What To Avoid When Outsourcing Digital Marketing (7 Tips)
Outsourcing your digital marketing campaigns can help your business save time, money, and resources. By hiring a Chicago digital marketing agency, you gain access to expertise, tools, and technology that can boost business growth and success.
This guide helps avoid common mistakes when outsourcing digital marketing, namely:
- Setting very high expectations
- Not formulating a clear plan
- Forgetting research
- Overlooking retention rate
- Collaborating with multiple agencies
- Going with cheap freelancers
- Working with agencies that promise everything
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1. Setting Very High Expectations
Setting too high expectations when outsourcing a digital marketer can create unrealistic demands, and put undue pressure on the agency that you hire. It may also lead to disappointment and frustration on both sides.
Consider that the digital marketing landscape changes rapidly, and keeping up with the latest trends and techniques is challenging. Digital marketers may be unable to deliver on expectations (realistic or not), if they are unfamiliar with the latest trends.
Finally, digital marketing is a long-term process that takes time to see significant results. Setting very high expectations may lead to a sense of urgency that could compromise the quality of their work. Avoid unrealistic assumptions by:
- Clearly defining goals and objectives and making sure that these align with your overall business strategy.
- Researching the agency's past work, client testimonials, and case studies to better understand its capabilities.
- Communicating budget, timeline, and other constraints that may impact their work.
- Setting achievable milestones to track progress and ensure that the agency meets expectations.
2. Not Formulating a Clear Plan
Not having a plan when outsourcing digital marketing can lead to costly errors. Without a clear marketing plan, your messaging and branding may lack consistency, leading to confusion among the target audience. This can harm your brand's reputation and hinder your ability to build a loyal customer base.
Without a blueprint of where you want to go, the agency chosen may not know where to focus its efforts, leading to wasted time and resources on ineffective marketing tactics. You may miss opportunities to capitalize on trends to gain a competitive advantage. So, have a clear path before looking for a digital marketing partner. These strategies can help formulate crystal-clear plans:
- Determine if you want to increase website traffic, generate leads, boost sales, or build brand awareness.
- Identify the target audience to create targeted marketing messages that appeal to them.
- Choose digital marketing channels that are most relevant to your target audience: search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, or content marketing.
- Develop a content strategy that aligns with your digital marketing channels and target audience.
3. Forgetting Research
Digital marketing is ever-evolving and requires specialized knowledge and skills. Without proper research, you may end up outsourcing to an agency that does not share your business goals and objectives or lacks the expertise needed to achieve them.
Overlooking research, before outsourcing, can result in wasted resources and lost opportunities. You may spend money on ineffective marketing tactics that do not produce results. Conduct research by:
- Using search engines and social media platforms to research the right SEO partner specializing in the services that you need.
- Checking industry directories, such as Clutch.co and Agency Spotter, that list digital marketing agencies based on their expertise, location, and industry.
- Asking for referrals from colleagues and business partners for agencies with a proven success track record.
- Reviewing portfolios and case studies to see if they have experience working with businesses similar to yours.
- Conducting interviews to better understand their expertise, approach, and process.
4. Overlooking Retention Rate
Retaining customers is more cost-effective than acquiring new ones. A digital marketing agency focusing on the careful management of clients can help you reduce customer churn and increase revenue through repeat business. Retention is core for maintaining a positive brand reputation. An agency that focuses on keeping clientele can help build a loyal customer base that advocates for your brand.
When you overlook retention rates, you may miss out on essential metrics that indicate the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts. Preserving customers is also critical for long-term growth and sustainability. Find an agency’s retention rate before hiring using these strategies:
- Ask the agency directly about their retention rate and what strategies they use to hold onto your audience.
- Check online reviews on websites such as Google, Yelp, and Clutch.co to see if clients mention the agency's rate of retainment in their feedback.
- Look for repeat clients from the agency's portfolio and case studies. These could be signs that the agency is effective at keeping and/or widening the customer base.
5. Collaborating With Multiple Agencies
When multiple vendors and agencies are involved in a digital marketing campaign, there is a risk of miscommunication and a lack of coordination. Each vendor may have its own agenda and approach, resulting in a fragmented campaign that lacks a cohesive strategy.
Collaborating with multiple vendors can be inefficient and time-consuming, resulting in higher costs. Each vendor may have fees and pricing structures that can quickly strain your budget. These are some of the reasons that small businesses should consider hiring an expert digital marketing agency.
It is also difficult to track and measure a campaign's return on investment (ROI), as each vendor may have its own reporting system. Avoid this mistake with these tips:
- Identify the specific services you need and the type of agency that can provide them.
- Assess the capabilities of a current agency to see if they can provide the full range of your needed services.
- Look for a full-service Chicago digital marketing agency to provide various services, including strategy, SEO, social media, content marketing, email marketing, and paid advertising.
- Check their track record to see if they have a history of delivering successful campaigns.
- Evaluate the agency's communication and reporting mechanisms that will keep you informed about the progress of your campaign.
6. Going With Cheap Freelancers
A cheap freelancer may lack the skills and expertise to deliver a high-quality digital marketing campaign. They may lack the experience and knowledge necessary to effectively develop and execute a cohesive strategy.
A freelancer willing to work for a lower rate can often result in poor-quality work. They may not have the resources or tools to produce high-quality content, or execute a successful campaign. They are not as committed to your campaign as they may juggle multiple projects simultaneously.
Do not fall for the mistake of hiring cheap labor. Remember these strategies when outsourcing:
- Define your budget to help identify the services and expertise that you can afford.
- Research potential candidates to find those with a good reputation and a successful track record.
- Assess their experience to confirm that they have the necessary skills and knowledge to execute a successful digital marketing campaign.
- Take a close look at their portfolio to see examples of their work, and to assess the quality of their services.
- Ask for a proposal that outlines their approach, services, and costs. Compare proposals from different freelancers or agencies to assess their value.
7. Working with Agencies That Promise Everything
Working with digital marketing agencies that claim they can handle everything can also be a mistake, as online and web marketing requires specialized knowledge and expertise. An agency that claims to do everything may not have the depth of knowledge needed to provide the highest quality service in all areas.
Such an agency may spread itself too thin, lacking focus on specific areas that are critical to your business. This can lead to subpar results in areas that are most important to you.
Lastly, an agency that claims to do everything may charge higher fees to cover the cost of providing a wide range of services -– even if you don't need or use all of them.
Outsourcing digital marketing campaigns can be challenging, especially if this is your first time. Remember to avoid setting unreasonably high expectations, not having a clear plan, forgetting to do research, and overlooking customer retention rate. Additionally, avoid collaborating with multiple agencies, hiring cheap freelancers, and working with agencies that promise everything.
These practices lead to poor results, costly errors, and delays in your campaigns. Trust only an expert Chicago digital marketing agency. Call Digital Authority Partners today.
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