Can You Choose Both? Digital Marketing Agency vs In-House

Business Marketing

Nowadays there are more marketing channels and opportunities than ever before. Traditional forms such as print, radio, TV, and billboards are still relevant for many industries. But every business must now also consider digital channels such as Google Ads, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, e-newsletters, SEO, and… well, the list goes on and on.

To stay competitive, your need to own several of these channels. And because so many of these require daily monitoring, many small to mid-sized companies are either putting all of this labor on their existing team or searching for a digital marketer to do it all. The odds that you’ll be able to find one person skilled enough to update your website, do your SEO, design print materials, write blogs, manage your Adwords account, and make networking calls are pretty unlikely.

Like, winning the lottery unlikely.

And this is where the classic digital marketing agency vs in-house marketing debate livens up. While most agencies will tell you to work with an agency and solo marketing experts will recommend the opposite, we say: why not choose both?

Related: Is Your Marketing Strategy Complete? Find Out Here [Digital Marketing Checklist]

What are some specific ways a digital marketing agency would work with my internal marketing team?

Your internal marketing team (or person) is probably excellent at managing your overall brand and marketing plan. But because there are so many different types of marketing, it’s not reasonable to expect that you can hire one or two individuals with all the skills necessary to run a successful digital strategy. This is where the digital marketing agency vs in-house marketing team debate drops some pieces in your overall marketing execution.

Instead of choosing just one option, here are 5 ways a digital marketing agency can help support your internal marketing:

1. We add diverse & highly specialized skill sets to your team.

Here’s a common scenario we run into: you have a great content writer who doesn’t have the web experience to fix broken website. Or, you have someone who’s super savvy at engaging in social media but doesn’t know how to convert that connection into leads on your website. To keep all of your bases covered, the price of working with an external agency is much more cost effective than hiring multiple employees or deciding who you even need to hire in the first place.

Another trap that many businesses fall into is hiring a novice because they’re affordable when what you really need are several seasoned experts. The time and cost it’ll take to train that junior marketer will end up costing much more than expected –and will be wiped away if she or he decides to leave!

2. We make sure your website is always up to date, secure, and functions properly.

Maybe you’ve thought to yourself, “how hard can it be to press the ‘update’ button when WordPress comes out with a new version?”

It’s not difficult, but it’s also the easiest way to break your website. Then you’ll need someone to fix it, and the IT guy who set up your internet connection and office computers won’t be able to help.

A common misconception we hear is that business owners didn’t know their website needed regular maintenance to keep it secure. If you don’t keep up with those sensitive updates, your site will become vulnerable to hackers and malware, and recovering a hacked site takes a lot more time and money than having a professional do regular upkeep.

3. We create content that people are actually looking for and optimize it for search engines.

If you already have a steady blogging rhythm, that’s fantastic! The fact that you know the importance of quality content marketing is enormous. But it’s always a bitter surprise to discover that despite all of those hours of work, no one ever reads your posts.

That’s because your content is most likely either not aligning with what people are actually looking for, or it just isn’t optimized so that search engines like Google know that what you’re writing isn’t spam.

Agencies like ours provide companies with everything they need to make content that will find readers and turn them into customers, whether that be light editing or complete writing and optimization. Here’s a list of what that might consist of:

  • Researching keywords for relevancy and competitiveness
  • Writing and editing to match your company’s voice
  • Optimizing content for readability and keyword strength
  • Creating keyword optimized meta titles & descriptions
  • Testing & measuring different meta titles & descriptions to increase the click-through-rate
  • Uploading and scheduling to the website
  • Sharing on social media channels
  • Refreshing old content to restore its SEO value
  • Measuring the performance of content to influence future posts
  • Adding calls-to-action to turn readers into customers

And that’s just the start.

4. We collect, analyze, and interpret your website data. And most importantly: we make recommendations that will work.

Reading website data is tricky, and to the untrained eye, it may even lead to disastrous consequences such as spending thousands of dollars buying website traffic or unwittingly misleading stakeholders. The truth is that many digital marketers don’t even completely understand what certain website metrics mean (which is why we only hire true data geeks).

For example, blog posts are going to have high bounce rates; you don’t need to spend all your time finding out how to get those to drop. But if your landing page for a Google ad has that same bounce rate, you’ve got an expensive problem. And with some data mining, we can pinpoint what that issue is and fix it.

Although it can be complicated, this data sheds light on website opportunities that would never be discovered with intuition alone. A digital marketing agency can help you understand how visitors are interacting with your site and use that information to turn them into loyal customers.

5. We combine your marketing efforts across platforms to amplify their effectiveness.

You’re running a monthly promotion on a product or service and you have that special posted on your website. But did you also post it on your Facebook? Tweet about it on Twitter? Mention it in your e-newsletter? Create a special Ad in Google Adwords for it? Did you set that ad to run properly, targeting the right keywords and ending when the promotion ends?

Let’s be real –that’s way too much to deal with, let alone to be an expert in. Good digital marketing agencies have separate teams for each channel who communicate with each other all day. That means nothing falls through the cracks, everything shared is top quality, and all platforms support each other.

Okay, I’ve put the digital marketing agency vs in-house marketing debate to rest. So why should I work with Intuitive Digital?

We’re glad you asked. Especially in Portland, you have many options for digital marketing agencies. However, we believe that we have the best culture and values.

Put simply: we’re on a mission to cultivate happiness. For business owners, that means spending less time on digital marketing and more time on their products, with their customers, or outside of work. We also cultivate happiness within our team by focusing on what we love to do. That’s why we earn such strong reviews from both our partners and team members.

Ready to start growing your digital marketing? Learn more about our digital marketing services and reach out to us with any questions.

About the Author

Alysha Schultz

Being the VP of Marketing and Culture at Intuitive is really about making sure we walk our talk. Whether that's fostering a balanced and supportive work culture, progressing JEDI initiatives, or ensuring we provide the highest level of service for all of our partners. Alysha is passionate about understanding and cultivating brand identities, and helping businesses share their story with the public through marketing.

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