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How to Outsource Digital Marketing: Guide, Costs, and Tips

Maria Shelaieva

Maria Shelaieva

Marketing Expert

17 min

Brian Halligan, CEO of HubSpot, once wisely stated, “It’s not what you sell that matters as much as how you sell it.” This quote encapsulates the importance of marketing.

No matter the size of your business, marketing efforts are indispensable.

More than just outsourcing your digital marketing, giving your partner the creative freedom to effectively promote your brand is crucial. After all, marketing is an ever-changing landscape.

The ways brands engage customers and promote products are constantly evolving.

Before PPC ads, print media, and billboards dominated. However, times have certainly changed. Per Statista, newspaper ad spending dramatically declined from $25.2 billion in 2012 to a projected $5.53 billion in 2024. The story remains the same for magazine ads, falling from $20.6 billion to $6.59 billion in the same period.

As consumers migrate to new platforms, marketing agencies must shift their focus accordingly. When selecting an agency to handle your digital marketing, ensure they are poised to adapt to these changes.

Initially, outsourcing such a vital business function may seem inappropriate. However, partnering with the right digital marketing agency can make you feel empowered and ready for growth.

Before exploring how to outsource your digital marketing, let’s discuss a few reasons why outsourcing can be beneficial.

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Why Outsource Your Digital Marketing?

Yes, marketing is a challenging part of the business.

But to outsource your online marketing is not something new.

68% of the US companies outsource their work to other agencies.

Oftentimes, outsourcing has no geographical limit but some companies choose to hire teams or individuals from a specific location, such as US-based virtual assistants, to take on marketing-related tasks.

Marketing tasks are delegated to outsourcing partners depending on each individual company but there are some general trends towards the analytical side of marketing. 

One detail that is often overlooked but is crucial to successful marketing is the minor optimizations, such as selecting the right Facebook page categories. Ensuring these details are correct can greatly improve visibility and relevance in online platforms.

We have also seen a dynamic shift in the way marketing is done influencing the outsourcing decision.

For instance, earlier to outsource internet marketing, the companies needed creative partners.

With time, there was a shift from the creative to the analytical side of the work.

The companies which were more analytical and understood the core was given the work.

Today, however, we observe a mix of both these aspects.

For instance, while working on our own (SpdLoad) marketing, we understand the customers, read the market, and also work on our creatives, typography, and content.

Because today not only the how matters, but the who and why of digital marketing are equally important while outsourcing.

Here are a few reasons why you should outsource your company’s digital marketing works.

ReasonWhy and How?
Save MoneyAs a startup founder, there are a lot of things that you need to spend your money on.

Marketing is one of those activities.

But the average cost of marketing small business ranges between $30,000 to $150,000.

And this is without the money spent on the in-house team.

Even though you shouldn’t compromise on the marketing cost, you can surely reduce the team cost by outsourcing online marketing.

To outsource the internet marketing tasks means that you can spend the money saved on other purposes.

Well, if you need someone on your team, hire one person to oversee the campaigns.

This will allow you to focus on other tasks and save money.

Saving money with your startup is not only good for business but also for influencing investors.

While analyzing a product before investing in the same, the investors do take a look at the numbers.

And if they notice a huge sum of money spent on hiring a marketing team, they can question your ability to manage the funds optimally.

Plus, they can ask the question, when 68% of the US companies outsource their digital marketing tasks, why can’t you?

Outsourcing teams save you money for a number of reasons.

For one, they are more experienced than you.

Because marketing is their everyday job and for you, however, it is a part of the business.

They have access to better marketing knowledge and can read the economy’s pulse with proficiency.

When you outsource online marketing, these potential companies have already worked on several other startups like yours.

So, they have a better idea of what works and what does not work.

Yes, every product is unique, but the customers choosing the product may show some overlapping traits.

This precise knowledge about the industry helps outsourced internet marketing agencies play the right cards from day one.

Plus, in a time when 89% of the agencies are satisfied with the way to outsource the organization’s digital marketing works, you should not doubt its efficacy.

Focus on Building the ProductOne simple reason to outsource online digital marketing is that you already have a lot on your plate.

Adding marketing to the list will only make things more complex.

So, isn’t it a better choice to outsource internet marketing while you can focus on the product?

Also, when you let an agency work on your project, you will receive specific knowledge and understand your customers.

Such marketing agencies also have several startup marketing ideas.

Their experience teaches them a lot of things and finding new ideas is one of them.

This helps in improving or creating a product that caters to your specific audience.

So, to outsource digital marketing means you stand to receive data-backed information.

Information that can be capitalized and helps you focus on the product development.

Get Proven ResultsYes, proven results.

In the sections ahead, we will help you find those marketing agencies that have proven results.

And these are the companies that like to share their proven results spree with you.

Well, this part in outsourcing online marketing is not only beneficial for you but also for the service provider.

If you benefit from the marketing company’s efforts, chances are that you won’t talk about leaving them.

Then your product will be a successful case study and another feather in their cap.

On your part, having great marketing results means more loyal customers.

And investors love to see numbers before they invest in any business.

So, if you are able to show them the number of customers at the start, it becomes easier for them to reach into their pockets and rain money on your product.

Convinced?

Because there are only benefits when you outsource the activities of online marketing.

But that is only the case when you engage with the right agency and know how to outsource.

There are three important things in outsourcing.

  • What to Outsource?
  • When to Outsource?
  • How to Outsource?

You have the answer to the first question, that is, outsource some parts of internet marketing.

As for when to outsource your company’s online marketing work is concerned, it depends.

You can outsource digital marketing when either you do not have sufficient capital to hire an in house team.

Or you can do the same when the existing team has a work overflow.

In any case, you need an answer to the third question, how to outsource online marketing.

Well, follow ahead to know everything about outsourcing internet marketing.

There are at least 3 key reasons to outsource internet marketing

How to Outsource Your Marketing

The first thing that you need is to find the ideal partner to outsource your digital marketing work.

In this part, we will talk about where to find the teams and how to select one team out of many.

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Where to Find Marketing Teams to Outsource To

There is no dearth of worthy and highly efficient digital marketing agencies out there.

But you cannot trust just any company to take over the reins of your marketing work.

There are better ways to first separate the wheat from the chaff.

This includes:

  • Recommendations
  • Google Search
  • Listings
  • Ads
Type of SearchingWhat it Means and How it Helps
RecommendationsRecommendations are one of the aspects of word of mouth marketing.

So, the first thing you can do is ask for recommendations in your own network.

Maybe someone in your circle has worked or is currently working with a marketing agency.

You can also ask friends and family.

It may happen that one of your friend’s friend may have a reference.

The thing with going through a reference keeps you one step ahead from the service provider.

Because they know that you are coming from a reference, it would be a waste of time to give you the wrong information.

Added to this, you can also go out looking for recommendations to outsource digital or online marketing via LinkedIn or Facebook.

You are only one post away from getting a whole lot of recommendations either from the agencies directly or from other people.

So, if you are not able to get any recommendations from friends and family, go on and post your requirements on LinkedIn and Facebook.

When the responses start to pour in, make a list of the potential candidates and then move to the second part of this section.

However, if this does not help you get a name to outsource your online marketing, there are other ways to get it.

Google SearchThis might be a bit vague but, you know this, Google is the biggest platform to get recommendations.

But the thing with Google is that agencies that have good SEO will be on the top of the SERPs.

Well, isn’t that you want?

So, if a company is able to promote themselves effectively and comes on top when you search “top outsourcing agencies in (country name)” we think they deserve a chance.

You will come across the web addresses of the top agencies to outsource internet marketing.

From here, make a list of the top contenders and start comparing their services with your requirements.

Initiate contact with the ones which suit your requirements and move ahead with part B of this section.

ListingsGoogle can be a bit confusing.

Confusing in the sense, you will get an overwhelming response to one query, “outsource digital marketing.”

Plus, it won’t stop here.

Once you have searched for something chances that you will see similar advertisements on all the other social media platforms you have.

This can get a bit frustrating.

So listings can come to your rescue here.

You will find a lot of blogs and guides here.

A simple search like, “best online marketing companies” shows 1.8 billion results on Google.

The real beauty about this is that you will find the best articles on the first page.

Even if you open the top search result and start to explore the top companies on the list, you can find your ideal vendor to outsource online digital marketing.

All the websites you come across will showcase their previous testimonials on the first page.

This helps you give a perspective into what sort of products they have earlier marketed and what were the results.

AdvertisementsPPC, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube ads are not the next big thing in getting recommendations to outsource internet marketing.

The good thing about these ads is they share precise information in a few words because that is the only window they have to impress a client.

So, while surfing through the web or even reading your emails, if you have previously searched for a digital marketing agency to outsource the work, ads will start to pop up.

By following these four methods, you should be able to make a list of 5 to 10 agencies to outsource the organization’ss internet marketing.

The properly-designed team structure is crucial to outsource digital marketing in the right way

Hence begins the adventure to find out who is your champion and be trusted to outsource internet and online marketing.

It is given that outsourcing your marketing work is a cost-efficient decision.

You also stand to gain from the less time taken to complete the work.

These are the basic and probably, the most visible aspects to outsource digital marketing.

Spoiler alert! This isn’t going to be easy.

Plus, don’t trust just anybody when you are in this business.

Mark these words:

  • Analyze
  • Scrutinize
  • Evaluate

When you have multiple options before you, it is better to measure them on some parameters before choosing one.

To outsource your online marketing work, we want you to look at three things:

ParametersWhy Is It Important?
CommunicationCommunication does not only mean that you have to check how they talk and convey the message.

It also means checking whether or not your values align.

First, the project managers in the outsourced company must be able to get along smoothly with your requirements.

Secondly, teams at both ends must be able to communicate flawlessly.

While talking to the project managers try to get on a conference call with the entire team and not just the project manager.

It will help you identify their level of expertise.

Another thing that you can understand via communication is the client management abilities of the company you choose to outsource some online marketing tasks.

Moreover, the way of communication differs according to the time zone.

That is why you should also consider the time gap when you outsource your internet marketing work.

Too big a gap means there will be issues in communication.

So, choose a vendor where you have to minimize the communication gap.

Lastly, once the work begins ask the agency to maintain one point of contact.

Every part of communication should go through the assigned person.

ExperienceExperience does not only mean the number of years a company has been working for.

It also includes the type of work they have done before.

Checking the type that your shortlisted agencies have done before helps find the right match.

Even though a great deal of outsourced online marketing work is similar, the customers are different.

Consequently, the way the marketers should approach the customer matters.

Moreover, experience empowers an agency to know what works and what does not.

Hence, it is essential to look for an experienced entity to outsource the internet marketing work.

CostThis is the last thing to look out for in outsource digital marketing.

There are two ways any agency will charge.

  • Fixed contract-based pricing
  • Hourly pricing

The cost charged by an agency is in proportion to its experience and expertise.

When you outsource your online marketing, the cost is one of the main advantages.

In any case, the cost of outsourcing the work is lower than what ends up paying to an in-house team.

But this does not mean that you must go with the one that provides cheap labor.

The outsourcing associations that are purely based on cost do not flower.

If you are not getting the desired result any amount of money, no matter how low it is a waste.

So, your motive should be to look for someone who is charging a fair wage.

A fair wage means the agency is professional, cares about your brand, and can generate results.

It means they are not only sitting there to squeeze you for money.

So, choosing the right partner to outsource online marketing is easier said than done.

But if you care about your brand, which we assume that you do, then following these steps is necessary.

More importantly, even though you do everything by the book, there is still room left for your gut feeling.

Our advice is not to ignore that.

What you feel about a potential marketing partner, share with them.

See how they respond and whether they can justify their words with actions.

This was all about distilling down to the best digital marketing agency and outsource promotional work for your brand.

To make things further easier for you we have prepared a marketing partner checklist that you can use to further optimize your selection process.

What factors to consider when you decide to outsource online marketing?

Digital Marketing Partner Checklist

Read these lines carefully:

“We provide a holistic marketing plan that augments your brand voice and makes in impact”

Or

“Our Synergistic efforts are crafted and integrated for your brand helping you fulfill the objectives.”

These are a couple of the taglines that you may have come across.

Marketing agencies use words like integrated, holistic, advanced, synchronized, problem-solving, etc…

We want you to look beyond these fancy words and check what they have to offer in real terms.

On your part, before you go out there and shoutout, “I need a marketing partner” make sure to complete these things beforehand.

  • Set your Goals and Objectives
  • Your Goals should be achievable
  • Find the right partner
  • Make sure they are easy to work with
  • Identify the cost structure
  • Measure the performance
  • Optimize when needed
  • Repeat what works

By following this pattern you will be able to deliver and achieve great results.

After going through all these aspects of outsourcing online marketing, we are left with the cost discovery.

In the last leg of our guide to outsource internet marketing, let’s go into the details of how much it costs to outsource relatively to hiring an in-house marketing team.

Before you decide to outsource digital marketing you need to think through desirable results of cooperation

The Costs of Different Marketing Approaches

Before understanding the cost structure to outsource online marketing, let’s first identify the core online marketing team structure.

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Hiring an In-House Marketing Team

The main team comprises the executioners, implementers, and planners.

These are the guys who draft the marketing plans, conduct the research, and decide which type of marketing content is required.

It has people in the roles of:

  • Marketing Lead
  • SEO/PPC Manager
  • Growth Hacker
  • SMM Manager
  • Email Marketing
  • ASO Specialist

Let’s know what their work is and the average yearly salary of these professionals.

Marketing SpecialistRole and Salary
Marketing LeadA Marketing Lead looks after the creating and managing the projects.

They set the timelines, look after the objectives, and improve the marketing efforts.

$72,300 to $93,000

SEO/PPC ManagerAn SEO manager is responsible for overseeing the search engine aspects and augmenting the digital marketing team’s efforts.

When you outsource online and digital marketing, a PPC manager will be responsible for creating and implementing PPC pricing and optimizing strategies.

SEO Manager – $81,530

PPC Manager – $54,140

Growth HackerA growth hacker is the one who leverages his creative expertise to build low-cost marketing strategies and acquire more customers.

This is something that you need to focus on when you outsource your internet marketing work to an agency.

$82,000

SMM ManagerSocial media is one of the most important aspects of promoting a company.

So, to outsource the SMM aspect of online marketing means the person responsible will take care of:

  • Planning
  • Implementing
  • Managing
  • Monitoring

Social media strategies and plans.

$51,400

Email MarketingEmail marketing managers are responsible for creating email lists, drafting and creating emails, and getting more leads.

This part of outsource digital internet marketing is a bit slow, but it has one of the highest ROI.

$60,000 to $110,000

ASO SpecialistASO specialists work specifically to increase your rankings on app stores.

Their task is to bring the application to the top in search results.

$53,000

So, these are the average costs when you hire an in-house team in the US.

As you can see, some of the salary packages are too high for a startup to bear during the initial years.

To outsource online or internet marketing means you won’t have to spend much less than this amount.

If you want to know other options than hiring an in-house team:

  • Hire freelancers
  • Associate with a local agency

From the above table, we can find the cost of hiring an in-house team.

The total cost of hiring an in-house team is upwards of $490,000.

That is a huge cost to bear in the first year of business.

Even if you are an established organization, having such a big team within the premises seems like a burden on the budget.

The thing is, you won’t have to remain confined to this strength of the team.

Other than these professionals you also need:

  • Project manager
  • Creative writer
  • UI/UX designer
  • Layout developers
  • Graphics designers

These professionals will assist with writing the content and create other types of media content to build efficient strategies.

Hiring Freelancers

Apart from outsourcing online marketing work to an agency you can also hire freelancers.

Yes, the cost to hire freelancers will be much less.

Let’s see:

Freelance marketers on the upper end of the graphs, managers, lead marketers, charge to the tune of $70 to 90 per hour.

So, to outsource the internet marketing activities to these individuals means that you will have to pay by the hour.

There are provisions to pay by the contract, but that depends on the professional.

Other people working on include SEO and PPC specialists as well as Email marketing professionals.

The average hourly rate of these individuals is between $25 to $50.

Considering that you hire a freelancer to work 10 hours per week on your project.

This means that the said individual will work for 520 hours in a year.

Taking 520 hours as a standard for calculating the price, let’s see what we get.

When you outsource company’s online marketing to professionals on a higher level like managers and leads, the average hourly price is $75.

Consider the average price of other individuals to be around $33 per hour.

  • Managers and Lead – $39,000 per year
  • Assistants and Professionals – $17,160 per year

Even if you one marketing lead 2 other professionals to assist the manager, the total cost comes out to be $73,320 per year.

It is way less than what you may have to pay for an in-house team and not outsource the internet marketing work.

Pros and Cons of Hiring Freelancers:

ProsCons
  • Cost-effective
  • Easy to find
  • A wide range of professionals
  • Not so reliable
  • Issues with communication

We have another option for you different from freelancers and an in-house team.

Let’s know about that.

Hiring a Local Marketing Agency

Hiring a local agency means you get in touch with US-based marketers who may be working in the building right next to you or on the other end of the country.

Most probably, you will be working with a team that is in the same time zone as you.

This sort of outsourcing with online marketing exercise is less costly than an in-house team but costs more than freelancers.

A local agency is just like an in-house team with the difference that they are working from another place and they won’t be working on your project alone.

As per a survey conducted by Credo, the average price to outsource digital marketing to an agency in the USA is $167.28 per hour.

Because the company is local you will get easy recommendations and also be able to communicate seamlessly.

But take a look at the average cost.

It is a big number to bear during the initial stages of startup marketing.

Consider the fact that this is the price for a normal agency.

The final cost to hire a local US agency can climb up to $250,000 per year.

If you are looking to a high-end firm to help you with marketing, the hourly price can go above $500 per hour too.

So, yes hiring a local agency is a good option.

But the cost here varies to a great extent.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Local Agency:

ProsCons
  • High-quality work
  • Easy to communicate
  • Issues with pricing

Now that you have gone through three options and the price, we have one more route you can take.

And we have saved the best for the last.

The last option, and you may have guessed already, is to outsource the company’s digital marketing.

By outsourcing the work we want to go out of your time zone.

The average price you have to pay to outsource online marketing to a company in Ukraine ranges between $86,000 to $100,000 per year.

One of the greatest benefits of working with someone from Ukraine is the experience.

Ukrainian online marketing teams get a lot of outsource work from the US and Europe.

They are reliable, good at communication, and can deliver the results as desired.

This makes them a better choice out of all the other options.

So, we have four options here:

Type of TeamYearly Marketing Cost
In-House TeamGoing beyond $500k
Local US AgencyBetween $250k to $500k
FreelancersBetween $50k to $75k
Outsource Online Marketing TeamUp to $100k

With an outsource internet marketing team you get cost efficiency, experienced people, no communication gap, a reliable workforce, and results.

Is there a better deal than this?

The cost to outsource internet marketing in different countries and teams

Looking for an Experienced Marketing Partner?

If the answer to this question is a resounding YES, then we would like you to take a look at the digital marketing services page for startups.

SpdLoad is not just another company you can outsource the online marketing work to.

Our aim is to become an extension of your organization.

That is how we achieve results.

Because we understand your brand and customers before working on any promotional strategy.

SpdLoad is not only a marketing team, but we are also developers and designers.

This means that we know the entire lifecycle of product development and marketing.

Because we have a wide array of professionals working in the team, we can take any sort of approach with any type of product.

Contact SpdLoad to know more about how we can take your product from plinth to paramount at affordable prices.

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