You hire a writer or a content development company to create blog posts, articles, white papers, social media graphics; anything that will help your marketing mission.
The problem is that, by outsourcing your content, you’re necessarily relinquishing some of your control over your brand. No matter how good a content writer is, they won’t know your brand and your products exactly as well as you do. That means, if your drafted content writers aren’t managed correctly, you could end up with a smorgasbord of written posts that all approximate your brand, but none that hit the nail on the head.
How do you avoid this? Is there a way of outsourcing content that strengthens your brand? There certainly is, and here are a few tips on how to get there.
Before you even think about outsourcing your content, ask yourself what you’re hoping to achieve with this interaction. Do you want a one-off article or a long-term content creator? Are you looking to improve your SEO or start a new email marketing scheme? Figuring out what you’re hoping to achieve will help you search and advertise for the right content creators.
Approaching a complete stranger to market for your brand starts with giving them insight into who you are, what you do and what you hope to achieve; namely, a content brief. Setting out a solid brief is the first step in starting your outsourcing relationship on the right foot.
Innocence Haramita, a content marketer at Writinity and Last Minute Writing, gives a great whistle-stop tour of the best content briefs. “A brief is aptly named: it should be short and to the point. Don’t get distracted waxing lyrical about your brand and its message. Use short sentences, bullet point lists, even subtitled sections. That being said, you want to think about how much guidance you want to give the content creator. If they’re new to you and you don’t know their style, you might be inspired to give them their headings, subheadings and some reference articles for guidance. If you’re dealing with someone with more experience, you might be able to trust their judgement. Finally, make sure there’s a deadline and keep them to it.”
Once you have a clear idea of what you want and have a brief detailing it, the challenge is to find the right person for the job. The good news is that there are hundreds of freelancers and freelance work platforms out there. Any conceivable area from graphic designers to article writers to product reviewers are ready and waiting for work.
The bad news is that there are hundreds of freelancers and freelance work platforms out there. Picking one can seem like a daunting task, especially to anyone new to outsourced content. Berg Whitman, an SEO blogger at Draftbeyond and Researchpapersuk, suggests you “don’t commit to one platform right away. Each one has a distinct style and attracts a different cadre of freelancers. When you’re starting out, sign up for a number of services and see which one fits your company and brand best. Also look out for one that fits the niche of what you’re trying to achieve; no matter how obscure, it’s probably out there.
One important point to make about outsourced content is that, once you find someone that works for you, hold on to them for dear life. The world is brimming with freelancers, many of which are not dedicating their lives to content creation. If you manage to find someone who understands your brand and is able to write quality content, recognise that for what it is: a rare and wonderful thing. As someone who has been on the receiving end of a outsourced content relationship, being valued as a creator and a human being is what keeps us around, no matter the work.