If you’re thinking about outsourcing social media right now, you’re not alone
Many of the tech companies, e-commerce founders, and startup CEOs we have been talking to recently are looking into the benefits of outsourcing content creation for blogs, social media, and more
But there’s often a misunderstanding of the need for social media content. We see errors on 2 opposite ends of the spectrum. First, some companies make hiring a social media specialist the first thing they do. They spend 100% of their marketing budget (however small) on social media, when research shows social media only accounts for about 2% of B2B website traffic and 7% of e-commerce. (We get about 5% of our traffic from social. I’ll share how below!)
On the other end of the spectrum, we see some companies that think social media isn’t worth it at all, so they don’t bother creating any share-worthy content. This is also a mistake because while social media may not drive a ton of directly-converting traffic, it does influence your buyers in some way. For example, we only get about 6,000 visitors from social each year out of a million. But they convert to leads at 0.9%. That’s nearly 60 leads per year.
So why outsource social media and content marketing? Because it allows you to maximize the return on investment, without spending all your marketing budget on social media. In this post, I’ll show you how.
- Outsourcing your social media and content creation is more cost-effective than hiring a full-time writer or social media person
- While social media only delivers a small amount of traffic, it does influence your buyer’s journey and can deliver leads if done right
- Outsourced content marketing services can provide SEO, strategy, creation and sharing expertise that you can’t get from one in-house staff person
Benefits of Outsourcing Your Social Media Efforts
There are many benefits to outsourcing your content and social media efforts. Here we’ll list some of the pros and cons.
1. Saves You Time and Money
Outsourcing your blog writing or social media marketing saves you time and money because you don’t have to spend the time hiring someone, training them on your business, only to have them leave after 9 months for a better gig.
And outsourcing saves you money because outsourced services are just cheaper. Why spend $70,000 / year (the average for a social media hire) when you can outsource to an expert for half that.
When you hire a person, you tell them what you expect and hope they meet your expectations. The you setup weekly one-on-ones and quarterly review and annual performance discussions to keep them honest and accountable. But if it isn’t working out, you need to discuss with the employee, you need to inform HR if there’s a problem, you have to consider letting them go if they don’t perform and take the risk of getting sued.
Trust me, I’ve been there too many times. Instead, when you outsource social media marketing, you only pay if you get what you expect. We deliver 2 blog posts per week for most clients and about a dozen shares of each for those who pay for social media. If we didn’t deliver on our calendar promises, we don’t get paid. It’s that simple. Outsourcing allows you to focus on the productivity of the people to whom you are outsourcing.
When you outsource, you get to focus on your core business. Our writers have a combined 600 years of writing and social media experience. So you get to stay focused on what you do best. And we can focus on creating the highest-quality, share-worthy content possible.
4. Scale Up (and Down) as Needed
The data shows that the more content you publish, the more traffic and leads your business is gonna get:
We prove these results every mont with our clients when we send them charts like the one below that go straight up and to the right. Outsourcing your content marketing strategy right now can help you to get to that consistency that today’s buyer (and Google) demands. What do I mean? Your buyers are there searching every day for answers to questions and challenges.
We help to maintain a consistent brand voice and publishing / sharing schedule. Are you publishing every day? Outsourcing helps you increase your frequency without breaking the bank. It also allows you to scale down when you start to see those exponential traffic numbers going up, and focus on conversion, and other types of content like e-books and webinars.
Check out this video interview on the compounding power of consistent content:
5. Access To The Best Digital Marketing Tools
As a business owner or startup CEO, you don’t have time to run down the rabbit hole of figuring out what are the best digital marketing tools you might need. As an agency, we use the following tools to support your content marketing strategy:
- SEO Strategy and Measurement: Semrush
- Content publishing: WordPress
- Content Planning and Workflow: DivvyHQ
- Social Media: Hootsuite
- Social Media analytics: Buzzsumo
- SEO Optimization: Yoast
- Content Editing: Copyscape and Hemingway apps
Just to name a few. Here’s an Semrush screenshot of one of our clients progress just this year:
And here’s a social media engagement analysis via Buzzsumo:
We (invest in) utilize these tools to maximize our client’s results.
The Challenges of Outsourcing Social Media
In fairness, it’s not always roses and champagne when you outsource. Some of the cons of outsourcing include
- “Just do it!” As one of our clients said recently, if we worked for him, he would probably just send us random things and say “just do it!”
- They become more expert on what you sell through added training and experience on product details.
- You can get more than just social media from employees. You can ask your employees to do anything and they need to comply.
- You can demand more hours from in-house employees and require in-office meetings.
- Finding the right agency to outsource can be challenging just like finding an employee can be.
How To Outsource Social Media
Find An Agency That Does The Strategy
You’re not just asking some random person to create social posts. You want to make sure they have expertise in building a strategy that allows you to reach your target audience and differentiates your brand. Do the people have experience on the client side, if not in your industry?
I started Marketing Insider Group with the goal of providing practical strategy for brands based on my experience working inside technology companies, B2B brands, service businesses and startups.
Find An Agency You Like
Do you like the people at the agency where you plan to outsource? Here at MIG, we have a no a-holes rule. We’ve fired clients for being difficult because it makes everyone miserable. Life is too short to work with mean people!
Find an Agency That Commits to Measuring Results
There are plenty of agencies that will take your money in exchange for doing stuff. But an agency that is committed to measuring results will only work on things that deliver results. That makes them aligned to your goals (not your ego).
Find an Agency That Has Expertise in Your Area
This is a little bit tricky for us, because we have learned and become experts in over 30 different industries over time. So at some point, some of our clients have given us the benefit of the doubt. So while every company thinks they need an industry expert, some really industries really do require some industry expertise. Healthcare, Insurance, Financial Services, Government, Non-Profits. These are just a few examples. Interestingly, we haven’t met a deeply technical, um technology we couldn’t master. But insurance? Whew!
Define Your Goals
Our client goals are traffic, social engagements, subscribers, leads, demos, or revenue. We use our measurement approach as a selling tool and as a way to get our new clients to think about their goals.
Define How Often You Want To Post
We sell once or twice weekly blog packages because that is what works for our clients. We don’t do less because the results start to fade. And of course we do more for some. Our social media clients post on the major platforms each day except for Twitter which has a faster stream. For Twitter, we focus on 12 hourly posts 5am (ET) or 8am (PT) – 5pm (ET) or 8pm (PT)
Define What Type of Content / Which Platforms
Our goal is to get people to come to your website and convert to new customers. We use articles, social posts, newsletters, e-books and more to accomplish this. Think about what you need, or better yet, ask your outsourced agency to provide the strategy.
Make Sure There’s a Calendar / Plan You Can View and Change
We’re huge believers in annual content planning that our customers can view, edit and co-manage. We change the plan all the time but having a strategic, SEO-driven, customer-validated plan is key to success.
Define Your Measurement Plan
We use some simple measures to show reach, engagement, conversion and in some cases retention of new customers through content marketing.
There’s a lot to consider when outsourcing social media marketing. In general, outsourcing can be more cost-effective and more productive. With economic headwinds and uncertainty, many startups, B2B SaaS companies, business services, e-commerce and technology companies are turning to outsourcing to deliver a better return on their marketing investment.
Are you ready to outsource your social media or content marketing? Marketing Insider Group has a team of 35+ experienced writers ready to produce content for YOUR business. Check out our weekly blog content service or schedule a free consultation.