Content Strategist, Writer, Editor, and Coach. Founder/Owner of Podnar Content Marketing. My specialty is making sure each piece of content has a clear purpose linked to business goals. I'm also somewhat of a "best practices heretic." I think best practices should inspire, not intimidate. But best practices frequently are intimidating for small businesses with small resources. I help SMBs, startups, and solopreneurs pull from best practices to develop a minimal viable product (MVP) -- a content marketing strategy that's right for them and their businesses. My business background allows me to develop content for clients in a wide range of industries, including marketing, IT, construction, logistics, governance, HR, leadership, facilities management, and more. I'm the person you call for content marketing advice when you want to learn how to do the best you can with what you have.
There are so many answers to that question, but the critical thing is that you have to be tuned in to your organization's strategic goals. You have to know what the organization wants to accomplish -- and why --- before you can offer guidance on the best way to get there and how to measure your success.
As an example...your marketing initiatives would be different if your organization's main goal is to increase your share in an existing market vs. expand your offerings in an existing market vs. enter a brand new market.
At the risk of seeming overly promotional, I think you might find some of your answers in my content marketing blog. My focus is on cutting through "best practice" hype and focusing on what actually matters to the business. It's www.patttipodnar.com/blog/, and feel free to contact me with questions.
Sure, there are all kinds of agencies you can hire. But outsourcing won't help if you're unsure what you're looking for. You say that your biggest difficulty has been to tap into the customer desire. Is that because you're unsure what the customer desires are, or because you don't know what kind of campaign would engage people with those desires? The first would require a market research specialist; the second would require a messaging specialist. While some agencies do both, they're not the same thing.
No matter who does it, the most important thing (well, depending on the product) is to focus your messaging on benefits, not features. Let's say you sell a service that helps businesses identify all laws/regulations that pertain to their business, determines whether they're compliant, and, if they're not, guides them through what they need to do to get there.
Those are the features. The benefit is that the business owner can sleep at night instead of worrying about losing the business due to a regulatory violation. So, in that case, your messaging might focus on sharing fun, relaxing times with friends and family instead of lying in bed, wide awake, and staring at the ceiling.
Full disclosure: I am a "ghostwriter" / editor / consultant. But I'm answering this as an avid reader who's always thrilled to find a new book/author in my favorite genres of apocalyptic fiction and international thrillers.
Here's what I've discovered via Kindle Publishing: There are a ton of people out there with incredible stories that get buried under horrible writing. I've set aside books that promised to be really interesting because the writing was so bad I couldn't make it through the first chapter. From continually switching tenses to failing to keep track of which character is which, there are some best-sellers out there dying a slow death because the writing stinks.
Why do I not just write books myself if it's so easy? Because I don't have the ideas. And I very much respect those who do. So if you have a great idea, don't let bad writing hold you back. Hire somebody to jump in and make sure what you have to say is clear, easy, and enjoyable to read.