It was difficult to foresee how significant an impact the coronavirus pandemic would have on businesses worldwide.
With economic changes, daily routines upended, and more employees working from home, companies were forced to find alternate ways of doing everything from running meetings to completing projects. These adjustments increased content outsourcing as brands found new ways to deliver messages to clients and customers.
While more and more companies are returning to the office — or not — and are developing hybrid or on-site changes, they are learning that not everything needs to go back to the way 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 to open 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 had planned to increase outsourcing to stay afloat during the coronavirus. 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 meaningful work done externally 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 “Do’s” of Content Outsourcing
COVID-19 and the work-from-home marketplace taught businesses how many tasks could get done outside of the office and through outsourcing. As many companies consider these cost-saving measures as the “new normal,” 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/WFH 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 when you hire a writer. Hourly wages or even salaried offerings can get awfully expensive for tasks that require 180 characters. Outsourcing these assignments frees up time for internal employees and allows you to hand-pick your social media guru.
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.
Use a freelancer platform to hire a writer who can make you look good by professionally composing your whitepapers, e-books, and blogs. The simplest errors can make an informative piece look bad, while useful, interesting, and clean content can make your brand shine.
Website upgrades and redesigns
Unless you’re running your own website design company, none of your employees are likely experts on edits and redesigns. Hiring someone in-house for a short-term job is cost-ineffective and inefficient since there’s not a constant need for the work. Outsourcing this assignment to a professional is a smart, simple solution.
Photography and video content
Both long- and short-form video content should be high-quality and have a professional look. Freelance writers can help you write video scripts, and narrow down stock photos or help select appropriate external brand imagery.
The “Don’ts” of Content Outsourcing
While continued outsourcing of content tasks will remain important in a world that is working from home, this doesn’t mean that all tasks should be 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 and messaging
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 the production of 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. That said, outsourcing the behind-the-scenes production to a freelancer or brand journalist allows your team to avoid handling shoots, recordings, editing and post-production duties.
Join the New World of Content Outsourcing
Outsourcing your content should 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 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 creating content the old-fashioned way and start becoming a PowerPublisher, contact us today for a demo to learn more and join the world of content outsourcing.