Outsourcing Social Media Inbound Marketing Dont Expect to Set it and Forget it

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If youre considering outsourcing your companys social media, you probably have a lot of questions. If you are already working with an inbound marketing company, you may be wondering how to get more out of the relationship.

Weve worked with many small businesses, and have learned a thing or two about outsourcing relationships that work and those that dont. The best predictor for success or failure is a companys commitment to keeping us in the loop.

We really want to be an extension of your business a partner with all your departments. No doubt your agency does, too. Heres how you can do your part. Step one is realizing that an effective inbound marketing outsourcing partnership is just that a partnership.

Im thinking about outsourcing my companys social media does that mean I wont have to do anything at all?

outsourcing2outsource inbound marketing set it and forget it?Oh, wouldnt that be nice? However, social media for your business is for YOUR business, so no agency, no matter how good they are, can do it well without you. The agency or individual responsible will need to spend considerable time getting to know your business at the beginning, but thats not enough. Continued contact is absolutely vital for a successful program.

Get Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service Involved with your Inbound Marketing Agency

You dont need to train your staff to represent you on your social media channels (though that would be nice). You do, however, need to make sure that they have bought in to the plan to become a social business. What does this mean? It means you have their commitment to do their part to make it work. This should not take more than 30-60 minutes a week per department, but it is absolutely vital. For the smallest businesses, you may have one or two individuals responsible for all these roles. The principles still apply.

Getting the Most From Inbound Marketing Outsourcing The Role of the Marketing Department

Inbound and traditional marketing are the perfect complements to each other. So, having a good working relationship here is absolutely vital. The assigned representative(s) should keep the agency in the loop on all marketing efforts before they go out the door (or on the air). Why? Your inbound agency can often give suggestions on how the campaigns can help build up your social presence, and may even be able to create a custom landing page that will add tremendous value to the campaign itself.

Here are some things marketing should share with your agency:

Any print ads youre planning.
Planned email campaigns to leads and customers.
Are you going to be interviewed on radio, tv or podcast? Your agency is happy to advise on simple ways to leverage this to build your audience. Also, there may be ways to access the recording afterwards so it can be shared on your blog and social channels.
If marketing notices new trends in customer demand and sentiment, this should be passed on to your agency ASAP. Armed with new insights, they can tweak the content being created and the way it is shared. Any new buyer personas should be shared with your agency as they are created.

Getting the Most From Inbound Marketing Outsourcing The Role of the Sales Department

Sales needs to believe that leads gathered online are worth following up on and be committed to doing so. Part of securing this buy-in is to make sure they have input both at startup and on an ongoing basis.

outsourcing3Someone from your sales department should be assigned to report to the agency on the quality of the leads being generated and offer suggestions for improvements. For example, if sales discovers that the leads generated by your agency are not of the right niche, or not financially or otherwise qualified, let them know so they can adjust your content accordingly! Of course, not every lead will bring you the perfect customer, but having an open dialogue will help increase lead quality over time. Someone from your sales team should be assigned to engage in weekly conversations or emailed reports with your inbound agency.

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