Before outsourcing content creation, here is a list of common challenges you need to know so you can make an informed business decision.
These days, you don’t have to rely solely on traditional means of doing business. For example, the idea that it’s best to keep all of your staff under one roof and in the same working hours has become obsolete.
The pandemic, which required workers to do their job from home for indefinite periods, has taught us that offsite work works indeed. It’s not a barrier to productivity, especially if you’re talking about jobs that demand no more than a laptop and a reliable internet connection to be completed. Case in point: content creation.
Content creation is integral to business marketing. In a market saturated with brands, thanks to e-commerce that has democratized selling, yours have to stand out to sell out. There’s just no way to maximize the buying power of your target market if they don’t get sufficiently interested in what you’re doing.
Thankfully, over the years, the art and science of content creation have evolved significantly. And this evolution keeps on giving by way of business-forward trends.
For starters, there’s the increasing popularity of content diversification. Now you don’t just move on from a successful infographic and rest on your laurels. If it gets organic online traction, the content is asking for further iterations in the form of easily digestible social media posts, an engaging podcast, or an immersive video. It’s a simple strategy that pays, which involves producing and delivering content in various forms.
Another trend worth betting on is is an aggressive and strategic keyword search. That is if you wish to eschew aimless content. With this tactic, you have a better shot at reaching the audience you have in mind.
And, of course, there’s the widespread pivot to outsourcing. Whether you’re a startup or an established brand, business gurus rally behind outsourcing trends, and for understandable reasons. But before you jump on the bandwagon, for the sake of objectivity, you need to familiarize yourself with the challenges commonly attributed to outsourcing.
8 Challenges of Content Creation Outsourcing
1. Brand or Industry Familiarity
The truth of the matter is, it’s not easy to land writers with industry-specific knowledge. This problem is most pronounced among businesses in niche markets. For example, if you require crypto-related content, you will either require a crypto-enthusiast to write your articles or hire a writer who has exemplary research and comprehension skills.
After all, it’s a highly technical subject that’s not entirely easy to digest for people who have a lack of interest or background in the matter. So, there’s the challenge of hiring someone who cannot confidently approach the topic, unless you’re willing to invest good money in experts in the field.
2. Client Approvals
This applies to online marketing firms outsourced by brands. They, in turn, might outsource creative work such as writing and graphic design to freelancers.
Of course, the onus of giving the final approval to a completed project lies on the client. There’s the risk of the middle man giving a thumbs-up on the accomplished work of a freelancer, only for that work to be thumbed down by the client. As a result, the process has to start all over again. Time, and potentially money, has been lost. The remedy? Excellent communication between stakeholders.
3. Communication Issues
Outsourcing might complicate communication between those involved in a project. Arguably, it’s easier to discuss project briefs with an in-house content creation staff. With an outsourced team, you have to rely on technology for ensuring that everyone is on the same page.
This is where group chats, Zoom meetings, and project management apps come in. But even with these tools, there’s still the risk of someone in your team not fully comprehending what’s expected of them, resulting in misguided outputs.
4. Client Privacy or Sharing of Sensitive Client Information
Hiring an outsourced team requires that you are capable of trusting. Chances are you will enlist the service of an outsourcing firm that will, in turn, headhunt talents on your behalf.
You might have to share sensitive information with your chosen outsourcing firm, including sales data in which to anchor content goals. Meanwhile, goals will be communicated to creatives tasked to work on your project.
This trickling down of client information might present privacy risks. As such, you must ensure a bulletproof contract with a non-disclosure agreement that establishes culpability should there be a breach of trust between you and those involved in your outsourced job.
5. Effectiveness of Content Marketing
There’s an array of objectives as to why you want to produce content. To name a few, there’s social media engagement, organic traffic, lead generation, and conversion.
Gauging the effectiveness of a marketing campaign boils down to whether you achieve what you set out to do. Here, it’s crucial to be on the same page with your outsourced staff. Keep in mind that strategies will differ depending on what you want to accomplish. If that’s not accounted for, there’s the risk of missing your targets.
6. Lack of Content Consistency and Cohesion
Content consistency and cohesion are crucial to your branding. Those allow your target audience to differentiate you from other businesses. When outsourcing, you need to adequately communicate what your brand is about to your hired staff. Otherwise, they might not deliver brand-consistent output.
If you’re working with an outsourcing firm that hires creatives on your behalf, make sure your middle man understands you enough to relay information in such a way that there’s nothing lost in translation.
7. Missed Deadlines
If you hire content creators directly, be prepared for the possibility of missed deadlines. Your contractor likely juggles multiple clients, meaning multiple deliverables. The alternative is working with an outsourcing firm that has a dedicated pool of professionals. With that option, you have a better shot at landing content creators who will prioritize your project.
Just make sure you properly communicate your expectations to your hired outsourcing firm. They will, in turn, be responsible for picking an outsourced staff that best aligns with your needs.
8. Subpar Quality
Most businesses that decide to outsource jobs do so with one goal in mind: to cut costs. That is understandable given how business management boils down to efficient handling of money.
However, if you get too stingy with your content creation budget, you can’t expect the highest quality of output. You will get exactly your money’s worth, and that might mean content with subpar quality. Then you will need to edit in-house. That means you’re losing valuable time, which you could instead use for accomplishing other business demands.
So, what’s the rule of thumb? If you can, allot a sufficient budget for content creation. Give the work the dignity it deserves. Remember that if you invest more, you reap more.
Advantages of Hiring Agencies for Content Creation
Now that you know the potential risks of outsourcing content creation, let’s go to what makes the strategy a viable business decision. It all boils down to three advantages.
- Cost-effective in the long run
Hiring full-time employees entails expenses you can’t skip, such as paying employment taxes and providing training and equipment. You are spared from those expenditures when you outsource content creation to a digital marketing firm.
While you need to invest good money now, in the future you will see the cost-effectiveness of the whole deal. It’s the exact reason why 55% of B2C and 84% of B2B companies also outsource content creation.
- Diverse perspective
Company culture eventually forms within an organization. And whether consciously or not, the people that make up the organization subscribe to this culture, which informs how outputs are conceptualized and accomplished.
That is why it’s crucial to always welcome perspectives from outside. Those viewpoints spare teams from the risk of creative stagnation.
With an outsourced content creation staff, you become privy to points of view that might not otherwise be the go-to mode of thinking within your business. That can only result in uncompromised creativity, which will always be great for your brand.
In-house staff will likely sign a contract stating their agreed-to working hours. If you require them to work outside those hours, you’ll need to pay up.
Meanwhile, outsourced staff affords you flexibility. Your team will work on hours most convenient to you. You may even get people doing work for you while you’re sleeping. You wake up to drafts, copy, and design waiting for your discerning eyes.
Moreover, you’re not stuck to a rigid team number-wise. You can scale up or scale down anytime you want, depending on your needs. You can even hire content creators on a project basis. As soon as the project ends, you say goodbye, with no hurt feelings.
In every direction you choose to take business-wise, it must be anchored in an informed decision. That way, there is no room for regrets. Should failure become the result, you know it’s not out of carelessness and thoughtlessness.
In terms of whether to outsource content creation, for instance, the first order of business is knowing the pros and cons. Thoroughly research risks and opportunities. If you do your homework, success becomes well within reach.