These days, more and more businesses are using digital marketing to grow their brand, customer base and bottom line.
So, if you’re considering implementing an inbound marketing strategy, is outsourcing content a cost-effective and smart solution for your business?
Well, the truth is … it depends.
The right fit comes down to your team, budget, product/service and goals. And because an effective content marketing strategy requires a significant investment of time and money, you want to be sure you choose the right approach from the start.
So should you keep it in-house, outsource or adopt a hybrid strategy? In this article, we look at the advantages of each option and share some insights on what works, what doesn’t, and the key indicators that you can use to guide your decision.
Keeping Content In-House
If you’re a marketing manager reading this and you have the skills available in-house to plan and execute an effective content strategy, it makes sense to manage things internally.
Customers appreciate when they can learn and be educated by you and your business, and your team is best placed to offer real and genuine insights as they know your customers and products intimately. While a talented content marketing team can certainly tap into this and create content that your customers love, it will require an investment of time to get them the information they need to fully understand your business.
When it comes to value, on the surface, keeping it in-house may seem the more affordable option, but when you compare the total amount invested, in-house is often on par with outsourcing. Internal marketing can certainly offer value over time, but you still need to pay for the talent and technology required to manage it. An external agency can also often set up time saving automations and bring other efficiencies to your marketing activities. Be sure to factor this in when comparing costs.
Outsourcing to a Digital Marketing Agency
If you’re like most businesses and your team is already stretched for time, finding the knowledge and resources in-house to devote to a marketing campaign can be hard. Keeping up with the latest tools and techniques is difficult, and every marketing strategy will require time, expertise and creative talent to get off the ground, let alone get results. Without a dedicated marketing person on your team, it can be an uphill battle, and you may find it gets pushed aside whenever a more urgent task pops up. In fact, many of the companies we work with, both big and small, have tried their hand at marketing internally, but failed to see any real and meaningful value from their efforts, which prompted them to seek external help.
Outsourcing can certainly deliver strong benefits and ROI, especially for high-ticket businesses with a long and complicated buying process where the customer needs to be educated about the solution. An external agency will hone into your brand and messaging, taking the time to ask you the right questions on the right topics, then perfectly align and produce relevant content and an appropriate strategy. But perhaps the biggest plus of outsourcing is the flexibility—you instantly fill the knowledge gap by adding marketing expertise to your team, without the need to commit the time and resources necessary for hiring, training and retaining permanent staff.
Advantages of a Hybrid Approach
What we’ve found with many of our clients is that a hybrid approach can work well. This can take many forms, but it generally means the client has a degree of input into the content each week. For example, one of our writers might do a 15-minute phone interview with a member of our client’s team and then use the information to write an in-depth article that’s then published under the employee’s name. Other clients might create and post their own social media content and look to us for more in-depth content alongside managing all the behind the scenes tasks of publishing, distributing and tracking results.
This allows clients to be hands-on in the tasks they are comfortable with, while relieving the pressure in areas where they are not.
So Which is the Most Cost-Effective Solution?
When weighing it up, it’s highly likely that your budget will be a key factor in your decision. And while the cost of outsourcing can at first seem high, it’s important to remember that managing your marketing in-house requires a significant investment in time and money too. Even if you don’t hire a full-time marketing manager, when you tally up the wages you’re paying staff who are working on marketing, plus the tools and software required to create, share and track your content and results, the overall cost of keeping it in-house may be higher than paying a monthly fee to outsource.
The hybrid approach can certainly help you maximise value, as it allows you to balance the costs, utilise your resources and get expert help where you need it.
Finding the Right Fit for You
Whatever your situation, the best place to start is with an honest audit of your in-house resources and talent. By doing so, you can assess whether you have the capability to manage some or all of your marketing in-house, and identify the gaps where you need external help.
Once you’ve got an understanding of what you need help with, you can start a conversation with a digital agency who are willing to offer obligation-free honest advice to see if their services are a good fit.
Our free strategy session is a great place to start—book a time online or call us directly on 1300 988 111 to discuss your needs today!
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