HubSpot’s co-founder and executive chairperson Brian Halligan once said, “It’s not what you sell that matters as much as how you sell it.”

While some brands consider digital marketing an ancillary function that comes second (sometimes, even last) to building a quality product, those that realize its value and potential early on consistently reap the rewards. It’s an instrumental tool in getting your product in front of the right audience and into the hands of actual customers.

Digital marketing is an extensive field covering many aspects, such as search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC), social media marketing, design, and content creation, all building on one another to drive your business forward.

And since every one of those areas requires a specialized skill level to be performed effectively, one that might not always be available or affordable for every organization, the shrewdest of CEOs opt to outsource digital marketing services to access the expertise they need at a fraction of the cost.

If you’re considering following in the same footsteps, you will do well to know that not all outsourcing vendors are a suitable match for your business and that you need to be able to locate the ideal one for yours.

How To Choose The Right Digital Marketing Outsourcing Partner

The following are six best practices to guide you in your outsourcing partner selection process:

1. Define Your Objectives

1. Define Your Objectives 

In taking advantage of any outsourcing solutions, you’ll need a clear vision of what you want to accomplish and the results you hope to achieve.

So, before you start reaching out to vendors, ask yourself three questions:

  • What are my business needs?
  • What are my desired outcomes?
  • What is the scope of work for such a project?

For example, if you aim to increase your lead numbers coming from social media platforms by 25% in the course of six months, the scope of this work might include creating content for your social media pages, running ad campaigns that target a specific audience and modulating your social media presence based on analytics.

Taking your time in defining these terms will help you relay your requirements more clearly to any potential digital marketing outsourcing partner and evaluate their capabilities against your goals.

2. Examine Different Providers’ Offerings

Some vendors offer specialized services in a few areas, while others’ expertise expands to cover full-stack digital marketing from concept to execution. Of course, your business goals would dictate which of these offerings you’ll need and at what level.

Still, should you select a provider with limited capabilities, you’ll likely end up having to hire additional talent in-house or be on the hunt once more for a new vendor to supplement the missing services.

An excellent digital marketing outsourcing partner should have the following talent at different skill and seniority levels as part of their team:

  • Digital marketing managers
  • SEO experts
  • PPC specialists
  • Social media executives and managers
  • Content writers
  • Multimedia artists and graphic designers

In essence, you should never have to look elsewhere for assistance in any aspect of your digital marketing strategy with the right outsourcing partner.

3. Look For Experience In Your Industry

Free photo social media marketing concept for marketing with applications

Experience on a large scale is a huge checkmark in favor of any outsourcing provider, but one that is relevant to your industry and business model is even more valuable.

A vendor who’s well-versed in your niche will be aware of your specific challenges and opportunities, be more able to mold their service packages to your needs and have a better understanding of your target audience.

For example, one of the obstacles that tech start-ups often face after spending years in R&D, product development, and eventually launching is crossing the chasm from early adopters to the mainstream market.

A third-party provider with a firm grasp of segmenting consumers according to the technology adoption lifecycle, the marketing funnel and how to build the right customer base for your product at various stages will have a far more nuanced approach to promoting your business.

So, when choosing a vendor, find out if they have previous experience in your sphere; if they do, ask for references or a portfolio of successful projects and campaigns.

4. Assess Their Infrastructure And Tools

You’ve undoubtedly chosen to outsource your marketing needs, at least in part, to capitalize on an outside team’s technological know-how and resources. You might even have some tools of your own that you’d like your outsourced team to be already familiar with.

In any case, ask prospective partners about their digital infrastructure — what tools they use, the software and solutions their team members have experience with, and more — to see if they align with your technological needs and expectations.

For instance, if you’ve been using Ahrefs or SEMrush for SEO, BuzzSumo or Hootsuite for social media management, and Hubspot as your CRM, then you’ll need to find out if the provider you’ve set your sights on is proficient in these.

5. Evaluate Their Communication Protocols

Having a responsive partner who provides regular progress reports on the work is as crucial as the results they deliver, especially if you’re operating in different time zones, as is often the case with offshoring digital marketing services.

When assessing potential candidates, ask how they’ll communicate with you, how often and through which channels, their escalation process in case of problems or emergencies, and who your point of contact will be.

This will help you get a sense of whether or not they have a clear and well-established system in place for communication and the level of support you can expect from them.

Some exceptional vendors go so far as to develop proprietary software with built-in functionalities to facilitate interactions, monitoring and progress tracking between clients and their outsourced teams.

6. Understand Their Pricing Model

6. Understand Their Pricing Model

Different outsourcing vendors have varying pricing structures, so you need to closely examine each provider’s proposal to determine the cost breakdown of their services and what deliverables you can realistically expect.

Ideally, you want a partner with a transparent, well-defined pricing structure where you can retain the services of digital marketing specialists at all levels, as and when you need them, be it hourly, monthly or project-based.

Additionally, a third-party provider that charges no upfront fees at the onset of the engagement until you’re done selecting, approving and finalizing your outsourced team will offer you the vantage point of evaluating their capabilities before committing to a long-term partnership. That way, you’ll surely get the best value for your money.

Outsource With Confidence

Digital marketing outsourcing is a valuable option for any business looking to build an impactful online presence, stay competitive, and save on costs.

Remember to keep these six steps in mind as you go through the process of selecting a reliable partner, and you’ll be able to find the one to deliver the results you’re looking for.

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Ankita Tripathy

Ankita Tripathy loves to write about food and the Hallyu Wave in particular. During her free time, she enjoys looking at the sky or reading books while sipping a cup of hot coffee. Her favourite niches are food, music, lifestyle, travel, and Korean Pop music and drama.

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