Let’s assume that you already understand the importance of social media, creating informative blog posts and engaging with your customers. And let’s also assume that you’ve gone about initiating some sort of digital advertising campaign.
The problem for many is that they simply don’t have the time to monitor social portals and do weekly analysis of website analytics. So they decide to hire some help. When employing an inbound marketing methodology, the communication and personnel just gets more complicated. Suddenly the sole owner requires an entire team of people as well as a team leader to get the job done.
If you thought doing it all yourself was a hassle, think about having to assemble a team of dedicated and high quality:
- Web developers
- Project managers
When you independently hire the various key people in order to create a digital marketing team, you are expending a huge amount of time and resources. All of which could be better spent on your online advertising budget. So how to cut costs while maintaining the highest standard of digital marketing?
Inbound marketing agencies work: no assembly required
A marketing agency may be exactly what your company needs. They can provide a full-service digital campaign for the long-term that not only will stand the test of time, but also be flexible enough to shift (up to the minute) with the changes or additions to your marketing plan. They are already made up of the key professionals you require: designers, web developers, etc., so you don’t have to assemble them yourself.
But why do you need so many people at work on a simple social media campaign? Because it’s not simple. And for it to work properly (i.e.: drive traffic to your site effectively, nurture leads and convert them into customers) you need to have everything in place and ready to roll when you start your campaign. If you don’t have your lead nurturing emails written, designed and ready for distribution once a lead fills out a form, then you’ve already lost a possible sale.
It’s not as easy as sending out emails and hoping people write back. This isn’t 1990. The Internet has changed how customers engage with products and services for sale. If you falter in your campaign, time and resources are lost. You need to get it right the first time. Or at least, be in a position to improve and tweak your campaign until it’s right.
If you’re still not convinced, consider the following: Can you hire one person to handle your digital market analysis, keyword analysis, social media portal listening, social media updates based upon keyword research, analyze web site traffic, determine location and destination of visitors, length of time on each page, the design of the lead capture form, email campaigns, lead nurturing campaigns, A/B testing to prove effectiveness of all campaigns and change due to market fluctuations? And can they do this every day of the week with weekly and quarterly updates to your sales team in order to benchmark progress?
If you’ve answered yes, then you have created a job position that is untenable and destined for failure (or in the very least, a nervous breakdown.) The truth is that too much is being delegated to the “idea” of a digital marketing supervisor and not enough understanding is being achieved by the higher ups. If they know the amount of diligent work that must be done in order to see any benefit from digital advertising, blog writing, social media management and an inbound marketing campaign, they would realize that they are hugely understaffed.
Your bottom line will be significantly lower
While hiring consultants can be expensive, they often produce high quality results. Hiring an inbound marketing company combines high quality at a lower cost. This is because there is greater control and flexibility over how and where you spend your budget. Rather than incurring the cost of a full-time employee, your agency can hire designers, copywriters web programmers and social media marketers on a project-by-project basis. Your agency can help balance your budgetary spending by suggesting alternatives to print advertising, or determining exactly when and how much to spend on pay-per-click ads.
In a more practical sense, hiring a marketing agency means that you can defer the extraneous benefits normally paid to one of your full-time employees. In other words, no health and dental plan, no vacation bonuses, no holiday pay, no overtime, no office space requirements, etc. An inbound marketing agency goes to work whenever you need it to, rather than taking up valuable space and resources.
Honestly, when you want to get a haircut do you hire an in-house hairdresser to keep a chair and a room with full medical benefits and a parking space? Or would you rather just visit a barber and pay $20 whenever you needed a trim?
Hiring an inbound marketing company is exactly the same. It’s a tailored service, built around your unique digital needs. Nothing more and nothing less. But in the end, you might ask, isn’t it about service and having your people on hand for immediate results? If it’s service you’re looking for, then you will also discover that having a team of professionals on your side, rather than a couple of in-house employees can provide far better attention to detail and service. So yes, service and proximity do matter. But what would you rather have? Two people sitting at a desk waiting for your call or a team of people constantly monitoring your company’s online profile with a full delegate of advisors standing at the ready?
Total 360 degree, 24/7, 365 service
At your disposal you now have a larger range of service providers than if you had only one to two employees. Whether it means: blogging, content marketing, CRM, lead nurturing campaigns and email design and management. In fact, you are gaining access to a wealth of specialists without having to hire them fulltime, reducing benefits packages and precious office resources. Freelance designers can be costly and the search for one can take time out of a hiring officer’s day. But an agency has already retained and maintained the services of a designer. This is one-stop hiring, people.
What’s better about inbound marketing agencies as opposed to a dedicated in-house strategist is brainpower and thought leadership. Your agency will be not only dedicated to your company profile, but their own as well. This makes them forward thinkers when it comes to the future of digital marketing. You have hired a company who’s own reputation is at stake. They must believe in the process as you do. They must ascribe to the same services as you do. They must be looking for cheaper, faster ways to broadcast messages. They are a company whose digital advertising and brand align with your own company.
In other words, they have a greater stake in your success than your own employees. They will try harder. They will learn faster. And what’s an even better benefit is that they can teach you as well. You are hiring experts in this field, dedicated to the industry for many years in careers as well as educational training. They are thought leaders in their own right. They can teach you how to be a thought leader too.
Unless you are currently a lawyer, consider the last time you wished you could just pick up the phone and get some real-time legal advice (on any subject!) Think of how handy it would be to know your rights in a civil case long before you had to go to court. Being connected to professionals with inside knowledge and skills is a form of professional and personal power. You are given the benefit of the decades (or more) of experience that is housed in one simple inbound marketing company.
Try it and see for yourself
The best thing about hiring a marketing agency is that you can fire them just as easily. If you currently have a digital marketing employee, why not add an agency’s services for a year and see what kind of difference it makes. You can still maintain a liaison between your company and the agency. What you’ll discover is that, over time, your relationship with that inbound marketing agency will grow firmer and more complex. By the end of your year trial you’ll realize how indispensable having a marketing expert (now an expert in your niche market) is when you pick up the phone to ask them a question.
If you are about to launch your own campaign and are considering hiring an agency over a number of in-house employees, then, again, consider working with an agency for one year first. If you don’t achieve the ROI you had hoped for, then at the very least, you will understand the key components to the inbound marketing methodology. And if you choose to hire your own team, that you will know what to expect from their services as well as what to expect in terms of your company’s ROI in your digital campaign.
Let me know what you think.