Why your outsourced content strategy has gone to hell.

You have a new company or are launching a new product.  What is the first thing all the experts say?  Get media attention, get your blog going, get your social media up and running. Hurry, hurry, hurry. So what do you do?  You are a busy CEO with literally no more hours in the day to spend writing, so you do the next best thing… you go out and hire a blogger.  Or maybe you already know that you’d rather work with an agency and plunk down thousands of dollars for a multi-channel strategy.  Despite a slew of phone calls and emails, it’s not going that well… It’s not really the agency or bloggers fault, its that you got the steps out of order.

Let’s fix it!

Outsourcing your writing tasks can definitely get you A+ results.  But only if you have a strategy in place.  If you don’t, it is going to set everybody up for failure.  Here are some essential parts of your strategy for success:

Let’s go beyond a generic mission statement and create a manifesto or passion statement that deeply outlines the company culture.  The who, the why, and the what for designed to inform and energize.

Working with people outside your organization is a great way to get fresh perspectives – but be sure to make them feel like part of the team.  Share your company manifesto, mission statements, and team communications with your writing team.  Read them in on your technology. Not only does looping them in make them feel excited and energized, but it also helps them better inform the message.

Interact with your audience!  Here you are pumping out great social media content and award-winning articles, but no one is interacting with the community!  This is not the way to develop an engaged audience.  Your social team needs to understand the importance of communicating in a genuine manner – the conversation should be a two-way street.

Stop putting out generic shit like “Happy Valentine’s day” or “Happy Thanksgiving.”    Snoozefest.  Way to be like 1000s of companies out there.  Stop it.  If you feel the need to put something out on holidays, just be sure to do something other than a canva image with the words happy holidays. Take a picture of your team, or create a short video of your CEO instead.

You hire a ghostwriter and then ghost them!  Your writer is there to listen to your thoughts, gather your notes and meandered mumbling, and scrap them together in an article that makes sense.  They are not there to get a one-line directive and create a post.  That is what your bloggers do.  Your ghostwriter is there to distill the complex thoughts and industry leadership stuff coming from the top brass.

Before you go full tilt with a blogger or agency, establish your brand and tone (this ties back in with your anchor docs)! Why are you creating messaging in the first place?  Many people approach this with the attitude that everybody else is on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, so we must be as well.  Wrong! When you approach messaging this way, the content is about YOU, not your audience!

As a writer and a strategist, I, of course, think that outsourcing your content is a great way to get great results.  But if you really want it to work, start with a strategy. Or better yet, bring in someone who can help you with that.

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