Content creation is a core activity of most marketing agencies. Indeed, 48% of companies use blogging to attract customers. Whether you have been asked to manage a new blog or craft compelling email campaigns, your clients need fresh content consistently. If you aren’t able to deliver, you will quickly fall behind.
For agencies, there are numerous reasons why outsourcing content creation makes sense: it is easily delegated; there is plenty of talent in the space; and, often, outsourcing content creation is more affordable than doing it in-house. Agency owners who outsource content creation can focus on delivering exceptional value elsewhere in the business.
In this article, we make the case that large marketing agencies should outsource their written content needs. That goes for internal content, like their blogs and social media posts, and for external client needs, like SEO content, email campaigns, press releases, and website copy.
Why outsourcing content creation makes sense for agencies
The benefits of content creation outsourcing are innumerable. But if you’re going to make a case for outsourcing any aspect of your content marketing, you need to be able to articulate the reasons why. Here are a few of the core benefits to get you started:
Streamlined Content Creation Process: It is hard to produce quality content consistently, so you must implement a process for your content creation. Even better, outsource the process as well. Once you have a ‘set and forget’ way to get content created, you won’t look back on the old ad hoc ways of managing things.
More Focus On Your Agency's Unique Value: A client may come to you asking you for a new blog for their website, but what they really want is a business outcome (more leads, better brand recognition, increased sales, improved candidate quality, etc.). Your team can focus on the work, like strategy, that your clients came to you for. Outsource the things, like content writing, that others can do, and focus your efforts on delivering something only you (or your agency) can do.
Diverse Voices and Abilities: If you have 10, 20, 50, or even 100 clients on your agency’s books, that means you have to keep track of that many brands when you create content. Having this constant context-switching is a nightmare for the productivity and happiness of internal content teams.To ensure your content outputs as an agency stay consistent, you need to draw upon a wider team who can focus on each client’s individual needs.
Endless Ideation: Freelance writers bring a new eye to your campaigns, giving them a second look before they go live so they don't miss anything critical. If you are trying to manage all of this in-house, you again risk losing sight of what clients want and instead falling into the same patterns of stale content creation.
More Focus On Agency Growth: When you run a marketing agency, it can feel like you are always helping grow other people’s businesses at the expense of growing your own. By outsourcing a time-consuming and technical effort like content writing, agency owners and managers can spend time on the things that will take their business to the next level.
How to outsource content creation
Agencies have several options when it comes to outsourcing content creation.
The most obvious choice is to hire a freelance writer yourself. Freelance writers are seemingly everywhere online. And there's a good reason for that: of the 1.2 billion freelancers worldwide, 17% of them are writers. All it takes to find one is posting a quick job advertisement or asking colleagues for recommendations on social media.
The problem, however, is that recruiting and managing a freelance writer takes a lot of time and energy. Even when the writing work is delivered, you may have to edit to bring the quality up to standard. You are also likely to have to spend hours micromanaging the overall content creation process.
Because of the labor involved with managing a writer directly, many agency owners turn to other companies as service providers in this respect. This is a smart move. Companies that provide content creation services have a built-in incentive to ensure that the content is high quality and matches your expectations.
Some content creation companies only offer a generic job-matching service, though. You post a job on their platform, and freelance writers bombard you with applications and (often) irrelevant samples. This kind of company doesn’t bring much value to you as an agency.
What you need to do instead is look for a content creation company that has more involvement in the overall content creation process. After all, there is a lot to creating, publishing, and optimizing content on a regular basis.
To successfully manage the entire content creation process end-to-end, you need to:
- Define your overall content strategy
- Conduct SEO research to identify keyword opportunities
- Ideate the subjects, topics, and issues your content will cover
- Research the content and find authoritative sources to include
- Write the content using industry best practices for each content type
- Edit the content, ideally with a third party to help spot mistakes
- Append other assets to the content piece, such as graphics, photographs, and charts
- Proofread the final content piece, again using a third party to mitigate errors
- Publish the content widely, recycling parts of it for social media where possible
- Update and improve existing content after 6-9 months of being published
- Audit existing content to generate ideas and find areas of improvement for new content
This process is a lot for any agency to handle internally. Moreover, it takes the focus off the things that matter most to clients. The most successful agencies outsource as much of the content creation process as possible to ensure maximum efficiency.
What content creation to outsource
Once you have decided to outsource, the question becomes: 'What should my agency outsource?'
The short answer here is ‘just about everything.’
Here are some of the content types you can outsource as an agency:
- Blog posts
- Content refreshes
- Press releases
- SEO content
- Social media posts
- Ad copy
- Product descriptions
- Audio and video scripts
- Web pages
- White papers
- Forum questions and answers
Should an agency outsource its own content needs?
Again, the short answer here is: absolutely. If you are saving time on your client’s content creation, you can be sure you will save time on your own, too.
One thing to bear in mind is that some content strategists advise that you should not outsource any content creation that comes from top executives. In the marketing agency context, this would mean not outsourcing any of the emails, social media posts, blog posts, investor updates, or other materials that come from your leadership.
This could, however, prove to be a false warning. When strategists advise that leadership spend time on their own content, what they are really encouraging is the infusion of the leadership’s personal brand and vision into the content. That is the thing that should not be outsourced.
To get the best of both worlds, agency leadership should write the content briefs that are then given to writers as part of outsourcing content creation. An agency owner, for example, could create a social media post template and list 5-10 topics they care about, asking writers to come up with 50-100 ideas for social media posts based on those initial ideas.
In this case, the leadership vision comes through, but the leader themselves doesn’t have to spend hours on the content creation process. It’s a win-win.
Where to find quality content writers
If you're an agency that wants to remain competitive, outsourcing content creation is a great way to do so. It allows you to focus on other aspects of your business while still providing quality services for your clients.
The good news is that finding the right content writer for your business isn’t hard when you know where to look. And when you finally get that perfect content writer on your books, you will wonder why you didn’t get organized sooner.
If you need help hiring a quality content writer, or a team of them, Scripted can help. Scripted is not your average freelance writer platform. With Scripted, you are fully supported throughout the entire creation and publishing process: not only do you get access to content strategists who can help you generate unique content ideas for your brand, but you also get expert editors to help every word shine. The Scripted Content Studio is your end-to-end solution for outsourcing content for your agency and your clients. Speak with a strategist today to learn more.