Does your business own a website? If yes, you already have a competitive edge in your target market. However, to get the best result, your website needs to properly designed and optimized for search engines, so as to reap all the SEO benefits.
Of course there are several ways you can go about handling your search marketing strategy, with the two most popular choices being hiring a digital marketing agency or freelance marketing expert. But which way is likely to reap the best results for your budget?
Both of these options come with their own benefits and drawbacks, and they can be quite useful in helping to promote your business. However, between the two, hiring a freelance SEO experts can prove to be the best course of action. Below is a look at some of the advantages you can gain from hiring a freelancer as opposed to a digital marketing agency.
Customised digital marketing solutions:
One of the major drawbacks with hiring a marketing agency is that they usually don’t offer customized digital marketing solutions. Since most agencies are large and with several clients, they usually work with your team on a retainer basis, where you pay a specified amount of money, and in turn, they perform a standard and set list of digital marketing tasks. On top of that, most agencies will use the same or similar digital marketing techniques on all of their clients, which might mean that you are getting similar solutions as your competitors. As a result, you run the risk of only running basic marketing campaigns that offer your business no competitive edge when using a digital agency.
As freelancer Martin Wilson points out: “Self-employed digital marketing experts tend to offer more custom and personalised marketing solutions. And since a freelancer is most likely the only person handling your marketing campaign (as opposed to a team) they will focus solely on your business, and more importantly, understanding its unique needs.” From here, they can be able to create custom digital marketing solutions that are specific to your business. This will result in more effective marketing campaigns that offer you a competitive edge in the market.
A freelance marketing expert is more affordable:
Another benefit of hiring a freelance marketing specialist is in the cost of the services offered. If you hire a freelancer, you only have to pay him or her the fee for performing the required task and for a specific period of time. Most digital marketing agencies, on the other hand, work with monthly retainers, which you will continue paying until you terminate the agency’s contract.
On top of that, the average fees for a freelancer are considerably lower compared to those of a digital marketing agency. This is because most agencies will dedicate a team of full-time employees to your business, whose expenses you will be billed for. Also, agencies have high overhead costs compared to freelancers, and this will seep into your digital marketing packages fees. Freelancers, on the other hand, mostly work from home on their own and have fewer overhead costs such as office space rentals and rates.
However, when choosing a freelancer to handle your marketing strategy, you should never sacrifice quality for affordability. Be sure to choose a reputable and reliable freelance marketing expert who (while still affordable) will give you great value for your money.
Flexibility in designing and managing digital marketing strategies:
Another advantage of working with a freelancer is flexibility when it comes to creating and managing your marketing strategies. Since freelancers don’t usually handle too many clients at once, they are able to adapt to your schedule. With a freelancer, you will only be dealing with one person, which means that the lines of communication are shorter and faster. Therefore, they can be able to make quick modifications and updates to your online marketing campaigns when the need arises. A good entrepreneurial freelancer is also able to work efficiently on his/her own, leaving you with enough time to focus on other business tasks.
With a digital marketing agency, however, you will often need to work within the agency’s schedule whenever you want to modify your campaigns or website. The process is also likely to take longer, as you will be dealing with several people to make the changes – account manager, project manager, marketing specialists, etc. The inflexibility of the agencies can thus cost you a lot in the form of time and resources.
Freelance marketing experts have specialised skill sets:
One of the best advantages of hiring a freelancer marketer is that you can find one with a lot of experience working in the industry, thus giving you access to specialised skill sets. This is because freelance marketers work with different clients, and thus over time, they gain experience and great insight into various digital marketing strategies. This experience is a vital factor when running your marketing campaigns, and it can greatly help to improve their effectiveness.
As many businesses have discovered, it’s tempting to stick with your existing agency regardless of the specialist skills required. Time and time again brands make the mistake of hiring their existing web design agency to implement search engine optimisation or pay per click advertising campaigns. The reason this often fails to generate high ROI is because website designers are designers, rather than search engine marketers or advertising specialsits. Sure, some agencies acknowledge the fact that many specialists lack experience in basic marketing rules-of-thumb, such as fully understanding a brand’s specific benefits – which can often be a core skill needed in many marketing diciplines.
High-quality work and more satisfaction when using freelancers:
With the right freelance marketing expert, you can expect high-quality work that will be to your satisfaction. This is because freelancers only get paid for the work they do, and it is their reputation that keeps getting them, clients. Therefore, an honest, reliable, and trustworthy freelance marketer will be driven to succeed, which means delivering high-quality work that will impress you. After-all they reap the benefits of getting all the credit for the results achieved, which can often be lost when the work is part of a team effort – with the agency on a whole getting credit for the work done.
However, this does not mean that all freelance marketers you meet will be trustworthy and reliable. Even on freelancing platforms such as UpWork, there are regular mentions of unscrupulous marketing specialists who practice underhanded tactics with the aim of getting quick money. However, with most clients demanding quality work, such freelancers run the risk of getting a bad reputation, which can often encourage them to change their ways.
When looking to market your online business, you can either hire a digital marketing agency or go with a freelance marketing expert. Every job is different and it’s horses for courses. A freelancer, however, can be a better option, especially if you are a small to medium-sized business with a limited budget and in need of personalized digital marketing solutions. You just need to make sure that you are careful when selecting your freelancer so as to reap all the benefits they offer without any drawbacks.