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Should You Outsource Your Digital Marketing?

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.

Outsourcing Your Digital Marketing

Outsourcing your digital marketing is when you use a third party to create content or perform marketing services your company then uses to promote and grow your business. (Full disclosure: One of my companies offers these services.) Outsourced tasks could include writing or blog management, designing ads, creating social media posts, producing video content, creating lead magnets, managing pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, creating Facebook ads, handling affiliate or loyalty programs, and managing SEO. These are examples of marketing services that are often outsourced to freelancers or marketing agencies that have demonstrated expertise in those areas.

Working with digital marketers who are experts in their field means you’re handing off your profitable marketing functions to someone who knows how to get the results you’re looking for.

Do you or your employees have the hands-on digital marketing experience needed to implement your marketing strategy? Maybe. Is spending the money and time necessary to acquire and utilize the latest technology in an ever-changing digital landscape a good use of your resources? Maybe not.

How do you even decide which stack of software is right for your marketing mix? When you are restricted by the knowledge, software, and a number of hours you can leverage, there is only so much digital marketing you can get done.

By relying on experts to quickly and efficiently get your online marketing tasks done, you can get more accomplished while freeing up time to do the work you’re meant to do. And then, the multitude of ways you can actively and comprehensively promote your business online is only limited by your marketing budget. Your budget can become a little bit bigger when you get rid of the expenses around hiring and training marketing staff who require management and benefits.

Five Questions To Help You Identify The Right Team Member

Outsourcing allows you to partner with people who expertise in the areas where you lack the knowledge or workforce, so look at it as an opportunity to build a team that helps your business grow to the next level. To guide you through the selection process of finding a long-term partner faster, use these five questions to identify marketing service providers who are good fits for your needs.

1. Do you have experience in my industry? Do you serve my competitors? If they have the experience, ask for examples of work and services, and actual numbers for results they have achieved in your industry. Ask for the names of any clients in the same industry so there is no conflict of interest with providing services to competing companies.

2. How do you measure success? What happens if goals are not met? Answers to this question should focus on goals, metric tracking and establishing what benchmarks demonstrate successful marketing campaigns. Also discuss what it means for your financial commitment if services fall short of expectations.

3. Do you outsource any of the services I’m interested in getting? I’m a huge advocate of outsourcing, but when you add two or three intermediaries, there are too many places for things to fall apart. Look for a provider who will do the work in-house, which will make it easier to manage accountability and communication.

4. How do you handle reporting and updates on my metrics? Outsourced marketing functions need to be tracked, measured and analyzed. Get clear expectations on how often you will receive reports and if the outsourcer will provide report analyses to you through regularly scheduled calls.

5. What will the first 90 days of working together look like? Get information on the setup and onboarding process, how communication and billing is handled, and what exactly will be done to drive early results on each outsourced marketing function. You’re looking for documented and systematic processes that are already in place.

Knowing When To (And When Not To) Outsource Your Digital Marketing

By outsourcing, you can let go of the tasks and functions that would take you too much time to do yourself. When you have highly skilled people in your organization doing low-skill tasks, you’re not properly using your resources.

For example, if you can charge $150 an hour for your consulting services or landscape designs, you probably shouldn’t spend 10 hours a month on social media. It may be better to outsource your social media as a $200-per-month expense and find clients to fill those 10 billable hours for $1,500 in revenue.

If you want to do more done in less time, automating your business processes and systems wherever you can is a good start. Once you are clear on what digital marketing functions you can handle in-house, find a way to outsource everything else.

While it can seem like the missing piece in your success plan, it’s important not to use outsourcing as a way to add more nonessential tasks to your business processes. Outsourcing generally only makes sense when there is a clear path between the digital marketing tasks you don’t need to micromanage and greater profits.

One of the main disadvantages of handing off your marketing is working with marketers and teams remotely where instructions and concepts can get lost in translation. This can cause time-related and financial complications. Also, outsourcing may not make sense for your business if you’re required to sign yearly contracts with pages of fine print that ensure the service provider gets paid no matter what happens in the next 12 months.

To make your final decision, ask yourself: Can I make more money outsourcing this than doing myself or in-house?

Having a performance-based agency or freelancer who provides expert knowledge, dependable execution and support can be a game-changer when you want to grow or scale your business. Take a look at whether you can improve your digital marketing plan and revenue generation by outsourcing to experts who specialize in the work you need to be done.

8 Of The Best Digital Marketing Tools To Leverage In 2020

8 of the Best Digital Marketing Tools to Leverage in 2020

The web offers thousands of tools for digital marketers. With such an array of options, selecting the best tools for your needs can be a long and overwhelming process. To make life a little easier, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite digital marketing tools. Here are 8 of the best digital marketing tools to start leveraging in 2020: SEMrush

If you’re serious about improving your SEO strategy, you’re going to want to check out SEMrush. SEMrush is a highly effective all-in-one digital marketing tool. This tool offers assistance in performing keyword research, position tracking, and identifying backlink opportunities. You can even use this tool to perform a comprehensive technical SEO audit. SEMrush offers free and paid memberships. With a free account, you are limited in your ability to pull data and use some of the tool’s features. This is why we suggest starting out with a 7-day free trial to explore some of SEMrush’s popular functions.HubSpot

HubSpot is an essential tool for all things inbound. At SMA, we use HubSpot as our CRM and CMS, as well as for email marketing, blogging, social media and to build landing pages. You can also view important KPIs inside each tool’s dashboard. If you’re looking to learn more about inbound marketing, HubSpot Academy offers a large collection of certification courses that will teach you useful information to help you grow your marketing strategy. Moz

Moz offers a great selection of both free and paid SEO tools. With the help of Moz, you can easily perform keyword research, page analytics, backlink analyses and it even has a great site-crawler. We highly recommend using the MozBar Chrome plugin, which provides instant metrics for any page at the click of a button. Recommended For You Webcast, March 5th: How AI Can Find Opportunities and Shorten Your Sales CyclesRegister Now Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a must-have for anyone in the digital marketing space. At first glance, this tool can seem a little advanced, but if you use it to its full capabilities, you will receive a ton of insight on how your customers are engaging with your site. If you’re looking to increase your understanding of Google Analytics, we recommend exploring the Google Analytics Academy. This is a collection of free courses that will help you learn everything there is to know about the platform so you can use it to its full benefit. Screaming Frog SEO

Screaming Frog is an easy-to-use SEO crawling tool. This tool provides important SEO-related information about your site that you can download and keep on file for reference. This covers high-level elements like HTML, CSS, and Javascript. We like to use Screaming Frog to help identify any site errors that may be impacting SEO. You can link this tool with others like Moz or Google Analytics for even more information. Canva

Canva is a great tool for creating professional-looking graphics. No matter your experience, you can easily use this tool to create social images, CTA buttons, and infographics for free. Canva offers a large selection of templates, clip art, and fonts to help you customize your project. This is the perfect tool for someone who doesn’t have access to more advanced design platforms like Photoshop or InDesign.Hootsuite

Hootsuite is an enterprise-level social media management tool that allows users to store and schedule social media content on a variety of platforms. This tool can help you track the performance of your social media content, calculate conversions, ROI and track public conversations about your brand, product, or service. Hootsuite offers a limited free subscription and a free, 30-day trial offer for the professional subscription.BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo is a research and monitoring tool that can help identify trends around specific topics. This tool can help you generate a blog or social media ideas, create high-performing content, monitor your brand’s performance and identify influencers you may want to consider partnering with. Though BuzzSumo is a paid tool, you can register for a free 7-day trial to test it out before committing to a subscription. Digital Marketing that Drives Results

With such a large selection of digital marketing tools, it is important to know which ones truly drive results. Now, you can ring in the New Year with some proven tools under your belt!