One of my favorite statistics is that content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional marketing campaigns but costs 62% less to produce¹. Typically, marketers respond to this insight by assuming their internal team must be the one to do the content marketing; and certainly, your team knows your company and products best. But do they have the resources and experience to conduct a long-term content marketing campaign and still maintain their other duties? That’s the hitch.
For a minority of companies, building the skills in-house is an ROI-positive, long term proposition. For most companies, however, outsourcing gives you the best return on investment due to the simple economic principle of specialization. One simple way to weigh your options is to ask: Is publishing content for my industry to read part of my core mission as a company? If not, outsourcing makes more sense.
Because this decision is so important, I’ve created a simple guide to help you determine if you should keep your content efforts in-house or if content marketing outsourcing is the best option for your firm.
|When to Outsource
|When to Go In-House
|You’re a highly-technical company, and your technicians don’t have either the time or inclination to write weekly articles.
|You’re a consumer-focused brand or easily understandable B2B brand with staff members who love to write.
|Content isn’t a core service your company offers.
|Content is a core service your company offers. Examples: Journalism businesses, publishers, or marketing agencies.
|Your marketing team doesn’t have the time to add a content marketing campaign to their current workload.
|Your marketing team has capacity for more activities or wishes to cease one activity in exchange for content.
|Your marketing team doesn’t have the SEO expertise required to properly research keywords, match them to appropriate page types based on their search intent, and use them strategically to create long-form content.
|Your marketing team has invested significant time and resources into learning about SEO, content marketing, marketing funnels, conversion optimization, and data analytics.
What It Looks Like to Outsource Content Marketing
A good content marketing partner will think strategically about your content marketing as a piece of a larger marketing and lead generation plan. They’ll present a strategy that goes beyond blog articles ranking on Google, extending to using the content in social media, e-mail marketing, webinars, conferences, and paid advertising. Content is wonderfully versatile—it can be recycled to other platforms and distilled into smaller bits.
Broadly speaking, your content marketing partner’s job is to create a vital component of your lead generation and brand awareness system, keeping the system’s ultimate goal in mind the whole time.
Beyond the strategic thinking I’ve just described, here’s what a typical process of working with a top-rate content marketing firm looks like:
Phase 1: Technical SEO Audit and Content Strategy. Before your content marketing partner starts writing and uploading blog posts, they’ll take a close look at your website and business to be sure they develop the best SEO and content strategy. They will:
- Assess your website’s speed, examine your meta page titles, find any broken links, and research your current keyword rankings.
- Use this audit to develop discrete, measurable goals for improving your site’s speed and rankings.
- Identify your most valuable transactional keywords, prepare a keyword map to guide your content strategy, and develop a schedule for when landing pages and blog posts on these keywords will be published.
- Implement source attribution as well as traffic, conversion, and lead tracking to measure the campaign’s performance.
Phase 2: Build a Content Marketing Foundation and Gain Google’s Trust. Once your content marketing partner knows the ins and outs of your business and has created a plan tailored to your needs, they’ll put that plan in motion. During this phase, they will:
- Strategically develop and publish landing pages designed to convert visitors into customers.
- Consistently publish keyword-targeted blog posts to gain Google’s trust and increase your search visibility.
- Improve the technical SEO aspects of your website, by increasing page speeds, updating meta page titles, and removing broken links.
- Optimize your website’s structure and sitemap and enhance SERP results through the schema markup.
- Collect and analyze data to measure and improve the success of your campaign.
Phase 3: As Results Come In, Analyze Data and Refine Your Strategy. At regular intervals, your content marketing partner will use the data they’ve collected on traffic and leads to assess and adjust their strategy. They may:
- Shift their focus to a new set of keywords, once your first set is showing strong results.
- Target a valuable but highly contested keyword that was previously out of reach.
- Increase attention and inbound links to topics that aren’t gaining as much traction as you’d like.
- Revise posts, pages, or calls-to-action to further support your conversion funnel.
- Use content for other channels—like videos, eBooks, webinars, or white papers—to support your sales and marketing goals.
If that sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. Running a successful content marketing campaign requires resources and dedication. A sound SEO and content marketing strategy plan, as well as the correct mix of specialists, is key to long-term success. Your partner should be able to handle all of these aspects of your content marketing efforts without increasing the workload on your team.
If you’re interested in outsourcing your content marketing strategy, feel free to contact us. At First Page Sage, we can execute your entire campaign from keyword research and strategy to content creation and delivering qualified leads. We take pride in our ability to deeply understand your industry and brand, often by bringing on an outside expert to aid us in our content creation.