Are You a Small Business Interested in Getting Involved in Digital Marketing?

April 4, 2016

You are a small business and interested in getting involved in digital marketing.  What are your options?  Below are some possible approaches for your business, which at the end of the day comes down to time vs. spend.  Depending on your available resources, how much time you have available and/or what you are able to budget, you must decide what makes the most sense for you and your business.

DIY (Do it yourself)
Nobody will know your business better than you.  You understand more then anyone your brand and the messaging you want to convey to your customers.  You understand your target audience and know exactly how to peak their interest.  This is the advantage of taking on digital marketing yourself.  Where it becomes difficult is you have a million other tasks to look after in running your business.  Website optimization, running campaigns, blogging, social media engagement, reviewing analytics and refining your digital marketing strategy can be considered a full time job in itself.  On top of that, you might have limited experience.  There is no doubt you can learn how to do it, but where do you find the time?!

Hiring in House
This will probably be your most expensive option, as an SEO specialist may look to make ~$30 000 annually.  However, with that budget you should expect optimal results.  With already existing skills, an in house SEO specialist will be able to tackle and implement a strategy within weeks.  Granted, as with all of the other options mentioned in this article, it will still take roughly the same amount of time to see results.  However, the turnaround time to have everything up and running should be quicker, as well as adjustments to your strategy based on analytics.  Also, because someone you hire in house will be working directly with you, you can enjoy the benefits of content creation that matches more closely to your vision.

Hiring an Agency
In this case you will most likely be working with an account manager who has a team of specialized workers such as writers for your blogs, graphic designers for your social media images, SEO specialists for website optimization, statisticians to review your analytics, etc. Fees are usually monthly and range according to the type of package you want, ranging from 300 to 500/month (and up) for basic to elite packages.  In working with an agency you must realize you are not
their only client, so you will need to be more patient with turnaround time.  Stay on top of them and set deadlines.  You should expect a monthly progress report.  Most agencies have dealt with all kinds of businesses.  It can be an advantage that they are familiar with your business, but can also be a conflict of interest if working for a similar business in your area.

Hiring a consultant
In this case, you maybe interested in a hybrid of DIY and spending money on a digital marketing consultant.  If you are not ready to hire someone in house or sign a contract with an agency, perhaps a consultant for the time being would be most beneficial.  Consultants are available for specific tasks, for example, to help you get started on your digital marketing strategy and get your platforms setup, review your existing strategy and offer suggestions, advise you on digital marketing campaigns, etc. Consultants generally charge by the hour.  Although good on a per need basis, consultants may not be the best long term solution, as digital efforts do require continuous
attention.


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