It was difficult to foresee how significant an impact the coronavirus pandemic would have on the business world. With an economic downturn, daily routines upended and more employees working from home, companies needed to find different ways of doing things, and an increase in content outsourcing was one of the major ways this occurred.
As vaccines are more widely distributed, offering reason for optimism, there is hope that things will soon return to normal.
However, not everything needs to go back to how it was. We learned countless lessons as the coronavirus forced us to live in a new reality, and content outsourcing is here to stay. Following some simple tips can help your brand adjust – and succeed – in a post-COVID world.
How did COVID-19 change content outsourcing?
Content marketing is nothing new, but it became invaluable in 2020. In the year before COVID-19 turned the world upside-down, nearly two-thirds of retailers planned on opening new locations. The global pandemic stalled growth, and companies had to focus even more on producing quality content without breaking their marketing budget.
Studies found that more than one-quarter of companies planned to increase outsourcing to stay afloat during the coronavirus. This had been decreasing in recent years, but certain projects were unaffected by the reduction. Creative work, such as business journalism and virtual marketing, was in high demand even as overall outsourcing dropped.
The economic effect of COVID-19 increased content outsourcing in these areas even more than we’d seen in prior years. The pandemic only heightened the necessity of maintaining a solid marketing strategy, and the ability to have important work done out-of-house offered the chance to save money and improve efficiency.
The coronavirus certainly changed the game on content marketing; so now, and moving forward, what’s the new playbook?
The “dos” of content outsourcing
COVID-19 taught businesses just how many tasks could get done from home or through outsourcing. These cost-saving measures are likely to continue even after things get back to a relative normal. However, only certain jobs lend themselves to outsourcing, and the ability to make this distinction is important.
While many of these tasks were traditionally handled in-house, your brand should seriously consider a change in a post-COVID world. In particular, you should think about outsourcing:
Social media management
Business owners simply don’t have the time to deal with social media management. There are a million things you could be working on instead to build your brand. This area of content outsourcing is also far more affordable than hiring an in-house person. Hourly wages or even salaried offerings can get awfully expensive for these tasks, which can easily and effectively be done by someone else – especially a young, social-savvy digital native.
Your company could have the most knowledgeable experts in your field, but if your written content isn’t accessible, professional or compelling, consumers won’t view you as a thought leader and may not even know about you. Find someone who can make you look good by writing your white papers, e-books and blogs. The simplest errors can make an informative piece look bad, but useful, interesting and clean content can make your brand shine.
Website upgrades and redesigns
Unless you’re running your own website design company, it’s likely that none of your employees are experts on edits and redesigns. Hiring someone in-house just to do this is cost-ineffective and inefficient, since there’s not a constant need for the work. Outsourcing the job to a professional is a smart, simple solution.
Photography and video content
This is another instance when outsourcing makes sense if you’re not an expert or directly involved in the industry yourself. Both long- and short-form video content should be high-quality and have a professional look. Stock photos are widely available and a good option, and you can even go external for brand imagery.
The “don’ts” of content outsourcing
While continued outsourcing of content tasks will remain important in a post-COVID world, this doesn’t mean that all tasks should get outsourced.
You’ll no doubt find companies offering to provide the following services for your brand, but you must tread lightly when considering some of them. In most cases, it’s your in-house people who will best perform this work.
Your overall branding
When you outsource certain content needs to outside experts, they must ensure their standards and vision line up with your overall branding. Creating your voice, messaging, design or “brand bible,” is something that requires careful thought and care; those within the organization – who know the culture, structure, needs and goals – are best suited to do it well. Once you have the underlying brand foundation, you can outsource work that supports, improves and publicizes it.
If you outsource work to brand journalists, there’s a good chance that they have certain tech skills and tools. However, it’s not their job to expand your employees’ technical literacy or fix internal IT issues. Their focus is on helping to maintain and expand your brand.
Podcasts or YouTube videos
One area in content outsourcing that still seems to be better done internally is podcasts and YouTube channel videos. It’s important for your staff to be the voice or face of these projects, as they are noticeably representing your company, though an outsourced brand journalist can handle shoots, recordings, editing and production.
Join the new world of content outsourcing
Outsourcing your content can be part of a larger overall business marketing strategy. Whether you want your publishing to establish thought leadership or improve lead generation, it’s important to move forward knowing some of the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic will still apply.
Content outsourcing has become common, in large part because of the coronavirus, and more companies are realizing the benefits of brand journalism. PowerPublish can help you produce original, engaging and impactful content that delivers results and drives revenue. If you want to stop marketing the old-fashioned way and start becoming a PowerPublisher, contact us today for a demo to learn more and join the new, post-COVID world of content outsourcing.