Confession time: for most of my career, I’ve been a “helicopter marketer”. The kind of marketer who thinks they can (and SHOULD!) do everything on their own.
From strategy to analytics, from writing to PR outreach, I used to do everything on my own or with a small in-house team back when I was a CMO for tech companies. Things didn’t change much when I became an entrepreneur and started my own digital marketing agency.
After all, who else could know more about the strategy I designed and its implementation than my busy, burnout self?
I wrote an article about how my first three years of entrepreneurship were a mix of professional successes and personal downfalls. You can read it here, I won’t dwell on it too much.
The main takeaway is this: if you try to do everything on your own, you’re gonna make mistakes. The little kind, but also the huge kind. Even if you are some freak of nature who’s good at everything, you can’t possibly have the time and the energy to do everything right.
Which of the tasks should you outsource? Well, it depends on your company and your goals.
There’s no one-size-fits-all in digital marketing.
As always, I recommend balance. Don’t outsource everything – you need to have a grip on your marketing and you need to be involved and accountable for it. But don’t do everything on your own, either. You’ll end up with dull campaigns or content, as well as burnout syndrome.
So, if you want to stay sane AND have great marketing ROI, here’s a list of digital marketing activities you can easily outsource:
Copywriting services are the bread and butter of Idunn, the agency I run. It’s our top grossing service for a very good reason: copywriting is the easiest, best thing to outsource.
Because hiring someone to write for you is usually not profitable. It’s very hard to find great writers. Hiring them in-house also adds a lot of expenses to your final toll: office space, a fixed salary, taxes, insurance and more.
Some businesses get someone in their marketing department to do all the writing. But that’s rarely a good idea. Not all marketers can write – writing for the web requires a whole different set of skills than simply acing grammar and spelling. Plus, a good writer always knows the most recent trends in the field, along with Google algorithm updates.
Does your in-house staff have time to stay on top of all that? Or are they busy with your strategy and campaigns?
2. Blog and SEO Writing
A good blog post should be able to rank in search engines AND help with your lead generation and conversion strategy.
A good writer knows how to do both.
The days when you would stuff your content with keywords up to the point it became unreadable are gone. You don’t have to sacrifice readability for SEO or vice versa.
However, you need a good writer to be able to get both right.
This is where outsourcing comes into play.
3. Social Media
The typical business has (or should have) a presence on at least two social networks. You don’t have to spread yourself thin and create and maintain profiles on every social network.
You should only be where your customers are. Otherwise, you’re wasting time and resources.
Still, even a couple of profiles are hard to maintain.
You need at least one person that dedicates half their week to creating content, curating third party content, posting, interacting with other accounts, replying to direct messages and more.
Obviously, you can’t outsource everything here. But the right combination of human agents and social media bots can pretty much help you forget about social media.
What I recommend to our social media clients is to let us handle the bulk of scheduling and posting and have someone in-house manage leads that come through social media channels or post time-sensitive things.
4. Web Design and Development
Hiring a web designer or developer in-house is generally not needed. If you run an e-commerce business and have multiple websites, you may need one or two full-time developers. Otherwise, you’re better off outsourcing design and development.
And don’t worry about maintenance, either. Both agencies and freelancers offer monthly maintenance services for a small fee.
If you don’t have a Google Ads certified employee or if no one in your staff has at least two years of experience with PPC ads in general, you should seriously consider outsourcing this.
Because just like in the world of SEO and conversion writing, things change fast. The Google Ads interface, just like the Facebook ads one, is hard to master.
Take it from someone who’s been running ads on both platforms for years now: you always have something new to learn. Yes, it might look easy to set up a campaign. But if you don’t know most of the ins and outs of the platform, your campaign will have an extremely poor ROI.
So, if you’re outsourcing all or most of the above, what’s left for you to do in-house? Well, the most important thing of all.
Keep Marketing Strategy In-House
As a business owner or CMO, you should always have a firm grip on your strategy. You should be involved in it and know it inside out.
In fact, in-house staff is the most likely to be able to align business and marketing goals.
But what happens when you’re stuck?
I know, this happens. And I highly recommend getting an outside perspective instead of spinning your wheels. Hire a marketing consultant for a few hours. Or ask them to create a strategy from scratch for you.
Reaching out to a professional for help doesn’t mean you’re not in charge of your strategy anymore. In the life of every business, there are times when the staff is stuck in a rut. When you can’t see the forest for the trees.
You’ll be amazed at what a pair of fresh eyes can bring to the table. This goes for anything you outsource, but only provided you find the right partner.