Content is the backbone of every organization trying to make an impact in today’s market. Unfortunately, not every content strategy creates the desired effect. There is always the question of how to create exceptional content that will outdo the competition. This makes the in-house writers vs outsourced content debate more frequent than you may assume within organizations today.
What Really Is the Worth of Quality Content?
In answering this, you only have to imagine how much resources are spent by multimillion-dollar companies on content marketing. The reasoning is quite straightforward; they are either unwise or it is an absolute necessity.
Before considering the merits or demerits of in-house writers and outsourced content development, we will give a quick overview of the kind of content that your business really needs.
What Kind of Content May Your Business Need?
The great news is that content marketing really works. The not so good news is that it is difficult. It takes a lot of effort to create good content consistently. This is a struggle for many businesses.
Regardless of the size of your enterprise, you are going to be concerned in varying degrees with branding, trust, and awareness. These three factors shape the kind of content you will be needing into three content types:
- Outbound: Awareness generating content with persuasive call-to-action; often ad copy or email campaigns.
- Inbound: Trust building content that provides value without an absolute emphasis on return i.e. white papers, ebooks, social media, or blogs.
- Passive: Important details about you and your business; comprising of tag lines, your slogan, and web copy.
It’s important to note that to have knowledge of the kind of content needed is just the first side of the coin. The second side is making your content generally superior to that of your competitors. We say “generally”, because we are not only referring to one piece of content, one article, or the one email—but a regular stream of content.
It is unrealistic to create one blog post per month and hope for incredible results. The technique of attracting high-paying customers and standing out from the competition involves consistency in top-level content. Increased content production is one of the factors that lead to better ROI.
Creating the right type of content may be a difficult thing to achieve but with the right steps, it’s very attainable. Generally, you could adopt any of the following strategies for your business:
- In-house writers.
- Outsourced content.
We will talk about these strategies from personal experience and hopefully, you will be able to know which method works best for your business. It’s important to consider a few factors that we use to evaluate both approaches.
Factors to Consider Before Deciding Between In-House Writers and Outsourced Content
These five factors serve as a rule of thumb in determining which strategy is best to adopt.
This is a good first factor to consider. A few questions you will need to ask yourself are:
- Do I have to employ permanent staff for this role?
- How much will it cost to employ permanent staff?
- What is the cost to employ an outsourced freelancer to complete?
- What will it cost for an outsourced agency to complete?
- How much can I afford?
There are a number of reasons why this is critical in determining your content creation strategy. The time factor answers questions like:
- How much time is needed for this project?
- What amount of time can I devote to this project?
- How many people are needed to complete the project within the desired time frame?
Love or Hate
Do you remember the last time you had to perform a task you hated? It drags on longer and is completed less efficiently.
With writing, you cannot afford to give the task to someone who doesn’t have a love for it. You will end up with poor quality content and it would have taken longer as well. In considering the time factor, it is essential to determine if you have team members that actually love writing.
Complexity and Size
You should be able to measure your content format and needs on bases of both complexity and size. Will it be a huge extra-demanding project? Is it a simple, basic project? These are questions that you should consider.
Company vs Industry
Content for your business can be company oriented or more industry based. The former will require in-depth knowledge specific to your company while the latter will require broader industry knowledge. This factor answers the question; how general or specific is our content?
We are happy to have these factors out of the way. Next, let us see how they specifically affect different content development strategies.
In-House Writers vs Outsourced Content
In-house writers are sometimes the go-to for organizations. In this approach, a team or individual from within the organization is responsible for content creation.
This team or individuals could be new hires or old staff switching to a content creation role. This is a DIY approach.
Organizations also tend to go for outsourced content from agencies. Basically, the agency has to understand your needs and provide original content satisfying those needs.
We will evaluate these approaches with four of the factors that govern content creation strategies discussed above.
On the surface, it may feel like a cost-effective approach, but there is more to it. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) says that, on average, the cost-per-hire (CPH) for employing in-house writers is $4,129. When you factor in payroll tax and benefits, this figure can get as high as $79,726 annually.
Sadly, this cost may still go up when you consider rent, utilities, subscription, and equipment. Give or take, this may be an added $2,000.
While there are so many content types, let’s make an assumption with blog posts.
Imagine you have to outsource articles for your blog to an agency. You may be paying about $250 dollars/article. If you need eight articles per month it brings your total expenses to $2,000/month.
Imagine that you need to produce an article. You have to pass through the processes of research, organizing, outlining, writing, editing, and publishing. These are pretty standard processes. These processes are what sum up the time an article takes from start to finish.
Of course, it is only possible to give estimates because these processes take varying durations depending on the complexity of the subject.
However, generally speaking, let us assume it takes your in-house team about two hours to write an article following all these steps in the article creation process. This implies that your team has lost two hours from other tasks that can drive profitable growth i.e. chasing down leads or the important job of closing sales.
It will, however, take a content agency half the time to create great content. This implies that while you have your content created for you, you lose no time that could have been spent performing other useful growth-enhancing tasks.
The complexity and size of the content also means it may not just be a two-hour article. It could be a one month or a two-month project. That may just be too much time to take out of other important projects.
Love or Hate
In organizations, it is likely you have employed individuals who were interviewed based on roles they felt most suited for. They could be salespersons, HR persons, managers, etc.
To make an in-house content team, you should be sure that this team consists of people who have a natural flair and love for writing in addition to the other roles they perform. The alternative to this will be making new hires for writers.
In a content agency, you do not have to look out for people who love writing. All staff concerned with the content process are usually employed first because of their love for writing.
While if you get the team right your in-house content creators may be driven to produce awesome content by passion, you are guaranteed with outsourced agencies to have great content from people passionate about content.
Company vs Industry
While it is true that team members understand your specific company better than anyone else, outsourcing gives an opportunity to tap into a pool of industry knowledgeable and experienced professionals.
It is possible to create nice content regardless of the strategy adopted, but as a rule of thumb, it’s better for companies to outsource their content creation for quality and time.
Your organization is a well-oiled machine in delivering a specific set of services or products. Your processes have been refined and become more efficient thanks to the experience you’ve gained from years of specialization and repetition.
Content creation agencies have the same kind of expertise with content. They do not have to reinvent the wheel or have to experiment.
They know what works, they understand what your competition does with its content and they know how to do it better than your competition. They will also produce consistently large volumes of top-quality content.
If generating awareness, making sales, educating, or even telling your story is what you aim for, Your Article Today is the online writing service that will get this done for you. Better still is that you get a champagne standard content on a lemonade budget.
Request a quote today and benefit from our world-class packages and services.