There are three primary options if you want to hire a digital marketing expert–you could employ an in-house colleague, work with a marketing agency, or advertise your requirements to freelance digital marketers.
Of course, each has pros and cons, and the starting point is always to assess your needs and analyze what is included in digital marketing services to ensure they match. We’ll look at each solution, in turn, with advice about how to do digital marketing for startups in a way that won’t break your budget.
Employing an In-House Digital Marketer
Taking on a digital marketer as a member of staff tends to be the most expensive option, but it may be suitable if you have a larger business and don’t wish to outsource your marketing. Many companies blend marketing models, so they might:
- Employ a full team with all the digital abilities they need
- Hire staff to take on most marketing tasks, and outsource when they need specific guidance
If you are a startup, you must consider the costs of marketing and creative software tools as you will need all the resources available for your employees to work with.
Pros and Cons of In-House Digital Marketing
- Highly trained in-house marketers will know your brand inside out and have the greatest familiarity with your products and service offerings.
- Communications and campaign approvals may be faster, with options such as remote meetings for off-site staff.
- Entry-level in-house digital marketers might command a lower salary. Still, there is a big risk of investing in an inexperienced team and needing additional training to upskill your employees.
- HR can be another challenge for a young company, so you must be strategic about whom you hire and how you manage their workload, contractual obligations, and pay.
Working With a Third Party Digital Marketing Agency
Our next route is to commission an agency to take on the full digital marketing strategy and implementation or perhaps individual promotions or campaign delivery. Agencies often specialize in certain sectors and can cover everything you need, from web design and SEO to content creation and competitor research.
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Digital Marketing Agency
- Marketing agencies often have many resources at their fingertips and may deliver faster results or scale their approaches up or down according to your needs.
- Costs are often lower than hiring a full-time team. You get viewpoints driven by experience and access to other contractors your agency recommends, such as videographers.
- Some managers prefer not to outsource since reliance on an external agency can constitute a lack of control or transparency about how your campaigns perform or make it hard to make last-minute changes.
- Agencies with huge client bases may not always assign you a dedicated account manager, so getting the right level of support and attention may be difficult.
Hiring a Freelance Digital Marketer
Lastly, you may decide that a freelance digital marketer is the right option for your budget and marketing requirements. Freelancers work in several ways, so you have a great deal of flexibility in whether you hire a professional to:
- Work for you on a rolling contract, comprising a fixed number of days or hours per week or month
- Carry out a defined task, such as designing and implementing a campaign, or revamping your website UX
The benefit for startups is that they can hire a skilled digital marketer when needed without committing to ongoing costs, and reputable, professional freelancer hiring platforms like Guru are a great place to start.
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Freelance Digital Marketer
- Freelancers are undoubtedly the most cost-effective option and provide flexibility and affordability, along with a defined skill set and a range of specialties.
- A freelancer can plug gaps in knowledge or availability to support your business when required and usually work autonomously without needing continual chases to ensure each task is completed on time.
- Lead times might be longer if you hire a top-tier freelancer with a busy workload and multiple clients.
- Quality can vary, so it is important to review your candidates carefully and ensure any freelancer you hire has the right skills to deal with the marketing functions or jobs you expect them to take on.
What Is the Best Way to Hire a Digital Marketer?
The optimal approach will depend on how often you need digital marketing expertise, the scope of the work required, and how much you have in your budget to set aside for marketing projects. There isn’t a right or wrong answer, but the best digital marketing fit for your brand could make a considerable difference to your outcomes and the success of the campaigns you have in the pipeline.