Building vs. Buying Your Content Library

Building your content library is a vital step in today’s digital age. The ideal situation is to have your marketing, creative, and sales team all on the same page by using your content. But that doesn’t always happen. The other issue is a surprisingly large amount of marketing material spends its whole life sitting on a storage shelf or a server, never seeing the light of day. Sounds like a waste of resources, doesn’t it?

The question then becomes, how do you effectively build or buy your content library in order to maximize efficiency and streamline your process? There’s a lot to analyze here, so let’s get started.

TIME: The entire query is about maximizing efficiency, so time is of the utmost importance. Consider the time it takes to research, develop, train, and implement your new content. This is a key factor in the decision. Evaluate how long each of these steps would cost your company. If it would take longer to build when buying content would suffice, save yourself some time. There’s no sense in launching an entire campaign, taking long stretches of time, and setting far-away deadlines when a few clicks could create better engagement.

COST: Cost isn’t just about dollar signs in a spreadsheet. To create truly cost-effective and compelling content, you need to look at all of your available resources. This means both your budget and your people. Building content in this instance will require dedicated research, development, training, and implementation teams. If you have the budget to coordinate informative content based on real-world research, it’s almost always more valuable than bought content. However, sometimes, buying content has a steeper entry point than in-house generating, so it’s important to involve every aspect of your operation to grow your brand.

EXPERTISE: Frequently, your content needs to be hyper-specific to your brand, containing unique jargon or otherwise requiring a deep understanding of your subject. The general rule of thumb is that if you have to educate someone else on your topic too much, you’re breaking the previous rules of time and cost. In these instances, it’s better to build the content yourself. After all, you’re the expert. More straightforward and accessible verticals require less research, in which buying is always an option.

ROI: The root of everything, return on investment. What’s the point of creating or purchasing content if you’re not netting a positive return on investment? This subject is more of a summary of your entire outlook. Carefully consider each aspect from above. What do you need the content for? How will you utilize it? How long will it stay relevant? After considering the cost, content, and time, you need to determine what kind of outcome you expect with either buying or building your content. There’s no easy answer to this question. You can break it down a million ways and get different answers.

Download Buy vs. Build Excel Guide

However, there are ways to carefully analyze it. A few other options to consider that may sway your decision are as follows:

You Should Buy When:

  • The ROI is higher
  • You lack the in-house resources to build, maintain and support the up to date learning for your team or organization
  • The content is developed by trusted industry experts
  • You’re short on time
  • The ready-made content completely meets your training requirements

You Should Build When:

  • The content you need is confidential or highly specialized
  • Your organization has a well thought out training strategy in place
  • The problem you’re faced with offers no available solution
  • You are less shackled by time constraints
  • You have the resources to maintain and support the necessary learning for your team

If you’re still on the fence about how to generate your content, we’ve put together a simple this-or-that section. Remember, the key to the game is to have everything work together in a synergistic fashion. Embrace transparency and scale your growth to new limits.

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