Over 200 million people use ad blockers, and that number is continuing to rise. This means that traditional online advertising is less visible than ever. In fact, the day may come when old methods fall entirely out of use. On the other hand, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional advertising, generates three times as much traffic, and is still an excellent way to market your brand. But who is going to do all the work?
In some cases, you can execute a content strategy alone or internally. In other cases, outsourcing content writing will definitely serve you well. Take the time to learn when and how to pass content marketing tasks to someone else.
Relevant Class: Introduction to Content Marketing Strategy
First, Discover the Right Time to Outsource
Can you handle your content strategy execution alone? It is a lot of work, and the idea of delegating it to someone else is enticing. But consider carefully before making any decisions. Here are criteria to help assess what’s best for you:
Reasons you should consider outsourcing content writing:
- Your internal team is running short on time or simply does not have the necessary skills.
- You have the budget to hire a specialized content writer.
- You understand the difference between freelancers and agencies.
- The project you are working on does not require much personal interaction.
- You can find a content writer / marketer specializing in your niche.
- You are clear on the process a freelancer or agency will take to complete the required tasks.
- You have or will set measurable, attainable content marketing goals.
- Content will compliment your other marketing and advertising efforts.
Reasons you should wait to outsource:
- You are not clear on your content marketing goals.
- You do not have the budget to hire someone.
- Someone on your team can handle the workload.
- You do not know whether a freelancer or agency would be the best fit for your project.
- Your current project requires too much personal interaction to be worth your time.
- Content marketing will not work with your current marketing efforts (this is rare).
- You cannot find the right person, externally, for the job.
- Your team has plenty of time to complete the tasks, and can train for certain aspects.
Relevant Class: Creating and Curating Content People Love
Which of the above scenarios looks more like your current situation? If you have taken stock of the relevant factors and think it’s time to hire help, read on. If not, invest your energy preparing for the time when you will want to outsource: raise the funds, learn about agencies vs. freelancers, and have a plan for securing help when you need it.
Then, Learn How Outsourcing Content Strategy Works
You might think outsourcing your content creation is as easy as a quick google search, contact with a professional, and sending an outline of your parameters. After that, you may expect your content marketing to work miraculously on auto-pilot. Sadly, this is not the case. There is much more that goes into it. This is how to outsource for true success.
Step 1: Set Measurable, Attainable Goals
If you have not already set measurable, attainable goals for your content strategy, this should be done right away. The aim of a new strategy is critical for success. No matter who you choose to hire, there must be a way to know whether or not the plan is working. As you move forward with any content strategy, you should analyze to see what is working, what’s not working, and make adjustments accordingly. When it comes time to interview someone for the position, they should know your goals, so they can judge whether they are right for the job.
Step 2: Create a List of Blog Topics That Can be Written
As the manager of this project, in the beginning at least, it is your job to come up with potential topics to be written. Whether you are posting everything on your own blog or using the content as part of a backlinking strategy - like guest posting on authority blogs - the topics you choose should be relevant to your target audience, or provide SEO value.
Fortunately, there are helpful tools to make this process a breeze. Try these tools and services to come up with topic ideas quickly:
- Generate a week’s worth of topics in 30 seconds with Hubspot’s Blog Topic Generator.
- Explore creative topic ideas with Portent’s Content Idea Generator.
- Come up with Conversation Starters to alter for your blog topics.
- Enlist the help of professional writers to create topic ideas for you.
Step 3: Seek Out Specialized Talent
You can’t just hire any writer for your project. You need to have someone on board with experience in your niche. You don't want to hire someone specializing in law to work on an art blog. You don't want a naturopath writing on a blog designed to promote prescription medications. So although writing skills are important, they are secondary to specialized experience. If you're especially concerned about proper style, you can bring an editor to the project as well.
It’s difficult to say where your perfect freelancer or agency is hiding. Try looking on freelancer websites, check out the recommended agencies listed with your marketing platform, consider academic writing services, and/or post an ad on a job website. The more people you interview, the higher your chances of finding the right person for the job.
When it comes time to hire the right person, make sure that your current strategy, goals, topic ideas, and expectations are laid out up front. Choose a freelancer or agency that is experienced and confident in helping you execute your strategy, and check their work. You may want to add your own personal flair, or make changes to the final product until your new employee understands exactly how you want your articles.
Now you know when outsourcing content marketing is appropriate and how it works. If you’re ready, follow the steps above to start your journey towards content marketing success.
Janice Kersh is a freelance writer with vast experience in content marketing. In her spare time, she likes to cook, read sci-fi, and write in her blog - Janice Writing.
Want to learn more about any of the subjects mentioned above? Here are some relevant classes: Creating and Curating Content People Love, Introduction to Content Marketing Strategy, Content Marketing Implementation: Executing a Winning Content Program