Dave Oury is the president and managing partner of Medical Leverage, a healthcare communications company.
Whatever your customers come to you for, they come to you because you’re an expert at what you do. But you can’t be an expert in all things.
Take, for example, content creation. Content creation is a critical part of any brand strategy, because every brand must communicate with end users, customers, business partners, and the public to build long-lasting success. Content created to communicate with these audiences can be marketing materials, sales decks, social media ads, magazine articles, whitepapers, and more.
But when you try to meet all your content needs in house, it can be tough to create excellent content day in and day out. Even an in-house, full-time copywriter isn’t going to have expertise in everything, and bandwidth limits can keep your content on hold in busy times.
However, when you hand the reins of your content creation to an outside expert, you have the chance to get expertly crafted copy with less stress, so you can focus on what you do best — running your brand.
Is It Time To Outsource Your Content Creation?
In the fast-paced chaos of product management, many brand managers overly focus on the day-to-day running of the business or on developing a better product/service. Content too often gets put on the back burner. But content is how that product makes its way into the minds of customers. Without it, there are no sales to keep the revenue flowing in.
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So the moment of “We need to get content, now!” sneaks up unannounced, leaving leaders in a scramble to find a writer fast. Rushed content is never optimal. If you want to get ahead of the game and not find yourself clamoring for content, watch for these signs of when it’s time to start searching for an outside content creator:
• Your in-house content team is struggling to meet deadlines or turning in less-than-ideal work.
• Your business doesn’t have a professional content writer on staff.
• You’ve just entered a new market and aren’t quite sure how to communicate with it.
• You’ve taken on a large project or big client, and you know your content needs are about to increase.
• Your brand is growing, and you need help with content strategy so you can be proactive rather than reactive with messaging.
If you meet one of the qualifications above, it might be time to bring on an outside content creator. But you may still be on the fence, because every dollar counts in your company’s budget. Consider that the best use of your company’s resources is having your employees focus on their primary functions instead of trying to squeeze in content-writing tasks.
Content is your brand’s mouthpiece to the world. It needs to be effective, efficient, and do the job it was meant to do to support your overall brand objectives. Trying to do it all in-house can come at a detriment if your team doesn’t have the expertise or bandwidth to create the content you need.
Consider these four reasons to outsource your content creation to a professional:
1. Working With A Pro Could Boost Efficiency
If you’ve ever tried to take on a home project, only to spin your wheels for weeks before bringing on an expert who finishes it in a day, you already know that hiring a pro can get you to the finish line faster. A professional content creator can take your initial instruction and turn it into a finished product post haste, so that the content can be out in the world doing what you want it to do, rather than languishing as a blinking cursor on your laptop.
Plus, handing your content creation duties off to a third-party expert allows you to scale your content production faster. In the time it takes your in-house team to produce a single piece of content, an outside expert could have created a full omnichannel communication effort.
2. You Could Expand Your Expertise
In our work as a medical communications company, much of the work we do is helping pharmaceutical companies communicate with doctors. For example, if a medicine was previously only used for adults, and now it can be used for kids, the pharmaceutical company now needs to speak effectively to pediatricians. They may not be experienced in doing that, but we are. Very few if any organizations have experts of every kind on their payroll. Hiring a content agency who handles the area you need to move into could help you bridge the gap.
3. You Could Gain Bandwidth In A Pinch
So you’ve made your marketing plan, you’re working to put it all together, and boom — a surprise need pops up. But your team is already at max capacity, so what do you do? You can push your people to produce more than they’re capable of doing well, ask people on your staff who aren’t expert writers to produce content, or you can bring in outside help.
Outsourcing your content creation to a specialized agency could help you meet your deadlines with high-quality content when you don’t have the bandwidth to create it in house. Straining the abilities of your in-house staff is a loss all around, because the content they produce under duress is more likely to fall flat. If content isn’t effective, you’ve wasted your money, anyway.
4. Leverage Insight For Strategy
Not only will professional content creators produce your content, but they’re generally experts at content strategy, as well. Content strategy means developing a way of creating and releasing content so that it has maximum engagement and retention with the target audience.
An agency that produces content for many different clients has a wealth of diverse expertise and experience to pull from. An outside expert’s perspective can help you take advantage of opportunities you may have overlooked, or help you pivot when you’re going down the wrong path. You can leverage your content producer’s expertise to put the best strategy to work for your brand.
So much content is created in a rush as a reaction to an event or changing market. But the best way to get the optimal results is by aligning content with your brand’s overall strategy from the beginning. Your content creation agency can help you align your content with your strategy by answering important questions such as:
• Why are we creating this content?
• Who needs to see this content?
• How does the target audience best interact with content?
• What’s the best cadence at which to release this content for optimal results?
How To Find A Content Creator For Your Brand
Finding a content creator for your business is not a one-size-fits all solution. Fortunately, there are content creators that specialize in nearly every industry and every type of communication. The key to finding the right one starts with knowing exactly what you need.
First, clearly define what type of content you’ll need. If you need mostly advertising or marketing copywriting, you’ll probably want to hire a copywriter or a marketing agency. If you need blog posts, hire a blogger. If you need B2B communications, look for a company or individual that specializes in the industries you need to reach. And if you need a little of everything, a full-service content agency may be just what you need.
Lots of writers are flexible and can come up with all sorts of different content, but your best bet is finding someone that specializes in producing exactly what you need, because they’ll already be instinctively familiar with the language, leading to faster, better results.
Once you have a few candidates in mind, check reviews, do in-person interviews, and always ask to see samples. The proof is in the samples. Good work speaks for itself.
Content Creation Is Critical
Communication is key to driving business success and internal cooperation. Don’t be afraid to bring in outside help when you need it to get great content. Outsourcing your content creation to a third-party expert can help you meet your goals more efficiently, with less stress and better overall results.
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Author: Dave Oury, Forbes Councils Member