Your business relies on content to drive its marketing, but doing what’s required to maximize your strategy can be too much for your in-house team to handle. Content outsourcing can be the solution: by partnering with outside content creators, you can stay on time and on budget while accessing subject matter expertise your home crew might not possess.
What Is Content Outsourcing?
Sticking with a content schedule can mean developing a steady stream of fresh blog posts on a weekly, or even daily, basis — and that’s just part of a comprehensive content marketing strategy. It’s time-consuming, expensive, and your in-house writers (brilliant as they are) might run out of fresh ideas.
Content outsourcing shifts this burden to an outside content agency whose sole focus is the production of new content. Under the direction of your internal marketing teams, qualified writers produce a range of content that help maintain and elevate your content marketing strategy.
The Benefits of Content Outsourcing for Marketers
By partnering with a team focused on content creation services, your bottom line is likely to improve, and it might even be easier to execute your marketing strategy. It comes down to efficiency: with content outsourcing, you're able to oversee the details but allow someone else to manage the team.
Expertise and Diverse Skill Sets
Content teams include professional writers who are not only adept at language but have a range of other credentials and skills. Your content marketing efforts might run the gamut of types of content and subjects: you might issue press releases, produce white papers, and write social media posts. At the same time, you might work in an industry such as engineering or pharmaceutical research that requires specialized knowledge.
Your outsourced content team can include people who have expertise with a particular type of writing, such as position papers or press releases. They might also hold experience or credentials in a particular subject; it’s not unusual for a freelance writer to have a science degree or extensive professional background. You can therefore choose the best writer for a specific project, instead of relying on your in-house team to do everything.
Budget Optimization and Cost Savings
One of the financial advantages of content outsourcing is cost reduction. Hiring a writer in-house means paying for benefits and operational support. Every person brings value to an internal content marketing team, but the price of technology and office space can overload your budget. By outsourcing your content, you can budget for an individual project with set deliverables. Your costs are predictable and end once the project is complete.
Focus on Strategy and Core Competencies
A content marketing agency or content provider focuses on a specific core competency: content. By partnering with them, you establish a relationship with a clear and specific focus. Your business needs content and the agency provides that content. In your initial meetings, you can set the parameters of the relationship. You can explain the kind of content you need and express your expectations for the agency's deliverables.
Without the burden of churning out content on your plate, you can focus on your business’s core competencies and monitor your content marketing strategy from a high level. It’s no longer necessary for you to become a content marketer in addition to running every other aspect of your business.
Meeting Dynamic Demands and Scalability
Outsourced content providers are flexible by nature. Their writers, editors, and other content producers are typically freelancers. Most agencies have lengthy rosters of talented, professional, and capable independent content creators who work on an as-needed basis. For you, the business owner, this results in an appealing responsiveness to your company’s changing content needs. You can order more content when you need to and scale back when your demand is less.
How To Successfully Navigate Your Content Outsourcing Journey
Once you have made the decision to work with an outside content agency, the next step is finding the best fit for your business. Then you can follow a few simple strategies for creating a positive ongoing relationship.
How to Choose the Perfect Content Outsourcing Partner
Start by identifying some key attributes you would like in a content outsourcing partner. You might think about:
- Content needs (volume, frequency, types, calendar)
- Writer attributes (expertise in a specific type of content, industry knowledge)
- Package options (fully managed content service, self-serve)
- Budget (ongoing expense, per-project cost basis)
There might be other attributes you’d like to see in a partner, such as the option for writers to pitch you content ideas or an add-on product that focuses on search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
One way to decide if a content partner is right for you is to speak with them. You should get an idea of whether or not the agency is the best complement to your in-house marketing team on a short-term or indeterminate basis.
Define Clear Objectives and Expectations
Once the partnership is in place, it is essential to tell the agency and your writers what you expect from the content. Each business is different. Even competitors in a niche industry can hold vastly different ideas about what their content should look and sound like. Some go-to tools for expectation setting are the style guide and content brief.
The style guide is a primer on your company and the technical aspects of the content. It includes fine details, such as whether to use AP or Chicago Manual of Style, American or UK English, and the precise way to write your business name to ensure consistency across all content. It also references writing style, so your team knows the right tone to take: professional, casual, or somewhere in between.
The content brief is shorter than the style guide, as it is prepared for each piece of content. It outlines what information to include, word length, and the target audience.
Establish Efficient Communication Channels
Even after you’ve done your due diligence and chosen a great agency, written an in-depth style guide, and have detailed content briefs, questions still arise. Talk to the agency about communication as writers work on your content.
You might have an account manager or strategist at the agency who is your main contact and who fields all questions from or to writers, or you might talk directly to your content creators. Efficient communication means you can quickly resolve any points of confusion at all stages of the project.
How To Measure the Success of Your Content Strategy
One of the benefits of content marketing is developing online assets that encourage search engines to direct traffic to your website. As you begin working with a content outsourcing agency, set some ways that you will measure content success. As you achieve that success, continue to work with writers to maximize the return on investment from your online properties.
Tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are the measurements you use to determine if your content marketing strategy meets its goals. You should establish a few goals before choosing KPIs. Your goals may be things such as:
- Increasing organic traffic
- Improving lead generation
- Increasing brand awareness
- Improving brand reputation
Tracking organic traffic is a matter of reviewing website analytics and identifying the traffic source. Lead generation requires drilling down into the data to see which visitors responded to a call-to-action once they've landed on your site.
Brand awareness and brand reputation are a bit more opaque and might take more time to analyze. After your newer content has been in the ecosystem for several weeks, you can use surveys or marketing research to gauge changes in consumer awareness and feelings toward your brand.
Continuously Optimizing Outsourced Content
Often, to get the best return on your outsourced content investment, you have to regularly optimize and use that content. You optimize the content before you post it the first time — indeed, your outsourced content team can help you do that — but as time passes, you might want to rework the content to adapt to new best practices for search engines. You might also want to edit your content to appeal to a different audience or to outrank competitors.
Tracking success is an ongoing process that your content partner can help you to achieve.
How To Effectively Scale Content With Outsourced Resources
Your content strategy is critical to the success of your business. It’s therefore beneficial to know how to use an outsourced content agency to its maximum potential. The Compose.ly team recently developed an on-demand webinar to provide guidance on scaling content with outsourced resources. You can watch this snippet from the webinar to learn more.
Get More High-Quality Content With Compose.ly
Compose.ly delivers high-quality, SEO-friendly content that elevates your brand. Engage your audience with our select network of highly qualified writers. To learn more about the content outsourcing options we offer, get in touch with our team.