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Outsourced Marketing Services: Pros, Cons, & How to Hire the Right Team

Here are some hard-hitting questions for you:

Are you struggling to manage marketing campaigns and hit deadlines?

Are you sinking money into building a marketing team but not making a profit?

Do you know the ROI of all your marketing efforts?

If these questions give you a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach, you're not alone.

But there's light at the end of the tunnel! What if you could outsource marketing? You wouldn't be alone:

Outsourcing marketing in any capacity might seem scary, especially if you're used to controlling every piece of your business.

But if you do it right, you can start a fruitful relationship with an outsourced marketing team and drive growth in your business.

For example, Qualio experienced a 108% increase in organic website traffic for high-value keywords during the first two months of partnering with the growth team at Lean Labs.

And RocketSpace generates 800 additional qualified leads every month.

Outsourcing your marketing doesn’t have to be a gamble.

This article will give you everything you need to outsource your marketing effectively; how to do it, the benefits, the biggest risks to avoid, and tips for hiring the right team so you can relinquish control with confidence.

The Pros and Cons of Outsourced Marketing Services

In some businesses, having an in-house marketing team isn't in the budget. From hiring and training costs to managing an entire team of marketers, it's not always possible, especially for startups and smaller businesses.

But it's a mistake to think you don't need to invest in marketing. Without quality leads, you'll struggle to drive growth in your business. B2B and Saas companies have a tough time knowing how to market their products.

Related: B2B SaaS Inbound Marketing Playbook: 5 Proven Plays (+ Examples)

But with an outsourced marketing team, you can discover how to build and implement a marketing strategy, taking some of the pressure off and allowing you to focus on other parts of your business.

It's crucial to partner with the right marketing service. Some companies promise “big results” but don't specify what that means. On paper, 'more traffic and leads' sounds ideal. 

But what type of leads and traffic?

Spending budget on traffic for the sake of traffic and unqualified leads is a waste of time and resources. So you'll need to do your due diligence and partner with a team that has documented proven results.

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What is Outsourced Marketing?

Outsourced marketing is hiring a third-party marketing agency or freelancer to perform your marketing activities.

With some marketing tasks taken care of, you can direct resources elsewhere. This can be especially attractive for startups, where the need to spread resources is necessary.

Most businesses choose one of two options:

  • Outsource all of your marketing to a company that provides a full suite of marketing services.
  • Use a combination of in-house and outsourced marketing (more of a hybrid arrangement).

An alternative option is outsourcing specialized functions, such as coding a website.

When Should You Outsource Marketing?

How much do you have on your plate before you add marketing to the equation? And how much money are you already sinking into your business?

Outsourcing holds the key if you're struggling for time but want to improve marketing quality and consistency. Outsourcing is a good play if you don't have the budget or the time to hire and train an entire in-house marketing team.

What else?

  • You want to outsource certain functions, such as content writing, because you lack the in-house talent.
  • You're planning for growth.
  • You're not doing any marketing!
  • You need expert marketing help from a reputable company that provides access to a highly-skilled team.
  • You know that a comprehensive marketing strategy would be beneficial.
  • You need help to prove marketing ROI and get buy-in from leaders and partners.
  • You're not ready to employ a full-time marketing team.

If any of this rings true, now is the time to outsource marketing.

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What are the Core Functions of an Outsourced Marketing Team?

There are many things a marketing team can do, but there are some core functions you need them to perform. The best companies start with research.

That means they will want to know everything relevant about your industry, ideal customers, competitors, and where your product fits in the market. Working together, you'll ensure your product can break into the market, and look to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Next, the team will consider how to get the message out about your product or service so your ideal clients can find you. 

You'll need to define your unique value proposition and ensure your website is designed for an intuitive buyer journey. You'll start to build a go-to-market strategy and think about campaigns.

Related: Go-To-Market Strategy for Startups: 10 Key Steps (+ Examples)

Many campaigns will focus on content that attracts, engages, and delights your audience to convert them into customers. Every campaign you run should focus on growth. 

And how do you know if you're growing? Aside from the obvious, more revenue, marketers will analyze your entire funnel and use data to optimize it into a well-oiled machine, and report results to you.

Types of Outsourced Marketing Services

As we said earlier, you can outsource all of your marketing or particular elements. Here are a few commonly outsourced marketing functions. 

SEO & Content Marketing Services

Attract your ideal customers by producing content that answers their problems and provides the next steps they can take to work with you. You can hire a company to manage your entire content marketing efforts, or you can hire writers ad hoc.

On the SEO front, for content to rank on search engines, it needs to be SEO-friendly. Hire writers and content marketers with the right knowledge. Some SEO services will also analyze your website to ensure you are meeting all best practices for technical SEO. 

 

PPC Services

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is essentially paying for targeted visits to your website or landing pages. A successful PPC campaign should pay for itself. For example, you might pay $20 for ten clicks and make one sale of $200 to generate a 10x return on ad spend (ROAS).

You can outsource PPC to companies specializing in creating ads and driving traffic to your website. Benefits include greater expertise, cost-effective campaigns, and faster results. Bonus points if they also build and optimize landing pages.

Social Media Services


Social media management can feel like a full-time job! Social media can be a fantastic tool for B2B marketing, from engaging with your audience to posting regularly and even live streaming. B2B marketers estimate that 80% of their social media leads come from LinkedIn.

If you're not utilizing social media, you're missing a key piece of the puzzle. If you don't have time to manage it, the right company can do it for you. Or you could hire a freelance content creator.

We'll also talk about influencer marketing here. Using platforms like Instagram and TikTok,  you can find influencers with a similar audience and ask them to review your product and share it with their followers. 

You might offer special deals and discounts to customers if they come to you from influencer content.

Video Production Services

Ideally, you'll have a team member that specializes in video strategy, management, and creative efforts. It's usually cheaper; you can record videos on the fly and distribute them quickly, and if inspiration strikes, you can hit record.

But outsourcing video production has its benefits. You'll get an outside perspective, a ready-made team, and experience. They'll often bring in specialized equipment and know how to use editing software effectively.

Website Design & Conversion Rate Optimization Services


The purpose of your website is to convert visitors into leads and leads into customers. Your website needs to tell potential customers what you can do for them, how you can help them, and provide a next step that starts the buyer journey.

It sounds simple, but many businesses treat their website like a nice thing to have and a way to show off instead of a sales machine. 

When you outsource website design to the right company, you should get a stunning, high-converting website that represents your brand and attracts your ideal customers.

 

Email Marketing Services

Email marketing is an art form. It's a way to keep your business front of mind with existing and potential customers, and you can share pretty much anything you want—educational content, promotional offers, email onboarding sequences, and newsletters, to name a few.

Many businesses need more time and resources to utilize their email lists. You'll get a campaign and strategy when you outsource email marketing. The best tools allow you to split-test customer behavior, automate email campaigns, and adjust your strategy based on analytics.

The Benefits of Outsourcing Your Marketing

As you can see above, you can outsource many marketing functions. 

Cost-effective: To make the most of an outsourced marketing team, you should lean on their broad skill set. Hiring a team of marketing professionals at an affordable rate is more cost-effective than hiring them full-time.

This allows you to run specific campaigns or zero in on particular marketing elements. You only pay for what you use.

Time-saving: If you're struggling to find time for marketing campaigns, it's easy not to take action or do it haphazardly. With an outsourced team, you can leave it to the experts and spend time on more critical tasks that match your strengths.

Scalable: When you're ready to launch your product or service, you might only need a few specific marketing tactics. But without knowing where you should start, you'll probably throw everything at the wall and hope something sticks.

Instead, why not start small? Utilize your budget, hire a small team, and then scale as you grow. The more budget you put towards marketing, the more outsourced teams can do.

Access: Lastly, top outsourced marketing teams hire skilled experts with experience. They know what to look for. Creative types, people that have built something before, analytic minds, and those ready to experiment and pivot to drive results. Imagine having a team like that without having to hire them yourself.

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The Risks of Outsourcing Your Marketing

Lack of control: You'll need to trust the team you hire to do a good job. To start with, the outsourced team will need a lot of guidance. Nobody knows your audience or ideal client better than you (or at least they shouldn't!). With a lack of control of the day-to-day process, you might lose the personal touch you have with customers.

Conflict of interest: At some point in the engagement, either when you first start working together or deeper into a campaign, your priorities and methods might not align with the outsourced team. If this festers, you might break off the engagement and potentially waste time and money.

Reputation: You'll need to ensure that the outsourced team's tactics won't affect your reputation. For example, black hat SEO, the practice of going against guidelines to manipulate search engines, could lead to penalties and a dent in your reputation. A poor reputation is not conducive to building trust.

How to Hire the Right Outsourced Marketing Service

  • Do your due diligence: Look for proven results but also a company you feel you'll get along with and be able to build rapport and trust.
  • Outline expectations and KPIs: Express your top priorities and the results you're looking for. Ask for case studies, references, costs, and how the company you're hiring measures success.
  • Build a relationship: You won't see great results without mutual understanding. You need to know how they work and whether it aligns with how you want to work.
  • Communicate effectively: Give feedback promptly so it can be appropriately addressed - no rushed work. Collaboration is critical.
  • Ask questions: Set timelines, and ask for the bigger picture. What's the plan? How long will it take to get there? What happens if we don't get the results you promise?
  • Get out of the way! - "This is how we've always done this" is a dangerous phrase. You're hiring an outsourced team for a reason. Trust their expertise.

Related: How to Hire a Growth Marketing Team

How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Outsourced Marketing Service

The cost of hiring outsourced services varies depending on many factors. You'll need to decide on a budget and then work out the services you need the most. Different companies will have different packages.

How much time and effort will be required? What's your starting point? Do you want an entire campaign or help with specific elements? Do you want to work with a proven expert with decades of experience, or an unproven newcomer? 

On the low end, you can hire a freelancer to write blog posts for $25 a pop on Fiverr. On the high end, full-service marketing engagements can run from 18-40k per month.

Related: How Much Do Tech and SaaS Growth Marketing Strategies Cost?

Outsourced Marketing Service Vs. Hybrid Growth Team

Now that you have the complete picture of outsourced marketing services, we need to mention how we at Lean Labs view outsourced marketing. We consider every engagement to be a partnership. We like to work with you to drive massive growth.

Outsourced growth teams still take on marketing tasks, but the number one metric we track is growth. The growth of your company, your reputation, and your customer base. Instead of just focusing on traffic and leads, we affect all six levers of growth:


The growth team works cross-functionally to attract and convert new leads, nurture leads into customers, and ensure a positive customer experience to drive retention and reputation. 

Hiring Outsourced Marketing Services: A Risk Worth Taking

If you do your due diligence and ensure you collaborate with your outsourced marketing team, you can make it work.

Outsourcing helps to fill your strategic and talent gaps, but there can't be silos. You'll need to work towards the same objective, which is the north star metric, growth.

Lean Labs is a hybrid growth team. We help deserving brands and innovative SaaS and Tech companies scale growth. And we do it using the six levers. Marketing is a significant part of driving growth; without it, your product might never see the light of day.

If you want to see exactly how we plan for, budget for, and accelerate growth for our most successful clients, check out the Growth Playbook. And if you want to talk about what it could look like to work with Lean Labs as your outsourced marketing service, then book a Growth Mapping Session today.

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