Make Content Marketing Magic Happen with Outsourced Writers
In the world of digital marketing, the connection between content and conversions is undeniable. Content marketing is the most popular and effective way to attract new customers, stay relevant, become a thought leader, educate the market, rank higher in search engines and win loyalty through constant engagement.
Content Marketing for B2B Companies
With B2B companies looking to reach clients through all available channels, today’s marketing managers are juggling more balls than ever before. Whether you’re using content marketing to guide customers through your sales pipeline with email campaigns, establishing your reputation for leadership in print, on social media or through blog posts and case studies, or equipping your sales team with new materials, every effort requires high-level writing and plenty of it. Even companies with full time, in-house writers are easily overwhelmed by the sky-high content demands that come with keeping businesses present and relevant in the online domain.
One of the most efficient ways to close the content gap, lighten your team’s load, and free up time to plan your next initiatives is to work with outsourced writers to help you boost your content marketing efforts. While bringing more talent to your team can certainly boost productivity, having more help is only going to be a slam dunk if you know the tried and true steps for achieving a successful collaboration with your outsourced writers for content writing. In this article, we’ll take you through the roadmap we use for making content marketing magic happen with outsourced writers.
How to Effectively Outsource your Content Writing
Step 1: Find the Right Content Writer
Not all content writers are created equal, especially in the competitive field of B2B technology, where companies rely heavily on marketing content to differentiate their brand from others and help them shine. You can understand whether a writer is the right fit for you by requesting to see their portfolio and asking for samples of the kind of writing you need. Many writers specialize in specific industries, as well as in different mediums of writing. For example, some focus on white papers or case studies, while others specialize in writing blog posts or email marketing campaigns.
While this is the right way to find writers that best fit your needs, the process can be long and resource-intensive. If you don’t have the time to do it on your own and you need high-quality content quickly, consider bypassing this step by working with a marketing agency that offers a content marketing service.
The benefits of outsourcing your writing to an agency from the onset extend far beyond saving time on finding the perfect writer.
Marketing agencies already have a firm handle on their writers’ strengths and work capacity, allowing them to match you with a suitable writer for each project, and not just according to your company’s general needs. And, because agencies work with a stable of writers who they’ve already vetted, working with an agency allows you to define an end-to-end content strategy and increase your content volume beyond a single writer’s capacity. With a marketing agency, there are always additional writers on hand to help you push intensive projects and meet stiff deadlines, and you won’t be subject to the kinds of scheduling conflicts companies often face when working with just one outsourced writer. As an added bonus, if the agency you’re working with is also an SEO agency, your content can also be optimized to rank high in search engines and you can get access to tracking and analysis tools that help determine the efficacy of each piece of content.
Step 2: Onboard your Content Writer Carefully
The more information you supply to your outsourced writer upfront, the better. At the beginning of the relationship, you should provide the writer with background information and demonstrations that will help them to quickly understand your products and services, and how your target audiences use them. It’s best that you record and save these materials so that you can distribute them to other writers easily as your content needs increase. You should also provide examples of content that has been successful for your company and/or competitor content that you would like them to use as references.
Your head of marketing should meet with the writer to review the company’s sprint and long-term content goals. Make sure your writer understands your company’s personality and the brand voice that you wish to project to your customers. It’s important to understand that even for experienced writers, the onboarding process usually takes two to three months. You should initially plan for bi-weekly meetings with your writer where you discuss the material’s successes and shortcomings, allow the writer to connect with relevant team members, experts and customers, and where the writer can ask questions.
Step 3: Create a Content Strategy and Clearly Communicate Writing Assignments
Once you’ve decided on the projects you’ll assign to your outsourced writer, prepare a brief for each writing task detailing the article’s goal, its audience, and the channels where you intend to use the piece. Be sure to note if you want SEO for the piece, whether the writer should incorporate keywords on their own, or if you have a prepared list of terms to incorporate in the content. If you are tracking new trends and keywords for your industry, be sure to update them on these, or assign your writer to do this for one or two hours a week researching and preparing a report on what’s buzzing in your market.
When determining deadlines, remember that you will need to plan time for revisions.
Ideally, the writer’s deadline for a first draft should be a few days before you intend to publish, leaving enough time for your writer to incorporate your notes and revisions, and for your design team to imbed the text in the finished asset, such as a landing page, brochure, or emailer.
Creating a long-term content strategy is as important as effectively outlining each assignment. Together with your writer, you should discuss how each content asset can be repurposed to suit other marketing channels, or how it can be incorporated into other assets, like sales presentations, user manuals, or industry forums. Once your writer is onboarded and familiar with your needs, we suggest sitting with them each quarter to create a three to six-month content strategy.
Pro Tip: Writing a Winning Brief
Treat your brief like a roadmap to the article you’d write yourself, if only you had the time. Let your writer know where the article will be published, who you expect will read the article, and the outcome you are aiming for with the asset’s publication (for example, do you want to advertise for a promotion or event, to show off an innovation amongst other industry professionals, or generate and nurture leads through a specific channel). Create bullets for every topic you want to cover, by priority. You should also note any topics that are related to the subject of the assignment that you want the writer to avoid. If you have a piece of writing that’s worked in the past, share it with your writer. Link examples of pieces you like so the writer can have a clear idea of the tone you’d like to transmit to your customers or partners before they take to the keyboard. A clear brief will get you to the goal line quicker and cheaper than simply asking your writer to freestyle on a given topic and then spending days on edits and new iterations.
Step 4: Track and Optimize your Content marketing
Be sure to treat your outsourced writer like any member of your in-house marketing team. Sharing with them all data relevant to their work. Traffic, conversions, and read times are all important metrics for understanding whether a specific piece of content was a success. If your company utilizes any comparison technologies that help you understand how your content is stacking up. In regards to that of your competitors, share this information with your writer.
Where possible, have your writer review comments or talkbacks on their articles. So they can understand what’s resonating with your audience, and what isn’t. The more quantitative and qualitative data a writer has on their work, the better they can shape their next pieces of writing to meet your company’s goals. Make your writer a full partner in optimizing content by letting them incorporate this feedback into finished assets and monitoring the performance of the updated pieces.
Step 5: Leverage the Creativity of your Content Writers
Even in the practical world of B2B, passion for creative expression and artistry drives every writer. At their core, writers are looking for their chance to shine a light on your unique offerings. Presenting them in innovative ways that will make your company impossible to ignore. When your writer has taken a nuanced understanding of your company, it’s always a good idea to hand them the reins and offer new ideas for connecting with your audience. Rest assured, you will be astounded by the inventiveness an outsourced writer will supply when you recruit their inner artist to your company’s mission. How this can be a key driver in successful content marketing.
Access Content Marketing Experts with Inspired Marketing
We love uniting exciting B2Bs with our superstar writers who can fast-track them to their goals. Our versatile group of seasoned marketing writers are waiting to bring their expertise. And with passion to producing content for marketing campaigns that help you stand out and shine. We’ve done the legwork of recruiting the best writers for B2B, allowing you to hit the ground running. So if you’re looking to boost your brand, stand out from your competitors, and establish your company as a thought leader with unique written and video content, contact us today.