In-house vs Outsourced: Where Companies Stand on the Content Creation Dilemma
Deciding whether or not to hire an in-house marketing team or outsource to a marketing agency can be a daunting task for most companies. Unfortunately, there is no right or wrong answer. According to the State of Inbound 2015 report, demonstrating ROI is the #1 challenge that marketers face. Tracking ROI is extremely important, because you cannot show an improvement in something you’re not tracking.
According to the Outsourcing Institute, companies who outsource save an average of 9 percent and gain 15 percent in capacity and quality.
At Catch22, we are constantly meeting with businesses who are facing this dilemma. Some of them have great ideas for marketing solutions, but don’t have the time and resources to effectively execute them. Others don’t know where to start, or are their own worst enemy by still having the old-school mindset that putting ads on the side of a bus will bring in hundreds of customers. Wherever they are in the decision process, it’s our job to help guide them to success.
The Rise of Inbound
This is where inbound marketing becomes so important. In order to grow a prosperous business in this “information age” we live in, you have to be able to connect with people. No one wants an advertisement thrown in their face.
“Inbound marketing is about understanding who your customers are, what problems they face, and what their journey will be when trying to solve that problem.”
As a marketer, you want to meet your customer at the problem stage and help provide them with facts that will lead them to a solution. Hopefully the solution is that they will work with your company, but the important part is that you helped them come to the best conclusion on their own, not sell them on something for your own benefit.
Social media platforms are the best way for your customers to get to know your company’s personality. Because of this, it’s crucial that anyone posting, in-house or outsourced, fully understands who your company is also. Have clear guidelines about expectations in terms of voice, personality, content, and methods of connecting with fans and followers.
With Inbound Marketing producing over 54% more leads than traditional marketing strategies, it’s clear that content creation, such as blogging and email marketing, is more important for a company’s success than ever before. The problem: most companies have great ideas for producing this content, but lack the time and assets to make it effective. This is where outsourcing becomes the best solution. Your business will grow when you can hire people who understand what makes a blog intriguing enough to get shares, or designers who can create your email templates up to the best UX standards.
Inbound Marketing is the process of generating leads by finding people who are actively looking for your services. So in a way, outsourcing lead generation is essentially outsourcing all of your inbound marketing activities.
However, there are elements of the lead generation process that could be outsourced when they don’t fit into what you do best. For example, you might love to write and blog, but when it comes to optimizing for a keyword and integrating unique design, you may need help.
Qualifying leads might be another portion of the process that you can outsource to save yourself some time.
SEO requires technical knowledge as well as patience. You cannot expect instant results from SEO, and often this means doing activities for large amounts of time without any immediate results. This can be daunting for someone new to SEO; but even if you are outsourcing, it would be unrealistic to expect immediate results.
Modern SEO requires creating something of value for your potential customers. You know your market and your unique selling point, so in many ways there is no-one better than you to create that content. However, you may need to hire outside help in order to polish it to really make it shine.
In short, there is no simple answer for whether-or-not you should outsource your marketing or hire an in-house team. What works for one company might not work for you. Whatever you decide, make sure you bring in an expert who understands how to make your content a success.
Thanks for reading! Check back on Tuesdays and Thursdays for more tips, tricks and important discussions on inbound marketing and web design.