How to Know When It’s Time to Call in an Agency

When you think about agencies, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? It’s probably that they’re expensive. But what is the real cost of not hiring one? If you’re struggling to move the needle with an understaffed marketing team that doesn’t really specialize in the skill sets needed to produce effective content marketing, you’re losing business. And that’s costly, too! Are you wondering if it’s time to call in an agency? Read on to see if any of these situations apply to you, and, if so, it might be time to outsource your marketing.

You’re too busy running your business to do the marketing yourself.

Content marketing requires a constant feed of blog posts, social media posts, emails, photos, videos, and other communications to get your target audience’s attention, showcase your expertise and the product’s benefits, and build trust with your potential customers.  You may be a small business trying to do everything yourself, or a business with a small marketing team and you just don’t have time to produce the amount of content needed to make an impact. You need a team of people who can create that content for you.

You don’t really understand what content marketing is, and you don’t have time to research and learn it.

Content marketing is a concept that came along with the digital age and is based on producing large volumes of high-quality content to attract customers and show up in Google search results. It takes time to learn what it is and how to produce it, implement it, and track the results. Plus, it’s changing all the time so you need to keep up. Sure, you may have hired a kid out of college to do your social media, but you’re not really seeing results. In fact, you may not even know what he does all day. You need experts who already know what content marketing is and have hands-on experience in doing it successfully.

Your current content marketing isn’t working because you don’t have a strategy.

Trying to do content marketing without a strategy is like trying to drive a car without a steering wheel. If you’re just posting some things on blogs and on Facebook and sending the occasional email, for one, that’s not consistent and two, it’s certainly not a strategy. Content marketing requires a certain amount of research and a plan. For more details, see our previous post on what you need in a content marketing strategy.  If you don’t have the time or know-how to build a proper strategy, hire experts who can do this for you.

You don’t have the expertise on your team.

Content marketing is a collection of different types of content, both text and visual. You can’t expect a good writer to also be a skilled photographer. This content is the front line for your business, so you want it to represent your product in the best possible light. You need skilled copywriters, graphic designers, photographers, and videographers, and it’s virtually impossible to find a jack-of-all-trades who is truly good at all of these things in one or two in-house hires. And, frankly, you may not need an in-house photographer on staff every day. You may just need them to be on-call.  An agency brings a team of people with specific skills – that also include necessities like SEO, website production, and analytics – who are on-call to produce high-quality work for you.

You have a big campaign to launch and you need to do it right.

If you have a major product launch coming up, you can’t take the chance of doing marketing that’s based on guesswork. The success of your product depends on the success of how it is marketed. An agency will bring experience and expertise to help you figure out your target audience(s) and how to reach them through content marketing. Plus, they bring a fresh set of eyes to see any gaps or opportunities in your marketing plan that you may have missed.

You’re ready to make the investment.

Yes, an agency costs money, but not as much as trying to hire all that expertise in-house. There’s no ramp-up time with an agency. They already know what to do and they’ve already purchased a lot of the expensive tools needed to implement and run analytics. And you’re not permanently tied to an agency, like you are to your employees. You can hire an agency for a one-off campaign or on an on-going basis. If you don’t have the budget right now, it’s in your best interests to start to build one. Set aside a percentage of sales to go towards a budget for an agency.
So the choice is yours: either continue to struggle with figuring out this content marketing thing, or hire an agency that already has the know-how and team of superheroes to get the word out for you in no time!