Outsourced content done right

Jul 17, 2015 by
Outsourced content done right

In a previous article, we discussed some of the benefits of outsourcing your company’s blog. These include: third party expertise; the freedom to work on other projects with more spare time; and the ability to increase your brand awareness.

Once you’ve picked the right team of professionals who you feel will really improve how your business is represented, it’s important to establish a working relationship which enables your people to perform to the best of their abilities.

So if you have made the decision to outsource production of blog content, here are some tips to ensure that your team continue to produce high quality content on a regular basis that your audience will love.

Be extremely clear about your requirements

If you’ve been involved in one company for a while, it’s natural to develop a certain type of tunnel-vision – a certain way of doing things. This can be productive in a number of ways, but the way of doing things that you take for granted may not be self-explanatory or obvious to those working with your team from the outside.

For this reason, ambiguity is the number one killer of otherwise profitable outsourced working relationships. In addition to specific details regarding content, it’s essential that your copywriter has a clear grasp of your brand and its position within the marketplace, your tone of voice and the demographic of your audience. In order to avoid miscommunications, make sure the copywriter has as much information to hand as possible – this will save a huge amount of time later on when it comes to revisions and editing.

“If you want to create amazing content for your clients, you must provide amazing instructions to your writers,” says Steve Lazuka, founder of Interact Media.  “And it’s a tricky balance to strike – instructions must be at once comprehensive, and concise. But mastering this skill is critical to your success at outsourcing content creation, because your writers simply cannot read your mind, or that of your clients. As you work with writers more and more, however, they will get to know what [you] are looking for and require less instruction.”

Aim for consistency, not perfection

While it’s likely that editing will be more extensive during the initial phases of your working relationship (in order for the copywriter to understand your requirements fully), oftentimes a business owner may hold an impeccable standard for excellence which is, in effect, unattainable.

Good content is important, and any reputable copywriter will strive to deliver this for you. However, if you get to the stage where the content is well-written and informative, but you’re still going through multiple rounds of revisions in order to make it a flawless masterpiece, this can be extremely detrimental to your overall content strategy.

Michelangelo probably agonised over every facet of his work on the Sistine Chapel and I doubt Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead was finalised without a torturous amount of editing. However, blog posts are, by nature, easy to produce and quickly digestible. Therefore it makes no sense to go through a million rounds of edits to turn something light and informative into a literary masterpiece.

The main objective of a blog is to generate great content on a consistent basis to improve your site’s visibility, create a loyal following, bring in new clients and so forth. If you are agonising over every single piece of content your copywriter creates, you will never get to the stage where you have an abundance of content online. This isn’t to say you should ever sacrifice quality in order to stick to an upload schedule, but merely that fastidiousness should be avoided if you want your content strategy to provide tangible benefits for your business.

Experiment with new types of content

cambridge-web-marketing-co-blog-content-image-experiment-with-contentOne of the best things about bringing in external suppliers to produce content for you is that you are harnessing range of skills without people needing to be present in person. Outsourced content work doesn’t need to be strictly in the form of text-based blog posts – you may wish also to experiment with infographics, video content and audio content. You might be surprised to see that your audience really appreciates an infographic to go with one of your blog posts or a video to showcase the attributes of your new product. Outsourcing allows all of this to be possible without having to learn new skills yourself – so don’t be afraid to take advantage of the numerous content types available to you, even if they are unfamiliar to you!

Make the right decision!

Once you’ve provided your team with a clear set of instructions and as much information as they need, don’t be afraid to take the backseat and let the experts work their magic. While it’s important that everyone is on the same page in terms of goals, don’t be tempted to micromanage or make edits which aren’t essential to the ultimate success of the content strategy.