Congratulations, you have determined that search marketing can have a significant impact on your business through increased exposure and targeted awareness. Now the question is how best to scale up your efforts – do you hire a search marketing agency or do it in-house?
It’s a difficult choice to make, since there is no cookie-cutter answer as to what is best for each company. Both sides have their own pros and cons, so let’s explore some of the benefits and downsides of both.
Benefits of Hiring a Search Marketing Agency
They Live and Breathe Search:
When you hire a search marketing agency, you’re hiring a team of highly knowledgeable, skilled and certified professionals. Because search marketing is their specialty, they are always up-to-date with industry best practices and can provide strategic direction to help your company succeed. This is especially important as search is an industry that is constantly evolving.
Access to Tools and Technology:
Many agencies have the latest in what it takes to develop and execute an effective search marketing plan and monitor its progress. When you hire outside your company, access to these tools usually comes with the agency.
A Fresh Perspective:
An outside agency can give a fresh perspective to your business without any internal bias. They can identify areas that are strong as well as those that need improvement and recommend solutions you may not have received otherwise. They also likely have experience with other clients and industries that could provide unique insights and recommendations for your brand.
Save Yourself Time and Energy:
Hiring an agency allows you to focus your time and energy on other marketing tasks that need attention.
Drawbacks of Hiring a Search Marketing Agency
They Don’t Know Your Brand Like You Do:
It may take some time for an agency to truly understand your brand, your mission, services, and marketing goals. The unfamiliarity can result in work that might not meet your expectations.
Communication and Time Barriers:
Because the search marketing agency isn’t physically in your office, you will have to communicate your needs and challenges across distance, and possibly time zones. This could cause delays in execution or reporting.
Benefits of Keeping It In-house
Starting with the obvious – your in-house team will have a deeper and more thorough understanding of what your brand is about. They can better represent your company.
With an in-house team, you don’t have to worry about miscommunication. You can speak directly with your staff to ensure everyone is in the loop so you avoid misunderstandings. Should any issues or problems occur, you will know immediately and can solve them faster.
More Control of Timelines and Execution:
Because your team is on site, you can prioritize workloads and timelines. Should something unexpectedly come up and you need to reprioritize needs, you can speak directly with your team members and easily adjust tasks.
Drawbacks of Keeping It In-House
One drawback to in-house teams is that search marketing demands can exceed team capacity, especially if they have other marketing responsibilities beyond search. This can negatively impact the quality of work and impact the overall marketing program, as well.
Struggle with Creativity:
You may become so accustomed to the status quo that your knowledge is limited in regards to what else can be done to help your search business grow.
Limited Tools and Resources:
Marketing tools and resources can be very expensive and you may not have the financial means to afford them. Most agencies are up-to-date with the latest and best tools to effectively market your company.
So, which is best: to hire an agency or have your in-house team do it?
The answer is that there is no one right answer. Each situation is unique. You should analyze each on its own characteristics and build a business case to select the option that fits your needs best.