6 Steps To Outsource Content Creation
Content marketing can be one of the most powerful tools in the digital marketing arsenal. Creating informational content on your website is a powerful way to attract, engage and convert potential customers. As you create blog posts, articles and other kinds of content that will interest your target audience, you can drive your strategic business goals. However, creating all that material isn’t an easy undertaking. Therefore, you may want to outsource content creation to a freelancer or work with copywriting services.
For businesses small and large, hiring professional content writers can be the key to an effective content marketing strategy. Of course, doing so is often easier said than done. The following guide will help you get started outsourcing your content creation so that you can achieve optimal results.
Reasons To Outsource Content Creation
Before examining how to outsource, it is helpful to fully understand why outsourcing content creatoin is such a good idea for many businesses. The simple reason is that you can get better results faster and for less money in many cases. This may sound like it is too good to be true, but it isn’t. These are some of the benefits that outsourcing can deliver:
- Dedicated Writer: One of the key challenges of using your existing team member (or yourself) is the fact that you both have other responsibilities. There are other interests competing for a finite amount of your time. Conversely, an outsourced writer is solely dedicated to writing content. He or she can turn around pieces more quickly and on a more consistent schedule.
- Expertise in Content Marketing: As with any other role in your business, there is a lot to be said for hiring an expert to handle content creation. If you work with an agency that specializes in content marketing, you can be confident that the work will be backed by professionalism and expertise. That can make a huge difference in how impactful your content is (increasing your return on investment).
- Cost-Efficiency: In most cases, you will spend less on an outsourced content writer than on any other option. While a full-time writer may cost less per hour, that assumes that you make optimal use of that writer’s time. Having a non-writer create content for your website will be very inefficient. When you outsource, you only pay for what you get.
- Access To Topic Experts: When you outsource content creation, you aren’t married to a single writer. This is especially true if you choose an agency with a variety of writers available. If you need an expert on a particular topic, you can find one to work on a specific piece of content.
How To Get Started Outsourcing Content Creation
Now that you know that you want to outsource to a freelancer or agency, you are ready to get started. However, just having the intention isn’t enough. You also need a plan for how you will find and hire the right writer. The following six steps will help.
1) Identify Your Goals
Before starting to search for an outsourced writer, it is essential to establish your goals. As with all forms of marketing, content marketing is at its best when backed by strong goals. The most immediate benefit of this is that you will be better positioned to communicate what you want to potential writers.
Start by considering what your overall strategic and marketing goals are for content creation. For example, you may want to increase sales by 50% in the next three years. Your goals may be more modest or more ambitious and they may be defined in other terms. However, having specific and measurable strategic goals is necessary.
Next, think about how outsourcing content creation will support those larger goals. You may want to double your organic inbound website traffic in the next year, so a good plan would be to publish outsourced content consistently and focus on keywords. Alternatively, you may want to earn views from a new target audience. Again, being able to share your specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and time-bound goals with your potential writers will help ensure your satisfaction.
You may also have some more logistical goals. For example, you may want to create new articles for your blog on a weekly basis. Regardless of whether it is a hard-and-fast requirement, it is a good idea to identify your expectations in terms of schedule, quality, tone and voice.
By thinking through what your content will look like, you will set yourself up to find the best writer more easily. After all, you can’t find someone who is the right fit if you don’t know what that fit is.
2) Set Parameters for Outsourcing Your Content Creation
Beyond your goals, it is also helpful to know some of the parameters of what you are looking for. Perhaps the most important of these is your budget. Every organization has different needs and expectations in terms of marketing expenses. You can approach this from the perspective of what you can afford, or you can set a realistic budget based on your goals.
Keep in mind that you often get what you pay for. There are certainly some diamonds in the rough. However, some business teams have been disappointed after opting for the most cut-rate article writer they could find. In many cases, it pays to invest a little more and get high-quality work.
Ultimately, a knowledgeable and experienced writer will pay for him or herself. Content marketing works, especially when you outsource article writing to skilled freelancers or agencies. If you are putting out blogs, videos and web pages that engage your audience, you will see a substantial return on investment.
In addition to your budget, think about what your timeliness expectations are. If you have something that you want to have written, when would you typically need it by? If you want consistency, content writing agencies have the most reliability in the long run. And of course, some teams like to work at breakneck speed while others are okay with a more relaxed pace. Keep in mind that faster turnaround is usually more expensive.
3) Write Your Job Description
Using the information that you have gathered, start writing your job description. Even when you outsource content creation, a well-written job description can have a huge impact on your search outcomes. If you decide to pursue an agency rather than a single writer, you may want to format the document as a brief or a request for proposals. However, the long and short of this step is the same: communicate your needs and requirements in a concise and informative way.
The most important element to explain in your description is your content marketing goal(s). When you outsource content creation, there are a lot of possible service providers. Being clear about your objectives will help to thin out the pack significantly, allowing you to spend more time talking to writers who can really help you.
Don’t forget to detail your timeline and schedule expectations as well. Again, if you need daily content, there is no point in talking with a writer who can only offer a few hours per week.
Finally, try to avoid using vague language. Many teams have a tendency to say they are looking for “rock stars” or similarly vague terms. This doesn’t narrow down your search at all. Try to limit the description to information that will determine whether you and a writer are a good fit.
4) Decide Whether You Want To Use an Agency
You will need to make the important decision about whether to use an agency or not. There are a lot of reasons to choose an agency over an individual.
- Multiple Writers: Most writing agencies employ numerous writers. Therefore, if one is unwell or taking a vacation, you won’t need to wait to get your content. Plus, if a writer gets a new job and leaves the agency, you don’t have to start the search all over again. In short, when you outsource content creation to an agency, you get a more reliable experience.
- Organized Process: For a lot of teams, the organized process offered by agencies can be immensely helpful. There are typically account managers who can help you to submit orders and plan your content. Additionally, the writers have a streamlined process for receiving content briefs and completing and submitting content.
- Greater Odds of Success: Finally, agencies are just easier to trust in a lot of cases. While there are some excellent freelance writers out there, it can be hard to know who will truly be able to deliver results for your brand. Conversely, agencies tend to have more established track records. They also know their niche specialties.
In some cases, hiring an individual may be better. They may be less expensive, and you can foster a more personal relationship. However, for many businesses of every size, the backing of an agency is worth seeking out.
5) Send Your Description
Next, it is time to send your job description, brief or RFP to some potential applicants. If you are looking for an agency to outsource your content creation, it is typically easiest to simply research some and contact them directly. However, if you are looking to outsource content from an individual writer, you will need to search a little more deeply.
Some job-posting websites will allow you to post freelance jobs. However, it is often more effective to target websites for remote work. Some examples include UpWork, Freelancer.com and Flex Jobs. Additionally, you can consider more general websites such as Craigslist. However, these will tend to return weaker results.
One of the best ways to find writers is to leverage your network. Simply ask some other business teams who they have worked with previously. Personal recommendations can help you find reliable and effective people. However, keep in mind that other businesses may have different requirements and expectations than you.
6) Get Samples
The final step when choosing to outsource content creation should be getting one or more writing samples. This is the most effective way to evaluate a writer’s work. While you can look at a portfolio, the examples may not be directly relevant to your needs.
Furthermore, you can use samples to test the efficacy of a potential writer. Keep in mind that you will likely need to pay for samples if you want to run and test them. This is usually the best way to go. You will not only get higher-quality writers who are interested in your job but will also have the legal right to benefit from the samples.
Commission a few samples and run them while tracking your KPIs. Then, evaluate whether the samples were effective enough for you to order more. If the writer is good but not quite achieving your goals, try changing your instructions. It is usually easier to home in on quality with an existing writer than to search for someone completely new.
Tips on Outsourcing Content Creation
The above steps will assist you in finding the right option to outsource. Of course, there are small lessons that can enable you to get more from your content marketing efforts. The following tips will help maximize the impact of your outsourcing efforts:
- Focus on Long-Term Relationships: You will almost always get better results from someone you have worked with before. If your first try with a writer isn’t perfect but you can see some potential, keep working together to see if you can find the right stride. Over time, you will likely foster an excellent working relationship.
- Reward Your Writers: People like to be rewarded when they do a good job. You can show your writers how much you appreciate them by sending messages of gratitude. Providing some financial incentives may also be a good idea, especially if you are working with individuals rather than agencies.
- Work on Instruction-Giving: Don’t expect your writer to read your mind when you outsource content creation. Giving clear instructions is a skill that needs to be practiced. There are some special nuances for writing that you will learn as you go. Take some time to work on this and ask the writer for feedback on how you can be clearer.
Outsource Content Creation Today
Working with an outsourced writer or agency can be a great way to drive your content marketing success. BKA Content can help you outsource content creation and achieve optimal results. Our knowledgeable writers and account managers will help you to plan and execute high-quality content. Contact us today to learn more.