Producing high quality content for your business can be a daunting task, especially if you lack the resources to hire and manage an in-house writing team to do it.
So, the other option is to outsource the work, but where do you start looking? There are many content creation services out there and, honestly, it can be a pain in the butt to try and filter through them all in order to find the right one.
However, there are several key things you can do to help simplify your search.
First key: Learn how to write detailed assignment instructions
Otherwise known as a brief, it is important that you take the time to write out a comprehensive and concise guideline for each assignment. After all, if you can’t properly convey what you want in words, then how can you expect a writer to understand and deliver it?
Vague instructions will only lead to writers having to take creative liberties in terms of word-count, style, format, and content. If anything, a good brief addresses each of these areas, reducing the amount of revisions needed on each piece due to confusion.
Also, it wouldn’t hurt to provide links to outside sources for your writers to use in the instructions.
Second key: Consider the scalability of the agency that you want to hire
Reports have shown that 55% of B2B businesses can’t produce enough content on their own, and 47% don’t have the expertise to write engaging articles. Given these statistics, it is common for companies to outsource all of their writing to a third party.
Different content creation services will vary in size which can affect the amount of articles that they can produce and deliver to you in a timely fashion.
For instance, some agencies are marketplaces that have a wide pool of writers to choose from—meaning that there is a higher chance of finding writers that are experts in your company’s industry. The turn-around for assignments can be relatively quick as well, and it may be better equipped to handle bulk orders.
Third key: Static response vs. human interaction
Do you value an open line of communication and more control over your content? If so, then a marketplace agency might not be for you.
Very little interaction is required on your part to submit an order, and you’re never quite sure what kind of content you’ll be getting until you, well, get it.
With smaller companies, though, you’ll most likely be assigned a project manager that will keep you up-to-date on your case and can respond quickly to any questions or concerns that you might have.
Fourth key: Read through portfolios, testimonials, and case studies
Let’s face it; most content creation services will boast the same claims on their website: that they can drive traffic by producing the highest quality content (SEO optimized!) for the lowest price. Sure, that’s great to hear, but where is the proof?
The agency’s website may include a portfolio of previous work to help you gauge the quality of their writing. Testimonials, on the other hand, provide evidence that past clients were satisfied with the work, but you aren’t really reading them for that reason.
Since, of course, the testimonials are going to praise the service. Instead, it’s better to make note if the agency has previous experience working with a company that is similar to your own.
If you’re looking to form a long-term relationship with a service rather than make a one-time transaction, then you should focus on its case studies; for they reveal a lot about rather or not the business is creating content with a strategy in mind.
Fifth key: Be willing to sample a lot of companies at different price ranges
When it comes to payment, you have two options. You can dish out more cash to hire the “best” writers out there or you can pay less for writers that will require a bit more instruction and editing of their work on your part.
You’ll learn quickly that a company's rate, however, often does not reflect the quality of their work. In other words, rates do not equal talent. This is why it is important to sample different agencies, to ensure that you select the most cost effective one to work with.
To repeat the point, selecting the right content creation service can be overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be . If you're ready to start diving in and learning, then check out our free webinar!