I've seen a number of recent discussions around the outsourcing of content creation and whether it's beneficial to an organization. Opponents of content outsourcing argue that outsourced writers will simply never culturally understand their business and therefore won't capture it's essence in a blog post, case study, or whitepaper. Proponents of content outsourcing see the value of regular content creation and the time saved from not having to sit down and physically write their own content.
Both camps have valid points. The simple truth - Google values content and ranks your site based on the value of your content. If your business is on the web, you'll need to create content. Content could mean a regularly updated portfolio, a useful enterprise inbound marketing blog, or a glossy eMagazine. Content creation must be viewed as a regular business activity for you - much like recruiting, sales prospecting, or paying employees.
Wait, you say you outsource recruiting and, oh gosh, you even have someone else (ADP, probably) pay your employees? How dare you. How could someone know your company and culture well enough to recruit the right people to work for you without being part of your company themselves? And geez, you can't even hand write a check to thank your employees for their hard work every two weeks?
No, you say. Why? I think we all know why. You have a business to run, clients to serve. You have to scale and work efficiently as an organization. When you selected your recruiter, you provided her specific instructions as to the type of candidates you were looking for - years of experience, type of experience, type of industry, pay range, etc. Similarly, you instruct your payroll vendor on how much and when to pay your employees based on the amount of hours they work and type of employees they are (contract, seasonal, salaried).
As a CEO, do you ever find yourself saying - my recruiter hires the best employees for me, or ADP pays my employees well? Probably not. So why would it be any different with content outsourcing. Ultimately, whether you are the CEO, CMO, or a marketing manager for your company, you guide any outsourcing efforts. You are responsible for them. The more prescriptive and detailed you are with any outsourcing effort, the better your results will be.
So - about content outsourcing. Don't be worried about becoming a blog farmer. After all, real farmers had to figure out how best to scale their efforts with machines, irrigation and other techniques to serve a growing population. You too, with the proper guidelines, details, and examples can outsource successfully.
Photo: Marwa Morgan