Let’s start with marketing content. The need for sheer volumes of content across multi-platforms is enough of a reason to build an in-house creative content team.
Brands today are present on most social media channels. When you begin to break out a week’s worth of posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn not including YouTube, Snapchat, and TikTok the sheer volume of content needed hits you right in the face.
There are basically two ways to manage this demand for content. One option is to outsource your content development to an agency. The second is to build an in-house creative content as a part of your marketing team. Below are the pros and cons of both and a look at a hybrid approach that works very well for us.
Outsource Creative Content to an Agency
There is a lot to be said for a great agency. In fact, I love our agency and they do fantastic work with us. However, if you hire content work out to an ad agency, a creative agency or a social media agency that work can come at quite an expense.
For the sake of time, I am going to give you two major examples of creative expenses, video, and photography. Think about this for a second. Every social media post you make regardless of the platform contains either an image or a video. If you post every workday and are doing social media correctly across four or five platforms, that equates to over 1,000 images or videos per year. This does not even consider sales collateral, ads, or website images. Maintaining a fresh library of images and video content is no small task.
In my industry, a photoshoot is not cheap. We have to move trucks, we hire talent, we need road or location permits, and various other expenses that can sometimes put the cost of a shoot well into six-figures. From there the raw images are combed through and selects are chosen. At this point, the agency has not retouched any images so there will be additional expenses beyond just getting the photos. I think you get my point. It’s expensive.
Flip over to the video production side of the house and I have seen departments spend enough money on ONE video to pay the annual salary cost of hiring a full-time video editor. Agency editing rates alone do not allow a cost conscience brand with regards to a budget the ability to scale video production. If you have a massive mid to upper seven-figure budget for video, then more power to you. But I have found that hiring the right people with the right talent enables us to scale photo and video content to meet the demands of today’s expectations.
In-house Creative Content Team
Using the example of photography and video from above, we made use of the creative talents of our own employees and built an in-house marketing team that produces high-value content at scale. Starting with myself, I have shot photography for over twenty years. I am familiar with running a camera and setting up a nice photoshoot. Secondly, we have an incredibly talented video producer and editor. This makes capturing and editing videos so much more fluid and affordable. Collectively, the whole marketing team is creative. One of the most fun parts of my job is white-boarding our next creative idea or ad campaign.
Putting this to work to share an example, a major component of the Mack brand attributes is authenticity. We present the brand in ways that demonstrate our trucks on real job sites, with real customers, doing real work in natural environments. As we plan these shoots either me and or @MarkUrmos are there to maximize the content opportunity.
I am shooting still photography while Mark is directing the video. At times we are both shooting stills. The trucks are doing their day to day so the expense of moving them around is removed. Same for location permits. All in all, we use the opportunity to get a nice set of docu-style style still images and video all while building a customer story or a new marketing campaign.
When it comes time to edit, @MarkUrmos is an excellent video editor. Mark does most all of our edits. From time to time we will rely on our agency for some small project pieces when the workload gets overwhelming, but overall Mark is the guy.
By doing these shoots ourselves, we form a deeper connection with the customer. We are able to tell a story in a truly authentic way. Everything about the campaign is real. Personally, I don’t believe you pass this level of work off to an agency and have them create a message as authentic as it should be nor as you would want it with you there getting to know your own customers.
All of these stills and video elements then get chopped up and @LaurenMcGuirk will go to work building out our social media posts. Another incredibly talented team member who solely runs our day to day social media. (Yup, as in one (1) person for Mack).
As I said, this is one example sharing the benefit of having a talented videographer, photographer, and crafty social media professional on your team. You CAN save an incredible amount of budget bringing the creative in-house. Or as is the case with us, we are able to stretch our budget to do so much more. At the end of the year, it is an impressive body of marketing assets on a fixed budget. Most of all… it is real and as authentic as it can be. And that makes for the BEST content.