Have you ever gone overboard at a buffet? You're standing in line, and the sight of those endless trays of macaroni and cheese, fried chicken tenders, and random cuts of steak alongside the classic chocolate fountain is so overwhelming that you fill up multiple plates of food. Then, you sit down at your table and realize you can't possibly eat it all (or, at least, eat everything and still feel OK about yourself afterward).
That's kind of like the situation marketers find themselves in. Your marketing team is responsible for a seemingly endless list of goals: staying on top of industry trends, generating leads, enabling sales, building your brand, and keeping track of plenty of other critical elements of your company's success.
It can be tempting to simply add another part-time or full-time employee to the mix, though that doesn't always make sense for your goals or your budget. Plus, what kind of pressure would that person feel, knowing that she's expected to fill all the gaps?
When to Share Your Plate
If you want to achieve your marketing goals, you have to consider whether your team is truly set up for success. With the fourth quarter just around the corner and a new year on the horizon, it's time to analyze your ability and capacity -- and potentially consider outsourcing the tasks you're just not able to execute right now.
Outsourcing can save you time and money, and it frees up your team to focus on its primary strengths, which is good for your team members, your marketing efforts overall, and your bottom line. Here are five responsibilities your marketing team will thank you for outsourcing:
1. Social media management
Social media has evolved from a way to pass time between friends and family members to a billion-dollar business. If you're not doing it well, you'll be watching as your competitors zoom by in this space.
You have lots of free social media tools at your disposal if you're just getting started, but once your presence is off the ground and in flight, a social media partner isn't a bad idea. Outside experts will strategize, execute, and analyze your data, which allows you to obtain the right boost in engagement from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other hot-ticket platforms.
2. Content marketing
Most companies don't do an amazing job of consistently creating and distributing engaging content coming from their internal experts and thought leaders. It's nearly impossible for brands to do content marketing well completely on their own, especially when you remember that doing it well includes producing consistent blog articles, guest posts, whitepapers, and email campaigns alongside the documented content strategy that actually guides all these moving parts.
In general, marketers would do well to partner with an outside agency that can help them create, distribute, and analyze content professionally and at scale. Because most companies can't afford to do it consistently well over time, an external partner could be your new best friend.
3. Public relations
By no means is public relations a do-it-yourself venture, especially in the era of content and social media. Today's public relations movers and shakers understand how to manage and maintain relationships with reporters, publication contributors, industry influencers, online editors, and many others. They've kept up with PR trends and stayed far ahead of the curve. Why would you add learning all those nuances to your expanding to-do list when you could rely on a partner whose job it is to look for ways to promote your company to your audience?
4. Video production
No one likes crappy videos. And while no one is expecting you to produce Oscar-worthy videos, you should make sure they're done right. This trend isn't going away anytime soon, and you can't ignore it. It's spreading across the internet, into all your social media feeds, and it's in high demand by consumers. Fortunately for your brand and your audience, you don't have to rely on a team without video production credentials to throw together its best attempt at video if you outsource to the right partner.
Sure, website development can be pricey, but if you're not a digital design and user experience (UX) expert yourself, it's probably best for you to move out of the way. Your website and all the owned digital assets it houses are elements of your marketing and branding that evolve over time; as you grow, rebrand, and add new products and services, your website will need to keep up. Bring someone into the fold who can professionally provide these services rather than add them to the list for your marketing team.
When your marketing teammates' to-do list is as endless as any good buffet's meal options, they're going to have a hard time prioritizing and achieving their most important goals. Encourage your team to select the responsibilities they're best suited for and most capable of executing, and outsource what you can so no one has to consistently feel like her plate is overflowing.