Content continues to be important in the marketing world.
According to one survey, content marketing gets three times more leads than paid search advertising.
One of the challenges with content creation, however, is finding the time and energy to create what is needed. There are basically three types of content:
People generally have a preference balance amongst all three. This includes those in your target audience. Your general audience may skew toward one, but it’s likely they consume a good amount of all three.
There are also different platforms for delivering these types of content. Video has YouTube, social media and more. Audio has all the various podcasting channels and more. And text has websites, blogs, books, ebooks, social media, email and countless more.
Even if you decide that a specific content type and channel are right for you, there is still the challenge of creating enough content to gain traction. The best in the content game always lean toward quantity.
I like to think about songwriters. The great country music songwriter, Dean Dillon, said something along the lines about his songwriting. That he had to write 500 songs to get 10 on hold to get five of those cut and to get one of those to be a hit.
Or think about a novel author who has to brainstorm countless ideas, then create and edit an outline, then write thousands of pages to pretty much cut it down to 300 good pages. And then maybe the book will be a hit.
So what does this mean?
It means that if you’re serious about content you have to be serious about quantity. And if you’re serious about quantity and running your business then you’re probably looking at hiring somebody full-time or outsourcing.
If you’re thinking outsourcing, here are a few tips on how to outsource content creation…
1. Determine The Best Fit Type & Channels
It’s easier than it sounds. There is no guarantee that you’ll choose the exact right content type and channels for your content creation efforts. But the true wrong choice would be not creating content at all.
Your target customers are likely using all content types and channels to some degree. So you can reach them even if you just choose something out of thin air.
You can look at the competition and see what they are mostly doing. What types they’re creating and what channels they’re using. You can look at other businesses that aren’t competition, but that your customers are using and see what they’re doing the most.
Don’t worry too much about the channel. The channels always change. But the types – text, video and audio – will remain the same. Those can be used on all channels no matter what becomes popular in the future.
2. Look For An Expert
Once you choose one, or multiple, types of content you can start looking for an expert in the area or areas. Usually agencies will specialize in a content type. Some will specialize in a channel. And that’s okay if they do. If the channel is hot right now or becoming hot or even if it still has incredible reach (ex. email) it’s still good to choose an expert.
If someone is really good at writing content for a certain channel, they can probably write content for just about any type of channel. Not always, but it’s a good bet. The same is true for video and audio.
3. The Person(s) Creating The Content
The people creating the content may be experts in your industry. But that’s not usually the case. Writers are usually experts in writing. Video producers are usually experts at creating videos. Podcasts producers are usually really good at creating audio.
You might have someone on your team that knows your industry inside and out and that loves creating content. Or you might find a content creator that has worked in your industry before.
But the more common outsourcing option is to find an expert and experienced writer that may or may not have experience in your specific niche industry. Work with them to get up to speed on the industry details. Provide them feedback and information. They can become experts, through you, in your industry and with their writing or video or audio skills create some really great content.
Content that you’re unlikely to create on your own.
When you find the person that will create your content, work with them to create a schedule or calendar. Brainstorm ideas for the content you’re going to create. Aim for at least a month’s worth of ideas at a time.
Choose the ideas for the upcoming month or possibly 2-3 months. Put it on the schedule along with notes, links and other resources.
Now the creator can set their creation schedule and on the appointment times they can access the schedule and have everything they need to begin researching and creating.
5. Distribution, Snippets, Etc.
Distribution is relatively easy today. If you’re creating video you can easily upload it to a platform such as Facebook or YouTube. You can use a service like Anchor for podcast distribution. You can post blog posts on your own website or on social media.
Whatever content you’re creating, also have the content creator or another person on the team create snippets from the content. You might take a 20 minute video and create 3 1-minute snippets. You might take a 600-word blog post and create 3 50-word snippets. The same with a podcast episode.
These snippets are great for distributing on social media, email, text and more.
6. Feedback, Analytics, Etc.
Feedback is very important with the first few pieces. You want to make sure the creator is hitting the style you’re looking for as well as doing the little things you want in the piece. If you tell them they will listen and make changes right away. But they won’t be able to read your mind about what you want.
Also, when you’re brainstorming content ideas every few months, use the engagement data from analytics to help see what content is reaching the most people. Learn from that insight and use it to help come up with new, similar ideas.
And continue experimenting with other ideas for your content as well because the analytics can tell you what has been popular, but not always what will be popular.
Content marketing is a long-term effort. Look at your favorite blog or podcast or video channel and you’ll likely find that it’s been around for years. That’s what you’re looking at. The only times that isn’t the case is if the brand or person behind the content has previously built an audience somewhere else. Through business or through previous content creation.
It’s a big commitment. It takes the right expectations, but it also provides the key opportunity.
Many begin and quit after a few months. Those that stay the course are the ones that win in the long run.
Content outsourcing is something many companies are doing today. They see the value in hiring experts in video, audio and text and working with them to create expert content for their industry that connects with a target audience. Use the tips here to aid in your search for your content outsourcing needs.