How to Outsource Content Marketing
It’s no secret that content marketing is a great tool to help grow your business. But it can be challenging to see how you can add a full-on content strategy to your already full workload. What if you didn’t have to do the planning, content creation, and implementation yourself? Learning how to outsource content marketing can save your business time and help you earn more.
What is Content Marketing?
Before you outsource, what is content marketing? Content marketing is creating and publishing valuable content, like blog posts or email newsletters, to attract potential customers. The content is designed to engage those customers by answering their questions and building trust between the company and the customer long before making a purchase.
Valuable content addresses questions that potential customers are often searching for. Content marketing supports the customer journey by consistently sharing new information. This strategy increases brand awareness because the customer gets to know the company through their helpful content.
The Benefits of Outsourcing Content Marketing
Content marketing is a great way to bring in new leads, but only some companies have the resources to execute a content marketing strategy in-house. And if that’s the case for you, outsourcing content marketing can be a great option. Outsourcing your company’s content marketing has many benefits.
When you outsource content, you don’t have to do it yourself. Content marketing takes a lot of time when it’s done right. That means you need time to research keywords, write content, publish it, and promote it on social media.
If your company is small or you don’t have a content marketing specialist on staff, that can put the burden of content marketing on the shoulders of someone who already has a full-time workload. When you outsource content, everyone in your company can focus on their work, and professionals will handle the content. It saves you time that you can use to do the work of running the business.
Cheaper Than Hiring Full-time
Hiring a full-time person can cost your business tens of thousands of dollars yearly in payroll, benefits, and training. That doesn’t even consider the cost of IT and equipment you’ll need for a full-time team member.
Outsourcing content is a great way to avoid these costs. Content marketing contractors factor the costs of their services into their overall rates. And because they contract with multiple companies, the cost for you is much more affordable.
Get Fresh Ideas and Perspectives
Telling your company’s story in your own words is important, and it’s something all businesses should do. But hiring a contractor can be helpful too.
Content marketers outside the company have a different perspective and can express ideas in a way you probably wouldn’t. These writers know marketing trends and have years of experience they can bring to your content. And as outsiders, they have fresh ideas about your content because they haven’t been writing about your company as long as you have.
Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to have a full-time content writer on your team, especially when you know your content marketing needs will change. There are seasons in your business when you may want to publish one post a week, and during other seasons, you may want to publish three.
Also, depending on your industry, there may be times when it makes more sense to focus on a different kind of marketing. When you work with contractors, you have the flexibility to get the amount and type of content marketing you need at that time. Outsourcing offers you flexibility.
Gain Access to a Team of Experts
You’re an expert in your industry with a business to show for it, but you’re probably not a content marketing expert.
Agencies hire multiple writers, each with their own background and experience. When you contract with an agency, they will find the staff with the best experience to handle your content. And the best part? They have a background that fits your industry and expertise in content marketing.
Insight into the Latest Trends and Resources
You keep an eye on your industry. You know what’s happening, and you can likely predict some of the upcoming trends. But can you also do that for content marketing?
When you work with a professional who knows how to be an effective content producer, they keep an eye on their industry the same way you do. They know what methods work best to achieve your goals, and they know Google’s ever-changing best practices. Outsourcing your content means that you get access to insight.
Publish More Content More Frequently
High-quality, high-value content takes time. There’s a limit to how much content a single person can create in a day. And depending on the type of content you’re looking for, a writer may be unable to research, write, edit, publish, and promote more than one piece of content in a week.
If publishing good content consistently has been a challenge for you, outsourcing can change all that. Instead of focusing on one person’s efforts, you can hire multiple contractors or work with an agency that employs multiple writers. That way, you can get more content faster and publish it more often.
Produce and Publish Content Faster and More Efficiently
While you may loathe how long it takes to create one piece of content in-house, you’ll love how quickly an agency can create it. Because your content contractors focus solely on creating content, they can hit deadlines faster and turn around more content than someone who is also doing another job.
Freelancers are often paid by the piece or the word, and agencies sell entire packages. In either case, it benefits both to finish content quickly and efficiently so they can earn more over time. And it benefits you because you can publish more content faster.
How to Outsource Content Marketing: The Process
It’s easy to see how outsourcing can help your business. But how do you actually outsource your content marketing? These steps will help you find an agency and create a plan for working together.
Determine What Content and Services You Need
There are a lot of different content services out there, and you don’t want to pay for a service you don’t need. So, before you hire someone, take a moment to consider where you need help. Think about where bottlenecks are in your process or goals you aren’t meeting. That will help you determine which services you should seek out.
Commonly outsourced content marketing services include:
- Topic ideation/research
- SEO keyword research
- Editing and proofreading
- Content promotion
While you’ll want to take the advice of the expert you hire, it’s essential to have an idea of what you’re looking for to start the search.
Decide Between Hiring a Freelancer or a Content Marketing Agency
There are benefits and drawbacks to working with both freelancers and content marketing agencies. Your needs and budget will help you determine the best option.
When working with an agency, you communicate with one point of contact. They have a bigger pool of resources and expertise and can handle more complex and demanding projects with wider scopes. Your account manager will coordinate your content with their team of writers, and they’ll send you regular updates about the process.
If you only have one type of task you need completed, a freelancer is a good option. But their resources are limited, and they likely only specialize in one thing. So if you decide you want to add something to your content marketing, they might be unable to help you. And while they may cost less than an agency, you’ll be stuck coordinating with multiple freelance contractors as your needs change.
Gather Information About Your Business
Before you hire anyone, you need to gather important information about your business. This information will help your contractor hit the ground running when it’s time to create content.
Information your content marketer will need includes:
- Brand identity/voice
- Mission statement
- Unique selling proposition
- Target market & buyer personas
- Keywords & SEO goals
- Existing content
If you don’t have all these before you hire someone, don’t worry. A content marketing agency will be able to help you clarify these concepts.
Consult With Your Content Specialist
Before you start working together, you must talk with your content marketing specialist. Ask them about their relevant expertise or if they can provide examples of past work. You’ll also want to know their rates and the process of working with them. Ask them for references and talk to some of their other clients.
They’ll likely have questions for you as well. A professional will want to know your goals, target market, and as much about your brand identity as possible.
Talking with your content specialist will help you both set expectations for the working relationship.
Form Your Agreement
When you’re ready to hire your content marketer, make sure all the details of your agreement are in writing. If you’re working with an agency, they’ll have contracts ready for you to sign. But if you’re working with a freelancer, you may need to create the contracts yourself.
Make sure the agreement’s budget, schedule, and goals are clear, and both sides understand what deliverables will be due and when. Agencies will also send reports and updates about the work they’re doing for you, so make sure that’s in agreement as well.
Create a Content Calendar
Your content calendar is a guide for all the content that your content marketer will create. It helps you plan what topics you’ll cover, the keywords you’ll target for each piece of content, formatting specifications, important calls to action, and the publication date for each piece. Sometimes, content calendars are created in spreadsheets, project management software, or even actual calendars.
Most companies build their content around specific pillars relevant to their business. When you’re working with a content agency or freelancer, it’s important to establish these pillars, so your content is cohesive.
If you’re working with a content marketing agency, they can create a content calendar for you to review and approve. A freelancer will likely expect you to outline the content calendar for them.
Review and Publish Content
When your contractor completes the content, it’s time for you to review it. If you’re working with an agency, the team will have checked the content for plagiarism, grammar, and SEO. You’ll need to review the content to make sure the piece meets your standards and stays true to your business’s brand voice.
If you like it, it’s time to schedule the content to be published. If not, you can send it back to the writer to make revisions. Be aware of your agreement, though. They may charge you extra if you didn’t account for potential rewrites in your agreement.
Once you publish the content, share it on social media and in your newsletter.
If you’re working with a content marketing agency, publishing and promoting the content may be part of your contract.
While you likely won’t see instant results from content marketing, you should still keep an eye on analytics. Your traffic will slowly build over time. Create a schedule for checking in on your site traffic and how your content is performing. Google Analytics is a great way to see how these marketing efforts are paying off.
Many agencies will also help you keep track of this information as part of your content agreement. So, if you know that’s something you’d like them to manage for you, make sure you include it in your agreement.
How Much Should You Expect to Pay?
Even if you see the value in outsourcing your content marketing, you probably want to know the cost before you sign up. And the answer to that is it varies.
The cost of content marketing depends on several factors. The services you need, the experience level of the freelancer or agency you’re working with, the skills they have, and your location all play a role in determining the cost of content marketing.
The average small-to-midsize business spends between $2,000 to $12,000 on content marketing each month.
Are You Ready to Outsource Your Content Marketing?
At Content Journey, we specialize in all things content. We love creating valuable, well-researched content marketing of all types for our clients. If you’re ready to outsource your content marketing, contact us today. We’d love to hear about your goals and how we can help you reach them.