In-House or Outsource my digital marketing?

The pros and cons for NI Small Businesses in outsourcing their digital marketing and website tasks.

We've met with many small businesses in Northern Ireland who are reaching a cross roads with their digital marketing and business website. They've realised that maintaining their business website, social media and e-marketing now takes up a large percentage of their daily tasks. A lot of small businesses have also found that the skill set required to do these things properly is simply beyond them or their current staff. So many now ask themselves the question..

digital media agency northern irelandDo I hire someone with digital media skills? Or do I approach a company to handle these things for me?

Of course, like anything - there's pros and cons to both approaches.

Below we'll discuss these and provide a conclusion on what's the right move for you.

Hiring a digital media person

Pros

Control - Bringing your digital media tasks in-house gives you great control over the output. You can suggest and monitor exactly what gets said on social media channels. You can define the exact tasks you'd like carried out on your website and oversee all of these.

Investment - A new member of staff will become an asset to your business. They'll learn how you like to do things. A digital media employee will be no different. You'll be able to carry out your media and web tasks but with your own flavour that suits how you and your business works.

9-5 - Of course an advantage of having your digital media in-house is that (in theory) you'll have access to that person or person(s) during office hours everyday. They should be able to react quickly to your needs as they arise.

Cons

Expense - Like any member of staff - they'll have to be paid and perhaps trained in the workings of the company. You cannot scrimp on digital media/web personnel. If this is your sole media/e-marketing employee - do you think you can hire a graduate or junior? Think again. Unless you have a senior e-marketing person to train this graduate or junior it's unlikely they'll be able to strategize effectively. So you'll have to pay for a real professional with good experience. 

Skills void - You'll have to ensure your new team member has a good grasp of all the digital media services you'll need. Otherwise you're still going to have to outsource some elements. Some media experts are very good at graphic design and perhaps not so good at web development. Some may have SEO skills and fail when it comes to social media. It's very unlikely you'll find 1 person with all the skills you need - so now you're looking at perhaps 2. Or a small team. (which takes me back to the expense thing.)


Outsourcing your Digital tasks

Pros

Skills - It's unlikely you'll be able to hire a web professional with all of the skills needed. An agency or web company will have personnel skilled in social media, SEO, web design, web development, email marketing, graphic design, professional photography, content writing and video media. You'll have all the skills you could imagine under one roof.

Strategy - The digital media company will listen to your business goals. (short term and long term) and develop a bespoke digital strategy to suit your business. In-house staff are usually carrying out a series of tasks outlined by you and this often isn't the best way to get results. 

Cost - To bring an internal team in-house can be a serious cost in the short term. Outsourcing tasks to an agency means you'll only ever pay for what you get and what's been agreed in a quotation or initial plan. Although there may be some sort of contract in place it's unlikely you'll have any issues wrapping up with an agency or approaching a new one.

Cons

Lack of Control - When your business marketing or website is being handled mainly outside of your office, it can feel like you've a lack of control. 

In-flexible - If you've agreed certain terms with an agency around your digital strategy it could be tricky getting them to change these quickly. The agency will have giving your business a timeslot and allocated some resources to your project so to quickly turn this around might be difficult. An in-house team should (in theory) be able to jump to your every wish.

The conclusion

Of course every business is different and there's always room for a little bit of both in-house skills and outsourced skills. And you'll probably find as a small business owner in NI you'll be doing a little bit of both.

We like to bold here at Beacon13 so choose your current situation/needs below and you'll see our recommendation..



Need a digital strategy for 12-36 months = Outsource.

Need some basic e-marketing and social media = In-House

Running an on-line business or e-commerce store = In-House

Need custom web development = Outsource


In short - the ideal situation is that you have a skilled web/media team in-house. This team will take time and considerable investment to acquire. So until then outsource your digital media and website tasks to a good agency and start getting results from your digital efforts.








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