Outsourcing Content isn’t Always Easier

A couple of clients have asked if it makes sense to outsource their copywriting, social media, blog posts and website content to an offshore provider, an online freelancer, or a college intern: “After all, they know how to post cool stuff on Facebook!”

I always tell them if you’re outsourcing because you think it’s cheaper or more convenient, it’s usually not.

If you’re outsourcing and expecting content that’s passionate and involved, you’ll rarely get it. And here’s why:

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Dear Management: Make Your Content Team More Strategic

Photo of a sculpture playing chess

Unless you hired fresh grads with no experience and no opinions, your content team has something more to contribute to the table than merely executing your overall plan. So if you want them to play a more strategic role in your communications scheme, and if you want to avoid the negative backlash that happens when you view content as a commodity, then I suggest the following steps:

  1. Allow them to massage your message
  2. Allow them to set the communication strategy

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Dear Content People: Offer More than Just Execution

For content creators, execution is where we fly. A plan is in place and acting on each necessary step is a thrill unto itself. But here’s the thing: if you don’t bring anything more to the table than great writing/editing or brilliant audio-visual “outputtery,” then you’ll forever be relegated to the last step of the content process.
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The Kinko-fication of the Content Function

Photo of a grassy area

When content (which is defined broadly as text, videos, images, status updates) is viewed as a commodity, then guess what happens to the people providing the content? In the eyes of the parent organization, these producers become nothing more than copy shop employees cranking out 175 photocopies a minute. The focus is on speed of production (I need this tomorrow) and volume of output (I need 8 Tweets a day) rather than strategy and effectiveness (Will this help us sell our services to prospects? Will this increase our click-through rate?)
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