Prepare for a Successful Outsourcing Experience…
Having established that the company accountant will love you even more if you outsource your internet marketing and that it really is a normal and sane thing to do (with precedents going way back to the early days of the advertising and marketing industry), how should you go about it?
It would be unrealistic of most small to middle sized business owners to maintain a fully trained and experienced marketing department and all that entails from concept and copywriters to photographers, artists, print and radio creatives and so on. On the other hand, the marketing team are key to communicating the company image, and brand and conveying the message that has to be received by the company’s current and future clients. The most cost effective way to do so is to outsource marketing.
So having established that the company accountant will love you even more if you outsource your internet marketing and that it really is a normal and sane thing to do (with precedents going way back to the early days of the advertising and marketing industry), how should you go about it? The following 3 outsourcing tips might help you pave the way.
I would suggest that you start – before you make one phone call to an external agency – with an internal audit.
Assess Internal Strengths and Weaknesses
There is a difference between an internal staff member who is a great copywriter and an internal staff member who is a great copywriter + has the time to write blog posts, web pages, social updates and so on for your internet marketing campaign. You will want to explore your team’s level of skill and experience with the various tasks related to an internet marketing campaign and also what time they have available to get involved.
This is important becasue it is not unusual for a company to hire an external agency for certain tasks but delegate other related tasks internally. This works well when it has been carefully planned and these tasks incorporated into the staffer’s workload to ensure ample time for completion. You are, after all, paying for an external team to carry out marketing work on your company behalf. Delaying this process by not delivering agreed content on time is shooting yourself in the foot quite a bit.
Pick a Point Man
Some C-Level execs are reluctant to delegate any part of internet marketing because they know it can have such a profound effect on the public perception of the company. However, as a remote team, your virtual outsource marketing agency may be working on a range of different projects on your behalf. Many of course will require high level decisions and therefore need the input of a c-level exec but other day to day tasks on an internet marketing project are not that critical and can be answered by a phone call to the person assigned to be the agency’s point man.
On the other end of the spectrum there is the company owner who has never really “got” Twitter or Facebook. While s/he may know that the time has come to get to grips with their corporate presence on the internet they secretly believe it is all rather a waste of time. Instead of assigning a senior member of staff who has the knowledge and experience to make important decisions regarding the company’s public image, the job is delegated to a lowly staffer and the outsource agency gets little or no helpful feedback.
Not a good idea.
Decide on Your Goals
You want to set some internet marketing goals right up front. Compare these two conversations:
John Smith: “Hi, I own Apex Widgets in Florida. Can you help me with my internet marketing?”
Agency Rep: “Ummm… yes John, Yes I can! I We charge $1,000 per month and we are the best. At everything!”
Okay, that one comes straight from the Fineas and Ferb school of marketing. John has no idea what this group can do for him and there has been no discussion of actual goals. Let’s do that again.
John Smith: “Hi, I own Apex Widgets in Florida. Our downtown store sells widgets to house-owners across the city but we’re looking to expand into online sales. We already have a website but we need to increase the number of relevant visitors, improve our landing pages and develop a social media strategy. Can you tell me what experience you have had in these areas and what strategies might work for us.”
Agency Rep: “Hi John. Yes, sure. We’ve recently completed a social campaign for a home servcies company in your city. They were able to achieve a much higher rate of inquiries from their website which is already leading to an increase in sales. We also hooked up a social management network for them and trained their staff up to use it. Now much of their customer communication is happening right there on Twitter and Facebook.
“As for strategies for your company, well there are several option of course but the first thing we need to do is look at your website and its current performance. We’ll also have a look at the widget market in your immediate area and come up with both a short and long term strategy to improve your lead capture.
In the second example John’s conversation establishes clear goals and opens up a dialogue from which he can assess the outsourcing agency’s experience and suitability. The agency rep on the other hand is able to begin to gather the information he is going to need to establish an intelligent price quote based on what the job will actually entail.
What is your cost? It is likely to come in at 30% – 50% of the cost of hiring a career marketing professional. Cost range will depend on campaigns tailored to your particular business objectives, and Webdirexion always looks for the best ROI. What is more, although you are paying much less – you are actually getting a team of people, each specialized in their own area of internet marketing.
What about ROI? Contact us at Webdirexion today, for a no obligation review of how we tie your Content Marketing campaigns direct to ROI.