Last Saturday morning saw the coming together of arguably the two greatest 6-a-side football teams ever to grace pitch 5 at Wandsworth’s Wandle Recreation Centre. Pathetico Madrid v Real Sosobad was probably one of the most eagerly anticipated match-ups since the season’s fixtures were released the night before, and the event did not disappoint.

One enthralled onlooker described the atmosphere at pitchside as being “all right” and the standard of football as “something you won’t see anywhere else”. The game ended with an incredible scoreline of something like 17-14 (we’re not entirely sure as everybody agreed it was too early for maths) and Pathetico Madrid walked away with a hard-fought victory. Eggy, Real Sosobad’s captain, put the loss down to his “horrendous hangover” and the fact his keeper only turned up at half time.

But as much as I’m sure you’d like me to be, I’m not here to talk about football. Instead, I’d like to turn your attention to another thrilling contest that everyone has been talking about – Content Marketing Agencies v In-house Content Departments.

As content marketing continues to grow into an ever more critical component of a company’s marketing machine, thought must be given to choosing the best way to coordinate this output – either in-house or through a content marketing agency.

There’s been a trend of late that’s seen many organisations opting to produce and manage their content in-house, often by creating new departments and bringing in journalists from the national media and content marketing experts.

B2C marketers use an average of 12 content marketing platforms within their strategies, including blogs, videos, articles, social content, mobile sites, microsites and print.

Massive volumes of rich media content

However, too many companies are failing to recognise the importance of having a digital asset management solution in place to efficiently manage the massive volumes of rich media content any corporate marketing strategy requires.

As Robert Rose, chief strategist at the Content Marketing Institute, points out: “Many brands are still at the experimental stage of content marketing and it’s a bit like throwing spaghetti at the wall.

“What stands out for me is lack of content marketing strategy in many companies, plus the fact most of them have at least a dozen channels – plus multiple platforms – for all that content.”

If we focus on what’s needed to run social media within the global, multibrand, multichannel marketing arena we’re competing in today, it’s clear that no organisation should rely on just one person to handle this responsibility.

But many are. Taking social media in-house seems like a relatively simple thing to do – after all, everyone’s already on Facebook anyway. You could hand over the responsibility to a marketing assistant or unpaid intern who might be able to give it a cursory glance whenever they get a chance. But what you’ve got to ask yourself is whether posting a few tweets at lunchtime is going to be a profitable approach to social media marketing?

Plus, with the responsibility in the hands of someone professionally inexperienced, there’s every chance it could go catastrophically wrong. Take the recent Twitter incident with KLM, for example.

Say adios to social media howlers

Moments after the Netherlands narrowly beat Mexico in their World Cup second-round clash, the airline sent out a tweet saying “Adios Amigos!” beneath an image of a departures-lounge sign displaying a rather culturally insensitive depiction of a mustachioed man sporting a sombrero.

I’m not sure whether this was posted by an intern or not, but either way it’s a bigger blunder than that time Eggy rifled in an own goal from 2 yards out then immediately ran headfirst into the crossbar. He blamed his hangover.

For companies to avoid this and other social media-related howlers created in-house, a cohesive and transparent work environment needs to be cultivated where all contributors are clear on the issues concerning the running of a hefty content calendar. No mean feat indeed.

Create a positive customer experience

Who impacts the delivery of content? Where is the effectiveness for connecting with customers to be gained? Where in the organisation are digital assets being created and stored? How effective is your content at creating a positive customer experience?

It’s often the case that content assets are created and then distributed among various contributors to produce multiple versions for their particular channels. This kind of set-up almost guarantees poor results as the intended meaning of the message gets watered down or perhaps lost altogether.

So as social media’s role in a content marketing strategy becomes increasingly strategic and managerial, outsourcing it to the right content marketing agency with an asset management solution already installed can have a significant impact on the overall effectiveness of your marketing ROI.