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23

February

2015

Should a Brand Outsource its Content Marketing? :

#outsourceorinhouse

According to a recent finding, senior executives from over 50 global brands, including Coca-Cola, Nestle, GE, and Adobe, said they wanted to create their content marketing in-house. In fact, 100 percent of these brands said as much.

But when asked what agency the brand would select when they did outsource content marketing, the overwhelming answer was “NOT a social media agency,” as they were “too trendy.”

“To be a relevant, successful PR agency today one’s company has to be universal and universally creative,” says SEM Media Group President, Phil Thow. “It’s not enough to be really good at one or two types of creative content. Brands are looking to hire a few different ‘boutique’ agencies to cover all their bases. Just like SEM Media Group, a competitive agency has to understand all forms of content creation and delivery.”

When a brand is looking to outsource its content creation, there are some important criteria it should consider.

“The first is for the brand to know exactly why they want to hire an outside agency like SEM Media Group,” says Phil Thow. “Is it because they lack the right talent in-house? Or do they need help with strategy development?”

By knowing why the brand needs the expertise of a PR agency, it will help them identify the best shortlist of candidates.

“Strategy comes before all else,” says Phil Thow of the second criteria. “Strategy and tactics are two different things entirely. At SEM Media Group, we always insist a brand or company have a strategy in place before we start discussing the tactics we’ll use to follow the strategy. For instance, saying a company needs a social media presence is not a strategy. It’s a tactic.”

Equally important to agencies like SEM Media Group is knowing where to end, not just where to begin. “Any good strategy should include success criteria and key performance indicators,” says Phil Thow. “Knowing how success will be measured and marked is considered. That doesn’t meaning getting X number of new fans on Facebook, but increasing sales leads, or generating a shorter sales cycle. It’s not always about the metrics.”

If a business is ready to outsource content marketing, it must spend some in-house time to know exactly what it’s looking to gain from outside expertise. A brand shouldn’t turn to an agency to tell them what they need. They should have that in mind already and then ask the agency how they can help them achieve their content marketing goals.