While you might be able to handle your marketing yourself, it’s always a good idea to ask yourself: “Is my time better spent elsewhere?” If you are stretched thin and can’t focus on what matters most for your business, consider outsourcing your marketing.
In the process of building a business we’ve learnt a thing or two about outsourced marketing for small businesses, the pitfalls are wide and varied but the right outsourced marketing solution could literally transform your business.
With that in mind, we wanted to share our experience with outsourcing to agencies and freelancers and some of the lessons we’ve learnt along the way (including all the juicy mistakes).
Are you ready to outsource your marketing?
Before you go ahead and outsource your marketing it’s important to understand the process of marketing and identify exactly what you’re looking for when outsourcing.
To start with, you need a budget that covers the cost of outsourcing your marketing. Questions to ask at this initial stage include:
- What’s the goal for my business?
- What are my goals for this project?
- How long do I want the project to last?
- Can I spare a budget for marketing?
- What kind of marketing is best for my business and my industry?
Next, you have to have an idea of what you want from the process: if it’s better brand awareness or more conversions from leads. What you want to achieve will decide the best marketing efforts for your business.
Examples of outsourced marketing for small businesses that really move the needle
Next up is planning: knowing how many hours per week (or month) someone will dedicate to working on your project makes it easier for both sides when discussing timelines and expectations. In addition, having clearly-defined goals means that everyone involved will know what success looks like—and how soon they can expect results from their efforts! Finally: communication skills are paramount when working with an outsourced team; clear communication between client and agency ensures that both parties understand each other perfectly every step along the way!
If you’re a small business, you probably don’t have the budget to hire a full-time copywriter. But you can still get high-quality marketing copy by outsourcing it to a freelancer. Just make sure that you provide clear guidelines to help them understand your brand and your audience.
Great copywriting creates a bridge between your brand and your audience, creating customers. Getting this right across all of your online marketing can be a definitive factor when it comes to your success.
You might not have time to curate content for your social media accounts, but there are lots of people who do. They’ll find great articles and videos, write short descriptions for them, and post them to your account on behalf of your business—all at an affordable price!
This is an invaluable tool for growing your brand awareness online and shouldn’t be overlooked despite its direct ROI being negligible.
Outsourcing SEO services for a small business can be a great way to get your website up to speed with the competition.
If you’re not familiar with SEO, it stands for “search engine optimization.” It’s the process of getting your website ranked higher on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo so that when people search for something related to what your business does (like “organic dog treats”, for example), they’ll see your site at the top of their results.
If you have a small business and don’t have the time or resources to learn SEO it’s definitely worth considering outsourcing this to an expert who can help you get more traffic and customers.
Unlike lots of other marketing activities, SEO is very much a long game with results typically taking 3-6 months. On the upside, SEO is an evergreen marketing technique and metrics like traffic and conversions make it easy to monitor the effectiveness of your campaign and ROI.
One of the best ways to get new customers is by advertising directly on Facebook, but it’s not something most businesses can do themselves without some training and experience. Hiring someone else to create and run ads for you will save time and money in the long run (and help avoid embarrassing mistakes).
We love PPC (pay per click) advertising because you can easily calculate our cost per click and how much that equates to in revenue for your business. Create a campaign that converts well for a low cost and you’ve got a scalable stream of new customers just waiting to be introduced to your products and services.
Look for professionals with industry experience
When looking for outsourced marketing professionals, you want to find someone who has experience in your industry. If you own a bakery, look for someone who has experience working with bakeries. The same goes for any other type of business: find someone who has worked with businesses like yours before.
Don’t forget it’s also important to look at the other aspects of their work history by identifying potential candidates who have worked within your budget and predicted project timeframe.
The bottom line: Don’t hire anyone without considering how their background fits into what you need to be done right now!
What can affect the cost of outsourcing?
The cost of outsourcing depends on a lot of factors. The first and most important factor is the nature of the project itself. Some projects require more time, more energy and more expertise than others. A basic brochure might cost $500, while an elaborate multimedia campaign could run into the tens of thousands.
The second factor that affects what you pay for your outsourced marketing is where your professional’s office is located. If you’re working with a firm in a foreign country like India or Bangladesh, it will b considerably cheaper to hire them because their salaries are lower (although bear in mind that these countries have different labour laws).
The last factor that affects how much money it costs to outsource marketing tasks is the time frame—how long do you have until your project deadline? If you need help finishing up within this week or next month then expect to pay a premium for urgency.
Planning your marketing efforts 6-12 months in advance will typically give you more leverage on pricing. Any digital marketing expert will be more than happy to provide a slight discount for reliable upcoming work.
How to find the right person to outsource your marketing to
There are two main options when it comes to outsourced marketing for small businesses, a highly skilled individual or an agency which typically provides a range of marketing services.
Finding a freelancer to work with
If you’re just starting out in business then a freelance digital marketing expert will be the most affordable option for outsourcing.
A freelance digital marketing expert can help you plan, execute, and manage all aspects of your digital marketing strategy. They’ll work with you to understand your goals and then work with you to develop a plan to achieve those goals.
They can help you develop a content strategy that aligns with your overall business strategy. They can manage social media accounts, create content for blogs and websites, and even write copy for emails or other marketing collateral.
Hiring a marketing agency
If you’ve decided that you need to hire a digital marketing agency, there are some things you should keep in mind when choosing one.
First and foremost, make sure the agency is experienced. If they can’t show you their portfolio of work and tell you about their past projects, this could be a red flag. You want to work with an agency that has experience working with businesses just like yours.
Next, look for an agency that has good reviews from other customers. It’s important to do your research so that you don’t find yourself working with someone who has a bad reputation or won’t deliver the results you want and need.
Finally, look for an agency that offers a free consultation, you may not be completely sure where to invest your marketing budget and a skilled account manager should be able to audit your business and certain what the best marketing channels are for your products or/and services.
Be sure you have time to focus on what matters most for your business
As a small business owner, you have limited time and resources to devote to marketing your business.
A common mistake that many entrepreneurs make when it comes to outsourcing their marketing is that they don’t have a clear picture of what needs attention and where.
A good way to remember what needs your attention is by using an editorial calendar for all of your marketing efforts, including content creation and social media activity.
By having this framework in place, you can make sure that all aspects of your marketing efforts are on track and working together to achieve your goals ie brand awareness or more sales.
We hope you’ve found this guide useful and that it has helped you to decide if outsourcing your marketing is right for you. At Isca Brands, we’ve trusted hundreds of outsourced digital marketing experts to help us grow our brands and the results can be staggering.