Should I Outsource Content Writing? When It’s a Good Idea...and When It’s Not
When it comes to content creation, it’s common for businesses to outsource content writing.
But is hiring a content writer the best decision for your organization?
The reality is, making the decision to outsource content creation isn’t for everyone.
In this article, I’m explaining when finding support is a good idea—and when you should consider keeping content creation in-house.
Let’s dive in…
When It’s Strategic to Outsource Your Content Writing
Many business leaders have great communication skills.
After all, it takes persuasive articulation of your company’s value to raise capital, build a team, or land profitable clients.
But good communication skills don’t equal excellent writing abilities.
Even if you’re a skilled writer, it’s often savvy to sub out content creation to a marketing professional. Here are a few situations where you should consider doing just that.
1. You’re Launching a Business
To launch a business is to become a jack-of-all-trades.
And between streamlining your operations, minimizing expenses, and fueling business development, content creation can fall through the cracks.
It’s true that you need to focus on business growth. And yes, you should minimize unnecessary costs.
At the same time, strategic delegation is your friend.
To give a personal example...there’s a reason I hired an accountant to help me set up QuickBooks. I didn’t want the headache of navigating new software—when I could simply pay a professional.
In the same way, if writing isn’t your strength (and content creation is central to your goals), consider outsourcing some tasks.
The fact is, creating quality content is an investment that can impact how…
Clients view your credibility.
Investors perceive your potential.
Employees assess your company.
As a bonus, a content writer can help you clarify your brand message—so you better communicate your company’s value during these formative stages.
2. You’re Scaling a Business
Perhaps you didn’t outsource content writing in the early years of your business.
Along the way, you’ve managed to wing content creation on your own...piecing together your website and publishing homespun articles.
But if your content isn’t up to par—and you’re looking to target bigger markets and contracts—consider hiring a copywriter to give your content a professional polish.
Tip: This is especially true if your company has grown and changed over time. If you’re undergoing organizational transformation, be sure your website clearly defines who your company is and what it offers to potential clients.
3. It’s Not Cost-Effective to Hire In-House
Perhaps you need content creation, but you’re not ready to hire a full-time marketing person.
It’s an understandable decision.
Hiring employees involves significant overhead—for instance, ensuring a regular salary or providing health insurance. And given these expenses, the payoff of having regularly published content might seem slim.
However, when you outsource content writing, you’ll enjoy the benefits of content creation...without the responsibilities that come with a full-time employee.
4. Your Marketing Team No Longer Has Capacity
Have an organization that’s internally creating content, but is experiencing growing needs?
If your in-house marketing team is responsible for…
Lead generation strategies
Social media management
Blog post writing
...they might have their hands full—which creates a strain if additional content projects are needed.
To free up your marketing staff, try outsourcing content writing tasks to a copywriter who can become an extension of your team.
Tip: While it may seem counterintuitive for your marketers to sub out content creation, realize that this isn’t uncommon. For example, this 2017 report revealed that 47% of B2B marketers surveyed outsourced some form of content creation.
5. You Need a Fresh Perspective and New Ideas
Maybe your organization has sufficient time for producing quality content.
Perhaps you even have a fully staffed marketing team.
But sometimes you simply need a different set of eyes on a project.
Whether you’re exploring a new strategy or repositioning a decades-old product, collaborating with a content writer can help you generate new ideas and discover blind spots.
Tip: Don’t simply hire the first person you interview. Instead, comb through your list of potential writers, and look for someone who…
Possesses critical thinking and good reasoning skills.
Offers constructive feedback on your messaging or strategy.
Has a solid foundation in marketing best practices.
When to Consider Keeping Content Writing In-House
As a copywriter, I’m passionate about creating high-quality content for B2B organizations—whether they need to rework their websites or produce thought-leadership blog posts.
At the same time, not every business should outsource content writing.
Before you hire a writer, check out these three scenarios. See if one (or all) of these descriptions characterizes your company.
1. Your Brand Is Closely Linked to a Single Personality
Is your company brand identical with the personality of an important leader? Does a single charismatic figure dominate your marketing message?
If so, think twice before you outsource a content project.
In situation like this, it’s possible that...
The charismatic leader will expect the content to sound exactly like him or her.
Producing content for your organization requires the writer to practically read the leader’s mind.
The writing process is inefficient because the leader wants to be closely involved.
Don’t get me wrong. Your content writer should have the ability to capture your company’s tone and clearly explain your organizational value.
But here’s the catch...
You don’t want a writer to exactly mimic the style of your organizational leader.
Ultimately, you want a copywriter who will take your marketing message...and make it even better than it currently is.
If your organization can’t give a content writer the creative freedom to refine your message or point out irrelevant value propositions, you may end up with subpar content or a counterproductive process.
2. You’re Too Attached to Your Marketing Message
Have strong opinions on your business objectives?
That’s a good thing.
However, too many emotional connections to your marketing message can create challenges if you outsource content writing.
For instance, your content writer may point out that positioning a blog post around your company’s accomplishments won’t drive organic traffic—as Google cares about articles that are valuable to users.
Or your writer may question your elevator pitch—because it doesn’t explain how your organization solves client challenges.
If you don’t welcome a second opinion on your marketing tactics, it might be easier to create content internally.
3. Readers Need a PhD to Understand Your Content
If your readers need a PhD to even understand your content, carefully deliberate before outsourcing a project.
As a copywriter who enjoys writing for technical audiences, I’m all for creating value-rich content for niche verticals.
However, if you’re planning a blog post that dives deep into the mechanical properties of aerospace aluminum-lithium parts…
I wouldn’t recommend fully outsourcing your content.
It’s beneficial to get the support of a marketing professional. However, I’d recommend having someone in your organization draft the meat of your content. Then, have a writer come behind you to edit, rework, and polish your copy.
Tip: You might consider finding someone in your industry who is known for his or her writing skills. For instance, search for a colleague with a background in marketing or communications. You can always have another marketing professional (from outside your industry) review the content.
Pinpointing a Solution for Your Content Needs
Not sure if you should outsource your content or keep production in-house?
I’m more than happy to discuss your situation and find a solution for your needs. To schedule a call, reach out to me here.
And stay tuned…
In the upcoming weeks, I’m covering how to outsource different types of content—such as website writing, blog posts, and more.