Content creation can be a pain in the… rear end.
As a digital marketing agency, we know that keeping up with your content can be hectic. Maybe you’re having trouble coming up with your own content (writer’s block… happens to the best of us) or you’re getting swamped by how much content you need to write and you want to focus on other aspects of your business. But you’re still hesitant to let someone else write your content because you’re afraid that the brand’s image and identity you worked so hard to create will be hurt by an outsider writer.
However, working with an outside team doesn’t have to be as scary as it sounds. In fact, we have extensive experience in working with clients to improve their content, not detract from it, by making sure that we understand their business needs.
And, lucky for you, we have some helpful advice to make sure that you get the most out of your outside content team. So sit back, relax, and follow these tips for a stress-free collaboration.
Do Your Research
It all begins with finding the right content team to collaborate with so that you know you’re in good hands. That means you have to do your research! Take the time to do some investigating and check out their case studies that are listed on their website. See if they have similar success stories to what you are looking to accomplish.
Check out their reviews on Yelp, Facebook or their Google Business Page. Read from people just like you and see how their outside content team lived up to their expectations. When looking at their website and their social media pages, do they seem like a good fit? Obviously, it’s hard to tell without actually going in for a meeting with them, but it will help you get an idea of which teams will work and which won’t.
Prepare for a Kick-Off Meeting
Don’t overlook your first initial meeting with your new team.
If you’re still unsure about the route you’ve chosen, the kick-off meeting is a perfect way to test the waters. Come prepared with plenty of questions to test their knowledge. Get to learn their strategies to see how they align with your own. Your kick-off meeting should be all about setting expectations to see how well you match up together.
Of course, the most important part of a kick-off meeting is to ensure that your new team understands your business inside and out: What your offering is, what your point of differentiation is, and who you are selling too and what their wants and needs are. Without this knowledge they won’t be able to provide actionable content that identifies the value proposition of your company. A great way to help your outside content team learn more about your business is to set up a subject matter interview. Set up some time with your new team and allow them to ask you questions about your company and your industry to help them craft some great copy.
You should also take this time to talk about the tones and voice you use in the current copy of your content. Discuss whether your voice is more loose and fun, or professional. Some companies like to go for shocks by using light curse words, while others keep it PG. No matter what your style is, a good content writer will be able to adapt their writing to fit your brand’s style as long as you describe it to them.
Should you decide to go with that team of content writers, make sure you mention your current and past content strategies. What worked and what didn’t. This will give your new team something to build off of.
Meet Up in Person or Over the Phone
It’s important that your kick-off meeting isn’t the only time your interacting face-to-face with your outsourced content team. In person meetings can help you get updated on how the content has been going, such as the engagement and impressions they’ve been receiving, and the next steps in the campaign. If you can’t meet up in person, no worries. Communicating via Skype or over the phone can do the trick as well.
Meetings should also be used for you to update your team on what the content should be, who it is aimed at, and what it needs to accomplish. On top of that, you need to work with your writers to make sure they understand the sales process. If they don’t understand how your buyers go through the conversion funnel, it will be difficult for them to write content that encourages action. Any updates that affect the sales process should be directly reported to your content team and meeting up in person or talk over the phone can help avoid confusion that emailing sometimes creates.
Don’t forget this one or you’ll be in trouble. Early on, you should talk about deadlines and how essential it is for your content writing team to meet them. One of the reasons you may be using an outside team is to be able to put out regularly scheduled blogs and articles. If they can’t meet your weekly deadlines, then find someone who can. Using tools like Monday can help ensure that everyone understands the timeframe.
Stay in Touch
Even when you aren’t meeting in person or chatting over the phone, you should still always be well informed on where your content team is at.
No, you don’t have to text your team goodnight everyday, but you should request weekly updates as well as samples early on to make sure everything is running smoothly. Don’t settle for mediocrity if you’re outside team isn’t meeting the expectations you discussed early on. You’re the boss and you should expect a lot out of your writers. Put the foot down when you have to.
Outsourcing Doesn’t Have to Be Stressful
Working with an outside content team can be a great experience. If done correctly, it will allow you to focus more time and energy on other business activities, and you’ll have the opportunity to work alongside some talented writers. The write team is out there for you! You just have to do a little digging.
As with all of your marketing decisions, make sure that any actions your take are still fitting within your budget. If you’re thinking of upping your content in terms of speed and amount, make sure you have the funds available should you choose to outsource.