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How to Achieve Content Marketing Success Without a Marketing Team

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

Joyce Tsang Content Marketing on Become more successful than the big brands out there without having a marketing team

Compete (and win) larger brands by having a Content Strategy

I get so frustrated when I see companies I've worked for still not understanding the importance of social media and digital marketing. I understand the pressure to meet sales numbers and reach KPIs, as well as please stakeholders, but why are executives so short-sighted? Instead of investing in proven effective strategies, they're willing to pour millions of dollars into outdated traditional marketing tactics.

31.8% of companies with a content strategy achieve 27.1% higher win rates than those without a content strategy.

-CSO Insights

What is a Content Strategy?

Fast fact

Key takeaway

The cost of acquiring a new customer through content is around 15% less than through paid channels for subscription-based businesses.

- Profit Well

Here, let me give you another example, as illustrated in an examination question in Hubspot's social media certification course:

Joyce Tsang Content Marketing Hubspot social media certification course

Sound familiar?

I often see bosses or directors telling their social media or digital marketing managers to use online tools like TV, radio, or other traditional media platforms. All they are doing is blasting out the same old one-way communication via a different platform.

Perhaps you do not agree, or you strongly resonate with what I'm saying. Either way, I think the following list would be beneficial for you. It will bring you closer to the fact that you are not doing 21st-century marketing right, or you will learn that your belief is shared by someone like me who also does not believe in traditional outbound marketing.

Recommended Tools List:

Joyce Tsang Content Marketing Recommended Tool - Audiense
Audience Intelligence Platform - Audiense

​Audience Intelligence Platform - Audiense

Joyce Tsang Content Marketing Recommended Tool - StoryChief
Content Management Tool - StoryChief

​Content Management Tool - Story Chief


1. You are paying for "Brand Ambassadors" who does not help you create content

Let me guess, you've hired someone who appears to be influential to your target audience. You've justified the crazy cost because he or she also has a "social media presence" online. Therefore, you believe you are doing #DigitalMarketing.

The fact is you're not.

What you have done is equivalent to hiring a celebrity that shows up in your brand's TV ad. Yes, this endorsement may bring in some revenue, but I can guarantee you it does not cover your cost. Worst yet, the revenue drive lasts less than a month. Before you know it, you're dumping out more budget to hire the next star-face.

Joyce Tsang Content Marketing on determining influencers

The value of having brand ambassadors in the current age of marketing is because they are trusted by their followers for the content that they produce themselves. Now, read that again. That is the core of what you should be paying for, not just for them to share the campaign visual on their Instagram account. If you're only utilizing a brand ambassador for the channel following they have, you are doing this all wrong.


Joyce Tsang Content Marketing engagement rate benchmarks CreatorIQ

Potential customers trust real people, not the glam-and-glitz you're paying for.

A survey by Collective Bias, An Inmar Company, reveals that 30% of consumers are more likely to buy a product recommended by a non-celebrity blogger. Consumers can relate more to these influencers and value their opinions more than that of celebrity influencers.

Influencers drive higher-quality leads.

Mediakix has found that 71% of marketers say that customers gained from influencer marketing are higher-quality than those gained from other kinds of marketing.

Influencer Marketing is much cheaper and drives more revenue.

Influencer Marketing Hub has found that ROI on influencer marketing averages US $5.78 for every dollar spent. They have also found that firms with a strong understanding of influencer marketing reported returns as high as US $18 per dollar invested

2. You are asking your social media person to post your expensive product shots everywhere

There is a limit to how much you can utilize your existing assets across different platforms. To be very honest with you, your glossy horizontal crop product shot looks horrible on Instagram.

I have repeatedly educated people that each platform has its own best practice, and you can't just force things on them because you have spent money on creating these assets. Not to mention, uploading advertisement visuals as organic always-on content is the dumbest thing to do. There will be no engagement, your whole account looks like an ad, and yes, you've guessed it, you just used your social media platforms much like a TV all over again.

It's not as straightforward as adjusting the crop of your creatives. It boils down to the subject matter. No one is interested in looking at a product shot that does not add any value unless the product shot is on your e-commerce's product page, where there are words to support further understanding. This is also the case for video content. According to InternetAdvisor, "while Google or Youtube clearly sees the most eyes, Facebook otherwise has a massive set of eyeballs on it, and people are more likely to watch videos on Facebook than in many other markets."

Joyce Tsang Content Marketing how are audiences watching videos across different platforms

"Cross-posting is like putting a text through Google Translate. You run the risk of getting a very weird result that looks careless and unintentional. Instead, your content should be fluent in the language of each platform. Otherwise you’ll never be able to have a real conversation with your followers."

3. The target audience is based on who the boss fantasise to sell to, not who the product can actually serve

More than often, when I ask business owners why they are targeting a specific target audience, they would respond, "because we want to sell to these people." I get so confused about how they have survived until this day if this is what they think targeting is.

Joyce Tsang Content Marketing target audience

They give you demographic details and top it off with the trendy term of "GenZ" and "Millennials" and think that's good enough. Honestly, have you stopped to ask yourself why these people would buy from you or even be bothered to pay attention to you?

You don't speak their language; you never bother to learn about their struggles; you don't care about their desires; why do you even think you can reach them? I haven't even gotten into the real ways of formulating a target audience, which is building their 360 personas.


Your marketer agrees with your targeting only because he/she also doesn't know what behavioural targeting is.

Smallbizgenius has found that 76% of marketers fail to use behavioral data for online ad targeting.

Bosses, your preferences are nothing in comparison to what customers think.

Smartinsights have found that while 80% of businesses that have an online presence believe they deliver great customer service via their social media channels, only 8% of their customers agree.

4. We must be online, but we must not be perceived as "too fun"

Branding is important. But if you want to be online and be on social media, you need to work with its user behavior. Would you consider Burberry as being "too fun" and abandoning its brand image with its most successful trench coat campaign? Would you consider Burger King's Order from Mcdonald's campaign crossing the line? If you're one of those bosses who are still stuck in that mentality, why are you even online?

The number one takeaway here is you can't just enjoy the advantages of being online and not respect the game. Honor the very concept that you are marketing to human beings who treasure authenticity and transparency. But more than often, people who are higher up in the business hierarchy simply shut down social media ideas and then blame the very same person for not driving enough quality leads.

Joyce Tsang Content marketing branding

Online marketing is a completely different ball game, and the quickest way to kill your brand is by copying traditional outbound marketing techniques over and expect that to work. The only way for your brand to survive now is for you to invest in Inbound Marketing and a content strategy. These are the things that can genuinely help you attract customers at a controllable cost and achieve a promising ROI.

And you can do that yourself if you're up for the work. Like I always say, there are no shortcuts, but there are smart ways to do it right. Start by checking out my Inbound Marketing Course for New Business Owners!


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