As a business owner or entrepreneur, there is always more work to be done than time to do it. When it comes to promoting and growing your business, the key to greater success (and less work for you) could be outsourcing your digital marketing.
That being said, outsourcing is a big decision that requires a financial commitment and an agreeable working relationship between companies. So, if you have the bandwidth and budget, it can make more sense for some tasks to be kept in-house or to use a combination of the two. We’ll cover why outsourcing marketing is important and what types of activities to outsource in your business.
Advantages of outsourcing marketing
While it’s easy to think you can simply do your marketing in-house, the fact is, there are numerous significant benefits that come with outsourcing to a marketing agency — and you probably don’t want to miss out on them. To return to our original question — why outsource marketing? — here are eight major outsourcing benefits you can gain from an agency!
Hiring an in-house team may gain you access to people who understand the fundamental elements of digital marketing — but it’s hard to compete with the level of expertise typically found with an experienced marketing agency. Most marketing agencies have worked for multiple clients across multiple industries, and that experience has made them experts at their craft. Their expertise will allow them to drive results for your marketing that you may never achieve on your own.
For agencies with years of experience, that expertise is valuable. What you do in-house may fall short of the proficiency of a professional marketing agency that’s been driving results for over a decade.
On top of having a deep understanding of general marketing practices, marketing agencies tend to be highly specialized in multiple areas and strategies. That’s because rather than being composed of only a few people, agencies often have large and diverse teams of marketers. While small teams will typically see individual marketers responsible for multiple tasks, large teams can divide different strategies among different people.
One group might be made up of experts in paid advertising, while another focuses solely on social media. This specialization ensures that every strategy they optimize for your business is handled by people who have expert knowledge in that specific area, maximizing the results they drive.
More flexible costs
When you hire in-house marketers, you accumulate several fixed costs, most notably salary and benefits. Regardless of the extent of your budget or the success of your marketing results during a given period, you must consistently spend a given amount of money on your employees. When you outsource your marketing, on the other hand, your costs become far more flexible. You can adjust how much you spend based on the plan you choose and the strategies you want to use.
Better time management
One of the most prominent outsourcing benefits is time. When you do your marketing in-house, you must dedicate time to managing your marketing, and it can detract from the time you need to spend on other projects. When you outsource marketing, on the other hand, you can pass off all your marketing work to an external agency. While an agency develops superior marketing for your business, you can devote your energy to running the other facets of your business.
When not to outsource marketing
While outsourcing your marketing activities has a lot of benefits, it’s certainly not for every business. Some businesses may need help in other areas rather than outsourcing. Here’s when not to outsource marketing:
Marketing is already bringing in lots of leads to your sales team.
You have more leads than your sales team can handle. Your sales team is busy talking to prospects and closing deals. Your team has no problem bringing in new leads every month, and your business is growing. If this sounds like your company, fantastic. You don’t need to outsource marketing if leads are steadily flowing into your database.
You’re already getting results.
If your in-house marketing efforts are keeping the lead funnel full and producing sales, then you may not need outside marketing management. But it’s important to remember that the landscape can—and does—change rapidly, so forming a relationship with an agency that can provide periodic consulting and training for your team can be beneficial.
You have a full-fledged marketing team
If every aspect of digital marketing is covered by your current team, there might be no reason to outsource. But if you are in need of even one specific specialty, you could look for a digital agency to take care of that area. For example, if you need help with email marketing but you have a copywriter and graphic designer in-house, you could outsource just email marketing.
Outsourcing doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your entire in-house team, and the agency would then take care of everything. Some agencies work with your team members, and activities are split.
You and your team are experts in the field of marketing.
They attend conferences in digital marketing and stay on top of the latest changes and developments. The advantage of working with a digital agency is that they have a variety of staff members whose whole profession is digital. They live and breathe marketing and continuously seek out resources to learn more.
The digital landscape is constantly evolving, and it can be difficult to stay on top of the latest and greatest. If your team is filled with members that love marketing so much that they even do it on their time off, then you have a great team.
How to know if outsourcing your marketing is right for you
You should look into outsourcing your marketing if:
- You’re anticipating growth. Outsourcing your marketing offers flexibility and scalability for a growing business that may not be possible with an internal team.
- You’re lacking the specialized expertise. Many small to mid-size businesses don’t have the data-driven expertise that is needed for effective marketing. If your business doesn’t have internal staff with the time or experience to manage your marketing efforts, then outsourcing could be a cost-effective alternative to recruiting.
- You want measurable ROI. When marketing is run on an ad-hoc basis, it can be hard to keep track of spending and return on investment. Outsourcing makes it much easier to manage costs and the return on your marketing investment.
- You need help with specific aspects of marketing. Outsourcing doesn’t need to be all or nothing. You may already have some internal resources but believe that there are other elements – such as design – that it would be more effective to outsource.
- You’re not getting the results you expected. Maybe you’re not getting the results you want from your current marketing efforts? With a marketing agency, you’ll get a full team of experts at your disposal, meaning greater access to a broader skillset and a fresh perspective.
Marketing activities that can be outsourced
There are many types of marketing activities that can be outsourced. Any important activity you can think of can be outsourced by an expert.
Successful content creation is at the core when it comes to marketing your business to the ideal target audience. It may seem easier, quicker, and more affordable to invest in establishing an in-house marketing team to create all your content marketing.
However, ensuring that high-quality content is achieved within your marketing strategy, outsourcing content marketing can offer you the experts to produce higher quality content than your in-house marketing department ever will.
You may be eager to do your own content creation because who knows your brand better than you, right? Well, in actual fact, many companies don’t have the time to create successful content that will align with their company’s goals.
Investing in an outsourced content marketing agency or expert will ensure that your business puts out quality content that expands your business. Ultimately, content should attract your target audience, generate leads and conversions and increase revenue.
Outsource content marketing is hiring an external marketing agency or a freelancer to execute specific elements of your company’s content marketing. There are various communication and media channels to reach your target audience, and having one person complete all the tasks is unrealistic.
If you need animations, blog posts, video content, or social media management, a professional animator, expert content writer, or social media manager will help you efficiently and effectively put out the important content.
Outsourcing these marketing tasks to experts will help your business achieve optimal outreach and brand awareness. Depending on your business, industry, and marketing strategy, the type of outsourced content marketing will be different.
Social media marketing and advertising
Defaulting to doing social in-house might seem like the right move.
However, consider these key benefits of contracting out your social marketing we’ve outlined below.
Instant expertise and more scalability
Much like you’d hire an SEO expert to improve your search rankings or a sales rep to close more deals, seasoned social experts can produce meaningful results for your business.
Although some critics might label social media an “easier” channel that any marketer can handle, they’re mistaken. Given social’s importance when it comes to lead generation and customer retention, you can’t afford to treat your presence as an afterthought or leave it in inexperienced hands.
Through outsourcing social media, you can:
- Identify opportunities and shortcomings in your current social presence.
- Produce specific outcomes such as more leads, faster replies, and greater brand awareness)
- Grow your presence on specific social platforms (think: getting more Instagram followers, managing a community on Twitter)
Seasoned social media experts have the resources and know-how to accomplish all of the above. With instant access to their abilities, you can scale your business faster.
Gain crucial insights into your social presence
Piggybacking on the point above, agencies can provide invaluable insights via reporting and analytics tools such as:
- Where your most valuable social leads are coming from
- Top-performing content and social platforms
- Opportunities to optimize your audience targeting
Working with an agency gives you a sort of gut-check and a second opinion on your social strategy at large. They can tell at a glance what’s working and what’s not.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Deciding to outsource your SEO comes with several benefits, including:
- Get a professional SEO expert working on your company’s SEO
- Have more time for the tasks that need your attention
- Start achieving the results your business wants from SEO
Of course, getting the full benefits of outsourcing your SEO requires choosing your business’s best partner. If you hire a cheap SEO agency, for instance, you may see none of the above benefits.
The advantage to working with a full-service agency is that, once again, you’ll be working with a team of professionals rather than relying on the experience and creativity of just one person. However, this team will be able to accommodate all of your digital marketing needs under one roof – and with one phone call, email, or meeting.
Consider the time you could potentially save by not having to relay messages between your SEO consultant and your designer, developer, or PPC manager. Not only will you avoid being the middle man, but you’ll see faster progress on all your marketing tasks, too.
Additionally, working with a full-service agency means you’ll benefit from working with a team of digital marketing professionals, not just SEOs. A full-service agency will have copywriters, email marketers, and social media marketers who have worked on hundreds if not thousands of accounts across multiple industries.
Email marketing has been around for quite some time, and though it doesn’t get the credit it rightfully deserves, it is arguably still one of the best, and most reliable lead generation tools companies depend on today.
Email marketing is basically the process of using email to promote products and services. It is also used to build relationships with potential clients as well as to nurture existing ones.
While its definition may sound simple, the whole process of running an email marketing campaign definitely goes beyond sending an email to a certain recipient. With programs like MailChimp and AWeber offering advanced features that can further enhance your email marketing efforts, running a successful email campaign has become more of a series of tasks.
Below are some of the steps involved:
- Deciding on a strategy
- Building an email list
- Creating and customizing campaigns
- Measuring results
Starting an email marketing campaign does take a lot of time and work. From collecting emails, and tweaking campaigns to analyzing results and ROI, it can take long hours to successfully implement one — something you don’t have the luxury of because you have a business to run.
There are plenty of reasons to opt for outsourcing email marketing services, primarily the ease of your functional operations. Employing a third-party marketing company or a marketing expert to handle your marketing operations is known as outsourcing marketing, and it can make a big difference.
If they are experienced and understand the market well, you’ll be able to align your products and communicate according to the same trends they provide you with. Your job becomes simpler, and you’re able to work according to what the market requires and not the other way around.
Most marketers are already aware of the outstanding benefits that video marketing can bring to their business. But for a video marketing campaign to be successful, videos need to be fully optimized, targeting the right audiences and capturing their attention. A properly run video campaign can boost reach and drive sales.
Videos are not only a great component of marketing campaigns and a tool for spreading information, but it also has a great impact on improving your website’s position in search engine ranking.
Before uploading, you need to make sure that the videos are fully SEO-optimized. The first thing about SEO is that you need to create quality video content. Then you should put an eye-catching thumbnail and relevant title for your content. This way, your videos can bring better visibility and substantial organic traffic from search engines.
Google loves to put Youtube videos on the first page for different keywords. It is possible to include links to your website’s landing page or product or service page. However, you should not overdo it as that can make it annoying.
Did you know that 65% of small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are running pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns? These numbers make it clear that PPC isn’t something you want to miss out on in your digital marketing. But even if you know you want to use PPC, there’s still one crucial question to answer: Will you run all your PPC yourself, or will you outsource it to a PPC agency?
Outsourcing your PPC can end up saving you money. When you handle a PPC campaign on your own, you’re likely to make mistakes along the way. Since PPC requires a financial investment, those mistakes can be costly.
Working with a PPC agency alleviates this problem. Because of their expertise, PPC companies know what to do right from the start. They can manage your campaign in a way that maximizes your budget and generates the highest possible return on investment (ROI). If you want to avoid costly mistakes and unnecessary trial-and-error testing, you’ll definitely want to outsource to a PPC company.
Another reason you should outsource PPC is that it can give you access to better tools and resources. One of the most important parts of a PPC campaign involves analyzing your campaign’s results to improve it down the road. When you have better tools for your analysis, you can improve your campaigns more effectively.
Since PPC agencies work on optimizing PPC campaigns every day, they have access to advanced tools for analyzing and managing PPC advertising. To get access to these tools, it’s a good idea to work with one of those agencies. You can certainly get some of those tools on your own, but it’s not advisable. Many of them are so advanced that you might not know how to use them on your own. One look at the amount of data available in Google Analytics, for example, can give you an idea of just how overwhelming these tools can become if you aren’t an expert in the field. PPC agencies, though, have the experience needed to know exactly how to make the most of them.
Levels of Outsourced Marketing Activities
A lot of businesses and firms do not outsource marketing functions as they should. Most times, their outsourcing decisions are reactive — they suddenly want to fill the unexpected skillset gap, rather than taking outsourcing for what it is — a strategic business solution with the capacity to improve both the quality and efficiency of their marketing greatly.
These levels of outsourcing marketing activities outlined below are to help you find out your company’s level of investment and how to adopt outsourced marketing.
First Level: Entire Functions Performed In-House – Your firm will fall into this category if it operates at two extremes of sophistication — having a large specialized skilled marketing team and doing minimal marketing.
Second Level: Outsourced Some Specialized Functions – If your firm is making an effort to do a majority of its marketing in-house regardless of whether they are skilled for the tasks or not, then your firm falls in this second category. It means the only time your firm tries to outsource is when there’s no available skill to execute certain tasks such as coding and website design.
Third Level: Specialized Functions Outsourced – The firms under this category would usually keep back routine tasks in-house and outsource all of the technical marketing aspects.
Fourth Level: In this fourth level, companies adopting this approach would outsource some routine tasks and most specialized tasks. So, the in-house marketing team only constitutes a very small number that would handle the tasks that are not outsourced. The external marketing firm takes care of most of its marketing functions and, at the same time, coordinates with the marketing team in-house.
Fifth Level: At this level, a firm or company outsources all of its marketing functions — this includes the strategizing aspect. The external team will closely liaise with the in-house management team to ensure the marketing strategy falls in line with the firm’s business objectives ad goals. The outsourcing marketing firm will constantly update the in-house team about performance and work in progress.
How to take advantage of outsourced marketing
Outsourcing marketing enables companies to acquire all the expertise, tools, and tactics of a comprehensive marketing department from a third-party company, which eliminates the need to hire skilled marketing personnel.
Companies that have yet to build a fully staffed, in-house marketing department have a need for a diverse set of marketing skills the moment they open their doors. Even the smallest of robust businesses need marketing, but they struggle to fill all their needs with one marketing agency, let alone one marketing person.
Universal Creative Solutions can be a full-fledged agency that offers outsourced marketing services and marketing operations consulting in all areas of marketing to help you grow your business. Whether you need copywriters, designers, video editors, or a high-level marketing consultant, we have the experts and processes in place that you can adopt into your own business. Schedule a consultation call to see how we can scale and take your business to the next level.