More and more I hear content marketers and corporate communications pros lamenting that they can't produce enough engaging content. This data from the Content Marketing Institute bears that out:
Many go on to say that they can't outsource content creation because they/their clients serve a niche market that requires deep domain expertise.
I don't buy that last bit. I certainly get that any industry or niche has its own set of terms, concepts and skills. What I don't get is the belief that no one but the current team can learn them. Because, well, that's just not true. And you probably know this even if you're one of the people saying it. Chances are you didn't come out of the womb or even out of college with a deep knowledge in or understanding of the highly specialized or technical industry you're in now.
How to outsource niche content creation
1. Hire former beat reporters/producers or industry experts.
There are plenty of exceptional communicators (i.e., journalists, pr people, others) out there who know your subject matter cold or know enough to get started. They can be huge assets to organizations needing highly technical content -- and they can be brought on in a contract or freelance capacity if you don't have headcount to give. But you won't be able to access this talent pool if you don't change your perspective and start looking for them.
Actionable HR Tip: Post a project or position on job boards hosted by journalism or communications groups (national or local), leading schools of journalism, and Linkedin Jobs or Groups. And ask the reporters who currently cover your industry if they have any former colleagues with the right experience.
2. Develop your own outside talent.
Few organizations seem willing to invest in growing freelancers or contractors. But there are a ton of great communicators out there who love to learn new subjects or industries. Most news biz expats have made a living learning a beat from scratch. I never set out to be a medical writer and hadn't taken a science class since Zoology 11 my freshman year at Carolina, but a comms person in need figured I could learn what I need on the job and brought me on. I spent 10 years doing that and parlayed it into other freelance assignments writing about medical and pharmaceutical research. Of course you have to be patient with a learning curve, but a great reporter or producer knows the right questions to ask which shortens that curve considerably. All you have to do is provide them with a good list of sources and some background information and turn them loose.
Actionable HR Tip: Identify the key skills -- not knowledge base -- and tasks required to create the kind of content you want and use that to build a job description. Figure out a few questions you can ask to gauge curiosity and drive, and then follow the steps above.
Giving up the belief that nobody can help you create the content you need is the first step. Let's start walking!