Outsource or In-House? The Content Conundrum
So, you’re ready to get serious about your content marketing strategy. You’ve decided no more relying on time-crunched executives to post the occasional blog. Never again will you ask the product development team to wrestle with dangling participles in addition to spec sheets. You’re ready to hire some dedicated creative professionals to develop, execute, and manage your content marketing strategy. Should you hire full-time employees, or work with an external provider? Let’s look at the pros and cons of each option.
When internal teams make sense
For some companies, having an internal content marketing team makes perfect sense. Large multinational companies like Google, IBM, and Apple have more than enough resources to recruit and develop their own team of content creators. An internal content marketing group may also suit organizations that produce a large amount of content on a regular basis. If having in person, regular, 9 to 5 access to your content creators is a priority for you, internal may be the way to go for your business. Not only are internal, full-time employees more readily available for face-to-face meetings, but, being “on the spot,” they are intimately familiar with the company’s products or services. But keep in mind that even companies with in-house content teams outsource certain projects, for example when their teams need a helping hand or need to focus on strategy or other issues.
When to think external
Although an internal team may be ideal for some organizations, it won’t be the best choice for everyone. Companies with budget constraints will find that an external partner can help produce content for a fraction of a permanent hire’s cost. And money isn’t the only thing that can be in short supply. External teams can help you manage time better, because having someone else handle the content creation frees up internal employees to focus on their primary responsibilities What if your company isn’t producing content full time? If that’s the case, do you really need full-time content staffers? In these situations, you may find yourself thinking more and more about going external for your content needs. Here are a few more reasons to give it serious consideration.
Efficiency of production
Even if your organization has the budget to hire staff internally, outsourcing content production to an external provider like Prose Media can still be a more efficient use of time and resources. Consider how much effort it takes to produce the content, how much content you need, and how fast. For companies that don’t anticipate heavy, consistent workloads, collaborating with a marketing content company can be the best option, because it affords a nimble and knowledgeable partner that can seamlessly adjust to changes in schedules and deadlines. It also means that if you have a sudden change in content needs (say, at the beginning of a new campaign or product launch), working with an external provider lets you scale up to meet those needs and then scale down again as workload resets.
Variety of skills and styles
The best external providers also offer companies a large stable of content creators with a broad range of skills. Companies with internal teams are limited to the skill set of the individuals they hire. In contrast, an outsource partner maintains a much larger team of content creators and can appoint the best personnel for the job at hand, whether that means writing an annual report for shareholders, drafting a press release, posting to a company blog, or managing a Twitter account.
A fresh set of eyes
Partnering with a content marketing company also provides a level of perspective that isn’t typically possible with internal staff. Third-party content creators have time to look at material more critically than employees can, bringing an external, objective opinion that can substantially improve your marketing content. Full-time employees hired to be creative and produce engaging content can get too close to the subject or burnout on a topic from over-exposure. Third-party content creators, on the other hand, work on a project-to-project basis, not 9 to 5 on the same thing all week long, week after week. That flexibility and variety mean their creative energy is refreshed. That, in turn, is reflected in the quality of the content they produce.
Having dedicated experts who can produce marketing content is vital to any organization. For some, the best choice is to hire permanent, full-time staff to handle regular content creation needs. For many others, the flexibility and scope offered by an external partner like Prose Media is ideal. Sign up for a free account and find out how we can help elevate your content marketing results.