In-House vs Outsourcing: How to Win at The Content Choice You Need to Take

You probably know by now how important content marketing is and you’ve already decided it’s a strategy worth investing in.

Before we can talk about the alternatives you have for managing your content marketing campaign and debate the whole in-house vs outsourcing situation, let me remind you what the pillars of successful content marketing are:

    1. Understanding your audience.

    2. Being clear about your goals.

    3. Selecting a team that can deliver.

    4. Producing epic content.

    5. Promoting.

Great content marketing will help you achieve the goals all marketers have on their wishlists:

  • Increase brand awareness.
  • Boost website traffic.
  • Improve customer acquisition.
  • Generate leads.
  • Gain customer loyalty.

I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say it’s a marketing strategy worth fighting for. So far, we’ve established that I know that you know content marketing is something no marketer can live without. So, what’s next?

In an ideal world, you would simply create the content, publish it and then, just like magic, sales explode, you get traffic and new leads. It’s a nice dream, but it’s time to wake up now.

What are the biggest challenges of content marketing?

The real world of marketing is filled with challenges and obstacles you need to overcome. That’s what makes it so much fun! Important questions need to be answered.

[bctt tweet=”Questions such as: In-house vs outsourcing – Who wins?”  via=”SquirrlyHQ”]

But first, you need to understand what you’re up against.  Content marketing… Everybody’s doing it. 94% of small businesses, 93% of B2Bs, and 77% of B2Cs use it. If we add me and you to the list, that’s pretty much everybody.

This means a lot of competition. Can you rise up to the challenge?

in-house vs outsourcing

Content marketing is a strategy most marketers agree on. So why is it that so many of them are struggling with it and ultimately fail?

  • No capable workforceKapost reports that 42% of marketers cite lack of human resources as a key barrier to content marketing. An obvious solution to that would be either to hire creative development within your company or outsource it.
  • Inability to constantly create engaging content: As a marketer, you need to be able to always provide high-quality content to keep your customers happy and attract new leads
  • Lack of focus: Marketers tend to want to do everything themselves. That means a lot of tasks that need to be done in a certain time-frame. If you’re doing it too, you probably think you’re saving time and money. Don’t fool yourself!
  • Lack of time: If you lack focus, you’re going to lack time.
  • The content marketing team is composed of inexperienced people who lack vision.

[bctt tweet=”And then there’s that whole issue about promoting your content. ”  via=”SquirrlyHQ”]

It’s a big one. According to Upworthy CEO Eli Periser,

 “You can have the best piece of content and make the best point ever. But if no one looks at it, the article is a waste.”

Can your team successfully manage the many tasks of content marketing? Are you confident you and your team can do it all? Maybe you can, but should you?

Now we know how content marketing can get you a place at the big boys’ table and what some of the challenges that might stop you from getting there are.

It’s time to take things one step further and look at some of the alternatives you have. Truth be told, you only have two main options. You can either create all of your content in-house or you can outsource that task to a third party.

In-house vs Outsourcing: There Can Be Only One!

It’s a big decision, so you don’t want to rush this!

As a marketer, you need to determine whether you should take care of all the content marketing tasks in-house or outsource that particular service to a third party.

In order to make the right decision, you need to be able to look far beyond the content itself. Content shouldn’t be your goal, but merely a means to an end.

in-house vs outsourcing

The first thing you may think is “Hey, we all work in the same business. Why should I hire someone from the outside to write for me?”

[bctt tweet=”Well, mainly because content is more than just text.” via=”SquirrlyHQ”]

It’s not all about who can do what. The real questions you should be asking yourself when choosing one or the other are these:

“Is it worth adding one more thing on my endless to-do-list?”

“Do I have the time to tackle content marketing?”

“Do I have all the skills needed for content marketing?”

If you choose to hire internally, you need to take several factors into consideration such as: Employee training and benefits, workplace, variable production costs and hiring costs, just to name a few.

Outsourcing definitely has a lot of perks, but a big part of successful content marketing is knowing how to measure the results of outsourcing.

If you go with an agency, things are much easier. Once you’ve found the right agency, it’s just a matter of paying for the services they provide.

in house vs outsourcing[ Source: Flickr ]

Also, hiring a content marketing agency can give you a more professional touch, keep your content fresh and leave you time for other marketing task such as working with your marketing team on new strategies.

Being able to focus is important, remember?

“Why shouldn’t I just hire a freelancer? Their services are usually cheaper”, you might ask. It’s a legitimate question. It’s true, freelancer writers are usually cheaper than an agency.

There’s always a but and here comes a big one.

[bctt tweet=”Cheap content usually results in cheap quality ” via=”SquirrlyHQ”]

Content marketing is an opportunity and opportunity costs. This doesn’t mean that you can’t find agencies that provide great quality at a reasonable price. But when it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.

High quality content doesn’t come cheap, but it will actually save a lot of money in the long run.

Also, content is nothing without promotion, and this is one aspect content marketing agencies are great at. Unlike a freelancer, an agency offers everything you might need, from writing to proofreading and promotion.

At Squirrly, this is what we do for our customers.

Hiring in-house vs outsourcing: It’s a debate as old as content marketing itself. You now know what to look for when you choose the right thing for you!

That’s another challenge. And we love a good challenge.