5 Reasons to Keep Your Small Business Marketing In House
As a small business owner, it’s essential to know when to keep marketing efforts within the company and when to outsource them. According to a May 2015 report from SoDa, many companies have opted to assign marketing campaigns to employees over the past year rather than outsourcing them to marketing agencies, particularly in the U.S. The numbers of companies doing so has increased from 13 percent to a somewhat shocking 28 percent. This shift indicates the problems small business owners face with outsourced marketing companies.
It’s generally recommended that you go the in-house route regarding small businesses, but why?
Review the following reasons and decide for yourself:
Reason #1: Optimal Coordination
Maintaining an in-house marketing team allows for more seamless operations. There’s no need to coordinate with a marketing agency that’s based who-knows-where; rather you may easily assign tasks and otherwise ensure your PR, sales, and other marketing teams are always on-point. Even if you decide to outsource marketing projects one day, you won’t find success unless your current staff works together like a finely oiled, finely tuned machine.
Reason #2: Specific Ideas for Connecting With Customers
Today’s companies frequently have very specific ideas for leveraging what marketing clout they currently possess and using it to further engage customers and increase brand awareness. For example, brand managers at Fortune 500 companies have complained in recent years that proposals from outside marketing agencies appear as advertising options, not ideas for truly connecting with customers and improving brand loyalty.
Social media, content marketing, and other marketing strategies work in conjunction to form the heart of a brand. Ideal marketing production begins at the source, and your employees have a much better idea of what the voice and tone of campaigns are and should be. A freelancer who is new to your business model probably will not offer the same special touch.
Reason #3: More About Employees
Let’s expand upon Reason No. 2: your employees are your branding goldmine. As some industry experts have noted, consumers don’t buy from brands; they buy from the people behind those brands. For example, employees of popular brands have social media profiles just like the companies they work for, which allows them to further promote brand awareness. This doesn’t mean employees should turn their social media profiles into advertisements for your company, but it does mean they are able to engage with consumers and possibly provide tips, event and product information, and more. Your employees are your company’s face, and they’re much more likely to promote content they created, as opposed to posts crafted by a faceless freelancer.
Another benefit of utilizing your employees’ considerable skills is more content diversity. Outsourcing content means providing detailed instructions and hoping the results doesn’t sound repetitive or nothing like your brand voice. Charging employees with content production means enjoying a much wider range of content that’s still in touch with your company’s vibe.
Reason #4: Ideal Flexibility
Last-minute changes to content are common, be they social media posts, blogs, landing pages, or other marketing options. Making content changes while dealing with an outside agency often gets tedious fast, as it means many phone calls, emails, and text messages. It can also mean sending content back once, or even a few times, for edits when said content should have gone live hours ago.
Keeping small business marketing in house sidesteps this issue completely, as it allows last-minute changes to happen quickly and without the need for serious edits. It’s usually team members themselves who decide to make a change, such as including a new graphic or more engaging email subject line. Freelancers do the work they’re paid for, and generally request additional compensation if edits that aren’t their fault are needed. For example, if you left out a key piece of information when commissioning social media content, the freelancer isn’t going to redo the task for free. An employee, however, will easily make the change and probably not complain about it.
Reason #5: Avoiding Irrelevance
Sometimes even the most renowned marketing agencies provide marketing plans and content that’s irrelevant. Whatever their reasons for providing cookie-cutter marketing campaigns, companies that offer formulaic nonsense are a huge waste of time. Irrelevant content proves how out of touch you are with the advertising world, and certainly won’t pique consumer interest. Relying on your wits as well as those of your employees to create something new, different, and highly engaging demonstrates direct involvement with your brand and makes you accountable for what’s going up on social media platforms and blogs. It also shows your commitment to truly engaging with your customers and creating a relationship that lasts for years.
It’s still important to know when to outsource marketing work. You’ll need to take the time to research and review each potential marketing agency to ensure you get what you want, but this effort is worth it when current employees aren’t producing the results you desire and “fresh blood” is required. Having an in-house marketing team that’s severely overworked or a quick influx of new business could also lead you to outsource.
Additional reasons for outsourcing include being task rather than strategy-driven, and always running behind on campaigns. Finishing tasks is a beautiful thing, but if you’re putting content on Facebook simply for the sake of throwing content into the social media ‘verse, you aren’t helping your company. If you’re constantly rushing offers, behind on holiday promotions, and never seem to get social media posts out in a timely manner, you’re hurting yourself and might need to outsource.
Remember, as a small business you’re playing a necessary role in the economy. Give your business the love it deserves by counting on competent employees and outsourcing with the right people, only when it’s required.
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