In the short space of ten years, technology has revolutionised the way that businesses interact and engage with both existing and new customers. Where there were once only traditional marketing methods such as billboards, posters, television and radio adverts; now these have been joined by a host of digital counterparts such as blogging, email marketing, website design and social media.
Social media and other popular digital marketing methods are excellent platforms to exploit because they are either free or pose little cost to businesses, yet provide you with the ability to reachyour demographic and hook them within seconds. Business owners know that it’s crucial to keep clients engaged with their brands, but for many, the prospect of deploying and managing an online marketing strategy may seem like a daunting task.
For ‘old school’ business owners that aren’t necessarily frequent users of social media and digital technology, this can present a completely alien concept – something which they perhaps know they should be doing, but aren’t really sure how or even where to start.
That’s where a professional could provide a well needed solution. Ideally, someone who has the practical and technological expertise to run campaigns on your behalf;someone who understands your business; your goals; and knows exactly how to deliver stimulating content to your audience. With $135 billion spent on digital marketing in 2014, how should your portion of that money be spent? Whatever you decide, you should ensure that you carefully weigh up the pros and cons of outsourcing your digital marketing:
You’re in expert hands – Often trying to do it yourself, or cutting corners and choosing a company with suspiciously low prices, can actually cause you a lot of stress and expense in the long run. This is one job which is worth being done properly if at all – so seeking professional from a digital marketing agency will ensure that your campaigns are managed by an expert in their fieldthat will work with you to help your business grow.
You don’t have to DIY – Digital marketing is undeniably time-consuming – so whilst it might save you money doing it yourself, the trade-off for its efficacy is your time – and time of course,is money. Your campaign requires management 24/7, and it’s unlikely that as a business owner you’ll have time in your schedule for round the clock monitoring. Not only is doing it yourself stressful (even if you know what you’re doing!) it is also a full time job. Knowing a professional is taking care of it all for you can give you the peace of mind and time to get on with doing what you do best.
You’re right up there with your competitors – Or even at an advantage. If you survey the competition, chances are they’ve got a good online presence with plenty of followers. By embarking on a digital marketing campaign of any kind you are a becoming worthy opponent for your competition, ready to grab your slice of the market.
You need somebody who understands your business inside out – A good digital marketing professional should be able to get a good understanding of your business after talking with you at length, but sometimes even that doesn’t feel like a match for someone who entirely understands your ethos and brand philosophy. That can only come from within.
You’re not in control – There’s an element of trust required when it comes to handing over access to all your accounts, along with your whole online presence to someone who operates outside of your business.
Extra expense – Full digital marketing management can understandably be costly. But it’s important to analyse what’s being done and whether the expense outweighs the benefit – just like any other type of marketing, it’s all dependent on getting a return on your investment.
Overall, it’s important to weigh up these pros and cons before embarking on employing a digital marketing specialist and:
Check reputation – Whether you’re looking at a marketing agency or freelancer, it’s a good idea to get recommendations and reviews from other companies who use them for credibility.
Detail goals clearly – Have a clear idea in your mind of what goals you want to achieve from your marketing strategy and how you might like to do it, if you’ve considered it. Plan how you will share what you do and how you do it with your digital marketer.
Set a budget – It’s important to do digital marketing the right way – which comes with a price – but that doesn’t mean that if your budget is small you need to miss out. There are many methods of increasing your online visibility – you don’t have(or need) to participate in every single one of them. Social media for example, includes the likes of Twitter; Facebook; Instagram; and Tumblr; to name just a few – but only several of these are imperative for your business depending on what you do, so try to be cost-effective when spending with these platforms.