Every aspect of digital marketing requires time investment at the initial stages and ongoing to keep up with trends. This time investment also requires a certain level of expertise in each particular area. While might require additional research time to get the right expertise, it is within the scope of many businesses to keep control of their online marketing in-house, still many opt to outsource a lot of their online marketing to an agency.
Making the decision between in-house and outsourced can be difficult and leave many unsure of the final choice. We want you to have all of the information and know how to compare the two and come to the best decision for your business. Follow the tips below to help your team choose which direction to go with the management of your digital marketing strategy and tactics.
How Much Business Do You Do Online?
First, you need to evaluate your business and similar businesses in your area. Find out how much of your business is coming from online sources and how much your competitors are growing online. Today online is important in almost every industry, but the level of importance can vary greatly and will always be changing. You should try to reevaluate this about twice a year. This will help you establish what size investment you should make in online marketing either in-house or with an agency partner.
If your competitors are excelling online, you don’t want to be left behind. Similarly, if you get a lot of lucrative business online, you should be capitalizing on that as much as possible. Either of these factors should tell you that you need to invest time and money in strong digital marketing strategies.
However, if you see your business gets the best customers from offline channels then capitalize on those channels. And if you are staying ahead of your competitors with your online tactics, you might only need small investments over a longer time in your online marketing. Just make sure you stay on top of it for changes.
How Much Time Can You and Your Team Invest?
The main reason businesses outsource any service is to save their time and better use their team’s time. Not only does it require time to implement each aspect of digital marketing in your strategy, but it takes time to research the latest trends and best practices online and in your industry. If someone in your business excels in researching and you can allocate 30-50% of their time to research and implement those tactics then you can save money on the markup on time that agencies have to charge.
A huge benefit that agencies bring to the table is that all of their time is spent either implementing online marketing strategies or learning about all of the industry changes and new tools. So their teams have existing knowledge and won’t have to charge you for the time they invest in all of their research; you just get tasks completed. This leaves you and your team to keep going with your usual business operations and what each person already does best.
Outsourcing does not completely eliminate the need for some time investment on your side. You will need to factor in the time that the agency needs from you to hold meetings with you and get acquainted with the business and all of your needs, as well as any small tasks on your side to give them the access and collateral they need to carry out their jobs. Overall outsourcing to an agency can save you and your team hours every week on your online marketing and you get a huge resource already equipped with industry expertise.
What Budget Do You Have to Allocate to Digital Marketing?
You know how much money you can spend on each marketing channel you want to utilize, so this will be an important factor to consider. Like in the previous if you choose to keep your online marketing in-house then you will have to spend money on the hours your team invests as well as any ad spend from Pay-Per-Click (PPC) channels. Or you will have to hire someone new which carries HR costs, training hours, and a new salary. You get the most control of your costs if you choose the in-house method, but they carry additional overhead.
If you go with an agency then you pay for fewer hours and less overhead costs, but you have to pay a markup on the hours. A marketing agency will be more efficient with their time and your money on each task and that’s why they can charge a premium for their services. Most agencies will offer you free consultations to build you a quote on services based on your needs, so get a quote and see if the costs fit your budget.
After reading about the questions you should be asking, you should have a pretty good idea of how much you can put towards your digital marketing and how to most efficiently spend your time and money.
Now if you have decided that you would like to partner with an agency, you probably wonder how to distinguish between agencies. Well, the best agencies will strive to have a close collaborative relationship with your business so you should see how much each agency communicates with you and how much confidence you have in their expertise.
A good agency will sell you the services you need, not the gambit of their services. After you have communicated your needed strategies then your quote should only contain the services you have established with the agency.
Good agencies will work with your budget to only provide services that fit your budget and prioritize the most important strategies. They shouldn’t try to fit a more expensive product at a smaller price point, this often means you will get shorted on service quality