Agency or Freelancer: Which is suitable to Run your Digital Marketing?
Author : Admin
When you started your business, you must have thought about solving some pain points of your consumers. However, in the middle of leveraging your business, you lost your attention somewhere. Instead of focusing only on innovating your ideas, you started focusing on doing everything:
- Brand Promotion
- Marketing Optimization
- Product Innovation
- Revenue Growth
- Customer Experience
- Operation efficiency
You must be aware that Digital Marketing is the key to attaining all of these.
Well, whether you own a small-sized, medium-sized, or large-sized business, the pain is the same for all!
Said that the condition is to have the RIGHT MARKETER doing it for you. As
“Every business is unique, and so are its needs.”
It is important to understand the value-addition of your business in your consumer’s lives and then devise a digital marketing strategy that targets and successfully resolve their pain points.
Let us start with Acquainting Who is Who!
Why can you not do your own Digital Marketing?
You can definitely self-educate yourself about how Digital Marketing is done, but you cannot run all chores on your own.
And so, it is necessary to understand that must outsource it to someone who has practical knowledge of doing it in several proven ways for bringing success.
After all, your business is not a lab rat to test and try different digital marketing theories!
Who are Freelancers, and how are they helpful?
A freelancer is an expert on a specific trait that can help you only at times when you have any contingencies such as the sudden inevitable absence of a full-time resource or sharing the temporary workload off the shoulders of your team.
“Hiring a Freelancer is over-glorified, and this is the result why more than 80% of the startups shut close right in their third year of operation, and then either they rebrand or go for merger or acquisition.”
What is a Digital Marketing Agency, and how do they function?
An agency is a committed group of people working under a supervisor.
As a business owner, you mostly communicate with these supervisors to run your various digital marketing chores. However, actually, there are a lot more people involved in making your campaign successful than you see in the picture.
For every element of Digital marketing, there are separate teams, and there are multiple people from executives to managers who review the tasks before making them live to your audiences.
Major Losses that may Incur due to a Wrong Digital Marketer!
While the results associated with the right marketing decisions are clear, ranging from better profits to healthier engagement, improved levels of online traffic, and even broader reach across a local, national, or global scale, the outlays of bad advertising decisions are frequently overlooked.
The fact is that failing to predict about the type of traffic you want to generate with your marketing campaigns, or which actions are essential to attract your target audience could mean you suffer from more than only a misused share of your budget.
Organizations that choose the right marketing personnel enjoy a 36% higher customer retention rate.
The right marketing professional can help your organization become 67% better at closing deals.
In fact, according to Ad week, more than one-third of Americans will refuse to purchase from a brand because of bad advertising – even if the ad is changed.
What are the Most Significant Factors that matter to any Business?
For sure, you, too, must be weighed in all your options by assessing them on some or other factors that may be crucial to you. Here’s a list of some most common factors and a comparison of how an agency or a freelancer may perform.
When looking at the billing, a freelancer looks the best choice as they charge very less in comparison to an agency.
An agency will charge more as it will assign a team of people – better to call them as experts to do your tasks. Plus, there are also strategists, reviewers, and managers who will take part, adding to your billing.
Freelancers are quick to initiate your project. But once the campaigns start running, they can hardly be trusted on turnaround time for anything.
No matter what size of business you may own, an agency will have its proper timelines to cater to all businesses. They will transparently communicate these TATs with the scope of work, which will motivate even you to organize your approach as a startup or a small business owner.
The freelancers could be either too quick or delaying a week, depending on the age and valuation of your project. Initially, they may claim 24×7 availability, but after a certain time, many businesses complain of a non-responsive attitude by freelancers.
Some small agencies may claim 24-hr availability, but an established agency would not make such false promises. They will share the proper availability schedules with you. But please do not mistake it as a limitation. The entire team will stretch their schedules to accommodate your business needs anytime you want them to. But all of it will happen in a well-ordered manner and you will be looped in on all such updates.
Freelancers are individuals, and so there are chances that you may have to settle for limited work quality or hire more than one for different tasks.
Agencies have departments for every task. From writing to designing and strategy to execution, they have several people who altogether consists your team.
Freelancers don’t make use of updated tools. As they work single-handedly, they use freemium versions of the same tools where chances to err are higher than the usual.
When it comes to tools and technology, agencies always go for smart adoption of technology and make use of the right paid tools needed for the project.
As freelancers work individually, they seldom get a second opinion and so the quality is usually deteriorated. Often, they settle only with family’s or friend’s business who never question any of their practices despite the fact that they may actually be doing it entirely wrong.
Agencies follow a standardized quality control where they have managers and analysts to handle any issue. This supervision and guidance reduce the chances of any errors, discrepancies, and delays.
Also, agencies are not limited by bandwidth; they are equipped with all the resources, be it technology, workforce, creative minds, experience, extensive knowledge, and a wise approach.
Freelancers often offer doing multiple tasks when, in reality, those chores are not a cup of their tea, and so they just do such tasks without owning them.
In agencies, every employee is accountable and answerable to someone above them, so they do their jobs seriously, and they also own the task.
You may end up investing hours explaining everything to the freelancer. At times you may need to even invest your time in following up for the deliveries, and you may feel baffled, ending up giving so much time despite paying so much.
Agencies usually have bigger teams, and so there are fair chances that there would be one or more people with expertise in your industry. They will quickly understand, comprehend, and innovate anything needful, freeing up your time that you can dedicate to other important tasks of your business and enjoy stress-free work.
Moreover, you can also concentrate on other aspects of your life as the agency shoulders you in all aspects of digital marketing where you don’t have to stress on petty things.
Openness to Feedback
While freelancers are immensely feedback accommodating and will quickly do anything that you want, a HEADS UP! Not every practice is good, and testing and trying anything can often result in poor brand engagement.
Agencies, on the other hand, know the best practices and can actually consult you about what is the best-suited strategy for your business.
Agencies may seem arrogant at times in incorporating your suggestions, but aren’t they the experts and right to put forth their point with confidence as they are doing it day and night from so many years?
Wouldn’t it be correct to call them both your Business Nutritionist and Doctor?
Security (GDPR Compliance)
99% of the freelancers won’t even be aware of what GDPR is and why it is important for any brand working across or within the US or EU regions. So, you know the threat (related to the mishandling of the data and the consequences they may bring on your brand), right?
Agencies are mostly updated and take part in frequent consultation to larger and government organizations, so they, by default, comply with the stipulated GDPR practices.
Freelancers can only cater to specific needs, and for anything beyond their expertise, they will ask you to engage additional resources or pay additional. They can accommodate only the agreed tasks, and for anything else, you may have to go through a long session of tiring negotiations.
Agencies have all kinds of resources, and even if they need to engage additional resources in times of contingencies, they will soon add such resources in their teams. For any additional projects, they can hire even an entire team if necessary.
Procedure Handling Capacity
Freelancers work according to their convenience. Moreover, they lack a formal structure of working. They take projects when they feel that they have the margin and don’t even bother to identify what is right for your company and what’s not.
Agencies are process-oriented, where the team is accountable for delivering the work on time. In case of delays, the team has its own justified reasons with the suggestions on damage control, if any happens.
Freelancers do have expertise in specific domains, and they pick projects according to that.
This is why they don’t have more services to offer, so if you plan to work with freelancers, you may have to work with different freelancers to get your project done.
When it comes to experience, agencies have a team of experts with diverse skills working for you, and this is why they have more services to offer.
This hyper-specialization in different domains under one roof helps agencies to work efficiently where they focus on varied aspects, be it development, design, content, or quality.
Freelancers don’t have the benefit of working with a team as they are usually piled up with the projects, and it’s hard for them to make time to upgrade their skills.
As a result, their last learning point is the only upgrade they had, be it five years back.
Agencies have people with varied skills, and they are updated with the current trends and techniques. Moreover, the interdepartmental conversations and watercooler chats are often around the latest innovations where even the person not related to certain skill gets to learn about the trait and latest innovation by default.
Some common things business owners often think about for their Digital Marketing Management
The market is full of misconceptions, and businesses must know more about them; otherwise, they may fall prey to the myths. Here are some common myths debunked, let’s have a look:
Are DM agencies costlier or a little over the budget for small-sized businesses?
You may think you are investing a lot more in hiring an agency than a freelance. However, a freelancer can deliver only 5-10% of ROI, whereas agencies have proven to deliver 10x to 250x profits.
Do DM Agencies overlook Small businesses?
For an agency, every single task matters a lot. Although the team size may differ according to project cost, but every project is treated equally.
As a small business, is it wise to engage a small DM agency?
No matter what is your business size, a DM agency that has 30+ employees is the best choice as with such huge number of people onboard you know how the company consider relationships and will have all facility in-house.
Please read our case study on How an Australian Mom made 1 million within the First year of Starting the Business?
Is DM effective only for achieving large numbers?
No matter what kind of numbers are you looking for, DM can help you achieve them significantly well. In fact, DM will help in bringing the humongous results to you.
Is it necessary to do all kinds of digital marketing activities?
While it is not compulsory, but highly recommended. Read our case study on How a Third Generation Chauffeur business is blooming for years with 360-degree marketing.
One thing is tangled to another in Digital Marketing. You can always make a choice to select some services or invest in all the services, including SEO, Social, PPC, and Video marketing.
I can take a few subscriptions and hire some interns, why should I outsource?
Well, every business is unique, but none is a lab rat. Agencies hiring and engaging interns take their help as additional hands but still being the brain behind anything. You can never expect good results out of a combination of interns and paid tools – as, the key ingredient “knowledge of proven methodology” will always be a major missing.
Is SEO dead? Is Social good only for a few industries? Is PPC the only one that is great?
Digital marketing is the art of carefully combining push and pull marketing strategies. Though every activity has some immediate benefits and some long-term benefits, for the success of any business, we highly recommend an amalgamation of all of them.
Shouldn’t my content be just engaging; keywords can be easily added, including a line or two?
This is the biggest misconception! Content must not be just engaging but highly contextual too. Google ranks only the high contextual copies and ignores any copies that sound deviated or redundant.
Is content the culprit behind my campaign failure?
Would you credit content on success? Not totally! Similarly, often the poor strategies, targeting, execution, and graphics also lead to the failure of a campaign more than just writing.
As an entrepreneur, you know your business goal is “Growth”. And so, you must delegate the digital marketing tasks to the most efficient and affordable entity.
Here are some helpful questions to ask before making your decision to select the right marketer for delegating your digital marketing management to them:
Que. Do they have experience in similar or my industry?
Why is it important to ask?
Agencies with 30+ employees mostly have experts from all kinds of industries. But if you are choosing a small agency or a freelancer, then just a few past work references cannot be the basis of trust. You need to give a sample to make sure that they actually know something about your industry.
Que. Do they have the bandwidth to give enough time to my project?
Why is it important to ask?
Freelancers and small agencies often take more projects than they can manage. They engage their employees for more than usual 40-45 hours a week. And an additional project is often way over their bandwidth, whereas a DM agency with 30+ people on board will always have the bandwidth to accommodate more projects.
Que. Do they have enough team size to accommodate all my needs?
Why is it important to ask?
Often when you choose an agency, it may have just a few employees doing everything on their own. Such agencies employ interns and trust them to do your chores, whereas a bigger agency with a 30+ team has people of different expertise and varied skillset to take good care of all your needs. Plus, as they already have enough workforce, they may not need to hire any interns to take care of your “account”.
Que. Do they have the capability to drive the campaign with my minimal involvement?
Why is it important to ask?
DM agencies with over 5 years in business and a 30+ team size can actually do take care of any campaign as they have over 40% retained workforce and 60% workforce that consists of some freshers and some 10+ year experienced experts.
With such a brilliant mix of people working as a team, you can rest assured that your campaign is going to appeal precisely to all kinds of audiences.
Que. Do they fit in my 5-yr growth plan?
Why is it important to ask?
A freelancer may start chasing for high-paying projects and may often sustain only the easy or well-paid clients after some time. Small agencies are also seen doing the same, and more often, they keep on adding services but don’t hire enough workforce – resultant being their portfolio looks broader but have only short-term projects.
Whereas a well-doing DM agency has at least 3 people per skillset, which is in itself very justifying and accommodating to count on them for achieving your 5-yr growth plan.
We are hopeful that this article will help you in understanding all about making the right decision to engage the most suited digital marketer or digital marketing agency for you.