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 marketing 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 marketing team with the talent to produce creative content. Below are the pros and cons of both and a look at a hybrid approach that works very well for us.
Outsource 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 the relief comes at an expense.
For the sake of time, I am going to give you two major examples of creative expenses. Video and photography. Think about that 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, that equates to over 1,000 images or videos per year to use across four different social media platforms.
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 for 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 video content and meet the demands of today’s expectations.
In-house Marketing 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.
For 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 still and video images all while building a customer story or a new marketing campaign.
When it comes time to edit, @MarkUrmos is excellent at editing. Mark does all of our video edits. From time to time we will rely on our agency for some small project pieces when the workload gets overwhelming.
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 convey a message as authentic as it should be nor as you would want it.
All of these stills and video elements will 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 just the benefit of having a talented videographer, photographer, and crafty social media professionals 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 flat or decreased budget. Most of all… it is real and as authentic as it can be. And that makes for the BEST content.