Should blog management be done in-house or by an agency?
The content marketing net spans far and wide, serving up everything from social media to email campaigns. However, there’s one particularly big fish that’s been making waves in the content marketing pond for quite some time: Blogging.
A high-quality blog is a pillar for any smart marketing strategy. It can aid in attracting your target audience, establishing your business as an industry leader and building brand loyalty. However, running an excellent blog isn’t always plain sailing.
This is what leads many businesses to ask the question:
Should blog management be done in-house or by an agency?
There’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer
Much like the creation of Earth and why round pizza comes in a square box, there’s no universal answer to the question “should blog management be done in-house or by an agency?” The choice depends on each individual case. If it were as easy as ABC, we’d be typing this on a gold-encrusted keyboard.
Instead, it’s important to answer a few basic questions to begin with:
- Do you have the knowledge?
- Do you have the time to dedicate to blog management?
- Do you have the motive to manage your content in-house?
Let’s start with knowledge
For some people in business, they live, eat and breathe all things content marketing (guilty), but others find this buzzword incredibly intimidating, even though they understand the importance of it.
Next up there’s time
Time plays an important role in this decision. Not dedicating enough of your working day ensuring outbound marketing efforts are nailed can prove more costly in the long run.
Last but not least, you’ve got to have the motive. If not, why are you here? You’ve identified the importance, but you need to have the drive to see your goals through – whether this means in-house or with an external team.
However, these aren’t the only three factors to consider when making this decision. While they are important (we’ll get into this later), businesses must also weigh up a range of other considerations. So, grab your snorkel and flippers, and let’s dive deeper into this digital marketing decision!
On the surface, your thoughts may immediately turn to an internal member of staff – after all, they already work in the company and should have a genuine interest in contributing towards the business’ growth and success. But what happens if you designate this important role to just one person within the company and they suddenly up and leave? Are you prepared to be on the backfoot and run the risk of stalling operations in order to train another individual?
But what happens if you designate blog management to just one person within the company and they suddenly up and leave?
This is why many businesses choose to outsource blogging management. While some may worry it takes time for an external agency to learn their cores and values, and you will be sharing attention with other clients, content marketing agencies are quashing these myths left, right and centre.
Yes, many agencies work with multiple clients, but these are often extremely different. Therefore, blog managers’ minds are constantly moving, always looking for fresh ideas to offer a point of difference. All of this ensures their clients stay fresh, on trend and ahead of the pack.
So, if you feel your blog has been lacking that certain creative je ne sais quoi, an external agency can offer new perspective and ideas to help you get back on the path to success and SEO ranking!
Factor number two: Access to relevant tools and platforms
From comprehensive content management systems (CMS) to Google Analytic software, there are a range of important technologies and systems needed to undertake great blog management.
It’s important to note that agencies will already have access to such systems – after all, content marketing is the core of their job. However, if blog management is just an addition to your company (i.e. you’re an engineering firm looking to bring more organic reach to your site), you will need to create accounts for all the required tools.
Not only will an external agency have access to the platforms needed for streamlined blog management, they’ll also have the expertise to go with it. Naturally, agencies are chockablock full of knowledgeable professionals who specialise in all areas of content marketing – think email marketing and web development. Simply put, an agency acts as a one-stop-shop for all things marketing – giving you the time and resource to focus on other important aspects of your business.
Better yet, external agencies will pay the subscription fees for these sites, and ensure they’re constantly updated to make way for better features and advancements. Yes. this comes at a price, and sure, this will be factored into their fees, but it saves you money in the long run, especially where training and time are concerned.
Factor number three: The upfront costs
Great results don’t come for free. As such, weighing up the financial output against input is a mitigating factor for many businesses wanting to jump on the blogging bandwagon.
Think about it. If you choose to hire an internal employee, you’ll likely pay a significant sum through their annual salary. According to PayScale, the average digital marketing manager earns around NZ$68,048. Hiring the wrong person can prove costly for your business and take you back to square one while your competitors steam ahead. Of course, it’s possible to try and optimise your blogging presence in-house, but you must be prepared for the effort required to stand out and attract the right audience.
This is why many see agencies as more cost effective to their brand. Unlike a dedicated digital marketing manager, you may find you only require blog management services now and again – rather than continually. For this reason, many agencies offer package plans to fit with businesses requiring flexibility when it comes to blog management. The cost of such depends on the specifications of the campaign and the timeline they want to run with it. However, you pay for what you use and the services of more than one digital marketing expert within the agency – rather than paying high, ongoing wages to one employee.
Factor number four: Office politics
From poor communication to misunderstandings, office conflicts arise for various reasons. But there’s another culprit leading the way: Confusion about who’s doing what.
In a study by online small business magazine Inc, 64 per cent of respondents claimed responsibility confusion was a major factor in office conflict. This is something businesses need to be careful of when bringing blog management in-house. If you’ve assigned this task to an employee who was once in charge of social, you need to make sure everyone within the company is aware of this decision so they know what their daily duties now involve and what they don’t.
This is why so many businesses turn to agencies. Removing the potential for competition and jealousy helps keep conflict at bay, and morale within your team high.
Overview: The pros and cons
Still feeling indecisive? Here’s a roundup of the pros and cons for each option!
- Live and breathe your business values and visions.
- Real-time and effortless communication.
- Able to adapt immediately when changes occur.
- Content ideas may become stagnant.
- The blog manager may leave.
- Typically higher costs where wages are concerned.
- Refreshing ideas and goals.
- Typically more cost effective.
- Access to relevant software and programmes.
- Takes time to learn the business culture.
- They may have other client priorities.