It’s cheap, it’s easy, and it makes your brand look credible. You’ve probably heard all about the benefits of content marketing. And yet perhaps your brand has been hesitant to jump in and really give content marketing a try. That might be because your brand doesn’t know whether to tackle content in-house or outsource it. Luckily, we created the in-house vs outsourced content marketing guide to help you out.

It’s not that you don’t trust that content marketing can help you reach your goals. It’s more that you’re not sure where to start. Does jumping into content marketing mean hiring a team of professionals to work in-house, or are you better off outsourcing much of the work and responsibility? What’s the big difference between the two, anyway?

Let’s take an up-close look at both in-house and outsourced content marketing, weigh the pros and cons of each, and help you get started with either one or the other.

In-House vs Outsourced Content Marketing 101

Before getting into the details of in-house vs. outsourced content marketing, it’s important to understand what content marketing itself is.

LinkedIn Marketing Solutions gathered up 25 definitions of content marketing from people and institutions who are in the know. Those definitions included:

  • “Content marketing is anything an individual or an organization creates and/or shares to tell their story.” – Ann Handley, the CCO (chief content officer) of MarketingProfs
  • “It is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” – The Content Marketing Institute
  • “Content is the emotional and informational bridge between commerce and consumer. Building that bridge requires more than a budget, editorial calendar, and vision. It requires people who care, who love content, and what it can do for people. Not just what it can do for revenue, but rather how it helps people live their lives.” – Jay Baer, president, Convince and Convert
  • “Content Marketing provides consumers with useful information to aid purchase decisions, improve product usage, and entertain them while achieving organizational goals without being overtly promotional.” – Heidi Cohen, CCO, Actionable Marketing Guide
  • “Content marketing can be defined as the creation and distribution of meaningful insights, perspectives, and best practices that are valuable to a specific audience. The aim is to retain existing clients, including doing more business with them, and to attract new high-quality clients.” – Bruce Rogers, chief insight officer, Forbes

When you read the various definitions of content marketing, a pattern emerges.

Content marketing involves:

  • Story-telling
  • Strategy
  • Useful information (for audience/consumers)
  • Understanding the audience
  • Retaining existing audiences or converting new customers
  • Looking beyond profit/revenue to see how your brand can really help the people it’s trying to serve

What is the “content” that’s behind content marketing?

It can be pretty much anything.

People often associate blogging with content marketing, but the creation and maintenance of a blog is just one piece of the content pie. Other types of content include:

  • Videos
  • Photos
  • Infographics/other types of illustration
  • Printed magazines/newsletters
  • Emailed newsletters
  • Ebooks
  • White papers
  • Courses/classes
  • Podcasts
  • Powerpoint presentations/slideshows

Pretty much anything you can create that can provide information to an audience or consumer falls under the “content” umbrella, and can be used as part of your brand’s content marketing efforts.

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