Web designers and internet marketing gurus often post articles (like this one) about tactics, trends, and best practices. One thing that is rarely ever touched upon, however, is how that work actually gets done.
Some seem to suggest that any person with a little bit of entrepreneurial spirit and determination can run their own campaigns. Others subtly hint that it takes a team of designers, copywriters, community managers, and analytics wizards to get things right.
Most business owners will discover pretty quickly, however, that they don’t have the time to manage every aspect of a full-fledged online marketing campaign. They will also quickly determine that they don’t want to pay ongoing monthly retainers for half a dozen experts who can’t guarantee an increase in sales.
Is there a happy middle ground? We think so. To understand what it looks like, let’s look at the three basic approaches to internet marketing that most sensible business owners take…
Approach #1: Handle Everything In-House
The first philosophy is the simplest. A lot of entrepreneurs do their own books and take out their own trash, so why not build and manage their own website? Using pre-built templates or DIY services, they construct simple web presences and keep themselves up to date with the occasional blog post, tweet, or email newsletter.
The big drawback to this way of working, of course, is that everything needs to be simplified. Either you won’t have time to keep up with everything that should be done for your business, or you’ll be so busy marketing that you aren’t actually keeping an eye on your company. For that reason, we think this isn’t an ideal answer for most successful business owners.
Approach #2: Hand Off the Big Jobs and Tackle the Small Ones Systematically
Business owners who go by this philosophy turn over the big chunks of creative work to the professionals while keeping up with maintenance on their own. They don’t design their own websites, for example, but may be active within their Facebook business pages. They give input on copywriting, but probably haven’t written everything you find on their site.
When you adopt this sort of plan, there are trade-offs involved between time, money, and expertise. As a business owner, you’ll still certainly have to be involved, but you won’t be solely responsible for keeping your marketing plan going. Plus, you’ll have a steady supply of knowledgeable advice to keep you pointed in the right direction.
Approach #3: Put Everything in the Hands of the Experts
Business owners who favor this approach might set the direction for their web design or internet marketing campaigns, but then they leave the details to others. Their involvement from that point on usually involves checking up on progress.
There are two potentially huge advantages to going hands-off with your internet marketing. The first is that it frees you up to work on other tasks or projects, and to manage your people and business. You’d be amazed at how quickly blogging, social posting, and other activities can add up during the course of a day – even for those of us who do it constantly. Plus, there is a good chance that professional writers, designers, and social media coordinators can do a better job of managing things than you would on your own.
As nice as that might all sound, there are couple of drawbacks you should know about as well. The first is that having someone completely take over your internet marketing is going to be expensive, particularly if you have a good track record. A more subtle risk is that you’ll become disconnected from your marketing in a way that makes it difficult for you to tell what’s going on with your customers, or to replace your team in the future if you need to.
What’s Your Style?
You might think, given the money involved, that we would prefer clients who let us do everything. That’s not always the case, though. When the partners we work with get good bottom-line value for their money, everyone is happier. And, it’s always good if our clients are involved enough in their marketing to understand why the results we get them are so significant.
Looking for the perfect digital marketing plan for your budget needs? Call or email our team today and let us show you what we can do!