Perhaps you’re company isn’t on board yet with content marketing and you’re wondering about the value of going “inbound” with your strategy.   Here are 8 statistics right off the top on the value of content marketing and why it’s a pivotal strategy for your success:

  • 91% of B2B and 86% of B2C marketers use content marketing.
  • Content marketing costs 62 percent less than traditional marketing.
  • Content marketing generates about 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing.
  • 80% of consumers appreciate learning about brands through custom content.
  • 82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content.
  • Blogs add 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links to websites.
  •  B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads/month than those who don’t.
  • Blogs are 63% more likely to influence purchase decisions than magazines.

If that has your curiosity piqued, then you’re starting to see why we recommend inbound content strategies for clients who want to grow.  To put it in a nutshell…  the data indicates you should be investing in content marketing for your company.

So, What Comes Next?

So perhaps you can see the value, and want to move forward…  what comes next? Do you try it yourself  in-house or outsource the effort?   About 62% of SMB’s opt to outsource their content marketing.  And the remaining 38% keep the process in-house.

While the process can be complex, the concept is pretty easy to understand.  Great content marketing hinges on compelling content that is optimized for your specific buyer.  Once you have marketing strategy in place for your company’s sales and growth goals, it’s time to begin to develop content you can offer on your site and blog, then further amplify it through other outside channels to attract traffic and begin converting visitors and viewers into leads and customers.

Let’s assume you’ve got the marketing strategy nailed.  What does it take to effectively produce high-quality custom content for your consumers?  The biggest challenge marketers typically face is human resources to generate the custom content.  The logical solution to a lack of man-power is to either hire creative development internally or outsource.   That decision typically comes down to costs.

So, What’s That Cost?

Let’s look at what hiring and internal creative team can cost.
Depending on industry & experience, each creative role below can on average range:

Content Writer:       $24,000 to $65,000.
Graphic Designer:  $25,000 to $59,000.
Web Developer:      $32,000 to $82,000.
Videographer:         $24,000 and $74,000.

This is just salary. It doesn’t take into consideration employee benefits, turnover costs, equipment, software, hiring costs, and other variables.  If these numbers are unrealistic for your budget, then outsourcing may be a more economical choice.

What if I’m Thinking About Outsourcing?

Outsourcing content marketing has some distinct advantages.  In addition to being a more economical choice than hiring for many, it also allows you to work with a team of professionals with a variety of creative talents.  You should have experienced marketers/strategists, website developers, content writers,  graphic designers and videographers.

Just make sure you’re working with a reputable agency and do your homework before starting projects or contracts with them.   Ask about their experience, review their work, have at least 1 or 2 meetings or phone calls with them to discuss their process and delivery.  Make sure they are competent in both creative and technical aspects of content marketing.  To help, here’s a specific checklist of items to ask about and shore up details.

Checklist for Agency Outsourcing:

  • How long has the agency been in business?
    Have they served many companies?
    Check their design and content work.
  • Does the agency have technically competent web developers?  SEO experience?
  • Do they have a variety of other experts available on their team? (marketers, writers, graphic designers, videographers)
  • Do they ask you questions about your specific goals, processes, current marketing, strategies, etc?
  • Do they ask you for information about your sales, leads, and closure rates?
  • Do they offer to report transparently on statuses, progress and outcomes?
  • Are they honest and clear about expectations and delivery of services?
  • Do they offer value for their rates?  Cheap usually means poor quality, but you want to get value for your investment.

The Decision: Hire or Outsource?

If you have a budget that sustains hiring a staff to develop original content internally for your inbound marketing strategy, it is definitely worth considering.  You have full control over all projects and each phase of development internally and you can manage your own content and amplification.  Control is always nice, but the time commitment and expense are real.  Additionally, you or your management team are tasked with evaluating applicants’ proficiencies and performance before and after hiring.

However, if you are like many small to medium businesses that cannot afford to sustain  payroll and associated costs for an internal team, outsourcing is a preferred option.  Outsourcing creative development gives you access to a variety of highly trained creative professionals without the effort of finding and evaluating them individually.  A great agency does that for you.

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Cindy is the founding President at 17blue Digital Marketing. She's passionate about helping businesses reach their goals and impact their communities.