Pros and Cons of Hiring a Content Writing Company vs. In-House Content Production
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If you are interested in developing a content strategy, you essentially have two options to choose from: hire an external provider company or generate content internally. The suitability of these depends on your particular needs and conditions. We will take a look at the pros and cons of both models to help you make your decision. Nevertheless, always keep in mind that the most expensive option is the one that doesn’t ultimately lead to profits.
Pros and cons of outsourcing to a content writing company
Any business decision has a significant impact on your company’s performance. Deciding how you will develop a content strategy and manage your content can affect not only your cash flow but also the outcome of your strategy. Analyzing the pros and cons of each option will enable you to make an informed decision about the option that best suits your needs. Use this as a guide to evaluate each point from your company’s particular perspective.
Pros and cons lists are a basic decision-making tool. Assessing the advantages and disadvantages of a situation minimizes the risk of ignoring the crucial aspects of an issue. In the specific case of outsourcing content production, you can expect the following benefits:
Balanced external perspective
Often, considering an event, situation or issue from a different perspective allows us to understand it better. When your company’s content production is carried out in-house, you run the risk of creating self-referential pieces. These may fail to reflect alternative approaches that may better connect with your audience’s expectations.
Moreover, it’s hard to be objective when talking about yourself. An outside perspective will help you avoid complacency. Content production services can help you find the right tone for your proposition. This creates balanced information which is much more relevant and credible. Including viewpoints that also come with new sources of ideas will help you provide higher quality content to your audience.
Experience in content production
Writing skills alone are insufficient for the creation of effective content. The art of persuasion and the application of specific positioning and segmentation techniques must also be mastered. A content writing company specializes in providing these skills. Generally, these services are also aware of industry trends and know how to tune in to the audience.
Experts invest time and resources in monitoring algorithm changes that determine search engine rankings. They are familiar with industry-specific best practices and apply them when writing copy. As a result, they can create more effective pieces that improve the performance of an individual content marketing plan.
Tailoring your company’s content to the characteristics of your audience can be a daunting challenge, particularly when it comes to technical or highly specialized information. In some cases, industry jargon is used inaccurately, while, in others, it is oversimplified. It is also essential to have in-depth knowledge of your audience and segment your content accordingly.
Content writing companies can target messages and produce pieces tailored to each specific audience and platform. They can work in different content formats, ensuring that your message is always delivered accurately.
Diverse skill sets
A content marketing company will provide you with a content marketing team made up of different professionals. In addition to producing content, it is necessary to analyze the competition, research keywords, measure results and carry out many other tasks. Delegating all the work to one person is unlikely to yield effective results. On the other hand, hiring a team represents a significant cost.
Even if you manage to distribute these functions among several people within your in-house staff, the writing needs to vary by format. For example, writing a sales email is completely different from writing an ebook or a detailed article. Quality content writing companies make it a priority to have experts in each of these areas. In contracting their services, you are guaranteed to receive content generated for specific platforms and audiences.
Flexibility and scalability
Content writing is a continuous production chain. It is a foundation of the conversation with your current and potential customers, and it needs to be constantly fed with new data and material. Already published content must also be updated, so that they do not lose relevance and status. This means revising your pieces wherever necessary so they remain up to date. This also includes publishing new stories, addressing specific situations and anticipating trends.
You will eventually encounter bottlenecks in this process. Additionally, your content needs may increase. For example, if you are considering expanding your operations and covering new markets or segments or if you have a launch pending, your content will need to reflect this. Of course, you can always hire more employees, but this requires time and a sufficient budget.
You can easily manage these concerns by hiring a content writing company. You can scale the production of pieces as needed. Likewise, you won’t have to worry about finding a replacement when a writer is absent or unable to carry out assigned tasks. These services have a staff of professionals trained to take over and respond to your requests.
Not only can an external professional offer a different perspective that may better incorporate the needs of the customer. External writers can also introduce a creative vision and put an original spin on the pieces. The best writers are true artists of the word. They play with language and make the texts come to life.
Perhaps you have been lucky enough to find such a talent and have decided to hire them. Congratulations! However, you should keep in mind that even the best writers can go through periods of creative drought. Concentrating all your hopes (and your content strategy) on one person is risky.
That’s why content writing companies consistently give their writers new challenges. They often rotate them between different accounts to avoid creative burnout. Injecting new life into your project will help keep the dialogue with your audience alive.
So far, the scales are undoubtedly tipping towards hiring a content writing company. However, not all that glitters is gold. Before making a decision, you should understand the disadvantages of this option and weigh them accordingly.
Finding a suitable supplier
In recent years, the number of writing services has multiplied. First, this is a direct response to the increased demand for content. According to a survey by Semrush, 77% of businesses had a content marketing strategy in 2019. One year later, this percentage rose to 84%.
The needs of the market have favored the emergence of new suppliers. Many of them have gained experience in well-established content writing companies and know the industry inside out. On the other hand, this has also given rise to the proliferation of improvised companies which often have better intentions than knowledge and results.
For a successful content plan, you need to find the right partner. You should pay attention to the versatility and the credentials of the professionals on the team. At the same time, you should evaluate their experience in your industry or related areas, their availability, the quality of service and the rates. Finding the ideal supplier will require time. If you have made the appropriate selection, the work will flow smoothly and you will reap the expected benefits.
Difficulty in maintaining constant and effective communication
Certainly, with an in-house content writing employee or team, it is easier to discuss the work at any time. Communication with a supplier may be slower, as you will need to coordinate your schedules. However, this should not be an insurmountable obstacle. The key to a productive business relationship always lies in the planning.
Be sure to set a realistic timeline and allow time for revisions and feedback. Define processes in advance and establish reporting lines and communication channels. Clear guidelines will minimize the likelihood of misunderstandings and mistakes.
Time for detailed briefings
Before starting a project, the supplier must be provided with all the information they may need. It is important that you define your goals and familiarize yourself with your company and industry. The time you spend on a good briefing and a clarification meeting will yield maximum benefits. Ideally, this will avoid stumbling blocks, streamline processes and enable you to achieve quality results. However, finding ample time that fits everyone’s schedules can, more often than not, be a challenge. Additionally, the time required for the preparation and the briefings is a significant investment. The question for you is whether your company can afford to use that time in this way.
Pros and cons of producing content in-house
Now that you know what to expect from an external supplier, it’s time to look at how in-house content production works. Many of the differences have been explained, but there are also characteristics of this that are worth mentioning. At the end of the day, it’s all about balancing cost, quality and effectiveness.
Who knows your business better than you do? This also applies to your team members. It’s certainly a powerful reason to consider creating your content in-house. And that’s not the only advantage! The following are some other factors that may justify this decision.
Better understanding of the target segment
Surely, no one knows your customers like you do. You know what they need and that’s how you have managed to make a place for your company in the market. Transferring that knowledge to a third party can be complicated. In addition, it could lead to the need to share confidential information. If you produce content in-house, you won’t need to take additional time explaining what your target audience is, how your industry works or what your goals are.
Most SMEs start with a very limited budget. It is common for entrepreneurs to fulfil several roles in order to reduce costs, especially during the early stages. In these cases, performing the content writing in-house is the norm.
Investing in your equipment
Developing the skills of your employees is one of the best investments a company can make. The resources you devote to the training and specialization of your team can be turned into profits. Training programs help reduce staff turnover, promote a positive working environment and increase employee motivation.
Avoids dependence on third parties
By centralizing the creation of your content in-house, you avoid vendor lock-in. In matters requiring urgent attention, you will not have to place yourself at the mercy of the schedule of a third party. In-house, you will probably need to make adjustments to the priority level of tasks, particularly if your employees have tasks other than content writing.
All of these can be compelling reasons to perform content production in-house. Nevertheless, there are also arguments against it. You should evaluate these before making a hasty decision.
Time- and resource-consuming process
Content marketing requires commitment. You must make it a priority and constant activity, otherwise you will not achieve the expected results. What’s more, a poorly executed strategy can negatively affect your brand image.
The opportunity costs, derived from the inconsistency or decrease in the quality of content, must be evaluated. Consider also what would happen if you neglected some other responsibility to take care of creating the content. You will need to ensure that you provide your team with the right tools to perform these tasks.
It’s a good idea to calculate how much money your team spends writing content. Also estimate how much you could produce if you spent those hours on the core tasks of your business. The difference between the two numbers will tell you the real cost in-house content production.
The challenge of bringing all team members together
Hiring a professional content production expert could be the answer to the above dilemma. If so, calculate the costs of hiring, salaries and other employee bonuses. The numbers may still come out positive. However, one issue remains to be resolved. The writer will be able to formulate and format the texts but will still need information from the specialists.
On the other hand, if you have divided the workload among several of your employees, consider the difficulty of coordinating agendas without affecting productivity. Don’t dismiss these challenges, even if they first seem minor because such details can derail your good intentions.
Limited ability to develop multiple content formats
Whether you have a content production team or have distributed tasks among your other employees, be aware of your limitations. First of all, we are talking about time, priorities and, if necessary, the ability to fulfil several roles. Even if you have a full-time copywriter, the scalability of your work is limited.
On the other hand, even expert writers can have certain shortcomings. It is humanly impossible to achieve excellence in all fields. We have already mentioned that different content formats require different skills. You may be able to make pieces for various channels or segments, but it is unlikely that all will be the best of their kind. And remember that this is a game of win or lose. If you fail to captivate your audience, you will go unnoticed.
In conclusion, only you know what is best for your business and its future success. You must consider all of the above factors when choosing how to approach the development and execution of a content marketing strategy. Whether you choose to hire a content writing company or engage an in-house employee or team, you must keep the needs and objectives of your company in mind as well as your time and budget.
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