If you want to speed the growth of your business, outsourcing some or all of your marketing may be the key. Forbes says, “If you do find your revenue growing…slower than you’d like, it could be time to outsource at least some of your marketing efforts.
Reasons to Outsource
Most business owners and entrepreneurs do what they do because they love it. So naturally, you want to focus on your core. Don’t allow your passion to be eroded because you’re constantly distracted by tasks that drain your energy.
Save Time: Fortune recommends tracking how much time you currently spend on marketing tasks, including posting to social media and taking calls from advertising sales people. Then ask yourself, “How else could I use this time?”
Maybe you have your own talented marketing team. However, they have only so much time. If you notice that they appear overworked, seeking additional help might be an alternative. The same Forbes article referenced earlier notes: “Proper marketing requires time and thought, two things busy marketers don’t always have time for.” In addition, some tasks may simply rest outside the scope of your current team’s talents.
Save Money: Yes, hiring a marketing firm costs money. But refer back to those hours that you were spending on marketing — that time equals money. As Neil Patel of QuickSprout, named by Forbes as one of the top 10 online marketers, says: “If your time is worth, say, $50/hour, doesn’t it make sense to pay someone $35/hour to post to Facebook, create a video, proofread an article, or respond to blog comments?”
Improve Quality: You might also choose to outsource marketing tasks in order to improve quality. Conversely, you might hesitate due to concerns about quality. “Most entrepreneurs and marketers are concerned they’ll get low-quality work if they outsource,” says Patel. “[But] what I’ve discovered is that you can actually improve the quality of work if you outsource.”
Tasks to Outsource
You know your business best. You can decide which tasks to outsource, and how involved you wish to be. However, this list of possible projects should put you on track to making a smart decision:
Inbound marketing, including blogging and social media: Work closely with an experienced writer to help him or her understand your brand voice. Then, he or she can create valuable content. This can take the form of social-media posts, responding to comments, or funneling customer inquiries back to you. Your inbound marketing vendor should keep an editorial calendar, with your input, so you know what will be posted and when. With expertly crafted content, you will be providing information and entertainment to your followers, which will lead to more buzz and more sales.
Photos and video: Content marketing doesn’t just mean writing. Social media, and the Web in general, has become increasingly visual. And just because everyone has a camera in their pocket doesn’t mean everyone shoots quality photos and video. Trust someone with the necessary technical skills as well as a design sensibility to find and take the best images that will showcase your business.
Keyword research and SEO: You can quickly head down a rabbit hole when you start to explore the world of search engine ranking. It’s complicated and changes frequently. Only an expert can keep track of each new Google algorithm and monitor what search terms people are seeking. The expert should talk with you to understand your customers and what keywords provide the most bang for your company’s buck.
Analytics: As with SEO, analytics go deep and quickly become complex. Ensure that your analytics person reports the analytics in a way that’s meaningful to you. Unless you can understand the resultant numbers, they won’t help you grow your business. Other members of your marketing team will find this feedback invaluable for A/B testing, and for confirmation that what they’re doing actually works.
Email marketing: An experienced marketer will keep abreast of trends, spam laws, and the latest techniques. They can help ensure that your customers actually receive your emails, open them, and click on them. By focusing their full attention on this critical form of communication, that person can also test continuously to learn what works best for your audience.
Website management: Trust a person with strong technical skills when it comes to installing and monitoring plugins, tweaking templates and coding. These are not tasks for the faint of heart.
Projects you only need occasionally: Perhaps you wish to update your logo. Maybe you need to make a splash with your next event. You may have a big product launch coming up that you want the media to cover. It’s not efficient to keep someone on your roster year-round even if they knock the ball out of the park when they get their chance at the plate. Pay only for what you need.
Stop and Smell the Roses
One final thought on outsourcing: Don’t forget that you have a life, too. As an entrepreneur or small-business owner, your company tends to take center stage in your life. That’s great! But remember to prioritize work-life balance, and take time to enjoy the rewards of your hard work. Outsourcing some of your marketing efforts can help you do just that.
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