Thanks to the pandemic, a lot of businesses that were putting off their digital transformation have had to actively work on building an online presence. As a result, many entrepreneurs, even those with decades of experience, have found themselves dabbling with new skills and dealing with experts that possess those skills.
For many businesses, making this switch was easier than others, thanks to having a marketing or digital budget that could afford the entire gamut of services offered by digital agencies. However, smaller businesses found themselves struggling to afford the high prices that are usually quoted by agencies that have proven themselves.
For such businesses, the only way to successfully transform themselves into a digital business is to do a lot of the leg work in-house. With that said, if achieving success online was easy enough to be done in-house without any experience, there would be no reason for digital agencies to exist, let alone charge premium prices.
In such a scenario, bootstrapped small businesses only have one feasible way to establish an online presence, to partially outsource some of their digital marketing efforts.
Now, this gives rise to the question “which aspects of my digital presence should be outsourced?” and in this article, we are answering that question.
However, before we get to that answer, let’s look at the digital functions that you should keep under your direct control:
When you think about it, there are a lot of reasons why some businesses would want to outsource content production. From it being time consuming, to not having the right expertise in terms of resources, like graphic designers, there are a number of reasons that will justify outsourcing content.
With that said, the truth is that most of the text-based content and copy that you produce is simply talking about your business and your expertise, and nobody understands your business better than your own team and you (of course).
If you don’t have a copywriter in your team, but can afford one, it is strongly recommended that you hire one. A single copywriter should be able to (gradually) satisfy all copywriting related needs of your business. If, on the other hand, you cannot hire a full-time copywriter, think about working with a freelancer. However, if you do decide to take this route, make sure you find a freelancer with the intention of a long term partnership.
A similar approach can be taken when it comes to graphic designers.
Establishing a social media presence has almost become mandatory for businesses that want to appear legit and engage their audience in the digital world.
However, social media marketing services are usually extremely expensive and often don’t fit the small marketing budgets of small businesses.
The good news is, you can take care of your social media on your own. There are a ton of free and premium courses available online that you or someone from your marketing team can take and start taking care of your social media presence.
This is advisable for several reasons:
Finally, if you have taken my advice and decided to either keep content production in-house or work with fixed freelancers, you will have plenty of help when it comes to producing original content for social media with your own original ideas.
Now that we have discussed what you shouldn’t outsource, let’s look at the functions that you should outsource, and of course, why it is best to outsource them.
There are thousands of analogies that explain the importance of your website. From being your 24X7 online sales person to being the digital headquarter of your businesses’ online presence, a great website is critical when it comes to establishing a credible and positive online presence.
Moreover, designing and building a website is usually a one-time investment, and should be treated as such. This means, when it comes to building a website for your business, cutting corners is not advisable at all.
In fact, my advice is to pull all stops and work with a web designer and a developer (or a development agency) to ensure that you go live on the web with a website that perfectly reflects the quality of your business.
For a one time service, most website design and development services are priced sensibly and looking at the importance of your website’s role in your businesses’ online presence, splurging a little should not be a problem.
The importance of search engine optimization is well known to anyone that has tried their hand at marketing a business online.
However, the tricky thing about SEO is that it can take several weeks or months to deliver quantifiable results. This usually means that you may find yourself working hard for several weeks before you discover that a different strategy may have worked better.
That’s why, even despite the availability of a number of free SEO optimizer tools online, it is recommended to take the help of qualified professionals with a portfolio full of results. You can still utilise the tools to improve your own understanding of SEO and to check whether your expert consultation dollars are bringing in the results that were promised to you.
Another reason you should think about outsourcing SEO is that certain aspects of SEO require a lot of leg work, and sometimes, having connections that one may not have if they don’t have an online presence. For instance, blogger outreach for guest posting is a well-known way to establish topical and niche authority while also building high-quality backlinks to one’s website.
However, besides writing the guest posts, there is a lot of manual outreach and relationship building involved in guest posting, something that can be easily taken care of by dependable blogger outreach services.
Paid advertising may not be a part of your immediate plans for your business’s online presence, but it is a necessity that will become apparent at one point or another.
This is because for most major sources of traffic, including search engines like Google and social media platforms like Facebook, paid promotions are a big source of revenue. As a result, many of these platforms have designed their algorithms to incentivise paid promotions, essentially turning them into ‘pay-to-play’ platforms.
At the same time, to encourage business owners to advertise on their platform, they advertise their paid ad services to be much more user-friendly than they really are. As a result, many small business owners, thinking that they can drive great results on their own, end up wasting their advertising dollars in exchange for a boost in vanity metrics (likes, comments) that don’t really contribute to their business’ bottom line.
That’s why, it is advisable to work with a paid ad expert when you decide to venture into that aspect of digital marketing. This way, you can ensure that you truly get the best bang for your marketing buck from day one.
Taking the decision to outsource certain aspects of your online presence can be daunting. Especially when you consider that you are essentially putting your business’ online image in the hands of complete strangers.
However, with the right kind of research, you can ensure that you are working with qualified professionals that, in the past, have delivered similar results for businesses that are similar to yours.
I hope that this guide will help you take the right calls about outsourcing digital marketing for your business. If you have any doubts, feel free to drop them in the comment section below and I promise to get back to you with an answer.