Finding the right talent to work with is a never-ending challenge faced by site owners and people in management roles. It’s not only a matter of finding a writer, editor, or strategist with the right skills, attitude, and experience but also deciding whether you’re going to keep this ongoing relationship a freelance one or make content creators a permanent part of the team.
With content still providing the strongest rates of return and best value of your overall marketing spend, it’s definitely caused brands to rethink how they approach content strategy and implementation. The creation process is definitely not excluded from this either as content creation has been following a trend: the internal agency model.
What is an Internal Content Agency?
An internal content agency isn’t simply hiring content writers as employees or making existing staff members part of the content creation process. It’s completely operationalizing content marketing and forming a centralized force to put content front and center for the brand. It’s not just about having an internal content team, internal agencies are centrifugal to operations that are designed to serve internal clients with various creative services and other content-related needs.
An internal content team can still have a totally discrete role designed for inbound or outbound marketing purposes. The internal agency model is designed more for very large brands and conglomerates seeking to be served within the same company.
Are Internal Content Agencies a Good Idea?
Obviously, smaller brands that aren’t working with the same level of resources are less likely to have in-house content writers let alone employees dedicated to internal needs. There are benefits to working with content writers internally as opposed to working with freelancers on an ongoing basis, particularly as far as direction and ownership are concerned. When it comes to large brands considering moving towards the internal agency model for content creation though, the Content Marketing Institute advises against it.
Depending on how central content marketing is to your overall business strategy, there are numerous methods and models marketers can adopt for larger brands’ content needs. Trust-building and storytelling could be the chief purpose of the internal agency, but it doesn’t negate the fact that content marketing is a distinct operation that needs to be on its own like the legal or accounting department. Having an internal team provide different creative services internally for a very large organization can prove to be a productive and cost-effective strategy depending on the overall need for these services, but a content team is not synonymous with an internal agency.
Whether your content team will be in-house or freelance for writing, video production, editing, or content strategy, the team has a largely separate role from fulfilling internal needs. While the internal agency model has become more popular in the past year, brands like Intel have moved away from it due to structural and strategic changes without questioning the need for an internal agency at all.
Rachel P is an indie game developer, writer, and consultant. She is also a content strategist here at Writer Access and would be happy to help you with keyword maps, customer journey maps, and buyer personas in addition to writing for you. If you would to like to hire Rachel to devise a content strategy for you, please contact your account manager or send a direct message.