Partnering with an outsourced marketing firm can make a lot of sense for many businesses trying to reach their growth goals. Yes, it's often more cost effective than hiring an in-house team of your own, or trying to find one individual who can do it all. But with an agency, you also gain a group of seasoned marketers with experience across the board: content writing, design, search engine optimization, execution, PPC (and that list goes on!) Plus, you can tap into these various services as you need them.
But this article isn't meant to convince you of the benefits to outsourcing your marketing—you can find more of that information here.
Whether you’re thinking about hiring an agency or you’re already enjoying the perks of outsourcing your marketing, there are some best practices that are important to keep in mind. Like any relationship, communication is key. But there are other things to pay close attention to. Read on for 5 outsourced marketing best practices that will help maximize your engagement:
1. Choose your agency wisely.
Putting your marketing in someone else’s hands is a big deal. Take the time to get to know the agencies you are considering. In order for the relationship to be successful, you need to have mutual respect and an understanding of how the relationship will work. Be clear about how you want to communicate. And, of course, choose an agency that can show you the work they've completed and the results they've achieved for other clients. Make sure they're strong in those areas for which you particularly need their assistance. Their level of knowledge and expertise is critical in order to make it worth the investment.
2. Share the full “big picture” of your company.
In order to be effective, your outsourced marketing team needs to be given a deep-dive into your market, your customers and target audience. They also need to understand your strengths and challenges. What are your pain points and obstacles to greater success? The more you share, the more they will be armed with the necessary information to bring your marketing to the next level. If they don’t fully understand the scope of your business, the relationship will be doomed from the start.
3. Take advantage of their expertise.
While you're jointly preparing new marketing plans with your agency partner, you also have gained a new, outside perspective into your business. A fresh set of eyes can open up new possibilities for your marketing. Be willing to listen and consider new ideas. Your marketing agency is not your employee; they are your partner. Your willingness to trust them and test new ideas will only make your marketing program stronger.
4. Outline measurable goals.
To ensure your relationship with your outsourced marketing company is a positive one, you need measurable objectives and goals that should be evaluated periodically. Are you looking for more leads? More social media followers? Increased traffic to your website? All of the above? Whatever your goals are, your agency should help you set benchmarks, develop a realistic approach, and be able to show you the numbers that showcase progress. By outlining measurable goals, you'll have a clearer picture of your outsourcing ROI.
5. Review and refine.
Working alongside a marketing agency is like any relationship – it will grow and evolve, and you may need to make some adjustments along the way. As you work together on different projects, it will become clear how often you want to communicate about the work involved and check in on the overall marketing plan. If there’s something new you’d like to try, or even something you’d like to bring back in-house, be sure to discuss and get feedback. Frequent and honest communication is key.
Once you find that agency with whom you feel comfortable and confident, your marketing has nowhere to go but up! If you keep in mind the importance of feedback and transparency, you should enjoy years of a positive and productive relationship.
Still on the fence about outsourcing? Check out our free eGuide – 7 Signs You're Ready to Outsource Your Marketing – to help you assess your situation, and find additional tips and best practices to get the most bang for your buck.