5 Tips for Outsourcing Content Creation

By | May 15, 2012
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The following is a guest post by Steve Lazuka (@SteveLazuka), founder of Interact Media and developer of the Zerys Content Marketplace. For more on Steve, check out his MAI profile piece.

How Agencies Can Effectively Outsource Content Creation

As a modern marketing agency, you’re aware of the opportunities in content marketing for your business, brand and clients. In fact, in The Marketing Agency Blueprint, Paul Roetzer says content is the number one opportunity for agencies in the new ecosystem.

SpiderwebHowever, if you’re like most agencies, you have questions about building the bandwidth needed to create a high volume of quality content that is also profitable and efficient, and works with your clients’ niche business areas.

The answer is to leverage the power of a writer network, and an open marketplace, to effectively outsource your content team.

As a writer myself, and having worked with hundreds of agencies, I’ve learned that the best technologies or platforms can’t trump the importance of building strong relationships with the people behind the content.

Relationships with writers, along with learning the systems that will work for your business, will not happen overnight. Agencies with the fortitude to stick to their goals, and test and evaluate efforts along the way, have the best chances to succeed.

Check out some tips we’ve learned from guiding agencies in the Zerys Content Marketplace:

1.) Utilize a Content Management Platform

A project management platform for your content serves as the key communication hub to manage writers, projects and publishing. Take the time needed to learn the tools, and maximize all of the features. Efficiencies for your content business can be built over time by spending the time upfront.

2.) Establish a Pool of Qualified Writers

Take the opportunity to sample writers you think could be a match for your team. We recommend starting with a large sample batch (10-20) to get to know writers, test out price points and make connections. Typically, higher rates yield more quality writing, but you might be surprised at the quality of content you can receive at different pay scales.  

3.) Build in Time For Editing, Revision Rounds

To create the best writing teams for your agency and clients, look at early works as “works-in-progress.” Especially if you’re working with smaller budgets for your articles, schedule time for yourself or other agency pros to edit for final presentation to your client.

If you like a writer’s style, but are not fully satisfied with the posts upfront, there’s a great opportunity to create a partnership through open communication, and refine the content by adding your agency-side insight.

4.) Position Your Agency to Deliver Content Services

Clients today are becoming more comfortable with the idea that agencies outsource content. Also, with using an outside network, it’s not just your agency’s capabilities that make or break client satisfaction. You can work together overtime to craft the perfect content that works for their business and budget.

It is helpful to select a content tool (see number 1) that allows white labeling. With a white-labeled solution, you can manage your job requisitions and content projects all through your agency’s brand. Your clients want results, and you’ll build trust when you can deliver quality content, from select writers, with your added level of expertise prior to presentation.

5.) Build Your Agency to Scale With Content

Great content begets more content opportunities. Through outsourcing, you can scale your deliverables without dramatically increasing your overhead. Agencies can build teams of dozens of writers, and combined with a solid content management tool, can manage hundreds of client accounts all within a single platform.

The Finish Line

Successful content marketing can seem like a marathon for agencies, but it’s not something you have to face alone. It starts and ends with building solid relationships with your clients and writers, to deliver the best content, and scale your offerings to grow with your business.

What challenges do you face in outsourcing content, and how have you overcome them?

Steve Lazuka is the founder of Interact Media, the software development firm behind the Zerys Content Marketplace and question-and-answer website, YoExpert. Prior to launching Interact Media, Lazuka co-founded SEO firm Website Results in 1999 and Infosearch Media in 2002, which became the first content marketing company to go public in 2005. Steve resides with his family in Chardon, Ohio. Follow Steve on Twitter at @SteveLazuka.

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