As a growing small business, marketing is the way to get more influence and customers. But when you’re already wearing multiple hats, the question is ‘should we do it ourselves, hire someone, or hire a firm to do it?’ It feels like you need to pick one or the other, but why not both? Here are pros and cons for small business marketing in-house and outsourcing your marketing:
You can take a photo and share your new product line that will hit the stores next week. Or you could focus on the staff and your business’s amazing customer service. Your photos will accurately reflect your business environment and atmosphere.
If you’re a business owner that wants your hand in every aspect of your business, you’ll be able to monitor and see what’s being posted, when, and which is gaining the most activity.
You’ll be able to alert your social media followers with updates, flash sales, or events your business is attending or throwing.
One More Hat
Keeping it in-house for some owners is just one more hat you have to put on and off everyday. If you’re not spending a majority of your time building and executing your marketing strategy, you will not see as big of a return in your efforts.
One option to keep in-house is to hire a marketing coordinator for your business. But that means one more person to your payroll plus marketing software and expenses, which could be more costly than outsourcing.
Hand it Off
Many small businesses assign social media marketing to an existing manager or trusted staff member. They may have a strong personal social media profile, but are they posting for postings sake or following a marketing plan? They will also be distracted from their regular tasks at hand to work on marketing for your business.
There’s a plethora of Digital Marketing Agencies out there that can help you put together your marketing strategy and execute it on a monthly basis. These specialists have the resources and software at hand to do thorough analysis and the technical work to truly drive results.
Ease of Mind
When you outsource to a Marketing Agency, you’re trusting them to do what’s necessary to help your business succeed. You can relax, knowing that your marketing efforts, and dollars, are being used to their best potential.
Reports and Data
When you go through a Marketing Agency, they’ll typically provide you with monthly, if not more frequent, reports and metrics how your digital presence is improving.
One tendency with digital marketing agencies is that they tend to use stock imagery. Studies have shown that stock photos of perfect people, perfectly placed, and perfectly lite, actually gives a negative connotation to your brand. It’s just not authentic or real. (more info: http://bit.ly/2nwoPqC)
Many small businesses need to run lean to be able to grow. Some marketing agencies may try to give you more than what you need, and in turn what you can afford.
Stuck in a Contract
Some marketing agencies also have a minimum 3 or 6 month contracts. You’ll be stuck paying for it, even if you feel you’re not getting your money’s worth.
Why not Both?
You can create a small business marketing plan that benefits your efforts on all fronts. Here are a few examples:
Coordinate sales and promotions in advance
If you’re able to plan ahead, you can coordinate in-house photography with outsourced design. You can determine your slogans and hashtags beforehand, so when the day comes to post (or schedule your posts) the execution is really simple.
Outsource technical, In-house social
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is very technical and tedious work. You could go to a marketing firm for just SEM or find a freelancer with the skills to get you on the right track. Then keep the social media and customer facing work in-house for complete control of your brand image.
If you’re seeking more of a lifestyle brand it would make sense to either hire a photographer, or if you’re creative gather a couple of friends and take photos for a day. Doing this once a month or every season will provide yourself or your marketing agency tons of custom imagery to use over and over again.
The key to a successful marketing campaign is to have a gameplan. Once you know what your goal is with your small business marketing efforts, we can dial back from there to find attainable steps that make sense to the current workflow of your business and your budget. If you’re looking for some help starting your small business marketing efforts, get in touch with Angie at Solution42 (firstname.lastname@example.org).