Outsourcing digital marketing at some point has become a necessity for most businesses. Consequently, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that outsourcing digital marketing is the third most outsourced function for small businesses, with only more outsourcing occurring for accounting and I.T..
Today, more people have access to digital marketing tools than ever before. Online platforms, plugins, and tools designed to simplify digital marketing to the point that anyone can do it. But can they really?
If that were true, then there would be no such thing as digital marketing agencies, right?
It’s almost unheard of for a business to employ internal talent capable of managing social media marketing campaigns, crafting engaging and inspirational content, optimizing sites with cutting-edge search engine optimization (SEO), building successful PPC campaigns that convert clicks into revenue, and designing a website with a UX experience that has visitors coming back for more again and again.
Yet, for any business to survive in the cutthroat digital world, they need talent with these skills and more.
Bottom line: If you want to amplify your brand online, at some point you need or will need to employ a digital marketing agency that knows what they’re doing for any one or many of the tasks mentioned above.
The 5 Biggest Benefits of Outsourcing Your Digital Marketing
Before we cover best practices in outsourcing your digital marketing, let’s first remind ourselves of the major benefits in doing so.
1. Saves You Money
While many companies are hesitant to shell out additional funds for any reason, including digital marketing, doing so can actually end up saving you money in the long run. This is the case for several reasons, the most significant of which is the amount of time digital marketing tasks takes a general manager or business owner versus a digital marketing team. If you view your effort as an hourly output of funds, you may find that the amount of time it takes you or your house team to complete a marketing task significantly pales when compared to the digital marketing efforts of industry professionals. If you have your own internal team in charge of marketing, this may not be the case, and outsourcing may not be necessary, but companies without dedicated digital marketers will likely benefit from bringing in a content marketing professional or team.
2. Allows You to Work with Expert Marketers
Working with expert marketers can help you develop marketing strategies and approaches to your digital efforts that you might not have been exposed to otherwise. Professional marketing efforts typically utilize the latest research and trends to deliver the best bang for your buck, and the approach of an expert is likely to differ significantly from your own cobbled-together digital marketing strategy. Even if you only bring an expert in temporarily with the end goal of deferring to your house team once a marketing campaign has been put in place, you have the possible benefit of learning a great deal about how to effectively design and implement a concrete marketing strategy.
3. Gives You Access to the Latest Marketing Technologies
A basic marketing plan will not compare to the techniques and technologies employed by digital marketing experts. This is due in large part to time and energy; general business teams do not have the time and energy to devote solely to learning everything they can about how to most effectively develop a digital marketing campaign. There are plenty of basics that house marketers can use, and plenty that project managers might already employ–think looking at competitor keywords and using online tools to compare your content to your competitors’ most well-performing pages and pieces. There are additional tools and metrics, however, that may require subscriptions and specific training–all digital marketing activities that will be more cost-effective for a dedicated team rather than a single in-house company’s team.
4. Reduces the Risk and Reliance on a Single Staff Member
Entrusting all of your digital marketing plan components to a single staff member is placing all of your eggs in one basket and running the risk of losing your campaign altogether. Think about it: if that staff member becomes ill, experiences an injury, or even simply decides to leave the company, your digital marketing services will be left in the lurch. By foregoing a house marketing team and outsourcing, you are enlisting a marketing partner that will likely work as part of a team, and will be held accountable in order to continue receiving pay and maintaining a strong professional relationship. Agencies offer a wide range of services, price points, and more, all of which can be tailored to suit your needs without risking the loss of your marketing efforts.
5. Gives You an Outside and Fresh Perspective on Your Marketing and Business
Although it is not uncommon for businesses of all sizes to have a dedicated marketing department, opting for outside entities rather than house employees allows you to look at your business with fresh eyes, so to speak. An outside eye can more effectively pick apart the gaps in your marketing strategy, develop a new approach to fill in those gaps, and help you determine what you need to focus your attention and energy on throughout your campaign.
The 10 Commandments for Your Outsourcing Digital Marketing Success
Ready to outsource now?
Not so fast!
Before you do a quick Google search, click a few links, and call the agency with a website that’s moderately engaging, read these ten commandments of success for outsourcing digital marketing to ensure your best chance for success!
1. Try Not to Skimp on the Budget
Let’s start with an obvious one: outsourcing your digital marketing is cheaper. All businesses have a budget to work within. It would be wonderful if they could just spend money at will, but the world just doesn’t work like that!
Let us paint you a picture. Any business who wants to build their digital presence will need a project leader, or someone to lead all operations, from website design to social media strategy … oh, and did we mention that digital marketing evolves? It’s never finished! Relaying this to full-time employees can quickly eat up a massive part of your employee budget.
Next, you’ll need a website designer, UX expert, and content strategist, or someone to look after website maintenance, build SEO campaigns, create and monitor landing pages, build, and run PPC campaigns, a PR professional, someone to create reports… the list goes on.
Before you even start to see any ROI, you could have spent tens of thousands of dollars.
Give the digital marketing agency a realistic budget, and you can take care of all your needs in the digital marketing arena in one straight shot. With impactful campaigns, a website that draws attention and keeps people clicking internal link after internal link, and more, and you can reap the rewards of success without breaking the bank.
Outsourcing digital marketing means you are hiring a team of specialists, and compared to finding and hiring each expert individually, you are saving a LOT of money.
2. Have a Strategy and Execute It to Perfection
The success of your content marketing efforts largely depends on how good and well-executed your strategy is. Get it wrong and you’ll have to start from scratch again – and you’ll have wasted weeks or even months and have little to show for it.
A big part of any successful marketing campaign is being aware of changing consumer behavior and trends. There’s no better business to tell you this than a digital marketing agency. Use outdated SEO or black hat techniques, and your website will not rank well. Write cliché email subject lines and you’ll condemn your email marketing to spam folders.
Agencies know digital marketing functions. Designing and executing campaign strategies isn’t something that’s done on the fly. They’re created by a group of learned marketers with specialised knowledge who spend hour upon hour in a boardroom. Then they’re executed to perfection.
Can you say that you know how to do this?
Further Reading: 12 Social Media Strategy Examples to Empower Your Marketing
3. Don’t Expect Miracles Overnight
Ever heard the expression “Rome wasn’t built in a day”? It’s true of most things in life, and cultivating a successful digital presence is no exception. To create great things, you need time. If you view your digital marketing through this lens, then you have a good idea of what to expect. If you’re relying on an in-house team to roll out a perfectly optimized website with sublime functionality or social platforms that everyone wants to comment on, and everything in between, in a matter of weeks, you’re in for a rude awakening.
What if you have an eCommerce function to your website and want to change your product offerings? What if you have grand designs on creating a YouTube channel and building a community? All of these things take time, and a digital marketing agency understands this.
4. Encourage Creativity
Creativity was fundamental to marketing success long before the digital revolution and in the age when people spend just seconds deciding whether the content on a page is worth their time, creativity is just as–if not more–important today.
Your customers don’t want to read bland, boring copy. They don’t want to look at an infographic that’s about as inspiring as a cardboard box. They’re not interested in tweets about the technical specifications of your product line. They want to be inspired, engaged, and valued. This is where having sharp creative skills pays dividends.
Outsource your marketing to a digital marketing agency and you’ll have access to some of the most creative people working in any sector today. Encourage them to get creative. Do something different. Think outside the box. Not only will this give digital marketing professionals scope to create attention-grabbing campaigns, but they’ll enjoy their job so much more – and we all know, the more someone enjoys a job, the better they perform!
Further Reading: 7 Tips on How to Develop Your Own Unique Social Media Aesthetic
5. Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Let’s be frank: no business transaction can be successful without having an open dialogue. Fostering good working relationships is one of the building blocks of success. Without this, mistrust can set in, decisions may be questioned, and disagreements can ensue.
The impact that communication has on digital marketing cannot be overstated. As we mentioned above, curating engaging content or bolstering social media campaigns requires a great deal of creative interpretation. There’s not a singular, black and white solution to building your online presence. The risk of miscommunication is high. So when dealing with a digital marketing agency, goals need to be aligned and objectives understood. Without this, the relationship between business owners and their digital agency will inevitably fracture.
Remember too that it’s often those little things that make all the difference. Let’s say that you want to embody an approachable ethos. Tell your marketers! They’ll then tailor your content to this. If you want to heavily promote a product or service, tell your marketers. What if you want to promote a special offer? Tell your marketers! They can’t sprinkle their creative fairy dust over your goals and ideas if they aren’t communicated effectively.
6. Be Open to a Change in Branding
We get it: change is scary, and some business owners are not as receptive to this idea as others. However, being open to a change in branding could completely transform your business.
Remember: when you outsource your marketing to a good digital marketing agency, they have their fingers on the pulse of the latest trends. They know what consumers want. They know what’s current. So if they’re saying new branding could reshape how your customers feel about you and drastically improve your commercial prospects, trust their advice.
Your brand might have worked well twenty years ago, but is it really current right now? If you need to outsource professionals to bring your brand into the digital age, outsourcing your digital marketing is a must.
Further Reading: Brand Voice: 9 Tips on How to Create Your Own (with 7 Examples)
7. Leverage Platforms, Practices, and Trends
Digital marketing continually evolves. Google releases updates. Social media platforms add new functions. How we want our content delivered to us changes. We could go on and on.
If you’re not completely up to speed on Google’s upcoming algorithm update that will measure how users experience the performance of web pages or how you can use Facebook’s upcoming app, Collab, (their own version of TikTok) and the wealth of other subtle and not-so-subtle changes in tech and marketing that could affect business performance online, you need to outsource your digital marketing to those who do.
By leveraging the latest platforms, practices, and trends, you can get a step ahead of the competition. If you don’t, expect your customers to migrate to your competitors.
Further Reading: 13 Social Media Trends You Need to Understand in 2024
8. Progress Without Micromanagement
When outsourcing to a digital marketing agency, you’re leaving the growth of your online presence in the hands of experts. Now you’re free to dedicate time and energy to developing the goals, processes, and direction of your business.
Collaboration is always important, but working with a digital marketing agency should make your life easier and not require micromanagement in any shape or form. The goal is to capitalize on their expertise, but not at the cost of efficiency. Before making the jump from in house to outsourced, make sure you have established processes and clear communication to avoid becoming overly involved in their progress and projects.
9. Benefit from a Second Opinion
The value of objectivity cannot be understated. When you’re spending meeting after meeting brainstorming new products or ideas, it can be hard to take a step back and critique your own team’s work. It’s even harder to bin an idea you or your team are particularly passionate about. That’s where a digital agency comes in handy. They provide more than just a service. Armed with an understanding of the latest trends, platforms, and online strategies, they can offer objective feedback on a range of business offerings.
Professional marketers can help you take an acorn of an idea and turn it into something spectacular or help you avoid wasting time, money and manpower on an ill-fated proposal. When it comes to succeeding in the digital landscape, you cannot beat the power of a second opinion.
10. Start Your Business on the Right Foot
This tenth and final commandment is especially important for startups or if you are launching a new product or service.
It’s no secret that the business world is cutthroat. There are so many facets of launching a new business that need to be executed seemingly to perfection if you want to find any measure of success. You might think that outsourcing digital marketing is reserved for established businesses, but it is not true.
A digital marketing agency can help ensure your online presence starts off on the right foot. They can set you up with eye-catching and engaging content, a perfectly optimized website, a killer UX experience, and more. They have a keen understanding of what it takes for a business to succeed from day one. What’s more, by engaging a digital marketing agency early on, you can build processes and practices based on expert industry advice.
How has your experience been in outsourcing digital marketing? I would love to hear if you have any commandments to add to the above in the comments!
This is a post contributed from one of my marketing partners.
Hero photo by Bill Jelen on Unsplash
Outsource Digital Marketing FAQs
In the age of digital marketing, businesses need to have a strong online presence to compete. By partnering with a digital marketing agency, businesses can gain access to a team of experienced professionals who can help them develop and execute a comprehensive online marketing strategy. From SEO and content marketing to social media and paid advertising, an agency can provide the skills and resources needed to reach new customers and grow a business.
The 3 types of digital marketing:
1. Search engine optimization (SEO) – all about improving the visibility of a website in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – a form of paid advertising that allows businesses to bid on keywords and place their ads in the SERPs.
3. Social Media Marketing (SMM) – a way to connect with potential customers through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
When it comes to digital marketing, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The most profitable type of digital marketing depends on the products or services being sold, the target audience, and the overall goals of the business. The key is to experiment with different types of digital marketing and see which ones work best for your business.
These are the 3 disadvantages of outsourcing:
1. Losing some control over the production process which can lead to quality control issues.
2. Loss of jobs in the country where outsourcing takes place.
3. Potential risk that the company you are outsourcing to will become a competitor.
Here are the 5 benefits of outsourcing:
1. Cost Savings
2. Access to Expertise
4. Improved Quality
5. Increased Efficiency