A big problem for any eCommerce business is choosing how to handle marketing. Content marketing can be applied in many ways, but the question is how to handle it so that you get the best outcome. One of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is whether to outsource the process to an agency or create your own in-house team.
It’s best to start working on the details of your strategy only after you’ve decided on the team that you are going to work with. It’s important to keep the goals in mind, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the team when planning.
Check out the other articles on our blog to learn more about content marketing so that you’ll know how to craft the best strategy possible. Now, let’s take a look at your options and see which one is best for you.
Benefits of in-house content marketing
In-house is generally an option only for bigger companies. That’s because they require bigger marketing campaigns, and hiring a group of people to handle that is justifiable.
A little side note: whether it’s in-house or outsourced, you really shouldn’t have just one person handling it all, no matter the size of your company. Don’t forget that you need constant content and management for the blog and all your social media accounts.
Also, in a team, mistakes are much easier to spot. If it’s a single person, there’s a higher chance that the campaign will end up badly. You should have at least two people working on your campaign. You know what they say: two heads are better than one.
Knowledge of the company
Getting back to the point, you’d think that someone who works for the company knows that company better than anyone else, right? That’s very important in content marketing, since the better someone knows the company, the better the message they deliver through content will be. Companies often fear that an agency will not understand their goals and story well.
That’s obviously not always the case. They can be the CEO of the company, if they’re bad at marketing, then they’re not going to be able to represent it well. Choosing talented individuals who know what they’re doing will always be more important, since knowledge of the company is something that is easier to improve.
One of the biggest advantages of having an in-house team is the focus that they will have. They don’t have several clients like agencies do, so they can focus all their attention on the company’s website. They should know the site and their audience better than an agency. They’re also experts on the products that the company markets, and all this should make content marketing much easier to handle.
Another advantage is that the team will always be easy to contact and you can rest assured knowing they’ll answer fast. With agencies, that’s not always the case, although it should be. Calling Johnny, the marketing manager, and telling him your new idea will probably be a lot faster than sending an email to an agency and waiting for an answer.
Now, let’s take a look at the other side of the coin.
Benefits of outsourcing to an agency
It doesn’t necessarily have to be an agency, it can also be a freelancer, but I already told you what’s the problem with that. Freelancers usually handle multiple clients at the same time which can translate into lack of focus. It’s best to choose a team when outsourcing content.
The most glaring issue with in-house teams, in my opinion, is the money aspect. That’s why I said earlier that it’s a better approach for bigger companies, since they have more money to invest.
Having a whole marketing team on the payroll can prove detrimental to the interest of the company, especially if the campaign you’re planning isn’t particularly lengthy or complicated. You risk ending up paying people to do little work and not getting your money’s worth.
On the other hand, agencies are up-front about what you have to give and what you get in return. You can spend just the money you can afford, which is often less than what you would pay for an in-house team. More important, you’ll get exactly what you asked for.
Time management is a problem that you’ll have regardless of your choice. If you want the campaign to work well, you’ll have to pay attention to the planning and execution of every single aspect. You’ll have to attend meetings and give feedback. In-house teams will depend more on your guidance and ideas. This can work out wonderfully, but only if you invest a lot of time. Otherwise, you shouldn’t even try.
If you outsource to an agency, you save a lot of time.
It’s much faster to choose the right agency than it is to build your own team from scratch. There are generally more people working for an agency than you can probably afford to pay on an in-house team, so they have no trouble coming up with new ideas. You won’t have to pay as much attention to an agency, but you can still ensure that the campaign will be a success.
In-house teams will need a lot more feedback and advice from you, especially at the beginning. You’ll have to do a big part of the job until the in-house team gets the hang of it and starts working efficiently without you constantly having to be there.
That really slows down the whole process and eats up your time. You have your own tasks and your own problems to handle. A good agency will just need some information about the company and constant feedback from you to do its job well.
While the in-house team is more focused, the agency almost always has more experience. They know how and where to share the content in order to achieve the best results. Your site might be full of great content, but that doesn’t mean much if people will never get to see it, right?
SEO and effective lead generation
Good agencies are great at optimizing their content for search engines, which is a must. They will also be in the loop when it comes to new ways of attracting more leads. After all, that’s their bread and butter. There is also no reason why the content would be worse if created by an agency.
If you’re not pleased with the content an agency creates for you, it’s because they’re not right for you.
In order to make an informed decision, you’ll have to do more than take this article to heart. Think about the project and the strain that it can put on your company. See who would be up for the job and try to estimate how much work will be needed. Agencies are almost always the safer bet.
There are still a lot of aspects to talk about regarding this decision. We also made an article about how an agency can supercharge eCommerce strategies and help grow your sales. Be sure to read that too so you’ll be able to make the best decision when it will be time to choose.