Why You Should Consider Outsourcing Your Content
Should you consider outsourcing your content?
There may be any number of factors that can help you to decide.
And the same factors could (or should) also be applied to your:
- Lead Generation
- Social Media Scheduling
- Social Media Strategy and Management
- Any other aspect of your business that an expert may be able to do better
In this article, we’ll look into some of them and discuss the balancing act most companies face in making these decisions.
The main focus of this article is Content Creation. But you can’t make this decision in a vacuum.
Quick disclaimer: This article presumes you are entirely familiar with Content Marketing. So there will be no statistics trying to convince you of its importance. If this presumption is wrong, this article by Content Marketing Institute would be as good a place as any to start.
We’ll start with a simple question:
How Long Does An Article Take To Write?
Courtesy of Orbit Media, the writing time is increasing.
Source: Orbit Media
This statistic is almost like asking “how long is a piece of string,” or “how many holes would it take to fill the Albert Hall?” It takes no account of article length or complexity. However, from my own perspective, I can make the following observations:
- For some articles, the author will already have sufficient knowledge that it can burst out of them in a hurry. This stat will be lowered in these instances.
- Where more research is required, such as for the writing of this article, that average will be increased.
- In general, as almost every subject has been written about so many times, it is now more difficult to write a compelling article. Striving for the unique angle – for all but the most talented writers – certainly adds to the upward movement of this stat.
- Counter-intuitively, for those who aren’t experienced writers, the longer the article, the more time each word takes to write.
How Much Time Do You Have?
It has long-since been established that Content is an essential part of any marketing strategy. However, as with so many things, you must decide how best to utilize your time – or that of your staff if you have any.
Let’s set out a hypothetical strategy here:
- You decide to go with two articles a week
- You decide on an article length in the 1000 or so word range for all except one monthly downloadable
This could easily cost you 35+ hours per month, just for the twice-weekly articles
That’s not much less than a quarter of a traditional work month.
If you’re doing this alone, or as a part of a very small team, you’re not working 40 hours a week except in your future fantasies. But content creation goes squarely in the same bucket as Social Media posting and engagement. Each are essential parts of an Inbound strategy and the establishment of both thought leadership and influence. Yet neither directly pertains to sales.
Deciding What You Do and What You Might Have Others Do
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There is a little (or not so little) balancing act to perform. And it doesn’t only pertain to small companies. I previously worked for quite a few very large companies. Few ever ran their own payroll, for example. They determined, via a cost-benefit analysis, that this one service was better handled elsewhere – by a firm that specializes in Payroll (usually ADP).
The smaller the company, the bigger the balancing act…
We must determine how much of a team member’s time (or our own time) can be spared for every individual element of our business.
Well, almost all.
- The business of closing sales is surely off the table for most?
- Decisions on Product or Services development will always be internal. Those are the life-blood of your company’s future.
- Let’s add much of the client retention process to those tasks that will remain in-house.
“Much of” but not all? Well, social customer service falls under that general umbrella, but if we require constant monitoring of our many channels, we simply can’t do that all ourselves.
That leaves any number of other tasks open for possible delegation to an outside specialist.
What Might You ‘Farm’ Out?
These tasks fall into three categories:
- Those you may be able to easily keep in-house
- Those your VA can do
- And those you are far more likely to seek outside help with
Source: Copyright: ‘https://www.123rf.com/profile_Elnur’ / 123RF Stock Photo
Let’s surmise that few small companies have sufficient in-house knowledge to handle website design, UX design, some site changes or SEO. For most, those tasks are given to specialists. The type of specialist that it makes no sense for a small company to hire as an employee unless their business involves one or more of those skills.
Also, as stated above, if you need round-the-clock coverage of your social networks, it’s impossible to do that yourself.
And of course, anything you can trust that someone could do a great job for $5 or so at Fiverr or elsewhere, is clearly sensible to delegate externally. Unless you like not sleeping, that is!
If you don’t have a full-time employee with time to sit and twiddle their thumbs, items that can be done effectively and cheaper by someone else should be given to someone else.
Tasks For Your VA
Tweet scheduling is a strong candidate for VA work. The reason is simple enough. Hopefully, that person is costing you less per hour than your employees, if you have any. If your company is just a couple or so principals, definitely delegate this task. Not because it’s so difficult, but because perhaps, the time taken to do it is time taken away from sales strategy and this is one area where your expertise can be done without?
Social Media interactions on some platforms are also a strong candidate. Not if you have few followers, of course. But thanking people for retweets is not something that too many business owners will handle themselves.
Where Does Content Come Into The Mix?
No doubt you could rattle off a few other names of people who obviously do their own writing. But the truth is, not every business owner or thought leader has the time, inclination and aptitude to express their thoughts in long form.
Might some have an employee write for them? No doubt. But others will simply impart some ideas for an article, and pay for someone else to turn those ideas into a blog post.
The main point to be made here is that there is no shame – and very good company – in having others write for you.
So Should YOU Consider Outsourcing Your Content?
Fronetics wrote an article titled: ”Should You Outsource Content Marketing?”
It is aimed at small companies and those who don’t have seemingly limitless resources to spend. So that’s most of us, right?
Let’s look at some of the key points of their message:
Did you notice the top two stats of Content Marketing challenges in the above slide?
- Lack of time or bandwidth to create content
- Not producing enough content volume or variety
And what do you make of numbers 6 and 7? Lack of budget and lack of talent!
Creating content takes away from other things you could be doing.
Professional bloggers will optimize your content, just as Social Media specialists have expert knowledge of how best to reach your desired audience. And they will free you up to handle leads and sales.
And then there’s this quote regarding outsourcing:
“Simply put, it ultimately costs less to let experts create and execute your content. Given the reins, they can leverage their experience to produce greater results, capture more leads, analyze results, revise strategies, and, most importantly, free up your schedule to focus on your key responsibilities.”
When I started writing this article, it was in my mind to discuss the concepts of Revenue Centres and Cost Centres as they might pertain to small businesses. But it was a dead end. The truth is, whether a task is a credit or a debit in your balance sheet, there are certain things that your small business can’t survive and thrive without.
Some things require particular expertise. If you are a genius who has a hard time relating to people, you’ll leave customer relations to somebody else. But that person should surely have a stake in your business. They are, in essence, your front person – the face of your business for your clients. And you can’t chop-and-change the face of your business.
Ultimately, you must decide what brings in the money. If it’s your product ideas, your public speaking, your thought leadership or anything else, that task belongs to you! With someone else handling what got you where you are today, your business will surely crumble.
But it will also crumble without the great website, content, social media presence and more. Whether it’s now or down the road, you’ll need to accept that you aren’t superman or superwoman. You can’t go it alone forever. You must trust some of the necessary aspects of your business to others.
However, know this. Others are finding themselves having to make the exact same decisions. And one of their deciding factors of who to choose for that task they must now delegate, will be the leadership and trust demonstrated in somebody’s blog. If you don’t have the time to maintain its excellence, take care of that very soon!
Over To You
I’m not expecting anyone to come forward and say they’ve entrusted their content to others. Few want to admit that. But do please tell us what tasks you have handed over to others. Did it have a positive effect on your business and/or your personal life? Please share in the comments section, below.
You May Also Like To Read: The Risks of Outsourcing Social Customer Service
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