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Should You Outsource Content Marketing? 6 Questions to Consider

Content marketing is a significant part of any digital marketing tool kit. Content that is SEO-optimised is even more important when it comes to increasing the visibility of your site, as 95% of people only look at the first page of the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs).

However, according to Zazzle Media, 60% of people find it difficult to create consistently valuable and well-written content. 32% of digital marketers also say that their content creation strategy is lacking.

So, if content is such a vital cog in the digital marketing machine, and you don’t have any available resources in your company, should you outsource this function to a content marketing agency?

Here are six questions you should consider before outsourcing.

1. Do You Have The Skills In-House?

Before you decide to hire a content marketing agency, have another look at your team and see if they have the skills that you need to produce great content. Creating outstanding content is much more than being just a good writer. There are other skills – research, social media management, social listening, and the like – that the content marketing arm of your business needs to have. If your team already has these skills, you’re better off in-source this marketing function.

2. What Is Your Budget?

If you do decide to go the outsourcing route, see how much you can spend on your content marketing. Many agencies offer various packages to suit a variety of budgets, so look carefully at your options before you sign up with a content marketing organisation. Do your research and consider several agencies or freelancers. If you don’t have a big budget, consider going for a smaller agency, because the more prominent agencies are more likely to charge inflated rates as they have increased overheads.

3. Do You Want To Work With Freelancers or An Agency?

Depending on your preferences, you may choose to work with a content marketing agency or a freelancer. There are pros and cons, either choice:

  • With an agency, you’re always guaranteed on-time delivery as they have a number of resources who can manage your content creation. However, because so many people are working on your material, the outputs that you receive may be worded slightly differently as you will be having different voices coming through.

  • If you decide to work with a freelancer, you’ll have that personal touch as the person who you’re dealing with is also writing the content. As such, you know that the quality of work that you’ll be getting is consistent. However, if your demands increase the freelancer substantially may not be able to cope with the increased workload.

4. What is Your Content Strategy?

For your content marketing to work well, you need to have a solid strategy in place, which needs to have the answers to questions such as:

  • What do I want to achieve with my content marketing strategy?

  • What type of content do I want to put out into the marketplace?

  • What takeaways do I want my clients or potential consumers to have about my brand and me?

Once you’ve responded to these questions, you can start designing a structure of content that you want to disseminate. For example, consumers like to know what goes on behind-the-scenes in a company, and you need to decide how much you want people to see. You also need to choose what type of content you want to put out, such as videos, blogs, articles, infographics or combination of all of these.

5. What is Your Content Marketing Workflow?

For any project to work successfully, there needs to be a proper workflow in place. Content marketing is no exception. If you decide to outsource your content marketing or develop a team in house, you need to establish a system so that all members of the team know what they need to do, as well as when and how long they have to do this. Questions you’ll need to answer are:

  • Will the content creator need to research the piece themselves or will they be provided the research?

  • How long will the content creator have to put these pieces together?

  • What happens if you don’t like a piece of content that is created? How long will you give them to redo it?

If you prefer working with freelancers, consider hiring an editorial project manager who will coordinate workflows, quality-check the writers’ work and put together editorial calendars so that you don’t have to.

6. How do You Measure Content Marketing Success?

With everything that you do in your business, you need to measure it so that you know  it’s working. There are several metrics that you should monitor to measure the success of your content marketing efforts. For example:

  • If you decide to outsource your content marketing, either with a freelancer or an agency, put in place certain key performance areas and key performance indicators which the outsourcer will need to meet.

  • In terms of measuring the effectiveness of your content marketing, a must is for you to have Google Analytics on your website, so that you can see which content pieces attracted the most visitors to your site.

The Beauty of Content Marketing

Content marketing is the most effective form of digital marketing to date, as it is quite cost-effective to produce and the returns are quite high. However, make sure that you don’t neglect your other forms of marketing in favour of content. The most effective marketing plan is an integrated one which combines aspects such as pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimisation and public relations with content marketing.

If you find that you are struggling with producing a steady stream of content, there are always other options available so that your company can still create high-quality content pieces. If you do decide to go the outsourcing route, don’t be afraid of trying out a number of options before you find the one that works for you.

How to Outsource Content Writing

Outsourcing your content writing can often seem treacherous. How do you trust someone that you don’t know with something as important as this? Content writers have similar nervousness about taking on new clients, as experience has shown that not every client is willing to pay for quality.

Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom. Finding the right fit for your business outsourcing needs often brings about the best possible results. The right content creators produce high quality work, within a fraction of the time, while doing what they love. As it stands, content creation is the top activity outsourced by B2B marketers. With the increase in need for content marketing, businesses must publish consistently high-quality and long-form content in order to remain relevant in the market.

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The most important thing to remember when it comes to content is, if you are looking to scale your business, you can’t do all the work yourself. There is no shame in hiring help, especially if that help will provide high-quality content more quickly than you are able to do alone. The second most important thing to remember is that cheaper is not always better. When it comes to content writing, you really do get what you pay for. But no need to worry, here are some simple things to remember when outsourcing your content writing.

How Can I Successfully Outsource my Content Writing?

The question of how to outsource content creation does not have to have a scary answer. In fact, it is rather simple once you understand the fundamentals. You need to develop a clear plan for your business that includes detailed descriptions on what you are looking for in a content creator, and what you are wanting to avoid. So let’s look into it:

Let Go of Your Fears

Do you have a fear of miscommunication? Does general distrust and the desire for control prevent you from reaching out? Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. This is something we like to refer to as “Post Traumatic Outsourcing Disorder,” and it’s a more common affliction than you might think. Outsourcing content creation can keep your business growing and your profits increasing, but you need to have a proper strategy if you want to avoid PTOD. Many businesses who have had poor dealings in the past with content creators, no longer know how to outsource content creation. But don’t worry, you will heal from this.

The best approach to outsourcing is prevention. Although that may sound counterintuitive, avoiding certain pitfalls will ensure that you don’t have a repeat of previous disappointments. Websites that offer fast, cheap, and high quality content sound too good to be true, and this is often the case. High quality content should be your biggest priority, and you should be willing to invest in it.

Make Wise Choices

Some content writers will offer inexpensive services while claiming to work with clients ‘across every major vertical service.’ This is all well and good, until you start to consider their work in horizontal services. Always pay attention to grammar and spelling mistakes in their posts. Professional content writers make very few mistakes, as they should have a thorough checking and editing process. Posts and applicant responses are a guide to the level of service you will be receiving if you hire them.

3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Outsourcing Content Writing

In trying to understand how to outsource content creation, there are some common mistakes that can be avoided to make the process smoother. So pay attention to the following:

  1.  Have a Strategy

The quality of your application process will dictate the quality of your content later on.  Having a proper strategy in place when you approach the process will ensure a better outcome. Consider what type of content you need; what voice your brand has; who your target audience is; what your goals are regarding content marketing; and how you prefer to communicate.

  1. Don’t Make a Decision Too Quickly

Do not rush to find a content creator. As with everything, making the right decision requires careful consideration. Make a list of qualities you want in a content creator, and hire based on them. Putting in a little extra effort will ensure better results.

  1. You Get What You Pay For

As mentioned previously, cheaper does not mean better. You should never be looking to score a deal when it comes to outsourcing content writing. You should definitely have a budget in mind, but you should not compromise on content quality in order to keep costs low.

Some Advice on Successfully Outsourcing Content Writing

When it comes to outsourcing content creation, communication is key. Not only should you have a clear strategy within your business, you should communicate this to your potential content creators. You should include in your strategy: a definitive budget, set deadlines, and a clear and well thought out vetting process for potential writers. Evaluate your writers based on prior writing samples, or test their skills by asking them to complete a small trial task. A good content writer should always be willing to prove their abilities.

Another good option for outsourcing is to hire a content writing agency. Agencies provide professionalism, experience and flexibility that may often be lacking in freelancers. Agencies take care of the vetting process for you, so you know that you will likely be receiving quality content. However, you still have, and should definitely use, the option of asking for a trial task.

Go Ahead, Get Started

A better understanding of how to outsource content creation can make the process smoother and more stress free. The key is to go into the process with a clear strategy and a deep understanding of what your intentions are, and what you are looking for in a content writer. While the budget is important, you should never lower your standards to save money, as this is a short road to losing brand value. If you are still a bit confused about the process, maybe we can help.

10 Advantages of Outsourcing Content Creation

One of the latest business debates appears to be centred around whether or not outsourcing is better than in-house work – especially when it comes to content creation. In order to weigh in on this topic, we need to understand how outsourcing works, and the advantages it can bring to the table.

Like any specialist, outsourced content creators are best viewed as an investment for the future of a business. It can be daunting to give control of a specific project to a third party. However, it is a minor sacrifice to make when considering the benefits that come from this kind of business relationship. Here are some advantages to outsourcing that may sway the debate.

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  1. Saving Costs
    It is far from a secret that businesses are created to make money. It would make sense, therefore, for a business to do what it can to keep costs low, and in turn, increase turnover. Outsourcing of projects has a simple knock-on effect. It saves you the cost of employing people full-time for the same job, and providing all the employee benefits related to the job. Furthermore, during peak times of the year, the business does not need to hire seasonal workers in order to keep up with demand. Temporary workers and full time staff can require specialised training that often results in cost to the company, and time taken off to do the training. Thankfully, outsourced specialists are already trained to do the job and, therefore, do not require the business to invest further than the actual work itself.

    By outsourcing content creation to outsource partners, you are able to be more flexible with the money that would have been spent on in-house employees. It frees up the budget for more important office investments – such as a new office coffee machine, perhaps? If your business is looking to enter a new market, or be more experimental in how they approach content, outsourcing is a way to maintain current projects in-house, while allowing the outsource partners to take on the more creative projects. That way, if you decide to go in a different direction, you will not have lost valuable time on necessary work, and the cost of the experiment will be low.

  1. Multitasking and Fast Turnaround Times
    Simply put, outsourcing saves time. The majority of outsourcing partners have quick turnaround times, often completing small to medium sized projects within a week. What could potentially take an in-house employee longer to complete, due to a build-up of other projects, will take an outsource partner a shorter time. Freeing up time on smaller content projects will leave the in-house employees with more time to complete the more important aspects of their work.

    Multitasking is another benefit of using outsourcing. With outsourcing firms employing a multitude of talented people, you can outsource multiple projects to the firm, without concern for when and how it will be completed. What may take one in-house employee longer to complete, can be done by multiple outsourced creators, saving you time and effort.

  1. Experience and Expertise
    It would make sense, in any type of business, to hire a person who is best suited to the job. This can be difficult, however, when hiring of new employees is not an option. This is where outsourcing is a good choice. Outsource firms offer employees with extensive knowledge and experience in a multitude of fields, meaning that you are able to hand-pick the best person for the job. There is no need, therefore, to worry about hiring new people, or training current employees. The expert you need is right at your fingertips. Furthermore, outsourced content creators are inclined to keep up to date with the latest trends and practices, in order to remain relevant in the industry. This is a major benefit for your business, as it means that the work you will receive will be current and on trend.
  1. No More Burn-Out
    Trying to keep up to date with market trends, content preferences, and how best to use content, while still creating the content itself, can be taxing on anyone. It makes it difficult to remain excited about the content you use, and in turn, about the general operation of the business. Outsourcing is an easy answer to this problem. Outsourced creators can take away the monotonous aspects of content creating, and leave you to complete the more important, and often more exciting tasks. Maintaining enthusiasm for your work can increase productivity, and overall job satisfaction. This is important for any business, as happy employees work better for longer, and are less likely to seek other employment.
  1. Higher Return on Investment
    Outsourcing content creation often helps a business to get more online traffic, more engaged readers, and more leads. The people employed by outsourcing firms are experts in how to use content to get more traffic, and how to manipulate content for search engine use. By using outsourced partners, your business can become more visible online, thereby encouraging new readers, and increasing potential customers. Furthermore, the more readers you get, the more likely it will be for a search engine to trust and promote your site, which further increases online presence, attracting more clients in perpetuity.
  1. Maintain a Strong Content Marketing Strategy
    Due to the fact that outsource firms know and understand how best to use content marketing, they can assist to strength, or even create, an effective content marketing strategy for your business. These firms have extensive industry knowledge and experience, making them well-versed in which types of content are best suited to marketing, and the potential they may have of increasing audience engagement. Furthermore, they are able to analyse and evaluate content performance, and use this information to determine what should or should not be changed to get better results.
    Outsource firms have all the relevant tools and skills to best determine where and how marketing strategies perform well, and how they should be implemented for the best possible outcome.

  1. Gain a Trusted Partner
    Choosing the correct outsourcing partner can lead to a strong, dependable business relationship. Trustworthy partners can make a difference for any business, particularly when it comes to marketing. Building a relationship with your outsource partner will allow for them to establish how your business operates, and how best to create content suited to your needs. They will be able to help you make the most out of your content, and potentially assist in growing your business too. Often, outsource partners become an extension of your in-house team (minus all the drawbacks) and assist to increase your capacity. Dependable partners create dependable work – it is that simple.
  1. Greater Content Reach
    Many outsource partners are masters of social media. They are able to ensure that your content reaches more people, quickly and effectively. Content creators for these firms are experts at call-to-action content and understand the psychology behind this type of marketing. Furthermore, the best firms often share your content within their own networks, increasing your visibility, and word-of-mouth dependability. 

  2. Greater Content Reach
    Many outsource partners are masters of social media. They are able to ensure that your content reaches more people, quickly and effectively. Content creators for these firms are experts at call-to-action content and understand the psychology behind this type of marketing. Furthermore, the best firms often share your content within their own networks, increasing your visibility, and word-of-mouth dependability. 
  1. Create a Wider Range of Content
    As mentioned previously, outsourcing content creation allows for creativity and freedom to experiment with different types of content. This experimentation allows your business to find the best possible type of content, or to branch out into a new form of content.

    Outsourcing relieves the stress of sending current employees on training for new types of content creation, particularly if you don’t know whether or not said content is right for your business. Keeping current employees up-to-date with the ever changing content trends can be costly. This is why it is best to outsource this kind of work, as the firms are always on top of the trends.

    In the event that you are not sure which form of content is best for your business, outsource partners are able to assess your needs and recommend the best type of content.

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Are We Still Debating?
Taking into consideration all the advantages of outsourcing content creation, it becomes more difficult to see why businesses are still debating whether or not to use these firms. From lower costs and increased productivity, to greater reliability and expertise, outsourcing is quickly becoming a business necessity. So perhaps it is time to stop debating, start saving, and go find that new office coffee machine.

Advantages of Writing White Papers for B2B companies

For those who missed out yesterday Goodman Lantern launched a research paper on Advantages of Writing White Papers for B2B companies. White papers have repeatedly proven to move prospects through the sales funnel and benefit businesses especially for sales within a business to business environment.
According to Ric Mccarthy at GM Digital “For us White Papers have proven to be a very effective form of business communication”.