Hiring a Raleigh marketing agency is a reliable way to get more done when you’re overwhelmed or overbusy with other things. Many companies start small and do their own marketing at first, which makes sense. As your business grows, you might realize you’re getting too busy to get to everything, and that’s where we come in. But if you’re new to working with an outside marketing agency, you are probably nervous or at least have questions. Here are the answers to some of the most frequent.
Q: Isn’t it better to hire an internal staff member to help with marketing?
A: Maybe. That depends on your goals and your budget. If you’re ready to hire someone to oversee all your marketing, you’ll pay at least $50,000 in salary and then benefits on top of that, so maybe $60,000 or more. That person may need to contract some of the work, such as graphic design or website coding, as part of his or her marketing budget. That might be another few thousand dollars a year or more, depending on your goals and his/her skill set.
If you divide your $65,000 per year by 12, that’s more than $5,400. You can pay that to a marketing agency leach month and get far more: access to writers, coders, designers, photographers, wholesale printers, and more.
In some cases, it makes more sense to hire a team member. Maybe you’re still small enough that your employee can help you with marketing and do other things. But at some point, the math begins to lean the other way.
Q: Right, but wouldn’t an in-house person better understand our business and brand?
A: Not necessarily. We love working with teams that have a point person or even a director of marketing. That person can still lead the strategy and comment on it, using his/her years of experience and knowledge about the company. An outside team brings another perspective and expertise about what works, what doesn’t, and new things to try. The right marketing agency will become part of your team and love your brand as much as you do.
Q: Can a marketing agency help with everything?
A: Yes and no. First the yes: depending on the agency and what services it offers, you can probably find one to fit your needs, whether it’s online-only, SEO help, printed materials, or trade shows. Now the no: We mentioned directors of marketing within the company, and we say that for a reason. Our biggest successes come from working with someone inside, and that person will need to collaborate. That means meeting with us once a month, giving us feedback about content topics, sometimes supplying us with photos or other materials required. After all, it is still your company, and someone has to give the final approval on things — just as you would if you hired a marketing employee. Some of our clients want to “set it and forget it.” Sometimes, we will do that. But they don’t experience the same level of growth as those who are engaged and genuinely collaborating with us toward our shared goal of bringing you more clients.
Q: What is SEO, and how does it work?
A: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the work you do to get your website to show up when people search for you. Most people turn to the Internet to find a business, and you want yours to appear high on the result page. SEO has changed a lot since the Internet began; it requires constant maintenance. This is one area you can’t set and forget because Google changes the rules often. Learn 3 Essential Things You Should Know about SEO.
Q: How much does it cost to hire a Raleigh marketing agency?
A: We hate to say, “it depends,” like everyone else, but it’s true! You can hire some big agencies in North Carolina for $10,000 a month or more. You can find some freelancers or solo marketers to work with you for less than $1,000 a month. And of course, you’ll find many in between. Plus, what you pay monthly for a retainer will depend on what mix of services you need. Some companies want the full benefit of an agency; some want help with only one or two areas.
Q: How much should I pay for a new website?
A: If you want a custom website for your business, expect to pay at least $2,500, but likely more. You can find someone to code you a WordPress site for less than that, but they are probably using a template. (Read our answer to a similar question about logo cost.)
Q: What is the process for hiring a Raleigh marketing agency?
A: We can’t speak for others. With us, we find each other and start talking. We get to know you, what services you might need, your business, and your goals. We then create a custom proposal based on those discussions. Your company then accepts (we hope!), and we create a contract and scope of work for us both to sign. We agree to a start date and set a time for a kickoff meeting or video call to get started.
Q: What can I expect from there? What’s it like to work with a marketing agency?
A: At first, we’ll be asking you for a lot of information. Depending on what we’re doing for you, we’ll need login details, your thoughts on what you want for your new website, approval for the text we’ve written, and more.
We like to get a recurring monthly meeting on the schedule to know when it’s time to check in with each other. We’ll create an agenda for those meetings, so you know what to expect, and we’re not wasting your time or ours. We’ll also update you at those meetings on our progress. After that, a lot depends on your goals and services, but generally, we’re available for additional conferences and calls, and we’ll be in touch via email often to get approval or feedback on anything we’re doing.
Q: How do I know my marketing is working?
A: Tracking. You and your marketing team should discuss and set up Key Performance Indicators (KPI)s at the start. You may already have some in place. Your main goal is to increase the volume of customers or the amount of money they spend with you. Therefore, you need to track calls, emails, website traffic, and your marketing agency should have various ways to do that. For example, you might set up different phone numbers to tie to ads, so you know where a caller found you. If your business has a front desk, your staff need to be asking, “How did you hear about us?” every single time. But people often forget, which is why other tracking is necessary.
Q:How do I know if it’s worth it?
A: Return on Investment (ROI) is a big question for many business owners. We meet a lot of people who think marketing is a waste of money. Before you hire anyone or spend money on advertising, do some math. Figure out how much money an average customer brings to your business. That might be monthly or yearly. If you’re paying a marketing agency $5,000 a month, you need to bring in an average of five new customers each month to cover that cost. Ideally, their efforts would lead to more. Some companies have long sales cycles and big payouts, and they end up calculating things differently.
Another good number to know is the lifetime value of a customer. For example, if you generally get $1,000 out of a customer each year and they stick around for about five years, your customer’s lifetime value is $5,000. Knowing how long they last may help you as you’re studying new ones coming in and those falling off.
Got a question? We’d love to talk to you about your marketing. Contact us to chat.