It doesn’t matter how small your business, what industry you’re in, or even how many members you have on your internal marketing team; outsourcing all or part of your marketing can save you time and money. We’re talking thousands of hours and thousands of dollars. With money back in the bank and time freed up for essential tasks, it’s a piece of cake to get back to growing your company. But before you seek outsourced marketing partners, you have to decide what marketing deliverables to outsource. What follows is our top five marketing deliverables to outsource now, based on the highest impact and most significant return on investment.
Lay Your Foundation With Research
Before you work on your branding or release a single piece of content, outsource marketing research to lay a sturdy foundation for your marketing initiatives. When your marketing is data-backed, you reap the benefits:
- Higher-quality interactions with your customers—capture attention quickly and end conversations in conversions.
- Streamlined operations—you can focus on what works, minimizing trial and error.
- Expanded tactics—use data points to hone in on strategic marketing initiatives, level up your team’s skillsets, or hire experts to take your marketing to the next level.
Marketing research comes in all different flavors, and you can take your pick. Let’s review the three main types of marketing research so you can decide what is most useful for your company: audience research, market research, and competitor research.
1. It’s All About the People: Audience Research
If you outsource any one type of marketing research, we at Brainchild Studios recommend outsourcing audience research. Audience research involves a deep dive into how your customers think, feel, and behave to inform your communication with them. It starts with defining your audience:
- Age range
- Geographical region
- Job title
The options are endless and centered around clear, definable parameters; there’s no room for ambiguity with audience definition. Audience research can include focus groups, surveys, or interviews. These formats are where you derive your insights based on inquiries that get to the root of what compels your audience:
What keeps them up at night?
How do they perceive your company? Your industry?
What are their goals in life?
Who do they trust the most?
What needs to happen for them to convert?
With answers at your fingertips, you have the information you need to create a robust content strategy and content that engages your audience. Once you understand your audience on a deeper level, you’ll be ready to connect with them. And to best capitalize on audience insights, you need market insights to reveal opportunities to grow alongside the people you serve.
2. Understand Your Context: Market Research
Here at Brainchild Studios, we do market research to understand our clients’ industries—from challenges and opportunities to keyword search volume and difficulty. We find out what people are saying about your industry, the health of the market, and how to stay successful when inevitable changes occur. Market research can be used as an umbrella term to reflect all aspects of marketing research; we separate it as related to audience research (and competitor research) but unique in its own right.
Without knowing what economic momentum can impact your company in the coming months and years, it’s hard to make informed decisions about the direction of your company. And one false predictor can lead you down a risky path. Market research provides context for your goals and your growth. Competitor research keeps you agile.
3. Keep Them Close: Competitor Research
We approach competitor research from an opportunities perspective. During our research, we look at your competitors—product/service offerings, content, messaging, pricing, and more—to understand what they do well and what could use a little work. That way, we can help you differentiate your company, amend any gaps we note in your competitors’ presence, and capitalize on growth opportunities.
You put a lot of time and money into your business. Why not use data to ensure your marketing keeps you on your toes and exceeding company goals?
In summer 2021, the team at BCS conducted primary research into companies that have outsourced all or part of their marketing to understand what’s worked and what they want more of. We found that building brand awareness was the number one marketing goal for these companies. The best way to build a brand is to back it with research.
Build Your Brand
If you want to grow your business and connect with your target audience, make sure your brand is polished, recognizable, and reflects your values as a company. More and more consumers look to company branding to reflect an identity, and they want to interact with an identity that does any number of the following:
- Aligns with values
- Creates hope
- Connects to their own identity, to other people, to the world at large
That’s a lot to rest on the shoulders of a brand. However, the weight of effective branding doesn’t have to fall on your shoulders alone. Outsource your branding to hit the mark time and time again. A marketing agency that excels at branding will be adept at provoking meaningful interactions while balancing your company identity and your customer perceptions. Once your branding (or rebranding) is in place, you’re ready to define your content strategy.
Define a Successful Content Strategy
Whether you decide to outsource marketing research and branding or do them in-house, these marketing deliverables create ⅔ of your content strategy for you. Here’s how it works.
- Learn about your market, including challenges and opportunities for growth.
- Understand your competitors and how you can differentiate your company.
- Go deeper with your audience to communicate more effectively with them.
- Build a brand that reflects your identity as a company to attract like-minded customers.
- Use actionable insights from numbers 1-4 to create a data-based content strategy.
You can hire experts who live and breathe content when you outsource your content strategy. A content strategist or iteration of one (lead copywriter, client strategist, digital content director, etc.) can lead your marketing department to hit your content goals:
- Increased engagement
- Increased conversions
- Increased retention
- Increased customer satisfaction
And a content strategist can get up and running with little legwork. No training. Minimal onboarding. Just results. Outsource your content strategy to give your company the curb appeal you want your audience to rave about.
Create High-Engagement Content
Another option for outsourced marketing is to hand your content creation off to trusted hands. There’s no shortage of writers and content creators out there, and they’re ready to build your brand on the digital front lines. Copywriters and content writers tend to be adaptable and detail-oriented, making it part of their skillsets to learn your brand voice and tone and execute flawlessly.
You can hire a writer or content creator to create any number of content deliverables but deliverable definition ideally comes from marketing research and a stellar content strategy. Here are some options:
- Social media posts
- Social media ads
- Sales emails
- Email newsletters
How do you decide? Ask your audience. By asking we learned that Millennial Moms are avid social media users and prefer video formats for content over blogs and podcasts. You can opt-out of research and strategy, but you’re much more likely to deliver content that resonates with your audience when you have the data and insights to support it.
And you can outsource the backend data of content creation too.
Analyze Your Data and Refine Your Approach
Once your content is live—whether you outsourced the creation or not—you can hire marketing professionals to step in and do the work of analyzing your retrospective data.
How did your content perform?
Did you reach your engagement goals?
What needs to change to better hit the mark?
Data analysts can step in and give you a content report to guide your content creation to the next stage. You don’t need to be well-versed in Google Analytics or understand statistical analysis. Many marketing agencies come with their own tech and process—you don’t need to set it up for them. You also don’t need to know what qualifies as solid engagement or what changes to make to reach your goals. Use outsourced data analysis to complete your branding journey.
Outsource Your Marketing Today
It’s hard work running a business, and outsourcing is a solution to your time management woes. Outsourced marketing also provides benefits that are harder to come by when you’re doing it yourself:
- Expanded tactics
- Refined strategy
- Streamlined workflow
- Expert-level marketing guidance
- High-quality deliverables
- Goals achievement
- Improved relationships with your audience
You can choose any option from this outsourced marketing a la carte menu, but if you have each of these five marketing deliverables reflected in your business plan, you’ll yield high-impact, data-backed marketing initiatives that come with a better return on investment, usually in the form of saved money and time as well as increased audience engagement.