by Bright Ewuru
A glance at the world of marketing reveals that businesses are drifting away from the practice of shoving their products in the faces of their customers.
The name of the game is to extend a helping hand. Businesses present solutions to their audience’s problems by creating and sharing valuable information. Consequently, there is a growth in the generation of leads and conversions for the business.
This is simply what content marketing is all about, and it has proven to be the answer for businesses, both big and small.
Content marketing comes in different forms. Some of them are blogs, social media posts, e-books, videos, interviews, interviews, case studies, and whitepapers.
They present golden opportunities for businesses. However, the fact is that the task involved can prove too much for a business owner.
Honestly, the task might even prove too much for the in-house team of employees. This drives us to take a long, hard look at the concept of outsourcing one’s content marketing in this post.
Outsourcing is the business practice of hiring an independent contractor (an entity outside a business) to render services that are ordinarily supposed to be performed by the in-house staff.
Therefore, outsourcing your content marketing involves enlisting the services of an independent contractor to write blog posts or whitepapers, conduct interviews, create videos or any of the various forms of content marketing.
This is geared towards cutting costs and speeding up the process of task completion. However, there is an array of advantages worth pinpointing.
Benefits of Outsourcing Your Content Marketing
The age of the Internet has given us so much to be grateful for. You can build a workforce teeming with experts without having to cram them all into your tiny office space.
As long as the content is created and published with the required expertise, and it reflects your brand’s ideals, outsourcing will do your content marketing efforts much good.
We have previously considered the benefits of outsourcing freelance copywriters. However, we will now pay attention to the benefits of outsourcing the entire content marketing responsibilities.
Table of Contents
Speedy production of content
More time for other business concerns
Helps you make the most of different forms of content
More quality content will be published regularly
Different views and styles
Availability of multiple experts and skill sets
1. Speedy production of content
Sometimes, there could be an urgent need for the production of content to address a specific issue in your industry. Also, maintaining the pace of your content marketing strategy might be threatened by a tight deadline.
Scenarios like these demonstrate the relevance of outsourcing in the field of content marketing. You can only do little as one person. However, more hands make the work a delight.
Marketing agencies and freelancers are eager to render their services and they usually factor tight deadlines into their rates. This will save you the stress of tossing endlessly in your bed trying to come up with top-tier content.
Having an in-house team of content creators comes with a sort of glam. However, in the long run, it might drill unnecessary holes in your coffers.
A full-time team of content creators means that you must concern yourself with equipment, training, technology, and a handful of other overhead expenses. It’s your responsibility to pay for the premium packages of the necessary software.
That’s where prudence comes in. Why incur those expenses when you can avoid them? Research has shown that having workers work from home can save a business a whopping sum of $11,000 on overhead costs annually.
Outsource some of these tasks and let the freelancers and agencies bother about those pesky concerns.
It’s no secret that rigid work arrangements aren’t the best anymore. Fluid patterns seem to be good for all and sundry.
Firstly, you do not have to keep any vigilant watch over your staff persons every minute. Additionally, a survey shows that 80% of workers find working from home to be morale-boosting, while 70% of them stated that it boosts productivity.
Couple these findings with the fact that lots of content creators are introverts who need a very calm environment for their muses to kick in. Then you’ll find that outsourcing is your best bet yet.
Also, you might want to slow down on your content creation for a while. All you have to do is chill and not give the freelancers and agencies tasks. If you don’t give them any tasks, then you don’t have to pay them.
But if you had a full-time staff, you would always pay them regardless of the halt on content creation. You can’t just fire them at will hoping to re-employ them or employ other persons when you want to pick up on content creation once more.
4. More time for other business concerns
Outsourcing your content marketing efforts clears the fog that might cloud your vision in business. Creating high-quality content is quite demanding. After the creation, then comes the need for promotion.
These responsibilities are time-consuming.
Factually, 51% of B2B marketers have identified the lack of time to create content as one of the prime challenges in their marketing campaign.
It is smarter to give greater attention to the elements involved in running and growing your business. Don’t fret about the content.
You can always instruct the independent creators to make changes. Also, you can adjust the content to your taste. In the long run, you’ll find that your business would have grown more than it would if you handled all the content marketing duties.
5. Helps you make the most of different forms of content
Like we pointed out, content marketing comes in different forms. Some of them include blog posts, social media posts, interviews, and videos. While some of them might be easy for the average Joe to tackle, some others demand technical knowledge.
Outsourcing helps you kick it full throttle with the various forms of content and equally reap their benefits. With a blog, you can demonstrate your expertise in your industry while simultaneously reaping a host of other benefits.
Videos are all the rage presently in the world of content marketing. They help with various marketing needs, and this is revealed by the fact that they:
Help with the generation of about 66% more leads annually
Are preferred by consumers as a means of learning about a product or service
Work as excellent conversion machines
Help with search engine optimization
Email marketing helps you drive traffic and build credibility.
If you outsource different content types to different creators, you’ll, in turn, enjoy the fruits that they bring. This is favorable to your content marketing as the campaign will grow exponentially.
6. More quality content will be published regularly
Having a number of independent contractors handle your content creation makes it possible for a steady production of stellar content.
Let’s face it. Content creation is no walk in the park.
Maybe, you can snatch a moment or two to craft a scanty post of 400 words and publish it daily. We must applaud your efforts, but such shallow content doesn’t favor your online visibility. Long-form posts (posts that have more than 1000 words) are winning, as far as SEO is concerned.
As a matter of fact, posts having up to 2000 words are dominating. Creating such a post is no mean feat. The best of writers might only manage to create 2 of such posts in a week.
The moral of the story is that outsourcing makes more hands available to produce good stuff frequently.
7. More exposure
It never hurts to get the attention of more people. The joyful truth is that many freelancers and agencies have followership and are part of various groups online.
Whether they produce a blog post or a video for you, they will share it for many to see. Consequently, you will gain additional visibility and organic traffic.
Furthermore, when they write for other businesses, they can link back to any related post on your site. These backlinks will give your off-page SEO a much-desired upthrust.
8. Different views and styles
Having a variety of content creators helps you spice things up in your content marketing. You can tell the style of each creator.
Therefore, you can pick a particular content creator to produce the content in a particular style or tone. The freelancers and agencies are also aware of what’s up in the industry, so you could leverage their knowledge to add some extra sizzle to your content.
9. Availability of multiple experts and skill sets
No one knows it all. The business might be yours, but there are countless other relevant angles that you may not have considered in marketing.
Outsourcing to experts provides the opportunity for them to take content marketing to a higher level.
If you are a producer of sports wear, you’d ordinarily be concerned with sports alone. However, a writer with knowledge in the law will create content concerning the protection of your trademark.
A writer grounded in health will write content on tips for staying healthy while engaging in sporting activities. The ultimate outcome is more lead generation and conversions.
With all these pros identified, outsourcing clearly helps your content marketing level up to the competition. The Internet is a noisy place, with countless businesses vying for attention.
Outsourcing keeps the flame of your content marketing efforts burning.
Proven tips on outsourcing your content marketing
Having duly considered the fruits of outsourcing, it is appropriate to dive into the core. What steps should a business owner take in outsourcing his content marketing tasks? Between freelancers and agencies, which is more suitable?
How can one tell if the outsourcing tactic is successful?
These tips will answer these questions in a moment.
a. Define your content marketing strategy and decide what to outsource
Before you talk about outsourcing your content marketing efforts, there must be a content marketing strategy in place.
A content marketing strategy is simply a plan for the creation and promotion of valuable content for consumption by a business’ audience in order to satisfy the business’ needs.
Amongst many other things, it duly assesses your business and the available staff with the aim of highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. Essentially, it reveals what tasks can be handled competently by the in-house team, those that need to be outsourced and those that should not be outsourced.
Furthermore, it ensures organization since everyone is aware of what each person is doing. Consequently, your team will move in unison with the outsourced content creators.
Outsourcing is usually a product of honest evaluation. Therefore, the need to outsource is nothing to be ashamed of. After all, research has indicated that at least 50% of B2B marketers outsource at least one content marketing task.
Without a defined strategy, you are bound to kick off on the wrong foot. You might end up outsourcing tasks that your in-house team can handle efficiently. You’d simply be throwing money away.
b. Observe the trends and tides of content marketing
If you must make the most of outsourcing, then you must have your ears to the ground.
You need to know what’s buzzing out there so that the tasks outsourced will appeal to your audience, and spark some growth in your business. Imagine spending tons of cash producing a form of content that your audience doesn’t seem to find captivating anymore.
That’s a sure downward spiral for your business!
Without any idea of what’s hot, you might miss out on creating content on topics that are the rave of the moment. Also, there are times when one form of content gains surprising popularity.
During such moments, it’s necessary to key into the wave by producing content in the popular form.
c. Provide a clear guide
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to ensure that there is a set of instructions that will guide the outsourced creators in creating content.
The guide identifies your preferences for both written content and visual content. Essentially, your company’s style guide guarantees that your content assumes a consistent pattern and also retains quality.
It demonstrates the long-term vision which you have for your business and makes your brand shine. Furthermore, it makes it simple for content creators to understand what you want and what they are to do.
The guide could come in the form of explicit instructions and samples of works already done such as blog posts or videos created by in-house employees.
The guide could contain metrics such as the length of the post or the video, the number and size of images, as well as the number of outgoing links. It could also identify the desired tone, use of words and length of paragraphs.
A clearly laid out style guide makes your expectations easily attainable.
d. Provide a communication channel
A good practice is to make the job easy for outsourced content creators as much as possible. You can achieve this by opening channels of communication and giving them access to resources.
Giving them access to the site to publish posts
Indicating the preferred mode of communication for them to reach you or any member of your in-house team
Encouraging them to come forward with their questions
Giving them access to the company’s style guide, information documents, and content idea sheets
The relevance of this tip is that it helps you scale avoidable errors and the need to correct them later.
e. Create a smooth workflow
While outsourcing your content marketing efforts, you should be aware that your content is the face of your brand. The saddle to ensure that it turns out good is always upon you.
Therefore, it is your duty to streamline the content marketing process.
This is an indispensable element if you are keen on maintaining quality in your posts. Also, you should make sure that both the contractors and your in-house team are aware of the process.
It further involves creating a relationship between the outsourced content creators and your employees. And that’s because team chemistry matters a great deal.
Consequently, there is a need for an experienced editor or an expert in visual content to look out for consistency, and the preferred tone and style in each work. It is also necessary to use tools such as Trello or Google Docs for organization and sharing of work.
With such tools, it is easy to share the work with the entire team for everyone to observe the gradual progress. They also allow for editing and review at one’s convenience.
A streamlined workflow does away with needless hurdles and ensures swift and competent completion of tasks.
A textbook instance of a workflow for a blog post involves:
The creation of the idea
Writing of the post by an outsourced writer
The editor reads and asks for changes from the writer
Then the writer makes the changes and submits to the editor
The editor reads and forwards it to the content strategist
Finally, the content strategist approves and publishes the post
f. Carefully choose your content creators
When selecting your outsourced content creators, you need to exercise sheer prudence. Frankly, the creators you choose can make or mar your goals. Some tips on how to make the right picks include:
Choose creators who are passionate about the industry or the service.
Check out their previous tasks and reputation.
Take a look at their portfolio to know if they are as good as they claim to be.
Look for testimonials (although this isn’t mandatory, if they are available, that’s a good omen).
Feel free to reach out to a number of their past clients and hear what their reports will be (don’t ask just one past client as such will not suffice for a fair assessment).
You could ask for a test piece (you must pay for this to avoid looking like a fraud).
Freelancer or Agency
However, when it comes to outsourcing one’s content marketing responsibilities, there is always the question of whether to choose a marketing agency or a freelancer.
A marketing agency is a business that serves as the intermediary by hiring freelancers and having them handle tasks for clients.
Some advantages of hiring an agency include:
The ability to meet really tight deadlines due to the availability of various content creators
A thorough production process which eliminates the need to edit the work by yourself
There’s no need to communicate personally with the content creators.
They are generally more reliable as issues don’t interrupt the workflow.
On the flip side, the downsides of hiring an agency include:
The prices are a bit on the high side.
It is a business operating fully on its own, so there might be a collision of systems and strategies.
It is advisable to look out for the degree of the impact an agency has made in your niche before choosing them.
A freelancer is an individual who can perform a single function in your content marketing.
The perks of hiring an individual freelancer are:
They are much cheaper, and there is room for negotiations.
The relationship with them can bloom, and this comes with many benefits.
They are accessible even after regular work hours, but only with their consent.
However, the cons of hiring a freelancer include:
Meeting deadlines might be a challenge because they usually have multiple gigs.
The best of them are almost always booked.
There might be a need for you to edit their work.
They don’t have all the necessary skills such as writing for a target audience, a tone compatible with your brand, SEO, social media marketing, analytics, etc.
One of the best ways to find freelance writers of value is to post the job on a reputable job board.
One of the best job boards is ProBlogger.
Another noteworthy job board is Contena.
You can also check out Fiverr.
The last but not the least is Upwork.
At this point I must mention that ProBlogger and Contena allow businesses to post mainly writing jobs for individual freelance writers. However, Fiverr and Upwork allow businesses to post a variety of content creation and marketing jobs.
With Upwork, you can find both individual freelancers and agencies.
g. Have a contract in place
Although we don’t ever hope to have issues in business with our collaborators, we must not deny the possibility of issues rearing their ugly heads.
The essence of a contract is to spell out the terms of the agreement between you and the outsourced content creator. Basically, it binds both parties and makes them honor the agreement. Furthermore, it eliminates any form of misunderstanding.
Whether the agreement is for the creation of videos, or blog posts, a contract is of utter relevance.
h. Cherish your content creators and leverage their network
Actually, there isn’t much of a difference between your in-house employees, and outsourced content creators. The latter are eager to get the best of you just as you are eager to get the best of them.
Therefore, you have to make collaboration a pleasure. Firstly, pay them well and on time. Nothing is more annoying than a client who delays in paying. It is worth a mention that content creators who know their onions don’t work for peanuts.
They carry top-notch skills, so they aim to get their bread up. Maybe, I’m mentioning a lot of food items, but it is what it is. Outsourced content marketers need to eat!
Also, you need to create an effective communication pathway for them to reach you. With such, they will easily air their views and share ideas with you. When handing out criticisms, do so constructively.
Do not tear them down with bitter words. Nobody wants a scene out of Horrible Bosses in his life. Additionally, you need to be sensitive to their needs.
Hey, these people are humans, and life happens. If some sort of misfortune befalls the freelancer, and the work process gets distorted, keep your cool. Mildly express your compassion first, and don’t act as if the world revolves around your business.
Nurse your relationship with them by remembering special stuff such as their birthdays. Also, don’t be stingy with praise when it is well-deserved. Go ahead and give that writer a testimonial, a recommendation, or even endorse his skills on LinkedIn.
Such gestures really warm our hearts as writers and content creators generally. Finally, give them a byline in their posts from time to time. This will make them do their best and also share the content with their network.
Therefore, your business will gain additional exposure.
i. Maintain your pace
As we identified earlier, one of the benefits of outsourcing your content marketing is the ability to produce quality content regularly. That should be one of your prime concerns as a business owner.
It is advisable to avoid obsessing over trivialities. Good grammar is a must, but the content needs not to rival the works of Shakespeare. If they make valuable information available to your audience, then you have it right.
j. Be result-oriented
You should focus on the outcome of the efforts. Do not just delight in the work done. Pay close attention to find out if it will do your business much good in the long run.
To access the situation, observe the audience’s engagement with the content. Do they drop comments or share the posts? Are your resources being downloaded?
Is your email list growing?
This might take a while. However, if over an extended period there is no positive outcome, then you need to get back to the drawing board. A good tactic is to incorporate surveys into your site in order to ask your audience the sort of information they’d love to get.
This makes for proper guidance.
Well, there you have it. With an understanding of the concept of outsourcing, its benefits to your content marketing efforts, and an ironclad guide, you can’t go wrong.