In this blog, Mike Davies, Senior Digital PR Manager at The B2B Marketing Lab, highlights five key problems with keeping your B2B content creation in-house.
In case you haven’t caught on yet, every business today needs to create content.
Whether it’s to improve organic search visibility and increase web traffic, or generate leads for your sales team, without quality content your business will struggle to attract and convert.
But with all the content you need to create now, from blogs, videos, podcasts and web pages to pillar pages, eBooks, market research reports and infographics, do businesses really have the time and skill to create all this or should they just outsource it?
We create a lot of content for a variety of clients, but we also understand why some clients might prefer to try and keep content creation in-house. And, to be fair, some are really good at it.
That said, if you as a business decide to keep content creation in-house, there are some problems that we've seen you'll need come across and address for content marketing greatness, The companies that we see do really well as keeping content in-house are the ones that explore and solve the five most common problems:
Lack of content expertise
You know your sector and subject matter backwards – or you should do.
After all, you live and breathe your product and business every single hour and day, so you likely have more subject matter experts than any content agency.
However, given that B2B content creation is akin to being a publisher, precisely because of the volume and variety of stuff you have to create nowadays, it’s unlikely that you have the content versatility and skills in-house to be able to do it – or at least do it well.
Despite what you might think, or what you might have been told by other people, creating quality content isn’t easy. Given a blank piece of paper, how many people in your business do you think could write a good blog, video script (never mind shoot, edit and upload the video to your website and social media) an in-depth but interesting eBook or piece of thought leadership? And could they do it consistently?
By outsourcing your B2B content creation, you benefit from an expert team of writers, videographers and designers who handle all of this for you. You'll likely have access to six or seven people with different skills, as opposed to hiring one employee.
If you’re concerned about whether they’ll “get” the topic and be able to write about it properly, don’t be. If they’re any good then they will (it’s what they’re paid for; they know the questions to ask to get the relevant information and can turn it into an interesting story).
Staying too close to the subject
We get that you’re passionate about your business or subject. We know you’ve put in a lot of effort to become an expert and you want people to know that.
The problem is, most people coming to your business aren’t interested in how smart you sound or how great or revolutionary or exciting your product or service is, they just want to know how it could help them get over their current challenge and pain.
The chances are though, that because you work in your area of interest every day, you can sometimes forget that things you just know need to be explained to other people.
Bringing in a content agency gives you that outside eye or opinion and an independent team who can ask questions your customer ask, produce the content you need, and break down complex topics so everyone can understand.
No time to create
Do you really have the time to write two blogs a week, produce an eBook a quarter, create infographics, regularly post to social media, create videos, run podcasts and still do your day job? Not only that, but complete all of that frequently and consistently?
If you answered yes then you should keep your content in-house, unless you aren't getting the required results you should be.
The truth is, most employees don’t have the time to consistently create content and do their job. Furthermore, the content they create is usually rushed and not of any quality that is going to be beneficial to the business’ reputation.
Bringing in a B2B content agency means you’re getting a dedicated team who can regularly create all kinds of content for you and have the expertise and knowledge to know what content will work best.
You might think you’re saving money by getting people in your company to create content rather than outsource it, but given the amount of time it takes your team to write a blog or do a video, how much time are they losing from their day job?
This, remember, is time they could be using to deal with clients and support customers.
Hiring an in-house content manager can be a good idea – in fact, it can be a great idea and is something you should consider – but they’re not cheap and you’re only getting one person.
For the cost of a single content manager (most will ask for £40,000) you could spend that on an agency retainer and get a whole team of content experts dedicated to regularly producing quality content for your business.
If the agency you choose is any good, then the content will arrive (maybe after a couple of edits) ready to publish and promote in whatever format.
Lack of scale
Creating content on a regular basis is essential if you’re going to succeed at content marketing and doing business in today’s market.
But there will be times in the year when you need to create more content than others. Maybe you need content for an event, a product launch or new website pages.
This means you may need extra resources at certain times of the year, and that isn’t easy when you’re relying on your own staff to create content. If you’re launching a product, for instance, your staff are going to be focused on getting the product ready.
However, B2B content agencies can scale resources based on your needs. If you have an increased need for content at a certain time of the year, they have writers who can be moved onto your account team for that period – so you don’t have to deal with the stress of it.
By no means is this an exhaustive list of problems. We’ve heard many more over the years, but these are the most common that you’ll face if you try to take your content creation in-house.
Taking your content creation in-house is by no means a bad thing – just carefully consider whether or not you are able to do it well and do it consistently.
Still not sure whether you should outsource your content or marketing? Download our eBook to learn about the seven signs you should outsource your marketing.