Your web presence is more important than ever before. A whopping 88% of purchasers and decision-makers research companies online before making a purchase. We live in an age of increasing sophistication that enables business owners, decision-makers, and consumers alike to carefully vet a company before they even pick up the phone.
Despite this, only 64% of small businesses have a website, and among those that do only 81% are mobile-friendly, and 10% invest no money in marketing. And of those that do, 71% do their own marketing and see little or no results from those efforts. Word of mouth and existing relationships can take a company only so far in an increasingly digital environment.
A large number of businesses are wary of digital marketing, unsure of how to build an effective website, and are unwilling to invest large amounts of money in a sweeping digital marketing plan. If you’re in a similar situation, how do you decide what to do next, and who should manage your website? Let’s take a closer look at your three options and how to choose the best one for your company.
Managing Your Web Presence In-House
With most small businesses managing their marketing in-house, but only spending a few hundred dollars a month, the majority of businesses see few or no results from their efforts. But that doesn’t mean an in-house approach is ineffective. It’s just rarely fully implemented.
- You can leverage the expertise of employees already on staff.
- There is no additional overhead by hiring a dedicated marketing team.
- You have on-premise support if there is a question or problem.
- You have more direct control over messaging and content distribution.
Those managing your website and campaigns likely don’t have domain expertise.
There is a lack of resources to scale efforts when there is an important campaign or website problem.
There is a continued need to contract for highly technical issues like a website revision.
You’ll lack benchmarks and best practices against which to measure performance.
Hiring Freelancers for One Time Projects
Another common path that small businesses take is to hire a third party from a website like Upwork who can handle individual tasks on one-time projects. Rather than having a full-time employee managing marketing efforts or an agency on retainer, companies hire one-time freelancers who complete individual projects and move on.
- You pay only for what you need with small one-time projects.
- You can leverage individual domain expertise by hiring specific individuals for specific projects.
- You can tap into large markets of expertise like Upwork.
- Freelancers have many clients and don’t adhere to standard working hours, meaning they may not always be available.
- You don’t get the strategic insight or input of someone leading your marketing and web efforts.
- The same freelancer may not be available between major projects, requiring you to constantly educate new people about your business.
- There is no one constantly monitoring your web presence and making improvements to your website or marketing materials.
- There is no guarantee of quality for the work you purchase, leading to potential project failures.
Partnering with a Website Management Service Provider
The third option for managing your web presence is to hire a long-term service provider who works with your team to handle all of the intricacies of a modern website.
- A large team with extensive experience working with all major web platforms.
- Quick responses when you have a question or a problem, ensuring minimal downtime or interruptions to your efforts.
- Domain expertise that you can rely on to guide your team when launching a new campaign and targeting a new audience.
Peace of mind knowing your website is fully optimized for mobile-traffic and organic search.
- Hands-on monitoring of your website, advertising campaigns, SEO performance, and more.
- Scalable services that allow you to pay for only the services you need in a blended rate, well below what it would cost to hire a full-time marketing team.
- Outside agencies tend to be more expensive than an individual freelancer due to the wide-ranging expertise of the agency's staff (designers, writers, developers, project managers, etc.).
- With many agencies, you might have multiple points of contact for different services (website, advertising, creative, admin/billing), so it's essential to designate a dedicated member of your staff to manage communications.
- Agencies and service providers have multiple clients, so unlike a dedicated freelancer or in-house staff, they're not focused solely on your company at all times.
By hiring a marketing services provider, you benefit from hands-on management of your website, and a mix of tactics that help drive new prospects and build your business without a massive marketing investment.
Specifically, when you select a provider that works only with small and medium-sized businesses, it’s easier to scale your digital efforts more quickly. Learn more about Pronto’s managed website and marketing services and how we can support your efforts to generate new sales leads faster.
Do you know how much a website actually costs?
Get a real world cost comparison between DIY, local web agencies and Pronto.