Regardless of the size of your business, you don’t have a limitless budget. At budget-review time (and on a fairly regular basis, really) it’s important to question whether you’re spending wisely. One question you’ve likely asked, and will ask again, is should you outsource content marketing?
This isn’t a gratuitous question, and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. And, it’s quite possible the right answer for your organisation may change – circumstances, staffing, and other resources are not always constant. Here is some guidance to help you determine whether you’re best served by managing your content marketing in-house or smarter to outsource it.
Do You Have a Good Writer?
While this question seems almost too basic to include, it is absolutely essential to have a good writer – good content simply doesn’t fall out of the sky. If you don’t have a good word wrangler in-house, or aren’t interested in hiring one, outsourcing it is.
An alternative, of course, is finding a contract or freelance writer. Just remember, a considerable amount of time will be required to the writer up to speed on your business and its key competitive advantages, and to manage the process, ensuring assignments come in on time and in good shape.
What’s that? You say you have a good writer – on staff or on call? OK. What’s next?
Beyond the Basics of Social Media Marketing
Creating content is no small matter. But even the greatest content can’t share itself. You’ll need to find someone who can disseminate the content strategically, getting it in front of the right audiences at the right time.
This means not only offering informative blog posts with search-friendly keywords, but also offering lead-generating downloads and funneling and following those leads to move them through the sales cycle.
Do you have someone in-house who is on a first name basis with Google Analytics and PPC tools? If the answer is yes, great. If the answer is “huh?,” then maybe you want to look for outside resources.
Commitment, Consistency are Key
Whether you’re doing it all in-house or relying on a contractor to help generate content, someone has to manage the overall efforts. While repurposing content is absolutely recommended, you still need fresh content, regularly, and an editorial calendar that keeps your content in rotation and in front of your prospects at the right time, in the right places.
When we say “consistency is key,” we mean consistency in tone, quality, and timing. If you have a blog, a stellar post means nothing if it’s not followed by another post – and soon. If you’re not committed to posting fresh content regularly, repurposing and rotating it through all of your content channels, outsourcing is probably a good option for you.
Believable Content is the Only Kind
For time-strapped organisations, outsourcing may look like the obvious answer. But selecting an outsider to handle your content can be tricky. Because consistent, quality content isn’t enough. It also has to be believable. It has to speak to YOUR customers and YOUR prospects about YOUR unique offerings. If it doesn’t sound like it comes from YOU, it isn’t good content. And if it doesn’t make you sound good, what’s the point?
If you’re considering handing your content marketing duties off to an agency, consider your potential vendor as thoroughly as you would any business partner. After all, your content marketing is a direct reflection on you; it’s your very public face and personality.
If you’re handling content in-house, understand that you’ll need to dedicate some pretty valuable resources to the effort. An entry-level person probably won’t be able to handle much of the content creation work at all. A junior-level person can probably handle editorial scheduling and generate good ideas for new content. However, if your content is going to make a good impression and make your company stand out, you’ll need to get some senior-level involvement.
If you outsource, make sure you understand the process. How will your content provider produce believable, useful, quality content for YOUR customers? How much time will you need to dedicate to the process? And, perhaps most importantly, how will you know that it’s working?
If your content marketing efforts aren’t delivering the results you need, you might be interested in the Sticky Strategic Blogging program. It is a cost-effective way to generate tons of traffic for your business.