Outsourcing your marketing needs can be a powerful tool to grow your business and free up time and resources to turn your focus to core business services and growth.
If you are looking to outsource marketing, you have a decision to make: Should you go with a solo digital marketer or with a digital marketing agency? This guide will walk you through the advantages of each so that you can make an informed decision for your business.
Let’s get started!
What is a digital marketer?
A digital marketer is a person with marketing experience who runs their own shop. They usually offer general expertise in all or most areas of marketing but may also specialize in a specific area of marketing, like SEO, AI integrations, or social media. Solo marketers are popular because of their general knowledge of marketing, or in some cases because of their highly specialized skills that can be inserted into and support an in-house marketing team.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a digital marketer?
- Lower cost
- Specialized marketing expertise
- Support for your existing marketing team
- Longer turnaround on larger projects
- May not be able to handle all of your marketing needs
What is a digital marketing agency?
A digital marketing agency is a team of skilled marketing professionals, each with a focused area of expertise, that collaborates together to provide a full-service marketing program. A full team can handle marketing strategy and execution in all areas, including content marketing creation, SEO, social media, and keep pace with constantly changing digital tools and methods.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a digital agency?
- Team of experts in several topics
- Bandwidth to adapt to changing tools and methods
- Can take on multiple tasks or entire marketing function
- Higher cost
- May not have team members available to handle issues as soon as they arise, since they take on multiple projects at once
When to hire a digital marketer
Hire a solo digital marketer when you have a limited budget, smaller one-off projects, or need a specific skill set. Below are some scenarios in which hiring a solo digital marketer makes sense:
When you have a specialized marketing project
Solo digital marketers can be marketing generalists but often have expertise in a marketing niche or skill set, like content marketing, social media strategy, or graphic design. So when your company has a specific, targeted marketing project that requires more bandwidth, a solo digital marketer is a great solution.
When you need to keep costs down
When you are working with a limited budget, a solo digital marketer offers an affordable way to help you strategize, prioritize, and tackle the most critical marketing tasks.
When you need support for your internal team
Bringing in a solo digital marketing expert to support your internal marketing team in a specific role can be a huge boon to your marketing efforts. Whether it’s developing a strategy, training, or establishing best practices with new software, a solo marketer will give you the best bang for your buck.
When you need one-off marketing solutions
Solo digital marketers are more than capable of doing long-term marketing strategy work and projects but often prefer to specialize in a few areas. One-time projects and projects narrow in scope can be a good fit for solo marketers since they can offer excellent work within a relatively short time period.
When to hire a digital agency
If you are looking to build a long-term relationship or outsource your entire marketing program, hiring a digital marketing agency may be the right choice. Here are scenarios in which hiring a digital marketing agency makes sense:
When you have complex projects
Whether you need to develop your marketing strategy or seek help with specific tasks like content, social media, and graphic design, a marketing agency can steer and implement a cohesive marketing campaign across multiple channels.
When you have a larger budget
A digital marketing agency will cost more upfront and over the long run but will also deliver more and provide cohesive marketing support and better long-term performance. Rather than bringing in an expert on one topic, an agency offers a larger team to support your success.
When you have ongoing work
Do you need someone to manage your social media accounts? Someone who is going to be writing your blog posts every week when you’re busy running a company? When you need ongoing support, a marketing agency can step in to help and keep your brand voice consistent and your customers engaged.
When you need experts in several different marketing disciplines
When you need a content marketing genius, a brilliant graphic designer, and a trendy social media manager, you may not find one solo marketer who can do it all. A digital marketing agency can pull together the team of experts you need and keep their output cohesive and on brand.
Take your time once you’ve decided to outsource your marketing needs, to clarify the scope and outline the requirements and goals of your project. Both solo digital marketers and digital marketing agencies can contribute meaningfully to the success of your company, as long as you select the right talent for the job.