One common question small business owners ask themselves is whether outsourcing their inbound marketing strategy to an agency is worth it. Is there a guaranteed Return on Investment (ROI)? Why can’t they just develop a marketing strategy themselves? Wouldn’t the money be better spent on something else?
These are all fair questions to ask, however outsourcing marketing can offer some of the answers.
A recent survey has shown that small business owners on average spend 33 hours a week on marketing activities. Of these owners, 76% report that there simply isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. Outsourcing your marketing to an independent firm could take off the pressure, whilst freeing you up to focus on other aspects of your business, as well as saving you money.
For the cost of just one full-time marketing professional to work in-house, it could be possible to hire an entire dedicated marketing department working remotely. Today inbound marketing requires far more than simply posting an advertisement in the local newspaper.
An effective marketing strategy will encompass copywriting, website maintenance, social media, SEO, email marketing, landing pages, sales support, PR, and reporting. That is not even including web design and maintenance. Why employ just one person and expect them to be an expert in each of these areas, when you could hire a team of experts for a fraction of the cost?
You can also be assured of innovation both within the strategy and content. Inbound marketing is a continuously evolving industry. On a daily basis, there is a strong market demand to ensure your content is something that will be of interest to prospective customers and the best way to do that is to show them something they haven’t seen before.
Marketing agencies understand this and know that to keep your business they need to be on the cutting edge of the industry. If your marketing agency is on the cutting edge, that means your business is too.
Arguably the most practical benefit of outsourcing is that it offers you far more flexibility when expanding or contracting your marketing strategy. In the past, if your business began to grow your only option when attempting to increase your marketing department would be hiring new staff. This would both be time-consuming (vetting applicants, conducting interviews, call backs, etc.) and expensive. If you host an event, for example, you can hire experienced professionals for one-off support at a fraction of the cost of permanent help.
Similarly, if you later wanted to cut-back on your marketing you were left with few choices but to let an employee go. Today, you can add or remove elements to your marketing strategy with a simple phone call to your agency.
Obviously outsourcing your marketing strategy is a very individual decision. What might work for Microsoft might not work for the ‘Ma & Pa’ computer repair store at the end of the street. No one knows your business better than you and your employees.
However, one unheralded benefit of working with an independent marketing agency is that they must try and define your brand. That means asking questions, not simply about the product, but about what your company means to you, its story, and its ethos. Just meeting with a marketing company can help you ask questions you had never thought of before and learn more about your business.