In today’s world, where businesses tend to operate remotely, it isn’t always possible to hire a full-time content team.
Doing so requires paying the team’s salaries and providing them with the tools and devices they need to work. It also requires taking care of a host of other logistical elements to ensure they can work efficiently.
In this scenario, it often makes more sense to consider a collaboration with third-party content providers.
However, this process isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. There are several things to keep in mind when doing so, and in this guide, we take you through the dos and don’ts of the process.
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The Dos of Collaborating With Third-Party Content Providers
In this section, we take you through three things to do when you decide to collaborate with a third-party content provider.
Explore Your Options Carefully and Ensure Clear Communication
The first and most important thing to do is not to jump into contracting with the first content provider you find. It’s always best to do your research and consult with a wide array of businesses.
This will help you understand what they offer, what kind of content they specialize in, and find out what businesses they’ve successfully worked with in the past. Always remember that information is key, and you must get as much information as you can about each provider to understand which of them could be the best fit for your business’s unique needs.
If your business has an existing content team, loop them into the process as they understand your business’s content needs best and will help you choose the right content provider. Involving all the key team members is also crucial when communicating what your needs are, what objectives you aim to achieve, and what output you’re looking at.
Your content team must be convinced that a particular content provider is best suited to streamline their workload. They must believe that the content provider will meaningfully contribute to your business’s content and marketing needs.
This is where it also helps to work with a content provider who’s willing to let you test drive their services, with KITABOO being a key example of such a vendor.
Align Your Processes with the Third-Party
Third-party content providers must meaningfully contribute to your operations because if your needs and processes aren’t aligned, your business will face many challenges. This includes dealing with a logistical mess, delayed timelines, improper content, and a whole lot more.
Additionally, the content provider must also ensure to follow your content and editorial standards while ensuring that your brand’s language and tone are reflected in the content they provide.
At this stage, you must establish a common framework that incorporates change management, risk management, and the use of the platforms used to create and share content.
Offer Continuous Feedback to Ensure High-Quality Output
Last but not least, collaborating with third-party content providers doesn’t just end at communicating your requirements and integrating your workflows. A key element of this partnership is feedback.
The continuous evaluation of the content supplied to you ensures that you can offer constructive feedback that can help the content provider meet your needs better.
This is where it’s essential that you involve your existing content team in the process, as they already have a good understanding of the editorial standards followed at your organization.
This puts them in the best position to be able to offer constructive and actionable feedback on how to improve the quality of the content provided to you.
The Don’ts of Collaborating with Third-Party Content Providers
With the do’s out of the way, let’s take a look at three key things you must avoid during your collaboration with a third-party content provider.
The don’ts mentioned below are crucial to ensure a partnership that benefits both parties.
Don’t Build a Relationship with Multiple Third-Party Content Providers
While it makes sense for a business to consider its entire ecosystem when focusing on its growth, outsourcing operates rather differently. Building a relationship with multiple third-party providers can lead to inconsistencies in your content output, as each content provider will have a different approach to creating content.
These inconsistencies will then reflect in your brand’s language and tone, and audiences are quick to understand these distinctions. This is why it makes sense to work with a single, reliable content provider.
It will make it easier for you to provide them with the feedback they need to create content that meets your editorial standards. It also allows you to build a potential long-term relationship, which can be beneficial in the long run.
Don’t Outsource Merely for the Short Term
Outsourcing has become the order of the day in today’s marketing world. The only time it’s successful is if you manage to build a long-term partnership with a content provider who suits your business model the best.
This is because a long-term partnership can lead to consistency in operations while ensuring that you can offer them the feedback they need to improve their output to meet your needs.
Continuously switching between vendors can also prove to be expensive and time-consuming, as your content team will have to repeatedly explain its needs and tailor their output to suit your brand’s language and tone. On the other hand, a long-term partnership can also lead to several benefits, and content providers themselves will be more likely to offer you discounts in this case.
Further, long-term clients always get preferential treatment as they offer content providers a continuous influx of revenue. As a result, you can benefit from their undivided attention and commitment to ensuring that your business’s needs are met at all times.
Don't Expect Immediate Savings
One of the key reasons businesses turn to outsourcing is that it often proves to be cheaper than hiring a content team full-time.
However, don’t go into a partnership with a third-party vendor expecting to make profits immediately. This is because it will take a significant amount of time for you to realize the cost-benefit.
However, don’t let this deter you from outsourcing, as it offers plenty of benefits in terms of expertise, costs, and flexibility.
Hiring a third-party content provider is a process that involves several key elements. For starters, you and your team must understand the gaps you’re looking to fill by outsourcing your content requirements.
Further, you must take into account the expertise of a particular vendor, along with whether or not their services are best suited to your business’s needs.
In this guide, we took you through the key dos and don’ts to keep in mind during your collaboration with third-party content providers. Always ensure to broaden your scope and ensure you speak to multiple vendors to evaluate which is the best fit for your business’s needs.
With digital textbook platforms like KITABOO, you can rest assured of the best digital publishing services on the market. With a free demo, you can also identify whether or not they’re the best fit for your business, making them incredibly reliable.
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