Tagged: business growth
- by Alyson Shane
Whether you manage your own digital marketing or you’re a manager with a team to lead, it’s easy to let your marketing tasks pile up and for quality to slip when things get busy.
If this sounds familiar, then it might be time to consider outsourcing to an agency partner!
What Does Outsourcing Your Digital Marketing Look Like?
Outsourcing is the process of hiring external service providers to perform specific tasks for your business. It can be a great way to save time and money, as well as help you focus on what you do best.
By outsourcing certain marketing roles like social media content creation and publishing, content writing, or SEO, you can free up resources to reinvest in other areas of your business that will help drive growth.
As a result, not only does outsourcing allow your business scale faster, but it also helps it stay competitive in their respective industries.
Whether you’re a small business owner who’s tired of trying to do everything themselves, or a Marketing Manager looking for ways to help your team focus on more important tasks, outsourcing to an agency is a great (and affordable!) option.
In this post we’ll be looking at the top 5 roles to consider outsourcing so you can make the best choice for yourself and your digital marketing:
1. Social Media Management - How to Find the Right Agency for the Job
Social media is an essential part of any business’ digital marketing strategy, but it’s also one of the most time-consuming parts, too.
Effective social media campaigns need to be founded on strategy and deep understanding of your brand in order for them to be properly managed and executed - and that’s just the high-level part!
Social media managers are also responsible for:
- Content planning and creation
- Coordinating creating Reels, TikToks and video content
- Community engagement
- Campaign management
- Performance tracking
Because social media management is so time-consuming, it’s often the first thing that businesses look to outsource to a partner.
The Top Benefits of Outsourcing Social Media Marketing
Tapping Into Industry Expertise
It can be hard to keep up with the latest digital marketing trends and platform changes, which is why outsourcing this role can be such a boon for a business.
Social media managers need to be up-to-date with the latest algorithm updates, changes to video and image specs, character length changes, hashtag updates… and more!
Their job is to stay current and apply their knowledge to your social media strategy so you don’t have to.
Time and Resource Savings
Managing social media channels is time-consuming, effort, and resources.
By outsourcing this role, you can free up your internal team to focus more pressing tasks and deliverables while the experts handle your social media presence. This helps your team be more agile, less reactive, and ultimately more productive.
Consistent and Engaging Content
One of the biggest assets to outsourcing your social media marketing is knowing that you’ll always have a consistent posting schedule, no matter how busy you are.
Social media managers also have deep knowledge of the kind of content that will resonate with your audience and create positive associations with your brand, and will work hard to iterate and keep finding new ways to engage with your audience.
Effective social media management is more than just posting consistently. A worthwhile outsourcing partner will be consistently looking at key performance indicators (KPIs) and engagement levels with your content to improve results over time.
By looking at the data and submitting regular progress reports, your social media manager can share their results, explain their thinking, and give you opportunities to discuss and make decisions based on data, not just gut feelings.
(P.S. Did you know that Starling Social offers monthly reporting as part of all our service packages? Click here to learn more!)
How to Find the Right Outsourcing Partner
Here’s the tea: most marketers can talk the talk, but are they also walking the walk?
One of the easiest ways to see if the agency you’re considering is going to be able to deliver effective social media management services for you is to look at things like:
- Their social media presence. Do they have public profiles on the major platforms that are well-maintained?
- The posts they publish. Do they seem like they keep up with the latest trends and changes?
- The content they share. Does it feel like they’re showcasing expertise, or just posting generic content to keep the lights on?
2. SEO - How to Identify Quality SEO Providers for Maximum Results
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps to increase website visibility and rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs) which lead to more organic traffic and conversions, making it is another essential component of any digital marketing campaign.
But with so many SEO providers out there, it can be hard to know which one is the right choice for your business. Here are four things to look for:
Experience and Expertise
SEO is constantly changing, so look for an SEO partner with a proven track record and extensive experience in their field. Don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials or for their input on the latest strategies to make sure their approach is up-to-date.
A Transparent and Ethical Approach
Choose an SEO partner that follows ethical “white hat” SEO practices and maintains transparency throughout the process.
They should be open about their approach, provide regular progress reports, and offer clear communication channels.
Avoid partners that engage in black hat tactics, as these can lead to penalties and damage your website's reputation.
Every website is unique, which means an SEO strategy should have requirements, goals, and target audiences specific to your business and website’s needs.
A reliable SEO partner will take the time to understand your business and develop tailored strategies to meet your needs. This should start with a comprehensive website audit, competitor analysis, and keyword research to create an effective SEO plan that aligns with your objectives.
Measurable Results and Reporting
Look for an SEO partner that uses data-driven decision-making and provides measurable results.
They should have tools and systems in place to track keyword rankings, organic traffic, conversion rates, and other relevant metrics.
Regular reporting and analysis of these metrics will help you gauge the effectiveness of their SEO efforts, make informed decisions, and understand the return on investment (ROI) of your ad spend.
3. Copywriting - Outsourcing Content Creation to a Copywriting Expert
One of the fastest ways to amplify the ROI of your marketing efforts is to outsource your content creation to a copywriting expert.
Professional copywriters are experienced in creating content for the web, including blogs, newsletters, whitepapers, website copy, and more. They’ll take the time to understand your business and create compelling content that engages readers and resonates with your audience.
What to Look For When Outsourcing Copywriting?
If you aren’t a professional writer yourself, it can feel overwhelming to figure out how to choose the right copywriting partner to outsource your needs to.
Here are a few things to look for:
Ask for work samples from a handful of clients in different industries. Seeing examples will help you get a sense of how the writer can tailor their work to different businesses and industries.
Different kinds of content
Don’t just stick to one kind of work sample - ask for blogs, newsletters, and other kinds of content to get a sense of the range the copywriter is able to achieve.
Voice and tone
Does their copy sound wooden and stiff, or is it approachable and easy to understand?
General advice is that copy for the web should be written for an 8th grade reading level, so when reviewing work samples, ask: is this written in a way that anyone can understand, or does it include a lot of jargon?
4. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising — How to Choose The Best PPC Partner
PPC advertising is the process of advertising on search engines like Google and Bing. With this type of advertising, you only get charged when someone clicks on your ad (hence the name, Pay-Per-Click).
PPC advertising is a highly targeted type of marketing that plays an important role in driving people who are looking specifically for your product or service to your website.
Unfortunately, PPC advertising is complicated and has a steep learning curve to create and manage effective campaigns — this isn’t a “set it and forget it” kind of marketing!
Elements of a Successful PPC Campaign
Whether you’re new to PPC or you’ve tried to manage your own, there are a few key elements of a successful PPC campaign that any outsourcing partner should be familiar with:
The process involves embedding conversion tracking codes on your website to track actions that align with your campaign goals, like form submissions, purchases, or downloads.
Your PPC outsourcing partner will then use this data to better understand user behaviour, which types of keyword combinations are working best, and will make adjustments based on the data.
Your PPC partner should regularly check their Google Analytics and Google Ads dashboards to monitor website traffic, user activity, and engagement metrics.
A competent PPC expert shouldn’t just apply what they see to your campaigns; they should also be proactive in helping you update and optimize your website to rank higher, earn better scores with Google, and ultimately increase conversions.
Like we said, this isn’t a “set it and forget it” kind of campaign! Regularly review performance reports provided by your PPC agency partner.
Pay attention to key metrics like click-through rates, cost per click, conversion rates, and cost per conversion. These reports will help you understand the effectiveness of your campaigns and identify areas for improvement.
PPC is one type of ad campaign where A/B testing isn’t just recommended - it’s essential!
Making sure your PPC outsourcing partner is A/B testing to compare different elements of your PPC campaigns will help you better-understand differences in ad copy, visuals, landing pages, or call-to-action statements.
This experimentation allows you to identify the most effective strategies and make data-backed decisions to optimize your campaigns.
(P.S. Did you know that Starling Social’s resident PPC expert has been running campaigns since Yahoo! was the main search engine? That means we’ve got decades of experience under our belt and are ready to help you build effective campaigns!)
Advantages of Outsourcing Your PPC
It probably comes as no surprise that there are several advantages to outsourcing your PPC campaigns, including:
Expertise and Specialization
As we’ve been saying: PPC campaigns are complicated, so outsourcing your advertising to a seasoned professional can mean the difference between a wanted budget, and a well-optimized one that gets results.
Your PPC partner will also do the “leg work” of staying updated with the latest trends, strategies, and tools to ensure your ads are highly targeted and optimized for maximum impact.
Cost and Time Savings
PPC campaigns are probably the most hands-on kinds of ads you can run, requiring constant monitoring, optimization, and analysis.
By outsourcing these tasks, you save valuable time and resources by working with partners who already have the necessary tools and resources to efficiently manage your campaigns.
This reduces costs associated with in-house hiring, training, and campaign management, saving you even more money in the long run.
Advanced Targeting and Ad Optimization
A seasoned PPC expert will excel in audience targeting and ad optimization.
Before even touching your campaigns, they’ll spend time researching to identify relevant keywords, demographics, and geographic targeting parameters to reach your ideal audience.
As the campaigns progress, they’ll also perform A/B testing, ad copy optimization, and landing page optimization to maximize conversion rates.
Performance Tracking and Reporting
We’ve said this before but it bears repairing, especially when it comes to PPC campaigns:
An agency or outsourcing partner who doesn’t submit monthly reports is doing you a disservice.
PPC campaigns are complicated and require a lot of attention and updating, so your PPC partner should be able to show what they’re doing each month, as well and provide you with changes, trends, and opportunities for consideration in order to make your campaigns more successful.
5. Social Media Advertising — Finding a Trustworthy Social Media Ads Partner
Social media advertising is pretty self-explanatory: it’s the process of promoting your brand, products, or services through paid advertisements on various social media platforms.
This type of advertising offers unparalleled opportunities to reach a highly targeted audience, increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, and generate leads or sales. Other benefits include being cost-effective and allowing you to reach a diverse range of people who might be interested in your products or services.
Why Outsource Your Social Media Advertising?
While social media ads aren’t quite as complicated as PPC advertising, there are still several reasons why outsourcing your social media ads management is a good idea. These include:
Expertise and Industry Knowledge
Running ads on Facebook or Instagram is different from running ads on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, or TikTok, and your outsourcing partner should be able to explain the differences between them, as well as be up-to-date on the latest changes to each platform’s advertising rules and specifications.
Time and Resource Efficiency
Managing social media ad campaigns takes time, effort, and resources to set up, optimize, and adjust throughout the life of the campaign.
By outsourcing these tasks, you can spend your time and resources focusing on managing your business or your team without having to worry about the status of your campaigns.
Targeting and Ad Optimization
Your social media ads partner will understand how to use advanced targeting techniques, be able to advise you on the best types of ads to run on a per-platform basis.
They’ll also be able to help you craft compelling ads with the right formats, visuals, and copy to stop users mid-scroll and encourage them to engage with your ads.
Free Up Your To-Do List! Start Outsourcing Your Marketing Today
By outsourcing your digital marketing tasks like social media management, SEO, copywriting, pay-per-click advertising, and social media advertising, you can free up valuable time and resources to focus on the big picture.
Not only can you sleep easily knowing that your digital marketing is taken care of, but you can enjoy the benefits that come with dedicated expertise, transparent reporting and collaboration, and a commitment to helping your business grow and achieve its goals.
Ready to hand off those overwhelming digital marketing tasks and focus on more important things? Drop us a line, we’re onboarding new clients right now.
- by Alyson Shane
If you want to recession-proof your business and minimize the impact of COVID-19, you’re not alone. Companies across industries are scrambling to keep a recession that could be as bad as the Great Depression from seriously impacting their business.
As a result, we see a lot of short-term, reactionary behaviours in response to the pandemic. We’ve seen businesses furloughing or laying off their marketing teams. Other brands are cancelling advertising campaigns and taking a “wait and see” approach as things unfold.
Just like during the 2008 financial crisis, many businesses are putting their marketing plans on the chopping block to try and stay lean.
But is this the best strategy?
Studies show that companies who protect their marketing budgets during recessions tend to do much better during the recovery period.
In fact, companies that increased their marketing spending during a recession earned an average increase of 4.3% in profit.
The companies that cut back spending during an economic downturn? They saw an average fall in profits of 0.8%.
To put it more simply: companies that cut back on their marketing earned 3.5% less than the companies that increased it.
Now, ask yourself: which business would I rather be?
If your answer is “the profitable business” then it’s time to leave the short-term thinking behind and focus on the big picture.
Here’s why investing in your marketing right now helps recession-proof your brand:
Recessions don’t guarantee lower return-on-investment
We naturally assume that a recession will hurt every business, but brands that are adaptive can emerge stronger than ever, and with a higher return-on-investment (ROI) than before the downturn.
A 2018 report from ROI Genome found that in over 100 cases, more than half the brands studied saw improvements in ROI during the last recession.
Marketing during a downturn creates short and long-term ROI
On average, companies that increased their marketing investment earned an average of 17% growth in incremental sales, and more than half sad year-over-year improvements over the next two years.
Why? Because marketing increases brand equity.
“Brand equity” is a fancy way of saying: the more people who are familiar with your brand, the more they trust in the value of your products and services.
The more your customers see, hear, and interact with your brand - especially during times when they feel anxious, like during a recession - the more they’ll develop positive feelings towards your company, increasing the likelihood that they’ll buy from you in the future.
Cutting marketing guarantees losses during a recession
When you remove yourself from the conversation, people stop talking about you, thinking about you, and ultimately buying from you.
Leaving yourself out of the discussion also makes spaces for the competition to creep in and start converting your customers.
In fact, companies that cut their marketing investment suffer an 18% loss in incremental sales compared to those that didn’t.
Cutting marketing makes losses worse for struggling businesses
If you’re already operating on razor-thin margins, cutting your marketing may seem like a natural choice. But before you do, consider this:
Low consumer demand accounted for one-third of all losses in incremental sales during the last recession, while two-thirds of all losses in incremental sales were due to lower investments and the lack of market share.
It might seem prudent to cut back on marketing right now, but your business will have to make up for the lost time and try to compete in a marketplace that was more crowded than before.
How to recession-proof your brand: final thoughts
When companies allow short-term thinking to guide their decisions, they sacrifice not just brand equity, but also the long-term ROI of consistent marketing.
Agile businesses, on the other hand, take a data-driven approach to their business and develop strategies that balance short and long-term goals.
During times of uncertainty, it’s more important than ever to focus on making data-driven decisions. If you’re looking for a partner to help you make sense of the noise and keep your business top-of-mind for your customers, drop us a line.