outsource content marketing

How To Outsource Content Marketing Without Sacrificing Quality Control

Last Updated on April 6, 2024 by Anneke Schmidt, PhD

Have you ever felt like you need more time in your day, especially to create content? Consistent, high-quality content – from blog posts, web copy, and social media management to white papers and case studies – is the engine for successful content marketing. But the amount of time and expertise this work requires can spread you pretty thin, especially if your content team is on the smaller side or doesn’t exist at all.

I’ve spent a good chunk of my career in the eLearning field as a content strategist and SEO consultant. From this experience, I can tell you that choosing the right people to outsource to can seriously improve your efficiency and the results you get.

For instance, a 2021 study about the buying decision-making process of companies outsourcing video production showed an interesting trend: more than 80% of B2B marketers saw a boost in engagement and more leads from outsourcing their content production. It stands to reason that other content formats, such as articles and infographics, could yield similar benefits when outsourced strategically.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? But anyone who has tried to outsource content marketing knows that it’s not as simple as finding a freelancer or agency and sending them an assignment. I’ve seen what happens when things don’t match up, and there’s no doubt about it: poorly executed content campaigns waste money and dilute your brand voice.

So, let’s make sure that doesn’t happen to you! Together, we’ll explore how to navigate the outsourcing process confidently, from finding the right partners to setting clear expectations that protect your brand’s integrity.

Spoiler alert: You can’t ensure quality control if the people you work with aren’t capable of delivering the quality you need. 

Benefits of Outsourcing Your Content Creation Process

One thing is clear: outsourcing content production has many benefits. It can reduce stress, save money, and spark fresh ideas that no one in your organization may have thought of before.

But let’s take a closer look at these advantages to find out why outsourcing content marketing is a smart move for so many businesses.

Outsourcing Content Creation Is More Cost-Effective Than Hiring an In-House Writer

This one’s a little counter-intuitive, considering that outsourcing means you’re paying someone else to do something your in-house team could potentially do themselves. But think about it for a second: the costs associated with an in-house writer are immense: salary, benefits, equipment, and continuous professional development. These add up fast.

Outsourcing, by contrast, means you only pay for the content solutions you need, exactly when you need them. No stress about covering a full-time salary in slower times. As a general principle, freelancers also use their own tools and have their own subscriptions, cutting down your costs even further. This approach is a clear win for saving on the expenses of an in-house team.

With an Experienced Team, Content Creation and Publishing Can Be Faster

The pressure to keep publishing can feel like an endless slog, especially if you’re short on resources. But having the right team or individual service provider in your corner makes all the difference. 

For instance, a client of mine needed consistent blog posts (how-to guides, data-driven analytical pieces, and critical thought leadership content), but their in-house writer was swamped. With an experienced content strategist and copywriter on board, they went from publishing sporadically to a consistent twice-a-week schedule, all without compromising quality.

If you’re a small business, it’s particularly helpful to add a well-rounded professional to your team who combines the skills of a content strategist, copywriter, and SEO specialist. That way, you can have all your bases covered without needing to hire multiple people and juggle communication between them.

But don’t get me wrong: I’m not pushing for jack-of-all-trades marketers here.

The debate between generalizing or niching down is ongoing in the freelancer world. Specialization is something I strongly believe in. I see significant value in focusing on a specific area. It’s just that there are different ways to do it.

Some people specialize in a particular content or service type. Others, like myself, focus on a specific industry. This approach isn’t about limiting creativity; it’s about honing expertise. And expertise is exactly what speeds up your content creation and ensures quality.

Copywriting, Content Strategy & SEO Services for EdTech, eLearning, and L&D Brands

You Can Benefit From Fresh Ideas and New Perspectives

With a fresh set of eyes on your content strategy, you might discover innovative approaches you hadn’t considered before. Of course, this will depend on who you work with and how experienced they are, but the potential for discovering new marketing ideas is definitely there when outsourcing.

Here’s one thing I learned from my client work: sometimes, you’re simply too close to the project, if not to your business. It’s like you can’t see the woods for the trees. Having someone external to your company can help you see your work and offerings in a new light.

Say you’re a SaaS company, but you’ve been writing about technology when your audience is more interested in learning about the human side of remote work. This outsider perspective can inspire new and exciting content ideas that resonate with the people you actually want to reach – your target audience.

how to outsource content marketing

You’ll Have More Time for Strategizing and Other Business Activities

This one’s particularly important for small businesses and solopreneurs. As your company grows, so do your responsibilities. Suddenly, you find yourself juggling multiple responsibilities and struggling to find time for the tasks that move your business forward.

When you outsource content creation or even your content strategy, you free up valuable time to focus on other, more important aspects of your business, such as strategizing, networking, and client acquisition.

That’s another reason successfully outsourced content has a great ROI – it allows you to spend your time on high-level activities that drive your business’s growth instead of being bogged down by day-to-day tasks.

how to outsource content marketing processes
  • 91% of B2B businesses currently use content marketing, highlighting its critical role in modern marketing strategies​ (Ahrefs)​
  • 83% of marketers argue that prioritizing content quality over quantity is preferable, even if it means posting less often. (HubSpot).
  • 46% of businesses plan to increase their content spending this year, indicating a growing recognition of digital marketing channels​ (Content Marketing Institute)​.
  • 80% of B2B marketers see increased engagement and lead generation after outsourcing content creation (THESEUS).
  • Content marketing produces more than three times the leads of outbound marketing and is 62% cheaper (Demand Metric).
  • 33% of content creation efforts are planned but not documented, underscoring the need for a more structured approach​ (Content Marketing Institute)​.
  • 73% of B2C marketers use keyword research for SEO when creating content, recognizing the importance of organic search in content strategy​ (Semrush)​.

Potential Downsides of Outsourcing Content Marketing

But this wouldn’t be an honest discussion if we didn’t also address the potential downsides of outsourcing in the marketing space. A few concerns understandably crop up. Don’t worry, though – we’ll cover how to find the right partners to ensure these don’t become problems for you.

So, what is it that worries businesses most about outsourcing content marketing? In my experience, it’s these four things that clients fear the most.

Finding the Right Fit May Be Time-Consuming and Expensive

Let’s be real, finding the perfect contractor or agency takes work. You’ve got to research, review portfolios, and maybe even do some trial projects. This takes time and can eat into your budget if you don’t find the right match quickly.

And what if you do find a good fit, but they’re out of your price range? This is a valid concern, but it’s important to remember that quality content comes at a cost.

There’s a Potential for Misalignment With Your Specific Marketing Goals and Strategy

You have a clear vision for your content, but can you be sure an external partner will understand it? Miscommunication about your overall content marketing strategy can lead to outsourced content that isn’t aligned with your goals, ultimately wasting time and resources.

Take these examples:

  • Your goal is to increase sign-ups for your free product trial, but the content offers general industry advice.
  • You want in-depth case studies showcasing your software’s ROI, but you get superficial success stories.
  • Your target audience is C-suite executives, but the content is geared towards entry-level employees.
  • You need technical white papers establishing your expertise but receive fluffy promotional blog posts.
  • You emphasize on-page optimization, but the outsourced content lacks internal linking and meta descriptions.
  • You want content that builds topical authority, but the focus is on one-off, unrelated articles.

These scenarios are worrying, to say the least, but it gets even worse:

Inexperienced Content Creators Could Dilute Your Brand Voice

Imagine this: you hand over your brand’s voice to a newbie, and suddenly, your sophisticated tech blog sounds like it’s written for preschoolers. Not quite what you had in mind, right?

Finding skilled writers who truly “get” your brand’s voice and have the subject knowledge to back it is tougher than it seems. If you end up with someone who doesn’t understand your audience or niche, your social media posts and other content might feel generic or, worse, fall flat and damage your brand’s reputation.

Quality Control Can Be an Issue When Outsourcing to Unsuitable Partners

Outsourcing your content marketing efforts should make your life easier and not create more headaches, but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. In fact, quality control can be trickier when you’re not making the content yourself. You lose a degree of direct oversight, and if the relationship with your outsourced partner isn’t established on a solid foundation, it can lead to miscommunication and subpar marketing materials.

And to make things even more complex, quality control isn’t just about proofreading—it’s a holistic approach to ensuring your content is consistently high-quality and on-brand. That’s why it’s so important to find partners who share your standards and are more than just “hired hands.”

If you’re not sure how to guarantee quality when outsourcing, here’s what to watch out for:

  • Lack of research: Make sure your partner thoroughly researches and verifies information before publishing it. Do they have a fact-checking process in place?
  • Plagiarism: This should be a no-brainer, but sadly, some unscrupulous writers might attempt to pass off someone else’s work as their own. Do your due diligence and use plagiarism checkers.
  • Brand Voice Mismatch: Does the outsourced content feel disjointed from your usual style? Consistent brand voice erodes trust and needs to be clarified for your audience.
  • Missed Goals: Are you getting content that doesn’t directly support your marketing objectives? This means wasted resources and missed opportunities.
  • Lack of Strategic Vision: Is your provider just giving you random pieces, or do they understand how their work fits into your overall content strategy?
  • SEO Ignorance (if applicable): Poorly optimized content won’t reach your target audience, even if it’s well-written. Make sure your partners understand SEO fundamentals.
  • Superficial Content: Does the outsourced work lack depth, making you seem like just another generic company in your field? This fails to position you as a thought leader.
search engine optimization (SEO) strategy

What Skills Should a Content Marketer Have to Be a Good Fit?

Finding the right content marketing partner is key to avoiding these pitfalls. So, what skills should you look for to ensure those high standards are met?

Below, I’ve compiled a table that outlines the essential skills every proficient content marketer should possess. It covers anything from SEO knowledge to copywriting and market research, detailing both the hard and soft skills required in each. Additionally, the table features bonus skill areas that are highly beneficial to have.

Feel free to use it as a reference when evaluating potential partnerships.

Skill AreaHard SkillsSoft Skills
Market Research ExperienceQualitative research, surveys, competitor analysis, content ideasstrong communication skills, analytical thinking, problem solving, curiosity
Excellent Copywriting SkillsSEO writing, storytelling, sales copywriting, thought leadershipCreativity, empathy, persuasiveness, critical thinking
Proofreading and Editing SkillsGrammar, APA Style, editing software proficiency, style guide usePatience, focus, ability to give and receive constructive feedback
Content Strategy ExperienceContent audit, editorial calendar planning, buyer persona development, documented content marketing strategyStrategic thinking, project management, planning and organization
Knowledge of SEO PrinciplesKeyword research, link-building strategies, content optimization, search engine optimizationAdaptability, data-driven mindset, willingness to learn
Technological Know-HowCMS operation, basic graphic design, social media tools, editing tools, AI tools, SEO toolsTech-savviness, problem-solving, detail-driven mindset
Bonus #1: Understanding of UX DesignWireframing, A/B testing, conversion rate optimization, UX/UI designEmpathy, collaboration, attention to detail
Bonus #2: Basic Web Development SkillHTML, CSS, javascript, web content troubleshooting, technical SEOstrong communication skills, analytical thinking, problem-solving, curiosity
Bonus #3: Data Analytics InsightsGoogle Analytics 4, Google Search Console, web crawlers, social media analytics, A/B testing analysisAnalytical thinking, mathematical mindset, investigative thinking
Content Marketing Skills

Not a fan of tables?

No worries. Let’s wrap this up with some straightforward advice for when you’re thinking of handing off your content creation to someone else.

Outsource Content Marketing Without Losing Quality With These 11 Tips

So, you’re ready to outsource some of your content marketing efforts? Smart move! Here’s how to ensure your outsourced content aligns with your high standards:

#1 – Define Your Content Goals

Before finding a copywriter, content strategist, or SEO consultant, get crystal clear on your goals and who you’re trying to reach (your target audience). This sets the foundation for successful content outsourcing.

#2 –Communicate Your Brand Voice and Values

Does your brand have a fun, quirky personality or a serious, authoritative tone? Make sure your outsourced writers understand your brand voice and values. And if you haven’t created a style guide and messaging map yet, try to find partners who can guide you through the process.

#3 – Review Potential Marketers’ Portfolios

Always check out a marketer’s portfolio to see if their style matches your expectations. Looking at past work is the best way to gauge their ability to adapt to your content requirements.

#4 – Choose Marketing Experts With Specialized Knowledge

If you need to produce content for a specific niche, find writers with relevant subject matter expertise. This leads to more accurate, in-depth marketing materials and helps you produce higher-quality content that resonates with your audience.

#5 – Establish a Clear Content Strategy

Don’t just hand off random content assignments. Help your outsourced writers understand how their contributions fit into your overall marketing strategy.

content strategy flow chart

#6 – Craft Detailed Content Briefs

Give your copywriters clear guidance.  Detailed content briefs ensure everyone is on the same page, saving you time and avoiding revisions later.

#7– Set Precise Timelines for Creation and Review

Timelines keep things moving smoothly. Establish clear deadlines for both content creation and your internal review process.

#8 – Maintain Regular, Clear Communication Channels

Keep the lines open. Staying in touch with external marketing professionals is essential. Open communication channels help prevent misunderstandings down the line.

#9 – Stay Updated on Content Marketing Trends

There are few constants in the world of marketing. So, you need to keep learning. Staying on top of trends means your content can remain fresh and relevant.

#10 – Build a Feedback Loop for Continuous Improvement

Providing constructive feedback to your marketers is crucial. A feedback loop can help everyone improve the work they produce for your company.

#11 – Measure and Analyze the Results

Finally, use tools like Google Analytics 4 (GA4) and Google Search Console to track your content’s performance. This data lets you understand what’s working, what’s not, and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.

Should You Outsource to a Content Agency or Work With a Freelancer?

Deciding whether to team up with a content agency or go solo with a freelancer or independent contractor isn’t black and white. Each path has its charms and challenges.

Let’s break it down:

Freelancers: Flexibility, cost efficiency, and a vast talent pool right at your fingertips – that’s the freelance world for you. Ideal for when your topics are broad, or you’re dipping your toes into content waters. But tread carefully. The freedom freelancers enjoy can sometimes mean less commitment to your brand’s vision. Plus, juggling multiple clients might stretch them thin, affecting reliability.

So, always make sure your freelancer:

  • Is a pro at project management
  • Can handle the workload
  • Considers freelancing their main gig
  • Has the subject matter expertise you need
  • Communicates well and responds to feedback.

Content Agencies: Enter the heavyweights. Agencies bring a team – SEO pros, writers, editors, the whole gang – all ready to elevate your content game. They’re your go-to for SEO-driven, demand-generating content that’s both high-quality and aligned with your strategy. Yet, complex organizational structures often come with a higher price tag, and handing over the reins might mean your brand’s voice risks getting lost in translation if not carefully managed.

There’s also the issue of not consistently working with the same individuals, which can lead to a lack of personal investment in your project. Before signing on, check how projects are managed and how hands-on you’ll be in steering the ship.

In-House Teams: For those who prefer the driver’s seat, keeping content creation in-house means complete control over the tone, style guide, and pace. Your brand’s essence is preserved, and immediate content tweaks are much easier to complete.

However, it’s not all roses. The cost of nurturing in-house talent can quickly add up, and the echo chamber effect – a lack of fresh perspectives—might sneak in without you noticing.

The Middle Ground: Sometimes, the best approach isn’t either-or but a blend. Maybe start with freelancers for broader topics while leaning on agencies and specialized experts for complex, SEO-intensive projects. Meanwhile, an in-house team can ensure everything stays true to your brand’s heart.

Skill & Care Marketing Solutions: Content Strategy and SEO

The Bottom Line: Find the Right Content Strategist for Your Business

The perfect partner? It’s all about experience, versatility, and mutual trust.

Whether you work with contractors only or decide to mix things up with an agency or in-house team, the key is finding people who bring a wide array of skills and expertise to the table, integrate seamlessly into your team, and, ideally, see the bigger picture of your content strategy, not just the tasks at hand.

Quality work should be non-negotiable. Find collaborators who uphold the same high standards as you and are invested in producing their absolute best – not just because they can but because they care.

Need your website to do more for you? At Skill & Care, I provide expert Copywriting, Content Strategy, and SEO Services to help you communicate your message with clarity, confidence, and expertise. Let’s work together to create content that resonates and ranks. Explore my services today, and see how the right words in the right place can make all the difference.

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