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Custom or Licensed Content: Which One Is Right for You?

BY: Kerri-Ann Jennings and Jonathan Whitbourne

How to determine which content strategy works best for your brand goals. Hint: sometimes, it’s both!

Investing in compelling content to engage your existing and prospective customers is an essential marketing strategy for any modern brand. You have two distinct options for content: custom and licensed.

So, which type of content is right for you? Well, that depends on your specific needs and goals. Here, we look at four common scenarios with accompanying content solutions:

Your goal: You want to populate your brand channels on a cost-effective budget.

Our solution: Curated licensed content. Selecting high-quality licensed content from brands that resonate with your audience is a great way to scale up the content on your owned-and-operated channels. For instance, if you’re a garden supply retailer, you might benefit from populating your e-commerce site with content from a trusted brand like Better Homes & Gardens. This creates a richer audience experience, one that inspires, delights, and, yes, prompts purchase and earns long-term loyalty. Win-win. 

Your goal: You’d like to drive traffic through search.

Our solution: Custom content with a fine-tuned SEO strategy. Consider working with a content marketing agency that specializes in SEO to develop relevant and targeted original content for your brand to help maximize exposure, attract and retain visitors, and, ultimately, deliver conversions. 

Your goal: You’re looking to build trust.

Our solution: Licensed content from recognizable brands. Aligning yourself with trusted brands confers a halo effect on your own company. Leveraging licensed content from instantly recognizable brands can help grant authority and credibility to your organization.

Your goal: You need to be in-market quickly and have a lean team.

Our solution: A custom-licensed content hybrid. Scale-up quickly with curated licensed content, and simultaneously develop a custom content play for SEO benefits to drive traffic and to fulfill your longer-term goals of retention and brand positioning.

Finally, while the approaches outlined above are based on best practices and past success, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for content strategy. That’s why it’s so important to partner with the right content marketing agency that can help you identify priorities and craft the strategy that makes the most sense for your specific goals and bottom line.  

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