There is no getting around it: if you want the benefits of content marketing, you have to create the content.
As one of my favorite marketers (Shelly Kramer) once said “Content marketing is hard.” One of the hardest parts is actually creating content. Note: When we say “creating” content we mean – writing, designing, recording, presenting, assembling etc. The phrase “creating” covers all aspects of the process in which an original piece of content goes from a bunch of research and ideas to a digestible piece of content. But don’t worry, you have options for content creation and we’re going to break them down for you.
Essentially, your options fall into one of two categories: you can create the content with existing in-house team members or you can hire someone outside of your team to create the content.
Category 1: In-house Team
You - Yes, you, and just you.
- Pros: You control the content. You know your brand and you are passionate about creating content that helps your brand connect with your audience. (At least, we assume you are – after all, you’re reading this blog post, which tells us you care about getting the right fit for your brand’s content.)
- Cons: Creating content is incredibly time consuming. Let’s take copywriting for example. Jay Baer uses a rule of thumb of 3 hours per blog post. Do you have 3 hours of work time just laying around that you want to fill? I didn’t think so.
- Recommendation: Stay away from this unless you’re a solo act.
A designated team member – Select a single team member to be in charge of creating content.
- Pros: You have someone in house who controls the content…and that person isn’t you.
- Cons: You’re taking this team member’s time away from their current tasks.
- Recommendation: Don’t do this. If you have a team member who wants to handle content, carve out a dedicated content marketing role for them. Don’t expect to add work onto their current load and get good results.
Rotate among team members – “We have 9 people on our team, if we all write one blog post, we could put out a TON of content.”
- Pros: You could, in theory, put out a lot of content without having to dedicate a single person to the effort, or add any expense to your budget.
- Cons: I’ve never seen this option work. Usually the reason why it falls apart is because the team is made up of different people. Let me explain. You’ve probably assembled your current team because they all have different strengths. That means they aren’t all going to be good at the same form of content creation. If someone isn’t good at writing but you force them to write a blog post once a month, it won’t end well for anyone.
- Recommendation: Unless you are all pros at creating content, and you all WANT to do this, stay away from this option.
Hire new dedicated team member – Carve out a role and room in the budget for someone in-house dedicated solely to content.
- Pros: You have a dedicated team member that is passionate about creating content for your brand. You get all of the benefits of using an in-house team member without having to take team members away from their current tasks.
- Cons: This isn’t a cheap option. Entry-level content marketers start around $40,000 a year.
- Recommendation: If you are planning on creating a significant amount of content (at least 2 pieces of original content per week) this is the right option for you.
Category 2: Outside team
Content Creation Service – The site offers copywriting or design services at a fraction of the price of a professional ($20 blog posts, $100 logos). You never meet the person creating your content, you just interact with them online.
- Pros: The most affordable option for content creation. Even if you create all the content yourself, factor in your hourly wage and the time it takes to create content. I bet this option is cheaper.
- Cons: You get what you pay for. Complaints about services like these include poor quality of work and no options for edits/revisions.
- Recommendation: Skip this option. Quality content is worth more in the long run.
Professional – A professional copywriter, designer or videographer that you work with on a regular basis.
- Pros: Experience, industry knowledge, and quality of work. If this professional dedicates all of their professional time to creating content, they will bring knowledge and expertise to our project. Plus if they are still in business, it’s because they’re probably pretty good at what they do.
- Cons: A professional outside of your team will never be able to gather the same knowledge or passion for your brand. You may be one client of many.
- Recommendation: This is a great option if you can’t spare a team member’s time and you can’t afford to add someone to your team.
Agency/Firm – A specialized agency or firm with team members dedicated to your brand.
- Pros: You probably have more than one person focused on creating content for your brand. Agencies tend to dedicate an Account Manager along with a content creator (designer, copywriter etc.). You get
- Cons: This can get pricey. In addition, you run into the same problem as using a dedicated professional, you aren’t their only client and they simply can’t give your brand the focus that an in-house member could.
- Recommendation: As an agency, we’re a bit biased but I’ll try to give you my objective opinion on this option. I firmly believe that using an agency for creating content is a temporary solution. Long-term you should eventually bring content creation in-house. This is why our team only provides 3-month content creation packages, with required training towards the end. The goal is to have the organization ready to bring content creation in-house by the end of the 3 months.
We hope this helps you in selecting the right option for your organization. If you’re still struggling, give us a call and we can help you figure out what will work best for your brand and your team.