Does your busy team have the capacity to produce smart, engaging content on a weekly basis? How about daily? I’m guessing the answer is no.
Content marketing seems simple, right? Regardless of industry or location, most companies seem to at least be taking a stab at it these days — and why not? After all, how hard can it be to publish a few updates on your blog and social media channels every week?
Well, not so fast — the first problem with that line of thinking is that it equates the practice to blogging. The reality is that they couldn’t be more different.
A truly effective content strategy is not only mapped to a marketing funnel built specifically for your target audience and customer personae, but it also relies on your team’s ability to regularly produce engaging and original articles, graphics, white papers, and emails and promote them organically across all digital channels.
Starting to sound like a handful? Considering the countless other priorities you’re already juggling on a daily basis, it’s hard to imagine content fitting into anyone’s schedule. And even if someone on your team does make room to develop original content, the inevitable time crunch promises to take its toll on quality.
Every company that wants to prioritize content as part of its marketing strategy but finds itself strapped for time and resources reaches this critical impasse. It’s up to you to then answer an equally critical question: should you contract out your content strategy and execution, or hire someone to tackle it in house?
While there isn’t a definitive “right” answer to this question, there are a few factors to consider before you make your decision.
Cohesion and Consistency
When it comes to your broader content strategy, your first priority must be to nail down your brand’s unique personality and target personae. Your second needs to be to develop editorial standards and guideposts that ensure the messaging in all of your marketing materials is cohesive and consistent.
For this to work, the employees or team tasked with establishing and maintaining the uniformity of your brand voice must be intimately acquainted with your company’s goals.
So who can handle the challenge? An in-house team will be more familiar with the ins and outs of your brand identity, but they may lack the outside experience to craft a proven editorial strategy as well as the time to build an organized framework for executing on that strategy.
On the flip side, an outside agency may not bring the same wealth of institutional knowledge to the table at first, but what they should bring is a proven track record of brand marketing and the strategic expertise to deploy consistent, impactful branded collateral across all channels.
So make the initial investment in getting your agency up to speed on your brand values and buyer personae — you’ll make back the hours in no time once they’re running full speed.
Agility vs. Long-Term Authority
If you work in an industry where breaking news and timely analysis are at a premium, an in-house content creator can be a valuable asset. Need a piece live on the blog by noon? It helps when you can walk over to the writer’s desk and let them know it’s a priority.
However, if your content strategy is more of a marathon than a sprint — in other words, you’re looking to regularly disseminate thoughtful, well-researched pieces that establish the authority of your company and its executives in the long-term — consider investing in an agency that can allocate the necessary bandwidth and deploy the true experts to make that happen.
The Bottom Line
Of course, your company’s bottom line will ultimately determine how much and where you invest in content. And the whole reason that agencies exist is that a combination of benefits, vacation policies, and attrition in the workplace often make hiring someone full-time to do the same work a more costly proposition. That’s not to mention the efficiency that agencies like L&T offer in spreading the workload amongst a team of digital specialists and content creators.
And here’s the real bottom line: would you rather hire someone to write an article one day and then design your ebook the next, or contract that work out to an agency and check both items off your list at once? Of course, I’m mildly oversimplifying things, but L&T has grown to where it is today from a simple goal: to provide true value and operational efficiency to brands and organizations of all shapes and sizes.
So stop worrying about missed publishing days and unfinished drafts and consider the value of partnering with a company that’s done it all before.
Longneck and Thunderfoot offer content marketing services and strategies to transform your company blog into an authoritative trade publication. Click to learn more about how to produce great content and prove ROI on your marketing efforts.