Hiring an Agency Vs. DIY Inbound Marketing

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"Why hire an agency when inbound seems straight-forward enough to do on your own?" is the question running through the minds of many. This is because many people don’t understand how much time goes into it. Here you can learn about the pros and cons of both options to help you make an educated and well thought out decision.

When it comes to making this decision, it can’t be made sensibly without being educated on what it takes, starting with the most basic question “what is inbound marketing?” Inbound is a form of marketing where you organically attract your customers with content aiming to turn them into leads and ultimately into customers and an advocate of your brand. The content and tools that are generally used to attract includes blogging, emails, social media, CTA’s, landing pages, content offers, email nurturing and more. Keeping these up to date is an ongoing and very time consuming job though it sounds simple. In inbound, a deep understanding of your customer in required to personalize your content to attract them and this is why one spends countless hours creating target personas. Personas are really important according to persona legend Tony Zambito, because: 

  • They inform marketing and sales strategies.
  • Develop a common language about buyers.
  • Inform market and customer strategies.
  • Design thinking is more prominent.
  • Better performance results expected.
  • Globalization is now a must for all organizations.

 

The Ups and Downs of The Challenge

Ups:

Doing your own inbound may seem like a great idea and it can be if you have the time. Doing your own inbound lets you have total control and can be the voice of your business. You don’t have to worry about explaining your ideas, wants and needs of the business to others and worry about things getting altered in translation. You can make your own decisions and changes if you see something’s not working out, which are instant instead of having to contact someone else.

Downs:

You need practice, there is no way around it. You need to overcome the learning curve which takes a lot of time, not only in training but also in practicing putting what you learnt from training, into play. Due to less experience, you limit yourself as you are not a professional. You will need to commit a lot of time not only in the beginning to get started, but to keep up with it which will pull you away from other areas of your business. This is not a task that can be carried out among others, it needs your full focus of time and energy or else it will not be effective. Just to give you an idea of how time consuming it can be, Hubspot claims: if one were to put together a one-month inbound marketing campaign it will require roughly over 40 hours of work in-house.

 

The Ups and Downs of Hiring an Agency

Ups:

You get a whole team of experts putting a set amount of time into your company regularly. Your campaigns will get set up and carried out faster as there is more than just you working towards your company’s success, all you have to do is give the ‘okay’! You are kept up to date on all that is happening, so you won’t have to worry while you devote your time to other critical business functions. The mistake most people make when deciding to do their own inbound is that they either forget about or don’t put enough time into the other critical aspects of their business so the management lacks and creates downfalls that could be avoided by hiring. Spark Reaction Marketing lists the following three points:

  • Your Website as a Sales Tool: A pretty website site means absolutely nothing if it is not optimized to convert potential customers into sales, hiring an agency will take care of this and give you the best of both worlds!

  • There are Considerable Financial Benefits: Hiring an inbound marketing agency and paying a flat fee for the services offered is much easier than hiring your own team and worrying about loyalty. This translates to reduced costs for you, without negatively affecting the ultimate outcome of the campaign, marketing plan, or business goals. Plus, the added financial bonus is that companies that employ an inbound marketing strategy see an almost 200% increase in ROI. 

  • The Efficiency Advantage: A successful inbound marketing agency has developed a solid and proven process for creating and implementing inbound strategies and measuring marketing ROI. Each agency team member brings different skills to the table. By allowing the agency to handle the load for your sales strategy, you can focus on product or service development and delighting the clients already on your roster.

Downs:

It’s not a secret, hiring an agency can be quite a large sum to pay every month, but is it worth it? That’s for you to decide, according to Hubspot hiring an agency to put together a one-month inbound marketing campaign it will cost you about $6000, which is about £4,490. You will make your money back with inbound, the drawback is that it will be over a long term time period. Even though you have input, at the end of the day it’s not you that is writing the content and keeping track of social media, you leave it in the hands of an outsider (can be daunting but if it’s an expert you will likely be happy with results). You will not have total control in terms of not being able to oversee every small detail and action that happens (which may not be a bad thing depending on what type of person you are.

 

Conclusion: Making a decision

Now that you have a better understanding of what it takes ask yourself some final questions to see if you can carry out your own inbound marketing campaign. Do I have enough time to devote to my inbound certification, and to practice so I don’t make mistakes on my company? Do I have time to spend on creating detailed buyer personas, creating content and optimizing my website to be SEO and include CTA’s? If I devote the amount of time that is needed to carry this out effectively, will I hurt the business by not spending enough time on other aspects? Do I feel confident enough to carry all of this out?

If these questions have lead you to decide to hire an agency, there are another set of questions you need to ask yourself such as are you comfortable trusting others with the voice of your business? (remember they have experience and are considered experts) Do you work well in a group, giving and receiving constructive criticism?

Everyone is different and different things work for different people/ companies. Companies with a large team that can divide up tasks without losing track of other important aspects wouldn’t suffer. Maybe a company where you don’t have much to do, it’s mostly left to your team and you have the time, then have a try! If you don’t feel like you’re reaching the full potential, you can always hire an agency. For other companies that have a busy team, or not many team members might want to look into hiring an agency it’s all about what works best for you and your company!

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About the author
Sasha Pyfrom

Oxford Brookes Economics student currently doing a year in the industry as an inbound marketer, originally from the Bahamas and an avid animal lover.

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