If you are a small business owner, there’s a good chance that you have been suffering through the digital marketing revolution. Let’s see… You probably just built a website, and now you have heard that you need to start using social media too. For many small business owners, you feel about 10 steps behind when it comes to your online presence. The website you built was supposed to put you on page one of Google, and that SEO service you paid for was supposed to make your site number one too. Unfortunately for the small business owner, the internet moves much faster than your SEO guru and their event based updates to your place holder website.
Now that you have come to grips with knowing that you need something much more than event based updates to your web presence, you are wondering how much it costs to hire a digital marketing expert to give constant attention to your website and online presence. The question is; how much will it cost to bring an in-house digital marketing expert into your small business?
Well… It depends.
You basically have a handful of options to choose from if you are a small business owner.
In-House Digital Marketing Options for Small Business
- You can hire a digital marketer to come in full time. Your new employee’s job description is to be knee deep in your website’s code, to create new content via a company blog, and to engage online through social media. Oh, and your new employee is going to cost you around $32,000 at an entry level salary. Also, they may not have a whole lot of real world experience or guidance when it comes to digital marketing.
- You can hire a part time employee to come in for your digital marketing. Now, you have cut the cost to around $16,000 to $18,500 a year. Unfortunately, you will have a hard time holding onto an in-house digital marketer on part time pay. A part time position for a digital marketer has the person searching for bigger and better opportunities the moment he or she walks through the door.
- If you can already afford in-house marketing, you could always dump the digital marketing load on their desk too! It’s not like creating a marketing plan and playing on Photoshop all day is really a job. It’s more like a hobby! Hah… Good luck breaking the news to your overworked marketer who has zero idea of where to even begin with a digital marketing strategy.
Clearly, if you can stomach the cost of bringing in a professional, full time digital marketing expert, it is the best option out of these three. They will know your business intimately. However, it is important to factor in raises, bonuses, and extra vacation time. Digital marketers typcally have a tough time leaving their work at home. They are constantly connected to the job via smartphones and iPads. Even on their vacation, they find themselves working. These are definitely a few things to consider (at the very least) if you can afford such a dynamic individual. What are you supposed to do if you cannot handle the financial burden of a full time digital marketing expert?
What about outsourcing your digital marketing?
There are a few options out there if you are looking into outsourcing your digital marketing efforts. This is typically the best answer for most small business owners. It is a very affordable option. However, it seems as if everyone these days says that they can provide outsourced digital marketing. Here are a few things to look into in order to separate quality outsourcing from the rest of the noise out there:
- Is the outsourcing company affordable? Look to see if you can afford at least six months of service. It typically takes around that amount of time to really make an impact. Quality outsourcing companies should tell you this upfront. If they cannot provide results, fire them (read over the contract before signing.)
- What do they promise? Are you looking for someone to handle your social media, your blogging, your SEO, or all of the above. Well, unless you really like warm, fuzzy feelings about (possible) customers liking your totally awesome and customized Facebook page, you should consider a business that will cover the broad spectrum of digital marketing. This means that you will need someone to monitor your social, your new content (blog), and your SEO to help insure that you stay competitive in search engine results too.
- Can the digital marketing company handle your business? Dynamic digital marketers, whether in-house or outsourced, should be able to handle any type of business thrown their way. It is not necessary to be a dentist in order to run a dentist’s digital marketing. I know that this might be earth shattering news to you, but it’s true. A great marketer can be you better than you can be you online
- How will they be measuring your online results? Demand monthly, in-depth reporting from an outsourcing company. The proof is in the numbers; where the numbers come from, and if they are converting to phone calls and customers walking through your door.
- Ask to investigate and speak to current customers. A great relationship begins with transparency and trust. If they are not willing to offer you a list of clients to call, reconsider hiring the company.
What is right for your small business? In-house digital marketing, or outsourcing?
- Small Business Cannot Afford to Ignore the Internet (kevinekmark.com)