Everything You Need to Know About Outsourcing Your Digital Marketing
- by Alyson Shane
Do you have questions about outsourcing your business’ digital marketing?
If you’re struggling to figure out if your business is ready, you may be wondering:
- Why should I outsource my digital marketing?
- Should I keep my digital marketing in-house?
- What parts of my digital marketing should I outsource?
- What are red flags to look for when selecting an agency?
If you’ve wondered any of these things, then this post is for you. Let’s dive right in:
Why Do Businesses Outsource Their Digital Marketing?
There are lots of reasons a business would outsource its digital marketing, but here are some of the most common:
You’re not seeing the results you want from your in-house team/person
Many businesses outsource because their in-house team isn’t meeting their goals.
This could be due to inexperience, disorganization, or a cultural mismatch. Whatever the reason, your marketing is always behind. If it’s been a few months (or even years) since your business has launched a new campaign or tried a new strategy, then it may be time to outsource your marketing.
You don’t have the resources to scale in-house
One person often isn’t enough to manage all of a business’s digital marketing needs. After all, graphic designers aren’t copywriters or social media managers, and vice-versa, so you may still have skill gaps you need to fill to meet your marketing goals.
If hiring 2-3 more people is out of your budget, hiring an agency is a cheaper alternative that can give you the variety of skill sets you need to see success.
You’re task-driven, not strategy-driven
Posting for the sake of being active on social media isn’t a strategy.
As a business, you have revenue goals that need to be supported by your digital marketing strategy. While it may feel good to know you’re posting 3-4 Instagram posts a week… that posting doesn’t do you any good if there’s no strategy behind it.
If you’re not happy with your existing digital marketing strategy, then it may be time to outsource to an agency.
You have no reporting structure in place
If you aren’t able to measure the results of your efforts then you’ll never have a clear sense of where new business is coming from.
A qualified agency will work with you to set up a reporting system (we submit ours monthly and on a per-campaign basis) which will include a breakdown of what worked, what didn’t, and suggestions for building on successes.
If you don’t have a reporting system in place, then outsourcing to an agency can give you the clarity you need to make data-driven decisions about your digital marketing.
Why Outsource Digital Marketing? Your Questions Answered
Before we talk about the benefits of outsourcing your digital marketing, let’s answer a few of the questions we hear most often:
Is outsourcing digital marketing cheaper?
Outsourcing your digital marketing to an agency is almost always cheaper than hiring in-house staff - usually by significant amounts, too.
Consider this: you could pay a single person to handle your marketing strategy, copywriting, social media, blogging, email marketing, SEO, landing pages, paid ads, and reporting.
Or, you could spend the same amount and have an entire outsourced team handling the same workload.
Consider the costs, scope, and quality of the work of a single person vs. a team of people, and it’s easy to see how outsourcing becomes the most affordable option.
Is outsourcing digital marketing easier to manage?
Yes, outsourcing is easier to manage than in-house marketing because you don’t have to manage an external team the same way you would with an employee.
Qualified agencies will have processes in place that will keep projects and campaigns running smoothly behind-the-scenes, allowing you to focus on your business without feeling the need to constantly check-in.
Does outsourcing guarantee a higher level of expertise?
Yes, outsourcing almost always guarantees a higher level of expertise than hiring in-house.
This is especially true if your business relies on new grads and less experienced marketers due to salary limitations. Most newbie marketers lack the hands-on experience needed to develop, manage, and execute a comprehensive marketing strategy.
Agencies, on the other hand, are typically founded by and employ digital marketers with years of experience, often in a variety of areas.
The Benefits of Outsourcing Digital Marketing
Let’s talk about the best parts of outsourcing your company’s digital marketing!
Outsourcing gives you outside insight into your business
Hiring an outside agency can give you a fresh perspective on how to approach your digital marketing.
Any qualified agency has a rigorous onboarding process that allows them to develop a deep understanding of your business, your customers, and how your products or services solve those problems.
This work, and the work of measuring and reporting consistently on your digital marketing, offers insight into your business, making them a valuable partner.
Outsourcing gives you access to experts
As we discussed earlier, the level of seniority and expertise that a business can access through an outside vendor is often much higher than they could hire for in-house.
Not only will you work with more experienced marketers, but qualified agencies will always be on the lookout for innovative new tools and techniques to amplify their efforts on behalf of your business.
Outsourcing guarantees a return-on-investment (ROI)
Put simply, agencies have a vested interest in generating continued ROI for your business, or else they risk losing your retainer. This means they’ll continually work to find new ways to make campaigns more successful, increase open rates, and generate more interest about your business online.
(If you don’t feel like you’re getting that level of service right now, let’s chat.)
Red Flags When Outsourcing Digital Marketing
We’ve spent a ton of time talking about all the benefits of outsourcing, but what about the red flags? What are some signs that the agency you’re considering might not be all it’s cracked up to be? Let’s take a look:
They don’t walk the talk
Let’s face it: a lot of marketing agencies (older ones, especially) tend to offer digital marketing services to stay competitive, not because it’s their passion.
As a result, you can tell pretty quickly which agencies are experts in areas like digital marketing and content strategy, and which are faking it for clients.
When considering who you want in charge of your digital marketing strategy, ask:
- Do they post to their social media profiles regularly?
- Is their content friendly, helpful, and interesting?
- Do they show creativity and innovation in the content they share?
- Do they have a newsletter, and is it any good?
- Do they blog regularly to demonstrate industry expertise?
If the agency you’re considering doesn’t do any (or even some) of these, then they may not actually have the depth of knowledge and experience needed to deliver high-quality results.
They won’t show past or current work samples
Whether that’s sharing links to past or present client work or providing case studies, a qualified agency should be able to point to at least a few success stories.
If you’re considering working with an agency but they’re giving you the runaround on actual work samples, consider this a huge red flag and take your business elsewhere.
They force long-term contracts
No matter how great or experienced an agency might be, you’ll both need some time to get to know one another and decide if your partnership is something you want to continue long-term.
If an agency is pushing for a multi-year contract before work has even begun, consider this a red flag.
Outsourcing Digital Marketing - Final Thoughts
Figuring out what to do with your digital marketing can be stressful, but outsourcing your needs to a qualified agency can bring strategy, clarity, and quality to your business’ online presence.
As we’ve covered here, outsourcing is a cost-effective way to work with digital marketing experts who work hard to consistently deliver ROI for your business.
If you’re ready to take the next step and work with an agency to grow your business, drop us a line and let’s chat.
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