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Content Creation: How to Build a Successful Outsourced Team

by Steve Lazuka  |  
August 31, 2012

In this article you'll learn that...

  • Your can outsource content that is high-quality and cost-efficient and delivers results.
  • A true team effort is needed, including efficient systems, management time on your end, and client engagement, to make the process work.
  • You can achieve growth and success when you view your freelance writers as long-term partners and an extension of your in-house team.

Editor's note: Although this article specifically addresses agencies' efforts at content creation for clients, much of the guidance it provides can apply to client-side marketers as well.

Marketers far and wide, including those on the agency side, know the value of content marketing—as its own service offering and as the foundation for integrated campaigns.

Agencies confront clear operational challenges, however, in delivering a high volume of quality content that is also profitable and efficient for the business and serves the full range of clients' niche business areas.

Agencies therefore need to ask themselves:

  • Do we have the ability to hire professional copywriters in-house?
  • Should we task our account team members with producing content on behalf of their clients?
  • How do we price content to be reasonable and within client budgets and also profitable for the agency?

Often, to address these issues, agencies turn to freelance networks and specialized writing partners to either supplement internal resources or serve as a fully functioning content team.

Results begin and end with relationships

As a writer, and having seen content marketing from all corners of the business, I've learned that results start with solid relationships behind the content.

When outsourcing, you can employ the best technologies, platforms, and channels, but as an agency leader you need to approach content as a true team effort, engaging your account leaders, clients, and partner writers.

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Steve Lazuka is the founder of Interact Media, the software development firm behind the Zerys Content Marketplace and question-and-answer website YoExpert. Reach him via Twitter: @SteveLazuka.

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  • by Dave Young Fri Aug 31, 2012 via web

    Often overlooked, is whether the content needs to come from the experts inside the organization or whether it is suitable for good researchers/writers outside the client organization.

    When the client IS the expert, it can be pretty frustrating to saddle them with a ghost writer who will need to spend many, many hours just trying to get up to speed on the topics.

    We've had success using interviewers instead of writers for the source content. Let the client come up with a list of suitable topics...adjusted for SEO and link value (ie...substitute jargon with words being used by searchers). Most of these topics can be addressed by the client with little or no research. A good interviewer can pull the content out of the mouth of the client in about 5-10 minutes. Transcribe it and then hand it over to a good copy editor. It saves time for everyone.

    We built a company around the concept...if you want to outsource it.

  • by Nick Stamoulis Fri Aug 31, 2012 via web

    "Responsibility falls to your agency to achieve end results and to make all the time and efforts worthwhile."

    No matter who wrote it you are responsible for it, for better or for worse. That's why it's important you know exactly who you are outsourcing the work too. At the end of the day it's your name on it, not theirs.

  • by Leila Zogby Fri Aug 31, 2012 via web

    You speak truth when you say you get what you pay for. A fee of 20 cents a word, the top price I see your service offers writers, is hardly a living wage. You do a disservice to our industry by not honoring the work of professional writers. I'd like to see you feed your family on 20 cents a word.

  • by Prozen Consulting Sun Sep 9, 2012 via web

    It is essential that the content created is of high quality and is reviewed for purpose by internal stakeholders as you will own it. Once you find the outsourced content of good quality, subsequent assignments should involve less hassle and will generate higher confidence leading to higher long term value.


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