SME Digital Marketing in 2023: Why Outsourcing is the Secret to Success
It’s no secret that Hong Kong is quickly developing the local digital marketing scene, and it has come a long way in the past 6-7 years. With its fast-paced economy and well-educated population, Hong Kong is one of the easiest places in South-East Asia to start or grow a business (read more about Why Hong Kong is the Hottest Spot for Digital Marketing Agencies). Setting up a business is quick and easy and the spirit of entrepreneurship is growing rapidly, especially among the younger generation. With so many people offering their services as “digital marketing agencies,” it can be difficult to know who to trust with your online marketing needs.
In this blog post, we will explore the differences between freelancers, small marketing companies and big multinational agencies, and why you may want to consider outsourcing your digital marketing efforts to professional marketers.
Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Outsourcing Digital Marketing Services
Even though every company has different needs or goals in terms of marketing, there are a few common pitfalls every business tries to avoid when it comes to outsourcing. The first is working with someone who doesn’t understand your business or goals. The second is overspending on digital marketing services that don’t produce results. And let’s not forget the issues that come with an unreliable and unprofessional attitude. Missing deadlines, late responses to questions, and a general lack of communication are all too common in the world of digital marketing.
So how can you safeguard your business against these risks when outsourcing digital marketing?
How can you be sure you’re working with a digital marketing agency that will help your business grow?
The answer is to do your research and ask the right questions. In this article, we’ll show you how to find a digital marketing agency that’s a good fit for your business.
Deciding who to partner with is often an emotional decision. We are all people and we prefer to work with people we like and we feel are a “good fit”. But at the end of the day, it’s all about finding an agency that will not only be a joy to work with but will also help your business grow.
What questions you should ask your digital marketing agency
Here are some questions you should ask when you’re considering working with a digital marketing agency:
How long have you been in business?
This will determine how likely it is that the company will still be around for some time. During Covid times, many less-robust marketing companies in Hong Kong closed their doors, and many of their staff established their own “mini agencies”. It is likely many of them will be closing down once the pandemic is over and big firms start hiring again.
Do you have any relevant industry experience?
Have you had similar clients before? How happy were they with your results? – This is important to know so you can gauge whether the agency will be a good fit for your business. The agency should have a good amount of experience in your industry. Experience matters, since finding what works for one client can be shared across clients within the same industry.
What digital marketing services do you offer?
The agency should have a range of digital marketing services that they can offer, and they should be able to tailor these services to your specific business needs. Try to work with as few marketing partners as possible, as working with several providers can get confusing and end up being more expensive. More often than not, you will be spending your precious time and energy coordinating efforts between providers, which you should try to avoid as much as possible.
What is your digital marketing strategy?
The agency should have a digital marketing strategy that they can share with you, and it should be tailored to your business goals. If they don’t have a digital marketing strategy, or if they’re unwilling to share it with you, then they’re probably not the right agency for you.
How will you measure success?
Success should be measured by agreed upon KPIs that are relevant to your business goals. Do not ask for a number of likes or traffic, as these metrics are too easy to fake and are too isolated to impact your bottom line.
Who will be working on my account?
Ideally you want to meet the person who will be your contact throughout the duration of the partnership. This way you can get a feel for their personality and whether or not you’ll be able to work well together.
Is there a tie-in period?
Digital marketing agencies will often have a fixed tie-in period (usually around six months) to ensure that they can properly assess your needs and put together a solid plan for moving forward. Try to negotiate a way out. In case you are not happy with their work , you should be able to walk away without penalty.
What are the deliverables?
Digital marketing agencies should provide you with a monthly report that details their work for that month and how it has impacted your business. If they’re not willing to do this, move on.
Be mindful of ad-on costs.
Digital marketing agencies will often try to upsell you on additional services. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but you should be aware of what those costs are so that you can budget accordingly.
Finally, make sure that the digital marketing agency you choose is one that you feel comfortable working with. This is important because you will be entrusting them with a lot of responsibility when it comes to promoting your business.
If you keep these things in mind, you should have no problem finding a digital marketing agency that is a good fit for your business. Just be sure to do your research and ask plenty of questions before making any decisions. Hong Kong has more and more highly-skilled digital marketing agencies, so you should have no trouble finding one that meets your needs. Good luck!