In order to have success with content marketing, you need a regular supply of high quality content, such as blogs, articles, videos, etc. The more content you produce, the more visible your brand will be, and the easier it will be for your customers to find you. But the question is, how do you create that content? You have two basic options: produce it in-house, or outsource it to another firm. How do you decide which? Here are a few basic questions that can aid in your decision.
- What’s Your Budget? Content marketing is known for being cheaper than other types of marketing, while giving you better results for the money. It will still cost you, though, and the quality of content you get will depend on how much you’re able to spend. Most content marketing agencies won’t take you on as a client unless you’re willing to spend at least a few thousand. Some agencies might take you on for less, but if you don’t have at least $1,000 to spend, you likely won’t be able to get a good one. If your content marketing budget is small, you should probably either create your content in-house.
- What Skills Does Your Team Have? Writing blogs requires more than just putting words on paper. Making videos requires more than just pointing a camera at someone. There are a variety of jobs that need to be done in order to be successful with content marketing. Videos need a sound engineer, a cameraperson, and an editor, among other things. Written content requires a copyeditor, a fact checker, SEO optimization, etc. For any kind of content, you’ll need a graphic designer, a content curator, someone to schedule posts and manage the team, someone to analyze results, someone to manage social media, and much more. Do you have people on your team that possess the skills you need to create high quality content? If not, then an outside content team is probably the way to go.
- Does Your Team Have the Time? Even if you do have people on your marketing team with the skills to create the quality content you need, having them do so might not be the best use of their time. If you’re assembling a content marketing team from your pool of existing employees, it is to be assumed that each team member already has their own duties to worry about. If you’re asking them to take on content marketing duties in addition, then neither set of responsibilities will receive the time and attention it needs to be done well. You’ll end up spreading your employees too thin, and their work will suffer because of it. Often it’s better to hire an outside team that specializes in content creation. By letting them do what they do best, it frees up your own team to concentrate on what YOU do best.
- How Is Success Measured? If you do decide to contract an outside firm for your content marketing, you need to be sure you hire the right one for your company. There are a number of questions to ask to determine that, from what their area of expertise is, to what their plan is for your company. But that’s a topic for another blog. In the meantime, there’s one question to ask of both yourself and any firm you look at, to determine if you should hire them: What constitutes success? Many firms will turn the entire content marketing process into a numbers game: more hits/page views, more Likes on social media, etc. But that’s only a means to an end. What will you DO with those Likes and hits, and how will you turn them into more sales? In forming a partnership with any content firm, you need to determine what metrics of success matter most to you, and make sure that your firm is on the same page.
The ultimate question of whether to create content in-house or outsource it, is one that only you can answer. Different approaches work better for different companies. The key is, to create high quality, relevant content for your brand, that you can release regularly and use to attract new customers. As long as you can do that, it doesn’t matter how.