Great content is more than just words on a page (or on a screen nowadays). Content writers wear many hats. They are the storytellers, SEO specialists, subject matter experts, grammar police and the brand voice of marketing. Add in the amount of content your organization manages, and that’s a lot for one team to manage. And in the case of many marketing departments, that might only be one person. You may be considering outsourcing content writing but aren’t sure where to begin.
Below, we answer your questions to help you determine the who, what, when, where, why and how to outsource content writing.
Who outsources content writing?
With the heavy content creation workload, outsourcing your content writing might seem like the perfect solution. And don’t worry, you aren’t alone! A WriterGirl survey of marketing professionals in a variety of industries found that 40% of respondents outsource “all” or “almost all” of their content. Only 10% responded that they don’t outsource any writing. If you haven’t outsourced content writing yet, now might be the perfect time.
What content should I outsource?
You have concluded that your marketing department needs to outsource your content writing, and the asset list is daunting. But what content do you prioritize to outsource? Depending on your team and their specialized skills, you may choose to outsource low-hanging fruit (social media, blogs) or outsource more time-consuming and challenging projects like case studies or a website redesign. Other items that may be on your asset list that need outsourcing could include:
- Admission or discharge materials
- Specialty service materials
- Provider rack cards
- Print ads
- Employee onboarding materials
Once you decide which assets to outsource, make sure that your style guide is updated as well. WriterGirl has some great tips to help you create a new style guide or refresh your current one. This step is going to be vital to the outsourcing process.
When is it the right time to outsource?
If your digital and print materials are out-of-date or your team is overstretched — it’s time to start considering outsourcing your content writing. After all, most content expires, and your team has a limited capacity. Even if the information in your content doesn’t need updating, the style and tone may be ready for a refresh.
But, determining when the right time to outsource content can be daunting. Here, we break down the first steps.
- Create an asset list —Set aside time to divide and conquer your needs. Create a document that details every piece of content the marketing team owns. Include name, placement and last known update. This time is also great for creating a wish list of content.
- Audit your known content — Drill into your asset list and determine what content is due for changes or an update. You can also future-date your wish list to get a jump-start on planning.
- Consider your options — Writing all your content with internal resources may be an option, but from your audited asset list, you may recognize it’s time to outsource some content writing.
Where do I outsource content writing?
WriterGirl, of course. But to maintain neutrality in this blog, we recommend choosing a reputable content marketing agency that knows your unique industry. For healthcare, yes, WriterGirl is your solution. You want to outsource your content writing to an agency with a network of project managers, writers and editors who can support and embody your brand voice. If your content requires a subject matter expert (SME), you also want an agency with an established network. Finding a writer is easy, but finding one who can adapt to your tone, style and voice is more complicated. The right content marketing agency with the right content writing team is exactly what you need to make outsourcing successful.
Why you need to convince senior leadership
Besides what we covered above (too much content, not enough time), you may need to convince senior leadership why you need to outsource your content writing. First, start by showing leadership your asset list. Many departments outside of marketing can’t wrap their head around just how much content the organization truly has. Having your asset list ready and detailing every piece of content will show them just how much your team manages.
Next, show them the numbers. Senior leadership needs to see the cost benefits of your proposal. Budget planning may seem like the most challenging part, but the research doesn’t lie. Outsourcing content writing eliminates the overhead of a new employee and frees up the time of a current employee. Content Marketing Institute also notes that outsourcing content writing generates lower fixed costs and allows for more flexibility and scalability throughout the year with different content needs. When you consider the amount of marketing deliverables you manage and the time constraints your team has, outsourcing content writing will have paid for itself in terms of labor and productivity.
How do I get started?
After you complete your content audit, get approval from senior leadership and choose your content marketing agency (cough, WriterGirl, cough), how do you start outsourcing content writing? The industry has two main contract models: Retainer and Project Basis.
A retainer agreement has two main benefits: relationship building and consistency. When you have a retainer agreement with a content marketing agency, their team becomes a part of your team. They are there when you need them as your content right-arm. A retainer agreement also allows for consistency. Every month, you both know what to expect and can plan accordingly. A drawback to a retainer agreement, however, is that consistency doesn’t always allow for flexibility. That is where a project agreement is more beneficial.
When you contract a content marketing agency on a project basis, you can turn your agency “on” and “off” as needed. You can also outsource only the large projects when your team can handle more manageable materials like blogs and social media. Outsourcing content writing on a project basis allows for scalability throughout the year in your department.
Whether you outsource content writing on a retainer or project agreement, the writing itself is just the tip of the iceberg. Your budget covers meetings, content briefs, research, the actual writing, editing and, if applicable, search engine optimization tactics. If you are still on the fence about whether or not you should outsource your content writing, what you get for what you pay is convincing enough.
Let WriterGirl level up your marketing and outsource your content writing
If you are struggling to meet deadlines, have outdated marketing materials or have a big project coming up, now is the time to outsource your content writing. For review:
- Who? You! And the other healthcare industry professionals who value content creation.
- What? Any content you feel would benefit from being outsourced, whether it’s because of the size or frequency of the materials or the skill set of your team.
- When? When? Are your materials outdated, or is your department overstretched?
- Where? WriterGirl. Contact us today!
- Why? Look at your asset list versus your team capacity. Here is your “why” to senior leadership.
- How? Determine what you want to outsource and how you want to structure the relationship, whether it’s on a retainer or project structure.