You’ve read all the statistics. 70 percent of consumers prefer to learn about a company through a collection of informative articles rather than sales advertisements. But you’re just a small business with no prior experience in writing the value-added content your potential customers want. What do you do? Content outsourcing is the answer to your problem.
What Is Content Outsourcing?
Content outsourcing involves passing on the responsibility of certain aspects of your content marketing system to a third party. Commonly, this involves hiring freelancers to handle content creation, which is one of the most time-consuming aspects. However, for startups or small businesses lacking in staff and required skills, it may be necessary to outsource other parts of the process, including:
In the business-to-consumer (B2C) sector, 49 percent of marketers outsource content creation, while in the business-to-business (B2B) sector, 47 percent of marketers outsource content creation, according to the Content Marketing Institute. Outsourcing includes hiring writers for blogs and long-form articles. It also including finding designers for creating websites and infographics, and directors and producers for video content.
Reasons to Outsource
Content marketing is a time-consuming process for two reasons:
You need high-quality content
Nothing is going to kill your content marketing campaign quicker than poor content. A consistent level of good quality content helps to establish your reputation and credibility, and improves audience retention.
You need to maintain a regular publication schedule
Studies indicate that companies publishing 16 or more blog posts per month get 4.5 times more leads than companies publishing four or less blogs. Furthermore, marketers should aim to publish Facebook posts at least twice per day during the week.
Small companies, startups, and businesses with a limited marketing budget may find it difficult to maintain a full complement of marketing staff to meet the necessary demands of a content marketing campaign. In fact, 67 percent of B2B marketers lack a content marketing strategy simply because their team isn’t big enough to handle the workload. Content outsourcing is usually less expensive than hiring full-time staff, and makes it possible to produce lots of content.
Identifying When You Need to Outsource
The first step in content outsourcing is recognizing when you need to do it. Common indicators are:
- You were doing the work yourself. Now other company demands are making it difficult for you to find the time.
- You don’t have enough in-house staff to cover the workload.
- Your staff lacks the necessary skills to create high-quality content.
- Your business is growing rapidly and you need to outsource while you look for permanent staff.
- You want to make your content more interesting by promoting the different voices and perspectives of guest writers and freelancers.
- Your existing content is underperforming.
Recognizing when your content is underperforming involves establishing your marketing goals, and determining a metric for measuring your success. If your aim is to increase sales leads, you should consistently monitor sales leads generated from your campaigns to verify you’re getting a good return on your investment. If your content is failing to find a market, it may be time to call in the experts.
Different Options for Content Outsourcing
If you want to outsource some of your content, there are several ways to go about it. The right option depends on your marketing goals and budget.
Guest bloggers are professional bloggers who offer their services to companies and brands. Often they work without charge as a way of extending their own brand reach through the use of backlinks. Using the services of a guest writer is cost-effective. It also helps to improve your search ranking, as links are one of the most important ranking factors in Google’s search algorithm.
However, you need to maintain quality control. It’s important to review previous content from the blogger to ensure it’s in keeping with your brand message and of sufficiently high quality to be of benefit. Additionally, it’s not possible to rely on a constant stream of content from a guest writer.
Reaching out to freelancers is a common form of content outsourcing. It’s possible to search for freelance writers using Google, or to contact people through their social media profiles. However, the easiest option is to sign up with a content marketing platform or marketplace. Freelancers join the marketplace, providing a short bio and writing samples. You have the option to search for writers based on a wide range of criteria.
The best content marketing platforms go one step further, providing a complete software solution for finding content creators, creating content, and finalizing payments. In addition to streamlining the marketing process, using a platform or marketplace reduces the risk of working with people who aren’t right for the role, or who have misrepresented their talents.
Content Marketing Agencies
If you want to pass off all parts of the content marketing process to someone else, then a content marketing agency is the best option. Agencies have the skills and staff to build a marketing strategy to your specifications, create high-quality content, and serve that content to the correct audience. Agencies have SEO experts to boost your search rankings, and provide social media and influencer services. They also track success and work with you to refine and enhance your campaigns as required.
Of course, this level of service comes at a much higher price than simply hiring a freelancer to write some articles. Consider using an agency if you aren’t confident in your ability to put together a killer campaign. An agency has the know-how to ensure you have the best chance of getting the results you need.
Final Thought: Getting What You Pay For
Hiring freelancers may once have been a cost-effective way to get a large quantity of content, but not necessarily high-quality content. However, content marketing is changing and quality is now of paramount importance.
Your potential customers have the whole Internet to explore to find the answers they need. You must ensure readers are coming to you because they know your content is superior. Google uses content quality as one of the three most important search ranking factors, so good quality improves your brand profile and visibility.
With so much at stake, it’s worth carefully researching freelancers or guest writers before agreeing to work with them, to get a better understanding of content they produce. Always bear in mind the old adage, “you get what you pay for.” Sometimes it’s worth allocating a little more of your marketing budget to content outsourcing to make sure you get value for money.