With content marketing becoming an integral part of marketing campaigns, companies are struggling with how to meet this need. It often comes down to two choices; do we create our own content in-house, or do we outsource?
Both options can be daunting for any company for different reasons. The main things you need to address are types of content you need, the scope of your needs (both short term and long term), and the budget you have to work with. Once you determine your needs in those three areas, you should be able to determine what route you take for content marketing.
Types of Content
Depending on your marketing goals or strategies, you’re going to need different types of content; blog articles, whitepapers, eBooks, digital media, web copy etc. But regardless, you’re going to need varied types of content if you’re going to have a successful marketing campaign.
Diversity is going to keep your content from going stale, and will keep your audience engaged. Consistent blog articles, whitepapers, infographics—this is an example of a healthy blend of content types that appeal to different audiences and serve a common goal. With a need for diverse content comes a need for creatives with a different skill-sets. While not impossible, it’s unlikely to find a single creative than can satisfy all your content needs. This is especially difficult when you start integrating a variety of different content types. This is an advantage of outsourcing your content. Outsourcing content creation gives you access to a large pool of creatives, often specializing in a variety of different areas.
Hiring an in-house content team would certainly have its own benefits. You would have a quicker turnaround time, more internal control and you’d have a person that works closely with and understands your brand writing all your content.
However, if you’re looking to scale your content, or at least have a steady stream of mixed content, it may be beyond the capacity of a small in house content team. Additionally, after working with your company every day and creating the same type of content daily, they could get burnt out and lack fresh ideas and insights. Outsourcing to a content marketing company would present the advantage of fresh ideas, scalability and a marginal commitment level. Sometimes a little distance is good!
Another thing to consider is your budget. Hiring different content creators for an in-house team can come at a high cost, especially if you’re looking to cover a variety of needs. You may need to hire a couple of copy writers to cover blogs, whitepapers, social media content etc., and a designer to create infographics, promotional, branded graphics etc. Hiring a content marketing company can allow for budget spending on an as-needed basis. Should you need a couple posts here and there, or a full campaign to support an event or product launch, you can hire a trusted content marketing company to cover any of your needs, while only incurring the costs you absolutely need to.
Budget is often the biggest question we see when customers are considering outsourcing content creation. While the cheaper options are always appealing, they do come with risk. In order to meet the demand of higher quality content it’s important to have multiple stages during the content creation process. This includes an initial information gathering stage, the idea creation and research stage, the planning and strategy stage, the physical content production stage and then revision and editing stage. If the outsource provider you are considering is priced well below the market rate they are likely neglecting one of the vital stages mentioned above.
Content marketing is not going away. So while stepping up your content game may be a little daunting, it’s a necessity. And there are a number of roads to take to get there. Determining which road is right for your company comes down to simply determining your needs, scope and budget capabilities.