Businesses who are sold on digital marketing often wonder: “Is it better to hire an online marketing agency or an in-house online marketer?” Truth be told, there’s no easy answer. Like most things, it depends on a number of factors like how big your business is, what your budget is, what your needs and objectives are, and a whole lot more. That being said, here’s a quick overview of the two approaches to help you make an informed decision and set realistic expectations. 

Online marketing agency 

One of the biggest advantages of an online marketing agency is that it bring together experts in various fields of digital marketing, offering the depth and breadth of digital marketing skills and expertise that smaller businesses just can’t match. Online marketing agencies also have access to all the latest paid marketing tools that can not only execute your marketing campaigns, but can also collect data and make data-driven decisions to continually improve your results. 

Whether it’s areas like SEO, paid ads, content strategy, graphic design, and more, your businesses will be able to tap into the resources that it needs and when it needs them. Scalability will no longer be an issue as online marketing agencies can quickly increase your marketing efforts during peak seasons or put it on hold during off-peak seasons. Cost wise, you’ll also only be paying for the services you use. 

But working with an online marketing agency isn’t all peaches and roses. Online marketing agencies tend to work with multiple businesses that can often make some businesses feel neglected. In a way, working with a third-party provider also means you might have to give up some degree of contorl when it comes to your digital marketing strategy. That being said, these issues can be overcome by working with a client-focused agency that you trust. 

In-house online marketer 

As an in-house online marketer dedicates 100% of their time and resources on your business, they’ll be instantly familiar with your business’ values, tone, and brand. You’ll also find your in-house online marketer to be very accessible – simply walk over to their desk and talk to them. Unlike an online marketing agecy, you’ll also not have to divulge any information about your business to a third-party provider and get full control over your business’ marketing strategy. 

However, it goes without saying that this strategy only works if you’re able to recruit a stellar in-house online marketer. Note that talent attraction and retention isn’t always a cup of tea, and that it can takes a lot of time, effort, and money to do so. Of course, there’s also the risk of hiring a jack of all trades and master of none.

Here are some the other expenses you’ve got to think about:

  • Employee costs: Hiring costs, pay and salary, employee benefits, turnover costs, etc. 
  • Software costs: SEO tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, etc. 
  • Freelance costs: Services like graphic design, web development, etc. 

Now that you’re well informed, will you work with an online marketing agency or hire an in-house online marketer?