Many small businesses have found content marketing to be one of the most efficient ways to drive traffic, enhance brand recognition, prove credibility, and increase conversions. Businesses are using everything from blog posts and how-to videos to social media and email newsletters to share content with the masses.

However, creating all that content takes a significant amount of resources—mainly time and money.

How can you reap the rewards of content marketing in a cost-effective way? If done properly, outsourcing the task of content creation is often the most viable option.  

The Current Condition of Content Marketing

After Sujan Patel had revealed the 2016 content marketing statistics in his article for Inc., it became clear that small business wanted more content but had lack vision of how to produce it and manage its performance.

  • Only 32% of marketers have documented content strategies.

  • 65% of marketers have no idea what content is effective.

  • 57% still use offline promotions though only 31% find them efficient.

  • 60% of marketers don't know how to create engaging content.

  • 57% of marketers have no idea how to manage content performance.

And yet, the latest statistics prove: business owners understand the significance of content marketing strategies for their success, and they are ready to spend time and resources on that.

Outsourcing the responsibilities associated with writing and marketing could increase efficiencies and liberate valuable in-house resources.

13 Steps for Outsourcing Content Creation

If you are interested in third-party assistance for content marketing, consider the following tips and suggestions that are sure to optimize success.

1. Commit to consistency.

Outsourcing writing tasks is wise, but relinquishing total responsibility is not a sound idea.

You need to maintain control of what is being said in the brand’s name. It’s imperative that outside influences do not alter the established voice, image, and message.   

2. Identify the audience.

Analyzing website visitor demographics and consumer profiles can help create a target audience. However, it is important to note that not every visitor is the ideal customer.

If you try to reach everyone, you’ll create a message that is far too general to speak to the specific sect of consumers who are the driving force behind the majority of the business’s sales and loyalty.

Take the time to identify your ideal customers. Create a message that speaks to them.

3. Establish a style.

Each brand must have its own voice. Will communication styles be professional or conversational? Will the brand be young and hip or sophisticated and established? Will messages be informative or opinionated?

4. Determine a call to action.

What action do you want the consumer to take? Do you want visitors to fill out a lead generation form? Make a purchase? Share on social media? Establish a clear and concise call to action.

5. Decide what or who to promote.

Decide what your marketing goals are—to drive traffic to a website, to promote new products or services, to establish an executive as a thought leader, etc. It’s possible to have multiple objectives, but each goal needs to have a properly identified voice and message.

6. Think about the past, present, and future.

What has the business already accomplished? Is there a foundation that can be built upon? What are the business’s current goals? Where does the business hope to be in the future? What needs to be done now to ensure success in the coming years?

7. Establish a budget.

Remember the old saying: you get what you pay for.

The appeal of hiring a professional copywriter is expertise. Quality writing won’t come cheap, but the return on investment is what’s important. Inexpensive help will likely generate poor results, whereas experience and professionalism will achieve—maybe surpass—expectations.

8. Search for options.

Thanks to the internet, there are virtually limitless prospects when it comes to hiring a qualified copywriter. You can choose to work with a full-service content marketing agency or hire individual writers:

9. Provide education.

In order to convey the business’s message, the outsourced writer needs to know exactly what makes the business so special. This requires background information on the company’s history, mission, and vision. It also demands knowledge of the industry, competition, and consumer preferences.  

It is entirely possible for a third-party individual to understand the business just as well as the in-house team—all it takes is a little effort and a willingness to supply the necessary education.

10. Test and evaluate.

In the beginning, it might be advantageous to think of a newly outsourced relationship as temporary. Don’t commit yourself to a long-term obligation until you’ve established the output matches your expectations.

It might take some trial and error to find a professional that is a good fit for your business.

11. Establish and monitor KPIs.

71% of marketers in organizations with 200+ employees consider it challenging to track content marketing ROI. 42% of small business owners with fewer than 25 employees agree on that. (Source)

Establishing and monitoring key performance indicators is an essential responsibility. Not only does it help the copywriter maintain productivity, but it ensures resources aren’t being wasted.

How many articles need to be written each month? What is the desired percentage of increased traffic for the next six months? How many keywords will be tracked?  

One content expert suggests tracing four marketing metrics:

  1. Consumption metrics: Pageviews, downloads, video views

  2. Sharing metrics: Shares and likes of each piece of content, number of followers

  3. Lead generation metrics: Leads by source (social media, organic, etc.)

  4. Sales metrics: Leads that converted into sales

12. Provide feedback.

Even the most well-trained and experienced professional will sometimes miss the mark. You can’t simply take submitted work and upload it to the site or social media platform. Establish an in-house system of checks and balances to ensure quality.

Provide feedback when efforts aren’t consistent with brand policies or when policies need to change.

13. Don’t become complacent.

Don’t assume that once a process is in place, it can operate seamlessly without adjustments. Because of constantly evolving consumer preferences, nearly every industry is dynamic. Strategies must be just as agile.

Look for ways to innovate. Monitor industry and consumer trends. Try to anticipate future expectations and identify opportunities to get one step ahead of the competition.

Outsource to Ensure Success

Outsourcing content marketing to a professional copywriter or agency is often the difference between an effective campaign with positive ROI and a lot of wasted effort that actually damages the brand’s reputation.

If you’d like to try moving in-house responsibilities to a third-party service provider, consider the above-mentioned suggestions—and be sure to comment below if you have any tips that were left off the list!


Mike Hanski is a content marketer. He writes for various online businesses and occasionally tweets on lit and writing craft.