The startup world is fast paced and competitive which leaves no time for figuring certain aspects of the business out. Marketing can help a startup become a known name in their industry which can be invaluable. Plenty of larger companies are not willing to work with a startup that is not established as far as brand name goes. Digital marketing can help legitimize a company even if they do not have all of the business processes nailed down. Hiring an in-house marketing team can dry up cash flow quickly and does not guarantee results as many of those in the marketing profession label themselves as gurus when they don’t deliver results. The following are what to look for when outsourcing digital marketing at a startup.
The main reason that many startups outsource their digital marketing is to save money. Staffing an entire marketing department simply is not an option for smaller startups. One thing many startups try to do is stay as lean as possible and only hire when it is absolutely necessary. Do not try out a digital marketing company that would make it cheaper to hire the staff yourself. Get the pricing guide from a few different companies then compare what they offer for the money. Often times a startup can figure out if a company is inflating their prices due to having name recognition or larger corporations as clients. Smaller companies can deliver the same type of great results so do not get caught up in working with a digital marketing company simply because they have a few large well-known clients.
Companies that are not willing to show past results should be avoided totally. If there were any results to show the company would show them in order to legitimize the company in the startup’s eyes. Plenty of digital marketing companies do case studies about how they have helped a client. Those companies that had clients with similar goals to the startup should be picked. If a digital marketing company does a great job with brand image they might suffer in other areas. Ask for results and if refused simply end the phone call, meeting, or email thread as all digital marketing companies should be willing to show great work they’ve done for others.
Tracking results is a place where some digital marketing companies try to confuse clients if they are not doing the best of jobs. Organic traffic could be the goal but things like click fraud can skew results if a startup founder is not versed in digital marketing. Take the time to ask how the results are delivered and make sure it is in an easy to understand format. A startup founder should educate themselves on certain terms in marketing to make the results even more clear. Google Analytics is not difficult to understand once it is tinkered with a bit.
Digital marketers generally have a niche that they thrive in as some companies specialize in lawyers or have a technology focus. Results garnered in a different industry than the startup can be irrelevant as marketing tactics can differ immensely. While not all companies can show their direct client list they can show how they ranked for keywords similar to those that the startup will be targeting. This also lends itself to getting results in a timely manner as the marketers will already have relevant relationships to utilize to help the startup.
Finding the right contractor to handle digital marketing can allow a startup to flourish to maximum potential. Every business needs something different from a digital marketing contractor, define what you need then see which options are the best fit!