Building an in-house marketing team can be costly and time-consuming. Vetting specialist candidates, onboarding, training, and managing a dynamic group of experts can be resource intensive. This is why many brands outsource their digital marketing.
If you are a startup, targeting fast growth, it’s important to have an established marketing department. With growth, comes the need to scale your team quickly. In that case, outsourcing your digital marketing is the quickest way to gain access to explore new strategies and bridge knowledge gaps.
What Are The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Digital Marketing?
1. Save time
Hiring a full-time in-house marketing team takes time. First you need to understand what skill set you need, then you need to write a brief, then interview and assess candidates before making an offer and finally onboarding. You can assume 1-3 months lag between onboarding and delivering results at full speed. The entire process from start to finish therefore can often take up 3-6 months. During this time you lose potential sales and growth.
When you outsource digital marketing to agencies like Curious Tom Digital, you don’t have the time burden of sourcing onboarding and training talent. With outsourcing you can hire a great team and be ready to go in days rather than months as the talent is already in place and primed for action.
2. Access specialists
Modern marketing involves many different specialisms. From CRM to copywriting, to Google ads, Facebook ads, search engine optimisation and many more. To do great digital marketing you need access to a broad range of skill sets. But depending on your size you don’t necessarily need these people full time. An outsourced model gives you access to a pool of specialists in different disciplines. Having access to dedicated experts in each required discipline can increase effectiveness (providing specialist expertise over generalists).
Whether you’re looking for help with a one-time SEO audit, or ongoing social media management, outsourcing can provide you the flexibility to access what skills you need when you need them. You can opt for short-term or long-term or with small projects or large projects – whatever best suits your business.
What Is The Cost of Outsourcing Digital Marketing?
The cost of outsourcing your digital marketing can range from as little as £700 per month up to £1m per month depending on the size of your marketing budgets, teams and locations.
You can outsource to freelancers or agencies depending on requirements. Freelancers are individuals hired individually whereas agencies you hire the whole team for your needs.
Generally speaking there are 3 pricing models with either route:
- Hourly Rates – The agency or the freelancer charges an hourly rate for the work they do. Usually, a shared time log is created where the outsourced talent logs the amount of time they spent on a task and invoices the business based on that.
- Retainers – For businesses that need ongoing digital marketing service, this is the best option. An agreement is put in place to produce a certain amount of work for each or alternatively it can be a fixed amount of time allocated each month. Depending on how your needs change or differ each month, you can pick either one.
- Fixed term – This model is perfect for outsourcing digital marketing to launch a new product or service. With this model you pay a fee each month for a fixed period of time (as stated in the contract) or you pay a flat fee for the project – for example, hiring an SEO expert for new website optimisation. This is a project that can have a beginning, middle and end so can be set up as a fixed term project.
What To Avoid When Outsourcing Digital Marketing?
Three biggest mistakes businesses make when outsourcing digital marketing are:
1. Not having a designated manager
To start outsourcing your digital marketing, you need a detailed action plan and someone to execute it. Whether you hire someone internally or have an external marketing strategist, it’s important that you have someone to identify your marketing needs and coordinate with the outsourced team.
Be sure to assign a manager that has the basic knowledge of digital marketing, how it works, what the deliverables are and how to measure success.
2. Not setting clear expectations
You should set realistic goals and expectations to avoid any friction or frustration with outsourced digital operation.
The goals should be specific, measurable, achievable and time bound (SMART) . This will allow the internal and the external team to work towards those shared goals together and know when they have been achieved.
3. Opting Only for the Cheapest Providers
Marketing should not just be viewed as an expense for your business, but an investment. Along with investing in the best channels, invest in the best talent. While it might be tempting to hire an agency or a freelancer with the cheapest per-hour-rate, it will only save you money in the short-term, but likely cost you growth long term.
There will often be a direct correlation between the price you pay and the results you get. Go for the lowest cost and you will usually be penalised somewhere along the line.
How To Outsource Your Digital Marketing?
Once you have a marketing plan and a budget or some SaaS funding set in place, you can decide whether it is appropriate to outsource your digital marketing to either an agency or a freelancer.
A web design managed service provider can be another option if you want to focus on your product development while someone else takes care of all your digital marketing needs as the provider can handle all aspects of online marketing for your company including creating websites and search engine optimization (SEO)
How to find freelance marketing talent online?
Online marketing talent hiring platforms like Upwork, TopTal, Traktion.ai, Marketer Hire and Fiverr Pro offer marketing experts with varied skills, expertise and background.
These are pre-vetted marketers with client reviews and testimonials available on the website. Don’t just hire the cheapest or the most expensive one there. Book a chemistry call or a discovery session with the marketer to understand how relevant their experience is to your business
How to find the right digital marketing agency?
If you decide on hiring an agency instead of a freelancer, here’s a list of things you should do before you hire one:
- Define your goals and objectives of the project or your marketing efforts
- Spend time researching different agencies specialising in what you offer, their portfolio of clients and their success rate.
- Select an agency that not only knows marketing, but understands your company values and products.
- You should also look at the competitor analysis tools, keyword research tools they use. If they don’t have any proprietary tools or methods, then it is probably not the right agency for your business.
- Ask the right questions – what’s their experience, what results are they promising, how is success measured.
- Finally, request a proposal.
Whether you are launching a new business or scaling an existing one, outsourcing your digital marketing is a great way to get an outside perspective, fresh new ideas and have access to a wide pool of talent.