Are you unsure of which direction to turn when looking at your marketing budget?  Each company’s situation is slightly different, but here are a few key points to compare when it is the best time to hire an inside marketing team versus a digital marketing agency.  What to look for in a digital marketing agency is an important part of the decision-making process as well.

For small businesses, SEO has been the number one marketing skill outsourced in 2014, 2015, and 2016, according to a Hubshout survey, while website development is increasingly less outsourced.  The world of online marketing and media is changing rapidly, and businesses need to hire specialists who are at the top of their game in order to continue to stay relevant against the competition.

Read on to learn about a few things to consider in the in-house versus outsourced agency dilemma.

Digital Marketing Agencies

For a business just starting out, a professional digital marketing agency, like ourselves here at Miskell Digital, can be a lifesaver.  While you as the new business owner are navigating all the challenges and problem-solving that comes with the first few years in business, outsourcing your marketing can give you the time you need to develop your business and start to turn over a profit. 

  • Use the Experts
    Going with a digital marketing agency is a great choice if you don’t have much experience with marketing.  Bringing in an expert or team who can keep your company on the right track through a range of digital marketing services such as e-newsletters, social media, website updates, SEO, content and social media marketing, and a marketing strategy to take your company from startup to the growth stage.
  • Affordability
    The reason why many startups use an agency is that it is much more affordable at the outset.  Consider that there is a range of about $24,000-$96,000 a year for basic digital marketing services versus hiring a team of experts who all must have a full salary and benefits package, and a minimum for one hire is about $75,000 a year.  Multiply that by a team of 5 employees and you can see how the budget is much higher.
  • Choose Experience
    Search for a digital marketing agency with an experienced set of experts in each relevant field, including a copywriter, content manager, SEO/SEM specialist, social media manager, public relations manager, front-end web designer, web designer, graphic designer, and marketing analytics specialist.  All of these positions are vetted by the agency so you will have a high quality of work without having to go through the hiring process yourself.  The agency has done the preliminary work for you, and the cost savings in the hiring process alone is significant.
  • Understanding Trends
    Another point about a digital marketing agency is that part of their mission is to know and understand current and future trends in the marketing world. With the team’s combined years of experience and knowledge, this can shape the decisions and ideas they have to support and grow your business.
  • Devoted to Your Goals
    Make sure you hire a digital marketing agency that can devote resources, time, and energy to your business.  Depending on the size of the agency, they may have many clients.  You’ll want an agency that has the experience to know how many clients they can manage effectively.

Inside Marketing Team

Once a company is in a growth phase and past the startup, it might be time to consider hiring an inside marketing team.  Do you have the money to hire several employees to form a team?  A larger company that can afford to hire 10 or more for a marketing team is the ideal time to make the switch to an in-house marketing team.

  • Handpick Your Team
    The advantage of having an inside marketing team is that you and your company have interviewed, vetted, and chosen the right employees that will support and work well with your existing structure.
  • One Vision
    The inside marketing team can focus solely on your company to manage the marketing direction and goals that will work best for your business.  You will train your own employees to understand and know the ropes.  Outsourcing to another agency will not have the same personal investment in the success or failure of your enterprise.
  • Budget Risks
    It can be quite a risk to hire an inside marketing team when the budget is limited.  The team members will all have to learn how to work together productively to get good results.  If one or more members of the team do not work cooperatively, it can damage the effectiveness of the team and affect the organization.
  • Continuous Skill Development
    Digital marketing industry and technology moves at a incredibly high speed.  You will want to be sure your in-house team continuously updates their skills and stay abreast of the latest developments in their area of expertise. This takes an investment in time and money.

The Ideal: Best of Both Worlds

An optimal setup may indeed be acquiring and hiring an in-house team solely focused on your business while using a digital marketing agency for specialized help.  This would be implemented after the startup phase as it can cost much more for this type of marketing strategy.

Knowing what to look for in a digital marketing agency can be slightly varied depending on your type of business.  However, if you have general marketing goals in mind, an outside agency can help to streamline and focus your ambitions.

A digital marketing agency is a very affordable way to stay relevant and competitive while sticking to a lower budget margin.  An inside marketing team is for the company that can afford to hire 10 or more employees for a top marketing team.  Otherwise, hiring a digital marketing agency will bring more bang for your buck.

Check out our client success stories for ideas on what to expect from your inside marketing team versus a digital marketing agency.

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