Producing great content is a necessary part of digital marketing, but staying competitive takes a lot of work. Here’s how outsourcing can help.
Content marketing is constantly evolving, and it’s not going away. It’s now one of the pillars of a business’s overall digital marketing efforts. If you want to be found online, you need engaging, thoughtful content — and lots of it.
Yet even businesses with in-house marketing teams often don’t have the resources to produce the high volume of quality content required for good results. With SEO, link building and social media marketing all on the list, marketers already have their hands full.
With so much riding on producing quality content on a consistent schedule, what are businesses to do? Outsourcing your content writing might be the solution.
A Closer Look at Content Outsourcing
If you want to have any chance at competing with the big businesses and their monster marketing budgets, your content strategy needs a never-ending supply of top-notch content. Even for a small business, producing the quality and quantity of content Google expects is a full-time job for any one person. If you’re a small business owner handling everything yourself, your hands are pretty much tied.
Even for larger businesses with in-house marketing teams, the budget required to rival the content output of the competition might be too constraining. Or maybe your team’s efforts aren’t getting the results you need to rank well enough on Google. After all, not every marketer is a proficient content writer. Creating content that generates leads is the biggest challenge for over half of all marketers.
In these instances, you need a helping hand. Content outsourcing is essentially hiring a skilled freelancer or a trusted team outside your business to help produce high-quality content at scale. It’s a flexible, cost-effective method of creating blog posts, white papers, articles and every other kind of written content. By outsourcing your writing work, you’re free to focus on the bigger picture, such as refining your overall marketing strategy and growing your business.
There are a few different methods of outsourcing your content writing. Most businesses go with one of the following:
- Hiring a freelancer to write your content
- Partnering with a content writing service, such as Crowd Content
- Partnering with an agency that specializes in content production
There are, of course, pros and cons to each of these. A freelance writer may not be able to deliver the results you need. An agency may be too cost-prohibitive for those results. And you may be altogether skeptical of a content writing service.
We’ll get into the details of choosing the right partner, but first, let’s look at the many benefits that content outsourcing provides.
The Many Benefits of Content Outsourcing
Content outsourcing is highly effective. The benefits seem almost too good to be true, from improved flexibility, volume, and quality in your content strategy to lower cost. But there’s a reason that 84% of all B2B marketers outsource their content creation.
1. Improves Flexibility
Having a dedicated writer on your marketing team has its benefits. But given the rapid shifts in digital marketing, it can also be a disadvantage. You may need more or less content at any given time. Or you might need an entirely new type of content to stay competitive. It’s tough to adapt to evolving requirements with a single voice and perspective.
Outsourcing gives you the ability to adapt to these changes. You’re free to hire more writers when you need more content. You can peruse different writers when you need a shift in tone or perspective. And you can even experiment with new writers to try things that your competition may not have thought of yet.
The versatility of voice and the ability to scale up and down as needed means content outsourcing provides the flexibility necessary to stay competitive.
2. Gives You Time
Ernest Hemingway said, “Time is the least thing we have of.” He was no doubt familiar with how good extended writing took. Researching, drafting, editing and publishing content is time-consuming.
And while it may seem like writing your content is a cheaper option, you need to put a dollar value on the hours you spend doing it. Would your time be better spent on core business tasks? Probably so.
Outsourcing your content production gives you your time back. The best part is that when you choose the right partner, you get content at a much higher quality that’s still guided by your marketing vision.
3. Is Cost-Effective
In the U.S., the average salary of a content writer is $48,702. That’s not including all the added expenses, such as equipment, training and the rest of the overhead that comes with keeping a full-time employee. And as we talked about previously, this only gives you a single perspective for your content. Expensive and inflexible.
With content outsourcing, you’re only paying for the content you need. Whether it’s produced by a freelancer, a content writing service or an agency, you’re paying for content and content alone. No equipment, no holiday pay and no headaches. It’s an infinitely more affordable option.
4. Means More Volume
Even if your business has a full-time writer on staff, there’s a hard limit to how much quality content a single person can produce. Sure, you could have your writer churn out two or three low-quality blog posts every day, but this will do more harm than good for your content marketing strategy.
If you want a large volume of comprehensive articles and high-quality blog posts that engage your audience and convert leads, content outsourcing is the way to go. For consistency and fast turnaround, there’s no better way to scale your content marketing affordably.
5. Complements Your Team
Outsourced writers have often worked for several different clients. Because of this, their knowledge and experience are much broader. Additionally, these writers and content producers often have their fingers on the pulse of marketing and industry trends. All of this gives them the ability to come up with fresh new ideas to invigorate your content with.
These fresh perspectives and innovative ideas are complementary to your existing marketing team. Even for businesses with dedicated writers, it’s challenging to keep your wordsmiths enthused when they’re writing about the same thing day after day. Bringing in outside help ensures your content never loses its zeal.
Finding the Right Partner for Your Content
Despite the many benefits of content outsourcing, there are some challenges associated with outsourcing your content. Whether it’s a freelancer, a content writing service, a marketing agency, or even your in-house writer, overseeing your content’s production and ensuring it adheres to your overall content strategy takes a bit of work.
Some of the challenges with content outsourcing include:
- Ensuring the content creator understands your vision of the blog post or other piece and is able to produce something that matches it
- Protecting uniformity with a style guide and other measures, including editing, so your content has a consistent brand voice and doesn’t sound like it was written by a group of disparate writers
- Integrating the outsourcing process within your existing content marketing strategy, which includes getting buy-in from the entire marketing team to ensure a streamlined workflow
The good news is that these challenges are easily overcome with diligence and some thoughtful planning. Whether you’re outsourcing Facebook posts, landing pages or highly researched articles, there are proven methods for building relationships with a partner that can get the job done.
Freelancers, Agencies and Content Writing Services
Success in outsourcing your content begins with the kind of outsourcer you choose to work with. And that boils down to your content marketing budget and what type of content you need in terms of volume and quality.
But when you’re perusing possible outsourcers, it’s essential to keep in mind that it’s not always cut and dried. There are great freelancers, agencies and writing services that can spin up your content production with little supervision and deliver results quickly. But there are content outsourcers that will do more harm than good, too.
Take freelance writers, for example. They can run the gamut in terms of quality and price. You might get lucky and find an affordable freelancer who produces sparkling blog posts that place your site at the top of Google search results. On the other hand, you might find someone who’s not so affordable, requires constant feedback and revisions and ends up producing poor content anyway.
Agencies are usually more consistent in terms of quality. In most cases, writers at agencies are guided by a creative director, so you may not need to do much guidance. And since these businesses are built to provide innovative services to other companies, they can almost certainly produce volume.
But leveraging an agency — even a boutique firm — often comes with a hefty price tag. For some businesses, the results are worth paying for. But for others, agencies are too cost-prohibitive.
When choosing a partner, keep these things in mind:
- Ask the right questions: Understand what kind of content you need and why you need it. Then ask questions about how the outsourcer can help.
- Vet their work: Read up on testimonials and case studies to make sure they can deliver on their promises.
- Find out about their process: Ask questions about the processes they use to get successful results.
For many businesses, content writing services are a happy and effective middle ground. Some marketers are wary of these services, often buying into the myth that they sacrifice quality for convenience. Others believe these services exist to profit from high-volume, generic content written by poorly paid writers.
While these services do exist, it’s not a measure of content writing service out there. The fact of the matter is that you can leverage them for high-quality content at affordable prices.
Take what we do here at Crowd Content, for example. We operate a content writing service and incentivize our freelance partners to create high-quality content that produces results. We treat them well, pay fairly and take measures to ensure our clients are always happy with the completed work.
We also go the extra mile to help clients find writers who are ideal for their specific projects. Whether you search our robust workforce yourself with our self-serve options or work with our sales, customer service or project management teams to launch your campaign, you can find freelancers with a wide range of knowledge and experience.
Best Practices for Outsourcing Content Writing
Ultimately, if you want high-quality content, it’s not just about where you outsource your content creation. By understanding how best to partner with content writers and other freelancers, you can streamline communication and increase the chance of receiving a publish-ready piece of content that performs.
Here are some best practices for outsourcing your content and working with writers:
- Provide detailed briefs: Whether you’re leaving things open to writer creativity or mandating where the keywords, headers and bullet points go, don’t leave your writer hanging with vague instructions.
- Samples are one of the best tools you have: Briefs are invaluable, but samples can remove ambiguity and help writers home in on the tone you’re looking for.
- Make sure writers know your audience: Be sure the writer knows who your target audience is. Include customer personas and style guides to help them understand your brand’s voice.
- Writers are more than words on a page: While guidance is necessary, you can also better leverage a writer’s expertise and creativity by giving them ample space to create. Set guidelines for the type of content they need and let the writer do what they do best.
- Foster a partnership over time: Writers who’ve written blog posts for you over the years often need less direction than those who aren’t as familiar with your brand. Putting the time in to educate and coach writers about what you want can pay off big in the end.
When to Outsource Your Content Writing
Outsourcing research, writing, editing, social media posts management and even video scripts goes a long way if you’ve just started a business and you’re building it from the ground up. In these early stages, leveraging an outsourcer for the time-consuming content production process allows you to focus on acquiring new clients and growing your business.
Outsourcing your content is also a good bet if you don’t see results with your existing strategies. Effective content marketing isn’t easy, and producing the content required is even more challenging. Taking a step back from the busy work and focusing your efforts on the marketing nuances will free you to refine your approach. Content marketing is much more effective with a visionary guiding a team of content producers.
Supercharge Your Content Strategy With Crowd Content
For anyone doing business online, an effective content strategy is necessary. But it takes some serious time and effort to produce great content for that strategy. Outsourcing the work is a winning strategy if your business doesn’t have the resources to create excellent content.
At Crowd Content, we have some of the best tools available to help you supercharge your content strategy. With thousands of talented writers to choose from and detailed order forms to craft effective briefs, our platform was built to help businesses like yours get effective content quickly and easily.
Sign up today to get started.