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With digital marketing relatively new in Ghana, some managers worry when it comes to hiring. The worry is, whether to hire an in-house, freelancer or hire a marketing agency. It is quite common to find CEOs and Managers contemplating on which one provides a more effective result.
You need customers to keep your business running but how do you get those customers to notice your brand? That’s where the idea of a marketing strategy comes to play. All businesses need to have an effective marketing strategy to survive.
As your business grows, you are more conscious of how your marketing will be strategized. This boils down to whether you should hire a new employee, a freelancer or hire the services of a marketing agency.
This blog addresses the various options that managers have and highlights the reasons why a digital marketing agency should be your best bet.
What is in-house marketing?
In-house marketing is any form of marketing that is not outsourced to a third party. It involves using internal resources to oversee day-to-day operations. Before you completely rule this idea out, here are some benefits of having an in-house marketing team.
- Access to the company’s culture
- Greater loyalty to a company’s brand
- Greater knowledge about products and services
- Alignment across all marketing efforts
- Access to resources
- High devotion to the company
- Commitment towards reaching the company’s goals
Who is a freelancer?
A freelancer provides marketing consultancy on an independent basis. He or she is not tied to any company or employer. Freelancers usually work from home except in cases where their presence is needed in the office.
Some benefits of working with a freelancer include:
- Immediacy and swift delivery
What is a digital marketing agency?
A digital marketing agency is an umbrella term that includes all kinds of activities outsourced to promote your brand and drive sales. They are organized and deliver measurable results in real time. A typical agency will comprise of graphic designers, content marketers, web developers, social media managers, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) specialists and sales managers.
No one person is enough to handle the intricacies of a successful marketing plan. You need a team who can dedicate time to all your marketing efforts.
Benefits of hiring a marketing agency
Saves time and money
When deciding whether to hire a digital marketing agency, most companies compare the cost of an in-house team or freelancer to that of an agency. Truth is, hiring an agency saves you a lot of time and it usually comes at a less expensive cost.
Let’s say you decide to settle for in-house or freelancer, do you think they possess the key skills and expertise to get you your desired result? You’ll also need services such as SEO, blogging, web content, website design, social media and the rest. In the Ghanaian context, some in-house digital marketers or freelancers have a specific set of skills. Some are experts in paid search, others are great in web design and some are pretty good in social media and blogging.
However specialized a person might be in one of these fields, digital marketing is too complex for a single person to handle. What does that mean? You could end up hiring a paid search expert only to find out your competition is getting more results from content marketing. In addition, hiring a marketing agency frees up your time.What’s the point in asking a website designer to help write a blog post for you when that time can be invested in doing something more profitable in line with his or her field of expertise? Click To Tweet
Hiring a marketing agency saves you time and money in this regard. Your employees are able to exert their energy and focus on what they do best to deliver better results.
As much as your blogger might have exceptional writing skills, he or she might lack other skills that will keep you from getting the online marketing results you need. And that’s where the service of a marketing agency comes in. You might not be able to pay for a website designer, you’ll agree that it makes a lot of sense hiring an agency with a diversity of marketing skills.
Also, it can be hard to find experts who are willing to work for a few hours as an in-house person or a freelancer. Agencies, on the other hand, hire experts who will help manage multiple accounts. Hiring an agency gives you full access to experts without needing to hire them full-time, which is more economical than hiring those experts yourself.
Working with an agency lets you focus more on your bottom line at best.
Agencies work as independent contractors, so you remove the need for payroll taxes and recurring costs of having full-time employees such as health care cost and benefits. It saves you the cost of having to buy digital marketing tools as most agencies already have this. The best part? You get access to these marketing tools for a one-time payment.
“To get the best results, you or someone on your team needs to know enough about digital marketing before creating such a department”
Why settle for individual talents when you can hire an experienced marketing agency to handle everything?
Let’s say you want to organize a Paid-Per-Click (PPC) marketing campaign. This can be quite daunting for some Ghanaian digital marketers who are still new to PPC. Chances are that the person will be spending time and money on a keyword that is not helpful. Most people new to PPC make this mistake. Wouldn’t it be wise to get an expert on PPC to know when to reduce ad spend and when to spend more on a keyword that has a high Return on Investment (ROI)?
When considering whether to hire a marketing agency, for a PPC campaign, for example, you need not worry about “if they have done it before” or “whether they can replicate that success for you”. This is the certainty that an agency brings on board to match up with your business goals.
Agencies are also experts as they have worked with a number of clients to know what’s working and what should be adjusted. Since they have done the heavy lifting and figured out the most effective and efficient ways to grow traffic and generate more leads for you, you stand a greater chance of benefiting from them. One of the advantages of hiring a marketing agency is an unparalleled experience. Also, having a knowledgeable and experienced staff on your side produces immediate results.
Agencies offer measurable results
80 percent of marketers often struggle to demonstrate the effectiveness of their marketing spending, campaigns and activities.
There’s a marketing mantra that goes this way, “If you’re not measuring, you’re not marketing”
Because digital marketing involves an endless cycle of measurable activity, this makes all online tactics trackable, measurable and interpretable.
Some Ghanaian businesses from experience run the risk of making investments in online marketing that yields no results. No business should make investments that bring no results!
Having an in-house team or freelancer that does not back their digital marketing efforts with data is a waste of investment. Data helps in knowing what needs to be improved. Having an in-house person post or share content online with no goals or metrics to meet is a fallacy. What you should be looking for is whether your efforts online is at the end supporting the business bottom line.
Marketing agencies have a reputation to protect and therefore mostly back their performance with data. An agency helps to determine Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which in turn helps you figure out how your marketing campaigns are performing in relation to your goals and objectives.
Hiring a marketing agency also helps identify metrics to be used across different channels to gauge the effectiveness of each campaign; customer retention rate, ROI (Return on Investment), click through rate, leads generated, close rate.
An inbound marketing agency help measure your progress every step of the way, track your campaigns and regularly provide a monthly or quarterly report on your performance. Agencies proffer insights into how keywords are performing and how potential customers are engaging with your content and brand.
Fresh Perspective and Ideas
A marketing agency can be your second set of eyes and help bring a fresh perspective to your marketing strategy. It’s good to keep in mind that not everything in your marketing strategy will work for you. The results can often time be bad and other times great. A marketing agency will provide you with great ideas and perspectives on what strategy and technique to use to get better results.
A good marketing agency adds a touch of new perspective to strategies already in place. They will evaluate your marketing efforts, identify hidden opportunities and provide novel ideas based on your audience’ needs. They could, for example, help target your audience and determine which content engages them and how best to share it to meet their needs.
These days a lot of companies are looking to increase their social reach on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. A marketing agency enhances your brand’s approach to social media, including how they’re seen by their audience. Here at Sidekick, we had clients who came to us with the sole aim of joining the social media frenzy. They wanted a presence online to support a social proof.
We had to improve on their need by sharing perspective on the power of social media in getting them not only the social proof but paying clients. And we did this backed with data and case studies.
Range of skills and services
How often do you get an in-house team or freelancer with a diversity of skills? Not very often, right? Some are specialists in either copywriting, graphic designing or sales. Hiring a marketing agency, on the other hand, gives you full access to a range of skills and services. Here at Sidekick, we have content marketers, digital strategists, SEO experts, web designers, sales consultants and other specialists.
There’s a team of marketing professionals with skills and varied industry experience to achieve your desired goal. However, it’s difficult to get the same wide range of skills in-house without having to spend too much. It can be hard to find suitable in-house employees or freelancers with marketing skills such as SEO.
Hiring a marketing agency provides you with the necessary tools to meet your target. A full-service marketing agency like Sidekick provides clients with everything from rebranding your website to setting marketing campaigns.
Digital marketing is never a one and done activity.
The digital marketing world in truth is very volatile to change. Social media channels pop up every now and then. Even the popular one like Facebook keep changing their algorithm to their feeds among others. Google updates how its crawlers scan websites. The point is, it is never a dull moment in the digital marketing world. Therefore, marketers need to be well abreast of changes and adapt fast.
Unlike in-house or freelancers which increases the size of their team whenever there’s a growth or change, a marketing agency quickly adjusts your marketing strategy to meet your needs. This can be difficult for in-house because of the limited number of staff.
When you hire a marketing agency, you have access to latest technology trends and marketing tools your in-house team might not be able to have access to. A marketing agency also provides you with analytics, keyword research, competitor analysis, paid search management, automation tools and they are always on the move, keeping up with the change as they happen; an option an in-house personnel may not have.
Time to decide?
Before you decide, it’s important you weigh the pros and cons of each marketing option. That way you know what works best for you. Do you want measurable results? Are you looking for a team of experts? Are you looking for specialists or a team highly generalized? Do you want access to cutting-edge technology, experts and a breath of fresh ideas and creativity in your marketing efforts? Are you trying to get more work done within a short period of time? Do you want a team who has greater knowledge of your brand and culture?
This blog was written by the Sidekick Social Media team. Sidekick social media is a full-service digital marketing agency, we use our writing as a light to help businesses come out of the dark and in turn lead their industry. Thank you for reading our blog for more valuable content visit www.sidekickgh.com/blog
Judith is a content marketing manager at Sidekick Social Media and also writes for She Leads Africa. She loves to write and when not writing, she loves to listen to a long playlist of good music.