Note: This article is written for established companies who are looking to grow their business and reach new customers online. If you’re a freelancer or start-up, you may find it beneficial to start small and grow your own online presence. The learning experience will serve you when it comes time to outsource your online presence.
In every business, there comes a time when it’s best to delegate certain tasks to professionals. Things like legal protection, finances, taxes — and your online presence — should all be delegated to specialists.
Running a profitable online presence is a multi-faceted and fairly detailed process. It’s full of technical challenges, nuances, best practices and common pitfalls. It includes your website, social media accounts, online ads (if you’re smart), email marketing newsletters and a LOT more.
I have spent more than a decade figuring out the best ways to manage websites and social media properties. I’ve seen many platforms come and go, and even today I need to spend a good 20% of my time learning new things.
Below are some of the reason why I believe it pays to outsource your online presence and digital marketing efforts to specialists.
Your online presence is frequently the primary face of your company during purchase decisions.
If you’re anything like me, you’re picky. You notice the little details and want to get things right.
Design and development is hard work. Investing in the initial cost of designing a high-quality, search engine optimized, mobile-responsive website can pay big dividends in the long run.
On the other hand, skimping on either the design, development, photography or copywriting for your website will only cause more headaches and resources to get it right later. As they say, if you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur.
The same applies for your social media properties, advertisements and offline collateral like business cards, logo, flyers and signage.
Consistency is the name of the game in business; both offline and online.
Having a dedicated person or agency to manage your online presence means everything gets systemized and performed to the same standards across all platforms.
When it comes to online marketing, an inconsistent brand leads to inconsistent results, which can reflect poorly on the brand experience and company in general.
Have you tried to manage your website or social media accounts before? How did that work out? Can you measure a return on investment?
How effective was your sales copy to convert your visitors to leads? What was your strategy? Did you have one? Did it work?
These are answers only a digital marketing-minded person or agency would think about and answer. My advice is to ensure that whomever manages your online presence can answer these questions.
Everything you do with your online presence should be tied to a few key metrics and should generate a return on investment.
In this post, we have discussed quality, consistency and effectiveness, but what about efficiency? Efficient use of your time is important, but efficient use of your money is crucial to the success of your business.
Are you spending time planning and curating your social media content? Or are you running your business? How much time are you spending on social media, and what is your time worth to you?
How about online advertising? It can be a highly technical and difficult thing to master. It’s incredibly easy to waste money on untargeted AdWords campaigns, and even if you do bring the right people to your website, is it strong enough to convert those visitors into leads?
The big picture is important. It’s not enough to have a good social media manager, advertisements and website. The question is, does it have the right combination of quality copywriting, user experience and overall trustworthiness to convert visitors into leads?
Online presence managers oversee the various aspects required to be effective online. They make things efficient.
This goes back to the above. Once you have quality, you become more effective and efficient with your online promotional efforts. You stop losing money and wasted time on inefficient campaigns. Which leaves you at profitability.
By seeing the whole picture, and making sure each piece works in unison, your efforts are harmonious, streamlined and profitable.
My suggestion is simple, although probably somewhat biased because I manage the online presence of over a dozen companies.
Whether you have someone managing your online presence or not, it’s important to ensure each part works together harmoniously. Don’t make the mistake of hiring a social media person, a content writer, an SEO company and a web developer without first making sure there is a unified tie between all of them. And don’t be that tie unless you’re knowledgeable and willing to give it the time and attention it requires.
Each part of the system has to work together, like the organs in your body. It’s reassuring to have someone you trust to tell you the health of your online presence and make sure it runs without a hitch.
For the same reason you would get a doctor to make sure your body is working properly, don’t rely on your gut feeling when it comes to all the moving parts. Verify with real data and have someone to manage and be accountable for your online presence.
Then go back to running your business.