It’s no secret that content marketing is a necessary part of any good marketing plan today. Companies know it, and today, 91% of B2B brands (and 90% of brands overall) use it in their strategies.
Still, research shows that only about half of them are actually satisfied with their efforts.
An effective content marketing strategy is more than simply creating and publishing content, then waiting for results. It requires a focused, consistent, informed strategy as well as continual assessment and adjustment.
In short: it’s a big undertaking.
That’s why more than 80% of companies outsource content creation. The main benefit is obvious: you pass the responsibility for content to an expert team, while you focus on your core business. But is it really the best option? Can content agencies represent your brand as well as you can? Do they really deliver better results? And what about the cost it requires?
All valid questions, and when it comes to whether you should outsource or not, the answer isn’t the same for every company. Here, we’ll explore the pros and cons of outsourcing content creation and how you can decide if it’s the right choice for you.
- Blog publishing at optimal frequency requires more than 60 hours of work every week.
- Hiring a full-time internal team generally costs more than agency outsourcing.
- Brands who outsource content creation develop and publish content at higher frequency and with more consistency.
- Outsourcing content creation gives brands the ability to scale up or down more easily.
- Outsourcing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. There are some cases where it could be more challenging — for example, when a brand operates in a highly regulated industry.
Benefits of outsourcing content creation
Do the math and that’s about 60 hours monthly of blog writing. Now add in keyword research, publishing, and reporting, and you’ve got more than one full time job on your hands. When you outsource content creation, this is time your team gets back to focus on other strategic priorities.
You might be raising a brow at this one, but you read it right: outsourcing content creation can save you money. Think about all of those hours required to execute a strong content marketing strategy. Now consider the costs that come with hiring full-time staff, like office space, salaries, benefits, and equipment.
When you outsource content creation, you pay for content services and the agency handles all of the costs that come with it. Plus you don’t have to worry about managing an internal team.
Now consider that an agency will likely provide more comprehensive services (and, because they’re experts, presumably better results), and you’ve not only saved money but increased the likelihood that your content strategy will yield higher ROI.
Content strategies have lots of moving parts — keyword research, ideation, content creation, design, publishing, SEO analysis, and more. Each of these components requires experience and expertise, and content marketing agencies have it. Higher levels of expertise in each of these areas contributes to better performance for your content.
Not only this, but it widens your ability to find specialists on particular topics, content types, and strategies. When you outsource content creation, you identify the most important parts of your strategy and it’s up to the content marketing agency to build a team that can execute it.
Content consistency is key in order for content marketing to produce results. In some ways, it’s an even more important consideration than frequency. Why? Because consistent messaging builds trust. And trust? It’s second only to price when it comes to factors consumers think about when deciding to buy from new brands or stick with ones they know.
When your content is consistent, you grow your brand presence and awareness, and you show customers they can depend on you for valuable information.
Outsourcing content creation allows you to be confident in your content schedule and never have to sacrifice one thing for the other (i.e. sacrifice frequency for consistency, or vice-versa). You can always execute at whatever scale makes the most sense for your brand.
Speaking of scale: when you outsource content creation, you increase scalability and can maintain a more agile approach to content marketing. Agencies have resources and processes in place to scale up or down quickly and effectively.
When you outsource, you don’t have to worry about getting stuck with internal staffing costs when you need to slow down, or playing catch up when your company experiences unexpected growth.
Good content marketing agencies have detailed, frequent reporting built into the strategies they execute for clients. When you outsource content creation, you can be sure you’ll see results measured by key KPIs, typically identified collaboratively between you and your agency. This not only shows you the impact of your content, it allows you to make more data-driven, informed marketing strategy decisions.
Are there drawbacks to outsourcing content?
No one knows your brand better than you and your team. One primary drawback companies cite when it comes to outsourcing content creation is that the authenticity of their brand voice could suffer.
Even in the most collaborative of environments, can an agency really represent your brand as well as you can? The short answer is no. The long answer is that that’s okay, because content creation remains a team effort between a brand and their agency through the entire process.
Another reason brands hesitate to outsource is in cases where their industry is highly technical or regulated, and content creators require a deep understanding of these parameters. This doesn’t make outsourcing impossible, but it does make some parts of it more challenging and is a valid reason to consider keeping content in-house.
The takeaway: the decision to outsource content creation or not is not a one-size-fits-all decision. In most cases, it provides significant benefits and allows brands to save time and money while focusing more on their most important strategic priorities.
But in some situations, yes, there may be practical reasons why it’s not a good idea. It’s up to you to weigh the options, know your company, and make the decision that’s best for you.
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