The key to a good inbound marketing is a good content. And a good content is quality content. Yes, I know, everybody says that, but it is essential to reply to the question: doing the content creation internally or outsource it?
But first, how do we define the « quality »?
- The content: The written content have to bring answers to the targeted audience. And who knows your field of activity / your product / your customers better than yourself? The know-how, the technical skills, and the knowledge about your market are inside your company. How an agency could speak about your industry better than you?
- The style: The layout is as much important as the written content: a massive text without format won’t be read, even if it is highly relevant to your audience. But the content also have to be compatible with major actors of the web, and be adapted to different format of content consumption: SEO-friendly, easily shareable, readable on smartphones and tablets…
Therefore, we are facing a dilemma: you have knowledge internally to write relevant, technical and specific content for your buyer persona, but have no idea how to master web technologies and being visible online. At the opposite, if you outsource the content creation, the style would be excellent, but the written content might be less relevant to your potential customers. That way, you would lose the benefits of content marketing.
Another factor is involved in the decision of insourcing or outsourcing the content creation: the time/money factor.
« If you have neither one nor the other, content marketing isn’t for you! »
Contrary to the myth, the inbound marketing is neither easy nor free.
But if you have money and/or time, you have no reason to don’t do inbound marketing, and be assisted by external professionals.
« So what? We have to do it ourselves this content or we can outsource it? »
I’m going to answer this question. But it seems to me that it was important to highlight the content/style dilemma before giving my way of thinking.
In my opinion, it is always better to give priority to the content! Your potential customers want to know more about specific subject you are specialized on. It is your job to prove that you are competent. Nobody can do that for you, you have to do it by yourself. These days, we heard everywhere that the content is king, but I observe that most bloggers (and companies) write a lot at the cost of the added value and the relevancy for the reader.
We see more and more catchy titles that are focused on inciting us to click, but articles have usually poor content. Don’t succumb to the temptation to buy content without value, or to create content only focused on attracting people or making them react. It would be great for your statistics and for your self-esteem, but it won’t be relevant for your real prospects, and finally would have a bad impact on your ROI. What is the point of having thousands of visitors if none of them buy your product?
Be careful, I’m not saying that you have to do it all by yourself and that an agency is useless. Quite the opposite, they have numerous skills that you can’t afford (in term of money or time) to acquire internally, and they will help you to promote your content, make it visible, and optimize your conversion rate.
I highly encourage you to outsource the technical parts.
Here are 5 majors points, and some skills required to perform them, for which an external company might help you perform a better inbound marketing:
- Visibility: SEO, Website layout, Adwords campaign…
- Editorial: Defining buyer personas, Choice of promotion channels, Copywriting….
- Community: SMO, Competitive and market intelligence, Community management…
- Conversion: Landing pages, CTA, Lead nurturing, Marketing automation…
- Measures and analyse: Define ROI metrics, Tracking results, Define goals and tasks to reach them
An agency will help you a lot in the definition of an inbound marketing strategy and for its integration. But the content creation itself have to be done by someone who knows what he is talking about (it sounds logical said like this).
« But I don’t know how to write articles , I never did that before?! »
No need to panic! This is also why you should be assisted by external professionals. They will be able to help you and train you in internet writing. Your firsts articles probably won’t become references, but you will progress fast. As everything else, you will learn and get better by practicing often.
Finally, I only mentioned written content but keep in mind that their are a lot of different format of content: infographics, videos, events, trials… In every scenarios, you will always be the best placed to discuss your industry and your product, but don’t hesitate to surround yourself with qualified professionals who will know how to showcase your content and your skills.
Let’s finish with an example using common sense to illustrate my opinion.
If you were a professional photographer…
…would you pay someone who isn’t a photographer to take pictures for your gallery?
–> No! The quality of pictures wouldn’t be representative of your skills.
…would you invest in a good camera and an a good photo editing software?
–> Yes! It would improve even more the quality perceived of your pictures.
So now, go to your WordPress! Show to your potential customers that you are the most qualified company in your industry and that you know what your are talking about!