The Benefits Of Outsourcing Your Social Media Marketing
Business owners never stop thinking of ways to promote their services. Increasingly, one of the most popular options to consider is social media marketing. It’s one of the fastest growing advertising channels, mainly due to the benefits it provides to a range of different businesses.
It’s common practice to outsource other areas of your business. Accounting, business development, customer service, design, most businesses pass this work on to experts. Agencies provide services that you’re unable to do yourself, whether if it’s because you don’t have enough time on your hands, you’re sceptical about how it can help you, or you simply do not understand it.
Business owners interested in digital marketing face a decision. Should you hire a full-time member of staff to manage your social media accounts, or should you outsource to an agency? To make that decision a little easier, we’ve set out the advantages of outsourcing your digital marketing to an agency, rather than hiring a full-time member of staff.
Efficient use of your budget
The first and most obvious thing to take into account is the difference in costs between an agency and in-house salary. An agency’s rate will be far smaller than a yearly salary for a start, but don’t think that affects the quality of work on the agency’s behalf.
Besides the cost alone, you should be thinking about the services you can get with it. With an agency, you’re not paying solely for their time in an office; you’re paying for all other costs marketing might involve under that marketing umbrella. Facebook advertising, PPC, Google AdWords, SEO, click-to-site campaigns; you don’t want to have to outsource these tasks on top of paying for your executive’s salary. And trust us, you need those things to stay afloat in the digital world.
So figure out how much you can set aside for an in-house manager (don’t forget annual pay rises, bonuses, absences), chop that number in half, possibly half again. You’ve got all the perks of having a team of experts at a far lower cost.
If dividing labour across a team isn’t enough to convince you of the money you’ll save, then think of other costs that will come into play, such as the price of software, hardware and bigger office spaces (these costs are always covered by an agency).
In a fast-growing, competitive industry where there are lots of digital growth opportunities and a small community of successful and talented people, you will be looking at a larger salary to secure the same top-tier level of talent as a team of digital experts.
For small or new companies, in particular, this makes little sense. At a fraction of the cost, you can work with a digital marketing agency.
Save valuable time
You’re a business owner. Estate agent, baker, whatever, you’ve got a job to do.
Do you think you can fit the time in to build lead-generating Facebook advertisements or research keywords for PPC campaigns? Play to your own strengths, focus your time on doing what you’re best at, whether it’s sales, manufacturing, or baking cakes (let us know if it’s baking cakes).
Once you’ve found an agency you like the look of, you sign a contract, provide them a brief or general goal of how you want your social media to be and what you want to gain from it, pay for an on-going package or set a campaign-specific budget and deadline, and depend on them to deliver the goods.
If you feel you don’t even have the time to deal with that agency, you can delegate that task to someone else in your business, who will then have access to the agency and be their port of call when they want to get in touch.
If you’re paying for a fixed package, there may be a time when additional costs may occur when you require some extra time and effort. This may be a time you wish for further advertising and promotion, have a big event on the horizon, or are launching a new product. How does one marketing executive deal with this busy period of work alone?
Agencies make it simple for you to increase your budget, allocate more hours and bring in other departments to complete your project. Once you have decided on the brief in-house, or wish to leave the creativity up to them, the agency will adhere to it and instantly get the ball rolling. Though it may cost you more with an agency, you can rest in the knowledge that you’re in a safe pair of hands, and that influx of work will be dealt with accordingly.
Giving you more flexibility, these companies will often have a team of people in charge of different sides of boosting your social; content writers, account managers, graphic designers, AdWords pros and marketers. Though you have the full control of how an in-house marketer manages their time, they are spread extremely thin as they are doing all of those things at once; some of which they are not experienced in. They have sole responsibility for delivering your marketing, and their one brain can get stuck in a rut of churning out what you think you need, other than what an agency knows you need.
Also, bear in mind the time it will take to hire and train an in-house marketing manager to gain the same level of knowledge and capability as a team of experts. The time-consuming process involves scouring CVs, interviews and chasing references, and that’s just the hiring process.
After this, a lot of time will be spent explaining the company and getting the candidate familiar with products and services, researching training resources and a time frame for that employee to settle into their role. They will then have to go away and research your company’s target audience.
Social media marketing expertise & experience
An agency’s role is to source the best and most experienced people in the industry to perform for their clients. Their specialisms and interests may come in all sorts of forms, but asking one person to provide you with those skills is not only demanding but unrealistic.
As I’m writing this, there is a colleague coding a client’s landing page, another working on Google Adwords, and another creating images on Photoshop. Now the fact that I’m unable to do those things might just reflect my lack of skills, or reflect the majority of peoples’ lack of skills in the industry. You’re setting yourself an unrealistic challenge if you think you can find one person that can do everything.
Marketing can often be a repetitive industry, so putting an overworked employee under pressure to come up with insight and new ideas and improve results will quickly become a frequent occurrence.
An agency will give you access to a team of individuals with that broad range of skills, as well as the time to improve them. Their ability to stay on top of the latest trends their role covers will remain, and their creativity is not at risk. Offering a fresh pair of eyes where your business is lacking, their creative department can save your strategies from becoming one dimensional.
Also, an outsourced team will have a wealth of cross-industry experience and will be able to think on their feet for an array of organisations. It’s even a possibility that someone in the team is already an expert in your field and is fully aware of your target audience and your products on offer. This wide breadth of knowledge can span from one extreme scale of industry to another, for businesses big and small.
An example – the colleagues that immediately surround my desk have worked for: bars and restaurants, travel companies, political parties, events programmers, universities, supermarkets, huge drinks corporations, retail malls, estate agents, opticians, security companies and mortgage brokers. That’s just four people.
Build a long-term B2B relationship
Small businesses and startups often feel the need to fix everything themselves, and outsourcing an area of your business you feel so precious about is a big decision for any size business. But when the relationship between the two is used correctly, and you leave your organisation in expert hands, it can bring abundant value to your organisation.
One thing is certain before you take that leap: you should truly know and understand your company and its needs. To get the most success from a business-to-business relationship, you need to ensure you appoint the right partner who can act on those needs with complete transparency so you can focus on what you do best: providing quality products or services.
You should be looking for a company that you can gain a solid, long-term relationship with, as well as one who provides services that remain justifiable when it comes to your budget. This can involve a few quick Google searches, a couple of phone calls to gauge pricing and organise a meeting with your preferred agency’s account manager, where you can sign the contract there and then.
An ideal relationship with an agency will not always involve giving them complete autonomy, however. As stated before, there should be one marketing-savvy person in your business who can collaborate with that organisation when they are needed. That may be you, or another dynamic employee who can passionately support your interests and help guide the marketing towards your company’s growth.
A social media agency will not be reluctant to let you know how to improve sales with marketing strategies, where an employee might. They will have no issue giving their uncensored opinion about your business, and as it is always in your interest, it should never feel like unsolicited advice.
Is outsourcing to a digital agency right for you?
Social media is an ongoing journey that requires constant attention, it’s easy to buy likes and Facebook followers, but the sooner you understand that your following should focus on quality over quantity, the better. And who better to target the right people and build on that audience than a team of educated experts who can put their heads together?
When you can find the right agency who can do the right work for you, and for cheaper, why bother hiring someone else? To book a no-obligation consultation or receive a free quote for your business, call Digital Media Team today on 0800 808 9980. We provide a range of social media management and advertising services to businesses of all shapes and sizes.