How to scale your production with a super-charged remote creative team

When it comes to your company’s capacity to produce design assets, does it feel like there’s always more demand than supply? With today’s ever-growing need for fresh content for blogs, social media, email, and more, brands that want to keep up need to be able to ramp up.

Maybe you want to iterate on a recent success—say a high-performing piece of content or a video that was a major sales magnet—but a lack of bandwidth is keeping you from striking while the iron is hot. Perhaps you’ve got some solid messaging, but a lack of capacity puts new markets just out of reach.

Whatever the scenario, ramping up with a remote production team can help your business capitalize on successes—and create new ones. Here are some ways remote freelancers can help you scale production and improve the quality and capacity of your marketing and design capabilities as a whole.

1. Help core teams focus on strategy without slowing the pace of production

Many organizations—like Upwork’s own hybrid creative team—balance strategy and execution efforts with hybrid teams. An internal team will focus on the core strategic vision—e.g., fine-tuning messaging while diving deep into user research—while the remote team handles execution.

2. Localize high-performing assets for new markets

Say you had a big win with an email campaign that’s creating a buzz. Research shows it may perform well with other markets, but it isn’t high-priority enough for your in-house design team’s limited bandwidth.

Localizing assets is one of the most effective ways to engage new cultures and languages—and drive even better results. Verbatim translations won’t do the trick—you need a dedicated team to make it work. Pair designers up with translation experts to localize your written content and flow it into updated files. Or, engage designers and copywriters remotely in those locales to target those markets directly.

For example, 3D design software company Autodesk doesn’t handle any translation in house. Instead, they’ve created a localization pipeline using a combination of external translation vendors, internal automation, and a “linguistic quality” framework.

3. Use analytics and research to iterate and experiment

Don’t let bandwidth issues keep you from putting key findings into action. If analytics and user testing have uncovered insights that could help move the needle, identify assets that need immediate attention and engage a remote design team. They can optimize designs and experiment with different ideas to see what works before a wider roll-out.

IBM’s design team constantly provides its remote designers with user research findings. “As a professional design unit, the onus is on us to test out our ideas and hypotheses by carrying out ongoing user research, then using our findings to present a strong design direction with clarity about the impact on our target users.”

4. Create a company-wide design system for external partners

To maintain quality and consistency, many organizations create brand guideline resources and a shared framework to support remote talent so they can hit the ground running.

This is how IBM maintains consistency at scale. “We have a shared design system, which contains our design principles, guidelines, and assets relating to color, typography, iconography, interaction behavior, etc. This has also been critical in helping us scale design work as it means that individual designers don’t have to reinvent common components and standards but can instead jump straight into exploring the specific design challenges of their project.”

5. Produce and ship assets for various digital channels

Integrated digital marketing campaigns are the norm, but they require a lot of coordination and production to pull off. You need targeted assets for various channels, audiences and different points along the customer journey—and production volume can scale wildly.

For example, CompuVision, a tech company based in Canada, has been able to triple its production output with the help of freelancers. As a result, its one-person marketing team produces as if it were a 12-person team—with cost savings, better quality, and project turnarounds often as quick as 1-2 days.

A remote team can handle the tactical production of assets optimized for each platform (e.g. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.) and persona—including each channel’s file format, image quality, autoplay, video length, sound, and more.

6. Scale video production quickly and affordably

Video may be one of the most effective digital marketing strategies, but it’s also one of the more time- and resource-consuming to do at scale. A remote team with the equipment, software, and expertise to rapidly produce videos is an effective way to ramp up your video strategy.

“If you are looking to scale your content and take advantage of (video) without losing money, it most likely means you need to find ways to produce that content more efficiently. Oftentimes, this means outsourcing your content creation to a team who has the experience to produce quality content efficiently.” – 5 Reasons Why Outsourcing Your Video Marketing Makes Sense,

Evaluate your video needs and zero in on the concepts and format you want to go after. Engage all the key players—whether you need skilled editors, videographers, motion designers, animators, voice-over artists or scriptwriters—to help you spin up high-quality videos in record time.

For example, one video production agency on Upwork created a series of stop-motion recipe videos for a snack producer’s Pinterest channel—and the videos proved to be the highest performing in the brand’s history.

Read moreThe Role of Creative Production