Every business striving for a profitable future in this day and age maintains some sort of online marketing presence. Today's buyers depend increasingly on online search to pinpoint what they want and where to get it, making inbound marketing strategies such as websites, blogging and social media critically important for turning leads into customers. But is it better to turn all of these efforts over to a digital marketing agency, or should you keep some of them in house? Here are some considerations to help you determine your degree of reliance on an online marketing company.

Choosing Your Approach

The three main approaches toward assigning your marketing tasks include:

  • Employing a digital marketing agency to handle everything - This agency-only approach is the most expensive option, and at first you might feel like you've lost control of a critical aspect of your operations. But once you realize just how much skill and experience a high-quality agency can contribute, and how much freedom your core team now has to do other necessary work, then the appeal of this approach becomes evident.
  • Doing everything in house - You can certainly create your own internal marketing department to perform all the necessary marketing tasks, from initial strategy to monitoring of results. But by the time you've placed these individuals on your payroll and boosted your overhead to accommodate them, you may find that you're not saving money with this approach versus hiring an agency. The one clear advantage to the in-house approach is that you rarely have to worry about communication snags.
  • Selective outsourcing - This approach involves handing over certain marketing tasks to an online marketing agency while continuing to perform others in house. This is particularly useful if you need experienced professional help with specific time-intensive, complicated functions but you also want to control costs. The main challenge in this scenario is establishing and maintaining efficient lines of communication between your own marketers and the agency's staff.

Budgetary Boundaries

Like every other critical business function, marketing is something to be budgeted for carefully, not implemented in scattershot fashion whenever a few extra dollars become available. While you have to spend money to make money where marketing is concerned, ultimately your resources will dictate what you can and can't do. Smaller companies will obviously have smaller marketing budgets -- but smaller companies also tend to grow into larger companies if their marketing is working for them. The obvious solution for a cash-challenged business is to seek out a digital marketing company that offers tiered or scalable levels of service. This gives you the option of cherry-picking certain outsourced marketing functions, placing more and more of the total marketing burden on the agency as fortunes permit.

Sensible Services to Outsource

If you decide on a "hybrid" approach to your marketing, you'll need to decide which marketing tasks are best outsourced. If you're primarily concerned with increasing your number of qualified leads in the form of incoming web traffic, for instance, you may be investing heavily in SEO (search engine optimization) tactics such as a Google AdWords campaign, a steady stream of web content, or web pages festooned with just the right selection of keywords. Unfortunately, SEO is a complex art/science in itself. Its practitioners must stay on top of the highly dynamic nature of which keywords are hot and which are not, standing ready to perform small but telling adjustments to your marketing content strategy as needed. For this reason, many businesses choose to outsource their SEO needs to a digital marketing agency, even if they're performing other marketing tasks themselves. 

The same holds true for social media. While you might think your team will have little trouble posting updates to your blog, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages, the fact is that these channels require expert care and feeding if you want them to yield big returns. For instance, research indicates that companies that post 16 or more blog entries per month get 3.5 times as many leads as those who post 4 times a month. That's a lot of content, so you may want to hand social media content creation over to an online marketing agency as well. 

No matter how much help you currently need with your marketing campaigns, choose a digital marketing agency that listens to your needs and provides a customized set of recommendations and services. The more personal care your business receives, the more quickly it can grow into a revenue powerhouse -- at which point, money should no longer be an issue!

For more information, contact a company like Marketing Samurai, LLC