Here are some fast statistics about outsourcing that you should know:
Clearly, outsourcing content has steadily risen in the past few years. And if you’re thinking of outsourcing content yourself, there are not a lot of reasons why it would be a bad idea – except perhaps for one. What happens to your narrative if you outsource your content marketing outside your company or organization?
With the right partner, it’ll become even better.
Why outsource content marketing? These are the common reasons why:
Ultimately, the benefit of outsourcing content is that it allows you to focus your time, resources, and personnel on the things that matter to running your business. Content is important, but if you can outsource your content writing and marketing for a fee and double down on what makes your business tick, why shouldn’t you do it?
That’s where the fear of losing control over your narrative comes in. It’s normal to feel some hesitation with letting a third party effectively speak for your brand as far as your content is concerned. Even if you’re not handing off all content and you still have a final say in what gets published, it can be difficult to let go.
So how can you hand off your content marketing strategy while keeping your narrative intact? Here are some steps you can follow:
First, you need to make sure that the company you’ve tapped to handle your content marketing is experienced in content production in general. Any company excelling in content writing can easily shift around their core skills and writing styles to accommodate the kind of narrative that you’ve been pushing, without stumbling through the process of getting it right.
In particular, your selected company or content partner should have these two things you can consult:
Case studies, samples, and other pieces of work that showcase their writing capabilities. Ideally, the more varied and flexible their samples are, the higher likelihood they can mesh with your given style. However, you can also look for a specific company that already specializes in the type of narrative and content that you want.
Testimonials may be a dime a dozen on other sites: but the ones from a content production company are usually a good benchmark of how good of a fit they’d be to work with. It’s easy to find proof of a content production company’s work – and you can independently verify that what they’ve done already works on your own.
If you already have confidence in their basic skill set, the next thing to make sure of is whether they work well with the narrative of your brand. All content production companies will have some sort of niche that they have the most experience in – but if you’re not picking one that is suited to your industry, then you need to pick one that can work well with what you’ve got.
Here are three characteristics/requirements you need to look out for.
Unless you’re building your content strategy or writing from scratch, it’s highly likely that you already have existing content – or even a writer – that you’ve been working with for a long time. A content production company should be able to work with what you already have and integrate it seamlessly into future content, both to preserve the narrative you've built around your brand and to keep your messaging consistent.
In the case that you’ve never really delved into the content side of your business, a good way to preserve your narrative while building the foundations of your content marketing is a style guide. By working closely with your goals and creating/integrating a style guide, your content partner should be able to keep narrative cohesion with any future content they’ll release on your behalf.
Finally, the expertise of a content production company means that they can integrate any developments in your industry with your content without disrupting your narrative. Even if significant changes happen, they can smoothly pivot your narrative to suit or frame these changes without any alterations.
Narratives may not always change over time – but the way you craft and tell the narrative usually does. This means that your content partner should have a long-term plan for how your content moves forward. More importantly, they should be able to work with you to improve and adjust your content marketing strategy while staying true to the spirit of your brand.
Here are four things you need to look for with long-term planning for your brand:
If you find that your content needs have scaled up to the point of adding new writers to your team, your content production company should be able to onboard any new personnel to be familiar with your narrative. This ensures that your messaging stays consistent even as more people get assigned to work on your content.
Many companies like to work closely with their content partners for their content marketing, but it’s also important to find a partner that can operate autonomously once you’ve finalized your overall content strategy. You don’t need to leave everything to your outsourced personnel, but they should be trustworthy enough to operate on their own without constant oversight, without fear of disrupting your narrative.
Content goals, strategies, and other essentials may change over time – and it’s important to track these changes and their effects. Your content partner should be able to integrate and record any changes you want to your overall content marketing strategy, without sacrificing the branding/narrative you’ve built up to that point.
Finally, the one thing you need to keep in mind is that any outsourcing should play into the long-term goals and operations of your company. While it’s not always feasible just to keep your content marketing to an outsourcing company for the entire lifespan of your brand, you should always feel confident that your narrative would be safe in their hands if you decide to work with them long-term.
One final note about picking who to outsource to: there is a lot of difference between picking an agency versus a freelancer. The key thing to keep in mind here is that an agency will most likely have better-trained writers with their staff, plus extra support from social media personnel and other people involved in content. Of course, their services do end up costing more, but it’s definitely a worthwhile investment.
By picking an agency, you can also guarantee that the writer assigned to your account has all the experience needed to handle your content the way that you wish. You don’t have to worry if your writer is preoccupied with other clients or accounts – one of the most common complaints of working with freelancers, and is usually the most responsible for getting subpar content.
Agencies can provide you a guarantee of quality that a freelancer just can’t provide; and their access to additional writers, resources, and other tools mean that it’s more feasible to scale your content marketing and your narrative without issue. Freelancers are still a good resource to tap for quick, one-off content needs: but for comprehensive content support for your narrative, you should pick an agency.
Outsourcing your content may seem like a challenge, but with a little time, patience, and the right content partner, it can be a great way to address your need for content without sacrificing your narrative. You’ll be able to use your content to define how your business grows, all without having to spend too much time on getting it done yourself.