If you’re a content marketer and you’re trying to scale your content marketing program, one of the biggest decisions you have to make is figuring out how to produce all of the high-quality content you need. You’ve really got two main options, both of which have pros and cons. You can either create your content in house or outsource that task to a third-party. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose one option to the exclusion of the other and, in fact, are probably better off doing a bit of both.
Let’s take a look at the ups and downs of each option to find out why.
Creating Your Content In House
At a time when it’s easy to make the case that everyone works for marketing, outsourcing your content creation may seem unnecessary. After all, why spend your precious budget dollars when you can turn to your peers across marketing — and your organization for that matter — to help with your content creation efforts.
The reality is that since everyone in your company is in some way responsible for trying to engage customers and deliver a great customer experience, you’ve got leverage to co-opt them and engage them as content creators to fuel your program. Not only that, as employees they’re as close to your business as can be and are therefore positioned better than anyone else to create content that’s true to your company’s tone of voice, that engages your customers, and that provides unique value.
It’s a great plan, at least in theory. In practice, however, relying on your colleagues for content can be much more challenging. The reality is that most people aren’t good writers — that includes your peers on the marketing team — so getting them to create content for you that you can actually publish can be problematic. With the proper training and guidance, however, this is a hurdle that you can overcome. Still, it’s a significant barrier and one that could easily make scaling your content marketing program a lot more difficult.
Complicating matters further, even if you have the good fortune to have lots of great writers throughout your organization, there’s another challenge. Creating all of your content in-house can, over time, result in it becoming quite insular and stale. That’s hardly a formula for content that stands out and drives conversions.
Outsourcing Content Creation to a Third-Party
That brings us to the alternative, which is outsourcing your content to a third party, such as a freelance writer or an agency. Paying someone else to create your content can be a great way to both lighten your load and ensure that you get the outside perspective you need to keep your content fresh.
Yet if you think that outsourcing your content creation means that you can absolve yourself of all of the responsibility and still get a great outcome, you’re mistaken. On the contrary, these kinds of arrangements only work well when you partner closely with your vendor to ensure a successful outcome. And there’s a learning curve to overcome here too. Your vendor will be new to your company and perhaps even your industry. As such, they’ll need time to get up to speed before they are able to start creating content that really resonates with your audience.
Plus, if someone else is creating all of your content, unless you’re carefully editing everything they write, you’re at risk of having your content be off brand. The reality is that no third-party can represent your company, its tone of voice, and its brand better than you.
Striking a Balance Yields the Best Results
So where does all of this leave us? If you’re looking to scale your content marketing program, you’ll likely find that you get the best results when you do a combination of in-house and outsourced content creation. The key is to strike the right balance and that will take some experimentation. In the meantime, cultivate the resources you have at your disposal, both in-house and external, so that they’re ready to hit the ground running when you need them.