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Google has spoken. The need for content is not in question. However, how to get it done often is. Outsourcing can provide what you need quicker than you can pull a staff member off of their current project. But keeping it in-house means you’ll be able to monitor the project every minute.
But is that truly the best use of your time?
But many companies avoid outsourcing due to the unknown. They’ve likely never hired a writer and have no idea what to pay them. Plus they’re not altogether sure about “this content marketing thing.” But outsourcing your content production actually saves money in most cases and allows your business to streamline your operations in other ways as well.
Image via flickr by Cubosch
In addition to the salary of an in-house writer, you’re likely paying for their benefits as well. Plus the time and energy in finding the right writer for you. Writers are not licensed. Outside of a portfolio, you have no guarantee they can do what they claim to be able to do. Plus many marketing writers these days work as ghost writers so it’s easy for them to claim ownership of an article. You need to spend time reviewing their portfolio and asking them to audition for you in the form of a fresh interview piece. All of this takes time.
Don’t forget the cost of any empty seat either. While you’re auditioning writers, trying to find the perfect blend between creative and journalistic, your content isn’t creating itself. Every day you’re not producing is another day that Google doesn’t know who you are.
Do you need a Santa Claus in May? Probably not. The same could be true of a content writer with expertise in a pricey area. Niche writers are often costly when you scout them on your own. This is particularly true if there’s not an ongoing need for that level of ability.
When you outsource your content, you can work with a firm that can find that expertise for you for as long as you need it. This option provides an incredible amount of agility to address your business and content-producing needs as they occur. That way you’re not paying for something year round that you only need once a quarter.
Take a look at your current marketing department. Can you pull someone from there and transform them into your top-notch content producer? Are they a good writer? Do they have training in SEO? Do they know how to research? These are just a couple of things they need to know. If you pull someone from in-house and convert them to your writer, you’ll need to train them, and training is costly. Plus while they’re being trained, who is performing their current job and who will do the job once they begin producing content full-time?
Best practices in copy and SEO are constantly revamped. New tools, features, and social media platforms come out seemingly monthly. Keeping up with changes to digital marketing and content creation is nearly a full-time job. When you hire a content creator, you need to ensure you select a life-long learner because this person must recognize the need for and perform professional development on their own. If you select a firm to handle your content creation, that burden of on-going training falls on them.
When you write about the same area over and over, it can feel very limiting. You may find internal people feeling like everything has already been said. When hiring a firm, you’re working with writers who have a broader view of the industry, as you’re not the only client. They can also use what they’ve learned about other industries to help in your storytelling.
Working with a firm can also save you on technology. Most content creation companies use collaborative marketing and project management tools. Often, you will be a part of the team approving pieces and making suggestions for changes through software that makes it easier than simply emailing a Word doc. The firm’s workflow may even inspire you to change your internal flow and the technology you use to do it.
Let’s face it. Your marketing department has a lot on its shoulders and content marketing is probably one of those things you would put at the bottom of a list of priorities — below the trade show marketing, below your web copy, below new wording for the brochures, and below the company prospectus. Do you know what happens to things on the bottom of everyone’s priority list? They don’t get done. Whether you want one blog post a week or need ten 800-word articles in a week, your head of marketing will never have to choose between getting those written and ensuring his staff is ready for the trade show.
When you’re working with a content creation company, there are no log jams and there’s no need to leave something undone. They’ll ramp up as necessary to meet your workload.
If you’re taking on content marketing, you need a strategy. A content creation agency can work with you to create a content marketing strategy that fits your goals. They’ll help you figure out the best way to meet your goals based on skills gained from working with dozens of other clients. If you’re a small business that doesn’t have the marketing expertise to put it together on your own, it’s a great time savings.
There are many benefits to working with a firm to create good, quality content. But in order to have the best experience possible, select a company that will work with you to understand your goals and write within your voice. You want these writers to produce the type of content that sounds like it emanated from your business. Get to know the firm you’re working with. Provide them with examples of what you like and you’ll save a lot more than just money.