While agencies can be a great solution to solve resourcing issues or skill gaps, many day-to-day creative tasks are better kept in-house. Find out what tasks you should be taking in-house.
A recent survey from Gartner showed that more than half of marketers rely heavily on agencies and external marketing partners for strategy or execution tasks. And while agencies can provide solid creative support, leaning on them for basic studio production simply isn’t efficient—resource-wise or cost-wise.
You and your marketing team may be stretched thin, but agency help is pricey—which is why it’s important to be strategic with the creative work you task them with. For example, large New York-based agencies cost an average of $600+ per hour, while $300+ per hour is considered standard in other regions.
To save your organization time, stress, and money, in-house teams should be considered for handling day-to-day creative, content, and distribution execution. To help you distinguish what tasks you should hand off to an agency and which to keep in-house, here are five things your creative and content team should tackle and why.
1. Social Media Creative Support
More businesses now see the value of both organic and paid strategies on social media platforms. Almost all (81%) of all small and medium businesses use at least one social platform, and businesses spent a cumulative $74 billion on social advertising in 2018.
As a result of this spike in participation and ad spending, social media has placed more creative demands on marketing teams everywhere. But, when it comes to creating social media copy, building visual assets, and running your day-t0-day social media calendar, leave it to your in-house marketing experts.
The nature of social media’s rapid-fire responses and real-time engagement requires businesses to be agile when managing branded social accounts. Using your in-house team for social requests gives you the ability to respond quickly, whether it’s creating an ad iteration quickly or changing out profile images weekly.
When you have an urgent request, your in-house team will typically be faster—not to mention far less expensive—when responding to it. Additionally, their access to systems and other employee groups makes responding to urgent requests more efficient and practical.
2. Email Creative Support
Email marketing is a growing tactic teams are leveraging to communicate (and sell to) current and prospective customers. The average ROI is $32 for every $1 spent on email marketing—which means teams get plenty of bang for their marketing bucks with this channel. And it helps that customers want to hear from their favorite brands, with 49% of consumers saying they’d like to receive promotional emails on a weekly basis.
More email means regular requests for copy and visuals—not to mention a cohesive email marketing strategy to guide every send. And while it may be tempting to lean on an external agency for a steady stream of email requests, in-house marketing teams are the best fit for this task.
In-house marketers have deep knowledge of your industry, products, and what resonates with customers. You’ll have the context to know how to create effective customer segments and what email content is best for whom. And while the ROI is high for email marketing, it’s not high enough to justify handing over all creative requests to a pricey agency.
3. Product Creative Support
Whether it’s animated GIFs showing customers how to use your product or step-by-step instructions to help customers troubleshoot a bug, teams need creative for product support more often than many other tasks. And no one knows your product—or your target audience—like your in-house creative team.
Your marketing and/or customer support will know your product far better than an agency ever could—depending on the product, they’ll often use it daily. No matter how dedicated an agency is, it’ll never have the same level of context and knowledge of your product’s features and quirks. An in-house creative and content team has that everyday exposure to know how to best represent your products and services.
4. Blog Creative Support
As content marketing grows as a lead generation channel for more businesses, more marketers are leaning into blogging as a way to grow their target audience and businesses.
More than half (55%) of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority and research from Hubspot shows companies that produced sixteen posts or more every month saw more than four times as much traffic as those who posted 0-4 times.
While the prospect of creating four-plus blogs per week with corresponding visuals may sound daunting, turning around that much content that quickly would be challenging with an agency. Because agencies don’t have the same level of product knowledge, industry awareness, or customer interaction as in-house teams, it’s difficult for them to create high-quality content quickly.
Typically, the approval and publishing process takes longer in general with agency help. Marketers often go through several rounds of revisions to get a piece of content right—and if you plan to publish multiple blog posts per week, that kind of hand-holding is an obstacle that could easily derail your publishing schedule.
5. Short Video Creative Support
More businesses are jumping on the video marketing bandwagon. One survey said 76.5% of marketers and small business owners are getting positive results with video marketing—up to 66% more qualified leads per year.
Creating high-quality video can be both expensive and time-consuming, so it’s often attractive for brands to let agencies handle creative for video. But, if you need videos for social media, blog posts, or your branded YouTube channel, considering skipping going to an agency for all of those assets.
Using your in-house team to create short videos ultimately means you’ll be able to produce it far faster than an agency. Typically when creating video assets, you’ll have to gather input, circulate the scripts and early assets to multiple stakeholders for approval, and incorporate changes. In-house teams can get through this process more quickly than an agency.
Your in-house marketing team also likely has assets that can be pivoted into a video. Research shows that 92% of marketers make videos with assets they already have—which means you can create videos faster and with little-to-no extra budget required.
Moving Forward With In-House Creative
Now that you have a better grasp on the creative tasks marketing teams are incentivized to tackle internally, it’s easier to move forward with a strategy and build a creative plan.
In our next post, we’ll examine where it makes sense to call in agency support. We’ll outline a handful of recommendations and highlight why an agency would be a great partner for those specific tasks.
Top image via Bankrx.
Want to learn more? Check these out.
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A Super Quick Guide to Using Video on LinkedIn
Increase Creative Output by Navigating the Creative Partner Economy
6 Marketing Channels to Audit for Content Consistency
Planning a Social Media Collaboration the Right Way
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