When hatching a documented content strategy, marketing professionals often focus on the primary brushstrokes of a solid marketing plan, such as a content schedule, customer personas, marketing campaign goals, publication, and distribution. They tend to overlook considering the detailed logistics of actual content creation. The result: a content strategy that never discusses who will write the content and how these writers will work to help clients achieve their content strategy goals. A content strategy that neglects logistics might feature a great plan, but a plan without an established procedure proves extremely difficult to execute.
How to Include Guidelines for Working with Outsourced Talent in Your Content Strategy
For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume you’re working with freelance writers, who can’t simply knock on your office door to ask questions.
Firstly, Get a Handle on Your Procedures and Requirements
Taking the time to establish procedures and think about your content strategy goals will make working with freelancers feel like working with valued employees. Including processes and expectations in your content strategy will also reduce conflicts, generate content strongly aligned with your vision, and help you foster long-lasting relationships with outsourced professionals.
Think about your expectations and requirements for content. Plus, really consider how well freelance writers fit into your process by asking yourself the following questions:
- What type of content does your team need to create? Consider the topics they will cover, formats you want, expected word counts, and whether they will work directly with any of your platforms. Then think about the implications of creating the content you desire. For example, do you expect writers to conduct interviews, other in-depth research, or to film and edit video content?
- Will you expect content on a schedule? Think about how often you wish to publish and at what frequency and volume.
- How involved will writers be with distribution? Do you expect your writers to handle scheduling and distribution of content, as well as content creation? If so, do you feel comfortable providing them access to these platforms?
- What are your goals for content? Consider what you want to accomplish and how you will measure your success
- How will you communicate your brand? Do you have brand and style guidelines to effectively communicate your company’s voice, personality, and values to your freelancers?
- What resources, tools, and systems will your outsourced team be able/need to access? Consider what resources your freelancers will need to generate the high-quality content you desire. Which members of your team should they work with? Will they be given access to experts or internal data bases?
- How will you handle the financials? Consider a process for invoicing and payment. Keep in mind that a freelancer’s hourly or per word rate will typically be higher than an in-house employee’s because you will not be responsible for payroll taxes, insurance, or other employee benefits.
Secondly, Provide Your Freelancers with Tools for Success
To generate content aligned with your company, content creators need to have a firm grasp on the things that make your business unique — its brand, voice, values, message architecture, culture, goals, products, services, and target audience. Since freelancers are not involved in the day-to-day goings-on of your workplace, they will need access to certain materials and tools that will help them foster a successful working relationship, while creating outstanding content for your business. Make sure your freelancers have access to:
- Your Style Guide or Editorial Plan – This will help writers match your preferred voice, style, and content quality.
- Branding Material – Depending on your requirements of freelancers, it’s probably important to provide them with your branding materials: branded fonts, colors, logos, and templates.
- Your Written Content Marketing Strategy – Everyone involved in content creation should have access to information about your content goals, target audience, and brand story.
- Content Performance Metrics – Writers won’t know how to improve the content they create on your behalf, if they don’t know how well it’s performing.
- Resources – Set your freelancers up for success by giving them access to useful resources, like relevant team members, experts, editorial tools, stock image accounts, keywords and phrases, metadata, and cloud collaboration.
WriterAccess Accommodates Content Strategy and Freelance Collaboration
With content strategy tools, thousands of talented freelancers, and cutting-edge technology at your fingertips, WriterAccess helps clients around the world develop and achieve their content strategy dreams. Our platform’s built-in features allow clients to identify the perfect freelance partnerships and communicate their content goals to foster the long-lasting, mutually beneficial working relationships both businesses and freelancers crave.
Jennifer G is a full-time freelance writer and editor with a B.A. in creative writing from the University of Montana. She enjoys researching and writing creative content to engage readers and developing professional voices for clients across all industries. She specializes in medical, health, veterinary, and financial writing. Having worked nearly thirteen years in finance, Jennifer applies her experience in the banking industry (marketing, social media management, consumer and commercial lending, customer service, accounts, and bookkeeping) to her writing work within the industry.