Most businesses benefit from digital marketing…but too few have the time and experience to devote to the effort. Because the payoff is so great, you might want to consider outsourcing your digital marketing efforts.
The Benefits of Outsourcing
Outsourcing digital marketing involves utilizing a third party to either create content or perform marketing services designed to promote and grow your business. There is a wide range of tasks that can be outsourced, including some or all of the following:
- Writing (ads, blog posts)
- Social media posting
- Producing video content
- Managing pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns
- SEO management
- Affiliate or loyalty programs
These services are typically outsourced to freelancers or marketing agencies that specialize in them. While you might be reluctant to hand off such essential duties, there are some strong benefits to outsourcing. Most importantly, you will be working with somebody who is experienced in achieving the results you are looking for. Even if you have digital marketing experience yourself, devoting the time to managing your campaigns and money to acquire the latest technology might not be feasible. Turning to an outside agency who will devote their full resources to your needs frees up time for you to work on running your business and allows them to focus their full attention on your marketing needs. Some business owners feel the money invested in outsourcing is an expense they can’t afford, but if you’re doing your own marketing in-house, you will still need to hire and train marketing staff. Once you factor in benefits, it might be in your own best financial interest to hire an outside agency anyway. Remember, you don’t have to hand off every marketing task; decide which ones you can comfortably handle yourself and then outsource the rest. The most important question to consider is also the most basic: can you make more money outsourcing your digital marketing versus doing it in-house?
If you do decide to outsource your digital marketing efforts, you’ll want to carefully select the right agency or individual. You should ask them the following questions before making a hiring decision.
- Do you have experience in my industry? Ask to see a portfolio with relevant work. You should also make sure they aren’t providing services to any of your competitors.
- How do you measure success? You’ll want to find an agency that focuses on goals and metrics tracking to ensure they meet and exceed established benchmarks for success.
- Do you outsource any of the services I am hiring you for? When the person you’re outsourcing with outsources as well, you increase the risk of some tasks falling through the cracks. It’s the too-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen analogy.
- How will you communicate with me? A successful outsourcing relationship is dependent upon communication. Marketing services need to be tracked, measured and analyzed, so regular reports and metrics are instrumental. You’ll also need to be clear on when and how often you will communicate with one another (especially if there is a time difference), what the billing process is like, and other miscellaneous expectations. Get everything spelled out clearly in advance in order to eliminate misunderstandings down the road.
Once your potential vendor has answered these questions to your satisfaction, you should feel confident in handing over your digital marketing.