Should You Outsource Marketing for Your Small Business?

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The marketing world is fast-paced, and constantly evolving, which can feel overwhelming at times. The good news is that outsourcing marketing means you don’t have to manage all of it on your own. Recent statistics reveal that the outsourcing market topped $85.6 billion in 2018, and it’s no secret why. There are several benefits to outsourcing, especially when it comes to marketing for small businesses, saving costs and leveraging expert knowledge.

Before you dive into outsourcing your marketing, there are a few things you should look out for to help your small business thrive. 

What is outsourced marketing?

When a business outsources its marketing, it contracts a marketing agency or marketing services outside of its  team. The most commonly outsourced marketing services include strategic and operational marketing functions such as social media, website design, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, and content marketing. Outsourcing to specialized teams or individuals with vast expertise and the latest tools is a great way to improve your business performance. 

Some businesses choose to outsource just a few marketing tasks where they feel they need extra help or time to focus on other core tasks. On the other hand, some businesses outsource every aspect of their marketing. It can be a good idea for small businesses to outsource the most important aspects that are key to their growth because it will guarantee the jobs are done to a high standard and will hopefully result in successful outcomes.

What marketing functions can I outsource?

There are a variety of different marketing tasks that can be outsourced, depending on what your small business needs.

Outsourced web design

Building a website usually takes a lot of time, effort, expertise, and money, which is why so many small businesses turn to outsourcing. Outsourcing web design to the right people means your business can  work with expert web designers who use the latest tools to deliver quality designs within your timeline. Outsourcing your web design process also helps you save the hefty costs involved in hiring a team of designers and resources.

Outsourced SEO

SEO offers one of the most significant returns on investment for a business, so it’s no surprise why many companies choose to outsource it to the experts. SEO is the process of increasing website traffic to a website through organic user search. Organic user search queries account for 40% of all internet traffic, so, if you’re not ranking in search engines, you’re lost in the digital wilderness. This is why SEO shouldnt be an afterthought—Outsourcing SEO puts a specialist team on the case with content strategy, strategic outreach, wireframes, analysis, and scalability. 

Your small business can hire an SEO company, a digital marketing agency, or work with an SEO freelancer. Because SEO requires extreme attention to detail, outsourcing can save your business countless hours and allow you to focus on more critical tasks. 

Outsourced email marketing

Working out the best way to tackle email marketing is a tricky decision many small businesses face. Just like SEO, email marketing can deliver excellent return on investment when done right. A digital marketing agency or email marketing expert will use their experience and knowledge to determine the best email marketing strategy for your business, choose the right designs, and provide an experienced copywriter to optimize your content.

Outsourced social media

Social media has become one of the key marketing tools of the 21st century. Its influence should not be underestimated, which is why so many small businesses choose to outsource their social media. Outsourcing social media management means handing over some or all of your social media activity to a third-party social media manager or digital marketing agency. They will then research, post, monitor, engage, and build your social media presence in line with your overall marketing strategy. This can include both paid and organic social media activity. 

What are the benefits of outsourcing marketing for small businesses?

  • Leverage expert knowledge 

Outsourcing to an external, experienced team of experts means you gain access to the best resources and knowledge in the field. This way, you know your marketing is in safe hands and you’re not wasting time and resources on ineffective activity. 

  • Smash your business goals

The person or company you choose to work with has their reputation on the line, which also means a responsibility to deliver. If you outsource to the right people, you can expect quality work and excellent results. This is especially true when outsourcing to a marketing agency, as they are highly experienced in communicating, strategizing, and delivering according to their clients’ needs. 

  • Save money

Salaries are an expensive part of running a business. A long-term outsourcing relationship with a marketing agency is much more cost-effective than keeping a full-time team of employees and allows more flexible options when it comes to paying for only the jobs you need.

  • Free up your time

If you’re a small business with a million tasks on your plate, you’re not alone! Small businesses are often focussed on scaling up, so outsourcing work, including marketing, can free up your time to perform other more business-critical tasks.  

Common mistakes to avoid when outsourcing your marketing

  • Reputational damage 

Outsourcing can feel daunting; what happens if your businesshires an incompetent agency or freelancer who doesn’t deliver, or worse, damages the reputation of your organization in your industry? There is also the risk that external help won’t be as invested in your business as the internal team, which can also lead to poor output. To avoid this, take your chosen marketing agency or freelancer through a stringent hiring process where you can gauge an understanding of their ethos and work ethic.

  • Security risks 

Any time you outsource, you are sharing access to your business with third parties. This relies on a tremendous amount of trust between your business and the outsourced team, and there is the risk that your security may be compromised. One path to avoiding this is using a security provider, protecting your data and providing education on handling data for the outsourced team. 

  • Communication challenges

Working across external teams can be tricky. There may be issues with communication, cultural misunderstandings, different time zones, and a shift in expectations and timelines. These challenges can impede high-quality outcomes. Some tips for dealing with communication challenges include requesting a work-messenger platform like Slack and assigning roles for clear communication channels.

  • Hidden costs 

Sometimes, outsourcing can involve hidden costs. Be smart and make sure you don’t get stuck in any sticky situations where you end up losing valuable money. Planning and talking to financial advisers will ensure you’re making smart decisions. 

Outsource marketing for your law firm

If you’re a small law firm, outsourcing marketing may be a solution to many of your current challenges. Several tasks can be outsourced to help your firm grow, such as social media, email marketing, and web design. Delegating these tasks externally will free up your time to focus on cultivating relationships with clients and referral sources. It can also save your firm a lot of money by allowing experts to take the reins. But be cautious about who you work with—you don’t want to sacrifice your firm’s reputation. 

Legal outsourcing

Marketing isn’t the only thing you can outsource for your law firm—legal outsourcing is another form of outsourcing and a  great way to find lawyers to do the job for your firm. LAWCLERK provides firms with a freelance lawyer marketplace and a virtual associate program that will help growing firms focused on increasing their profits. 

Final thoughts 

Outsourcing marketing for a small business can be an excellent way to encourage growth and take your company to the next level. However, there are risks involved with outsourcing, so make sure you hire carefully and consider the costs involved beforehand. Working with a reputable outsourcing business will help guide you through the process and let you know what red flags you should be looking out for. Keeping these things in mind, you should have a successful outsourcing experience. 

 

Kristin Tyler, Co-Founder Lawclerk

Kristin Tyler, Co-Founder Lawclerk

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