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.