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Outsourcing Your Marketing: This is What to Expect

After accounting and IT, digital marketing is the most outsourced service in the business world.

But why would anyone outsource their marketing in the first place? What are the pros and cons? What kind of digital marketing services can they outsource?

And what is outsourced marketing anyway?

What Is Outsourced Marketing?

Outsourced marketing means not doing your marketing activities in-house but delegating certain tasks or even your entire marketing strategy to an outside party.

Businesses that outsource their marketing usually do so to save time and resources and gain access to specialized expertise and know-how.

bar graphs showing the most common outsourced tasks

For outsourcing your marketing, you can either hire a freelancer/ expert or an agency.

Outsourcing Your Marketing: The Pros

So, why would any business prefer outsourcing its marketing rather than keeping its activities in-house? Here are the most common reasons.

1. Saving time

Marketing is complex. It involves many branches (SEO, social media, performance marketing, email marketing, etc). And each branch includes its own tasks: from content creation to data analysis and everything in between.

Outsourcing these activities gives you essential time to focus your attention on other vital areas of your business, like product development, customer service, and business development in general. There are only so many battles you can give at a certain time and outsourcing your marketing is like hiring a mercenary to give the much-needed marketing battle for you.

2. Saving money

Hiring an in-house marketing team can be expensive. Think about it: you can spend roughly $50,000 per year on a single in-house entry-level marketing specialist. For the same amount of money, you can have a full team of experienced marketers.

Outsourced marketing services are more cost-effective. By outsourcing your marketing you are not only saving money from salaries and benefits, but also from training, equipment, and physical space. This is especially true for small or medium-sized businesses that may not have the resources for a full-time marketing team.

3. Expertise

Marketing is a complex field that requires a deep understanding of various strategies, channels, and consumer behavior. By outsourcing, you tap into the expertise of professionals who have had the time to build this expertise – because that’s what they do.

As we said, marketing involves many branches and it’s difficult for a single in-house team to have expertise in all of these branches. What’s more, marketing agencies often work with a diverse range of clients across different industries. This exposure gives them valuable cross-industry experience and insights into what works and what doesn’t.

bar graphs showing the reason businesses outsource marketing

4. Access to resources

Marketing agencies and marketing professionals have access to advanced tools, technologies, and industry connections that may not be readily available to your business. The marketing team you will collaborate with should have access to all these things that you lack and need access to.

For example, they may have access to market research databases, SEO platforms, adtech platforms, or design software tools for which you may be untrained. Of course, this marketing stack costs a lot to build and maintain and adds up to your business expenses.

5. Objectivity and fresh perspective

Sometimes, when you work too closely with your business, it can be challenging to see it from an outsider’s perspective. When you work closely with your business day in and day out, it’s easy to develop biases and assumptions. This is where outsourced marketing professionals come into the picture, as they bring an objective viewpoint and a pair of fresh eyes to your marketing strategy.

External marketing experts bring a broader understanding of market trends, consumer behavior, and industry best practices. They work with diverse clients and stay updated on the latest marketing strategies and techniques. They can challenge conventional thinking, introduce new concepts, and help you stand out from competitors by bringing unique solutions to unique problems.

Outsourcing Your Marketing: The Cons

Outsourced marketing is not all sunshine and rainbows. These are the most impactful drawbacks you may encounter.

1. Lack of deep understanding

You know the ins and outs of your business and industry because you are the business and part of the industry. However, this might not be the case for the team you want to outsource your marketing to.

Outsourced marketers may not have the same level of knowledge and understanding of your industry compared to an in-house team. They might not fully grasp your unique selling propositions, target audience, and special needs you may have.

2. Gaps in communication

Internal communication within any organization, be it a business or otherwise, happen easier than external communication. Compared to an in-house team, there may be limited face-to-face when working with an outsourced marketing team. This can make it more challenging to build rapport and stay on the same page.

Furthermore, communication delays can occur when there are different time zones or the outsourced marketing team manages multiple clients simultaneously. With an in-house team, it’s often easier to provide immediate feedback or make on-the-spot adjustments during discussions or meetings.

3. Lack of control

Outsourcing means giving away control over your marketing activities. While you can set guidelines and expectations, you ultimately depend on the outsourced team to execute the strategy.

This lack of direct control can sometimes result in deviations from your desired approach or less flexibility in making immediate changes. With an in-house team, the company has direct oversight and control over marketing initiatives’ day-to-day activities and progress. 

Outsourcing your Marketing

Some businesses choose to outsource all their marketing activities. But not all businesses choose to do so. Instead, they delegate parts of their marketing, be it SEO, email marketing, social media marketing, etc.

graph showing the most percentages of the marketing services outsourced or kept in-house

Outsourcing Content Marketing

Content marketing has many angles and there is a content marketing service for each of those angles. Therefore, the outsourced agency or freelancer at the beginning will have to spend time on what needs to be done rather than start creating content immediately.

Content Strategy: Experts will research your target audience and create a plan to use the right content mediums and distribution channels.

Content Creation: Content takes many forms with content creation for a business blog being the most common one. Other content types include eBooks, case studies, infographics, and video.

Content Distribution: It’s about sharing your content on the most suitable channels, platforms, and places on the net for your case (newsletters, social media, forums, etc).

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Organic traffic is in most cases the best channel for your content. Therefore, you need dedicated optimization for that channel to make it work effectively.

Performance Tracking & Analysis: The agency will provide reports on how your content is performing, including website traffic, engagement, and social media reach.

Outsourcing Email Marketing

The most humble digital marketing channel. Also, the channel with the most consistent ROI across all industries. If you don’t know much about email marketing, you’d be surprised by the depth this channel goes and the elaborate work it requires – either from you or the agency or freelancer you outsource it to.

Email marketing strategy: Experts will work with you to develop a comprehensive outreaching strategy aligned with your goals. They will determine the types of emails to send, segment your audience, and define the desired outcomes for each campaign.

Campaign Creation: Professional copywriters, designers, or email marketing experts that do both will create the necessary email templates for your campaigns. Copy-wise, they will try to craft appropriate subject lines, persuasive copy, and visually appealing designs to increase open rates and click-through rates. What’s more, it’s possible that they will conduct A/B tests to optimize your email campaigns.

List Management: The agency will help you manage your email lists effectively. This includes segmenting your subscribers based on demographics, preferences, or behavior, ensuring that your emails are targeted and relevant to each segment.

Email marketing automation: The team will set up marketing automation tools to streamline your email marketing processes. Among other things, they will create automated workflows, and personalized email sequences emails to deliver the right message to the right people – at the right time.

an email automation flow

Performance Tracking and Analysis: The experts will monitor the performance of your email campaigns by tracking metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, conversions, and unsubscribe rates. They will provide detailed reports and insights to help you measure the success of your email marketing campaigns and make data-driven decisions for future campaigns.

Outsourcing Performance Marketing

Performance marketing includes anything from paid search, paid social and display ads to analytics & reporting. That said, a big part of performance marketing is the optimization of every campaign.

Campaign Strategy & Planning: A comprehensive performance marketing strategy is a strategy that is aligned with your business objectives. At this part of performance marketing, the necessary KPIs and channels that you are going to use.

Paid Advertising Management: The experts will handle the management of your paid advertising campaigns across the agreed-upon platforms. They will be responsible for budget allocation, ad creatives, and also ad targeting optimization.

Performance Tracking and Analytics: Performance analytics makes heavy use of tools and the experts will put these tools to good use to track campaign performance. The reports that will give you are going to include metrics such as impressions, clicks, conversions, and cost per acquisition (CPA).

Remarketing and Retargeting: An important process of performance marketing is re-engaging with potential customers who have shown interest in your brand. Accordingly, the team you will outsource your performance marketing to will create targeted ads and personalized messaging to bring back visitors to your website.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO): CRO is also part of performance marketing and it’s about analyzing your digital properties (website,  landing pages), and identifying areas of improvement.

Outsourcing Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is one of the most demanding digital marketing branches. It requires anything from technical knowledge (technical SEO) to PR (link-building).  In this fashion, SEO professionals offer a number of SEO packages to choose from, according to your SEO needs.

Keyword Research: SEO starts with keyword research. This is where the SEO specialist that will handle your SEO will conduct thorough research to identify relevant keywords and phrases that your target audience uses when searching for products or services you offer. They will usually find relevant keywords with high demand and low supply, meaning keywords with high organic traffic and few competitors targeting those keywords.

Technical SEO: Is your website crawlable and indexable by search engines? Technical SEO tries to answer these questions and, as well as optimizing site speed, fixing broken links, implementing structured data markup, and more.

the "pyramid" of technical SEO

On-Page Optimization: This includes optimizing meta tags (titles and descriptions), headings, URLs, and internal linking structures. It’s also about ensuring that your website has relevant and well-structured content that meets user intent.

Off-Page Optimization: Off-page optimization is mostly about one thing and that thing is link-building – the process of acquiring backlinks. You need to make sure that the professional you collaborate with is doing white-hat link building rather than black-hat link building.

SEO Audits and Reporting: SEO must be monitored closely and often. The purpose of SEO audits is to identify areas for improvement and provide detailed reports on keyword rankings, organic traffic, backlink profile, and other relevant metrics.

Outsourcing Social Media

Outsourcing your social media is not only about giving someone to “handle” your Instagram or LinkedIn account. Usually, social media profiles are your window to the world and the windows from the world to you. In other words, your social media profiles build your brand.

Social Media Strategy: During the social media strategy phase, the outsourced will identify the target audience, select the appropriate social media platforms, and outline effective tactics for engagement and growth.

Content Creation & Curation: The agency will create engaging and shareable content tailored to each social media platform. This includes designing eye-catching visuals, writing compelling copies-captions, and scheduling posts at optimal times. They will also curate relevant content from trusted sources to provide value to your audience.

Social Advertising: In campaigns for social advertising, the expert will find your target audiences, create the ad creatives, and optimize campaign performance for as long as it runs.

Social Media Analytics & Reporting: Social media reporting from an outsource usually includes reports on engagement, reach, follower growth, and conversions. This kind of insight will be useful for future strategies and optimizations.

Reputation Management: How do users perceive your brand on social media? Through reputation management, the outsource will have to do a brand strength analysis and address any potential reputation issues promptly and professionally, maintaining a positive brand image.

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