Outsourcing a part of your business is a stressful and exciting cross-roads. I encounter this a lot in small business marketing. Many small business leaders and entrepreneurs fall into the trap of dropping their marketing as soon as they get busy. But it’s important that the activities that attract the marketing leads continue to run. Let’s look at a few of the most common marketing tasks that small businesses outsource first:
1. Content creation
ANY kind of content creation will help. Written blogs, newsletters, video, podcasts, articles, case studies, whitepapers, etc. are all valuable pieces of content that can educate your prospect and prove your abilities and knowledge in the field. Be strategic on the content you’re creating and have your target audience in mind. Recycling older and larger pieces of content can be a great strategy to get more from less. The key is to make a schedule and stick to it come hell or high water! It’s super tough, but totally worth it. If you’re not ready to outsource your marketing content creation, then you can look into content creation systems that help you streamline your process and only outsource parts.
Should you outsource your content creation?
Content creation can be a very personal part of growing your business. If you can find a content developer that understands what you do and can translate that into great copy – outsourcing your content creation may work well for you. Other ways to outsource would be to get help with the fine-tuning. Maybe you write the draft and outsource the finishing and posting. Maybe you get help brainstorming a list of ideas and the development of a production schedule. There are many options here.
2. Reach and Sharing
If you have content then you should be sending it out into the world where your prospects are. This can be done through social media, newsletter lists, email blasts, etc. Automatic sharing settings can save time, but might not send the right message. Blasting the same message out through all channels on a timed schedule can come across as boring and impersonal. Looking at who your followers are and who are on your lists can help you tailor content or personalize messages. Tracking the impact of your shares helps you do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Without sharing your content and reaching out to followers on a regular basis you will lose their attention and your content is of little value. Software like Canva is an excellent tool that offer the creation of teams when crafting social media imagery. You can work from branded templates to reduce deviation from your desired imargery.
Should you outsource your social media?
This might seem like an easier choice, but looking closer you should have a large hand in setting tone, frequency, messaging content, etc. so that it’s still your voice that is being heard and you have a clear expectation of what is being said and done. Again, outsourcing can be done in pieces. Perhaps you handle a specific channel or a singular topic across channels and you outsource the remainder? Maybe you outsource it all, but you devise the schedule and topics. It depends on the strategy you have and what your goals are for sharing. Social media should deliver clear benefits (direct or indirect) to your business. If you don’t know what those benefits are then you’re likely navigating with a very loose social media plan. I’d tighten this up before outsourcing.
3. Content SEO
Working through both older content as well as future (or on-going) content can be a valuable task to outsource. Working out the keywords, adding the meta-description, and tweaking the content allow you to concentrate on the value of the content being delivered to your followers.
Should you outsource your content SEO?
If you’re not attracting a lot of organic traffic but you have been creating content then outsourcing your content SEO would go a long way towards long-term success. And of course this all starts with a content audit. It’s not difficult, but it is time-consuming (and worth the time spent).
4. Ongoing marketing consulting
An ongoing marketing partner can add plenty of value on a recurring basis. AS things shift on verying fronts in your business it can be reassuring to have a resource that you can turn to for advice and council. Potential topics of conversation would be the above outsourcing topics as well as affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, campaign success, social media ads, marketing copy, strategy, planning, tracking, etc.
Should you enlist ongoing marketing consulting?
If you need a bit of help on all fronts or have several marketing projects in the works and know that guidance is needed in varying degrees, then this is a good option for you. With Windwater Marketing we offer rolling retainers for clients like this and have had (and continue to have) good success and repeat business. I’m sure other marketing firms offer similar services.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to build a responsive audience so when time and effort are invested and results are beginning to show you should maintain this momentum at all cost. And if those costs are outsourcing then this is something you need to look into. This investment allows you to work on those things that you cannot outsource while still building your company’s intellectual property and engaging prospects. I’ll repeat – it’s an investment. Look at it as an investment and make sure expectations are clear on what your return is for this investment.
The impact of outsourcing your marketing is huge. There are a plethora of things you can outsource to help your business move through those busy times, but the above are some of the common areas for marketing a small business.