Recently, I was talking to a client about their blogging efforts. Their team had been blogging for several months, but as time went on, their blogging has fizzled out as they have gone from a few posts a month to one every several weeks.
This is a common scenario. Oftentimes, businesses have the best of intentions when it comes to blogging and content marketing, but they discover it’s more than they can handle on their own.
That’s why many businesses opt to outsource their content marketing. And, that’s exactly what I recommended to this client.
We’ve helped clients with both approaches — we provide guidance and optimization for their content or we have developed the content for them. Either way can work, the question becomes can you fuel your blog with internal resources or should you bring in outside help to get the job done?
There’s no right answer. But, there are pros and cons to outsourcing content. You have to determine which approach is right for your business.
Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Content Marketing
If you’re considering outsourcing your blog and content marketing efforts, here are some pros and cons help you evaluate this approach.
- Strategy. Marketing firms can help you develop an overall content strategy around the kinds of content you should be creating and how to integrate this into your overall digital marketing strategy.
- Consistency. An external resource — whether it be an agency, consultant or freelancer — will be more likely to stay focused on the content and ensure that the job gets done with regular consistency.
- Saves time. Outsourcing saves you and your staff the time it would take to come up with blog post ideas, write, optimize and post them to your site.
- Better writing. Hiring a skilled content marketer will give you higher quality content that is written to appeal to your audience. This is especially valuable for longer form content, such as white papers and eBooks.
- Optimized content. Outsourcing content to an agency will ensure the content is optimized for search engines and is set up appropriately on your site.
- Outside perspective. Sometimes, it takes someone outside of the business to identify fresh ideas and angles to present your story and information in a compelling way.
- Cost effective. Outsourcing content to a freelancer or consultant is often cheaper than hiring internal resources (or reallocating staff) to get to the job done.
- Tie efforts to results. Although you might have the ability to do this on your own, most outsourced consultants are skilled at understanding analytics and how to tie content marketing efforts to leads and new business. They can also analyze the numbers and recommend tweaks to improve your efforts.
- Lacks subject matter expertise. Although outsourced resources might be talented writers, they might not know your industry. Make sure they understand your business and can do the research to write content that is valuable to your business.
- Author issues. When you outsource content, you have to think about who will be the author of the post. Should it be ghostwritten for one of your team members or do you want an external team member to have their name on it? Each presents its own set of challenges, so you have to think through what makes sense.
- Weakened brand voice. When someone else writes for you, it can be difficult to capture your brand’s personality and voice. Your team members will be better equipped to showcase who you are as a business.
- Access to content. Your agency partner doesn’t have the access to the content that you do. You have to dedicate the time to give that information to them or they’ll be struggling to come up with information on their own.
- Credibility. There are scores of companies creating low-quality content that could cause all sorts of trouble for your brand. Be wary of content mills or content farms that churn out content on the cheap. It’s much better to work with a trusted digital marketing agency.
How to outsource content marketing successfully
It’s important to remember that content marketing is an investment. Whether you decide to manage it on your own or work with an outsourced partner, you must have the buy-in from your team to make it successful.
And, you must be willing to dedicate the time and resources to get the job done. That means outsourcing your blog shouldn’t be a set it and forget it solution. Someone from your team needs to be involved in the process to ensure the content rings true with your brand.
What do you think? Is it ever okay to outsource content? Why or why not?
Image credit: Thomas Hawk