Whether you’re an established company with an in-house marketing team or a driven start-up trying to maximize the ROI of your limited marketing spend, outsource marketing – when done correctly – allows you to meet fluctuating demand with confidence and control.
But search the web for ‘Outsource Marketing’ and you’ll be inundated with options. Does it matter if they specialize in B2B marketing or is B2C success transferable? Should you hire a freelancer or a marketing agency? Would you be better off doing it all yourself after all?
In this article, we’ll look at what’s most important when you’re looking to outsource marketing – and what to avoid.
What Do You Gain When You Outsource Marketing?
To answer the latter question: could you do all your marketing in-house? Probably, but not without making sacrifices. SEO is mostly a straightforward series of processes, but Google has over 200 ranking factors that it utilizes to continuously evaluate your website.
Content marketing is particularly important for B2B companies, as they often have a smaller, more focused audience to target, compared to B2C. Content marketing can increase the likelihood you’ll attract qualified leads to your website – and allows you to educate your future customers on the solution your product offers in a way they’ll perceive as helpful, rather than offering a sales pitch.
But for content marketing to work, you need to be diligent. It can take between six to nine months to see content marketing results. So, you’ll likely want to leverage other tactics, like paid ads, to drive traffic to your website in the interim. Of course, that time frame is assuming you’re blogging at least once a week and optimizing your content as much as possible.
While this can hypothetically be done without outside help or by a limited marketing team, it is a significant amount of work, and there’s no way to get results without hard work. If you can’t afford to devote a solid, non-negotiable chunk of time each week to produce the best quality marketing campaigns, you can’t afford to do it all yourself.
So, naturally, a huge benefit of outsourcing your marketing comes from the reliability of a dedicated external team. They can ensure your content gets uploaded consistently, your website’s SEO is audited, and quality content is added to your website each week.
Having another pair of eyes on your website can also be enormously beneficial, as it’s easy to get into tunnel vision when writing for your own company. Finally, affordability is a consideration – unlike salaried employees, when you outsource marketing, you can scale workloads up or down according to business and project progress.
Prioritize Industry Knowledge When You Outsource Marketing
How different is B2B marketing from B2C? Significantly. While there are some universal truths – all customers will want to be able to see a return on their investment, for example – B2B companies have longer sales cycles than B2C companies do. Marketing tactics that play to customers’ impulses are likely to have much lower success rates, as B2B purchases need to go through a longer, multi-person approval process, and often succeed a large amount of independent research.
Marketing in the B2B industry can also require more nuance than B2C marketing, as a lot of B2B products are disruptive – displacing an established solution and shaking up their respective industries. This requires a radically different marketing approach than a product that is simply a slight variation or improvement on an existing solution.
This is why B2C success is not enough – you must outsource marketing to an agency with thorough knowledge of your industry, and that knows how to impact that industry. Before Nituno, our CEO had so much trouble finding a marketing agency with sufficient knowledge of disruptive B2B marketing strategy for his start-up, that he co-found Nituno to fill the gap.
The moral of this story: take care to choose a marketing agency with sufficient knowledge of the B2B space unless you’re prepared to continually course-correct against lack of knowledge, lackluster efforts, (potentially) blackhat SEO methods, and deficient strategy.
Should You Outsource Marketing to a Freelancer or Agency?
The answer to this truly depends on your current marketing needs.
If you’re just looking for some content to supplement the efforts of your in-house marketing team, a freelancer may provide more focus and control, as you’re dealing with an individual directly. That said, if you do need to scale your efforts further, it will be more challenging to keep two or more freelancers on the same page than two writers from the same marketing agency. This method may require significantly more management on your part, as you’ll have to ensure there is a singular voice used between your multiple writers, and if one quits, the onus will be entirely on you to find a suitable replacement.
If you want a full-blown content strategy and content plan with thorough keyword research, you may be better off choosing an agency that can produce higher quantities of work as necessary, and will deal with any continuity and staffing issues internally.
The Bottom Line
Whether you choose to outsource marketing to a freelancer or an agency, there’s one thing we’ll always recommend: don’t outsource everything. It’s crucial that you continue to understand the product story that’s being used to sell your product or service and whether your customers share that vision.
Ultimately, your whole customer-facing team, including sales and marketing, needs to understand the ‘why’ behind your customers’ conversions. Sales and customer service teams require an in-depth understanding of your customers’ motivations and expectations to effectively meet their needs.
So make sure you still understand the strategies being used and are kept updated on their success or failure – a good marketing agency will be open with you and easy to talk to.
We’ve written extensively in the past about further criteria to look for when choosing an external partner for your marketing needs.
At Nituno, we specialize in empowering B2B companies to drive traffic and turbocharge their growth. Depending on each client’s unique needs, we may use a combination of inbound, outbound, paid, and video marketing. We’re SEMrush and Hubspot certified to ensure the content we create has excellent SEO. Looking to outsource your marketing? We can advise. Get in touch with us today.