What is outsourced marketing?
Outsourced marketing lightens the load for company owners and busy managers who are already wearing too many hats within their organizations.
Best practices across different marketing channels (social media, display ads, emails, etc.) are changing every day. Rather than divert time/money trying to learn the necessary tools and strategies, many companies are outsourcing the task.
What’s the advantage of outsourced marketing?
Outsourced marketing is a particularly good investment for organizations that don’t employ a large, in-house marketing team. You might have a few people dedicated to your website, your email list, your newsletter, your social media strategy – i.e. all those big items you keep avoiding. Understandably, you don’t want the overhead that comes with hiring a full-time web developer, designer, copywriter, SEO or PPC consultant, etc.
Marketing agencies have all those experts on staff. You only pay for what you need, when you need it. And since you don’t need major redesigns every month, you can save a lot of money – without skimping on quality. Here are four more advantages to outsourced marketing.
- A Fresh Perspective
You and your employees are so close to your business, living and breathing it every day. An outsourced marketing expert can bring a valuable outside perspective to your company that leads to fresh ideas and programs that drive business. And because your outsourced experts are also working with other firms and industries, they bring the best marketing practices from other industries to yours with great success.
- More for Your Money
Outsourcing marketing allows you to have one point of contact that brings multiple marketing skill sets to the table. So for the cost of hiring, paying and providing benefits for one full-time marketing director who brings one set of skills and experience, you can have an entire team of specialists working for you.
The beauty of outsourcing your marketing is that it’s there when you need it, gone when you don’t. There naturally will be times when your firm needs to pay a lot of attention to marketing – often at the end of the year as you plan for the coming one, maybe when you are rebranding your company or building a new website – and there will be times when simply maintaining your website, sending your newsletter and updating your social media sites will be sufficient. When you have an outsourced marketing team, your marketing staff, and its costs can be expanded or contracted to accommodate your business cycles.
Do you forget about marketing during your busy season, only to return to it during your slower time of year? You are not alone. Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of paying attention to their marketing only when sales are down, business is slow or they are doing something specific – launching a product, entering a new market, building a new website – that requires a concentrated effort. But if you fail to make your marketing an ongoing priority, it will fail to serve you well. An outsourced firm can help to ensure that your marketing hums along consistently, even during your busiest times.
How is outsourced marketing different from working with an ad agency?
Because so many people use the terms “marketing” and “advertising” interchangeably, you might think outsourced marketing isn’t anything new. After all, ad agencies have been around since the 1800’s.
But outsourced marketing is different in some very key ways – and most of them benefit small or mid-sized businesses.
First, marketing is more than simply promoting your business. When you enlist the help of a good marketing agency, you aren’t just looking for jingles and taglines. Marketing agencies can research your target demographics, understand their online habits, and better align your company’s online presence with those habits. Marketing agencies can help you educate and “nurture” prospective clients – a strategy that modern consumers prefer over hard-sell tactics and tired rhetoric. Outsourced marketing lets you meet and engage prospects at many different stages of their buy cycle.
Another difference: marketing agencies are generally better hand-holders than ad agencies.
What kinds of projects represent outsourced marketing?
There’s no limit to the kinds of projects and campaigns a marketing agency can produce. You can commission an agency to rebuild your website, plan and execute your social media strategy, design your print and digital ads, draft press releases and white papers, coordinate your trade show materials, ghostwrite all your blogs and newsletters, etc. You can contract projects and services à la carte, or as part of a comprehensive package.
Outsourced marketing is usually structured around an ongoing partnership.
What does outsourced marketing cost?
This is a tough question because
a) there are varying levels of quality that impact outsourced marketing costs
b) there are often package structures available, which can reduce the cost of plural marketing service vs. paying for pieces on an à la carte basis. Let’s look at both variables.
Today, just about everyone has a blog and a social media account. This doesn’t make them qualified to manage yours. You can find freelancers on job board sites that will do your blogging and tweeting for peanuts. You can also find boutique marketing/PR firms that will manage your accounts for a very solid price. Most small and mid-sized companies are looking for a middle-ground solution.
Even though the bottom-line cost is your chief concern, you shouldn’t expect any price tags before you’ve sat down and discussed your situation with a marketing team. Not every business needs an aggressive Facebook presence, for example. You may need more or less support to achieve the results you want. Outsourced marketers will often work with you to create a plan and a pricing structure that makes sense.
What Content Can You Outsource?
There is now a growing trend to outsource a wide array of content publishing and marketing projects to online marketing service providers. Below is a partial list of content publishing and marketing projects that you can outsource.
- Newsletters and Email Campaigns
- Books and ebooks
- Expert advice columns
- Website information updates
- Blog maintenance
- Podcasts and videos
- White Papers
- Annual reports
- Trade publications
Why Outsource Your Content and Marketing Projects?
A clear marketing strategy is needed in order for a business to succeed. However, it can be a daunting task for someone to run a company and execute marketing strategies at the same time. Seeking the help of online marketing service providers can aid your business to reach your marketing goal. They can help you create the best content marketing strategy that fits your business while eliminating errors and false starts and saving your time and money.
When planning on outsourcing an aspect or your entire marketing project, seek the help of hands-on and results-oriented marketing firms that offer an easy-to-understand process of selecting the right services to fill your marketing needs. That way, you are guaranteed to get quality deliverables that your business deserves.
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