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In-House vs. Outsourcing Digital Marketing


A question many business owners will be asking themselves before diving into digital marketing is whether to outsource or manage internally.


Ultimately, there are a lot of factors to consider when making this decision, and it’s going to vary for each and every business. Outsourcing your digital marketing to agencies can have great advantages, but there are also disadvantages to be aware of, and the same is true if you’re keeping your digital marketing in-house.


And to make things even more complicated, a lot of the time a combination of the two could prove the most beneficial.


In this post, we’ll explore the drawbacks and the advantages of each route in detail, as well as outline our recommendations on each particular digital marketing channel.

In-House

Managing a business’ marketing in-house can have many benefits, however, it may not always be the easiest or best solution for a variety of reasons. 


If you do choose to take on the marketing in-house, however, you’ll probably have one of two options. 1. You hire a dedicated in-house marketing team or individual. 2. Your existing team manage digital marketing.

Hiring

One of the initial things you’ll want to decide if keeping digital marketing in-house is whether it’s handled by your existing team, or whether you’ll be bringing in extra resources, through hiring.


Having a dedicated marketing team or individual will usually be more effective than trying to manage it all within your existing team, especially if you’re hiring an individual with experience and a proven marketing background.


However, that option comes with some drawbacks and isn’t always the best solution for a lot of businesses. 


Firstly, hiring isn’t cheap or easy and the ‘perfect’ candidate is never easy to find. It’s likely that the hiring process will probably last for a significant period of time until you find the right fit. And even when you’ve found that person, they’ll still need to go through all the relevant inductions and training before getting stuck into the day-to-day marketing role. 


So, if you’re looking for quick results, hiring fresh isn’t not going to be the best option.

Using your existing team

Some companies may choose to incorporate digital marketing tasks into their existing team's workflow, without the need to hire anyone new.


Although it’s likely you’ll initially complete more tasks, due to the eradication of a hiring process, it’s potentially not the best approach long term. Digital marketing requires a lot of time and knowledge and isn’t always something that should be a secondary part of anyone's role.


In our opinion, for effective digital marketing to work properly and produce results, someone needs to be dedicated and work on this full-time, as a primary focus - whether it's an in-house marketer or an outsourced agency.

Working with a consultant


Another option if you’re keen to keep resources in-house, is working with a digital marketing consultant. It’s a great way to formulate a proper long-term digital marketing strategy and learn what it takes to implement it effectively.

Outsourcing

There are a couple of options when it comes to outsourcing your digital marketing. This could mean reaching out to an agency or employing a freelancer, but it usually involves someone external with a marketing background and relevant skill set.

Digital marketing agencies

Digital marketing agencies are companies that help promote businesses through online marketing channels. They’re experts in their field and digital marketing is their bread and butter.


Yes, digital marketing agencies may cost more, but your business will be backed by a team of experienced and knowledgeable individuals, all experts in their individual areas.


Digital marketing agencies aren’t for everyone though, and we’ve recently written a post titled ‘Should I Hire A Digital Marketing Agency?’ which you should definitely check out if you’re thinking about outsourcing your digital marketing to an agency. 


Digital marketing agencies will be best for larger, more complicated or recurring jobs. They’re a great bet to have on a monthly basis to cover your marketing needs.

Freelancers

Freelancers are also worth considering for your digital marketing requirements.


Usually, they’re very skilled marketers, and although they do not have as much firing power as an agency, freelancers possess a wealth of digital marketing skills that can be useful in a number of cases.


If you’re looking for a couple of tasks, here and there, and less regular work, freelancers may be your best bet. They’re likely to charge by the hour, so you can dip in and out whenever you need.


What digital marketing services should you outsource?

Some services require more work and a higher skill level than others, meaning that you might not necessarily need to outsource everything if you already have some spare capacity within your existing team.

SEO

SEO is a tough skill to master, and one that requires constant attention and is forever changing. This is why we’d recommend outsourcing to a skilled party, whether that’s an agency or a freelancer, this will be a subject where they have their finger on the pulse, and follow the latest guidelines and best practices.


There are still tasks that can be completed in-house to support the overall SEO strategy. Content is a largely influential part of SEO, and who better to write content than the people that know the most about the business? With advice on topics, keywords and structure from SEO professionals, in-house copyrighting can prove extremely beneficial. 


So with SEO, we’d recommend a combination of both in-house and outsourced, with the outsource party handling the technical aspects of the strategy that require more knowledge and SEO experience.

PPC

Similarly to SEO, PPC requires regular, skilful work to ensure the smooth running of successful pay-per-click campaigns.


Setting up PPC campaigns can take a lot of knowledge and time, and should be handled by someone with experience in this area. Maintaining these campaigns isn’t easy either, they can be very time-consuming as they need constant attention to be worthwhile and effective.


We’d therefore recommend PPC is something that gets outsourced to an expert.

Email Marketing

Email marketing requires input from both sides. Usually, it’s recommended that a skilled marketer builds your campaigns and handles the delivery.


However, the content is best to be handled internally, this means copy, offers, mailing lists etc.

Social Media

Organic social media and community management is the perfect tasks to be completed in-house if time allows. You and your team are on the ground, day in, and day out and know all of the quirks of your business better than anyone. That’s why managing organic social could be done in-house, as you have access to great stories and a wealth of potential content.


Saying that, advice and input from experts will help you to maximise what you are posting and ensure you’re getting the best reach and return from your posts. Consulting an agency or freelancer for help here is always a good idea. 


When thinking about social media community management, outsourcing can take some effort away, but if you want more control over the communication your customers receive, handling this in-house will be better if time allows. Usually, if this is handled by an agency, you’ll often find they require regular communication to approve replies to any customer queries - so why not just manage this in-house and cut out the middle man?


When it comes to social media advertising, here, it may be best left to the experts. Running social media campaigns can be fiddly and time-consuming, and when you’re putting your hard-earned money into something, it needs to be done properly for maximum return.

Website Design & Development

Website design and development is a service we’d always recommend to be done by a professional with proven experience in this area as it takes a high level of skill and knowledge.

Conclusion

There are plenty of options whether you’re choosing to tackle your marketing in-house, or outsourcing it to an agency or freelancer.


If you’re looking for an experienced digital marketing agency with a proven track record. Get in touch today!

 

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