Should You Outsource Content Creation or Hire a Content Marketing Team?

With more companies embracing content marketing, businesses need to decide how to approach this function.

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By Derek Miller • Oct 10, 2014 Originally published Oct 10, 2014

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If your company has not embraced content marketing yet, what are you waiting for? If you still need a bit of convincing, here are four statistics to help you or your management understand why this strategy is so important:

Related: 17 Content Pieces You Can Create Without Writing a Single Word

The short and sweet of it is, you should be investing in content marketing.

Now that you've decided to move forward with content marketing, what's next?

While content marketing can be complex, the premise behind it is quite simple: create incredible onsite content, amplify that onsite content through offsite channels and convert the traffic that views the onsite content into customers.

Related: Don't Be a Content Marketing Dinosaur -- 5 Must-Haves to Stay Current

Assuming the marketing strategy is taken care of, the next issue is effectively producing the high-quality content, which can be an issue. Kapost reports that 42 percent of marketers say lack of human resources is the key barrier to effective content marketing. This lack of bandwidth makes it difficult for brands to execute marketing initiatives. The logical answer is to either hire creative development internally or outsource it.

The first and often most important question related to content creation is, "What's the cost?" Let's look at the cost of hiring an internal creative team.

Writer: Depending on the industry and experience, a content writer's salary can on average range between $26,000 and $61,000.

Graphic designer: Depending on experience, a graphic designer's salary can on average range between $29,500 to $58,000.

Web Developer: Depending on experience, a web developer's salary can on average range between $32,000 to $82,000.

Videographer: Depending on experience, a videographer's salary can on average range between $24,000 and $74,000.

This is just salary. It doesn't take into consideration employee benefits, turnover costs, hiring costs, and variable production costs, among other factors.

Related: Have Writer's Block? Here Are 5 Ways to Come Up With New Story Ideas.

If these numbers sound outside your allotted budget for content creation, than outsourcing might be more economical. Outsourcing content creation lets you work with a wide range of creative talents on a per project basis and offers a viable alternative to hiring. But you have to be smart about your hiring tactics. If not done correctly, outsourcing your work can lead to a decrease in quality and increase in cost and time. To minimize risk (to a degree), here are some basic tips you can follow.

  • Do your due diligence. Before you move forward with an outsource provider, you should research them, ask for examples and jump on a call to learn about their process, among other checks. If you aren't competent in a certain area, like web design, make sure you have someone who is trained in this field to help you research.
  • Beware if they do not do their due diligence. If your outsource provider is not asking questions about the project's scope and collecting information about the specs, they will most certainly fail to meet your expectations. Here is an example of a scope questionnaire my company uses. Make sure the provider addresses all of these points.
  • What's their quality assurance policy? If you decide to use a freelancer, they are likely not to have any stipulations associated with quality. However, most agencies will provide you an assurance policy.
  • Cheap content usually results in cheap quality. High-quality content comes at a price. With that said, you can still find valuable rates. You just need to make sure they understand the project and your expectations before providing a quote.

If you have the budget and means to hire content creation internally, it is certainly the way to go. You have the ability to alter projects on the fly while maintaining the brand voice and quality with ease.

However, if you are like the many businesses out there than cannot afford to hire and scale content production internally, than outsourcing creative development is the way to go.

Related: How to Grow a Site Into a Successful Venture With Just Content

Derek Miller

Content Marketing and Social Media Strategist

Derek Miller is a content marketing consultant for CopyPress. He has the startup bug and loves working in the fast-paced world of online marketing. In his spare time he is building a website for fantasy sports fans and players to share and find advice.

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