content writer working at laptop

Content Outsourcing Strategy Best Practices That Get Great Results

It’s true. Content outsourcing saves a LOT of time. And, content creation is the most outsourced marketing job. Marketers and company owners know they can easily make tweaks to outsourced content—especially written content. The creation process, however, is time-consuming and takes technical skill. Many will choose to hire a writer to specifically type up their web pages, email newsletters, blog posts and more. The problem is, that many clients don’t come to the table with a solid understanding of what copywriting takes. Sure, outsourcing content is going to save a lot of time. But, this is still your baby. If you take your hands off the reins, you never know what direction your talent will take. Below are some best practices (and warnings!) that marketing agency insiders use to be successful with all their client’s diverse content needs.

Don’t Expect Your Content Writer to Read Your Mind

This cannot be stressed enough: 🗣 your writer can’t read your mind. You’ve probably sought out a content writer because you aren’t great at written communication or you just don’t have the time. That’s fine. Maybe you struggle to come up with the right words and writing out instructions is difficult. In these cases, it can be helpful to schedule a call with your writer. Don’t assume a good writer will just know what you are after. Just because you are handing your content strategy to a professional, that doesn’t mean you should forego all of the prep work that goes into the project. If you dump your assignment into the hands of a freelancer, you are going to end up with the perspective and preferences of that freelancer. You need a detailed brief that will explain elements of your strategy like:
  • Content Objectives
  • Tone
  • Voice
  • Target Audience
  • Formatting or Style Preferences
  • References or Examples
  • Focus Keywords
  • Subject Matter
It is going to take some work and research on your part to really define your vision. But, your effort will help you get a much better result from your talent.

Treat Your Writer Like a New Employee

When you onboard a new employee they are often given time to learn all about your company and how things work internally. Expecting an outsourced writer to understand your business immediately will end up with disappointments. You need to lead with your vision for success. Even if you don’t know entirely what you want, start with an outline and be prepared to collaborate with your new writer to get what you want. “I’ll know it when I see it,” is the worst way to approach a collaborative arrangement. Unless you want to pay for endless revisions and push deadlines out for weeks on end, you can’t come to the table expecting your talent to just stab in the dark until they strike gold for you. This is unfortunately very common with technical B2B content. Getting the specifics just right AND writing it so it’s marketable are extremely challenging and take longer in the beginning. Be prepared for this.
Unless you are paying by the hour, every revision cuts into your writer’s rates. If you have a talented writer, they are going to drop you for wasting their time. They will be professional, but they will not continue to take work that results in mindreading. 
You reap what you sow when it comes to onboarding any content producer. The lack of effort you put into the collaboration is going to show in the final result. Not all talent is a great fit, but many are able to adjust to hit the mark if you spend time cultivating the relationship.

Your Job Doesn’t End with a Great Outsourcing Hire

The more effort and insight you add, the more your writer can exceed your expectations. Your writer might not nail the industry voice right away or have an insightful perspective on detailed topics. But, you are the one that has built this business. You know the ins and outs like no other. The more constructive feedback you give, the more your writer will be able to deliver content that nails your brand and shows industry insight. Constructive feedback is very specific. You may need to provide a lot of internal reference documents and links to get your writer up-to-speed and then provide more direction on sections of their work to find the tone, voice, and style you want. You need to help your writer understand your preferences. Clients often think their way is the only way that makes sense. However, after years of handling clients, any writer will tell you that clients all have different opinions about everything, including tone, level of detail, wordiness and focus.

Content Strategy and Creation Takes Effort

Don’t just think of hiring a writer as time-saving. You are outsourcing to add their writing skill to your vision. When it comes to outsourcing content, you should be involved—especially at the start. Expect to provide your writer with feedback until you grow that working relationship into something easy. Sometimes, you need to use the 80/20 rule – 80% is often good enough for the task at hand. If you are shooting for Pulitzer Prize-winning writing every time, you are going to burn through a lot of great writing talent and run out of resources especially if you are in a highly specialized field. If you are looking for a collaborative content marketing partnership, Pollock Marketing Group is here to help. Together, we can pinpoint your vision and bring you content that hits the mark. We work with writers in just about every industry and know how to collaborate with them and you to get the marketing results that matter.