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19

Jan

How To Outsource SaaS Marketing Tasks On A Budget

SEO, paid ad management, graphic design, content marketing, copywriting, website development, and even email marketing are among the core marketing tasks that are outsourced most often. And if you consider outsourcing these marketing efforts to outside specialists, it’s safe to assume you’re looking to save your precious money and time.

Having a ready-made, high-quality team of marketing experts on board means that there is no need to hire, train, and manage specialists from your side. On top of that, your in-house employees will get more time to focus on their core responsibilities and grow as specialists in their respective spheres much faster. And, of course, another advantage of it all is that you only pay for what you actually require at the time of need. 

However, not all outsourced marketing teams are created equal – a wrong approach to selection and management may cause more trouble than good. And to make the right decisions, we need to start asking the right questions.

How much should I outsource? What are my expectations/goals? How much does digital marketing cost in general? In this article, we’re uncovering some of the best approaches you can employ when hiring an outsourced marketing team involved, and doing so on a budget as well.

Outsourcing SaaS Marketing Tasks On A Budget – To-Do List

Outsource tasks for which you don’t have expertise

Before you do anything else, you must understand what expertise gaps you’re feeling necessary to fill in. “Outsourcing everything” can indeed be a valid strategy, but only if you’re doing it consciously and you’ve done your research beforehand.

It’s recommended to map out your in-house marketing specialist’s skill sets so that you can create a simplistic, yet very useful matrix of your team’s expertise. Here’s what it can look like:

outsourced-digital-marketingAnd now, based on that matrix, you can find areas that you might want to outsource to an agency.

Outsource small tasks first

As with most things in business, it’s important to start with the small steps. Starting your outsourcing experience by passing over minor assignments means that you will be able to get a good look at how the outsourced marketing team performs practically risk-free.

A website audit, some basic technical SEO work, keyword research, and competitor analysis – are all good options. Otherwise, delegating big chunks of work and signing big contracts before you make sure that everything clicks, can seriously backfire. 

At the same time, it’s a very good sign when the marketing agency itself suggests starting small – that means they are mature, experienced and will not push you to give them more work and money.

Consider hiring a VA or coordinator

Sometimes the efficiency of outsourced marketing can be increased by even more outsourcing. And, although it may first sound counterintuitive to some, having a virtual assistant on your side as the sole coordinator/administrator of the outsourcing process makes perfect sense.

It’s not uncommon when a company hires a marketing team, the communication is happening on many levels and between many people at the same time, from specialists to high-level management. 

This can create some productivity or alignment issues down the line and can prove to be just too much communication. And with the sole, competent point of contact to coordinate the work between the two teams, you can do a lot more, a lot more efficiently.

Factor in the cost savings

Before you commit to outsourced marketing, you totally need to do all the math first, making sure that the commitment is going to save your budget, not eat it away.

The good news is, however, that in most cases, when correctly managed, the math will be on your side. Say, you hire an in-house digital marketer who earns $60,000 a year. You then must pay for the employee’s onboarding expenses as well as their salary, insurance, paid time off, and any other benefits your company provides. Moreover, there’s also the management of that individual. 

Meanwhile, digital marketing cost per month from an agency? The monthly expense of outsourcing your digital marketing could range from $1,000 to $20,000.

Now that is a very wide range, and that’s why it can sometimes be tricky to tell if the operation is going to be financially viable. But should you find a company that provides the services you need and stays within your budget, you’ll be golden.

Don’t underestimate your team for certain tasks

This very much ties into the very first point on the list – when working on your team expertise matrix, make sure you’re not underplaying your own employees’ strengths.

A very good practice would be to ask around the team with regards to which marketing tasks they could potentially take on without undermining their core responsibilities. If you get good feedback and willingness to diversify the job description, you may not have to outsource all of your marketing.

Make your expectations clear

You may have a clear understanding of what you want to outsource, but it’s just as important to know what you expect to achieve from the operation. Make sure that you and the outsourced marketing team agreed on the vital KPIs that will determine whether the work has been successful or not.

Mature agencies will never promise big results quickly – they will know the extent of their realistic possibilities and will be open about any potential risks. Website traffic volume, number of relevant leads, website position in search results – all of this has to be discussed, prioritized, and settled on.

Develop a plan for scaling your marketing efforts

As you will likely start small, it should give you time to map out a plan for future upscaling as you go through the initial phase of the cooperation with an outside marketing agency.

Add more activities to the pipeline as you gain traction with the results – a cost-effective partnership with a SaaS marketing agency always entails the establishment of a lean strategy and plan for scaling your marketing effort.

 

Cost of outsourcing SaaS digital marketing tasks

Tasks Setup fees Monthly fees Comments
WEB ANALYTICS
$1800-$2,200
$450-$600
Setup fees are based on the standard web analytics package, while your monthly fee depends on the amount of ad-hoc activities and can exceed $600 significantly
Google Analytics settings review and validation
Google Tag Manager setup and configuration
Google Analytics goals setup
Reporting system setup
SEO – STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT AND INITIAL OPTMIZATION
$5,800
The fees are based on the fixed amount of work and there are no monthly recurring payments associated with SEO strategic block
Competitors and niche analysis
Keyword research and analysis
Promotion strategy
Website technical optimization
Website content optimization
SEO – PROMOTION AND CONTENT DEVELOPMENT
$3,200+
The baseline fees are estimated factoring in 2 articles per month production, the fees may increase based on the amount of content to be produced or the need to conduct expert interviews
Website Promotion
Blog Optimization
PAID CAMPAIGNS – SETUP AND LAUNCH $2,400+ The fees are based on an initial pilot for 1-3 campaigns. This is a one time-off block of tasks
PAID CAMPAIGNS – MONITORING $1,800+ The monthly fee is estimated based on 1-3 active campaigns and may increase with the number of campaigns
TOTAL $10000-$10400+ $5450-$5600+ Your total fees will depend on the scope of tasks you’re planning to outsource within your Web analytics, SEO, and PPC blocks. These are the baseline numbers you can take into consideration for a ball-park budget calculation

 

Conclusion

How much do outside digital marketers charge? A good team will always charge according to their expertise, of course. But is it possible then to do the outsourcing of digital marketing on a budget? Absolutely. Outsourcing has become a thing and is still a thing only because despite the costs associated with it, in most cases it still proves to be the more affordable option compared to hiring an in-house team.

Just remember to have a clear vision of what you want to delegate, and what you want to get from it, and not to shy away from crunching the numbers before you start your cooperation with a digital marketing agency. And when you do start, start small and smart.

About the author
Matt Baker

Matt is Rampiq’s digital marketing manager and strategy guru. He drives clients’ projects and is engaged in internal marketing activities. Matt’s super-power is content marketing planning and execution.

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