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Online marketing is easy. Everybody’s doing it, from bloggers to Etsy entrepreneurs. Why should you pay for something you can do yourself, right?
You could look at it that way. It’s certainly true that technology has made marketing more accessible than ever. If you’re just starting out, you may think that spending money to hire an agency doesn’t make sense.
In fact, failing to hire an agency is one of the biggest mistakes that entrepreneurs make. It’s not necessary in every situation. But here’s the thing:
“If you’re not a professional marketer, it’s a virtual certainty that you’re missing opportunities – and sales – because of the marketing choices you’re making.”
Yikes. That’s not what you want, right? Most small and medium-sized business can’t afford to give sales away.
So, with that in mind, let’s talk about how you can tell if it’s time to outsource your marketing to an agency.
#1: You Don’t Have a Handle on Your Online Presence
The first big indicator that you need a professional marketer is that you don’t really know how people perceive your brand online.
Let’s face it, “online” is a big place. You might think of your website as your home base, but you also need to know how your brand is represented:
- On social media (on your profiles pages as well as in mentions)
- On review sites like Yelp and Google
- In blog posts and niche publications
- On forums related to your industry
- In online directories
That’s a lot to keep track of, especially if you’re wearing multiple hats as you run your business. A professional marketer will have tools and expertise to assess your online presence. They can take your brand’s online temperature and then take corrective action to improve the way you’re perceived.
#2: You’re Not Sure How to Allocate Your Marketing Budget
Where are you spending your marketing budget? Do you know how much you’re spending? For a lot of entrepreneurs, the answer is no – and that’s a problem.
If you’re handling your own marketing, you might feel as if you’re shooting in the dark. One week you’re spending on Facebook ads. The next, you’re running a Google AdWords campaign. You’re trying everything and hoping that something will bear fruit.
The problem is that you don’t have a marketing plan. You haven’t had the time (or expertise) to evaluate marketing platforms and choose those that are most likely to get you the results you want.
A marketing pro will have broad experience and should be able to assess your brand and target audience – and use that assessment to choose the best marketing options. You don’t need a big budget to be successful, but you do need to know how to use it.
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#3: Your Marketing Campaigns Aren’t Generating Leads
This one should be a no-brainer, yet it’s a common problem for DIY marketers. If your marketing campaigns aren’t bringing you qualified leads, you’re throwing money away.
Guess what? Your marketing campaign could be well-conceived. Perhaps you’ve created what could be a winning ad. You might still have problems with:
- Knowing which platform is most likely to put your ad in front of people who need your product or service
- Choosing the right keyword to target on Google or Bing
- Selecting the right target audience on Facebook or Instagram
In other words, there’s a lot more to lead generation than ad creation. You need to know when, where, and how to display your ad – and who to show it to – if you want to generate leads. A professional marketer will know.
#4: You’re Not Aware of Marketing Trends
The world of online marketing is constantly changing. What worked a few months ago might not be effective anymore.
Here’s one example. At the beginning of 2018, Facebook announced it would change its algorithms to favor posts from family and friends over posts from pages and brands. Companies that used to get a fair amount of organic engagement must now pay to get the same attention.
It can be difficult for entrepreneurs to keep up with what’s happening in marketing. You’ve got other things to do.
When you outsource your marketing, you’re paying someone whose job it is to know what the latest and greatest marketing trends are. You won’t have to worry about spending on outdated marketing techniques.
In other words, paying a pro will ensure that your marketing dollar goes further than it would if you tried to handle everything on your own.
#5: You’re Not Testing Your Campaigns
Very few people – even marketing pros – create perfect campaigns on their first try. Marketing is both an art and a science, and in science, testing is essential.
Many entrepreneurs never look at the results of their marketing campaigns. They don’t know which metrics matter – and that means they’re not using their results to tweak their campaigns and improve them.
Marketing pros understand the value of split testing. Once they launch a campaign, they’ll measure the results and tweak the ad until it’s perfect. You might not have the time to do that – and that’s why you need a pro to do it for you.
Done properly, this kind of meticulous tracking and testing can make a huge difference in your conversions and ultimately, in your bottom line.
#6: You’re Not Making Marketing a Priority
Is marketing something you think about every day, or is it an afterthought? For many entrepreneurs, it’s the latter. They make time for it when they can.
The problem with that, of course, is that you won’t get the robust results you deserve if marketing isn’t a priority. You might push it aside in favor of other needs that you view as more pressing.
Marketing should be a priority. It’s the only way you’ll create a strong brand, build your platform, attract new leads, and convert them into paying customers.
If you don’t have time to give marketing the attention it deserves, you need to hire someone to do it for you. It’s just that simple.
Outsourcing your marketing will cost you…
… but it won’t cost you as much as running lackluster campaigns that do nothing to build your brand and attract leads. It’s worth a bit of up-front investment to get the results you need.