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The Rise in Outsourced Content Generation

In recent years, many brands have made changes to the way they go about generating content. One of the more prominent changes has been the transition from in-house content creation to outsourced methods. Jessica Peltz-Zatulove, a Partner at MDC Ventures, tends to agree:  “5 years ago bran
Tom Logan
October 3, 2019
April 11, 2024


In recent years, many brands have made changes to the way they go about generating content. One of the more prominent changes has been the transition from in-house content creation to outsourced methods. Jessica Peltz-Zatulove, a Partner at MDC Ventures, tends to agree: 

“5 years ago brands were more protective around controlling how their messaging and assets were used, so it was predominantly created in-house through a meticulous creative process. But with brands now understanding the power of leveraging content creators, we’re seeing [brands] loosen the reigns around creative control to enable influencers or other creators to interpret and use their products for commercial purposes in interesting ways that resonate with audiences in a more authentic way.”

What is Outsourced Content Generation?

Outsourced content - whether it’s images or written content - is content created by a freelancer, writing or content production agency, or users (also known as UGC). It helps generate content at a large volume for online marketing.

But why are brands making the switch? There are a few clear reasons.

1. Outsourcing Content Generation Saves Time and Money

Smart Insights reports that “marketers rank content marketing as the top activity that will have the biggest impact on their business in the near future.”  However, the cost of planning and executing in-house photo shoots is incredibly expensive. Model and location scouting and coordination, on-site staff, photographer costs, etc. all add up quickly. It’s common for in-house photo shoots to cost anywhere from tens to hundred thousands of dollars. Outsourcing content gives you a cost-effective alternative to generate diverse content to complement your in-house efforts. By outsourcing content generation, your brand can dedicate time and resources to initiatives that require in-house attention while maintaining a fresh content pipeline through external sources. 

Click here to read about how T3 Micro saved over $450K in content costs by outsourcing photography to external content creators.

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2. Authentic User-Generated Content Outperforms In-House Branded Content

Authentic content, especially UGC, focuses on the end user of the product and is seen as 2.4x more trustworthy than branded content. However, getting your hands on authentic content featuring real end users is easier said than done and can be especially challenging for smaller brands trying to scale. External content creators, ranging from Instagram influencers to freelance photographers, are a great way to generate authentic lifestyle content that is diverse, relatable, and, above all else, trustworthy. 

Click here to read about how Wink Frozen Desserts outsourced content generation to use in high-performing social ads.

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3. Outsourced Content Enables Better Story Telling

Instead of subjecting audiences to polished professional branded photo and video shoot content they’re accustomed to, sophisticated brands are utilizing content from external sources to tell a story that resonates with consumers. The brief sentiments of experts like Ms. Peltz-Zatulove point to a much larger trend in the industry: brands are now thinking differently about where their content is coming from, and the days of in-house exclusivity are coming to an end. Seeing real users of the product in the content resonates better with customers.

Click here to read about how Cheers outsources video testimonials and photo content to content creators for better story telling in ads.

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The ROI of outsourced content - is it worth it?

Outsourced content isn’t always cheap, so you might have to justify this spend.

When outsourcing content, you as a marketing department have more time and energy to focus on strategy and experimenting with new ideas, versus just pumping out the creative for marketing. This can lead to more advanced, more targeted campaigns, all while you’re building a pile of content. Employing a full time writer or content creation expert can cost tens of thousands of dollars a year, versus outsourcing, which can be done in bulk and with high, consistent quality every time.

So yes, to us, it’s worth it!

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Tom Logan
Founder & CEO