Hiring a Marketing Expert Vs Doing It Yourself

Marketing is a complex field that includes different strategies designed to improve visibility, establish a brand presence, engage prospective customers, and earn more revenue as a result. Business owners need to invest time and money into marketing if they want to stay ahead of the game and stand apart from the competition. A good marketing strategy can help businesses grow and enjoy more success.

However, many small business owners hesitate to hire professional marketers to handle their marketing campaign. It could be lack of trust, no budgetary means for it, or that they feel it’s a manageable task. In the end, they struggle to share responsibilities and delegate tasks while they run a business; which means they don’t outsource marketing and rely on inexperienced in-house employees to plan and implement the strategies that they end up overseeing.

Why Hiring a Marketing Expert can Help

Modern marketing is an expansive field, and it includes everything from digital marketing online to traditional offline marketing. Business owners rarely have enough time to learn different marketing techniques and understand how to implement them well on their platforms. All kinds of businesses, especially small companies, can benefit from professional assistance. Here are some reasons why hiring a professional is a good idea:

1. To Navigate the Complexities of Modern Marketing Strategies

Modern marketing strategies involve a wide range of techniques, tools, skills, and platforms, which is why people work in teams to implement it. The digital marketing team includes professionals with different skills and qualifications who handle different tasks. These strategies are just too complex for a single person to manage, even if they’re qualified in the field. Even the simplest marketing strategy requires steps like:

Establishing Your Audience
Branding the Service for the Audience
Graphic Design & Collateral Creation
Creating a Website that Sells
Making the Website SEO Friendly
Promoting the Website
Creating Social Media Profiles
Establishing Brand Presence
Generating Content
Creating Ads for Paid Platforms
Managing Ad Spend
Managing Authoritative Links to the Website
All of these things require different skills and most business owners have to invest time to learn these skills if they want to handle marketing without professional assistance.
2. To Create Content that Establishes Industry Authority

Content is an important aspect of modern marketing strategies because it helps establish authority in the industry, engages with customers, distributes information regarding products and services, and include keywords to catch the attention of search engines. The Internet is saturated with content, so users are very selective about what they read. It’s not enough to just create generic content and include relevant keywords in the text. The content should provide the target audience with significant value.

Content should be well-written with sound grammar and spelling.
All the information should be current and relevant to the keywords included in the text.
The content should be in long-form and range from 1,000 to 2,000 words. The average word count of the web pages search on the first search engine results page is 1,890.
The keywords used should be specific, and the content should include long-tail phrases.
All information should be well-researched and as accurate as possible.
The primary purpose of content marketing is to attract organic traffic to the website and to ensure that users stay long enough to become interested in the products and services offered. The secondary purpose of content marketing is to establish authority and win the trust of the visitors.
Skilled and experienced content marketing experts know just how to generate the right kind of content for their target audience. This job requires skills, training and deep knowledge on the nitty-gritty of writing for online audiences. It’s something most individual business owners aren’t able to manage.

3. To Develop Creative and Interactive Resources

Content marketing doesn’t just involve text though it is one of the most commonly used formats in modern marketing. Text content is easy to create, and business owners can develop good articles and blog posts if they put in some time and effort. However, experienced marketers know content marketing must be diverse and approach the target audience from different directions. A sound content marketing strategy will include:

Videos and tutorials
Podcasts and live streams
Infographics and animations
White papers and research papers relevant to the industry
These types of content require different skills and software, and a business owner doesn’t usually have access to them. In comparison, professional marketers have all the tools and knowledge required to create visual and text content and can handle it with a marketing strategy in mind.
4. To Deliver your Brand Socially

Social media is a great platform for small businesses because it allows them to reach out and connect with their target audience. They can engage with their audience regularly, establish a personal relationship, hear customer concerns, complaints, and provide resolutions promptly; this helps ensure customers remain interested in the brand.

However, social media is a double-edged sword if it’s not handled properly. Even the smallest mistakes can compromise the reputation of the company and alienate the target audience. Experienced social media professionals know how to navigate these platforms well and will:

Understand different platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., and develop unique strategies to engage audiences on every platform.
Explore the paid ads, promoted content, and other such paid marketing options available on these platforms and use them to the best advantage.
Monitor engagements and interactions between the business and target audience to understand customer preferences.
Handle complaints, questions, and requests from customers on the social media platforms.
Build and maintain a good reputation on these platforms and establish authority through content.
Professional marketers will use sophisticated social media management tools to keep track of all this activity and ensure nothing goes wrong. Managing social media requires time and commitment, but it can be very rewarding. Social media marketers are very savvy on these platforms and know how to engage the audience efficiently.
Many small business owners struggle with this aspect of marketing and have neither the time nor knowledge to keep track of their social media accounts. The time to update, post content, respond, and then interact with their audiences just isn’t there.

5. To Develop your Brand and Website Concepts

A marketing campaign will fail if the business doesn’t have a well-designed website and a carefully crafted brand presence. A website is the foundation of all marketing campaigns and needs to provide a good user experience to visitors, regardless of the platform they approach it from.

The website should be easy to navigate, mobile-friendly, SEO-friendly, quick to load on all platforms, aesthetically pleasing, and informative. It should be designed in accordance with the branding to ensure it conveys the right message to the target audience. Experienced website developers and marketers will consider the factors mentioned below when they create a platform and branding:

Target audiences and their preferences
Type of products and services provided
Competitors and the industry in general
The company’s ethics, goals, and message
The location of the company
All of these factors are considered in the website design and branding process to ensure the online presence is unique and appealing to the target audience. While business owners know their industry, product and target market well, they don’t have the skills and knowledge on how to position themselves best when it comes to branding. A haphazard approach or unplanned branding strategy can have a long-term impact on the success of the venture.
6. To Research and Analyze Your Engagement Campaigns

Modern marketing strategies are fluid and dynamic. They need to change and evolve in response to the changing market conditions, search engine regulations, target audience preferences, and other such influential factors.

A marketing campaign that’s successful today might not be as successful six months down the line, which is why experienced marketers always keep an eye on the campaigns through analytics and research latest marketing trends regularly. Here are some of the many analytic reports professional marketers browse through regularly:

The analytic reports containing website activity like a number of visitors (repeat and unique), duration of the visit, bounce rates, most popular pages, etc. This information will help them improve the overall quality of the website.
Analysis of paid ad campaign performance on search engines, social media platforms, and even off-line strategies like direct mail marketing. They keep an eye on the performance of the paid ad campaigns and determine if the ads provide sufficient ROI.
Analysis of organic social media interaction. This often includes impressions, opened posts, comments, likes/dislikes, shares, etc. Experienced social media marketers will study these reports and alter their social media strategy accordingly.

Direct Marketing isn’t all Brute Force

There are so many metrics surrounding direct marketing. So many facts, figures, test results and other sundry measurements.

It’s tempting to think the only thing that matters with direct marketing copy is to get the tried and tested elements in place.

If that were the case, you would be able to buy DM copywriting software.

You would just enter a few lines of information about your product – price, offer and audience – and the software would draw on a database of thousands of previous, proven DM letters and ads. Press Enter and you would have near-perfect copy delivered to your screen in the blink of an eye.

Sounds cool, eh?

The trouble is, the ‘metrics’ approach to direct response writing – whether written by you or a machine – limits your potential considerably.

One major attribute of every good direct response piece is how it touches its audience at a personal level. Great DM speaks to us as individuals. It touches our hopes, fears and ambitions. It makes us feel, it makes us ‘want’.

And by that, I’m not talking about the ‘smack-em-in-mouth’ approach. As in, “If your life isn’t insured, your children could end up on the streets”. Or, “Get out of debt in 30 minutes”. I don’t think our industry is served well by manipulating the fears of decent people. Or over-promising in any way.

>> An example of DM copy that touches the reader

A long time ago I was given the job of beating a control brochure that was selling a book on the subject of US forces in Vietnam.

I changed nothing except the captions under the photos.

I remember one photo that showed an American ‘Tunnel Rat’ about to enter one of the Viet Cong’s tunnel systems. A scary job, to say the least. The existing caption said something like, “At the entrance of a tunnel system”.

There are two things wrong with this caption. First, it is redundant, telling you nothing the photo itself doesn’t already communicate. Second, it fails to ‘touch’ the reader in any way.

It’s a long time ago, but my rewrite was something like this, “Tunnel Rat tenses before plunging into the darkness”.

What I wrote was probably much better than that. I spent a lot of time on that brochure. But hopefully you get the point. What I did was use words that said something the photo alone didn’t express. I also put the reader in the mind of the soldier. To some small degree. I simply wrote in a way that engaged the reader’s emotions.

Good DM writing does that all the time.

And yes, the new brochure beat control.

>> How this applies to the Web

When it comes to touching your reader on a personal level, the web offers more opportunity and potential than any other mass medium. Online, people respond immediately and positively to any sense that a web site has a personal voice. People love that someone is ‘there’.

Where can you add these personal touches? Where can you reach people on an emotional level? Just about anywhere in the text. In headlines, subheads, body text or links.

(By the way, don’t start writing captions for all the images on your site. In a print brochure people generally look at the photos first, and then read the captions second. Not so online. Visitors to web sites look at the text first. They want to know if your site will give them what they are looking for.)

You’ll be most successful with this personal approach if you use a light touch. Put the verbal hammer and exclamation points away. There’s no need to shout. Just make sure the text sounds like it was written by a living, breathing, feeling human being. Don’t just state the facts…write in a way that touches the reader’s emotions. Help them feel it, not just read it.

Things really begin to fly when you combine the proven principles of direct marketing with the personal potential of the web.

Driving Online Sales Through Offline Marketing – A Lesson From Google

Last week we received a direct mailer in the post from – of all people – Google. It was the third time they’d written to us in the space of six months. The mailer consisted of a glossy and substantial gate-fold with the headline ‘Boost your AdWords profits in under an hour a week’. But why send it? Surely if anyone is in a position to profitably shun direct marketing, it would have to be Google, or so you would think. Not only do they dominate the search engines, they actually own the means of dissemination – it doesn’t cost them a penny to position their own marketing messages at the top of every Google search on the web. And, besides, why didn’t they just send an email? They have our details. Why send a relatively expensive mailer?

Because direct marketing works…

As you would expect, the marketing boffins at Google have done their research – sending their AdWords customers a piece of hard copy information in the post acts as a tangible complement to their online marketing efforts. This is something that people are able to keep, put in their in-trays, read during a coffee break, pass around the office and, most importantly, act upon.

In an increasingly competitive marketplace, more and more web-focused businesses are integrating both digital and direct to communicate with their customers and prospects. For evidence of this shift, just take a moment each day to monitor what turns up in your mail box.

Nor is direct marketing a static discipline. Breakthroughs in data processing and print technology have enabled direct mail to move away from broad-based mass mailings to smaller niche targeted campaigns, with highly personalised content – reflecting in its own way the one-to-one intimacy of the online social and business networks.

Importantly, targeting prospects by promoting your URL offline is proven to be a highly effective means of driving traffic directly to your website. An additional advantage of this approach is that there is far less chance of your prospects being distracted along the way by search results from competitor advertisers – not to mention reduced overheads on pay-per-click bidding and SEO wars.

While digital marketing is indisputably a powerful and essential element of the mix, it will never be a substitute for direct marketing, but it is a worthy partner. Just ask Google.