Hiring a Content Creation Agency vs In-House content teams: Pros and Cons

Content Marketing

Do you want you business to get more leads through your website?

One option you might’ve considered is hiring a content creation agency to help you.

Or do you think you have all the content creation resources you need to be successful with marketing and SEO?

Content creation involves consistently producing high-quality content in various formats.

However, successful SEO and content marketing takes much more than periodically creating great content. It requires strategy as well as skill.

What’s the best way to create content consistently?

To create enough content to give your marketing strategy a chance, you’ve really got two options:

  •  Have an in-house content team
  • Outsource to a freelance copywriter or content creation agency.

There’s no right or wrong answer. It comes down, usually, to resources and money.

If you’ve got the resources in-house to build a full content team, great.

If you don’t, or you only need the content resource for a short time (like if you’re redesigning or launching a website, or putting promotional materials together) then a content agency is a good option.

Freelancers can also be good. Just be aware that it’s hard to find good freelance copywriters. 

And the good ones are usually kept busy so you could end up at the mercy of their schedule. Which might not match yours.

So which do you go for?

Have a look through our lists of pros and cons to decide for yourself which is better: hiring a content creation agency or in-house content creation.

 

Pros of In-House Content Creation

Familiarity

An in-house marketing team will have a better understanding of your company.

They already know the history, values, products, and brand voice.

You won’t need to help them understand the goals of your business or what you do.

Usually, you’ll choose to hire employees because they fit in well at your organisation.

They’ll believe in your mission and be emotionally invested in ensuring it succeeds.

In-house workers will have a higher level of engagement and loyalty.

 

Accessibility

In-house teams often work together in the same office, so they can easily get hold of each other. 

This should mean that processes are faster – but that isn’t always the case.

In-house bureaucracy can actually slow things down sometimes.

On the other hand, location can limit your ability to match up schedules with an external agency. 

They may be too far away for in-person meetings, or even in a different time zone.

Keeping everything in-house would avoid problems like this.

 

Complete control

If you prefer to make all the decisions, then an in-house team allows you to do that.

You get to decide who does what and when.

Your team members are all hand-picked.

There’s no negotiating or compromising with a third party.

Some organisations may feel that an agency with multiple clients won’t be able to give them the level of undivided attention they need.

Your marketing team will be solely focused on your brand and know the ins and out of your own processes.

 

Cons of In-House Content Creation

Limited resources

Unless you have a massive marketing department, an in-house team will always have fewer resources and limited capacity.

The quality of the work will suffer if the team can’t consistently meet the demand. 

If your own team loses a member, it will negatively affect your content campaign while you try to replace them.

Meanwhile, an agency will have multiple people to switch in and out of teams as needed with less disruption. 

 

Long-term costs

If you have to create your own in-house content team, this will involve higher ongoing expenses. 

Consider the mounting costs of recruitment, training, equipment, salaries, overheads, etc. 

As for content creation agencies, most offer a monthly retainer for a set amount of work.

Depending on the scope of the project you could pay an agency £1,500 a month (as an estimate) – roughly one in-house copywriter salary.

But paying it to an agency gives you access to a team of copywriters.

Plus strategists, SEO experts, social media teams etc.

 

Stagnation

With the same few people working on the same content, they might start to run out of ideas.

An in-house team is unlikely to have the depth of creativity that you’ll find within a content agency.

In-house teams can also develop unconscious biases within the company, making it harder to identify problems or opportunities.

An external agency will bring a fresh perspective to the brand and approach things objectively.

 

Pros of Hiring a Content Creation Agency

Existing infrastructure

When you don’t already have the skills and experience, it’s easier all around to hire experts. 

They’ll also have the necessary equipment without you needing to pay to provide it. 

Content creation companies can offer writers, researchers, editors, SEO strategists, developers, PR, and more.

Their skills and knowledge come at a fraction of the price of building a full team of specialists yourself.

 

Industry expertise

It’s likely that a content agency will have worked with similar businesses before.

They’ll have valuable insight into the market, which can help you to maintain a competitive edge.

Content creation companies may also have publishing connections.

An agency will know exactly what to do to figure out the best content you should create, and the best strategy for it.

They can compile regular detailed reports in addition to creating content.

These will help you to understand your return on investment in finer detail.

 

Adaptability

Agencies often have more flexibility.

They have the resources to tailor services when workloads or timelines fluctuate.

It is easier for an agency to determine which tasks to prioritise.

They can adapt and expand strategies more efficiently.

Content marketing is constantly changing.

Agencies are always up-to-date, ensuring continuous quality and stability for your campaigns. 

Consistency is so important.

Your account managers will make sure that quality content is regularly produced and posted on time.

 

Cons of Hiring a Content Creation Agency

Handing over the reins

Offloading work to a content creation company does mean losing some control over that process.

However, these agencies always keep the client informed.

They’ll require your approval and feedback at various stages of every project, so you’ll still have the final say.

Letting someone else come up with the direction and make all the smaller decisions can seem scary.

Agencies will always have their own way of doing things that might be very different from yours. 

But that’s the trade-off for saving time and money. Otherwise, all of the pressure is on your team. 

 

Communication issues

Good content marketing agencies maintain consistent communication with their clients.

However, it might be challenging to coordinate objectives and timelines if you’re not in the same place or on the same page. 

Agency workers won’t be integrated into your company culture like your employees.

This might result in difficulties understanding the tone of voice.

You may unintentionally end up with some crossed wires.

 

Conflicts of interest

Any agency you choose will have a whole roster of clients besides you.

They’ll have experience with a range of industries.

This knowledge can help you, but inevitably, they’ll be working with similar businesses.

This could even include a direct competitor.

When you’re shopping around for the best agency, you won’t always know who else they’re working with.

If you’re worried about a conflict of interest arising with an agency, you can incorporate this into your contract with them before you agree to their services. 

 

Should you hire a content creation agency?

You’ll need to weigh up a number of personal factors before you make this decision. Important things to consider include your:

  • Business size
  • Marketing budget
  • Content marketing needs
  • Understanding of the competition
  • Strategic goals
  • Available resources
  • Management style
  • Outsourcing experience

Small companies with limited budgets would be better off outsourcing content creation management.

Especially if they don’t already have knowledge of content marketing.

It is more efficient to scale up strategy in the short-term by focusing on the core business and outsourcing the marketing.

If you have a larger company with an in-house marketing team already in place, you might prefer to expand this instead.

Ultimately, if you want to curate a team of specialists yourself, you’re going to have to shoulder the costs.

It’s possible to combine both approaches if you already have a small in-house team.

You can hire your own content creators, and partner with an agency for specific work such as SEO or PPC. 

You can always consult a content creation agency before you make a final decision on whether to do it all yourself.

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