A whopping 93% of businesses invest in content marketing. There are many reasons why businesses pursue content marketing, but the most important one is to generate leads.
Content marketing involves complex aspects making it difficult for businesses to manage all of it on their own, and hence, needs outsourcing. The fact that 84% of the B2B startups have outsourced their content marketing says a lot about the time and effort it requires.
If you are looking for ways to save time and resources while improving the quality of your content, outsourcing is a strategy worth considering. In this post, we’ll cover 7 tips to help you navigate the process of outsourcing content marketing effortlessly.
7 tips to outsource your content marketing effortlessly
Outsourcing content marketing can be a tricky undertaking for many businesses because there are many elements to it. But it doesn’t have to be — as long as you consider the following tips.
1. Decide what you want to outsource
To decide what you should outsource, you should first assess your content marketing plan and the challenges.
Some of the most common content marketing challenges faced by businesses are:
1. Creating relatable content
2. Promoting content and attracting website traffic
3. Generating leads through content
4. Consistently pushing out quality content
5. Lack of a proper content distribution plan
6. Inability to optimize content
For example, B2B businesses need to create a considerable amount of TOFU (Top of the funnel) content, such as blog posts, newsletters, social media content, etc. For that, they should analyze their in-house content marketing team strengths. Then, segregate the tasks that can be done within the team and the tasks that need outsourcing.
Content marketing requires a lot of different skills and knowledge, for example, creating content, designing visuals, SEO optimization, marketing, etc,. And every team may not have expertise in all aspects. Hence, first you’ll need to identify the tasks you need to outsource.
To give you an idea, here are the type of experts and tasks for which you might need help:
1. Chief content officer – plans content and hires the content marketing experts/ team
2. Strategist – does market research and creates a strategy to meet marketing goals
3. Editor – takes care of the content output and publishing
4. Writer – writes content in sync with business goals
5. Designer – helps with visuals that enhance the written content
6. Content optimizer – the SEO expert who ensures the content ranks on SERPs
7. Analyst – researches data and keywords, tracks metrics, analyzes trends, etc.
8. Content marketer – helps with strategic content distribution, marketing, promotions, PR, etc.
9. Social media manager – manages content across social platforms, helps gain more engagement and reach new audiences
10. Content coordinator – liaises between different teams and individuals
You’ll have to decide what you need help with – content creation, publishing, distribution on social media, paid marketing, or all these aspects. And then outsource it to freelancers or a content marketing agency.
2. Create your brand’s style guide
A brand style guide is a list of guidelines that help a company communicate its identity and style through language and visuals. When it comes to branding, consistency is everything. It helps build brand recognition, which ultimately helps attract customers.
Hence, having a brand style guide is crucial for your content marketing efforts to be fruitful, and here’s how you can create one:
1. Start with a great brand story:
Your brand story should describe your company’s core values, mission, and vision. It should specify the things your company cares about and give shape to your business’s personality.
2. Create a recognizable brand logo:
People instantly recognize Facebook’s logo. That’s the power of branding. Having a logo that is easily recognizable is the key to successful branding.
3. Add your brand’s color palette:
Define your core color palette in your brand style guide and use it consistently. It helps people relate colors to your brand.
4. Decide on the typography that suits your brand:
Choose your fonts and specify them in your style guide. The correct typography includes the two most used fonts, the font sizes for headings & subheadings, and the font weight (bold, light, heavy, etc.).
5. Include your brand voice:
The brand voice is the most crucial aspect of marketing. It’s the voice that aligns with your brand’s personality. We recommend using business casual as your tone of voice.
6. Specify the visualization guidelines:
Inform the type of imagery to be used for your brand in the style guide. Are you going to be using images or illustrations? What type of images and illustrations? Mention all technical aspects of the imagery to make the brand look cohesive.
Having a brand style guide will make it easy for you to outsource your content marketing. It will allow everyone you hire to understand your brand philosophy and keep it consistent.
Here’s an example of how Shopify keeps its branding cohesive with its brand style guide.
Shopify consistently uses simple yet effective branding, making it easily recognizable. Their perfectly laid out brand philosophy makes it easy to follow for all the team members.
3. Decide whether to hire a freelancer or a content marketing agency
If you are looking for a team with a diverse set of skills to outsource your content marketing, then hiring an agency is the best choice. They would have a team that can help you with everything – from content writing, social media strategy to marketing, etc.
But, if you’re looking to outsource just one type of task and don’t require a team with different skill sets, then hiring a freelance content marketer would do.
Also keep in mind your future business goals. When you start off, you might need help with just one type of task, but in the future, you might want to leverage all your communication channels. It means you will need different experts. And only a content marketing agency can help you with that.
If your budget allows, then hire an agency. An agency will cater to all your content marketing needs and you won’t have to juggle between too many different outside hires. An agency like Contensify is a one-stop-shop for all your content marketing needs.
4. Do your research before hiring
It is vital to understand the expertise of the individuals or the agency before you start working with them. Here’s what you should do:
- Check for reviews/ testimonials on their website and get familiar with the kind of results they’ve brought for their clients.
- Go through their work portfolio and see if it matches your expectations.
- Ask plenty of questions before hiring. No question is big or small when it comes to hiring.
Consider asking these questions before you hire:
1. Do you have any experience with SEO?
2. What is your work process?
3. What is your turnaround time with the type of work we’re looking for?
4. Do you have any experience working in our industry? If yes, then show us your previous work?
SEO is a vital aspect of marketing. Nearly 70% of the businesses say that SEO alone has been more effective in driving sales rather than anything else – as it gets you ranked on search engines. Get information about their SEO expertise by asking for proof from past projects.
Next, figure out the work process they follow and how easy or difficult it would be to work with the agency.
5. Establish a clear workflow
Content marketing is not just about creating and publishing content. It requires well-established workflows. Content marketing includes ideation, creation, optimization, and then publishing the content to reach the masses. Each of these requires streamlining and processes to translate into the end result.
If you’re going to outsource, do have a look at what a well-defined content marketing workflow process looks like at Contensify:
The process of content creation:
1. A content strategy is created
2. Content ideas are generated
3. The work is assigned to a writer
4. The writer writes the article
5. An editor reviews it and shares feedback
6. The writer addresses the feedback
7. An SEO expert optimizes the content
8. A graphic designer designs the required visuals
9. The final piece of content is sent for client approval
10. The approved content is published online
11. The published content is then distributed through social media
12. The published content is then promoted via other channels – email marketing, etc.
13. The content is analyzed for its performance and data is collected
14. Data collected is reviewed and the strategy is tweaked accordingly
Now that you know the many steps involved in the creation and dissemination of one content piece, you’d agree that a well-defined workflow is extremely important to get work done efficiently. Therefore, we recommend creating a workflow along with the outsourced agency.
6. Follow a content calendar
According to Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 93% of the B2B companies use content marketing, but only 44% of those who have a well documented content strategy find success.
This proves the importance of having a documented content strategy. And among the most important elements is a content calendar. The content calendar is what gives you an overall birds-eye view of your content marketing tasks.
A content calendar helps:
- Give you enough preparation time
- Keeps you organized
- Plan your content in advance around important dates
- Get an overview of the month/ quarter/ year and fill gaps if any
- Avoid last minute panic situations
Here’s an example of a content marketing calendar from Buffer.
You can create a content calendar in-house if you have the required content staff or you can outsource this as well. If you outsource your strategy part and monthly content calendars, the hired professional or the agency will create one and send it for your approval.
7. Offer resources and be ready to guide
When you outsource content marketing, it is important to provide the agency/ freelancer with all the resources/ information they might need. It includes:
1. One-point contact/ coordinator
2. Contact information of the in-house employees
3. Contact information of the in-house subject matter experts
4. Brand style guide, content information sheets, etc
5. Access to the website to make updates or publish content
6. Quick approvals and feedback
Among the most important factors of outsourcing content marketing is to provide proper briefs and detailed feedback. Remember, the experts you outsource to, are outsiders and would need clarity. Depending on your business and organization, think about what other resources would be helpful to them and ensure they have access to it.
Ready to start content marketing?
Seth Godin, the godfather of content marketing once said, “Content marketing is the only marketing left”. This means creating content that audiences care about, as opposed to sales tactics repurposed as content.
From ideation to execution, content marketing is difficult and time-consuming., If not done well, all your efforts would go down the drain. Hence, it is best to outsource content marketing to free up your time and energy to look after the more strategic business tasks that need your undivided attention.
SEO and content marketing together generate 30% of the ROI, which is the highest compared to other contributing factors. It is wise to outsource your content marketing, but before doing so, make sure to assess the agency you are hiring in terms of work and experience.
Feel free to reach out to us if you need help with your content marketing.