Content is king. You know this, yet you don’t have the resources to meet the demand for high-quality, engaging copy that satisfies your audience and moves them through the process from awareness to conversion. Could outsourcing be the answer?
The benefits and disadvantages of outsourcing content
Outsourcing content simply means hiring a freelance copywriter or independent team to develop your content on your behalf. Benefits include:
- Saves time. Let’s say it takes you two hours to write a blog post. If you write and publish one blog post per week, that’s more than 100 hours of time spent crafting copy (two full work weeks!). By outsourcing, you get this time back. Suddenly, you have more time in your schedule to focus on other core aspects of your business.
- Improves quality. If you aren’t a writer by trade, your content probably isn’t the best. By outsourcing to a professional copywriter, your content instantly improves, which elevates your brand.
- Empowers your team. For many businesses, trying to create content internally ties up a lot of resources and forces people to perform tasks that they’re unfamiliar and/or unskilled with. Through outsourcing, your team is able to focus on the job duties and roles that they were hired for in the first place.
There are also some potential negatives to outsourcing. They include:
- Lack of control. Any time you give a task to someone outside of the four walls of your company, you lose some degree of control over the process. This is alarming for business owners who want to have their hands directly involved with everything.
- Increased costs. When you outsource, you’ll notice an immediate uptick in content creation costs. (However, you have to remember that you’re ultimately reclaiming time your team was spending on content and reallocating them to other tasks. So it’s really not as big of an increase as you think.)
- Micromanagement. In the early days of outsourcing content, be prepared to micromanage your contractors to ensure they’re living up to their end of the bargain. (This will become less of an issue as time passes and you develop trust and consistency with your team of writers.)
The good news is that the benefits far outweigh the negatives. It’s all about what you do with this opportunity.
4 tips for outsourcing without hurting quality
There are very few situations where outsourcing content doesn’t make sense. It’s almost always a smart play. Here are some tips to make it work for you:
1. Do it gradually
You don’t have to quit cold turkey. In other words, you don’t have to go from writing 100 percent of your own content one week to outsourcing everything the next week. Doing so will actually shock your system and jeopardize your marketing. The better approach is to do it gradually. Start by outsourcing one aspect of your strategy—like blogging—to a contractor and see how it goes. Then you can expand over time.
2. Create a style guide
A style guide, which is basically a singular document that explains who your brand is, what it stands for, and how it communicates with the marketplace, is vital. Take the time to create a content style guide that you can provide to any new content writer (outsourced or in-house) to bring them up to speed on what they need to know to produce powerful copy for your brand.
3. Look beyond writing
When evaluating outsourced content writers for your brand, look beyond writing skills. Yes, the quality of their writing matters, but it’s not the only relevant factor.
In addition to good writing skills, you want someone who is easy to communicate with, reliable, and trustworthy. If a content writer fails to check off all three of these boxes, you’ll have problems.
4. Develop processes
No matter how much you pay or how enthralling and creative the work is, there will always be turnover with outsourced content writers. Prepare for this by developing repeatable processes that you can easily hand off to another writer to continue producing quality content without a hitch.
Take your brand to the next level
There are hundreds of thousands of outsourced options in the marketplace. They range from cheap ($10 for a blog post) to very expensive (hundreds of dollars per post). But don’t get so caught up in pricing that you miss the bigger point: You need quality content that aligns with your brand and helps you convert prospects into customers.
Use this article as a launching pad. Let it guide your decision-making in such a way that you’re able to generate high-quality content that elevates your brand’s status in the marketplace.