When it comes to ancillary services such as internet marketing, many companies are faced with the monolithic decision of either outsourcing this function or hiring an in-house employee. If this is something you’re currently considering, I will delineate the facts in this article in an effort to make your decision easier. Outsourcing marketing services versus hiring in-house staff.
Broken down in its simplest form, most companies have their core service or product and then they have ancillary components that are necessary as adjunct support functions. Such components may be accounts receivables, accounts payable, bookkeeping, billing, payroll, sales, marketing, accounting, legal, etc. Some companies put themselves through the arduous task of gaining an understanding of these departments, even if it’s not their forte. The truth is, many, if not all can be outsourced to companies who excel in these areas, maybe more so than you.
Internet marketing is an area that has become extremely important in recent years because the internet is where everyone looks to find just about any product or service. For a moment, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Even though various search engines such as Bing and Yahoo exist, Google accounts for about 85% of all search engine traffic on the internet. Google has become a multi-billion dollar company mostly by selling ads. Google doesn’t want companies to have an easy time achieving high organic search results. Their intent is to frustrate companies into purchasing a pay-per-click ad campaign. They accomplish this by occasionally changing their algorithms, which in turn, changes the rules of internet marketing.
Obtaining higher search engine rankings and ultimately a more ubiquitous online presence requires a multi-pronged approach including strategies such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO), social media marketing and content marketing. Effective SEO will index your website’s pages for certain keywords, essentially turning your website into a net for relevant quality driven site traffic. Statistically, the average person spends between 4-6 hours per day on various social media platforms and generally online, so if you’re thinking about selling anything, having a presence on these platforms is crucial. Furthermore, websites that have a very active blog as part of their website, tend to have their site pages indexed by search engines by over 400% more.
With as complicated as marketing a website online has become, hoping that you’ll hire a single employee to perform these tasks well is unlikely. Not being a marketing expert, the only way you’ll know if your employee is proficient at these tasks is if you analyze all details. It’s always harder to supervise an employee when you don’t share their skill set. So let’s take a closer look:
Anyone who’s ever run a business knows that the more employees you have, the more headaches you have. If your employee comes in late, it’s a problem. If they’re sick and don’t come in at all, it’s a problem. If they are dishonest or disloyal, it’s a problem. If they’re incompetent, it’s an even bigger problem. The list goes on and on. When you outsource this function, it’s the outsourcing company’s problem, not yours. You’ll never have to worry about firing, interviewing, qualifying or hiring another employee in this area again.
As of the date this article was written, Salary.com estimates that the average SEO specialist earns approximately $68,000 per year. That’s just one type of marketing employee. When you outsource this function, chances are an entire team will be working on your account. Marketing agencies can typically take advantage of economies of scale since they’re servicing many clients. Even with a team of qualified marketing experts, an agency can still probably perform this service for less than what a full-time SEO employee’s salary.
If you hire one person to spearhead you’re entire online marketing campaign, he or she may be good at one but not necessary at another marketing tactic. Even if your employee is highly skilled at one form of marketing, most likely this employee will not be able to manage multiple marketing strategies simultaneously. These marketing methods are time intensive and a single employee can only cover so much ground.
Marketing firms spend thousands of dollars on specialized software necessary to get the job done for their clients. For them, it makes sense to endure this expense since they service many clients. However, it’s cost prohibitive for most companies doing marketing in-house to make this investment. Some don’t even know what software to use for this purpose or that software like this even exists. There are dozens of different solutions for marketing that can be leased. This part alone can get overwhelming.
Hiring one person to conquer your internet rankings is like hiring one person to build a 50 story building. Internet marketing and SEO is an extremely complex task that requires many different tactics performed on a regular basis, in order to be effective. It’s humanly impossible for one person to handle everything that needs to be done in order to cover all bases. Since one person won’t be able to get to everything, your rankings will most likely suffer.
In summation, it’s typically much more efficient and cost effective to outsource internet marketing rather than hiring an in-house employee. Many company’s that insist on hiring in-house believe they will maintain control if they have an employee at the end of the hall that they can pop in on to see how things are going. However, this is just a fear-based notion because most supervisor’s don’t even understand the inner workings of search engine optimization enough to even ascertain whether or not that particular employee is doing a good job.
While outsourcing marketing services is unquestionably the most logical choice for most companies, choosing the best agency can be challenging. There are good and bad agencies in the marketing world, just like any other industry. Speak to a reputable agency that has years of experience, even industry knowledge. Schedule a consultation, ask questions, and gain additional knowledge about options, benefits, and cost.