In-House Marketing vs. Agency Marketing
If you own a business, digital marketing is one of the best strategies to help your business grow, reach more leads, and increase revenue.
Digital marketing is an umbrella term that consists of many smaller strategies which work together to grow your business. It includes strategies like:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Pay-per-click (PPC)
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Web design
Without a digital marketing campaign, it will your target customers will have a hard time finding you online.
So let’s say you’ve decided to pursue a digital marketing campaign — it’s a great choice! But how do you know whether you should hire an in-house marketing team or hire an agency to do the work for you?
On this page, we’ll talk about the different benefits and drawbacks of working with an in-house marketing team versus hiring a marketing agency.
If you’d like to learn more about digital marketing before reading on, feel free to contact one of our digital marketing specialists at 888-601-5359.
Interested in working with a top Internet marketing agency?Contact WebFX
Why do I need digital marketing in the first place?
As we mentioned before, without a sound digital marketing plan, it will be extremely difficult for interested customers to find you online.
In fact, 46.8% of the world’s population makes an Internet search daily, and that figure is only rising. That means that if your business doesn’t have a home online, you could be missing out on some serious website traffic and increased conversions. That’s where digital marketing comes in.
Digital marketing strategies help to increase visibility of your website online so that more target customers can find you.
Specifically, SEO helps you to appear higher in search engines so that users click to your website, PPC advertises your website in search engine results pages (SERPs), content marketing targets users with valuable keywords, and email marketing helps potential customers keep your business top-of-mind.
Kinds of digital marketing
Let’s talk a little more in depth about each of these strategies before talking about the benefits of in-house and agency marketing.
Since 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, it’s crucial that you have an SEO campaign in place.
In short, SEO (on-page and off-page) improve your website so that you can appear higher in search engine results pages. You may wonder why we keep mention ranking highly on SERPs, but evidence shows that 75% of people never scroll past the first page of results in Google — so if your website ranks on page two, or even three, there’s a slim chance anyone will even find your website.
This is one reason why SEO is so crucial.
SEO combines on-page tactics like keyword targeting, user experience, and content creation, with off-page tactics, like external link building and increasing reviews to ensure that your website is one of the highest ranking in your industry.
Overall, SEO takes some time to work, and takes some training and expertise to be able to do it on your own.
Pay-per-click advertising is one of the most cost-efficient ways to market your business online.
It works on a bidding system where you determine your most valuable keywords, decide how much you want to pay every time your ad targeting that keyword is clicked, and watch site visits rise.
It’s such a cost-effective strategy because you only pay the search engine when your ad is clicked — not for the ad to appear.
It’s successful because it works almost immediately, and it’s one of the best strategies for marketing to your specific audience with the use of target keywords.
This strategy is beneficial because it allows you to stay top-of-mind with customers that may not need your services currently, it and allows you to keep current customers up to date on specials and new arrivals.
To start a campaign, you’ll have to first collect a list of subscribers, which you can do via contact forms on your website, drawings at your storefront, or simply asking via social media for a user to provide their email address to get your newsletter.
Then, you’ll be able to contact them via email with exciting business information, new specials, coupons, newsletters, and more.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing is important since the number of people using social media grows year-over-year, and in fact, users spend 30% of their time online, on social media. People love social platforms! So you should advertise there too.
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are all great channels to market your business, and you can do so easily — especially with automated tools like Buffer.
When you market on social media, it gives you a chance to increase brand awareness for your company, increase fans, and send people to your website.
Many people don’t consider web design to be a digital marketing tactic, but it absolutely is.
Your website is one of the first impressions a user will have of your business, and it’s extremely important that it’s clean, professional, organized, and informational.
Your web design will either turn people away or keep them coming back for more — and it all depends on their user experience. Google picks up signals when your website provides a great user experience to users and can subsequently rank you higher —another great marketing pairing for SEO!
Difference between an in-house marketing team and hiring an agency
Now that you understand the work that comes with digital marketing, it will be easier to understand the pros and cons of each kind of marketing team.
You could choose to hire an in-house marketing team, which, like the name denotes, works with you at your place of business.
When you have an in-house marketing team, they’re there 24-7 in-person, and they’re working for you. Your team could be made up with as many or as few people as you see fit for your company.
When you hire an agency, you’ll have to weigh your options in terms of what agency you want to hire. When you decide on one, you’ll have a whole team of people working on your campaign, but they won’t be present at your workplace.
Now let’s talk about the pros and cons of each option.
In-house marketing means that you hire a team of individuals to handle all the marketing campaigns for your business.
They will be the ones that handle your SEO, PPC, email, social, and content campaigns along with your web design, user experience, and more.
That being said, if you’re going to have an in-house marketing team, it’s almost just as necessary to have an in-house design team to help them with graphic elements for your website.
You may also choose to have an in-house developer if you plan on having your in-house designer create and work with your website.
pros of an in-house marketing team
Now let's talk about some pros.
1. At your fingertips
Whether you want to adjust that bid on your new PPC campaign, or if you want to change a paragraph of copy on your website, an in-house marketing team is literally at your fingertips.
You won’t have to wait for your agency correspondent to get back to you, and you can request changes at a moment’s notice.
Not to mention, having someone in-house affords you the ability to talk in person about specific strategies. It allows you to have brainstorming sessions together, make decisions together, and review campaign results together — over a cup of coffee in your office.
You won’t have to speak over the phone, but you can talk one-on-one with your marketers — allowing your campaign to be extremely personal to your company.
When you have an in-house marketing team, you never have to worry about them being transparent. Since they work at the same location, they can easily ask you questions, brainstorm solutions, and make adjustments.
They won’t sugar coat a campaign that just isn’t working because they’ll be able to come to you with any issues that they’re having.
An in-house marketing team is your own personal group of advertising gurus. You’re the only client they have, which means they can focus solely on your campaigns, what’s working, and what’s not.
This also means that if you ask them to make any sort of changes or tweaks, they’ll be able to do so relatively quick, since you’re their only client. You won’t have to worry about someone getting back to you, or an agency making enough time to make that small tweak you asked about.
An in-house team is fast and reactive.
It’s no secret that agencies can be pricey, which makes an in-house team a little on the more cost-effective side.
Instead of paying for each separate marketing campaign through an agency, you’ll pay your in-house marketers and pay for subscriptions to your marketing software.
4 Cons of an in-house marketing team
With anything, there are always pros and cons. Let’s talk about some of the cons of in-house marketing.
1. You're hiring a lot of people
As we mentioned before, web design along with things like page speed user experience are important to a business. Though these fall under marketing, you won’t be able to assign your content marketer a project in web design.
2. Expertise may be lacking
When you’re hiring your own team of marketers, you’ll need to determine how experienced they are and the level of expertise they have.
You may want someone with seven years of marketing experience, but in a time crunch to build your marketing team, you may end up with someone that has only three years. In this way, you could fall short in the expertise category.
When you build your own marketing team, it’s never certain how they’ll learn and mesh together. One con of building your own team is that you don’t know how they will work together to get you the desired results.
4. Costly software
If you want to build an in-house marketing team, you’ll need to make sure that you have all the tools necessary for them to succeed — and furthermore, to help your business succeed with a marketing campaign.
Some software can be costly, and it’ll add up quickly if you’re doing everything in-house.
If you’re going to hire an in-person marketing team, you’ll have to consider each marketing strategy you want to put in place, and make sure you have someone hired that has expertise in each area.
For example, you’ll need an SEO and PPC expert, email marketing expert, content writer, user experience tester, developer, and a designer — and that’s just the beginning.
When you hire an agency, they take care of as much or as little of your marketing campaign as you desire. For example, if you only want to hire them for your SEO campaign while you handle PPC, that’s definitely an option.
However, it’s often times a better idea to bundle your online marketing strategies with the same agency so that they can keep tabs on all of your channels at once.
If you hire a full-service digital marketing agency, not only will they be able to take care of your SEO, PPC, email, social, and content campaigns, but they’ll typically also offer things like web design, reputation management, page speed optimization, A/B testing, and more.
That said, hiring an agency is the best way to go if you’re looking for the full package deal for your marketing campaign.
Pros of hiring an agency
There are many!
1. They know what they're doing
When you hire an agency, you can rest assured that they know what they’re doing. You don’t have to worry if they have the expertise necessary to handle your campaigns, because someone else has already done the hiring for you.
If their agency hired them, you know they are able to handle your marketing campaigns.
2. Everything is done for you
When you hire an agency, virtually everything is done for you. An agency will anticipate your needs, offer a solution, and after that — it’s like magic.
Hiring a marketing agency is essentially like automating your marketing campaign, which is super convenient.
Not to mention that you never have to worry about not being able to accomplish something. If there’s something your in-house marketing team wouldn’t understand, a whole team of marketers at an agency would be able to work out the kinks with ease.
3. Marketing advice
A marketing agency is home to experts in the field. This means that when you hire them to handle your marketing campaigns, you can rest assured that they can offer you the best advice in terms of your campaigns.
They’ll be able to offer you advice on what campaigns you should be running, which campaigns won’t benefit your company, where you should increase spend, and more.
4. Analytics and data
When you work with an agency, they’ll provide you with data concerning your campaign so that you can see the numbers behind your campaigns. Although they can offer their expertise and advice, it’ll ultimately be your decision to tweak, change, or discontinue each campaign. We’ll also help you implement any changes that you decide on!
Cons of hiring an agency
Let's talk about the flip side!
1. They're not at the desk beside you
Unlike an in-house marketing team, you won’t have your agency beside you physically. Though they are just a phone call or email away, some businesses prefer having in-person meetings and chats about their campaigns as opposed to virtually.
This isn’t to say that you won’t have in-person meetings with any agency you hire, though!
Not to mention, most agencies are available at the drop of a pin to help you with any issues you may be having.
2. A little more pricey
When you hire an agency, you are paying for their service and their strategies. This means that you’ll pay for things like implementation and content, when your in-house team would do those for free in comparison.
However, when you think about the way that virtually everything is automated for you, the sounds of paying a little more for convenience doesn’t sound too bad.
So which is the better option?
If you’re having trouble deciding whether to hire an in-house marketing team or an agency, we understand — it can be overwhelming!
However, we can only provide you with the information necessary for you to make the best possible decision for your unique business.
If you’re a smaller business with few clients, you may be able to handle a marketing campaign on your won. On the flip side, if you’re a small business with a few clients that is looking to scale up, an agency might be the way to go.
Nobody knows your business as well as you do — so it’s all about making the right decision for your business.
WebFX is a full-service digital marketing agency
If you’ve decided to hire a marketing agency for your campaign needs, WebFX is a great option.
We’re a full-service agency, which means that we offer everything from SEO and PPC to reputation management and web design. We also offer services like custom infographic creation, video services, and more.
If you’re looking for an agency to take on any sized marketing campaign, WebFX is here to help.
Contact us today for a free quote!
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Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to see how WebFX can improve your online performance.