Summer is coming to its end, the silly season is fading away, and typically this is that time of year when, in one way or another, we are forced to ‘go back to reality’. Having a company, you’ve already realised, without any shadow of a doubt, that it is necessary to develop your business’ digital marketing; and if fast-tracking is what you need, this seems like the perfect time to take it forward. And it is!
But now a new question arises – is it worth to hire a company to do it?
The short answer is: yes. But, of course, I’m might be biased! Let’s thus analyse your particular case, and get to YOUR answer for this question.
Start by looking at the size of your company and how much you are willing to invest. Smaller companies (like the vast majority of those we have in the Algarve) usually have their workers stretched thin in terms of available time. How many hours a week can they devote to your business’ digital marketing? And how many channels will it have? Social media only? Just organic (creating and sharing posts) or advertising too? Google Ads? E-mail marketing? SEO? Copywriting for blog, website, etc?
Don’t forget that, if you’re going to work with what is home-grown, some learning time will be needed to begin with (and to finish it and, in fact, throughout every single minute in between, as digital marketing is constantly changing and you need to keep up with it, so you don’t fall behind). You’re now starting to hyperventilate (and with good reason) and beginning to think you might not get it done this way, aren’t you?
OK, so clearly you won’t be able to do this using your existing employees. Simple, hire someone! But just one person, as things aren’t looking bright, right? Don’t forget that, in the recruitment ad and job description for this desired new staff member, you must state you want someone with experience in social media management, PPC (whether it’s just Google Ads, Facebook and Instagram Ads, etc), e-mail marketing, copywriting, graphic design, web development (or web design and coding, is fine too), SEO, communication, and if he or she is good at PR and sales, even better; speaking, obviously, in addition to English and Portuguese, also French (given it is a growing market in this region, of course!). There, it’s done!
And now a small question: do you think there is someone in the world who does all of this well (please note that ‘well’ is the operative word in this sentence)? Because if you do, you’re dead wrong.
The same person is unlikely to do well (again, please pay attention to the importance of this word in the sentence), for example, PPC (pay-per-click ads, such as Google Ads) and content creation (graphic or copy), or SEO and communication, or social media management and something else. And here lies the greatest advantage of a marketing agency – it has different professionals, specialised in each one of these things. These professionals, in addition to being constantly training and learning (poor guys, it’s not like they have a choice, for as we told you before, this is an area that is continuously developing, and what was done today, may not necessarily be beneficial tomorrow), also normally have access to specialised tools.
Agencies usually invest in specialised software and have already set in place efficient operating plans for each issue and specific digital marketing channel, in order to maximise what they do for each client (and their own time, of course). And we mustn’t obviously forget that if they lack some complement for a specific situation, they usually have a good network that allows them to get to it easily (partners they already work with when they need it, privileged contacts, etc, etc). Can you say you can do the same?
“Nah, nah, nah, I want someone here, who deeply understands the business, the products and services, who stands by the company at 100% and lives and breathes its culture, vision and mission.”, you might tell us. Right, we completely understand. But what makes you think that the agency you hire to handle your business’ digital marketing won’t do it too? Maybe even more so than one of your employees. And do you know why? Because unlike you and your employees, the agency will not do this with its heart, but rather with its mind – emotion takes no part in this equation.
And do you know what this means? This means that it will study your company inside out (and this includes your products, services, sales channels, customers, personas and market or markets) and devise the best plan to increase your sales, gain exposure, grow your trust online or achieve whichever goal you set it to achieve.
This also means that, when there is a problem at your office or store, between you and an employee or between two people on your team (and there always is because we are all just human), this will not influence the agency and it will continue to do the work you hired it to do in an impartial and problem-distanced way.
It means that when a client gives you a bad review online, the agency will not lose its temper and send the customer to that ‘special place’ but instead will answer thoughtfully and carefully, transforming that bad review or comment into something positive for those who will read it in the future (even if the “… you” answer was the only one that said customer deserved!).
It means that the agency will not get attached to your website, copy, or anything else in which you invested so many hours and so much effort to create, and resist when it’s time to change it because, for instance, Google ‘changed the rules halfway through the game again’.
And if you’re still not convinced, let us ‘target your wallet’ (which is where business people always hurt the most!). How much will a new employee cost you, assuming that you find that Jack of all trades who can, in a sublime way, do everything your business’ digital marketing needs and a mean cup of tea (and by the way, if possible, we’d also like to have that person’s mobile number, please, as, someone like that always comes in handy!)?
Forget about social security, taxes, computers, software and everything else you have to pay for with a new employee, and just focus on the net monthly salary. € 600? Seems a bit cheap for someone with so much expertise… € 800? € 1000? And do you have any idea of how much a retainer with a digital marketing agency would cost you? Maybe, with those € 600 or €800 per month, you’ll be able to ‘through a big party’, without needing to add social security or other contributions, new computer, or any other additional costs to what you have hired.
And the best part is that you are actually hiring three or four or five people who specialise in different (super) specific areas within digital marketing for the price of one (less than that, really!). Does it start to make sense to you? After all, it’s just simple maths!
There are obviously companies that, given the specificity of what they do, will always need to have someone ‘technical’ in-house. But in this case, why not opt for a mixed solution? Keep that dedicated person within the company to create specialised content (for the website, blog, social media posts or newsletters, for example) and outsource an agency to deal with key areas, which are also more demanding from a technical point of view, such as online advertising (on social media, Google Ads, etc) or SEO.
In short, the first thing you have to do is look at your business plan or marketing plan. Can you achieve those objectives by yourself (in-house) or is it better to maximise the investment (which you will have to do, regardless) and ask for outside help (outsource)?
And, if by any chance, you don’t have either one of those plans for your business, bookmark this page on your browser (to come back to it later more easily) and go take care of that first. If you don’t know how to do it, then don’t hesitate, as there’s no doubt whatsoever in this case: it’s time to hire an agency to create a digital marketing plan for your business. Yesterday, please! As summer is ending and the little ant knows she has to prepare for the coming winter, even if it is one of, more or less, mild temperatures, like the ones we have here in our ‘Algarve kingdom’!