You’re not disappointed with the writing quality per se, but it’s the generic nature of the content that makes you think twice. If only you had the time—and in some cases the skill—to wear the hat of a writer too.
Let’s get one thing straight: you’re not making a mistake by outsourcing content creation. Sure, there are times when only your perspective, specific skill set, and brand of creativity will do, but outsourced writers can bring a lot to the table, reducing your workload and increasing overall output.
So, how do you ensure your team craft pieces of content and sales copy that accurately represent your brand while hitting the right psychological and emotional triggers? The following tips can help.
1. Understand Your Brand before Defining Your Content Needs
When writing doesn’t live up to expectations on a branding level, you can almost guarantee that the brand’s image and personality were unclear or not detailed enough. Using words like “professional” and “conversational” provide some direction in terms of tone, but they exclude core personality traits that define how your brand is unique and relatable. It’s no wonder content so often lacks spark.
Before writing your order instructions, consider your brand and strategic intent when describing the ideal voice and tone for the content you’re commissioning. When you convey this effectively, you’ll find your writer is better equipped to use the right language and tone to express the right range of emotions.
2. Choose the Right Subject Experts
While many writers position themselves to cover a wide range of niches, it helps to have someone with expertise and experience in your industry. Besides having a bank of knowledge to draw from and a good grasp on relevant terminology, the author is likely to keep abreast of the latest industry happenings.
Although you can evaluate a writer based on existing portfolio work, you’d be better off ordering a fresh test piece—preferably one that isn’t high priority. That way, you’ll be able to assess each writer’s strength based on writing quality, ability to adapt to your brand’s personality and voice, ability to write for your target audience, and other pertinent factors you deem crucial for your business. Make sure you sample a good pool of writers before selecting the ones you want to work with on a regular basis.
One major benefit of outsourcing content is that you free yourself to focus on other business matters. Unfortunately, you’d be negating that advantage by building a team too large to manage efficiently. Unlike agencies outsourcing content for a variety of clients, you only require a few writers with expertise in your field of work. Be sure to have at least one general content writer on your team for all informative pieces, as well as one persuasive copywriter for all printed and digital marketing collateral.
4. Learn To Write Clear Project Instructions
If you’re tired of run-of-the-mill articles, then you need to make sure you’re providing detailed briefs that effectively guide writers into producing content that packs a punch. Include details regarding your objective, target audience, SEO considerations, preferred writing style, and brand voice. Provide links to supporting information or websites, add examples of content you love, and clearly establish what you don’t want. The key is to direct writers without smothering their creativity.
5. Manage Your Content Strategy and Editorial Calendar Wisely
Once you find writers you love, you want them to be available for your projects. The best way to guarantee this is to map your content in advance (with a little leeway for breaking news) and then efficiently manage your publishing schedule. Giving writers enough lead-time often results in better, more fully developed ideas. Be sure to account for editing and revision time so you don’t find yourself in a time crunch unnecessarily.
6. Treat Your Writers Right
You don’t need to put writers on payroll permanently to make them stick around. Simply make them care about you as a client and foster their passion for your brand. Besides being a pleasant person to work with, how do you accomplish that?
- Build strong working relationships with authors so they feel they’re contributing to something meaningful.
- Praise them when they’re doing an amazing job.
- Provide useful feedback to help them understand your preferences.
- Understand there will be a learning curve that requires some give and take.
By treating writers well, you help develop a sense of accountability. This generally leads to better content. Don’t forget that if you no longer find a particular writer meets your expectations, you simply don’t have to order content from that freelancer anymore. Eliminating the anxiety of firing someone is one of the many benefits of outsourcing.
Since content significantly affects your SEO, lead generation, nurturing, and customer acquisition efforts, you must ensure your writers deliver great content consistently. A successful outcome depends on your ability to extract the best work from your content creation team. Start with the tips above and the battle is almost won.
What are your greatest struggles when it comes to outsourcing content creation? Share your stories with us in the comment section.