How do you create content effectively when your business sells a complex set of products and services to a wide range of verticals?
Epsilon faced this exact problem in 2018.
Their PeopleCloud product suite combines identity, data science, and technology solutions that put customers in full control of their customer relationships. And they deliver these deeper, more accurate consumer profiles for all kinds of industries—from automotive and CPG to financial services, media and entertainment, retail, travel, restaurants, and healthcare.
In this kind of business, content marketing can’t just be a side project. It has to be a core discipline. And the key to that solidifying that discipline was creating a bedrock of content right from the start.
Building a Content Marketing Discipline at Epsilon
“Today, the Resource Center on Epsilon.com reflects the shift in our overall strategy—from ‘what can I sell you?’ to ‘how can I help you?’. That’s what my team has been focused on over the last two years. Building that platform and strategy.”—Dan McDermott, Senior Director, Content Marketing, Epsilon
When Dan McDermott started at Epsilon in 2013, thought leadership responsibilities fell on a lot of different people’s shoulders. It just wasn’t anyone’s top priority.
But with 2018 leadership changes came a new push to make content marketing a dedicated practice at Epsilon. Today, there are 5 content marketers working to execute a strategy that’s broken into two dimensions—vertical and product.
“Our content marketing program had to be well structured,” says Dan. “We have such a large and diverse organization with many different business units across multiple verticals. The vertical aspect of our content strategy is to work with specialized sales teams to continually talk about key pain points in industries like retail and financial services. The other side is the product discipline, where we create thought leadership around what differentiates our products in the marketplace.”
Epsilon’s content marketing discipline hinges on collaborative relationships with product and sales teams.
It wouldn’t be fair (or reasonable) to expect each member of the content marketing team to have the same level of vertical or product expertise as those dedicated teams. But with strong partnerships, Dan and his team have been able to build a content marketing discipline into the fabric of Epsilon’s operations.
Getting the Most Out of Freelance Writers
Getting Epsilon’s content marketing discipline off the ground wasn’t just about getting a couple of new content pieces into play—it was about going all-in on content and building the Resource Center foundation quickly.
That meant hiring freelance writers to scale beyond internal content creation capabilities.
However, there was no room to sacrifice quality. To position Epsilon as the industry leader in data-driven marketing, the content had to show true subject matter expertise and thought leadership. Dan and his team built out a system to set freelance writers up for success when creating Epsilon content.
“Everyone on my content marketing team has either been a freelancer or managed them in the past,” says Dan. “All that experience has helped us create a written content brief that gets filled for each project. We don’t want to throw freelancers in the middle of a lake where they’re going to drown. The brief gives them the direction and SME source material necessary to deliver quality work.”
Rather than having freelance writers work directly with subject matter experts or other Epsilon stakeholders, the content marketing team works as the facilitator. Dan and his team are measured on the quality of content produced, so they participate in the creation process at each step to ensure freelancers meet the necessary standards.
Having these processes in place made it easy for Epsilon to connect with nDash writers, get them up to speed quickly, and build out the bedrock of content for the resource center.
Flexibility and Scale: Building the Epsilon Resource Center with nDash Content Writers
The two primary benefits that nDash offered Epsilon were flexibility and scale. In the first 6 months of the content marketing program, Dan and his team were working through a lot of strategic questions. What’s going to work? What doesn’t work so well? Where should we invest most of our time and resources?
With nDash, Epsilon didn’t have to lock into a specific contract for content writing services. They could connect with freelancers as needed while figuring out what their long-term strategy and processes would look like.
“With nDash, we had a resource we could trust to help us build the bedrock of content for our Resource Center.”
In addition to pricing and operational flexibility, Epsilon leveraged nDash content writers to maximize efficiency.
“We wanted our in-house team to focus on net new content that supported our core themes—the things we knew would drive our business and the narrative we wanted in the marketplace going forward,” says Dan. “But we had a lot of past content that was really good. It needed to be refreshed, adjusted, and updated. Putting nDash writers on those kinds of projects freed us up to create net new content while quickly scaling up the foundation of our Resource Center.”
What Can You Learn from Epsilon?
The main takeaway from the way Epsilon works with freelancers is that you should do everything in your power to set them up for success.
Even though you’re hiring freelancers to free up internal resources and scale content marketing, you don’t want them flying blind. Collect the necessary insights from your subject matter experts. Clearly lay out what you want the freelance writer to deliver. And work closely with them to edit content so it meets your quality standards.
Take this approach and you’ll be able to build your own content marketing discipline that drives real business results.
Epsilon is the leader in outcome-based marketing. They enable marketing that’s built on proof, not promises. Through Epsilon PeopleCloud, the marketing platform for personalizing consumer journeys with performance transparency, Epsilon helps marketers anticipate, activate and prove measurable business outcomes. Powered by CORE ID®, the most accurate and stable identity management platform representing 200+ million people, Epsilon’s award-winning data and technology is rooted in privacy by design and underpinned by powerful AI. With more than 50 years of experience in personalization and performance working with the world’s top brands, agencies and publishers, Epsilon is a trusted partner leading CRM, digital media, loyalty and email programs. Positioned at the core of Publicis Groupe, Epsilon is a global company with over 8,000 employees in over 40 offices around the world. For more information, visit epsilon.com. Follow them on Twitter at @EpsilonMktg.
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