Outsourcing is a growing trend across industries, for companies of all sizes. It makes sense on a number of levels.
- A cyclical economy. Regardless of industry, there are always going to be dips when staff layoffs become necessary. Severing a relationship becomes much easier when there isn’t the long-term investment that accompanies full-time employment.
- A cost-effective solution. According to a survey conducted by Northwest Staffing Resources, an employee can cost approximately 57% more than the stated wage due to the cost of benefits and the amount of time they’re actually focused and on-task. A $50K employee could actually cost the company almost $78,500/year. An outsourced contractor, on the other hand, can often provide a higher level of expertise for a much lower cost—an estimated $36,000 per year, for example.
- A higher level of expertise and efficiency. For the monthly fee, the client receives a higher level of expertise since the contractor brings experience from a variety of client situations. The work is done in much less time because there aren’t the normal distractions of an internal employee, such as routine staff meetings and vacations.
- Access to skilled resources. Recruiting and training are significant workforce investments. It can take months before an employee is really producing at a high level. But when your highly trained employees leave after intensive training, your ROI plummets. With contractors, you get those same skilled workers performing at a high level, but someone else has put in the time and expense to train them.
Business owners may be the experts, but that doesn’t mean they can write about it
When it comes to a company’s content marketing program—blogs, website content, email blasts and social media posts—many business owners are reluctant to outsource these efforts because they believe that they’re the experts. They’re the ones who know their business. And they’re absolutely right. But that doesn’t mean they can write about it.
As a writer and content marketing expert, one of the best examples I run into is developing website content. Business owners become adamant about writing their own content. The problem is that they’re often poor writers and they have their day jobs. Writing content for websites is a skill. It requires being able to organize information and a writing technique that’s different from other writing formats. When companies insist that they’ll provide the content, these web projects often completely stall. When they work with a writer, the projects stay on track and meet deliverable dates.
Other business owners worry that if they outsource their content, they’ll lose control
They’re concerned that with an outsourced solution, a professional writer won’t be able to match their voice and brand. But that’s nonsense—a professional writer is trained to be able to work with a wide range of brands. We’re intuitive and smart. We work hard to understand the nuances of the businesses about which we’re writing. We get it right the first time. We save time by coming up with good content that needs just a quick review and approval—not massive edits and rewrites.
Good marketing—and good content–isn’t just about marketing, it tells a story
It captures the audience’s attention, relating with them on some level, and transferring knowledge or compelling action. We work hard to follow industry news and people, making blogs and other posts relevant for our audiences. We look at the big picture, creating editorial calendars to identify important holidays, dates and events that we should be leveraging in our blogs and social media posts. Chances are that your internal team, especially if it’s not a dedicated content marketing team but a haphazardly appointed group that deals with content marketing when they can, is not doing this. The result: the entire effort often falls apart. Content marketing, to be effective, needs to be steady and consistent; it should inform and entertain, help people do their jobs.
To keep in mind: Outsourced content providers don’t work in a vacuum. We’re careful about review and approval cycles, keeping our editorial calendars updated, making sure that we’re checking in regularly with our business unit partners. Best of all, we prepare reports to show that what we’re doing is working.