By Garrett Smith
One of the biggest decisions a business owner can make is whether or not they want to invest in marketing for their company. In 2018, marketing is a must-have, but not everyone can afford a traditional in-house marketing team.
For people who want a professional team without assembling a staff of marketers, designers, and writers, there are a few other avenues you can pursue to still get the results you want. One option is to learn everything you can about marketing and doing it yourself. This will allow you to learn what works and what doesn’t, though you may have to learn at your own expense.
Another great option would be to hire a marketing team that is local to you. By working with an outside agency, you’ll be able to benefit from having an entire team at your disposal. These professionals will be working on your behalf to make sure that your business’s marketing and online presence are as compelling as possible. The only downside of working with a local marketing team is the fact that you may be paying a premium for your services.
So, what do you do if you want great marketing done by professionals, but have a budget that you need to be mindful of? You need to get creative!
Options for Finding a Marketing Team
When you have a strict budget, you have to find ways to get the high-quality services you need without paying top dollar. This puts you in a difficult position, as there are many companies who try to prey on businesses who are looking to get great services for a low price.
Many companies will have a center of people working overseas, paying them just a few dollars while pocketing the rest of your monthly bill for themselves. While the work does get done, certain people may be getting exploited and your marketing may not be as fool-proof as you would like.
In some cases, cheap marketing teams will use “cheats” to try and manipulate your rankings. These methods include getting links placed on obviously fake blogs or in the comments section of other blogs. Though you may notice a few benefits at first, search engines and users will eventually catch on and your business will use its trustworthiness online.
Finding an Out-of-House Marketing Team
When you are browsing for marketing teams on a budget, you can do what many people do who are looking for information and businesses in this day and age: head to the internet.
You can do an online search to put together a list of marketing teams that look appealing. From there, see which ones are local to you and which ones are located elsewhere in the country. If a company has a good reputation and values communication, you’ll be able to feel just as connected and valued as you might with a local team.
Once you have a solid list, start reaching out! You should be asking for referrals to check in with, namely their current clients who have honest insight into how that marketing team is doing. You should also find out what methods they’ll be using to make sure you aren’t getting drawn into what’s known as “black hat” marketing. If any questionable marketing methods are being used, your business will quickly lose value and may become blacklisted from search engines.
Consider a Specialized Marketing Team
Some businesses need to work with marketing teams that have special expertise in certain industries. Whether this is because your industry requires a lot of insider information and jargon, or because the industry deals with sensitive information, you want to make sure your marketing team is up-to-standard.
If you’re in the medical field, for example, you may want to look for an out-of-house marketing team that has specialized in medical marketing and who is certified as HIPAA-compliant.
For people working in the clothing industry, you may want to consider finding a marketing company who has vast knowledge on remarketing and targeting techniques.
No matter what your needs are, there is a marketing team out there for you. With a few more industry-specific searches, you should be able to come up with a solid list of your own.
What a Good Out-of-House Marketing Team Should Do for You
Now that you have a shortlist of online marketing teams that you’re interested in working with, it’s time to understand the nuances of your needs.
A good marketing team shouldn’t provide just one service for you. Their work should be comprehensive and make sure that your website, social media, and online rankings are all competitive and attractive to potential customers.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind while finding the perfect marketing team for you.
Will they update your website?
One of the most important parts of online marketing is making sure that your website is in tip-top shape. This means your design should be modern and easy to use, making it easy for potential customers to learn about your business and make a move toward a transaction.
However, your marketing team should also understand that a website needs more than just a cool design. Everything from your headers to the type of content that appears “above the fold” should be taken into account. Your titles, content, and header tags should all be geared toward helping Google index your website properly through keywords and interlinking.
Additionally, your website should also be mobile-friendly and fast-loading on any device.
Will this marketing team manage your online reputation?
Another important aspect to your marketing is actually making sure that your business’s online reputation is appealing. A good marketing team should understand this and work to ensure that your business is best represented through everything that you do and what your customers are saying.
Your online reputation is composed of everything available about your business online. A good marketing team will be doing outreach to get articles published by local news stations, bloggers, and even other businesses.
They should also be using a reputation management tool to continually solicit reviews from your current customers. This will help boost your business’s rating, but it also gives your potential customers honest feedback to review while making their decision.
Will they use Google My Business to your advantage?
Google My Business is a big part of your business’s online presence. Since Google is the largest search engine in the world, it is important that your business has a great Google My Business profile, full of information and professional images.
The more reviews you get, and the higher your rating is, the better. So a good marketing team will incorporate Google My Business, and other Google tools like Adwords and Analytics, into their marketing strategy.
With the right company, you will be able to get the great marketing your business deserves without needing to do it yourself or assembling an expensive in-house marketing team. Look for online marketing companies that are communicative and pride themselves on high-quality work and you’ll be able to reach more of your target audience while sticking to your budget.