You might be perfectly happy with your in-house marketing team. But are they equipped to maximize your marketing efforts? The answer doesn't only involve how much pure talent they have. A comprehensive marketing strategy requires a broad range of skills and expertise. That’s tough to find in one person — or even a small team.
Before you get to work hiring and expanding your in-house marketing department, consider the benefits of outsourcing your marketing. You might discover that the skills you need were there all along, at a fraction of the cost and time that an in-house team might demand.
What Are the Benefits of Outsourcing Your Marketing?
At the end of the day, your digital marketing strategy should increase your company’s bottom line. Outsourcing helps you focus on your core business and achieve greater returns from your marketing efforts, while still ensuring you’re engaged and can properly oversee the process.
Access Marketing Experts’ Insights To Boost Your Efforts
When you outsource your marketing efforts to the right team, you'll enhance any marketing you’re already doing on your own with your in-house team. Chances are, marketing isn’t your core area of expertise — unless you run a marketing agency of your own. By partnering with an outsourced marketing team, you can leverage their knowledge and expertise. You are the expert on your own business, but an agency with marketing intelligence can help you make sure your messages reach and engage the right audience.
Scale High-Quality Content Production To Meet Goals
Gone are the days when business owners could rely on modest levels of content output to have effective marketing strategies. It’s no longer sufficient to churn out a handful of blog posts every so often without a targeted strategy. Now, successful companies have to make sure each piece of content is part of a carefully planned web of information that drives online engagement.
Considering the fierce competition to grab attention in the online space, each business has to stand out in a sea of high-scale marketing campaigns that churn out content at a rapid pace. But competing doesn’t mean pushing out large quantities of content and hoping some of it sticks. Instead, your business should have a plan for how your content fits together and aligns with your overall marketing goals.
If you outsource content creation, you can focus on developing a clear strategy that helps you scale your marketing efforts — not just in volume, but in relevance and quality — to grow your business.
Leverage Data and Analytics From Expert Tools
Outsourced marketing services often give you more than cost-effective content creation. They can provide essential data and analytics you can use to measure the effectiveness of your content creation process. You can see what content is working to meet your business goals and what’s falling short.
Analytics can pinpoint vital metrics like where your website users are coming from, what search terms they use to find you, and how long they spend on your website once they arrive. This information helps you develop a long-term strategy that supports all aspects of your marketing plan.
Take Advantage of a New and More Objective Perspective
Your in-house marketing team knows your business well. They have a deep and vested interest in your success. What they might lack, however, is an outside view of how the company should promote its services. If you outsource digital marketing, you can gain new insights into how those who don’t know your company see you.
A third-party agency is just that: a partner who wants to go to work for your success, but also has an objective point of view. As unbiased experts, they are likely to identify things that you'd miss about how your prospective customers and clients view your content. Getting out of the silo of your own team can help broaden your perspective. It can also help you to increase the relevance and reputation of your business.
Save Time and Money From Your Marketing Efforts
Your in-house marketing team brings a devoted skill set to your promotional efforts, but there’s only so much they can accomplish in isolation. A third-party team of marketing experts can push your digital content strategy to the next level. They have the skills and capacity to scale your content creation while saving you money and time.
Marketing firms know how to work efficiently and hone in on how to make your strategy a success. Best of all, you don’t have to worry about training or managing the agency’s employees. Instead, you can focus on building a relationship focused on shared success.
7 Steps To Find The Perfect Outsourced Marketing Partner
Choosing the right marketing partner can ensure you maximize the benefits you can get from outsourcing. Goal alignment, relationship-building, and expectation-setting can all contribute to a positive and lucrative partnership with an external marketing team.
1. Identify the Services You Want To Outsource
By knowing what you’re looking for before you hire a marketing agency, you'll prepare yourself to make a smart decision. Start by making a list of the marketing tasks you want the marketing agency to handle. You might want to outsource your blog or social media content. In this case, you would hire an agency to populate your website and digital real estate with carefully tailored, relevant pieces of content — each with a specific goal or purpose.
Or, perhaps your goal is for your business to reach your target audience, so outsourcing SEO might be your primary objective. You may also have a more specific request for a subject matter expert to review and verify your existing and ongoing content. An SME review can help you make content that's accurate and credible.
2. Outline Your Goals for Each Marketing Aspect
Once you know the marketing functions you want a third-party agency to handle, it’s wise to set a list of goals for each of those functions. This gives you a way to accurately measure results. It also helps the agency to identify upfront whether your goals are achievable by their team of marketing professionals, or whether you should consider another firm.
Examples of your goals for search engine optimization might be general, such as increasing you're website's page rank or capturing the Google featured snippet for a particular search query. In either case, your marketing agency candidates should be able to offer an action plan to get you there.
3. Define Your Working Budget
Cost-effective marketing services must fit within your budget, so it’s important to establish what that budget is. Determine your budget allocation based on the services you’d like the agency to provide. You and your team can also put some time into developing some back-end metrics that will help you measure the return on investment (ROI) you're getting from the partnership with your marketing agency.
4. Leverage Word of Mouth and Check Out Testimonials
Marketing professional services abound, so it can be tough to narrow your options down to a few firms. To make the process easier, trust the experience of others who have used the agency in the past.
You can talk to colleagues in your industry about firms they would recommend, look at reviews, or browse the testimonials on the firms’ websites. Often those testimonials will list specific results they obtained from using the marketing agency’s services. You can use this to gauge whether the agency is capable of fulfilling your objectives.
5. Select Service Providers That Align With Your Industry
There’s an old adage that you wouldn’t hire a mechanic — even a highly qualified one — to perform surgery. You also wouldn’t hire a surgeon to fix your car. The same goes when you want to outsource content and other aspects of digital marketing. Firms might appear similar on the surface, but when you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that not everyone is right for your business.
Let’s take an e-commerce business that specializes in medical supplies, serving independent doctor’s offices and small medical clinics. Their marketing needs and target audience are quite different from an e-commerce business that sells consumer packaged goods (CPG) such as cosmetics and beauty supplies. Talk to your prospective agencies about who they currently work with and whether they are a good fit for your brand.
6. Be Clear About Your Expectations From the Start
With a budget, goals, and tasks for the third-party agency prepared, you might think you’re good to go. In fact, a positive relationship starts off when everyone is on the same page about expectations.
As an example, if you’re looking to hire blog writers, ask yourself when and in what format you want to receive product output. Are you deadline-driven, with the aim of getting last-minute turnaround for pieces? Or, will you use a content calendar that’s planned months in advance? Clear timelines and deliverables are often essential to a business relationship, whether you are looking for pieces of quality content or SEO-optimized content briefs.
When you let the agency know what’s important to you, not only in the final product but in every stage of the relationship, they can identify any potential roadblocks and offer targeted solutions.
7. Learn To Compare Proposals To Make Your Decision
Some business owners issue a request for proposal to find an outsourced marketing team. Even if you don’t take the RFP route, you’ll likely communicate with at least a few marketing agencies in order to find a good fit. Consider what’s important to you by asking a few questions of each candidate:
- Do I feel they understand my goals for the relationship?
- Can they provide the services I need?
- Do they have a positive reputation I can trust?
- Is their work aligned with my industry?
- Is their proposal within my budget?
- Are there any hidden costs?
- Can I change my marketing strategy over the course of the project?
After receiving proposals, you might want to consider having a conference call with your finalists. Then, you can get a good sense of who might be the right choice for your business.
What To Consider When Outsourcing Marketing Activities
Digital marketing involves several key components, most of which work in conjunction with one another. Each aspect also requires a certain level of niche expertise. Understanding the basic objectives of these marketing activities can help you to choose the best outsourced marketing partner to perform them.
Essential Aspects of Social Media Outsourcing
Having a social media account is essential to most businesses. The social media landscape is continuously changing, however. It’s no longer sufficient to post the same piece of content on all marketing channels or platforms. Social media is also no longer a neutral ground, as some platforms have become subject to political controversy.
When you partner with a third-party marketing agency to handle your social media, it’s vital to take these aspects into account. The agency should know the fundamentals of social media marketing, such as where to post to capture the attention of your target demographic. Younger audiences favor TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram over Facebook, whose users tend to skew older.
Your agency should also know what to do if there’s a sudden exodus of businesses and brands from a certain platform, and whether you should follow suit. Working with the teams that handle other aspects of your marketing strategy, they should ensure consistent, on-brand messaging.
Key Considerations When Outsourcing SEO
Your company might struggle to achieve its digital marketing goals if you don't clearly define your search engine optimization (SEO) needs. SEO marketing skills are a fundamental asset of any agency you’re thinking of hiring. SEO experts support your content strategy by advising on what content to produce. They can also perform ongoing research into the most effective direction for your brand’s content.
SEO services like keyword research, link building, and content planning support specific online marketing goals. Your goals might include increasing online visibility, boosting traffic from qualified leads, increasing user engagement, and improving conversion rates. This should be familiar territory for any agency you hire to do this job — and they should have the marketing tools to get it done.
Important Aspects of Outsourcing Email Marketing
Email marketing can encompass a broad range of content pieces. Every email you send to an existing or potential customer fits into your email marketing strategy, and your goals should be different depending on what stage your recipient is in the sales funnel. So, you need to tailor your messaging accordingly.
When outsourcing your email marketing, consider planning out the entirety of your strategy before hiring email newsletter writers. Then, you can develop briefs to support the project and provide direct and comprehensive guidance to your outsourced email marketing team. You might want to develop a different set of guidelines for newsletters, welcome emails, product confirmations, lead nurturing, seasonal marketing, and so on.
Basic Guidelines for Outsourcing PPC Campaigns
Pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns can be an effective way to increase brand awareness and identity. You might also increase sales for specific products, especially if you run an e-commerce site. As the name implies, you typically only spend on a PPC campaign when someone follows your link, meaning you only pay for click-throughs.
PPC campaigns are nonetheless competitive. You can target ads toward a highly searched term, but then, you might spend a lot of money on a single click that might not even lead to a sale. Choosing cheaper, more focused terms might be more lucrative. Not to mention that a PPC campaign has to bring a customer somewhere, which means thinking hard about potential landing pages and how best to produce them.
PPC campaigns, therefore, often require expert analysis to do well. An outside agency can help you make strategic decisions that pay off with a strong return on investment. Vet the outsourced PPC agency by asking about their experience and knowledge about the space and how they anticipate going to work for you.
Things To Keep in Mind When Outsourcing Content Marketing
Content might be king on the internet, but not all content is created equal. It’s essential to have content that is purpose-driven and relevant to your brand. It also has to meet high standards set by Google, which uses expertise, experience, authority, and trustworthiness (E-E-A-T) to determine rank. Keep these factors in mind when deciding among third-party marketing agencies, and use our content outsourcing guide to help you make a smart choice.
How Compose.ly Can Help Scale Your Business’ Content Fast
Compose.ly is a valuable resource for any business wanting to scale content creation fast. With a large team of heavily vetted, qualified writers, Compose.ly offers you the talent you need to make your brand’s voice prominent across your chosen marketing channels. To learn more about how we can help you, and to view profiles of some of our current talent, contact us today.