Episode 96: Creating Content – In House vs. Outsourced. What is better for you?

Fresh content on your website is one of the most important factors to rank on Google. But your content also needs to be high quality and well researched, which takes time and effort. As a small business, you’re probably wondering if you can do it yourself or if you should hire a digital marketing agency. We list the pros and cons of in-house content versus outsources content to help make the decision an easy one for you!

Roger: Welcome to Local SEO Today. I’m Roger Murphy.

John: And I’m John Vuong.

Roger: In today’s segment we want to talk John, about content marketing. We’ve got small business owners and medium-sized business owners that may be watching our show today and the idea of what content marketing is, how to generate it, what’s the best way to do it and in terms of pros and cons of different channels, different ways to have…

John: It’s a great topic and it’s actually a lot of people are asking about content marketing so first off I would like to mention there’s various forms of content marketing. There’s a written form that people are kind of used to which is the blog, service pages, newsletter so anything that’s written format then there’s the audio format which is podcasts so you can actually publish it and you know, if you’re following us you can find us on Google Play Store as well in iTunes and then there’s the video format as well so there’s you know, YouTube and production of them might take a bit longer and costly and then of course, the image format so pictures as well and that’s produced as infographics or just images as well so there’s four types of content that can produce…Can be produced and there’s pros and cons to each of them, right?

Roger: And maybe we should mention it, the reason you want content today anyway is the fact that Google or the major search engines, they’re looking for fresh content that will give your website, your business basically authority and trusting co-designs.

John: That’s true.

Roger: If you don’t put content on your site or make it available. You’re not educating the public and Google says this website does not have the latest information that people will be looking for.

John: And you have to remember on the Google search there’s different tabs at the top of Google where you can search for different types of contents so you can search through the websites, you can search through videos, you can search through images. There’s different formats and what Google’s trying to do is just provide relevant authoritative sites or content to that user to provide the best user experience for customers.

Roger: And what benefits your business is ofcourse on your website if you had better content that gives you better ranking on Google for Google Search Results for your industry so it’s a positive you know, you provide more content, you get more viewership, Google likes that they give you higher ranking.

John: Yeah, so first, once you establish what format the content you want to provide for your users and I think the best thing, the best avenue I want to talk about is really the blogs in written format because I think that is the most common and the most talked about for Google, right? So, in-house let’s talk about in-house content, the pros of in-house so if you think about the pros of in-house what that means is really hiring someone in your team, at your company to produce that content in a written format for your audience, right? So the pros of that is really you have complete control of what is being published and control of the entire process.

Roger: And generally speaking somebody that works in your business will know your business so much better than an outside you know, company or a person that is hired to generate content.

John: That’s true, the challenges…Are they doing content marketing as a side project so is that their strength and what they’ve studied? Or is it just an additional task given to the receptionist or the office manager or a service provider like you have to understand, is that their strength in the first place, right?

Roger: And at the end of the day are you saving money or are you wasting your money by having somebody try and do it as a part-time job inside among other many, many activities they gotta do for the company?

John: And are you making that employee actually dred their job? Or are they passionate to actually want to do this, right? So you have to figure out why you want to do it in-house or not, right? So providing content is great or having someone to do it in-house is great if they have the vision, they have the experience, they have the know-how and they want to really produce good content for your business, right? The pros of working with an agency for content marketing.

Roger: Or someone inside that does it full-time.

John: Yeah, so if you think about the pros, someone that has experience maybe in your industry or you know, writing content for specific niches or verticals similar to yours they know what are the major trigger points. They’ve done the research. They know what works and what doesn’t. How to position you as the expert for that given topic, right?

Roger: Plus there are technical things that they already know about in terms of how to write it. That the content, that the keywords that are embedded in it…Maybe they have great access to infographics that come along with it so outside people, they can provide actually superior service because they’re faster at it, they’re experienced at it and they can cover a lot more ground so…

John: And they probably have some software/tools, right? That you may not know how to use, what to use and you know, how to produce the content the most efficient, the fastest and the most productive way to do it, right? So an agency that knows how to provide good content, that writes blogs or service pages or writes copy for a website. They really have the experience and know-how. They have companies, they have staffs that are experts, that are trained writing for five, ten, twenty years and they are passionate in terms of writing, right? And they know how to write for your audience so having that intro call to understand your business. They know what triggers there are and really discover and uncover what you want to portray in terms of content, right?

Roger: So about cons in terms of dealing with outside and dealing with inside.

John: So again the cons of an in-house writer is you know, is it a good fit for that person, right? Are you really conflicting with some of the other tasks that they have?

Roger: And because everyone’s starve for time, right? And if you got somebody multitasking and you’re on them saying, “Hey, have you got that blog? Have you got that content?” And like, “Yes, but I got these seven other issues that are going on right now.” So there’s some you know, issues there.

John: And I think a big point is because you’ve been working in that office for so long you may be very subjective or objective in terms of how you want to portray your business, right? So someone actually looking outside of your organization, we have a different perspective, right? As what the real customers are looking for in terms of content so you and even if you think about you as a business owner and you’re thinking of writing the content yourself, right? You’re writing based on your knowledge which is completely different than what your customers who are looking for you would be searching for you, right? So the terminology, the words, the type, by the way you write it, the way you know, just interpret words will be completely different than someone that doesn’t know anything about your industry and your projections.

Roger: And when you’re interviewing, let’s say you’re looking for someone outside that’s gonna do the content writing for you. They can shine a different light and maybe a different perspective on your business which is very healthy and it’s a delicate situation because they don’t really understand your business. You need to make sure they’re educated to say this is our specialty, this is what we’re really all about, you don’t want them going off writing blog content on something that’s really, “That’s not our specialty, we’re really about this.” So it takes maybe more groundwork ahead of time if you’re gonna hire someone outside to make sure that they’re on the right track and they can give you a great product.

John: And I think that’s a great point and one of the other things I would mention is your time. What is your timework so if you’re the business owner and you’re the one also providing the content you know, you could probably be better serve spending time dealing with your customers. You’re earning revenue, right? Running your business because if you’re wasting a lot of time, investing a lot of time it may take you hours writing a piece of content. Really if you spent all those hours writing a good successful business and focus on that you’ll probably be better off, right?

Roger: And I’m sure many of you watching this today you’re probably thinking, do you truthfully have time to sit down and knock out a blog that’s well-written, well-researched, it’s grammatically correct, with the infographics. It’s not a small task but it’s a very important task so that you have to decide that yourself when you’re assessing, “Okay, I need content. Do I just hire? Use one of my staff that I have to start writing or do I go look for a qualified company that are experts at this type of you know, genre.

John: And then writing content again someone in-house versus someone, an agency. They don’t have the right tools, right? Keyword research tools, the trends tools, the keyword volume. Even topics in general. Keep mentioning certain keywords that journey by journey of content. There’s so many factors, right? And as a business owner, all you care about is really running a successful business and generate new leads and business and sales, right? But as an agency we can help you deliver on those and provide content, even word count is a big factor, right? So if you look at a term that you really want to dominate for writing a piece of content. What is ranking on that first page currently? How many words do you have to produce and why are those pages ranking? Is it authority or is it well researched content that is produced, right? So there’s so many other factors when producing a piece of content and if you work with an agency that specializes in content marketing you can really benefit from that once you take it, the time the cost you know, just every other intangibles.

Roger: So true and when you add up the idea of cost, benefit, internal usage of staff, they’re busy doing other things versus hiring it out it does take and John, just to reiterate. It does take more time to interview with that content provider outside your company to make sure they understand your angles and what’s important to you because if you don’t want them going off as I say, and writing and researching things that really aren’t your specialty so it takes more time on your part upfront but I think it’s probably a better…You get better results and get better you know, content at the end of it.

John: Yeah, like as long as you communicate with your vision, your core values and figuring out if this is gonna be a great fit, right? Again it’s like working with any other company or charter a relationship. You want to know that you can trust this partner to produce content that’s gonna actually be a benefit to your organization so there’s a lot of information here but it’s your decision. You either can do it in-house or you do it outsource it with an agency but figure out what’s best for you as a business owner.

Roger: Exactly and really the reason we’re even talking about this today is that with Google and major search engines they have multiple factors. They watch on your site to give you or give you the opportunity to earn higher ranking and content and fresh content is one of them so that’s why it’s so important to be talking about this today.

John: And figure out which content you want to produce so it’s written format, audio, video, images but each person, each of your customers absorb content in different, various facets, right? So you want to hit them in various forms because you don’t know what people are gonna be searching for, right? So you know, the more…Again it all boils down to resources as well but the time and reasons. The more you invest hopefully you’re gonna get a good return on that.

Roger: Well John, it’s been a great topic on content marketing and thank you for your time today.

John: Thank you Roger.

Roger: Thanks for watching.