Should you be hiring a digital agency?
If you’re running a business in the 21st century, then you probably already know that digital marketing is one of the most effective ways to raise brand awareness, attract leads and boost revenue. 81% of people search online for a product or service, so you’re missing out on a hell of a lot of leads if your business doesn’t have a visible online presence!
Thankfully, hiring a digital agency can bring your business growth to new heights. Whether you’re focusing on SEO, social media, PPC advertising or email marketing, these digital maestros will deliver smart strategies to reach your target audience and maximise your ROI.
But is this service a necessity if, say, Chris from upstairs knows his way around Google My Business? And just how much of your marketing activity should be outsourced?
Fret not. We’re here to help you decide whether marketing support from external experts is the right solution for your business. Below, we’ll compare key considerations like costs and control as we explore the likelihood of being able to build an effective in-house digital marketing team.
Let’s weigh up your options!
What Marketing Activities Can A Digital Agency Manage?
Search Engine Optimisation
93% of online activity starts with a search engine and 75% of users never glimpse beyond Google’s first results page. That means your SEO needs to be up to scratch if you want to stay in the game! From technical audits and backlink building to keyword targeting and structured copy, SEO improves your site so that it ranks higher in Google’s search results.
But the world of SEO is not a simple one. Luckily, a digital agency is full of specialists who can take care of all its nitty gritty elements, developing an expert strategy that boosts your organic search positioning, engages your audience and generates more leads.
Done well, PPC advertising enjoys high conversion rates and cost efficiency. To reach your audience through this online bidding system, you select valuable keywords and set the price you’re willing to pay every time one of your keyword-targeting ads is clicked on.
With 4 billion searches on Google per day, traffic isn’t the challenge – generating a positive return on your ad spend is. A digital agency has the Adwords expertise needed to maximise ROI across search, video, mobile and display ads. They’ll take care of campaign development, conversion tracking and optimisation with proven and adaptable strategies for paid search success.
Social Media Marketing
We all know that social media use is growing by the day. Hiring a digital agency can help you leverage the world’s most advanced social media marketing tools. Reach, engage and convert your perfect audiences on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
A digital agency knows how to take advantage of these massive user networks, their micro-targeting capabilities and cost-effective advertising options. They’ll devise a strong social media strategy for your business, identifying top priority fixes and recommendations. Then they can put it all into action. That means setting up accounts, building campaigns and optimising performance to make sure you get the results you’re after.
Web Design & Development
The look and feel of your website often forms a prospective customer’s very first impression of your business. So it has to be professional, useful, easy to navigate and up to date – Depending on the user experience, you’ll gain or lose valuable leads and Google rankings.
An agency can offer you a team of talented web designers and developers who will make sure your site is mobile friendly, optimised for search and beautifully designed. Working together to understand your unique needs, they’ll deliver innovative and functional solutions. They’ll do this through premium platforms like WordPress, which offers flexibility, technical performance, ease of use and security.
Thanks to over 2 billion monthly users, precision targeting and cost efficiency, YouTube is a highly-effective channel for lead generation and transactional marketing campaigns. In other words, you can win big on the small screen.
A digital agency will design an effective mobile-first video marketing strategy with YouTube Advertising. Innovative content creators and marketers will work with you to build, attract and sell to your ideal audience with data-driven ads and retargeting campaigns.
Automated SMS, messaging and email marketing will allow you to grow, nurture and convert your database. You’ll keep existing customers in the loop on special deals and product launches, while staying front-of-mind for when prospective buyers choose to convert.
A digital agency can help you ace automated marketing with a step-by-step process from briefing and template creation all the way through to ongoing database maintenance on leading platforms like Mailchimp, Autopilot and HubSpot.
So, Which Tasks Can Be Handled In-House?
Any of the above, provided you’ve got a team of employees with the time and talent to take it on successfully. Just remember to set realistic goals – that means not counting on some sort of lone superhero to deliver it all with flying colours.
The good news is that you can always outsource whatever jobs you can’t manage! It’s all about striking the perfect balance of internal resources and agency results.
Of course, the ideal division of digital marketing responsibilities across such a set up will vary from office to office – every business has its unique circumstances, budgets and skill sets, and therefore its own ideal structure for digital marketing operations.
Not sure what’s best for your business? Weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of agency and internal marketing below.
The Pros And Cons Of Hiring A Digital Agency Or Building An In-House Team
For small-to-midsize companies, building an internal marketing department is a significant investment. As well as staff salaries, you’ll face additional expenses like recruitment fees, taxes, superannuations, training and software.
Using a marketing agency could be a lot more cost-effective than maintaining an in-house marketing team. That’s because the level of services (and therefore, pricing) can be tailored to your specific needs. Why pay a full-time SEO specialist an average salary of $60,000 when you could hire a digital marketing agency to achieve the same results at $1000-$2,000 per month? You get the jist.
But let’s work out the best option for your business based on its unique requirements and real expenses. Take a few minutes to compare your costs of hiring a digital agency versus going in-house with our handy calculator!
Bear in mind that if you build an internal marketing department, you’ll also have to purchase all sorts of digital marketing tools and train your team in their use (which can take a long, long time). Such software ranges from SEO platforms like SEMrush to graphic design programs like Adobe Photoshop.
If you hire a digital agency, your business needn’t stress over researching, buying or navigating niche and expensive software. They should have access to all of the latest tools already, paying for each one and knowing how to get the most out of it for your marketing strategy. Nice one!
We totally get it. Handing over some of your business’s most important tasks to an external agency can be pretty scary, especially if you feel more comfortable having complete control over your comms and campaigns.
But sharing your marketing responsibilities can take a huge weight off your shoulders, allowing you to focus your valuable energy on primary business operations. Although an agency requires your sign-off on various decisions, giving them a certain level of freedom to work their magic will reduce approval bottlenecks and help your brand achieve even stronger results!
Just make sure to hire a transparent, reliable agency that you can really trust.
While in-house marketing teams can design and implement numerous types of digital strategies, agencies generally possess more resources and skills to bolster their outcomes. And what’s not to like about achieving a higher ROI from your marketing activities?
This is possible because a digital agency usually comes with expertise and capabilities that internal teams can’t compete with, especially within a small-to-midsize business. From the ability to access beta features on various platforms to the support of industry-leading specialists, an agency has the capacity to bring your marketing activity to a whole new level.
On a related note, an agency can scale to your business with ease. Thanks to a greater number of team members with expert skill sets – think everyone from web designers and copywriters to SEO specialists and PPC pros – your business can make the most of various digital channels, from paid search to social media.
In contrast, upscaling marketing activities with an in-house team can be challenging and time consuming. You’ll either have to spend time hiring more staff or cut down on other important tasks. What’s more, losing an employee might not only harm marketing efforts but also add stressful workloads to remaining team members, creating a vicious cycle of low performance and high turnover rates. Not fun.
Ease Of Communication
There’s a lot to be said for popping over to your colleague’s desk when you have a quick question or need urgent support on a certain task. And with an internal marketing team at your service, you can do just that. No waiting around, leaving voicemails or chasing emails.
Chances are, your digital agency won’t be located in the same office building as your business (you’ve struck gold if it is!). That’s why you need to work with an accommodating agency that has responsive account managers and seamless communication processes. If partnering with an agency in another time zone, make sure it has plenty of experience in supporting this type of client relationship!
Brand & Industry Knowledge
Of course, no one knows your business like you do. An internal marketing team will really understand your brand and its industry, a fundamental foundation for all marketing decisions.
However, if you hire an ace digital agency to promote your business, they’ll get to know it like the back of their hand! That means going the extra mile to familiarise themselves with your brand, competitors, and audience, developing an effective marketing strategy as if it were their very own company.
Number Of Clients
While an in-house marketing team can dedicate 100% of their time and efforts to your business, an agency will cater to numerous clients and their marketing goals.
That said, choose your agency wisely and you’ll feel like you’re the only business on their books! A professional account manager will ensure you receive the highest level of service possible, delivering on time every time with a friendly smile. So if you’re feeling a bit neglected, it might be time to upgrade your agency rather than make the move in-house.
Find Your Happy Medium With Redback Solutions!
Hopefully, the above information has made your digital marketing decision slightly less daunting. Chances are, you’ll get the most value for your money if you couple the support of a winning digital agency like Redback with an internal team who handles any general tasks that don’t require our specialist management. At the end of the day, it’s all about discovering the right blend for your business!
On board with hiring a digital agency? Get in touch with the Redback team for any or all of your digital marketing needs.