Updated: Sep 15
If you’re a small business owner, there is a challenge that you have likely already come across. You have limited time, and even more limited funds to dedicate to growth but at the same time, you need to bring in leads and get the ball rolling. It’s a delicate balancing act that hangs by a single thread. That thread is marketing.
Online marketing is the number one driver of business today, and for you to do the same you’ll need to decide how you want to go about it. Is it better to do your own marketing with an internal team or to outsource your marketing work to a small business marketing agency? This can be a tough decision. It’s also an essential question to consider if you plan on scaling your business or attaining new customers in the future.
The answer, in this case, is to hire a dedicated marketing agency that specializes in working with startups or brand new businesses.
Now, you’re reading this on the blog of a website belonging to a small business marketing agency, so of course, we’re a little biased when we tell you that hiring an agency is better. But believe us, there’s a reason why business owners are overwhelmingly deciding to turn to online marketing agencies versus hiring their own marketing staff.
Every business needs a carefully thought-out marketing plan and strategy, no matter how big or small they are. Sometimes, working with an established small business marketing agency that already has experts and processes in place can yield better results than hiring a new internal team can provide.
In this guide, we’ll be breaking down the benefits of working with an online marketing agency dedicated to small businesses versus building your own marketing team.
Explaining The Need For Digital Marketing For Small Business
There’s one thing we need to get straight from the start: online marketing is going to be a key part of your business strategy whether you like it or not. And that means that you’re going to have to spend some money on it.
This can be tough to face at first. You already have a ton going on operations-wise, and it can be hard to envision spending more time and money on marketing if you’re focused on the general running of the day-to-day.
The problem is, you have no choice. Any business today that is not making use of an online marketing strategy is making a foolhardy choice. The majority of businesses today gain their clients from digital channels including their website, social media, email marketing, and more. Meaning if you’re not on one or more of these channels, you’re likely missing out on a big amount of business.
As the owner of a small business, you have a few different challenges to tackle. You need to build out your client base, create more visibility around your brand and hopefully become a household name while still keep to a strict timeline and tight budget.
Unfortunately, many small businesses struggle to make the most of the online marketing approaches available to them. In fact, many don’t make use of them at all.
Don’t believe us? Research has shown that as many as one in five small businesses don’t make use of a digital marketing strategy, and one in ten don’t actively do any marketing at all. Ultimately, these statistics mean one thing: lost or missed business. Considering how many small businesses fold in their first year or two of business, is ignoring online marketing something you can afford to do?
The one true way to ensure that your business is connecting with consumers today is by being online - and in more than one way. You are simply bringing your business to where consumers are already spending most of their time.
So what is the best way to achieve this goal of integrating digital marketing into your small business? With your own internal marketing team or by hiring an online marketing agency?
The Modern Marketing Strategy And Hiring Your Own Marketing Team
Online marketing is an all-encompassing term that describes multiple strategies. This is why it’s difficult for one marketing person to cover all of the different aspects of marketing individually.
Some of the most common pillars you can expect from modern marketing include:
- Website development
- SEO and keyword research work
- Graphic design
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Market research
- Content marketing
- Paid advertising and sponsorship
- Public relations
- And much more
As you can see, marketing is a vast field with plenty of opportunities for business growth, and you can actively benefit from employing them. So let’s talk about what you’ll experience if you decide to build your own internal marketing team.
Of course, working with your own team means you get to choose the individuals you hire, independently verify their experience and align your hiring decision with your marketing goals. You can also, within reason, set the hourly rate or monthly amount you want to pay for their efforts.
On the other hand, hiring can be a whole can of worms, and not a very straightforward one either. With so many aspects of marketing to target, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an individual that is able to tackle all of the pillars effectively on their own. This means you’ll likely have to hire more than one person, meaning you’ll be spending more time and money training them and getting them the marketing tools and software they need.
As a small business, you might not have the resources needed in order to build out a dedicated marketing team. Managing employees means you’ll need to pay additional taxes and employee benefits which will also need to be taken into account. And that’s if you even find someone that is suitable for the role - not all marketers are familiar with the intricacies of working with a small business or startup.
Your other choice is to outsource your marketing needs to an agency from the get-go.
The Benefits Of Outsourcing To A Small Business Marketing Agency
Outsourcing your marketing tasks to an external marketing agency might be your best option as a small business. This means effectively contracting an agency and having them take over all your marketing work remotely.
Some of the biggest advantages of taking this approach include:
- Benefitting from the work of multiple experts in various aspects of marketing
- No need to worry about health insurance or other employee benefits
- Existing tools and software without the need to do setup or get familiar
- No training is needed, an agency can jump straight into your niche
- Keeps your overhead low with less tax liability
- More efficient and well-suited to urgent requests
Working with an online marketing agency that has a special focus on small businesses frees up your time and money for running other key operations. It also saves you the trouble of somehow having to do those pesky social posts yourself between meetings and other tasks.
Compared to working with a single marketing manager or employee in your business, an agency can provide you with experts in all aspects of marketing rolled into one simple pricing package. An agency also has all the tools and software needed for their marketing efforts already in place, which spares you from having to incorporate them into your own running costs or training people how to use them.
Even better is the fact that the agency has experience with small businesses, and that they’ll know which approach is best to take in order to bring the most attention to your business. This means less time spent on spinning your wheels and more active time spent on processing all of the incoming leads you are gaining from multiple online sources.
Curbing The Costs: Hiring Versus Outsourcing
Now that you know the benefits of hiring an agency over your own marketing person, it’s important to mention the difference in cost too.
We’ve already mentioned that hiring your own marketing person is a long-term expense that comes with more than just the salary to handle. Insurance, taxes, and other employee benefits need to be factored in, as does the cost of the online tools they need. There’s the cost of training and other surprises that can push the cost even higher.
On the other hand, you have the cost of working with an online marketing agency to deal with. This typically involves paying for the cost of a monthly marketing package based on your business needs. Some agencies will offer set packages while others will offer custom pricing depending on the size of the business and the work needed.
Initially, the cost of a marketing agency might seem higher than the cost of hiring an employee. But if you were to compare the costs of both long-term, you’d find that you will have saved more by going with the agency. This is especially true when you consider that your package with the agency can adapt over time based on your business growth and changing needs while you will have to pay an employee more the longer they stay with the company.
The most important thing to remember is that you’ll have to ensure you are working with an online marketing agency that specializes in small businesses. You may even find an agency working in your niche too. And since we’re talking about it here, why don’t you...
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As a digital marketing agency, our growth-based small business marketing strategies and range of services are designed to position your company as an industry leader by increasing your brand’s recognition and exposure. Our team of experts is familiar with all the pillars of online marketing and can comfortably meet your niche head-on.
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Hiring A Small Business Marketing Agency FAQ
Why would a business hire a marketing agency?
Modern marketing strategies are intensive in the sense that they require you to be an expert at multiple types of marketing, from email to social media and more. As a business, working with a marketing agency can help you get exposure to experts in every kind of marketing, whereas hiring your own in-house marketing employee may not have the same reach.
What are the benefits of a marketing agency?
For one all-inclusive fee, your business can benefit from multiple types of marketing, going as far as content marketing and SEO or graphic design of all your visual assets. Outsourcing to an agency means you need to do less active management, and unlike having your own employee you don't need to worry about paying benefits or taking on employee insurance.
How do I hire a marketing company for my small business?
There are a few different things to keep in mind when you're choosing a marketing company to work with. First of all, you need to take a look at the options available to you within your budget, and what they cover for the type of cost you're planning. Some small businesses find it useful to stick to local agencies that know their target demographic and business location well, while others like the reach of an agency that can work nationally or internationally.