A study finds marketers lose $958 million a year on ineffective content strategies. Here's a closer look at where money is wasted, and possible solutions.

Are you spending too much to keep your content marketing in-house? A recent Kapost study found most brands pay about $120,000 on average to cover the staff needed to produce web content – but that doesn’t include the technology or time it takes to get a program up and running.

The most shocking statistic from this report is that companies lose $958 million a year on inefficient content marketing processes.

It forces us to ask: Are we using our marketing dollars wisely, or are we forcing teams to take on too much work they aren’t equipped for?

Content marketing is a full-time job, or three or four

Your marketing team is full of talented writers, creative strategists and clever designers. So it makes sense to task them with content creation – right? Well, it depends.

It takes the average team between five to seven hours to produce a single blog post.

time spend creating visual content

  • A strategy that includes once-weekly posting will take up about 1/5 of their time
  • 2 posts a week will start to eat into half a workweek

And these figures don’t include larger projects, like white papers or eBooks, or visual content such as videos and infographics, which have longer production timelines.

Brafton recently reported that 50 percent of marketers spend a quarter of their days creating visual content for their strategies, while 30 percent spend half of their time and 15 percent dedicate three-quarters of their time on these projects.

Though it’s time consuming, the investment is sound – 95 percent of marketers report visuals makes their content at least two-times more effective.

If your department has a lot of free time to dedicate to new content marketing campaigns, then an in-house approach may be feasible. But if you’re like most marketing teams, you already run a lean operation and don’t have the resources to set aside that much time on content creation. 

A one-stop shop for content marketing success

Even if you spend the money to hire dedicated employees to write, edit, design and strategize the content, you will need to invest in a support system for:

  • Brainstorming ideas

  • Getting approval from the rest of the marketing department

  • Publishing your content online with the right technology

  • Promote the assets

  • Measuring the results

This is where companies could save a lot of money. By partnering with a content marketing agency that already has all the moving pieces in place, you’ll get the staff (content writers, graphic designers, content marketing strategists) as well as the technology that makes publishing and analysis easy.

Structure and processes are critical to fluid content production. In-house teams report running into a number of time-consuming roadblocks, most frequently approval delays and communication between stakeholders.

Reasons to miss marketing deadlines

These challenges are costly both in terms of production and productivity. Agencies with the proper infrastructure have a clear advantage. They can:

  • Produce content 240% faster

  • Create 300% more content in the same amount of time

Here are 11 questions we ask our clients at the start of relationships to avoid delays and ensure content relevance.

Efficiency is a major advantage for brands, but agencies provide other benefits in terms of creativity. Content strategists and writers also share ideas about strategies they’re seeing a lot of success with, and will bring relevant approaches to each campaign. This keeps content fresh and ensures it’s updated with the latest approaches to drive results forward.

As one of the most popular marketing strategies today, businesses are investing a lot in content for search, social and email.

content marketing top priority

While there are benefits to having full-control over the assets you publish online, there are also drawbacks. If you’re not confident in your content marketing strategy, how it’s performing or how to make necessary improvements, it might be time to recruit the help of experts who deliver quality content day-in, day-out. This could be the key to getting more from your department’s budget AND generating better results with your website.

 Want to learn more about outsourced content marketing strategies? Check out these related resources:

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.