Should you outsource your digital marketing?
Deadlines. Employees. Networking. Accounting. Advertising. HR. – The Party Planning Committee.
As a small business owner, you likely wear many hats.
“Wait, now I have to wear a marketing hat also?”
Well the short answer is no, you don’t have to. It really depends on how competitive you want to be in your industry.
Your big competitors invest lots of time and money into marketing their business, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Outsourcing your digital marketing to a digital marketing agency can both improve your lead quality and improve your overall ROI.
Let me explain.
Your Time Is Your Most Valuable Asset
Time is the one thing that no matter what, you cannot buy more of. Even the wealthiest celebrities with the likes of Kim Kardashian cannot buy more time. What you have to do is, make the best use of your time.
How long does the average digital marketer need to spend each week marketing their business online?
The short answer is: It’s a full time job, literally. But let’s look at some examples from social media today:
- Social Media: The majority of businesses spend 6 hours per week on social media
- Blogging: The average post can take 1-3 hours to develop content.
- Citations: Depending on how many directories have your business listed wrong, it might take you a couple hours each month to fix your directory listings.
- Review Monitoring & Response: Scouring the internet for mentions of your company and then responding to those reviews can take 3-4 hours per month.
We’re not even discussing marketing automation, video marketing, on-page seo and more.
Based on just those four areas, for digital marketing to be effective, you’ll need to spend roughly 34 hours per month to create engaging social media posts, two blogs per month, fix your citations and respond to online reviews.
So if you’re a small business owner looking to gain an edge, you probably don’t have it in your budget to hire a full time person just for your digital marketing. Nor do you have the time to spend 10+ hours per week on your digital marketing strategy.
Outsourcing your digital marketing can save you both time and money from hiring someone for your organization.
Expertise in Digital Marketing
So let’s say you’re willing to spend that 34 hours per week on digital marketing, or you want to go ahead and hire in that new staff person to do this. Great.
How much experience do you have?
Chances are, it will take you several months before you acquire all of the tools and training necessary to become effective with your time.
Case in point: Just because you’re posting to social media 12 times per week doesn’t mean that it’s effective.
- Are your fans engaging with those posts?
- Are they sharing your posts?
- What’s your email open and click through rates?
- How long is the average visitor reading your blog article?
The answers to these questions will tell you if your digital marketing strategy is effective or not.
You might have the extra time to devote to your digital marketing, but will it pay off if you go the DIY route?
Perhaps. Perhaps not.
Measuring Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Ok, at this point, you are spending the time on your digital marketing strategy, and your are getting better at it.
How do you know it’s working? How are you correlating the time and money invested into revenue?
For every hour you or your staff person spends on digital marketing, how much is that costing you.
Let’s say you hire in someone at the rate of $20/hour x 32 hours per week, that’s costing you more than $2,500 in labor alone, besides taxes and other fees. That’s not counting the cost of any marketing automation and other marketing tools you probably need.
Let’s just say between labor and other expenses (and we haven’t even discussed PPC budgeting), for marketing you might invest over $4,500/mo.
Are you getting at least a 2x return on that each month? Rather, are you bringing in at least $9,000 in sales each month for that?
I should note that, for most small business owners, outsourcing your marketing should cost no where near $4,500/mo. Outsourcing should save you quite a bit of money AND provide a better return on your investment.
Outsource Your Digital Marketing - Yay or Nay?
Thinking about a statement earlier, it all depends if you want to be competitive or not.
Let’s do a test.
Head to google.com, open a private browser tab (incognito, etc) and search for your industry keywords. Don’t search for your business by name. So if your business is “Joe’s Plumbing & Heating”, don’t search for that.
Search for how you want to be found if someone has not been introduced to your business before.
Something like : “Plumbers near me” or “Plumbers in [insert city here]”
The reason you do this in a private window is that it will remove previous search history.
Google is smart. They know you’ve been to your website before, so if you just search for “plumbers”, it will bring up your site first because you’ve previously visited it before.
So, what were the results of this quick test? Were you on the first page? Were you on the top 3 listings? Do you see your business somewhere in the Google Map Pack results?
Then you need to outsource your digital marketing.
Or, you’re just OK with your competition being on those pages.
If by now, you think it’s a good idea to outsource your digital marketing though, you should look for a digital marketing agency.