Matt Solar is the VP of Marketing at nDash.co.
Content marketing is a proven strategy to improve SEO, drive traffic, build trust, increase engagement, and boost conversion.
However, you can’t expect to stick a couple of posts on your blog and hope for the best.
Content marketing is a long game – it requires consistent effort in creating and promoting high-quality content to generate the intended results.
If you find the task of producing a large amount of content daunting, you’re not alone.
Thankfully, you don’t have to do it alone either.
Outsourcing your content production is a great way to up your content marketing game without the overhead of hiring additional staff.
You might have heard horror stories about the frustrations some businesses encounter when working with freelance writers.
Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s how you can ramp up content production without sacrificing quality:
Set a Solid Foundation
When you’re outsourcing content production to different writers, you have to ensure that they’re creating content that’s in alignment with your overall marketing and content strategy.
The most efficient way is to create a set of documentation you can share with writers during the onboarding process:
- Goals and objectives – What do you expect the content to do for your business and what KPIs (key performance indicators) do you use to evaluate success? This information can help writers position the content and include the appropriate calls-to-action.
- Buyer personas – Who is the target audience, what are their challenges, what kind of information are they looking for, and where do they look for such information? Answers to these questions can help writers speak to the psychology of the readers and create content that builds rapport with your audience.
Content map – Audiences at different customer lifecycle stages look for different kinds of content at different touch points. By mapping each buyer persona to the lifecycle stages, you’ll be able to determine the best topics, formats, and distribution channels for your content and share the appropriate insights with your writers.
- Style guide – All your content should have a consistent tone and voice that’s relatable to the audience and reflects your brand personality. A style guide details how your content should come across to the audience, how to format the various elements on a post, and the kind of imagery to use with the content.
Build a Core Content Team
Even though you don’t need to hire an army of full-time writers, you should have a core content team to ensure that the quality of all your content is consistent, the production and promotion tasks are on track, and freelancers are properly managed.
A solid content team should consist of the following roles, even though the same person can hold multiple roles in smaller teams:
A strategist to define high-level strategies.
A content manager to turn the strategies into implementable tactics.
An editor to manage workflow and ensure quality.
An analyst to gather metrics and generate insights from data.
A community manager to distribute content in earned or paid media.
You’ll also need a content marketing calendar so all your team members can effectively plan and manage workflow for all production and promotion efforts.
In addition, clearly communicate the KPIs you use to measure success so your team can prioritize the various components of your marketing strategy.
Assemble an All-Star Team of Writers
Even though there are subject matter experts in your company, they may not be good at writing or simply don’t have the time to do so.
Professional writers are trained to conduct the necessary research and interviews required to create expert content while making sure it’s written to reflect your brand style.
Outsourcing your content production to a team of writers can help speed up the production process and maintain the quality of your content.
In addition, having a roster of writers can bring in a variety of angles and perspectives to help attract readers who are drawn to different styles.
There are many ways to hire freelance writers, including:
Freelancer websites such as Upwork, PeoplePerHour, and Guru. These sites allow you to set up a project, manage the process, and handle payment on the platforms.
Job boards such as ProBlogger, LinkedIn, and Craigslist. Writers will apply for the position and you’ll be handling the rest.
Content platforms such as nDash.co. These sites focus exclusively on matching writers with brands and are specifically designed with features that help facilitate the briefing, communication, production, submission, and payment process. You can also request pitches from writers on some of these platforms to get fresh ideas.
When you’re selecting writers, hire those who are familiar with content marketing and SEO. Review their portfolios to ensure that they produce high-quality content and write in a tone that’s in alignment with your brand.
In addition, pay attention to how they work: Are they communicative, proactive, responsive and deadline-conscious?
Manage Production Effectively
A good piece of content is not only well-written but also meets the objective of your content marketing strategy.
A comprehensive creative brief is critical in helping a writer produce content that will help you achieve the desired results.
If you use platforms such as nDash, you’ll be asked to fill out a specific set of requirements when you initiate a project. The form is designed to ensure that you’re providing all the necessary information required for the writer to deliver a high-quality piece.
In addition to the specifics of each post, you can also share your content strategy documents, such as buyer personas or customer journey map, to provide more details about the audience.
In addition, you need to establish systems and guidelines for managing the content production workflow, such as a centralized communication system, a project management system, and a centralized location for document sharing – to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
The key to producing high-quality content starts with hiring high-quality writers and giving them the appropriate information and resources so they can do what they do best.
There are many “content mills” on the Internet and it may be tempting to use them to save a few bucks.
However, high-quality writers don’t come in cheap and it’s worth the investment to get it right from the get-go so your team doesn’t end up spending hours correcting mistakes and editing articles.
Invest the time to screen for good writers and establish long-term working relationships with them. This will help you set the right foundation to get the most out of your content marketing dollars.