What is outsourced marketing?
Outsourced marketing is where an agency is brought in to carry out some or all of your marketing needs.
The decision to outsource your marketing might come from a need to take pressure off your internal teams or to bring in a specialist for their particular area of expertise.
What can be outsourced?
Marketing services that are often outsourced are:
- Website design and development
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Content creation
- Social media & PR
- Email marketing
- Graphic design and branding
- Paid advertising
Some firms choose to outsource all aspects of their marketing, some may only outsource certain elements. For example, if your website is letting you down and feels outdated, bringing in an agency to build a new site can provide numerous benefits.
In short, there are a huge variety of services that can be outsourced. The actual tasks that should be outsourced will depend on what will meet the goals and objectives of your firm. For example, if your goal is steady, long-term growth, investing in SEO and content creation might be the best choice. Equally, influencing and sharing the reputation of your firm via social media or PR might work wonders.
Benefits of outsourced marketing for law firms
1. Allows internal staff to focus on client work
Some firms outsource every aspect of their marketing, whilst some might outsource only very specialist tasks (such as a new website or pitch deck). Ultimately, this allows their leadership and professionals to focus intensely on the core needs of the business.
Outsourced marketing can mean your team’s time can be reserved for higher-priority work, where their legal insights will make more of a strategic difference.
With the well-documented pressure that many legal professionals are facing, outsourcing your marketing can take some of the pressure off. This can not only improve the well-being of your employees but by extension, the quality of work and overall culture of your firm.
2. Increased focus on client experience
Outsourcing your marketing can, as mentioned above, take pressure off internal teams. One significant benefit of this is that it frees up time that could be better spent on serving your clients.
Outsourced marketing can increase and improve your firm’s focus on service, as it provides your team with more time to concentrate on the fundamental parts of the business; less time can be spent on the more bureaucratic elements, such as uploading the weekly blog.
3. Improved ways to evaluate and manage the firm’s performance
Outsourcing your marketing can provide a clearer picture of how your firm’s digital channels are performing, and by extension, help with influencing the strategic direction of your firm.
Data assets owned by your firm, such as Google Analytics from your website, might hold insights that you’re not yet taking full advantage of. Data can be expertly analysed to present to stakeholders, and others with interests in the performance of the firm.
Outsourcing to an agency should involve a monthly report on your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The work your outsourced team does will usually focus on defining what your firm needs to improve for success, and then an action plan to do so.
4. It can influence how and who you hire
Departments often get to the point where they want to hire someone with a particular skill set, but they either don’t have enough work in that area to justify a full-time employee, or they simply don’t have the budget to do so.
Outsourcing can be a cost-effective way to fill in the gaps in your company, without the expense or the permanency of hiring a new person.
You can also use outsourcing in tandem with your hiring process. Use an outsourced firm to determine which marketing techniques work best for your firm, whether that’s PPC, regular blog content or LinkedIn posts. You could then hire someone to focus on those areas based on the results that you established through outsourcing.
5. Costs of outsourcing can scale with the business
Often, an agency will be able to charge a more variable rate. They might bill you for the hours worked or agree to a fixed price for a particular job (such as building a new website). This is particularly useful if your team’s workload fluctuates month to month.
If you are more sure of what needs to be done, having a monthly retainer that you can rely on can be highly cost-effective; you are serviced by an entire, specialist marketing team, without the actual overheads of hiring one. In essence, it allows a law firm to stay financially nimble, whilst maintaining a high-quality output on their marketing channels.
When should you outsource?
The decision to outsource generally comes from a need to solve ongoing problems. Items that are far down on the priority list for your internal teams can become the top priority for your new, external specialist.
Outsourcing can be particularly beneficial when a firm begins to aim for growth, or renews its strategy to better allow for growth. Internal teams might be put under increasing pressure to produce results that they simply do not have the time and the space to achieve.
The interim period between needing to hire new staff, and training them, can also be a time to bring in an external agency that can quickly step in and cover the time-consuming (but necessary) tasks in the meantime.