B2B Content Marketing: Agency or In-House?
Should marketers execute their B2B content marketing through an external agency or in-house? It’s a debate as old as time itself! Read on to see more
Published: 14 Jan 2021
5 minutes read
Should marketers execute their B2B content marketing through an external agency or in-house? It’s a debate as old as time itself (while not quite, but you get the idea). There are strong arguments for both choices. With in-house, you are in complete control of your messaging, branding and content marketing strategy – which can be great or catastrophic, depending on your team’s ability and experience.
On the other hand, choosing an agency exposes you to a group of creatives who live and breathe B2B content marketing. They will have vast experience in working with a wide range of clients and will have used their successes and failures to hone their marketing skills.
Why should you choose an agency?
In times of economic uncertainty, businesses are looking to minimise expenses wherever possible. For some, the thought of out-sourcing to an agency seems like a cost-deductive solution as opposed to using in-house resources. However, in the long haul, is this really a cheaper solution?
Depending on the size of your business, an average marketing manager’s salary will be £30,000 skyward. Furthermore, when taking into account additional copywriters, junior support and graphic designers, these costs soon stack up. An agency on the other hand can supply your business with access to talented marketers for a significantly cheaper price margin.
“Time is money”, said a wise Benjamin Franklin, and this ideology rings true in the world of B2B content marketing. Instigating successful content marketing is arguably the most time-consuming area of marketing. Be honest – does your business have the time resources to produce multiple blogs on a weekly basis, create strategic guides and e-books, maintain a social media presence and run email campaigns? Content marketing, especially in B2B is no mean feat. It requires significant input from your team to be successful. No shortcuts here I’m afraid! By entrusting an agency, you can ensure that your content marketing is getting the time and resources it needs to be successful, while being instigated by content specialists. In turn, this frees up your in-house marketing teams’ time so they can focus on other marketing activity, resulting in an overall more effective marketing strategy.
The marketing industry moves at an increasingly rapid pace. Close your eyes for one second and new technology and marketing methods can render your current strategy obsolete. The industry is extremely competitive, especially in B2B. To beat the competition, you always need to be on step ahead. An agency is likely to have better insight into best marketing practices, based on decades of collective experience. Furthermore, agencies have access to the latest marketing software that in-house budgets can struggle to cover. At Axon Garside for example, we use HubSpot, a sophisticated inbound marketing CMS that enables us to successfully find, nurture and convert our clients’ prospects.
Although in-house employees have an extensive knowledge of their services and customer base, it is easy to become narrow-sighted where marketing is concerned. B2B organisations in particular can fall into the mentality of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.
However, the way the B2B buyer operates has fundamentally changed over the past few years. They now require nurturing content that solves their specific pains before they are ready to buy. An agency can bring a welcome new perspective to marketing activities, instigating effective inbound tactics that appeal to the new breed of B2B buyer. Furthermore, an agency that has niche experience in your sector will be able to more easily identify areas of weakness in your content marketing strategy.
Achieve a middle ground
In most instances, an agency’s marketing expertise combined with in-house knowledge is the best approach for effective content marketing.
Your employees have a detailed understanding of your services, products and customers which is an invaluable resource for content marketing. An agency should use this knowledge as the foundation of an effective content marketing strategy. In B2B marketing, the sales cycle is a lot more complex, and requires strategic and digestible content that resonates with prospects at each stage of the buyer’s journey.
Agencies can therefore use their marketing expertise and resources to translate employee knowledge into nurturing content that resonates with B2B buyers and converts them into leads.
If you’re looking to outsource content marketing, you will find our guide to hiring an inbound marketing agency incredibly useful – download below!