Content is king. You’ve heard that cliché marketing sentiment more times than you can count. And you’re doing your best to heed that advice. You have a spreadsheet of topic ideas and an entire folder of started blog posts.
The only problem? You stop there. You know that content is important for bringing in new customers and building your brand. But you can’t manage to find the time to actually bring those genius blog posts to fruition.
We don’t blame you. It’s a problem we see over and over again. You’re busy, and you don’t necessarily have countless hours to spend polishing that post.
Needless to say, this is where outsourcing your content comes into play—with a sweeping grand entrance of confetti, fireworks, and a marching band. Not really, but you see what we’re gettin’ at here. We’re big proponents of outsourcing your content needs (but you probably already saw that coming).
Why? Well, let’s get right to the good stuff.
Why outsource your content?
We’ve already briefly touched on the topic of time—something you never quite have enough of. Outsourcing your content takes that task off your plate, so that you can focus on the other things that need to get handled on a daily basis.
You’re likely great at what you do, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a born writer or content marketer. By handing off your content to someone else, you’re leaving it to a professional—someone who knows exactly what to do in order to craft quality content that resonates with your customers and grows your audience.
Finally, you eat, sleep, and breathe your business. That’s admirable! But it also means that your content can easily go a little too far “in the weeds”. Outsourcing it is a great way to bring in some fresh perspective to generate content that will actually engage your readers and share what they want to know—rather than boring them to tears with the miniscule details and technicalities of your business or industry.
How do you do it right?
So, now you know that outsourcing your content will save you a lot of time and headaches. But at this point, we see business owners run into another issue: How do they do it successfully? How do they outsource their content in a way that doesn’t involve even more work and time on their end?
Yes, admittedly, there’s a bit of groundwork you’ll need to take care of in order to set your outsourcing efforts up for success. But trust us when we say it’s nothing you can’t handle.
To help you get started on the right track, here are a few things you’ll want to make sure to do when you pass your content marketing off to someone else.
1. Share Your Goals
Chances are, you’ll start things off by having a meeting or phone call with whoever will be taking over your content. This conversation is your chance to share the important details that will be helpful in crafting posts that are relevant and valuable to your customers.
But, there’s one big thing we find that people neglect to mention again and again. And, it’s important—so, you want to make sure you don’t skip it.
What is this mysterious and crucial thing? Your content goals. Basically, what are you hoping that your content will accomplish?
Do you want to use your content to foster a greater sense of community and retain more customers? Do you want to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry? Do you want to use your content to draw in more customers and increase your conversions?
There are so many different things that content can help you with. Make it clear exactly what your aim is. That way, you and your outsourced content team will be on the same page from the get-go, making you that much more likely to see great results.
2. Get Specific
As you might’ve guessed, you’ll also want to share what you know about your target customer and your business or product. We aren’t talking about extremely vague, “barely scratch the surface” sorts of information—you want to dive deep into all of those nitty gritty details.
Why? Well, it’s simple. The more your content team knows about your audience and your business, the better they’ll be at whipping things together that are relevant, valuable (can you tell those are two of our favorite words around here?), and downright impressive.
When it comes to your customer, there are two big things you’ll want to touch on: Their goals and their challenges.
By knowing what your customer really wants to accomplish—as well as where they’re getting tripped up in the process—your content team will be armed with the information they need to craft highly educational blog posts specifically aimed at your target customer.
Any other information, including analytics, demographics, upcoming changes to your business or product, customer interviews, and feedback on previous content efforts, will be extremely helpful as well.
3. Arm Them With Resources
That business blog you really admire. That list of topic ideas you brain dumped ages ago. That question from a customer asking you about a specific problem. They’re all awesome resources that could act as extra ammunition for amazing content—so, why are you keeping them to yourself?
Outside of just the information you share with your content team in that initial meeting, you should also plan to keep them armed and updated with resources they’ll need to continue learning about your audience, your business, and your goals.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you want to overwhelm your outsourced team with a ceaseless barrage of tools, articles, and suggestions. But sending along things that are particularly informative can help to improve the quality of blog posts and even spark new ideas for content. If it works for both of you, you can even set up a shared folder where you can drop those helpful resources when you find them.
Remember, knowledge is power. So the more valuable information you can provide, the better your content will be.
4. Discuss Results
Analytics can be particularly revealing when it comes to determining what topics are resonating with your audience. Using those statistics, your content team will be able to see what’s performing well, as well as what’s falling a little flat with your readers—any knowledgeable content strategist will keep that information in mind when selecting future topics for your editorial calendar.
Here at Audience Ops, we ask for access to our clients’ Google Analytics accounts. That way, we can keep tabs on performance, while our clients get to stay mainly hands off. We pull necessary traffic information into a monthly report so that everyone is in the loop.
Image via Crazy Egg
If you find yourself uncomfortable providing this sort of access to your outsourced content team, that’s fine. However, you’ll want to make sure that you still have a formal process or procedure in place to make sure they’re informed about how specific articles and topics are performing.
Set up a monthly meeting (or even start a report on your end!) so that you’re certain your outsourced team is getting the information they need to constantly tweak and refine your content strategy.
5. Be Realistic
Content can be a huge win for you business. But, it’s important that you’re being realistic with both your goals and your expectations.
First, wanting high-quality content is completely understandable—and, you’re entitled to it if you’re paying someone else to manage your content efforts.
However, you need to remember that your outsourced team isn’t as in-the-know about your business as you are. It might take them a little bit of time to get up to speed. The more feedback you can provide, the better! And rest assured that things are sure to improve over time.
Speaking of time, you also need to keep in mind that content is a long game. You won’t publish one blog post and instantly see your traffic and email list skyrocket. Content is a marketing strategy, and—like any other marketing activity—you need to be patient in order to truly see results. So do your best not to get discouraged when things don’t take off immediately!
Content is important—that much you know. But just because you know you should be doing it, doesn’t necessarily mean you have the hours and energy to invest in it.
Outsourcing your content marketing can be a great solution. However, that involves more than simply handing it off and walking away. While outsourcing your content will undoubtedly save you time, there are still a few things you’ll need to do to make sure your experience is successful!
Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll wind up with content that impresses your audience and pushes you one step closer to your goals!