Content marketing is a significant part of any digital marketing tool kit. Content that is SEO-optimised is even more important when it comes to increasing the visibility of your site, as 95% of people only look at the first page of the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs).
However, according to Zazzle Media, 60% of people find it difficult to create consistently valuable and well-written content. 32% of digital marketers also say that their content creation strategy is lacking.
So, if content is such a vital cog in the digital marketing machine, and you don’t have any available resources in your company, should you outsource this function to a content marketing agency?
Here are six questions you should consider before outsourcing.
1. Do You Have The Skills In-House?
Before you decide to hire a content marketing agency, have another look at your team and see if they have the skills that you need to produce great content. Creating outstanding content is much more than being just a good writer. There are other skills – research, social media management, social listening, and the like – that the content marketing arm of your business needs to have. If your team already has these skills, you’re better off in-source this marketing function.
2. What Is Your Budget?
If you do decide to go the outsourcing route, see how much you can spend on your content marketing. Many agencies offer various packages to suit a variety of budgets, so look carefully at your options before you sign up with a content marketing organisation. Do your research and consider several agencies or freelancers. If you don’t have a big budget, consider going for a smaller agency, because the more prominent agencies are more likely to charge inflated rates as they have increased overheads.
With an agency, you’re always guaranteed on-time delivery as they have a number of resources who can manage your content creation. However, because so many people are working on your material, the outputs that you receive may be worded slightly differently as you will be having different voices coming through.
If you decide to work with a freelancer, you’ll have that personal touch as the person who you’re dealing with is also writing the content. As such, you know that the quality of work that you’ll be getting is consistent. However, if your demands increase the freelancer substantially may not be able to cope with the increased workload.
4. What is Your Content Strategy?
For your content marketing to work well, you need to have a solid strategy in place, which needs to have the answers to questions such as:
What do I want to achieve with my content marketing strategy?
What type of content do I want to put out into the marketplace?
What takeaways do I want my clients or potential consumers to have about my brand and me?
Once you’ve responded to these questions, you can start designing a structure of content that you want to disseminate. For example, consumers like to know what goes on behind-the-scenes in a company, and you need to decide how much you want people to see. You also need to choose what type of content you want to put out, such as videos, blogs, articles, infographics or combination of all of these.
5. What is Your Content Marketing Workflow?
For any project to work successfully, there needs to be a proper workflow in place. Content marketing is no exception. If you decide to outsource your content marketing or develop a team in house, you need to establish a system so that all members of the team know what they need to do, as well as when and how long they have to do this. Questions you’ll need to answer are:
Will the content creator need to research the piece themselves or will they be provided the research?
How long will the content creator have to put these pieces together?
What happens if you don’t like a piece of content that is created? How long will you give them to redo it?
If you prefer working with freelancers, consider hiring an editorial project manager who will coordinate workflows, quality-check the writers’ work and put together editorial calendars so that you don’t have to.
6. How do You Measure Content Marketing Success?
With everything that you do in your business, you need to measure it so that you know it’s working. There are several metrics that you should monitor to measure the success of your content marketing efforts. For example:
If you decide to outsource your content marketing, either with a freelancer or an agency, put in place certain key performance areas and key performance indicators which the outsourcer will need to meet.
In terms of measuring the effectiveness of your content marketing, a must is for you to have Google Analytics on your website, so that you can see which content pieces attracted the most visitors to your site.
The Beauty of Content Marketing
Content marketing is the most effective form of digital marketing to date, as it is quite cost-effective to produce and the returns are quite high. However, make sure that you don’t neglect your other forms of marketing in favour of content. The most effective marketing plan is an integrated one which combines aspects such as pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimisation and public relations with content marketing.
If you find that you are struggling with producing a steady stream of content, there are always other options available so that your company can still create high-quality content pieces. If you do decide to go the outsourcing route, don’t be afraid of trying out a number of options before you find the one that works for you.