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We live in a world where businesses are increasingly content-driven. The amount of content being created every day seems to be growing rapidly, and many business owners don't want to be left behind. Usually, they can choose between two options when it comes to content marketing: an in-house team or a consultant.
What is the best choice? Turns out — the answer is more nuanced than it may seem. In this article, we’ll compare those two options and explore numerous aspects of finding the best way to produce content for your business.
What Does a Content Marketing Consultant Do?
A content marketing consultant is an expert who helps businesses strategize, develop, and execute their content marketing plans.
A typical list of tasks for content marketing consultants consists of:
- Conducting market research
- Devising content strategies
- Optimizing content for search engines (SEO)
- Tracking performance
- Making necessary adjustments for continual improvement
Let’s dive in a little deeper into what each of those actions entail:
Conducting Market Research
First things first, a content marketing consultant rolls up their sleeves and dive into the nitty-gritty details of market research.
Now, why is this important?
Well, understanding your market is like having a roadmap. It tells you where you are, where you want to go, and how to get there.
The consultant studies your audience, their interests, their needs, and even their quirks. They also keep an eye on the competition to understand what works and what doesn't in your industry.
Devising Content Strategies
After all that research, the consultant doesn't just throw it in a drawer and forget about it. They use this treasure trove of information to craft content strategies tailored specifically for your business.
This isn't a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. Every business is unique, and so should its content strategy be.
Whether it's deciding what kind of content to produce, how often to publish, or what channels to use, our consultants map it all out for you.
Optimizing Content for Search Engines (SEO)
Now, creating great content is one thing, but making sure people can find it? That's where SEO comes in.
Content marketing consultants are SEO maestros. They know how to sprinkle in those keywords just right, so your content pops up when your potential customers are searching.
They also understand the importance of things like meta tags, link building, and mobile optimization to make sure your content is SEO-friendly.
Okay, so your content is out there in the world. Now what?
Well, it's time to see how it's doing.
A good content consultant doesn't just set it and forget it. They regularly track your content's performance to see what's hitting the mark and what's missing it.
They look at metrics like page views, bounce rates, and conversion rates to gauge success.
Making Necessary Adjustments for Continual Improvement
Remember when I said every business is unique? Well, so is every piece of content.
Just because something worked once doesn't mean it'll work every time. That's why consultants are always ready to tweak and adjust your content strategy as needed. They're not afraid to try new things, test different approaches, and continually improve to keep your content fresh and effective.
So there you have it! From research to strategy to execution and beyond, our content marketing consultants are with you every step of the way, helping your business shine online.
Advantages of Hiring a Content Marketing Consultant
Hiring a consultant brings a fresh perspective and deep expertise to your business. They stay abreast of the latest trends and best practices in content marketing. Moreover, a consultant saves you time and resources that you can invest in other critical business operations.
They usually also bring additional assets to your business. They already have an established network of freelance writers, graphic designers, and SEO specialists. They also take care of managing any additional people engaged in your content production process.
This allows you to focus more on the strategic part of content marketing and other parts of the business. Depending on your availability, content produced with a consultant can be completely done for you or prepared with your guidance.
We usually discuss your level of involvement in the project at the beginning of our work together.
Challenges with Hiring a Content Marketing Consultant
However, finding the right consultant who understands your business needs and aligns with your work culture can be tricky. This is why I always start with a free 30-minute discovery call. During it, we’re able to get clarity about the expectations from both sides and see if they match.
If you’d like to have a chat, I still have some spots left in my calendar.
What Does an In-house Content Team Do?
An in-house content team is like your very own content powerhouse. It's made up of talented folks right within your company who eat, sleep, and breathe content.
The in-house team helps you speed up vital marketing decisions and supports your entire team during brainstorming sessions. Because of their expertise, they make it easier for you to connect the dots and bring out the brand story in the best possible way.
In-house teams might include content strategists who map out the big picture, writers who put those ideas into words, editors who polish and perfect every piece, and SEO specialists who ensure your content gets seen by the right people.
The Plus Side of an In-house Content Team
One of the major perks of having an in-house team is that you're in the driver's seat.
You get to call the shots and have total control over your content marketing. Your team knows your brand inside and out, and they're always on-hand to whip up content, make quick changes, or jump into action when unexpected situations pop up.
The Hurdles of an In-house Content Team
But, as with anything, there are a few bumps in the road to consider.
Setting up an in-house team isn't a walk in the park. You'll need to invest time and money in hiring the right people, training them, and then keeping them around. It's not just about filling chairs; it's about building a team that works well together and is committed to your brand's success.
Also, there's a bit of a risk when your team is too close to your brand. It's easy to end up in a bit of an echo chamber, where everyone is so familiar with the brand that they might miss out on fresh ideas or overlook potential blind spots. It's a bit like having your nose pressed against a painting — you see the brush strokes, but you might miss the full picture.
Comparing the Two: Consultant vs In-house Team
Let's dig a bit deeper into the comparison between content marketing consultants and an in-house content team.
|Content Marketing Consultants||In-house content team|
|One person handling the entire content marketing process for your business||Multiple people in your team responsible for certain aspects of content marketing|
|A strong network of freelancers who support your content production proces||Content creation usually stays in-house|
|No overhead expenses||Additional costs related of hiring a full-time employee|
|A broad view and experience from working with different industries||Specific knowledge about your business — might offer deeper insights|
|Hiring flexibility based on projects||Longer-term investment from the employer|
|Might not be able to address sudden changes in the strategy||Bigger adaptability to sudden changes|
Let's talk money. While a consultant might come with a higher price tag upfront, they can be more cost-effective in the long run.
Why? Because you don't have to bear the overhead expenses that come with full-time employees, such as health benefits, office space, and equipment.
Expertise and Experience
Most consultants have specialized expertise and a broad view from working with different industries. They've seen what works and what doesn't across a wide range of scenarios. It's like having a seasoned tour guide who knows the lay of the land.
On the flip side, an in-house team has a specific, in-depth knowledge about your business. They're in the trenches with you every day, offering deep insights that a consultant might not have. It's like having a local who knows every nook and cranny of your neighborhood.
Flexibility and Adaptability
Content marketing consultants offer flexibility as they can be hired on a project basis. Before you sign a long-term contract, you can make sure they can deliver the results they promise.
However, they can’t be around from 9 to 5 every day, so if something needs immediate assistance — a content consultant might not be around to help you.
An in-house team can bob and weave better when it comes to sudden changes. Since they spend their entire workday thinking about your business, they might have a better intuition when it’s time to act fast.
On the flip side, an in-house content marketer usually comes with a long-term investment in an employee.
Making the Right Choice for Your Business
Should you choose a content marketing consultant or an in-house content marketing team?
As with many things in business, it depends. The choice between a consultant and an in-house team depends on various factors, like:
- your budget
- your business size and needs
- your content marketing goals
- your capacity to manage a team
Before you make up your mind, don’t hesitate to reach out to content marketing specialists around you and ask them what the best solution might be. They’ll be able to assess your current needs and give you tips on how to start building a content production system in your company.
Both content marketing consultants and in-house teams have their pros and cons. While consultants bring in expertise and an external perspective, in-house teams offer brand familiarity and quick adaptability. The key is to assess your business needs, resources, and goals before making the decision. Remember, the right choice can vary, and it's perfectly okay to switch your approach as your business evolves.