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When it comes to content you don’t need to go it alone: what to consider when outsourcing content

By Kate Lee | 04/21/2014 | 9:53 PM

When it comes to content your company doesn’t need to go it alone.  Not only is it possible to outsource content, for many companies it may be the best solution.  Here is how to determine if outsourcing content is right for your company, and what your company needs to consider when looking for an outsource partner.

Is outsourcing right for you?

Outsourcing is not the panacea.  It may be the right solution for your company – or maybe not.  Here is what to consider when determining if outsourcing content is the right solution for your company:

  • What are your company’s core competencies?
  • How can your company deliver the best value to your customers? 
  • A successful content strategy needs to be deliberate and needs to have someone in charge.  Do you have in-house talent who can put together a content strategy for your company and manage the execution of the strategy?
  • Does your company have in-house talent that can consistently create good content?
  • Does your company have in-house talent that has the time to consistently create good talent?
  • Does your company have in-house talent that can distribute your company’s content?
  • Does your company have in-house talent that can track and analyze your company’s content strategy?

Be honest.  Cobbling together staff or passing content like a hot potato from one person to another is not going to be effective.  If content is not an area where your company excels, or if content could be carried out more efficiently and effectively if the service was outsourced – start looking for an outsource partner.

If you do decide that outsourcing is right for your company, know that you are not alone.  Forty-four percent of B2B marketers report that they outsource content creation. Diving down further, 72 percent of large B2B companies (1,000 employees or more) outsource content creation and 34 percent of small B2B companies (10 to 99 employees) outsource content creation.   Looking specifically at the manufacturing industry – 55 percent of manufacturing marketers report that they outsource content creation.

As shown in Figure 1 the content functions that B2B marketers outsource vary from writing to design to distribution to creating a buyer persona.  When it comes to outsourcing content functions it doesn’t need to be the kitchen sick.

 Figure 1

  Outsourcing content

What to look for in an outsource partner

When it comes to finding an outsource partner you want to find a partner that will bring value to your company and to your customers.  Whether you outsource all content functions or just one, here is what to look for in an outsource partner:

  • Experience and knowledge of your industry;
  • Willing to work with your company to help you achieve your goals;
  • Open to exploring and furthering your company’s creative ideas;
  • Able to follow instructions and execute with minimal oversight;
  • Able to create the type of content your company needs;
  • Interested in entering into a long-term relationship.

More generally,Frank Cavallaro wrote that when choosing your perfect outsource mate it is important to start by looking at the mission or value statement of your potential partner.  Are these aligned to your company’s?  If they are, move on and explore the partnership further.  If not, walk away.  “Mission and value statements speak to the core culture of the company, so if you can't find common ground here, it is unlikely you will be able to build a positive working relationship.”

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The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Kate Lee

Kate Lee

Kate Lee is the senior director of research and strategy for Fronetics Strategic Advisors, a Newburyport, Mass.-based consultancy that works with clients in industries including logistics and supply chain. She has over 20 years of domestic and international experience as a writer, researcher, and strategist.



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