To outsource your small business’ content marketing, or not to?
Content marketing is the future of all small business marketing.
There is no other method of communicating with your audience that’s even close as effective.
But for some, the best approach may be a mystery.
Obviously, you want your content marketing to provide the best return possible for your small business.
It can’t kill your budget.
And you need to be certain it’s getting done in a way that correctly reflects your brand.
That means you need to decide to either handle your content marketing yourself or hire an agency.
Let’s explore the reasons outsourcing your small business’ content marketing might be the right call.
Use Caution Before Attempting To Handle Your Small Business’ Content Marketing Yourself.
Content marketing might be a lot for you to handle as a small business owner.
There are tons of unforeseen investments you’ll need to participate in.
The most obvious is time and money, but there’s also a talent investment you’ll need to make too.
Handling this potentially massive beast might be a problem.
Yes, there are tons of ways to scale it down so it’s manageable.
However, done incorrectly, the minimalist approach will hurt you more than it helps.
In some cases, outsourcing may be your only option.
For most, it’s your best option.
There Are A Ton Of Reasons To Consider Outsourcing Your Small Business’ Content Marketing
Some of us are stubborn.
We’re not going to outsource something we should be able to handle in-house unless there’s a good reason.
After all, nobody can create marketing content for our small business better than someone who has their hands in it.
At least, that’s what most small business owners think when they’ve decided to handle content marketing on their own.Don't be too stubborn to outsource your content marketing. Click To Tweet
As it turns out there are several very good reasons to outsource your content marketing.
All of them have an impact on the quality of the marketing content you get to take advantage of.
Think about these things as you consider your decision to outsource your content marketing.
You Don’t Have The Time To Handle Content Marketing
One of the big obstacles standing in the way of most small businesses handling content marketing themselves is time.
Running a small business takes a lot of work.
That means your time is a precious commodity.
The more you split it, the less you can focus on the parts of your business that make money.
Adding content marketing to your mix is a huge time investment.
Creating a solid blog article of 2000 or more words can take up to 6 hours.
Because that’s something you’ll need to do 1-4 times per week, you’d be adding as much as 24 hours of work on just one task.
Add in other formats, like social media, video, and podcasts, and your time expenditure can rise to 30+ hours easily.
When will you run your company?Handling your content yourself can wind up eating up all your time. Click To Tweet
Quality content doesn’t come fast, and fast content doesn’t bring in results.
Companies generate as much as 9 times as many leads from long-form posts.
And that video content I mentioned? It can take another 4-5 hours to create a video.
But without a video, you’ll lose about 25% of your potential market.
That’s going to hurt over the long term.
With everything you already have to do, you can’t afford to add that much time to your list.
Outsourcing Content Marketing Frees Your Time
When you contract with a content agency, you’re buying that time you’d otherwise be spending.
It’s like adding an additional 30+ hours to your week.
Allowing a team of creatives to take over the process of making your small business’ marketing content gives you the output you need without the time investment.
While you’ll still need to spend time with the agency to make sure the right content is being produced, the amount invested drops to just a few hours per month.
That allows you to take better control of your schedule and focus it on the other tasks it takes to run your company.
You’re Not Sure Why Your Audience Isn’t Engaging With Your Marketing Content
There is a single purpose for content marketing: engagement.
Without engagement, you have nobody paying attention enough to give you a chance to convert a lead.
When your audience is engaged, they’re doing more than skimming your content.
They’re taking it in, paying attention, and responding.
Content that can create engagement is content that’s working.
When you can get your audience to engage, you’re getting them to look beyond your products and at your brand.
They’re forming a level of trust in the company instead of simple interest in what you’re selling.
It means when they buy, they’re buying into your brand.
They’re becoming loyal.Breaking through all the content on the web is hard for the pros, let alone an amateur. Click To Tweet
The problem with that idea is that there is a ton of content on the web.
Literally, millions of blogs get added every day, plus all the microcontent to go with it.
And, to top it off, most people are only going to spend a little more than 30 seconds reading one.
That’s not a ton of time to stand out among the noise.
So you need to consider if you really understand what will make that happen.
By Outsourcing Your Marketing Content You Can Get The Attention
Content marketing agencies are experts at learning audiences.
They have all the tools and software to test what’s working and what isn’t, then figure out why.
Allowing an agency to take over your content marketing improves the level of your content, which improves the engagement level.
Once you have your audience engaging, you can start to convert leads and earn sales.
A team of professional content creators can determine what your audience wants from your company on a content level and provide it.
They’ll research, test, analyze, and adjust as a part of their process.
In turn, your engagement will continue to improve.
That’s going to give you a real opportunity for conversion that you’d otherwise be missing.
Your Team Lacks The Skillsets To Create Great Marketing Content
Content marketing is a skills-intensive activity.
It’s also multi-disciplined.
And chances are unless you’re a content marketing agency, you didn’t hire enough people that have all the required skills for any one activity,
Maybe you’ve got someone who can do part of the job.
But nobody can do the whole thing alone.
Creating marketing content without the right skill set is going to lower your quality which reduces your results.
Let’s face it: your team is made up of experts in their field.
Regardless of whether they have the skills to handle content marketing, that’s not why you hired them.
Sure, you could bring on an internal content creator.
However, the median pay for a marketing director with some experience is $80,000 to $130,000.
That’s just for one person.Content marketers who are good are expensive. Click To Tweet
As I stated before, nobody can do the whole thing alone.
A small team might cost anywhere from $280,000 to $400,000 per year.
You could always work with an entry-level team and cut your annual to about $180,000 per year.
However, you’re going to get entry-level results.
Plus, how many small, local businesses have that kind of money to spend on content marketing?
Budget is usually why we look at doing things in-house to begin with.
It really doesn’t make sense to keep your marketing in-house.
You wind up with less experience and skill for more money.
Content Marketing Skillsets Can Be Outsourced
Content marketing agencies have seen their fair share of situations.
They’ve been around many different industries.
Most importantly, they know what it takes to create effective content.
Content creators all have their specialties and the agencies that hire them know how to organize those skills to maximize the results for their clients.
That means your company can tap into a ton of different skillsets at a fraction of the cost.
By outsourcing your content marketing, you can leverage an agency’s pure focus on content.
You wind up with a team of content creators that have a diverse skillset all producing your content.
That’s going to increase your quality and your results.
You Need To Get Your Content Marketing Budget Under Control
Did you notice the cost of content marketing that we just discussed?
Upwards of $400,000 per year for a small team of 3 content creators.
But there is more to your content marketing expense than that.
You’re going to need software for content editing.
That software is going to need to run on computers.
You’ll need cameras for photos and video.
There will likely be some stock photos and footage in the mix.
Analytics tools will come into play.
As well as A/B testing software.
You’ll need a budget for boosted content.
Can you see how this is all starting to add up?
While I’m sure you can find ways to cut costs, it will be difficult without hurting the results.
That makes high-quality content marketing an expensive addition to your budget.
Like most small businesses, you probably don’t have that kind of room for that expense.In-house content marketing budgets can quickly grow out of hand. Click To Tweet
Even if you’ve tried to do it inexpensively, you’re probably spending way more than you want to.
That’s going to create a long-term problem for you.
You’ve got to be able to wrestle that massive marketing budget while simultaneously earning a return.
Eventually, your content marketing has got to pay for itself and then some.
If you’re having the skillset problem we already discussed, that’s going to be hard to handle.
Keep Your Content Marketing Costs Down By Outsourcing
It might surprise you to hear that hiring an agency is often less expensive than handling your content marketing in-house.
There’s a basic reason for that: content agencies leverage the cost of great content against multiple clients.
Think of it in terms of only paying for a share of their software and salaries instead of the whole amount.
Our average client pays a fraction of the cost I outlined above.
For the same quality, if not better.
Some of our clients aren’t even committed to monthly fees, hiring us only when there is something specific that they need to be done.
When you outsource, you get to take advantage of a similar reality.
That frees up dollars in your budget that can go towards other costs to run your company.
Your Marketing Content Needs An Outside Perspective
You’re an industry insider.
That means you know the ins and outs of your industry enough you could navigate it with your eyes closed.
Your audience, however, isn’t.
They’re looking to you for explanations.
How can your industry help them?
What makes your brand different?
Without careful monitoring, that can be a big mistake.
You’re going to wind up confounding your audience with technical jargon and extraneous information.
That’s kind of the trap of being an expert.
You’ve probably read a few of our articles and thought, “What did he just say?”You'll probably either be too technical or run out of things to say. Click To Tweet
If you don’t fall into that trap, there’s another issue.
You can only talk about your brand and industry so many times and in so many ways before you run out of interesting ways to frame them.
Then you’re going to hit that creative wall.
Suddenly your content will cease to engage your readers the same way it used to.
Maybe your traffic will even drop.
Both of those outcomes are obviously things you want to avoid.
These are huge problems that can kill your content.
Bring In A Fresh Perspective By Outsourcing
What if someone outside your brand talked about how great your brand is?
It’s interesting to think that someone who isn’t in the day-to-day operation of your business could possibly understand how to connect to your audience.
Call it far-fetched, even, to think they could communicate your brand message.
But that’s what content marketing agencies do.
And they do it in a way that you probably never considered.
A great content marketing agency can cut through the technical and bring out the emotional connection to your brand.
They can demonstrate what it means to you and to your clients when you help solve a major problem.
Suddenly your marketing content is more accessible and easier to understand.
Your brand starts connecting with a larger audience.
All because of a little fresh perspective.
You Want To Get Back To The Part Of Your Business That You Love
I’m going to guess you aren’t a marketer by career.
Whatever industry you are in, you got into it because you enjoy it.
You at least enjoy some part of running your company.
Based on the time expense we looked at earlier, you’re probably not doing that as much as you want to if you’re handling your own content marketing.Handling content marketing yourself stops you from doing what you love. Click To Tweet
Chances are you’re also not enjoying yourself as much as you could be.
But you’re smart enough to know that you can’t avoid marketing your business, and you know content marketing works better than most other options.
That leaves you in a bit of a situation.
You can either continue to spend more time than you want to on marketing, taking your efforts away from what you’d rather be doing.
Or you can outsource your content marketing.
Outsourcing Gets You Back To What You Love
Imagine spending your day with enough clients that you’ll never run out of work.
That’s going to give you all the time you need to spend focused on doing what you love.
By outsourcing your content marketing, you take a huge time expense off your hands.
That freed time can be spent working on the things you went into business to do.
Which is what you’d rather be doing, isn’t it?
There’s a bonus, too.
When your content is produced by someone who isn’t wrapped up in the core operations of your company, like you are, they can think of more creative ways to tackle your content marketing.
That’s going to bring in more attention.
Outsourcing Your Small Business’ Content Marketing Might Be The Best Route
While there might be other factors to consider before deciding to outsource your small business’ content marketing, these are clearly the most important ones.
If you’re struggling with any of these on the DIY route, outsourcing is likely the most logical option.
Consider if you have the time, talent, and funds to successfully handle your content marketing yourself.
If you don’t, you need to get with a content marketing agency immediately.
Don’t be afraid to hand the reigns off to an expert.
It’s the best way to hit your marketing goals.