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How To Start And Run An Online Business

Article: 18. Marketing - Should You Market Your Website Yourself Or Outsource it?


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Why is Internet Marketing Important?

Very rarely do the people who visit your website remember its URL. In fact the most common way to get to a website is either by using a search engine or by clicking on an online advertisement or on a link. Thus, internet marketing is crucial to the amount of traffic your website receives and the revenue it generates. It is important to understand that internet marketing is quite different from conventional marketing and has to be managed accordingly. Internet marketing would include SEO, optimized content, link programs, affiliate programs, PPC campaigns, social networking and lots more. You need to consider internet marketing even before you are ready to launch your website. So here is the crucial question, will you do it yourself or outsource it?

Advantages of Doing it Yourself

  • There are those who believe that since you own the website you will be the best person to market it.
  • You will be saving money you would have otherwise spent if you had outsourced the internet marketing of your website.
  • You will not need to recruit or consider various outsourcing companies nor would you need to check on whether they are getting the job done right.

Advantages of Outsourcing Internet Marketing

  • Internet marketing requires the dedicated efforts of specialists who understand this form of marketing. By outsourcing internet marketing you gain the advantage of having experts work on your marketing, and yet you don't have to recruit them.
  • Outsourcing frees you of worries about the marketing of your website and you only need to oversee the task. This gives you more time to focus on your business.
  • It is not a one time job like a print advertisement campaign. In fact internet marketing requires regular and constant focus and attention, which the internet marketing firm that you outsource to can provide.
  • Since there isn't any one internet marketing tool that is considered crucial all of them need to be given equal attention, this includes SEO, PPC campaigns, blogs and affiliates. The firm you outsource to will take all things in mind and create an apt marketing strategy for your website. Managing these single handedly would have been challenging.
  • Outsourcing provides you the dedicated efforts of a group of professionals who are like an extension of your existing team.
  • Marketing is more than just about creating a campaign, it require managing, research and analysis of the success of the campaigns, on the basis of which it may be tweaked. This requires a fair amount of skill and resources that the company you outsource to provides.

When Should You Consider Outsourcing Internet Marketing?

You should consider outsourcing if you think that you don't have the skills, the knowledge and the time required for the job. Just because you are a great businessman doesn't mean that you will also be a terrific internet marketer. It makes good business sense to outsource the job if you feel that you don't have man power as well as the knowledge required for the job. If you do it yourself, you will be trading elbow grease for the money you save, but are you sure you can take off so much of time from your core business activity. Internet marketing is not an open and shut job but in fact needs time and efforts virtually on a daily basis.

In some instances a drop in the budget and increased expenses may make outsourcing the best option for you. The returns you will gain from a good internet marketing firm outweigh the cost of outsourcing to them. If you decide to outsource it is important to take your time finding the company that is right for you.

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Finding the Right Outsourcing Partner

There are plenty of internet marketing firms that will be willing to take on the marketing of your website. It is important that you take your time selecting a company that has a similar understanding of your business and website as you do. Here is a step-by-step guide to finding the right outsourcing partner for your website.

  • Clear Vision of Internet Marketing: Before you are ready to speak to any companies about what their plans would be for your website, you need to have a clear vision of what you will expect of your website's internet marketing. Just because you are outsourcing the job doesn't mean that you go into the process without much information. Also you need to understand the basics of internet marketing so that you are able to comprehend the strategies that the internet marketing firms may recommend for your website.
  • Consider Several Quotes: Like a true businessman you need to survey the market and the many internet marketing firms who will offer varied quotes for the same service. It is important that you spend some time considering the services, experience and costs quoted by some of the well reputed companies in internet marketing. This will also provide you enough information on which you could negotiate a good price. The internet and rapidly developing means of communication have brought global markets closer. You may consider outsourcing to an offshore firm that offers great resources and communication. This would tremendously increase the number of companies you consider for marketing of your website. Also take into consideration a firm's experience and the kind of clientele it has. Speaking to a few people in your business community may also give you some ideas on the kind of firm you are looking for.
  • Bargain: Now that you have a fair idea of services offered by several internet marketing firms you are at a good place to consider bargaining for a good price. As in any business, in this one too, there is always scope for bargaining. If a firm doesn't relent, don't worry, there are plenty of other firms to consider. Do ensure that you mention the services and price quoted by competitors. This will indicate that you have done your homework and are not coming into the negotiations unprepared. You may like to ask each company to suggest a strategy that would work for your website before you choose the firm you would like to outsource to.
  • Be Patient: The firm you outsource your website's internet marketing will be a partner you select for the long run, and so don't be in a hurry to make your decision. Postpone signing any contracts before you consider the proposals put forward by several companies; give yourself some time before you make up your mind. A good internet marketing firm understands that clients need to decide on what is best for their website and will give you the space and time you require to reach a decision. In case you decide that you aren't convinced by any of the firms, don't worry, it is better to take your time choosing the firm you will outsource to, rather than rush into a decision you may regret later.

Things to Consider Before Outsourcing Internet Marketing

  • Experience with Expertise: It is vital that the internet marketing firm you select has the experience as well as the expertise for the job. Feel free to ask for references and do check on them. If required speak to few of the firm's previous clients or ask to see their work. Do opt for a firm that offers an array of services. Once your website gets going you will also need to consider services such as affiliate management. Having the same firm handle the task will make it easier for you to keep a track of all the details.
  • Know Your Team: It is important that you know the team that will be working on your internet marketing. This will ensure that you are aware of any turnover in staff.
  • Communication: It is essential that the firm you select offers excellent communication resources so that you are able to interact effectively. Creating a schedule of feedback before you sign on the contract will ensure that both parties are clear on what is expected. Don't make up the process as you go along instead ask the firm how they expect to keep you informed on various marketing campaigns and also on the analysis for the same.
  • Location: It really doesn't matter if the firm you outsource to is in your city or across the world, as long as the job gets done right. In fact outsourcing to a company on the other side of the globe has added advantages such lower costs and the time difference between your countries. Your business may actually be working round the clock as your outsourcing team works different hours and may finish a task before your business day begins.
  • Terms and Conditions: Before you sign the dotted line do be sure that you understand all the terms and conditions including those for security, privacy, payment and conditions in case of breach of contract.

When you select an internet marketing firm you are looking for a long term partner to help your website grow and flourish. It is a mutually beneficial business relationship, one that should last for many years to come.

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