How To’s for Success
You know the old adage about what’s important when you’re buying a house? Location, location location. Well, if you were to ask the same question about what’s important in marketing we would say: content, content, content. For many companies producing great content isn’t a problem as they may have a large marketing team. For others, they have several experts on hand who can write. For smaller businesses, where the marketing manager or business owner must wear multiple hats, when do they find the time? How can you reduce the burden of creating new and engaging content week after week? Outsourcing content creation may be the best use of your resources. When done right, that is.
Outsourcing is Not (Always) a Dirty Word
There are many different marketing providers that offer content outsourcing. Finding the right solution for your situation takes a bit of legwork. Here are the factors to consider when evaluating what’s best for your needs:
- Research – Outsourcing a whole article to someone who doesn’t know your business is difficult. Instead, outsource the research or a part of the content creation process. For example, assign a topic and ask for: 5 related links to that topic, an outline with bullet points supported by facts and source material. The deliverable is something that will help you — the expert — finish a blog post or web page. Here’s another option: give some basic information on subject areas and then ask for a list of potential article titles and subheads.
- Getting a first draft done – We have found that most of the content generation services aren’t perfect. The people writing the content have varying levels of writing ability. Unless they have deep expertise in your industry, most writers can infuse the same kind of insight you can put into your content. How about outsourcing content creation by thinking of the project as a first draft. Now you have a piece that provides a jump start, where you can weave in your stories, clean up any factual missteps and polish it up for publishing. This process can save you a significant amount of time… as long as you find the right writer or writing service. I’ve found that editing can take 30-45 minutes (not including optimization and styling).
- Social sharing – Creating the content is only half of the battle. The other half is getting people to read what you’ve written. Outsourcing your social media can take away the pressure of posting updates and links across multiple platforms. Keep in mind that you need to set up guidelines and feel comfortable with delegating this process, especially because of its very public nature. If you can, leave the promotion to someone else.
- Editing – This is the opposite of our second point two. You create a rough draft, including all the key points you need, with a bunch of related links, and drop it on the desk of your outsourced partner. By doing this, you take away the need for them to have an understanding of your business. If you choose this outsourcing option, the only real requirement is their ability to write well for the web.
- Creating images/infographics – One similar idea is the creation of images, infographics or related media, to spice up your blog posts. Companies like Design Pickle offer unlimited small design jobs and costs $370/month. You write a brief of what you want… say an infographic on how to clean your bathroom. Then, three 3 days later they send you an editable image where you can add text. Solutions like this don’t make the content creation process easier, but they do enhance the content you do create.
One Final Note About Outsourcing Content Creation
As with outsourcing in any industry, if you work out exactly what you need, it can save you time and effort. When I work with my clients on content creation, editing and optimizing, I stress that there’s a ramp-up period. Usually, within the first month, we focus on industry sources, a brand’s voice, editorial calendars and the approval process. One additional note we would like to add is that you should
One last note I’d like to add. As with any business relationship, successful outsourcing requires regular meetings. Even if those meetings are brief, it keeps both sides on track. If content creation goes on autopilot, I find that it leads to trouble.
Do you have any experience with outsourcing content creation?
How can we help?
Do you have trouble creating regular content? Is outsourcing content creation the solution for you?
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