Do you think your business could flourish without digital marketing? Post COVID-19 pandemic, the way businesses operate has changed. As more and more people are using Google to find products and services they need, businesses are compelled to boost their online presence. People now prefer consulting doctors online, ordering food for home delivery, and even shopping for groceries online. With increasing dependence on online shopping, all businesses- from small retailers to large companies are investing in digital marketing to reach their target customers online. And this is where businesses face a big question- DIY online marketing, in-house digital marketing team, freelancer, or digital agency.
If your business is in the early start-up phase, you may take digital marketing into your hands. However, even if you know the brand voice and goal, handling digital marketing requires specialized skills. Also, as business starts blooming, you have hundreds of things to do and may not find enough time to establish your brand online. For this reason, most businesses are left with three options- hiring a freelancer, in-house marketing professionals, or a digital marketing agency.
Digital agency vs. Freelancer vs. In-House Team
To ensure the success of your business, you need to have an incredibly strong marketing strategy. When planning a marketing strategy, most businesses consider a single factor- budget. However, when choosing between a freelancer, in-house expert, or digital agency, the cost isn’t the only factor to consider. As we know, each business is unique and different requirements. So, here we have discussed some pros and cons of hiring a freelancer, in-house team, and agency to help you determine which one will best suit your needs and budget. Let’s dive in!
Services and Expertise
When it comes to choosing the right online marketing professional, skills and expertise is the most important factor. Instead of valuing the lowest cost, focus on the quality of services offered. The freelance digital marketers have exceptional knowledge of their field and understand different business structures. However, digital marketing encompasses various services such as SEO, paid marketing, social media marketing, content writing, and more. A freelancer typically specializes in one or two services. It means that you need to hire multiple freelancers to get a complete set of services. Even if you plan to hire an in-house team, you need to hire specialists for each job- SEO expert, web developer, social media specialist, PPC manager, etc. A full-service digital marketing agency, on the other hand, employs experts in each field to provide comprehensive services.
Control and Workload
When you hire a freelancer or in-house team, you need to manage the entire team or assign project work to the freelancer. Experienced freelancers don’t need training from scratch but you need to oversee their progress. However, working with an in-house team or freelancers gives you complete control and management of the expertise. If you hire a reliable digital marketing agency, it will be entirely the agency’s responsibility to take care of your complete marketing plan. They have the industry-specific experience to formulate a strategy, set goals, conduct competitor analysis, establish deadlines, and provide detailed reports. Both freelancers and in-house experts mostly work on a single project at a time. If a freelancer takes off for a personal reason or gets ill, your project will be put on hold. But digital marketing agencies have a large team of professionals. Even if one SEO expert gets sick, they have others to handle the job. Even if you have multiple projects, they have the capacity to handle all projects at a time.
Another most important factor is the cost. When it comes to long-term marketing, you need a solution that gives desired results without draining your resources. This doesn’t mean looking for the cheapest option. However, hiring a full-time in-house team can put a strain on your budget. Hiring in-house digital marketers mean you need to find professionals for every role- SEO, PPC, content writing, social media marketing, email marketing, and more. Besides their monthly salary, you would need to spend time and money training them, as well as provide other incentives. The other two options- agency and freelancer cost less than hiring an in-house team. Hiring a freelancer is the least expensive option because they charge per project and you don’t have to pay for any training or pay for other additional facilities. However, you may need to hire multiple freelancers for different jobs that could increase your budget. Also, there’s a risk that a freelancer can leave work for a better opportunity. So, the best option is choosing a dedicated digital marketing agency that will cost you less than an in-house team but a bit more than a freelancer. These agencies offer several packages and you can choose services that you need and pay according to your budget.
Large organizations with huge marketing budgets may think about hiring an in-house team. For startups with a limited budget and basic marketing needs, a freelancer can be a suitable option. However, digital marketing agencies are the first choice of most businesses, irrespective of their type and size because they offer quality services for reasonable prices. Digital agencies also provide specialized services such as local SEO, enterprise SEO, franchise SEO, paid advertising, and more. They evaluate your marketing goals and perform in-depth competitor analysis to improve organic rankings and drive traffic to their client’s website. In-house employees need paid leaves while freelancers are free to leave their work. However, agencies follow deadlines and make sure to complete your project on time.