content for your audience. This is where marketing technology (such as Google Analytics) can lend a hand as you make an outsourced marketing decision. Marketing agencies will be quick to ask you for these numbers at your first meeting. Don't attempt to build your marketing plan or brand awareness strategy without them!

Track the progress of your outsourced content with metrics that reveal click-through rates, engagement, and how long people remain on your blog post or web pages to read your content. From these results, you'll be able to tell whether your readers are finding your content useful, which marketing materials are resonating, and what areas need improvement.

Outsource Your Content Marketing Strategy

Outsourcing your content marketing strategy can be difficult at first. Any outsourced marketing should not be viewed as a cure-all. Marketing agencies will need your advice and partnership to generate quality content. However, once you start the outsourced marketing process, you'll see content is just another piece of your marketing activity puzzle to solve.

Struggling to start with your own content strategy? Thinking you might benefit from outsourced marketing services? Outsourcing content creation might be a solid first step in the right direction. Maybe you do need to look into a growth marketing agency to help pick up some of your public relations slack. We're here to help!

Image Credit: Lukas; Pexels. Video Credit: Jason Whaling. (2019, September 23). Stop Working So Hard To Make Content! (How To Outsource Content Creation) [Video]. YouTube.

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