When does it make sense to outsource content creation?
Content can either be created in-house or by third parties, whether they are individual freelancers or fully-fledged copywriting agencies. Both methods have their strengths and weaknesses. In fact, real-world marketing operations often blend the two, using external partners when necessary, while retaining close control over core assets.
As you might expect from a copywriting community, greatcontent is definitely in favour of outsourcing content when it makes sense. But when is the right time to do so? In this blog, we'll try to answer that crucial question, providing insights that could influence the timing of your next content creation project.
Why is Outsourcing Content a Good Idea?
Before we talk about timing, we need to lay out a few general arguments for using third-party content partners. For some companies, letting go of their blogs or landing pages can be difficult to do, but there are some key reasons to do so.
Most importantly, outsourcing bulk content or second-tier content can free up your time to focus on what really matters. Instead of slaving away over relatively minor pieces of writing, you can work on white papers or presentations. Or you could burnish your reputation as a thought leader by pitching articles to major online media outlets.
External partners can also bring specialist skills to the table. Not all of us are experts in contemporary furnishings or spa treatments, but third-party content agencies can often supply very specific knowledge.
Finally, not all marketers are expert writers. If you have any doubts about the quality of your writing, you can reach out to third parties to supply fluent creators. It's a good way of turning your great ideas into beautiful, appealing copy.
Having said all of that, let's move onto the heart of the matter: timing.
1. Keep Your Focus on the Funnel
As a general rule, companies find it easier to outsource content creation when the stakes are lower, and where precision is less important than actually creating large amounts of unique, SEO-ready content.
In terms of the marketing funnel scheme, this often relates to "top of the funnel" or TOFU level writing. Not all companies rely on this concept to generate traffic, but if you do use large numbers of TOFU pages to build SEO rankings, this is often a good place to start outsourcing.
Further down the funnel, it can still be useful to look outside your core team, but balancing quality and convenience may be an issue. So look for content creators you can rely on.
2. Monitor In-House Performance to Detect Overload
It's also important to know when your own team has become saturated with work, and can no longer expand to meet your business needs. This can happen surprisingly quickly when sales spike, or when web traffic grows for any reason, and it can be a major obstacle to continuing growth.
If you see the performance of individual texts starting to falter, or your ROI on content isn't what it should be, there may be a case for outsourcing extra content. An overworked team is usually a poorly-performing team. By bringing in experts to supplement their work, you can allow yourself and your staff to work smarter.
3. Outsource After Creating a Solid Marketing Plan
Another thing we've learned at greatcontent is that choosing to outsource content creation isn't enough in itself. Companies also need to have a vision of how third-party content will fit into their overall SEO strategy. If not, additional content may duplicate existing assets, or fail to meet brand goals.
Because of this, it's always unwise to outsource content before you have come up with detailed plans about how each piece of content will function. This goes beyond keyword research, touching on brand reputation, site architecture, and how texts connect with the pages that already exist.
This plan also allows you to approach content creators with a clear idea about what you want them to do. Detailed but easy to follow briefs and useful supporting documents will all help to polish and refine the work you commission.
Pick the Ideal Moment to Start Outsourcing Content
If your operations are ready to expand, and you don't have the capacity to create the content required, it's probably time to outsource content creation. Done well, it's a smooth, flexible, and painless supplement to corporate operations. And it can be a very cost-effective alternative to hiring fresh staff to carry out in-house work.
At greatcontent, we are ready to help. So feel free to reach out to our content experts for more information on how the whole process of outsourcing content creation works. Make an appointment for an individual consulting today.
Text: Sam Urquhart
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