Insourcing vs. outsourcing: The pros and cons for content creation

by Anna Munhin Mar 17, 2023 News
Insourcing vs. outsourcing: The pros and cons for content creation

It's difficult to create consistently high-quality content on the regular. How do the most successful people do it?

They have a plan for their content.

It all depends on whether they insource orOutsource that strategy, including planning, ideating, writing/ creating, publishing, and promoting.

Who is doing everything? Who is in charge of creating that brand's consistent content presence on their websites?

Neither insourced nor outsourcing is better. The pros and cons of each option are listed. You can choose the right route for your brand by looking at the definitions and comparing them.

Insourcing vs. outsourcing content: What’s the difference?

  • Insourcing means you use people and resources within your company to create content.
  • Outsourcing means using people and resources outside your company (i.e., hiring an agency or freelancers) to create content.

Insourcing (Using in-house talent and resources)

A content strategy that guides a team of in-house people who create all your brand content is required when you insourced content creation.

These people could be part of a dedicated content marketing team with roles like content manager, content writer, social media manager, editor, etc.

If your resources are not enough, you could have everyone inside the business contributing to content creation in some way.

Pros of insourcing content creation

Better teams are built.

Creating content makes your team smarter and better at content, as well as a range of skills like researching, writing and communicating.

The people who create the brand's content are familiar with the brand.

  • The audience and value proposition.
  • Their overarching differentiator.
  • Their voice and style.
  • The deeper benefits of their products/services.

Money can be saved long-term.

The savings will make up for the larger initial investment in insourced, in-house content marketing.

The initial investment would include skill-building for your team members, tech and tools, as well as resources for hiring another full-time team member.

How will you save money in the long run?

When the skills, expertise, and strategy are in place, your team should be able to produce amazing content that earns real results at triple the rate of traditional marketing.

If you want to scale your efforts, you won't have to spend more money. You won't have to waste time searching for competent freelancers to hire or use an agency that produces generic content

It should start paying for itself in at least six months.

Content marketing investment
Source: Demand Metric

Enjoy total control over your content.

The amount of content an agency creates for you depends on a contract and an agreed-upon number of pieces produced per month or week.

This is great for many things, but not so great for flexibility. That is the reason insourced gets the advantage here. Your insourced team can pivot with content much more quickly because they won't be bound by a contract that requires them to produce a certain number of posts a month.

For example, if you want to create more lead magnets, you need to scale back your posts for a month.

An article of 3,500 words would replace two or three shorter posts if you wanted to rank a great keyword.

Updating and republishing old content is a good idea for a month or two.

You couldn't do anything with an agency. Your in-house team was able to.

Search marketers rely on daily newsletters.

Cons of insourcing content creation

A good content strategy is in place.

You need to be aware of what you're doing. Someone who can steer the ship to success is needed. Without a strategy in place, that is impossible.

Building a content strategy is no easy task. You can do it, but you will need to invest a lot of time and money to understand what goes into it and what comes out.

It's a disaster if you try to insource content without skills, knowledge or a strategy.

A high level of skill is needed by everyone who touches the content.

Content creation and production is a full-time job.

Many businesses choose to outsourcing due to the sheer expertise on your side.

At a minimum you need.

  • Effective writers/communicators/creators who can connect with your audience through words or visuals, share expertise, and clearly demonstrate the business value and benefits for customers. (Writing is the top outsourced activity for marketing professionals, which means having this skill inside your business is both a differentiator and an advantage.)
  • A smart content manager who can plan, ideate, and implement a content strategy, manage a content schedule, track results, and hit goals.
  • A skilled strategist who can help build the brand's SEO and online presence.

To be effective, there's a lot of skill and experience needed in each of these roles, and some businesses can't justify hiring in-house experts or getting training for their teams.

There is an initial investment that can be spent.

A small business with a team of five people is called a small business. Your team lacks experience and knowledge as you consider outsourcing content marketing. A large up-front investment is required to get to a place where you can build, implement, and execute a content strategy.

  • Courses and/or training on content marketing, strategy, and management.
  • Courses and/or training on content writing.
  • Courses and/or training on SEO.
  • Tools to implement and execute content marketing, like SEO tools, content management software, a content calendar, and more.
  • Potentially, the resources to hire a full-time content writer or content manager.

Many small businesses default to hiring outside expertise to implement content marketing because it can be a lot at once.

Outsourcing (Using external talent and resources, like an agency)

You hire outside talent and resources to implement and execute your content strategy when youOutsource content creation. It also includes ideating and planning, writing, and publishing.

A full service agency that takes over your content marketing from strategy-building to promoting finished pieces is one of the most common ways to outsourcing content.

Specific projects, short-term roles, or one-off content pieces can be hired by the person. You could hire a content writer to create three months worth of content for your website.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing?

Pros of outsourcing content creation

You can choose the solution that works for you.

There is an outsourcing option for your needs.

Do you need the entire process handled? If you want a good agency, hire it.

Content creation needs to be taken care of. Depending on your budget, sign up with a writing platform or hire a writer.

According to a survey by Semrush, almost half of companies hire good writers when outsourcing.

Outsourcing content

Thousands of writers, editors, strategists, videographers, graphic designers, and more converge to look for work and bid on jobs if you don't have much time to vet and hire talent.

Start-up costs are relatively low.

The cost to start outsourcing is low. If you agree on a flat rate and get your completed content piece within a week, it's technically possible.

Scales easily when you are ready.

You don't need to pay a lot of money to scale outsourcing, you just need to hire more people.

It should be easy to find a job as the job market is very busy with freelancer. Most of the workforce in the U.S. will be independent by the year 2027.

Cons of outsourcing content creation

Dependencies or inconsistencies.

If you've ever hired a freelancer and had a bad experience, I'm going to tell you what to do.

A fluffed-up resume is a must for anyone who calls themselves a freelancer. They can't deliver that. You will end up with bad content, missed deadlines, and ghosts after you hire them.

One in ten companies stopped outsourcing because the results weren't good.

Your team won't have the most up to date knowledge of your brand.

You don't have to be involved in the affairs of an outsourcing team. If you hire an agency, you won't be able to speak with the people who are writing your content, and different people may shuffle in and out of your projects.

You won't have a creator working with you who knows your brand inside and out, has learned from you and your team, and knows your audience, goals, brand voice, and other factors.

This type of expert has an advantage over a freelancer who only touches your content for a short period of time. 10x better content will be produced by the long-term hire because they have the chance to learn and grow.

Over time, many writers become subject matter experts because they research and write about the brand they write for and the industry they represent. The longer a writer works for you, the better.

Outsourced creators don't have a lot of motivation to remain loyal to you.

It's a risk when you rely on outside help to create content.

It's most likely that the person has multiple clients and projects at the same time. They may be able to work from home to supplement their full time job. It is in their job description to leave.

It's not a guarantee that a freelancer will be available to create content for your brand in the future. They don't have any motivation to show loyalty to you like the writer or creator you hire to dedicate themselves to your business.

Should you insource or outsource content creation?

You know the difference between insourced and outsourcing.

Insourced is better if that's the case.

  • You have the resources to make an up-front investment in your content team.
  • You have buy-in from everyone in your organization.
  • Your team already has content marketing knowledge, or you're prepared to invest in it.
  • You have a content strategy in place or have plans to build one.

If that's the case, outsourcing is the better option.

  • You're a relatively new business and don't have the resources yet to invest in an in-house content team.
  • Your team has zero content marketing knowledge.
  • You understand how to hire and work with freelancers effectively.
  • It would be very difficult to convince every level of the organization to invest in insourcing content.

If you want to insourced content but don't have the means yet, remember that you can always hire someone to do it for you.

One of the choices will be smarter for your business in certain moments of growth, so choose wisely.

The guest author's opinions are not necessarily those of the search engine. There are staff authors here.