Low marketing budget? (Or no budget at all?) Not sure if inbound marketing is the best option for your business? Can’t convince the powers that be to go with an agency?
There are lots of reasons you could be looking for alternatives to hiring an inbound marketing agency. Luckily, going with an agency isn’t the only way to do inbound well. (Even though Nectafy is an inbound marketing agency, we really do believe this!)
In fact, here are 10 good reasons not to hire an inbound marketing agency.
No matter what the reason, consider these four ways to do inbound marketing if you can’t (or don’t want to) hire an agency.
The Alternatives To Hiring An Inbound Marketing Agency
1. Do it yourself.
Inbound marketing takes a bare minimum of 40 hours of work each month. Essentially, the more work you put in, the better results you’ll get. Doing all this hard work on your own is unrealistic if you expect to maintain your other responsibilities, too.
But you can choose a leader and create a team of existing employees to accomplish your inbound marketing goals. Doing inbound marketing yourself will change everyone’s day-to-day work in a big way, but it is doable.
At minimum, you’ll need one person to oversee everything, at least one person who can write high quality content (articles, white papers, guides, etc.), and one person who is great with graphic design. To distribute the weight of inbound even more, you can also delegate things like content planning, social media strategy, and search engine optimization (SEO) management to others within your company.
Should you decide to go this route, there will be a lot of writing. Be sure to check out 11 Ways To Survive The Crush Of Creating Content so no one becomes overwhelmed!
2. Hire an in-house team.
If your current team members have maxed-out schedules, hiring three additional people will give you the capacity needed to execute inbound marketing well. You’ll need one full-time inbound marketing manager, at least one full-time writer, and one part-time graphic designer.
The inbound marketing manager will be the brains behind the entire operation, so they’ll have a lot of responsibilities. Your inbound marketing manager will handle things like:
- Content Planning
- Keyword Strategy
- Analyzing Results
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
While those tasks alone take up a lot of time, that’s not nearly all your marketing manager will spend their time doing. For details of what they’ll do over the course of a month, this article is an excellent resource.
When you hire a writer, be sure to choose someone with experience in writing content for the web—while journalists and others may be talented writers, writing content for the web is an entirely different ball game. To discover what else you should be looking for, we interviewed our friend Shannon and got some pro tips for finding a great inbound marketing writer.
If you know without a doubt inbound marketing is going to be successful for your business and have the capacity to hire additional team members, this is a great alternative to hiring an inbound marketing agency.
3. Hire an inbound manager.
Instead of hiring an entire inbound team, you could simply hire an inbound manager to create a strategy and goals and then outsource the writing and design. Your inbound manager will have the same responsibilities listed in alternative #2, but will also become something like a project manager, as they will handle correspondence and synchronize timelines with the contractors you hire.
Potentially, the project management aspect of this scenario could get pretty stressful for your inbound manager. It could become difficult to complete projects on time or begin campaigns by a desired date if you have to depend on people outside your company for critical components of inbound such as articles, white papers, or graphics. Inbound managers may run into problems like:
- Needing to hand off certain assets from one contractor to another when one contractor is late delivering work.
- Having a hard time getting what they need from a contractor in a timely manner because you are just one of the contractor’s many clients.
But let’s be real—situations like these could also happen with an in-houseteam. (Honestly, it happens to us sometimes!) Even still, it’s easier to communicate with an in-house team to get your project back on track than trying to deal with multiple contractors.
4. Outsource to service-specific agencies.
What if you’re pleased with your current marketing, lead conversion, and sales results and don’t want to “fix what isn’t broken” by completely changing your strategy? I get that! Instead of adding the entire inbound methodology to your marketing strategy, try hiring agencies for the specific inbound-related services you want. Some examples are:
- Content Planning & Creation
- Social Media Strategy
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Campaigns
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Graphic Design
And, should you decide you really don’t need that inbound-related service, all you have to do is opt out of your next contract.
Don’t mind me throwing in my two cents here: Nectafy is an inbound marketing agency, so we know firsthand how much work goes into creating highly effective strategies and plans for our clients and even ourselves—to say “it’s a lot of work” is a huge understatement!
Even though the whole point of this article is how to conduct inbound marketing without an agency, if it’s possible, I highly suggest hiring an agency to do your inbound marketing—you’ll have an entire team of people trained and ready to make your marketing goals a reality.
But, if that isn’t a possibility or even what you want to do, I think the next best choice is to hire an in-house marketing team. You can create your “dream team,” if you will, and have them solely dedicated to your inbound marketing.
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